On the day that I gave my life to Jesus, I sat in the back of the church with my friend, heart racing, body shaking.
I could actually hear the Lord calling to me in my right ear, come forward Michelle, I forgive you Michelle. But at the same time I could hear the enemy calling to me in my left ear, you really think God is going to take you back? Look at you! You’re a mess! You’re a murderer! You’re a terrible mother!
Every time I hear the enemy’s voice, it is filled with hatred. It sounds sarcastic, vitriolic, sinister.
It’s been almost 9 years since I met the Lord. Or rather, since the day he came and met me. True to his goodness, the Lord took me back just as I was, broken and messy.
I’ve been kidding myself for years that I’ve come so far since that day. After all, I stopped drinking, stopped smoking, stopped swearing like a sailor. I really thought being freed from those things was all I needed to be a brand-new person.
What I didn’t realize was those were the things I used to make myself feel better. When God took them away, he took away the things I was hiding behind.
If you really want to know how you are doing, just ask the people you love. But I warn you, you may not like what you hear.
It’s upsetting to find out that 9 years later, I’m still pretty broken and messy. I thought I was doing so much better than 9 years ago. But I confess, seeing myself through their eyes? I’m not so sure.
I think love is so hard for me to give out because I don’t love myself. And because I don’t love myself, I don’t trust that anybody else could love me. But the evidence doesn’t support my logic.
After all, I have a whole entire family who are still for me. Sure they’re the ones who tell me how miserable I can be, the truth of who I am. And while it hurts to hear the truth because the truth makes me dislike who I am, makes me think why would anybody love me, the nuts and bolts of it is they’re still here, despite my broken, messy life.
So when I sat here over the weekend wondering if there really was any hope for me to change, God reminded me of the fact I have people in my life who have stuck with me through thick and thin. Likewise, I have stuck with them through thick and thin. And though it is messy and far from perfect, it is real and there is hope for me yet.