Sunday, January 24, 2010

saving grace, perfect love

God has been moving....and I haven't done a thing. This is true. God has been working in my life and I have noticed that it hasn't been a matter of my motivation, boot strap pulling, or any other form of self help. God has been my Savior, and He has shown me His grace.

A few weeks ago, I came to a time of crisis. Thoughts and sins that I had struggled with for years and years were tormenting my mind, and I confessed them to my husband. To be specific, fears about hell and salvation, fears about what I might do to those I love, fears that I might lose my loved ones, etc.

At times these things got better, there were breakthroughs where I felt like I finally felt God's love.... felt like I was going in the right direction. Then it all started coming back. Somehow being in a new home does that for me. Sometimes a new location is all you need for old weaknesses to creep back in, unexpectedly.

But the confession was freeing, and the acceptance and love I received from Tim as I confided in him things I had never uttered before proved to me that if a sinful human being could forgive me, God would too.

The next day I went to church completely broken, and left the sanctuary completely loved and forgiven.

Pastor Bob preached from the fifth chapter of Mark. In this chapter Jesus heals a woman who had an incurable discharge of blood for twelve years. This woman was unclean in that culture, unfit to worship. She was cut off from God. Her secret disease was literally draining the life from her. She crept up cautiously to Jesus on her hands and knees hoping to touch His robe and be healed.

I began to weep in church because I knew that this woman was me. I have identified with her earlier in my life because of a similar sickness I was afflicted with in high school. I knew that if God could heal that woman of such a serious ailment, He could heal me too. And He did. Through many prayers and treatments I was healed. But, I was still bleeding in my soul.

When the woman touches Jesus, she feels that she is healed. Jesus however, calls her out and asks "Who touched me?" The woman falls before Jesus and tells Him her whole story, to which Jesus says to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

I sat in the pew and wept. Jesus really had forgiven me. He knew everything that had entered my heart, and every thought that had ever left its stain upon my mind. He loved me. He LOVED me. For the last twelve years I had put band aid after band aid on my soul, only to have them soak through time after time. But Jesus healed my soul, the bleeding had stopped, and I have such deep joy and peace.

I have tried for so long to be my own Savior.... it has taken me so long to understand God's love and grace. But now I know that indeed, every good thing in my life is God's doing. I don't have to be perfect, Jesus is my perfection. And He loves me, and I need not fear.

I am my Savior's, and He is mine.

If you are reading this, I don't know where you are at in your walk with God. You might be thinking, I'm glad Abby finally gets this whole love thing. Or you might be thinking, I don't get this love thing at all. If you don't understand God's love, or you feel like you need to do something to make Him love you.... you don't. Nothing you will ever do will make Him love you. He already loves you. He has loved you from the beginning of time, and He will love you forever. He wants to be your life. Ask Him to draw near to you. He can heal your bleeding soul. He loves you.