One night when I was four years old, my mother leaned over to kiss me good night. I excitedly told her that I couldn’t wait to go to heaven! I believed heaven was real and only a breath away. Why doesn’t Jesus just let us live with him now? I have often wished for that childlike faith and pure heart as an adult. Life has a way of robbing us of both. Oh how I have grieved the loss of innocence.
Sometimes the depth of my depravity hits me like a ton of bricks. The weight is so heavy, I am certain it will crush me. I cannot bear to read scripture, to view my face in the mirror of truth. Self-loathing sets in. Depression. That darkness that embraces me like a long lost friend then strangles me till I can’t breathe.
Have you ever been so sad that you couldn’t cry? Terrified that the first tear would begin an avalanche of despair that you could never stop? I had endured such an emotional beating from someone I trusted that it took everything I had to escape. Then after I escaped, I had no idea how to be ‘one’. Then proceeded the struggle to survive, a string of bad decisions, learning to trust again… This past year has been a year of brokenness. In a few words, 2013 sucked ass.
When you are told you are garbage long enough, and treated like garbage often enough, you begin to believe it. Then you begin to live like it. Then all the lies said about you come true, self-fulfilling prophesy. I believed the lie. I became the lie.
God abandoned me. The church abandoned me. No one came to my rescue. No one heard my cries. Like the homeless man sitting on the street corner, I became invisible. I know they see me, but they pretend they don’t. Too repulsive. I thought everyone would be better off if I were dead. At least my kids would get the insurance.
Then there was a break in the darkness. Someone said I was beautiful. Someone said I mattered. Someone said I made a difference. Someone said thank you. Someone loved me. Someone showed me.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,” Ps. 103:1-5a
Christ pardons. Christ heals. Christ redeems.
I am who Christ says I am.
I am pardoned. I am healed. I am redeemed. This is truth.
Rejecting the lie and living the truth is a daily process for me. I am an impatient person. I want to be whole yesterday. But I have learned that my faith is found in the process.
Depravity, depression, and darkness are overcome by the sacrifice of true love. The transforming power of Christ is my legacy to my children.
A legacy of faith. A legacy of hope. A legacy of love.