Monday, January 14, 2013

She is dead.

My body shook as the sobs rocked through my core.  Out of my mouth, like trash spilling out of the truck as the hatch tilts open, came all the rubbish and filth and garbage that I felt defined me.  How could I sleep?  How could I even go on with my life -- going to work, visiting family, attending church, raising my children -- when this THIS is who I really was.  The more time I spent in the the Word, the more it pierced right to the heart of me, exposing my shortcomings.  Every sermon on podcast that streamed from my phone to my ears left me feeling convicted and ashamed.  Wasn't it only a short time ago that I was flying?  Freed from the burden of my sins that had been holding me down like an anchor, I had been redeemed and washed clean.  Now, I was chained once again to that anchor, feeling its weight like never before.

You are a hypocrite.  You claim to have accepted Christ, but you are nothing like him.
You have wounded so many with your tongue, especially those closest to you.  Perhaps it would be better if you never spoke at all.
Who is your cornerstone?  Certainly not Jesus.  Think of all the things you build your life around that will lead to your destruction.
Are you sure heaven is your assurance?  Really?  Can you really be sure?
Reading your Bible isn't enough.  Doing "good things" isn't going to cut it.  You are JUST like the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus denounces so strongly. 

I was supposed to be different.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.  I had changed.  Why then did I feel so miserable?

Evan held me and reassured me that none of this was true.  "You're a good person," he soothes.  I lash out like a whip:

"But that's the problem!  Being a "good person" isn't who God calls into eternity!  And I'm not a good person!  I'm an unholy, disgusting, lying hypocrite! Don't you see?  The more I learn, the more wicked I realize I really am!"

Feeling as if I have missed something, I fell into a fitful sleep.  Not even a conversation with my "Paul," my confidante who has walked with Christ for a long time, could snap me out of my funk.

Then, as I drove my kids to school, I spoke to God quietly as the radio played.

"What am I to do, LORD?  How can I claim to represent you to the world when I am so awful?  So broken?  So wicked?  I'm a mess."

And a soft whisper that tingled in my ear, sending a shiver through my body, I heard it.

Sweet daughter, don't you see?  You WERE that way.  But she is gone; she is DEAD.

Dead?  As in.....dead?

I pulled the car over just for a moment and grabbed my phone.  Pushing the home button, my lock screen illuminated and the tears immediately began to fall.  I'd had this screen on my phone for at least a month now, but it that moment it was as if the Lord of the universe himself had sent me a text message:

She is dead.  Crucified with Christ.  When he took all my wickedness, hypocrisy, shame, guilt, fear, doubt, greed, anger, and the innumerable other sins upon himself and suffered on the cross, that sinful self that I once was was crucified with him.  When I made the choice to say "Here I am, LORD" I was putting her to death.  Through the Resurrection, it is now it is no longer "that girl" who lives, but CHRIST who lives IN me!!!  How did I not see this?

It is done.  She is dead.  Any whispers that infiltrate my mind and keep me awake at night as I wallow in my sin are not from the Father, but from the enemy.  It would please him greatly to get me to doubt, to make me feel as though I have failed.

But I have Christ in me now.  And in Him I will find a strength to tell the enemy to get behind me and to be silent. 

Have you ever felt this way?  That you are so messed up, so broken that there is no hope for you?  It's not true, brothers and sisters.  No one is ever too broken for God to fix them, too lost for God to find them, to low for God to lift them up.  It's so easy to hear, but sometimes it can be so difficult to believe.  It is my prayer today that we could all be confident that the grace of Christ is enough to even put to DEATH our sinful selves so that God sees only the perfection.  Oh how he loves us.


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