Justified

The last few months of my life have been an adjustment to say the least. I moved to a different state. I started a new job. Everything I had left behind and was coming back to was different. At one point it seemed that I was “finding myself” as they say. I was trying new things, meeting new people. I was gaining all this life experience that I had no interest in during medical school. But in all this “finding myself” all I found was that I lost my identity. I lost who I was, and I had no idea how to get back.
Over the last few months I have had wonderful, beautiful experiences, but I also got caught up in the whirlwind until I no longer had a leg to stand on. I compromised some of my standards. I made choices that I’m less than proud of. For the first time in my life I felt like I wasn’t just not right with God, but I was all wrong. I felt like I couldn’t even show Him my face. I knew that I had let Him down, but this time was worse than all the others. For the first time I couldn’t even talk with Him as I went about my day. I felt guilty asking Him for favors or sending up a little prayer. I avoided church on my one Sunday off because all I could think was that I didn’t deserve to be there.

All of these notions were wrong.

And He made sure to show me that.

You know how God protects you when you’re in tune with Him? You know that extra guarding you get when you run under His wing? Well, somehow I still felt that protection, even after running away from Him and betraying Him and disappointing Him. He was trying to make it clear that even though I ended up down this weird path that wasn’t consistent with who I am or who He intends for me to be, He wasn’t just going to give up and let me go. He made it abundantly clear that my mistakes don’t discount His love for me, and they don’t erase the fact that I am His daughter.

So finally I started to get the message, and I made my way to church, where I do belong, because I am a sinner. And that’s where He sealed the deal with the message from Acts that day: 

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (13:38-39)

He has justified me through His love and through His blood. Nothing I try to do on my own can do that. No law gives me that. Only the blood and the love of the Savior can justify me, can purify me, can give me redemption, can make me new once more.

I walked into church that day beaten down, broken, ashamed. I walked out ready to be renewed. And with that I ended up in Abouna’s office pouring out my heart, pouring out my shame and my mistakes. And I walked out redeemed. The thoughts of my shortcomings, the images of my sin, the voice in my head telling me I am worthless and terrible were finally gone. All that was left was the knowledge that I truly had been made pure again.


So here I am, once again, in a coffee shop, trying to put into words my experiences with the hope that maybe one person will read my thoughts and realize that you are royalty. Your Father won’t just leave you when you’re down for the count. He didn’t for me, and I guarantee He won’t for you.

Just remember, no matter what you do He could not love you any more or any less.

“Son of God”: I Finally Watched It

My meditations on the “Son of God” movie

Watching Christ’s compassion towards the adulterous woman as she was about to be stoned really got to me. I am that woman. I am a sinful adulteress, straying from the One who vows to love me. I continuously leave my First Love to run after other things.
But Christ loves me anyway. Christ fights for me anyway. Christ died for me anyway. He lifts me up, kisses my head, and says, “come and sin no more,” as He did her.
Who else but Him would care for me like that? What other god would love me enough to give up His own life just so that I would have life?

20140601-142612-51972503.jpg
_______________________________

Or how about when Christ enters the temple?
And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” -John 2:16-17
Where is my zeal? Does my zeal for The Lord and His house eat me up? Does it consume me? Because if not, I’m living life wrong. The only true way to live is to live totally and utterly consumed by the Lord’s fire.
Christ was not concerned with what those in the temple thought of Him. He was only concerned with pleasing the Father.
What about me? Do I have so much zeal that all I can do is live my life trying to please The Lord?
_______________________________

There is a very short scene before Judas wanders off to betray Christ, where you see Jesus playing with John the Beloved. He has John’s head scarf in His hand and is playing around with it in John’s face.
To me, this showed the personal relationship between these two. God has a very unique relationship with each one of us, enough to be playful and teasing, so long as we let Him.
He is a very personal God. He wants each of us to live closely with Him, so that we may spend eternity joking around with Him.
After all, we must be friends with God on earth so that we may be friends with God in heaven.
_______________________________

I am Peter. I try to love Christ. I try to believe. I try to be faithful. I tell Him, “I will not fall away, I will lay down my life for You,” and yet I fall, and I betray, and I deny.
I am constantly putting my foot in my mouth, saying the wrong things, trying to do things my way. I am as much of a screwup as Peter seemed to be.
Yet Christ chose him to be the rock upon which to build the Church. And Christ told him to tend His flock. And he was the one to bring three thousand to Christ after one word.
Peter is a reminder that, though I fall, I can get back up. I can be redeemed. There is hope for me yet.
_______________________________
As I watch Him die on the cross, I look around me on the plane, and I wonder how many of these people know what Christ gave up for them? How many know that they have been offered life? How many are living in the hope of the Resurrection?
It hurts my heart to think of all those who are lost, all those who know not what they have been given.

Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself. Let these people know You, believe in You, have hope in You. Amen.