Have you ever felt paralyzed by your imperfections? Maybe someone once shamed you for dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, or for coming up short in that person’s eyes.
I used to carry my shame around everywhere. My feelings of shame became so large that they began acting as a barrier between me and God. I started telling myself things like, “You’re not worthy of being forgiven,” and “You can get back to living the ‘Christian’ life when you’re ready to go ‘all in.’”
I lived this way for years. I avoided God because I was ashamed of what He was probably thinking of me. I thought, “He must be so disappointed in me.” So I hid.
My “hiding place” from God became the darkest time in my life. I felt empty, purposeless, and perpetually anxious. The harder I tried fix my problems on my own, so that I could one day become “good enough” to actually consult God about my problems, the deeper I sank.
And it wasn’t just God who I was hiding from. The anxiety I felt crept into every aspect of my life. I started falling behind in school, I worked myself up so much about applying for internships that I missed deadlines; I was truly a mess--paralyzed by fear.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
I wasn’t receiving any of Christ’s peace, simply because I wasn’t asking for it. For years--not once--did I ask for it. It is amazing how crippling both fear and pride can be. Thank you Jesus, for pulling me out of that hole.
Jesus wasn’t going to just stand by and watch me miss out on all that He had to offer me. He put people in my life who brought me back to Him, who reminded me that He offered grace and forgiveness that NO amount of mistakes could remove.
Take it from me, don’t try to be perfect before you start talking to Jesus and asking Him to help you through this life you’ve been given. He is here for that very reason.