I don’t really want to write this. Perhaps it is because opening up and being vulnerable is new territory for me. That path is unbeaten, fresh, and ready to be walked. Yet I hesitate, for I do not know where it leads. Are there dead ends? Are there monsters lurking behind the corners? The monsters of fear, insecurity, doubt? It is a scary thing; vulnerability. So I will do my best to express my thoughts without fear of retribution.
This morning, I woke up feeling rested, fresh, and ready to conquer the day. I was thankful for a new beginning, a fresh start, and the sunrise peeking through my window. The extra hour of daylight savings as well! What a morning! But just as suddenly as I opened my eyes, and relished in the moment, that moment vanished and was replaced with dread, fear, feelings of failure, and my motivation to get out of bed dissipated as memories of the previous night returned like horrific flashes of light, invading my head space with thoughts of regret and negativity. Suddenly, I did not want to go to church. I began making excuses that I was just unworthy. My actions are hypocritical and I had no right shining out there, while the deeds that I am committing are breaking my Lord’s heart. I was distraught. Yet I got up, and decided that regardless of my state, I will run, run, run to Jesus, begging Him for forgiveness the whole way. I will refrain from sight, from service, and from anyone else because I am an unworthy servant. I will go in, repent, leave, and cry and repent some more.
So with my plan set in place, I head to church, head bowed down, avoiding the glances of people off of the serving team, of which I take great delight in and am honored to be a part of. I try to make my way to the cafe for a cup of coffee, and stop short in my tracks when I see someone whom I felt like avoiding that day, standing directly in the way of my path. I quickly swerved from that direction and headed straight into the congregation, irritated that I could not have a warm cup of fresh brewed coffee that could at least offer some kind of solace to my already shot morning. As I walk into the congregation, I practically run into the serve team gathered around in a circle, preparing for the next service. I thought to myself, “ I cannot bypass these people, it is unnatural and unacceptable”. So I joined in the circle, almost sheepishly, hoping no one would notice the guilt and shame written across my face. I hung out for a moment, almost hoping I could somehow escape. But I lingered, I prayed, I set my belongings down, gathered my name tag, went to get a coffee, and took my post at the door to greet all the incoming worshippers of Christ.
I did not even know how to properly stand. I felt so awkward and out of place. Yet I stood there, and something happened. As if something clicked inside of me, and I decided that I will release all my fears and inhibitions, and just go for it. Just keep on going. So I confidently took my stance, coffee in hand, smile on my face, and greeted incomers with a genuine smile, and a heartfelt “Hello, welcome in”! It was beautiful. It filled my heart. It touched my soul. It changed my perspective, it renewed me.
The rest of the church service, including a conversation I had with one of the ladies that I was serving with, left me overwhelmed with joy and encouragement, and a reminder that yes; the Lord does love me inspite of my flaws. I hide, like Adam and Eve hid in the garden. Yet God: He goes seeking, calling “where are you”? Unrelenting, unwilling to give me up. His Love it surrounded me today. He stopped me in my tracks. I tried to run, I tried to hide. But He did not let me get away. He has a plan and a purpose for me. And only He can make that perfect plan come to fruition. He is a perfect God that is so intimately in love with an utterly imperfect human. I am a beast. I am a worm. The most unworthy of servants. Stumbling through life, begging for forgiveness every day. Wondering when I will stop and be more like Him. Relishing in His love and forgiveness. For only that allows me to forget my past, and move forward.