Grace is greater than my title as a Christian By, Rosemarie Guzman
Life is hard. Sometimes certain things happen that really make you question everything.. even God’s goodness. For example, within two months, my studio apartment got mold so I had to move in and out twice, I was experiencing burnout from work and school, began to face depression, I got the flu, food poisoning, have had several anxiety attacks, my dad was admitted into the ICU, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and influenza, and now has to have open heart surgery. My family and I’s life direction was tossed in a bowl and mixed, and now we must re-strategize and trust that God will work something new out. Yeah. It’s safe to say that life is hard. All I can say is..
WHAT. THE. HECK.
Why is all of this happening?
I found myself crying a few days ago and I asked my husband, “Why can’t our lives be normal? And even when my dad is better, even when this wild season passes, things will never go back to normal.” In this season of my life, I find myself feeling such a deep sadness in the midst of all this external and internal chaos. I even often feel discontent and disappointed in the fact that I feel that way. Anxiety and fear have been triggered so intensely that I have ran out of stores, and have purposely not gone out to eat, shop, or hang out because I feel so anxious at times. I have a job, I go to school, I have a treasure at home (my husband), and I have a wonderful family, I am a CHRISTIAN, but why do I still feel this way?
“Rose, you’re Christian! You should know to trust in God.”
“God has plans for you and your family.”
“Don’t doubt God.”
“Stop listening to the devil!”
If you have ever told me this in the midst of a wild season, chances are I have wanted to punch you in the face.
Why, you ask? It’s because I am aware of those things. I know about God’s faithfulness. It’s just that in the midst of troubling times, I don’t want to feel like I am not living up to the title of a Christian. I don’t want to feel judged. I want to be reminded that God sees where I am, the entire truth of it (angry/ doubtful thoughts and all), and he loves me anyways. I want to process what goes on around me and not worry about living up to the type of “Christian” someone believes I should be.
Now, in these moments I don’t curse God. Heck no. I just have to find the glimmer of hope that he is in my darkest moments, and sometimes that is extremely challenging. It’s challenging because I’m so blinded by the chaos of my life. And guess what? He sympathizes with me. He sees me. He loves me. He validates what I feel and he sees it as important. He doesn’t get mad that I am not living up to the standards that are so easily put on Christians.
And it is that sweet kindness that draws me out of my anger. It is his loving kindness that draws me back to his arms. It is that gentle kindness that lifts me up and reminds me that he has my life in his hands. It is that kindness that reminds me that his grace covers all of my mess, and that his grace is greater than any negative feeling or emotion I could ever face.
So next time when you see someone in a rut, don’t just try and drag them out because they’re a Christian and should be happy, or because you’re a Christian and that is your “job”.
Love them like Jesus loves you in your darkest moments. Let your love be so kind that it draws those in the deepest chasms out into the arms of Jesus.
This doesn’t mean life will all of a sudden get better. My dad is still really sick, and I am still struggling with being myself again. I still don’t know why life gets hard sometimes, and I don’t know why certain things happen when they do. But it gives me hope and peace to know that “I am seen and I am known” and I am loved right where I am, and that same love will lead me to a whole life once again. It gives me peace to know that God will not leave me where I am even though I feel like he already left. God chooses me every day and in every moment- even in my darkest times. I am wholly loved- even when I fall into doubts, anxiety, and fear. I am loved exactly where I am at.
His grace is just that great.
His love is just that sweet.
Can you believe it gets better?
(“I am seen and I am known” - Amanda Cook: You Don’t Miss a Thing)
Here are some songs that have and are continuing to help me in my hardest seasons of life:
“Save Me” - Steffany Gretzinger
“You Know Me” - Steffany Gretzinger
“You Don’t Miss a Thing” - Amanda Cook
“I am no Victim” -Kristene DiMarco
“Me Amaste a Mi”- Christine D'Clario
“Fountains + Came to my Rescue”- Josh Baldwin
“Your Spirit”- Tasha Cobbs Leonard
“Speak to Me”- Kari Jobe
“There is no Striving” - Rita Springer
“Catch the Wind” - Melissa Helser
Here are some practical things that help me keep my mind off of the chaos around me:
Finding a good Bible reading plan that will help me fight my current battles.
Setting aside some money to buy myself something I like: lipstick, a new book, hair dye, a cool sweater, etc.
Playing with pets.
Writing down my thoughts and journaling about life.
Keeping my mind focused and taking each thought captive, and giving it back to God.
Being aware of what is going on around me, but also keeping a focus on God’s power and ability to take care and dominate every situation. #scripture