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Saturday, January 16, 2016

What I Hope You See

 A conversation with a friend the other day got me thinking about what I hope you, my readers, see. I am well aware that sometimes I can seem as though I'm living the perfect Christian life. Years ago, I remember looking at others and feeling inadequate because I couldn't pray like they did or didn't spend four or more hours reading my Bible everyday or didn't go on mission trips like they did. But in comparing my journey to their's, I lost my way. My walk with God...or rather at the time, my attempt at it...became more of a competition with others than a genuine desire to know Him personally. I simply wanted to look good and be good like them. Because I felt I was less of a Christian if I didn't try to model what they did and force myself into some spiritual fervor that I knew I lacked. In so doing, however, my journey was in reality their journey, and I had no idea how to take my own walk and let my own faith story be written. I just wanted to keep up. 
 Over time, I have realized that the only journey that I have any say in is my own. And that I am failing God and myself when I try to become something or someone other than what I'm meant to be. Each of us is given a certain measure of faith, a certain mission to accomplish, a certain path to walk. And we do ourselves a dis-service when we try to copy each other instead of simply letting ourselves inspire one another but leaving room for the diversity of our paths. God has created each of us uniquely and has special plans for us that only we can fulfill. While it is important, and even necessary, for us to encourage and exemplify for one another what we want to become, it is unimportant for us to then take that and try to be each other. Not all ships pass the same way into the harbor...some take a relatively easy track while others must practically be shipwrecked in order for them to reach the port safely. But in each case, the faithful Pilot guides them to the harbor and preserves them along the way in the means He deems best. 
 I must admit that in the last couple of years since I started this blog, it hasn't always been easy to share some of the aspects of my journey to grace. There are times when I would rather hide my struggles than share them publicly in this forum. Times when I want to run instead of face the adversity that happens along the way. But what has kept me pressing forward is the hope that someone who reads my feeble attempts to verbalize what I learn may be given a fresh take on life as a result. I am not the model Christian. I know that. I'm not perfect and never will be this side of Heaven. If anything, the more I go along, the more I discover parts of myself that I would be ashamed to let anyone see were my thoughts exposed to the world. Thanks be to God I have a Savior who continues to forgive and give me grace for everyday! I do not post my musings in hopes of gaining attention for myself, neither do I want this to ever become about me at all. This blog is about God and what He can do through the lives of willing and open hearts...even in the midst of great pain. 
 What I hope you see is a sinner saved by a gracious God, attempting to live her life in such a way as to honor Him in return. It is my prayer that what you take away from my posts isn't a feeling of inferiority or discouragement because you can never measure up to my level of spirituality. This isn't about being a "goody-too-shoes" and showing off how special and religious my life is. If it ever became that, I would end this blog right away. Rather, I pray that you go away feeling lifted up, encouraged, given hope to carry on another day in your own journey to grace! Because we're all in this together and there is a unique power that comes from being vulnerable and letting our scars and brokenness be God's conduit to touch a world in need of His love. My need for God to heal me, love me, convict me, teach me is the same as yours. I'm here to point you to the One who is my everything because He will and can be yours if you are open to grace.