One of my favorite songs on the radio right now is from Stars Go Dim, “You are Loved”. So often I find myself dwelling on things people have said to me and let it take over my thoughts throughout the day. That I am worthless, unkind, unloved, and unworthy of anything good. Yes, those things have genuinely been said to me. Let me be the first to tell you, YOU ARE LOVED. You will ALWAYS be loved. There will never come a time when you do something so horrible that God will turn His back on you.
When I was seven years old, I remember sitting through the sermon on Sunday and I recall the pastor saying something that stuck out in my mind that I could not forget. I kept thinking about this one statement he said over and over again, repeating it in my head, wondering what it meant for me personally.
“You know that feeling of emptiness in your heart? That feeling that something is missing? What’s missing is God. When you accept Jesus into your heart, He fills that void you feel.”
I did feel a void. I felt empty. And for the first time, I understood why. Later on in the day, I just kept thinking about it. I started crying, weeping actually. With my dad being the go-to parent for Godly advice, I went to him and explained how I was feeling and how this yearning would not go away. He prayed with me and I accepted Jesus into my heart that day. It was the most extraordinary moment in my life when I gave everything I had over to God. Sure I was only 7 and didn’t have much to give Him, but I knew from that moment on, my life would be different. It is unexplainable, somehow I did not feel empty anymore. I did not feel alone.
After that moment, that moment of pure bliss, joy, and excitement, I was now a follower of God. I was one of His children. And with the amazing gift of eternal life comes other gifts as well, like grace and forgiveness. I heard about God’s grace and never really gave it much thought. I mean, I grew up knowing a lot about the Bible and God, but never gave grace and forgiveness a second thought. I mess up, God forgives me, awesome. I knew the basics but didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of it all.
After my dad passed when I was only 19, I felt as though my spiritual leader was gone. I never turned my back on God completely. I still attended church, but never did much more than that. I started a family of my own, but we never put God first in any aspects of our lives. Church became less frequent and prayer was only before a meal, when we remembered.
I slowly but surely grew apart from God. Further and further away I went as the years went on. Losing sight daily of what it meant to have a relationship with Him. I forgot Him. I pushed Him aside and said I could handle my life without Him. I fell into a deep dark sin that will haunt me for the rest my life. I will forever have shame lurking behind me for the things I’ve done in my past. I became so selfish and self-centered that nothing else mattered. The only thing that mattered was making myself happy. And that despicable way of thinking tore me apart.
I finally got to the point where I was living in sin and denying it all the while in my head. I would justify my sin and my actions. Convincing myself that I was the one being mistreated and taken for granted, when in fact I was heading down a sinful path that the devil was convincing me was freedom and happiness. Sin tore my marriage apart. It tore me apart.
My husband and I are going through a separation and there is nothing I can do to fix what I’ve broken. We are still currently married, but the daily struggles we go through and the instability of it all is beyond terrifying and awful. There are consequences for my sinful actions. Oh how I wish I’d realized what that really meant before all of this. Before everything I’ve ever known and loved fell apart. How I wish I would’ve put in my mind what the phrase “FEAR GOD” actually meant. God hates sin.
Right now, my life is uncertain. I am in the midst of a depressing time. This isn’t the aftermath where my life is swell and I’m wonderful and happy. No, I am in a dark place right now dealing with guilt, solitude, and shame. I have lost so many things- some of my family, some of his family, my job, the list goes on and on. I have messed up so badly that my life has literally fallen apart.
Through all of this, I have only one that I can turn to, and that is God. He is my rock and my fortress. Thank you Lord for forgiveness. When the people around you refuse to forgive you, hold on to the fact that God, the only person who’s forgiveness really matters, has already forgotten your sin. It is long gone.
Have hope. You never know what miracle God is working out for you or what He has planned.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
When everything comes crashing down on you, turn to God. It is a shame that we only see the sin we are doing when everything falls apart. It is a shame we only turn to God AFTER the damage has been done. Nevertheless, no matter how you have sinned, no matter what you have done, no matter how far gone you were, GOD STILL LOVES YOU AND FORGIVES YOU. God will always take you back with open arms. ALWAYS. You always have a choice to turn back around and follow Jesus.
I pray I will never go down the same road again and that I turn and run away from sin that tempts me. We ALL struggle with sin. Every single one of us. Whatever it may be- addiction, sexual temptation, anger… But God gives us all hope. God can and WILL help you. He gives us strength. He gives us unconditional love. HE will never leave us.
Flee from your sin and don’t ever look back. You’re not going that way. Look ahead and trust that God will get you through whatever it is you’re going through.
YOU ARE LOVED. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.