This is Day 16 of my 31 days of writing series called "Confessions of a Road Kill Christian" If you haven't read Day 1 yet you can click here first. I am linking up with #write31days. I hope that through this series of posts we'll be encouraged by who God is and who He says we are in Him.
One thing about being a shiny, "holier than thou" style Christian is that there is not a lot of room for failure. Sure, we admit we are sinners and we speak solemnly and in hushed tones of our struggles with our sin, but if we could just be honest, we know that pride isn't the same thing as one of those "really bad sins" and we stand before God and pray "thank you God that I am not one of them."
Until one day, you are. You are that person, who willfully disobeyed God. You are that person you looked down your nose at when you were younger. You are that woman straying away from her faith. You are that woman who is kept only by the grace of God from going off into all-out family-wrecking sin. You aren't shiny and holy anymore, you are a full-on mess. Your wedding-gown of grace is muddy and torn and in desperate need of saving.
It took walking across that invisible line of us and them to realize that there is no line. There is no distinction in God's heart. He had been teaching me for years that His love for me was deep and wide, lavish and extravagant but it took a season of walking around with life's tire tracks stamped across my forehead to realize that God's love for me also had nothing to do with my performance.
I sat at a my church's Ladies Retreat (two years ago almost to the day!) as God showed me I had been living under a glass ceiling. I thought my disobedience and doubt meant that I could get this close to Him but no closer. I felt I was disqualified. But He broke the glass ceiling and said "come". He drew me near in forgiveness and love and full acceptance, through the death of Jesus Christ covering my sin and he led me into a new season of growing closer to Him.
I'm not saying "keep on doing whatever you want" because in obedience I have found freedom and healing and life and in sin there is only bondage and death. But there is bondage in a performance-driven relationship with God too. There is death in defining ourselves by our own performance good or bad. In my walk with God He has shown me over and over again it's not about that.
It's not about my check-list, it's not about my good behavior, it's about my heart and it's about my relationship with Him. Out of a heart that is right with God flows what is right, out of a heart filled with God's love flows love, and no amount of good behavior can cover up a heart that is filled with fear and doubt and self.
I was a road-kill Christian but I don't carry the weight of the shame of this anymore. I have been forgiven, and God has restored and even made better-than-new the places in my heart that were shattered, those years have been redeemed but it took embracing my epic fail.