Thursday, March 20, 2014
Let It Go (This has nothing to do with Frozen.)
Yes, it's another Anima Series video, but it's starring a different guy because Jon Jorgenson had to go and get all famous and star on Broadway. Not even kidding. But I suppose the real star of the video is God; the Lord certainly spoke to me very deeply when I watched this.
So here's some words from Danny Hochstatter...
I like to think of memories as all these boxes in my head filled with different kinds of information and experiences. Humans have a very strong emotional memory. Our brains are wired this way to keep us from making the same mistakes over and over again. Whenever we're in an intense emotional state like extreme stress or joy, and our memory kicks into overdrive, and we're usually able to recall those events with great detail. For example, think of the first time that you were wrecked by grace, or the first time that you fell in love, or the first time that somebody close to you died. I'd guess that's a very strong memory for you.
Now, every life has its emotional moments, and some are hard to forget. For those of us with a broken past, it can be hard to forget all the pain, the loneliness, the emptiness, and the embarrassment that we feel when we talk about it now, and some of us are in that state right now, where we feel like our behavior or bad habits make us unworthy of love, that God wouldn't waste His time on somebody as bad or as broken as you.
Well, if there's anything that I've learned about God, about seeking Him in my life and the lives of others, it is that He is an absolute MASTER at making good come out of evil. I've seen health come out of addiction. I've seen mercy come out of judgment. I've seen community come out of isolation. I've seen passion from apathy, and I've seen such beautiful life come from such tragic death.
Now, for me, I wouldn't trade my broken past for anything, because once we experience God's love, our broken past is nothing more than proof of God's grace. Looking back at the past allows us to see just how deep God's love is for us and how much He can truly forgive. If you ask me, having a past that is just packed full of sin and shame just means that, upon redemption, you will see God and understand His love that much clearer.
If you feel that your past is as dark as they come, then get ready, because you are in a perfect position to experience God's grace in its fullest, because His grace is ENOUGH. In 2 Corinthians 12, it says,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
So don't forget the past, because you might forget just how perfect God's grace really is. Because if you lose all of your demons, you might lose your angels, too. If you truly believe that God loves you like He says He does and you have accepted His forgiveness, then find peace knowing that your broken past is nothing more than one more divine demonstration of grace.
So let the past go. He already has.
It was when I realized that my story wasn't actually about me, that it was about God and what He can do and has done, that it became fun for me to tell. It was exciting to tell the world about what I'd been through and what I'd survived because it all boiled down to the truth that what God says totally supersedes what man says. I was filled with sheer joy every time I told someone about how far I ran away from God, because then I got to tell them about just how far He ran to come get me back.
Wrecked by grace? Wrecked. What an amazing word. I saw it and, of course, I immediately thought about my baptism. I've never attached that word to it before, but I've never seen anything more perfect. I was absolutely wrecked that night. There's no other way to explain the flood of tears as I broke under the recognition of God's presence and my desperate need to surrender. The feeling of the greatest joy in the world as I stood in that pool with Brennan, just trying to process what was going on but not really knowing how to. Feeling like every nerve in my body came alive when he led me on stage lifted my arm in the air and 600 people I didn't know cheered with everything they had. And laying in bed past 2 in the morning, staring at the ceiling, trying to wrap my mind around the idea that I was wanted, that God had actually put in so much effort to win me.
But if there's one thing that this video reminded me of, it's the danger in what I've been doing lately. I've spent so much time trying to move past the person I used to be that I am on the line of forgetting it. And I can't forget who I was because that is the parameter for how far I've been taken. Notice I didn't say how far I've come - the transformation that my life has been through the past few years is the work of God, plain and simple. All I did was say yes. I don't want to lose my angels, even if it means keeping my demons in my peripheral vision.
This video is also a sweet reminder of the work I need to do in understanding what it means to truly forgive myself. To accept God's love in such a true way that I can let go of all the mistakes He let go of a long time ago. I spent a good deal of my counseling session today talking about my constant self-badgering. How my low self-esteem is what keeps me from believing that I deserve love, God's or anyone else's. I don't want God to hold me to the same standards that I hold myself; why do I think my opinion is more important than God's?
I've got to let it go...let go of the chains I've bound myself in for my whole life, let go of the shame, let go of the frustration...then I will find the rest that I seek.
Lord, work in me.