...These past few days since New Years have been really reflective and cathartic for me. I closed 2013 with a hard heart. I remember displaying all of the Christmas cards that we received from our friends and family and feeling like I had nothing to show or tell about the past 365 days. Certainly, it was a year in the in-between. No life milestones met, no promotions or new passport stamps. Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook filled me with bitterness and caused me to believe that my life wasn't enough. That I wasn't enough.
I was reading through my previous post after six months, and while I still believe that there is truth to those words, they were also really telling of where I was in my life at the time. I hadn't been to church in I don't know how long, I wasn't spending time in God's Word, I wasn't serving in any way, I wasn't worshipping with anyone or spending time in devoted prayer. No wonder I had become a cynic! I still believed in Jesus, but there was such a void in my spirit that I couldn't make out any light in the world or in myself. I wrote and spoke words that made me sound like God and I were BFFs, but those were things I thought I should be writing and saying. But it wasn't real life. So, after a lot of mom - talks, and anxious hours trying to sleep, it occurred to me that I had trained my heart to doubt that God really had a plan to give me hope and a future. I had a deep fear for what my future looked like. I didn't trust Him.
I read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts last year. I read it, admired her lyrical writing and her ability to empathize with the reader, and when I finished it, I set it on my bedside table, where it collected dust until January 1st, 2014. There was something different this time. All at once, I knew that the reason my year felt like a complete waste was because I had been filling it thinking about all that my life wasn't, rather than looking up and seeing God's constant love and grace at work. I wasn't letting myself see the good.
My whole life, I've struggled with not feeling like I was enough. The things I accomplished weren't enough, my broken body wasn't enough, my personality and all my quirks weren't enough. I couldn't love myself because all of these things added up to a person who had been measured and found wanting. Despite the love of my parents, my family, my friends and my husband, I continued to tell myself that I was unloveable. And after growing up in youth group, being on the CRU drama team at JMU, and being a youth leader, I am just now realizing that people like me are God's specialty. This is what He lives for...and ultimately, what Jesus died for. I finally get it. I am enough because Jesus and his grace is enough. Every day, He fills in my holes with his holiness. With his wholeness.
In doing a some research, I came across Judah Smith, who is a Pastor at City Church in Seattle (although he sounds like he came straight from the Bible-Belt south). If you're looking for a guy who gets grace, I recommend you give this sermon a listen. Trust me on this one...
Ok...This crappily insulated window is turning my feet blue and I'm getting the "When will you insomniac-hipsters just go home" eye from the barista. Hubby got me some mountain man socks for Christmas and they are calling my name!