I’ve always been attracted to the concept of justice.
Before I was saved, I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant for my life. I simply knew things weren’t fair in this world and justice was lacking. I thought becoming a lawyer would help me become a part of the solution. It had been my dream since I was a kid to become a lawyer and help people. Through working at several law firms, God allowed me to realize He kept me away from that path for a reason.
And isn’t that always the case? Even some of most passionate dreams aren’t good for us. Romans 8:28 promises us that “… all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Everything works for our good, even the denial of some of our dreams. Even when the things we desire most never come to fruition.
Can I be honest? I am honest to a fault. That doesn’t mean I never lie (I’ve lied many times in my life, to myself and to others). What it does mean is that I can’t live a lie for too long. I can’t look myself in the mirror, knowing I am consistently lying about something, and continue to do so for too long before I eventually either walk away from everything and everyone associated with that lie or tell the truth, despite any and all consequences.
And that’s why I haven’t written in a blog in a while. I couldn’t honestly write to others, on a blog called “The Glass House Gospel” without acknowledging that I had closed the curtains on my own proverbial glass windows, unwilling to voice what was truly on my heart about my own doubts, questions, and struggles.
No, I didn’t walk away from the faith. On the contrary; Christ is my Lord, whether I am testifying to it joyfully or sobbing, barely able to whisper it out loud. That will never change. Whether I have much and am celebrating or have very little and I am struggling, Christ is always Lord.
So, no, as I am today, I can not sit here and tell you my heart is full of overflowing love and faith. I struggle with loving unconditionally. I don’t want to be hurt anymore, so I withhold. My heart wants to love and embrace others fully, but I have been hurt so many times, it is hard to let go. I struggle with trust. So many people have broken my trust throughout the years, it’s hard to look at someone and not think “you will eventually betray me, so what’s the point?”
But there is one thing God has consistently provided; HOPE.
This is where God found me back in April 2010. My losses were numerous. I had tried everything. Church didn’t work. Walking away from God didn’t work either. This “Christian” didn’t know where to turn. I truly felt in my heart, with the utmost intensity, the words of Solomon when he wrote “Absolute futility. Everything is futile” (Ecclesiastes 1:1).
It was there, in that darkness, that God found me. He brought me out of it all and, even surrounded by loss, I felt at peace. Everything was no longer loss. Now, everything was filled with an abundance of hope.
And somewhere along the line, I lost that tangible hope. But God is still faithful.
Am I that person who is full of hope, love, and trust that I once was at 20 years old? No, I would be lying if I said that. But I am also wiser. I don’t see through such a small lens. I am not intensely angry at brothers and sisters in the faith who I disagree with. I am not so quick to judge others as I once was. I am not as self-righteous. I am not as prideful as I was. I now understand anyone can fall in sin, not just the “bad Christians”.
God is slowly working on different areas of my life. Some of the most painful moments of walk with Christ have been moments of God prying my hands from idols I wanted to worship in His place. And sometimes, it took a deep wound to get me to finally let go of certain idols. Some of those wounds still haven’t healed fully. Perhaps they never really will (not on this side of eternity, anyway). Maybe, like Paul, God has allowed a few thorns in my flesh to stick around so that I will never cling to those idols again. Maybe they are meant to lead me to the same place they led Paul to, so that I would believe fully the very same thing he did; His grace is sufficient. His power is perfected in weakness.
I am wretched. I am an adulteress, constantly looking toward others things for fulfillment and meaning.
But God? He is perfect. He is righteous. He is holy. He is beauty. He is completion. He is justice. He is grace. He is mercy. He is love.
HE IS HOPE.
There is hope. As long as God reigns, as long as Christ lives, there is hope.
There is hope.
God has not left us. It’s not over.