So I have had to look into others faces and disappoint them lately. I had to say, “I am sorry that I cannot be what you want me to be.” Everyone has responded differently. Some with grace and understanding. Others with frustration and confusion.
But what was my response? Guilt. Big, huge waves of it.
Guilt can be nasty and relentless. It twists and manipulates your mind to believe lie upon lie. The saddest part is that it strips away your joy and freedom. It places you in chains. And what’s even worse is… guilt makes you think you belong in those chains. That you deserve them because you failed.
“It is your fault, you failed…” “You should have been there…” “You are doing the wrong thing…”
The list goes on and on.
I was in this unhealthy place for awhile. And instead of fighting, I just believed the lies. I believed that because I couldn’t hold up my part of the deal with the Lord, then I deserved to be unhappy. I punished myself.
But as time has gone on, my thinking has changed. I don’t think there ever was a deal with God and I. I think I proudly made one with myself. I thought I could justify myself to Him, to the world and to me. And that failed, thankfully.
In Romans 8:32-35, Paul says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
Or my own selfish thought that I could earn right standing? Or that I could earn love through my actions and ministry? Or guilt and beating myself up over failing? The enemy made me think I could be God. That I needed to justify myself. That I could condemn myself. I had to intercede for myself. That this was all on me.
And I failed…. guilt.
But guess what? “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Nor antonina grace hall and her broken, proud and hurting heart, mind, body and soul can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Freedom. Weight lifted. He is God. He has justified you and me. Jesus intercedes for you and me. It is all on Him. Nothing separates us from His love. Not even us and the guilt we put on ourselves.
Sometimes I still forget. Sometimes I still believe the lies and have to fight. Sometimes I still sit and cry over my feelings of worthlessness and failure. But the Lord meets me in that.
I pray you let Him meet you there too.