Most days, when it comes to this blog, I don’t talk a huge amount about my Christian belief system. Not because I am ashamed of it, but because I am well aware that the majority of my audience doesn’t agree. And that’s ok. I don’t want to push anything on anyone.
But today, it’s Good Friday, and it’s the one day I feel I should be free to speak my truth openly. If you don’t want to read, that’s ok. This is your chance to click away.
Not anyone else’s, just my own. I save my harshest judgement for myself, as, I would assume, most people do.
I had so many lovely, beautiful comments on that post (that I will get around to responding too, I promise), and for that I thankyou. So many lovely people telling me they don’t see me the way I see myself. That I need to be less critical, become my biggest fan.
All good, wonderful, and true advice.
And yet still, none of it changed me. Apart from the temporary warm fuzzies it gave me, nothing moved me in my core; nothing fought the lies that I have been allowing myself to belief with every waking moment for the last few weeks.
Even in the midst of hugging blogging pals, and dancing like I had not a care in the world at DPCON last week, I was heaping myself up with constant condemnation consistently. I was breaking myself.
How do you move past that?
How do you learn to live free?
I want to be an enlightened person. I want to know my strengths and expound on them, and know my weaknesses and improve on them. I want to constantly examine myself and my own heart; to take responsibility for my failings, and to walk in my integrity. I try to always consider the needs of others, because I believe that is right. That my life should not be about what I can get, but about what I can give. And in order to do that, I need to be self aware, and consider how who I am, and the actions I take, effect those around me.
Unfortunately, because of my melancholic tendencies, this usually translates into me beating myself up until I’m crying on the couch.
Sad, but very true.
So this morning, when I woke up down and depressed and not at all like Jess should be, I stopped and remembered something.
It’s Good Friday.
The day on which my entire belief system finds validation and meaning. The day that Christians everywhere stop and remember that Jesus died. Not because he was a trouble maker, as the religious leaders of the day would have us believe. But because it was His plan all along. He was born to die. To accept responsibility for our shortcomings and take our punishment upon Himself.
He was the ultimate scapegoat. Innocent, perfect, and yet condemned and punished until the blood flowed from His wounds, and the air escaped His lungs.
A king, a Saviour, a friend, murdered between two criminals.
Broken for me. So that I could be free.
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed but alive in Your hands
As I contemplate on this, and focus on the message of the Cross, a truth begins to break through my darkness: I don’t have to be my biggest fan.
Because Jesus is.
There’s a verse in the bible that states this so eloquently:
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And with that one word, the whole world shifts: for the Joy set before him.
What is the joy? What possible happiness can someone find in the midst of the extreme physical and emotional struggle of a crucifixion?
Or more accurately, eternity with me.
My saviour couldn’t bare the thought that all my faults and failings would drag me down to hell and separate the two of us forever, and so He chose to do the unthinkable, and He did it happily.
In His mind, I am worth that.
I am more than my mistakes and all the regrets I would I could take back.
I am His child. His child who he loves and adores for who knows what reason.
So despite the fact that some days, I can’t bear to be in my own company, and I wonder what on earth it is that I can possibly have to offer, I can remember this:
I am His Joy.
I am worth His Sacrifice.
And because of this, I am free.