Comment

No Condemnation

A few nights ago I had a very difficult time sleeping. All I heard in my head was how much I had messed up as a Christian and that God would never be able to use me to glorify Him. I was reminded by the enemy of many mistakes I had made and was condemned over and over again. Even though I knew I had repented of past sins and bad choices, he used those memories to haunt me. I remember telling myself multiple times that I knew I had been forgiven and that I had learned from those mistakes. 

I believe that we all go through periods in our life when we make bad choices, many times knowing better. I’m so glad that I serve a God who doesn’t remember my sin once I have repented and received forgiveness. The Bible says that “as far as the east is from the west, He has removed our transgressions from us“(NASB). God will certainly convict me of sin in order for me to see myself, but He does not condemn.  Satan is my accuser and He uses every opportunity he can to discourage me and take away any hope for a bright future and the ability to glorify and honor my Lord (Revelation 12:10).

I had to remind myself of all the people in the Bible that God used for great things even though they had made some big mistakes. To name a few, Saul was a Jew who persecuted the church and wanted to eradicate Christianity prior to his conversion on the Damascus Road. He was then known as the apostle Paul and was a warrior for Christ, spreading the Gospel.  King David made a number of mistakes such as committing adultery, murder, lying, stealing, and covetousness. He repented of his sins and sought to glorify God. King David was in the direct lineage Jesus Christ. Simon Peter denied Christ and after repenting, God used him to spread the gospel. Moses committed murder but God used him to lead his people out of Egypt into the promised land. There are many more.  

I came to the conclusion that even though I had made a lot of mistakes, God could still use me. His timing isn’t mine and his ways are not my ways, nor are his thoughts my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8 NASB) but He knows that I am committed to Him I want to be used for His glory.

Comment

Let me ask you a few questions that I want to answer honestly.  Do you ever struggle with trying to do things on your own and your way?  Do you try to find your worth in your identity in relationships, achievements, and appearance? Are you struggling with emotional wounds that are not healed?

 

For decades, I struggled with rejection, singleness, and loneliness. As you will read in my book, Sacred Love, my emotional wounding was due to real and maybe at times, perceived rejection due to my appearance.  I was the “fat, ugly kid” whose mother was gorgeous and often modeled for one of the finest women’s stores in our hometown. Because I believed that I was unattractive physically and not worth loving, I sought to find my identity and worth in my achievements and intelligence. When I did not measure up in these areas either, which are detailed in the book, I became depressed and anxious. I isolated myself and built a wall of protection so high that I could not see God. At this time in my life, I did not trust Jesus to fill all the voids in my life, even though I had accepted Him at the age of nine.  I had been rejected too many times and often asked Him why He had created me.  I felt like I had to prove my worth to God and others, but every time I tried, there was failure.  I was left unfulfilled and empty.  Since I was trying to do it “my way” and not give God full control, I made mistakes out of disobedience.  Finally, at my wit’s end, I surrendered my life and my rights to myself to Jesus. It had been exhausting trying to find my worth when, in truth, I had been given all my worth in Christ when I accepted Him.  God’s Word is truth and Jesus loves me with an everlasting love as He does you.  Our enemy, Satan, lies to us continuously and, since I had chosen to believe his lies from early childhood, I had lived out most of my life filtering my experiences through a lens of rejection.

 

 In my book, Sacred Love, you will be my traveling companion on my journey in both happy times and crushing times as I strive to find love and acceptance, while missing the love of God.  You will read about my most traumatic time when I came face to face with the ultimate crisis of belief and read how God took me from utter brokenness to triumphant victory as I chose to trust Him with the pain of my past. 

Did my singleness cause me to feel like I was being punished by God?

As one can read in my book, I did not always trust God with my life. Of course, there were times that I thought that I didn’t deserve to be single. I was often angry at God. At that time in my life, I chose to believe not only false things about God but also untruths about myself. Many years of joy were stolen from me because of my warped feelings toward circumstances of what I looked like, what my mother thought about me, and how to win approval. I didn’t realize at that time that the only One who did accept me completely was God! Until I truly believed that God is love and that His plan for me is good, I could not understand why my singleness was a part of His plan at that time in my life. But God was not holding out on me. Being single put me in the position to open my life to complete surrender and to hold on to Him.  

 

Punishment and fear go together, and this perfect love of God does not involve either. Perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). He wants me to trust Him every day for His timing and His plan, no matter what that ends up being. It’s for my best, and it makes me more like Him.  

What stigma would I change about singleness?

I have heard people ask about a single person, "I wonder what is wrong with her?" This assumption is not only hurtful, but judgmental. I’m sure people asked this about me for many years. Why does society assume things about people who are not like the majority of their friends? Single men and women—whether divorced, widowed, or never married—could be making a personal choice to remain single or perhaps they don’t have a choice. As the apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12, he knew singleness well and remained that way. There are many advantages to being single, so whether it’s by choice or not, could it be that God can more freely use singles who are devoted to Him without distractions? Absolutely. Singleness brings freedom to spend more time with Jesus and ministry. So if I could change people’s opinion on singleness, it would be to instead see singleness as an opportunity to be completely devoted to Jesus rather than as a character failure.   

Did I struggle to find my identity in relationships, achievements, and appearance instead of Jesus?

Identity and worth go hand-in-hand. Because there was no man in my life and I did not feel like I was attractive physically, my identity and worth were in my achievements and intelligence. When I did not measure up in these areas either, I became depressed and anxious. At this time in my life, I did not trust Jesus to fill all the voids in my life, and I certainly didn’t see myself as valuable in His eyes. I had been rejected too many times—what if Jesus rejected me? I felt like I had to prove my worth to God and others, but every time I tried, there was failure. Finally, at my wit’s end, I surrendered my life to Jesus. I was tired of the struggle of being good enough. When I realized God’s Word was true, and that Jesus loved me with an everlasting love, I gave Him my life completely. With my identity in Christ alone, I am free from bondage of people’s and my own self-imposed expectations. Jesus accepts me as I am and gently molds me to be more like Him.