One of our very own gets vulnerable on the blog today sharing a bit about her faith, friends, and the unending love and gift of Jesus Christ. Thank you to our California staff member, Katie for sharing this beautiful piece of her heart!
I’ve been through a lot of painful things: depression, suicidal thoughts, debilitating insecurity, abuse, rejection, heartbreak, and more grief than anyone my age should ever have to face. Most of my young life, I was rooted in false doctrine: I am inadequate, underserving, unseen, unloved, unworthy, and it will always be this way. Believe me, I know where you have been or may still be…I’ve been there too. I also know I would never have been healed without my faith in Jesus Christ, a little perspective shift from Donald Miller, and the unconditional love of a few good friends.
It seems completely illogical to me that I’ve so easily ascribed to Christianity all of these years. But I have. I’ve thought about this many times…how I unquestioningly clung to the gospel, and the only answer I’ve ever been able to come up with for as to why: I wanted to. I wanted to believe in a God who loved me unconditionally, who liked me, and wanted to know me. I wanted to belong to a community known for compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love. So, God snuck in when I wasn’t looking, worked while I was sleeping, planned His invasion while I was oblivious…and I chose to believe. I chose to believe because I wanted to, I had to…my life literally depended on it. My faith taught me that.
Salvation is a gift given freely to all those that ask for it. However, sanctification, now that’s a different rodeo altogether. Sanctification is the benefit of salvation and there is something you pay with: your life. Sanctification demands vulnerability, humility, and that terribly prickly thing called change:
“…the trouble with deep belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside…some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn’t like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if…
I had lived so long thinking that I was good and it was others that needed to change that it had never occurred to me that I needed to change. Donald Miller taught me that.
In my mid-twenties, God brought friends into my life that held up a mirror and said, “Katie, I love you anyway, but…this is what you really look like.” I absolutely detested having all of these negative things about my personality highlighted. I would have rather stuck glowing, red-hot daggers in my eyes than face the exposure of another faulty belief system, yet another character flaw, yet another painful reality. However, I had purposed to be yielded to the truth, to change, even if it didn’t feel good. So, I peered into that mirror over and over and over again, and owned all of my anger, fear, bitterness, hurt, rejection, victimization, and entitlement; I asked for forgiveness and chose to forgive. We need help to get through the rough spots because, let’s be honest, we’ll rarely choose to go there on our own. My friends taught me that.
I now know exactly how it feels when all that has been hidden away in darkness is yanked out into the light. I now know what it’s like to trade in my pain and brokenness, my heaviness and shame. I now know that the price I paid for the garments of praise I’m sporting these days, my life’s devotion to God, is worth the cost. Every sorrow. Every doubt. Every fear. Every time. Jesus taught me that.