Who I used to be is not something I am proud of, and who I became because of how I lived? I’m not proud of that either.
These are the consequences of living bound to fear and shame. When you believe yourself condemned, you can’t help but condemn others. When you feel like everyone is judging you, you will point the finger whenever you can.
When you don’t trust God, you can’t trust people.
In my weaker, struggling walk, I was trying to learn who God was. I was afraid of Him, afraid of His judgment, afraid to bring my sins to His light. I was afraid of people. Their opinions loomed larger than God’s, and I wanted to please them before pleasing Him. Because of this, I was anxious and angry, always trying to control how I was perceived instead of resting in the assurance of God’s love.
I am not proud of the girl I used to be; I’m not proud of things I said and did and thought. But now, years down the road, I can tell you: It gets better.
It doesn’t get better by chance. It doesn’t get better by will power. It doesn’t get better because you one day get the gumption to change. It gets better when you realize you can’t change yourself, and you cast everything you are onto Jesus.
That was my turning point. Though I still struggled, I learned that the Spirit-led life means depending on Jesus day by day. It means seeking God out of LOVE, not guilt. Learning to draw near is a daily discipline, one ingrained in us as we do the hard work of showing up again and again. Showing up even when we feel unworthy of the God who meets us there.
It’s that unworthiness that can so easily turn to guilt, if we let it. But Scripture says that those in Christ are only one repentance away from peace with God (1 John 1:9). I believed that. I still believe it. Believing I could repent and be restored immediately transformed how I lived my Christian life. I stopped hiding from God, and I came to Him in my unworthiness and with all my failure. I brought Him the shame and the pride and the lack of trust, and let HIM do the work.
I stopped trying to make myself like God, and instead sought God for Himself.
Dear girl, it gets better. It gets better every day that you come to Him in faith.
Have the faith to believe that God can and will work change in you—change you never expected and could never work on your own. The change you want to see in your character will not happen apart from the Spirit of God. And you cannot know the Spirit of God without being in the presence of God.
Come to Him. Open His Word. Don’t wait until you’re “worthy,” because that day won’t come on human terms. In Christ, you are already worthy and covered by Him. So stop running away from the one solution to who you are. Go to the One who can make you whole.