Grace is a Beautiful Place to Live
I spent years running away from the chains of religion without even realizing what I was doing. I had loved God all of my life and I knew He was always there, but as hard as I tried, I would fail to measure up in some way. Guilt would spiral into self hatred and shove me into giving up again and again. I was once asked how I could turn back to my old ways after all I knew and had experienced. I would say, "I just couldn't take the pain." It always ended up sounding like a lame excuse for my behavior, but it was very real to me. Any failure would expose the pain of the wounds I lived with and never spoke of. It ruled my existence. They were my masters and strangely comforting.
I remember one day in particular. I had worked hard to get into better physical shape to try and prove I was worthy of acceptance, even if it was being accepted in all the wrong ways. Earphones plugged in and on my last lap around the track, my thoughts were not even remotely thinking of anything about God. While I kept the pace to the beat pounding in my ears, I was suddenly enveloped by God's presence. I knew immediately who it was and I couldn't help but fall to my knees. Love, like waves of the sea kept washing over me. I was confused and felt ashamed as hot tears flowed down my face. All I could whisper was, "why now? why now?" I knew I had done nothing to deserve such a holy encounter. Still, enchained by religion, my response was, "I just keep screwing up. I just can't do it."
It wasn't until years later that I began to awaken to who I was. I didn't need to perform for Him to love me. I was a daughter of my Father and there was nothing I could do that would change His love for me. I was his little girl and He was not judging me, He was loving me. Even on my very best behavior, I could have never earned that amazing encounter. Does He really want us to make better choices so we can be fulfilled in every area of our lives and make a difference to those in our sphere of influence? Of course He does, but just like a real loving father, it's not how good your perform, it's about how much He loves you. Your pain shouldn't keep you away from the Father, it should drive you into His arms. He wants to heal your deep wounds, even the ones you never talk about. Only then can you make better choices out of a healed heart resting in your Father's love.
Through the posts on this blog, I hope to communicate the wonders of the Father and to give glimpses into His eternal love for you. Religion is a cruel master and is never satisfied, but there is acceptance and love in the Eternal Kingdom of God, and you don't have to wait until you die to get there. It is here now, even closer than you can imagine.
You are loved.