Late last night, I opened up my email for one last check before bed, and there I found an email from my sweet sister-friend JD with more thoughts on a topic we've discussed in great detail in recent weeks. That topic is my inability to forgive myself for my mistakes when it's so easy for me to forgive others, but more important, when I know that God has already forgiven me for them.
"If we truly believe that God's forgiveness is as He promises, then not accepting/receiving/believing it is a sign of something deeper getting between us and God, worth digging into because it's damaging and will tear away at the fabric of your relationship with Him. What could you possibly not forgive yourself for that God isn't bigger than?...Why can't YOU forgive yourself if He can forgive you? Do you want Him to use the same measure with you as you use for forgiving yourself? Why can't you forgive yourself? Is that not saying that your God is no match for your sins? Let them go..."
One of the countless number of reasons that I love and admire this woman is her wisdom, as well as her ability to word it all in such a way that totally gets through to me. Every time. Without fail. There was one line in particular that hit me hard. "Is that not saying that your God is no match for your sins?" And with that, I realized that that was exactly what I had been doing. I had been telling God that my sins are bigger than He is.
Ouch. I'm so thankful that JD is one of the few people in my life who will always speak the truth to me, even if it hurts to hear. I need that.
I hardly knew how to respond, but after a few minutes, all I could come up with is that this is one of the reasons that "release" is my word for the year. I'm releasing myself from the inability to see God's grace over my missteps that, in my head, are just "too big". I should've realized this before now. I have "The Gospel is BIGGER" taped to my wall from a conversation with Taylor. There is no sin that I can commit that God isn't bigger than.
To help, because she knows how strongly music speaks to me, she sent me "East to West" by Casting Crowns, a song I've never heard before. And wow, it could not have been more perfect for the situation. (JD's good like that.) Take a look at this video of the song with lyrics and you'll see.
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west, from one scarred hand to the other...That line right there made it all make perfect sense. Jesus died so that I could be forgiven. Not accepting that forgiveness is dishonoring him so greatly it truly hurts me to think about the disservice I've done him. I pray that this is the year that all of this changes.
And as a bonus, she directed me to look up Casting Crowns' "The Altar and the Door" on YouTube. She said it reminded her of Chris telling me to just stop trying, and yep, that couldn't have been more fitting, either. In fact the lyrics actually say Jesus, I'm trying so hard to stop trying so hard, just let You be who You are, Lord, who You are in me.
God is moving and working in my heart in a major way. I can feel it.