Imagine someone is completely compassionate with you, no matter your performance, your circumstances, your attitude, anything about you. They never stopped loving you no matter what you did wrong, how little you spoke with them, or how much distance you put between the two of you.
How would you feel?
At ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough.
I think these are things we all crave in our relationships. The real truth though is that no human being can truly provide these things. But, we have good news. Jesus Christ died to take away the barrier we have with Him and we get to have this unconditional love from Someone – He never stops loving us! Never. Not in a big mistake or a small misstep.
Just recently I felt frustrated with myself by a small misstep I made with the Lord. Honestly, I just felt bad for pulling away from Him in that situation. But then, I realized that shame was holding me away from the Lord, and shame is NOT from God! Shame magnifies our failings; God’s love magnifies His compassion for us.
So, what should we do when we realize we have distanced ourselves from the Lord or fallen into sin? Run back into His arms! Don’t wait! His compassion is great in all things, and He loves to take us back into His loving arms. Feel at ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough. Rest in the great compassion of our God.
Recently, I had to look at why I felt so defeated as I looked at all the goals, plans, and dreams I have for my life. I realized I felt this way because of an expectation for it to unfold perfectly. Perfectly, really? In this imperfect world? Yet, there was the truth of the bondage I was walking in and had to face – and am still walking out.
Life isn’t meant to unfold perfectly, as much as we’d like it to. God is not asking for perfection – He’s asking for faithfulness. We don’t have to be perfect because Jesus was perfect! There’s grace and space for mistakes. There’s room for learning in the Kingdom of God. We never graduate to perfection on this side of heaven. We need Jesus – deeply, each and every day. Our hearts need to to be continually filled with and reminded of His love. And we can thank Him for His sacrifice of His Son for our sins and imperfect lives.
Steward what He’s giving you, and make small bold steps toward what you believe He is calling you to – with the grace and space for mistakes.
Lord, I lay down my unrealistic expectations for my life to unfold perfectly. It’s really when I let go and let You be God, that I find rest, hope, and vision for my future. Free me from perfectionism as I fling myself into Your loving arms. In Jesus name, Amen.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? How has that influenced your walk with God? What have you learned from Him and how has He set you free in this area?
Sometimes, life is overwhelming, and we need to step back and take stock of all that’s going on in life and reorder our priorities. Recently, I felt the Lord convict me of striving too much in my mental health recovery. I was focusing on fixing myself instead of fixing my eyes on Him and His presence. I need His presence over everything else – any treatment, therapy session, friend, or self-help book. As I’ve started to make this change, I have felt so much more peace, rest, and hope. I have connected with the One who fills me and helps me make sense of everything in life. Never forget where your strength and your source lies – His presence and His Word. It’s in that place you find wisdom and direction for the practicalities of life.
Lord, help me to keep Your presence first and trust in You to take care of me in all areas of my life.
God has really been working on my heart recently about healing – that healing is possible, at the deepest level, and in every way. My earthly mind tells me a different story, but I choose to trust Him and to believe in the possibilities again. One day at a time. Slowing down, trusting in, and leaning into Him. When my heart hurts, feels lonely, and can’t understand what the heck is going on in my life, I will turn to Him and LET HIM in. This is how deep healing happens. And I WANT the deep healing. Yes, it will hurt. But it totally is worth the process and the intimacy that will inevitably grow with my Heavenly Father who will turn the bitter into sweet. So thankful He turns the bitter into sweet!
To the one struggling deeply to get over a hurt or struggling with mental illness, I understand. Healing may not feel possible. Honestly, that is how I feel right now with my mental illness. I have experienced some healing, but I sense God challenging me that He has more healing for me. I don’t know what exactly that will look like, but my heart is open. And, I hope this post may challenge you a bit to open your heart, even if it’s just a tiny bit, to the possibilities of healing. Healing for your heart. Healing for your body. Healing from the pain.
Lord, grant us the ability to lean into You and LET YOU IN in the hardest moments. It’s in that place, we will encounter your sweet, deep, healing love. We want to be about You and Your Kingdom. Bring us healing, for Your will and Your glory. Amen.