I had a long chat with Taylor this afternoon. What originally started out as me being concerned for him and checking on him led to a conversation that really taught me a lot. In my opinion, one of the greatest blessings of this life is finding a friendship where both of you feel comfortable letting everything that's been caught up in your heart out and knowing that you're safe from judgment. And because he's played such a part in my spiritual journey over the year and a half that we've known each other, I feel like every time we get to really talk, we both walk away having learned something. It's not lost on me how blessed I am for this or how special this is.
But anyway. This conversation this afternoon led to a lot of discussion on our walks with Christ, and in the middle of that, I asked him to explain what the phrase "die to self" means. I've heard it before from several people, mostly in this blog world, but I've never really grasped what it meant until today. I don't know what it is about what Taylor said or how he said it, but somehow it just clicked for me in a whole new way.
"Mallory, it's a question. If Jesus walked up to you right now and asked you to drop everything, me, your family, your other friends, school, everything so you could follow Him, would you say yes? Would you get up like the disciples did out of their boat, without a second thought, and follow Him wherever He told you to go? If you wouldn't say yes, that means you're putting things in this world that will eventually fade away above your eternity....Oh, and by the way, Mallory, He has walked up to you. He's walked up to you because you are a believer."
That was when I got it. That was when every time I've ever questioned whether or not I was doing this "Christian thing" right faded into nothing because I just knew. I would say yes. I would give up everything in this world to get to the Kingdom where stress, fear, pain, worry, heartache, anger, all of the bad emotions that can sometimes weigh me down just don't exist. I would give up seeing any of the people I love who aren't believers ever again if I knew that I could be face-to-face with the God who has brought me through unimaginable difficulty. Because when I get to heaven, none of those people or those feelings are going to matter anyway. All that's going to matter is that I'll be home.
That is what Jesus asks of me. He doesn't ask me to be perfect or to be mad at myself every time I don't act like Him. All He wants is for me to follow Him without ever looking back. All He wants is my heart.
He loves me so much, and not only that, He's SHOWN me that love in such tangible ways, how could I possibly say no?
This is what it feels like. This is what it feels like to know you're 100% in on the only relationship that's going to matter at the end of the day. I have my Jesus, everything else is just background noise. I get it now.
I'm saying yes. If you haven't, will you? God loves you more than you will ever know. He loves you enough to bless you even though you think you don't "deserve" it because you're human and you keep sinning. He loves you enough to chase you down in a church in a brand new city. He loves you enough to send your friends to confront you in love about situations you've been blind to. He loves you enough to bring you to your knees, to break you in a way that makes you realize you can't do this alone. Everything you can't take care of, He will. All you have to do is give Him your heart, put aside all that fear and trust that He's got a bigger and better plan. Give into His love, and your only job is to hang on to Him so He can get you to the other side.
It's easy to say you trust God when everything in your life is fine. It's when things feel like they're falling apart that you find out what trusting in Him will actually do. It hurts, but it will no doubt turn into unimaginable beauty. I think my life is a testament to this: Jesus Christ will carry you through situations when the rest of the world is expecting you to break.
I don't know much, but I do know this: this feeling of absolute, overwhelming love makes all the bad stuff worth it.
So say yes.