Growing up in church has its perks. I was raised with a foundation that I have never forgotten. It also has its downfalls. I learned from a early age how “Christians” ought to think act and behave. The lines were clearly drawn. I was placed in a box. The only problem was, I knew I was never going to be what they wanted me to be..I was never going to think the way I was told I should think. I questioned everything. I drove my family crazy with questions that seemed to have no answers. .at least no satisfactory answers to me. I wasn’t the “perfect” pastors daughter that everyone expected me to be. Maybe it wasn’t their expectations maybe they were mine. It didn’t matter..I was never going to fulfill it.
I remember how as I neared my senior year my Dad took me to check out a Christian College. He had such high hopes that I would choose to go there. I felt ashamed that I knew in my heart this wasn’t where I belonged. I was so turned off by the girls I met there. They had good intentions. They acted like they had it all together..perfect really. But I wasn’t one of them. I thought of every unclean thing I had ever done and knew I didn’t belong. For starters I was a smoker. Thats frowned upon in such circles. And quit honestly I enjoyed it too much to quit. As juvenile as it sounds..I wasn’t going to quit so I could become acceptable in their eyes.
Fast forward through many years I think there may have been a time I gave up. I knew I would never be perfect..so why even try? I didn’t stop believing in GOD..I stopped chasing GOD. I had given into the LIE that to live your life for God..to make a difference in the world for God..you have to be clean and PERFECT. This lie has stopped me from doing so many things and from reaching those I could have reached. If only I had discovered then what I KNOW now.
God loves us just the way we are. He doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up for him before he will consider using you. Besides..thats his job..not ours. Every disciple he ever used had some sort of sever flaw. But he still had a plan..a purpose for each and every one of them.
Listen I am still far from perfect. I still smoke..I have tattoos..I even enjoy an occasional drink (gasp!) Yep..but NONE of these things seperate me from the love of God. Don’t believe the lie that can stop you from chasing and realizing the truth. We are made to feel so much less than what we truly are in his eyes. He knows everything about you..and every not so great thing you’ve ever done..and he’s NOT flinching..not one bit. He died on the cross for that kind of stuff. There is nether height nor depth that can separate us from his love. Remember that you are perfect just the way you are..flaws and all. Follow Christ. The Holy Spirit makes changes not people or rules.