Sunday, August 9, 2009

saved by grace

You know those people you hear about that claim to be saved by Jesus and they just "know", they feel's something they can't explain?

And then you know those other people who think the first set of people are just crazy because there's really no way to tell and they think it's never going to happen to them...they just don't get it?

Well. Turns out I used to be a part of that second group. Now, I consider myself incredibly blessed to be a part of that first group. A year ago, 6 months ago, heck, a month ago...if you told me I would be writing this post, I would have told you that you were crazy and that either there's no way to tell if you've been "saved" or that it just wasn't going to happen to me. I just didn't. get. it.

And I know this whole post will probably seem entirely crazy to a lot of people out there but you know what? I don't care! I can feel the love of Jesus. I can feel His arms around me even as I type this. I can see the change in myself--I can feel the change in myself. And I'm happy to say that I'm going to keep changing. I'm going to keep growing. And no one can bring me down.

I digress. I should probably back up a little bit. I've always read about these people who are comfortable talking about Jesus. They're comfortable raising their hands in church. They are comfortable using the phrase "Praise Jesus" front of people. So not me. I always wished I could profess my love like that. But the first issue was that I wasn't sure Jesus loved me. Crazy right? When I finally convinced myself that Jesus did, indeed, love me...I wasn't sure I deserved that love. Do you follow? I had all these insecurities. I've had them (about everything) my entire life. And as I'm growing up and growing more comfortable in my own skin, I've slowly let them go. But this was one I just couldn't give up. I really did not think Jesus could love me--despite everything I'd done. Every horrible thing I'd ever said to anyone. Every dirty look I gave. Every time I talked behind someone's back. Even just every time I had a mean thought about someone. Why would Jesus love me? Honestly, why me? What have I ever done to deserve the love of someone for no reason at all?

And then I thought "well, you pretty much have to be perfect to deserve Jesus' love." And, let's be honest, nobody is perfect. The thing is...Jesus knows I'm not perfect. He knows I never will be. And that's why He loves me. That doesn't mean I won't make mistakes. That doesn't mean I won't say something I would regret--but the point is, I'm more aware of what I do and what I say. I'm more conscious about what I'm putting out there into the world He created. I know I'll make mistakes. Jesus knows I'll make mistakes. But the best feeling in the world is that I know He'll forgive me. In fact, He's already forgiven me before I even make those mistakes.

And you know those crazy people I talked about who don't know how they really got saved? That's me. I don't know how. I don't know why. I don't even know when. Obviously, I have a time frame but I could not point to a single day and say "oh yeah..that's when it happened."

This whole subject has been something that's been pressing on my heart for a long time. I had a lot of thoughts that didn't make sense. I wasn't sure what to make of the things that people were saying or the things I was feeling. But over the past few weeks, I've just hit a turning point. Maybe it's all that Christian music I've been listening to nonstop (ha!) or the fact that I'm comfortable talking about Jesus all the time to anyone. Maybe it was just me deciding that, ya know what? I'm worth it...I don't know! And, to be honest, I don't care! I am just enjoying this feeling of knowing that, if anything, Jesus is ALWAYS there for me. If I feel like I can't count on anyone else, He is always there. Ready to listen. Willing and wanting to be there for me. I think the culmination of the past few weeks was when I finally went to Phil's grave (more on that later) was just pure happiness. And I know that sounds strange--to be happy going to your best friend's grave..but hopefully when I get around to verbalizing my thoughts, it will make sense.

The point is...I know I'll be joining Phil in Heaven someday. A month ago, I couldn't say that and be certain about it. I hoped for it but I wasn't sure it would happen. Today, I'm positive that he will be waiting for me with open arms. And that's a really great--no--a really blessed feeling!

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