I hear the words clearly in my ear today as I am thinking back on what has been, as of late, one of the hardest seasons of my life.
“Nor do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” John 8:11
My heart is filled with such hope and joy at the promise of a better tomorrow and fulfillment of the destiny that Jesus has placed within me. I have found such grief in the last three months over the realization that I could have learned all of the truth available to me, and yet still mess up. I don't understand sometimes the reasoning over the decisions that I have made in the past, but I do know that there is One who does know... and He knew the decisions before I even stepped forth.
I guess that I am writing this because I feel like self-condemnation has been my portion for the last few months and I am awakening today with a new revelation of the love and mercy of my Savior. And I know that I am not alone in having these feelings. My heart is reminded through so many stories in the gospels where Jesus stepped out and reached the ones that no one else wanted; the screw ups, the broken and the forgotten. All for the sake of love.
Nearly everyday I was waking up feeling like a failure... like I had ruined my entire calling because of one stupid decision. I was terrified and broken. Yet there He was running from the ninety-nine to grab the one. And like the woman caught in her sin, I saw the stones lying on the ground with no accuser to be found... and my heart beat with joy when I felt the love of Jesus shining through all of my mistakes. There I was standing before the throne of grace clothed once more in white garments. I am overjoyed.
Surely I love His leadership. He restores ALL things! Psalm 23:2 He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.
I believe that the main ploy of the enemy would be to get us to believe that we are used up and washed out. His main purpose on this earth after all is to steal, kill and destroy, right? There is a righteous indignation that I can feel arising from my spirit against the time and emotions that the devil has stolen from me. I can no longer lie on my back and watch as he runs rampant in my life, and those that I love. Today I woke up with a commitment on my heart to forever engage in combat against the one that seeks to destroy me. I will fight. This realization isn't exactly something that I've ever heard in a sermon, but rather it is something that one can only learn if they have to walk through the trials and tribulations that produce character.
If I could say one thing to anyone that is going through a period of restoration, it would be that you keep seeking His face through the difficulties. You may feel like you have been crumpled up and thrown away, but God has a specialty and that is taking those that the world would deem not fit for ministry, and use them far beyond their wildest dreams and imaginations! I have not stepped into the fullness of my destiny yet, but I believe that God in His restorative power and grace can bring me farther than I could have ever thought of in the past. Until then, my heart burns with the burden of the Lord. And I know that in seeking His face I will see the fullness of my dreams come to fruition.
There is hope.