Years ago, a dear friend wrote this to me in an email:
To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you but merely opening your hands to receive something better.
Let go. Receive. Trust. These basic concepts of the Christian faith aren’t easy. He is constantly asking for us to release a little more of ourselves to His Will.
For me, it began with my identity. Who was I? Where did I place my self-worth? Was it in my education, my accomplishments, the approval of others, the behavior of my children?? Did I really believe that He loved us all equally? If I truly believed this, then my self-worth could not be earned. It could not be measured. It simply was. I was enough to love. I was worthy of love by nature of my creation, or should I say by nature of He who created me. I was enough, because He said that I was.
It would be years before this truth would really begin to transform my soul. When I first really considered what it meant to be a Child of God, I only saw the surface. I became focused on acting and dressing the part. I focused on things such a modesty, attending religious events, and surrounding myself with others who were known to be “good Christian people,” … oh, and I filled my closet with t-shirts that told the world “I love Jesus.” Obviously, all of these things are great and definitely have their place in the walk of any Christian, but these things alone do not make us holy. They do not add to our worthiness. I would eventually learn the difference between acting the part and embracing the role.
As life beckons us to trust more by placing the fate of an ill child, of a hurting parent, or a lost job into the hands of God, we are given the opportunity to learn humility, to practice trust, to be childlike. These moments aren’t always easy. But isn’t that the point? That we have to make an intentional choice to trust, to stop our instinctive desire to control and fix things, and to acknowledge that WE NEED HIM. We need Him like a child needs a caretaker.
Feed me. Clothe me. Teach me. Forgive me. Love me…. He does all of this and so much more!
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6: 26)
As life humbled me, I found my heart opening wider to His grace. To the reality that not only did I need Him, He wanted to help me. He wanted to love and care for me. I didn’t have to beg, just to ask and allow. This is when the truth that I am a Child of God began to transform my person. I was then able to love the sinful, the broken, and those deemed unworthy but society, because if God loved me in the messy state that I was then how could I deny love to others. My perception of people changed.
As Everyday Missionaries, you and I are not always called to leave our comfortable homes for foreign mission, but He does ask us to open our hearts so that a genuine love pours forth from our smile, our touch, and our life. He wants to love you and through you… and that my friend is enough. You are enough.
Reflection questions: How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as worthy of love? Are you carrying around guilt from sins long ago forgiven? Or have you not gone to confession because you think you can’t truly be forgiven?
What are those parts of yourself that you keep hidden from others? From God?? Are you ready to trust Him with the messy parts of your life?