It can feel like our struggles are us. I am my bulimia; I am my depression; I am my failed relationships; I am my abortion.
This is not the truth.
All of us are human and all of us make mistakes. But they do not define us.
Things that we’ve said and thought and done. Things that have been said and done to us. Terrible things. They should never have happened. They have an impact, sometimes devastating. But they are not us. They are not me. They are not you. And we have to fight them – together.
We cannot carry the weight of them. We cannot reverse them. We cannot pay for them.
If we try to, then we will listen to them. We will believe what they tell us we are. We will speak the same lies; to ourselves and to others. We will cut ourselves off from the people we need most.
And they will crush us.
Christ has died to make these things false. He has died so we are not stooped with carrying. He has died so there will be justice for the wrongs; and mercy for all those who look to Him. You. And me.
Sometimes I look at my own heart and my own life and I’m tempted to despair. I think – can there be such ugliness in other people? I think – can God really want this?
Sometimes I talk to others. I get emails or I read about people who look at themselves and feel like they can never be forgiven. That they can never be accepted and never be loved.
You can. You already are.
Whatever you feel. Whatever you’ve done. Jesus is For you.
And He is For me too.
We are not our struggles. We are His. Today and tomorrow and forever.
You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then he gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away.
Image taken from the whatIbe project by Steve Rosenfield.