I’ll confess that I’ve started and quit this blog several times over the last few years. And I’m feeling the urge to get it started up again. I’m in between writing projects right now (well, kind of) and I though it might be fun to use this as another writing outlet. It’s been an incredibly busy spring for our family. We moved (left a home we’d built and lived in for 13 years), had a wedding, I finished a manuscript, and we graduated one more senior (the 5th out of 7). Now I’m busy preparing to send that graduated son on a mission to Vegas and welcome another one home from Uganda. It seems like things never stop moving around here, so I want to use this blog as a way to make time stand still for a little while. In this quiet place, I want to get beyond the busy-ness and contemplate the deeper things of life, for it’s those deeper things that have changed me in ways I’ll never be able to describe. (But I sure want to try!)
The truth is, I spent so many years caught up in my daily routine and my To-Do list and getting dinner on the table and changing diapers and carpooling kids and everything we women cram into our lives on a daily basis. But then one day I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t live like a mouse on a wheel for one more day. I knew something had to change. And change it did. As I fell before the Lord and begged for help, He began an intense period of tutoring and mentoring me in those so-called deep things. And now 10 years later, I can honestly say that I’ve finally learned to live by my heart, not my To-Do list. It’s a life I never dreamed possible. It would take 10,000 blog posts to capture everything I’ve learned, but perhaps I’ll just start with the thoughts on my mind today.
Today I’m grateful for one amazingly important thing that the Lord taught me. It’s that I don’t have to perform to win His love. That I don’t have to reach some point where I’m finally good enough for Him love me or help me or whatever I’m so desperately needing. Finally I understand that He wants to come to me right in my brokenness. Right in the middle of my very worst mess….sins and all. In fact, I believe that’s His favorite place to be. After all, He is my Savior. More than anything, He wants to rescue me and deliver me and lift me right out of that broken place. But for some reason I kept trying to save myself. I thought I needed to clean up my act enough that I could earn His approval. But as I thought about all the things I needed to change, it truly felt impossible. Thankfully, I now know that I don’t have to try to earn my Savior’s love at all. It’s right there waiting for me. He’s right there waiting, and He’s all I’ll ever need.
I think my favorite example of this is the story of Christ encountering the woman caught in adultery. She was definitely guilty, for she’d been caught “in the very act” (John 8:4). But notice what the Lord tenderly says to her: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). There’s no condemnation. No “get your act together.” No shame or guilt or stern rebuke. There’s only love. Compassion. Mercy. Grace. And it thrills me that the very same thing can be true in my own life.
I was in the car today and one particular song hit me like a lightning bolt and got this whole thought process started. (I’ll admit that I’m a huge Christian music junkie.) I thought I’d share the video just in case someone else needs to hear this same message. I picked the version with lyrics because they’re so powerful and inspiring. Anyway, here’s Matthew West. Hope you enjoy it! Have a wonderful day!