Living a Christian life is amazing and it can also be a very lonely road, especially if you are sold out to Christ and truly content on taking up your cross and following Jesus. The more you study his character and who he was, the more you try to become like him. And that's when I think the issue arrives. In trying to become more like Jesus, I think I failed as I was trying to do the work instead of allowing his love to permeate my being and take full control. I wanted to be holy and set apart but I lost focus on him and it became about me. Thus, I took my eyes off the focal point - God and began to place them on self and humans. And Luke 14:26 clearly states, "If you can not hate your own life then you can not be my disciple."
Before long, I started to depend on people for things I normally depended on God for. When I wanted to talk and pour my heart out to someone, God wasn't enough. That's sad, I know. I needed to hear a voice and I needed to "hear" and know someone cared at that moment. But guess what, not one single friend would answer the phone when I called or I would text them to call me but they were too busy with their lives to respond. This caused me to get upset with friends and I even lashed out at one because isn't a friend supposed to understand and connect with you to know when you are hurting or you need them? Isn't the connection supposedly so spiritually deep that a friend "feels" you? Or so I thought. I was wrong and once again, God proved to be that faithful friend, always there when I need Him as He took me in His arms and just held me close in my moment of weakness and brokenness. Psalm 34:18 tells us, "God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
You see, God is a constant friend, unlike humans who will be close to you for a season and then drift away for whatever reason. God doesn't do that to us. He is ALWAYS there. Never leaving nor forsaking us. The world can turn its back on you and forget about you but how amazing is it to know God never does that. And when you cease to love God or He is not enough, He doesn't judge you for it or abandon you. It is then that God extends His arms for you the most to return to a love who is waiting there.
That night, when no friend was there for me, was the night I was reminded (yet again) that no matter what, God is there and close to the brokenhearted. Like a little girl, desperate for her Daddy, I ran outside and looked into the sky and just held my hands up proclaiming, "God, I'm sorry. I am sooooo sorry that for a moment I forsaked you. I placed humans on a pedestal they should've never been on. I even got upset at a friend. I pray that person forgives me, but most importantly, I need you to forgive me, God. This is not minor because I put others before you and that is idolatry. And I don't desire to have anyone before you, God. I truly don't."
"MiMi," He whispered, "There is not a single person on this Earth who can take my place. Not a friend nor a parent, not even that precious daughter I blessed you with. That's why Matthew 10:37 says, "If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine." No one comes before me, MiMi. Not one single person. I created you so I know everything about you. I am the only one who truly satisfies and completes you (Psalm 103:5). You have to be complete in me and not rely on humans for what only I can provide. And you see the way I talk to you, that is how you should talk to people when you feel they are wrong - with love. Your God, the one you call Abba Father is love. God is love."
I felt so convicted because I can be pretty harsh with my words and I had been. I felt so guilty, so spiritually broken and erupt. So often we think seasoned Christians have it all together, but we aren't perfect either. We ALL fall short of the glory of God every single day. No matter how "strong" people present themselves via life, social media, or any other platform, these people struggle just like you do because they too, are human. And I feel it is only fair for me to get spiritually naked (transparent) before you to allow you to see that.
And that's when it hit me how easy it was to make someone or something an idol in your life. Prayerfully, no one intentionally does this but it happens. We say often that God is enough but at any moment if our flesh takes control that can diminish and we rely on the unreliable. This is not to say that humans are not good enough but it is to say that they are not GOD enough. Only God can love us as we should be loved - unconditionally. And that is because He created us and only He sustains us in our darkest hours and deepest despairs.
That night, I learned an invaluable lesson. Well several:
- I still need to surrender my emotions to God.
- The past hurts from being abused as a child needs to be TOTALLY surrendered because that is why I rely on humans for verbal acknowledgement.
- People are not perfect so don't EVER expect them to be.
- Friendships aren't replacements for Godship.
- Grace people with the same love God graces me.
I used to think I had it all together and that I had "few" struggles but the thing about dying daily results in daily revelations about self, too. We are always works in progress and that keeps us in need of a Savior - every single day of our lives. Christians are not perfect and every time I think of all the time I spent in the world, it breaks my heart to look at the residual damage it did to my soul. I gave the devil nearly most of my life and it tarnished a lot in me but I have since returned to my Creator and God fixes "gently damaged goods" everyday. Please pray for me as God softens my heart because I realized that I am hardened in some areas and God can't get through a hardened heart.
Please realize that we will never be perfect, so stop trying to be. Allow God to do the work in your life. You take a backseat because you aren't equipped to change yourself. Only God can do that. If you are left with conviction after reading this blog, please accept that as you being a mature Christian or person and do not get upset. Yet, get on your knees and cry out to God to be with you and help you die to self. You are broken and hurt and in dire need of a healer and God is the ultimate healer. Do not put a bandage on a wound that needs a surgical procedure. Allow God to piece you back together. Apologize to anyone you may have hurt and forgive yourself, too. In our quest to be more like Jesus and God, we should remember the key value and token is LOVE and GIVING IT. Always.
"For God so loved, he gave....."