Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Anonymous:  I've read your testimony- I've always found giving yourself to God so much harder than you describe. For me, it's scary, out of control, and I don't believe it will work. How do you let go, and let God, if you feel disgusting? I can't imagine any father figure would want me now, I'm scared to trust God because I don't want to face anger and hatred, and I don't think I'm strong enough to stop this sin. Would God be there? Would He still love me? And is it better than self injury- is it worth it?

First of all, thank you so much for being as open and vulnerable as you are with these questions.  I'm going to try to answer them as best and honestly as I can.

Giving my life and heart to the Lord was the most burden-lifting, precious decision I ever made.  The process of daily giving myself to God has been harder.  There have definitely been times I've been angry with God, times my shame has kept me from giving myself fully to him, times my pride has kept me distant.  Each day is a new battle between making the selfish, sinful me an idol and allowing Christ to mold my life to look like his.

When I was suicidal and felt like my life was worth nothing on its own, I had a single decision to make and both options involved ending my life.  One option was to end my own life by way of physical death because I couldn't do it on my own anymore.  The other was to end my life by dying to self and giving my heart to the Lord.  So in that way, I had a single decision to make.  In some ways, there is a constant fight for the entirety of me.

You're right; there is a scary, out-of-control feeling about giving your life to God.  It's terrifying to open yourself up to complete vulnerability, to admit out loud that you are rags at the feet of a holy God, that there is absolutely no reason he should ever extend a hand of love to you.  It's frightening to trust that his purpose truly is right.

Jesus brought grace.  In order to give your life to God, you must accept that you are already accepted by him, just the way you are now, every single flaw, every painful secret, every awful mistake you've ever made.  You are loved despite your brokenness.  One thing that took me a while to realize, but ultimately ended up being wrapped up in a mess of pride and shame, was my determination that I was too repulsive for God to love.  I was so deceived.  Christ came to save the lost and mend the broken.  He came to set the captives free, not to scoff at them as they crawled under the heavy chains of their sins and addictions.

One of my favorite quotes is by Louie Giglio.  He said, "There's no doubt we were unworthy, but we were never worthless.  Big difference." 

Where there is betrayal and brokenness and hurt in a father's human love, there is holiness and compassion and faithfulness in the love the Lord has for you.  He has called you his treasure.  This is the beauty of grace.

Self injury is such a difficult thing to overcome.  Believe me, I know.  I've been there.  Breaking the chains of the addiction is impossible in your own strength.  You will fail every time.  But Christ has offered redemption and freedom.  You no longer have to be a slave to what you've done.  I love Galatians 5:1, which says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  When you give your life to the Lord, you are no longer a slave to sin.  You may mess up because you are still on this broken earth, but you are made free through Christ's unending grace.  

As I live, I still go through temptations and fall into mistakes that leave me broken and ashamed, but Jesus continues to whisper a love song into my heart: "I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness.  You are my beloved."

In Christ, you are more than a broken piece of clay.  You are more than your mistakes.  You are loved unconditionally.  The Lord wants to be your father.  It's your decision to make.

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