The past couple of months have been rough. The other day, I asked an older sister at my church this question: “How did you manage to continue to pursue Jesus after college?” Not that I was thinking of renouncing my faith or anything like that – but y’all. It’s hard. If you hate discipline/structure and struggled to maintain a consistent Word life throughout different seasons, like myself, it’s really freakin’ hard.
With that being said, FRIENDS! I URGE YOU – start building good spiritual habits today! God’s Word is the only thing that will ground you.
Recently, I’ve been finding myself comparing current (recent grad) me to college me; Some might say that “that was the peak of Esther’s spiritual career” because of how much I served and because I was at nearly every church gathering without fail.
With every stage of life comes a different set of adversity that looks unique to each individual. I knew that young adult life was going to be difficult, but it’s so much harder than what I had anticipated (LOL). I sit there sometimes, and I wonder how God’s grace has always kept me in the faith. (For those of you who don’t know, I’ve never doubted that God is real and that the Gospel was true.) Is it because God is preparing me for some sort of ministry in the future? Am I simply a “Christian” worker for the Kingdom only created to pump out ministry and good works? *Spoiler Alert* I’m not – and neither are you.
What if God just wants me (you)? Not for what I (you) can do – because heck, all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags before the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 64:6). As I trek thru this journey called life, I’m slowly realizing more and more that God is in pursuit of me – that He’s always been since day 1. At the end of the day, it’s all for His glory, but simultaneously for my good.
I’m a perfectionist, and I beat myself up when I feel like things are not up to my impossible standards. Strange enough, I know that my standards are impossible. My incorrect view of repentance is this: When I repent, I have a clean slate, and when I sin, I taint it all over again. (I know – it’s a completely incorrect interpretation of repentance.) I wanted to share my incorrect view of repentance because I was shocked when I discovered that I wasn’t the only one who thought this way.
My short time of being a young adult has shown me that I can’t survive living with this kind of mindset; I no longer have the cushion of a more consistent (college ministry) community to barely make it by with this kind of fragile and condemning mentality. I get really worked up when things aren’t carried out like how I planned it in my mind, and I’ll convince myself that I’m a failure because I should’ve/could’ve done it right.
Today, God told me to let those things go. I was holding onto shattered and broken things (imagine glass) that were hurting me because they were all that my life was about. I was holding on so tightly to my failures, and God was saying that enough is enough.
God’s focus is not on what you produce; God’s focus is on you. I haven’t blogged in a long time, and it’s really difficult for me to write this because in my mind, I don’t feel like I’m “where I should be” – but I actually am, because all God asks is to be with Him. I don’t know how many people will even read this novel haha but I think some of you need true freedom in your lives… & I’m here to tell you today (in writing, haha) that Jesus is the best and only answer to whatever situation you’re in.
My church read “The Gospel-Centered Community” a few summers ago, and this chart came to mind a few months ago when I was really struggling in my job search. As I grow in deeper awareness of my sin, I continue to grow in my awareness of who God is and what He’s done for me.
Also, I’ve realized that it’s not fair to myself to compare myself to who I used to be back then. My goal isn’t to “return” to how “holy” I might’ve been back in college, but it’s to re-discover the desire to serve the Lord because it’s my joy to give Him my everything. It’s easy to appear as though you are serving in the way that you should, but God looks at the heart.
I hope and pray for a deeper understanding of who God is for you too despite whatever stage of life you’re in. Jesus loves you, even when you don’t love you.
Hebrews 4:15 ESV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Romans 8:1 ESV There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.