I had been a Christian for many years when I realized I didn’t really know God…….
I was recently talking with some friends and was able to put words to this reality I had faced several years ago. It felt like I had been punched really hard in the chest. I didn’t know God for who He really was. I didn’t know me for who I really was and therefore no one else really knew me either. You talk about a mix of emotions! This led to denial, anger, cynicism, sadness, etc. And at times, I still deal with these emotions from this.
I had been feeling that something wasn’t exactly right for quite some time but really didn’t want to admit it and really didn’t know what it was that wasn’t right. Also, I struggled with what might happen if I admitted that I’ve been serving a God that I really didn’t know? Would He nod His head and say, “Yep, she finally sees that she never was mine” or would He say “Wow, she finally sees that striving to please me is not what I’m about”? By God’s grace and mercy He showed me it was the latter.
I had been believing that Christianity was all about doing things for God and keeping Him happy with me. I thought the only way to keep Him happy was to do, do, do. I would read the bible and attend church just because I was supposed to. While neither of those things are bad, I wasn’t maturing. I still felt that I had so far to go before I would ever get things right with God where He was pleased with me all the time. No matter how hard I tried I would never be enough. So, the mask came on.
More masks were applied with all the different things I tried. As long as I looked like I had it all together and was a good Christian then that’s all that really mattered right? Unfortunately, at times I still believe the lie that whispers I’m not enough. Then the striving begins all over again. But that is not what God is about. He knows when I’m seeing Him through the lens of guilt, shame, and lies. He continues to pour His love and grace on me and will continue to do that until I see Him for who He really is. When I am trusting in His grace, I am no longer striving. I mature as I begin to relax into His love. I then begin to see who I really am and can trust others with the real me.
I invite you to watch John Lynch with Trueface ministries tell his Two Roads talk. This message is so powerful and opened my eyes to the grace God shows me every day. I still catch myself performing for God and others. I’ll admit that at times it’s hard to truly believe that I don’t have to do anything to make God love me more and nothing I have done or will do can make Him love me less. I am still wrestling with the emotions that came from this punch in the chest. While the punch hurt, it brought freedom like I had never experienced.
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