Somewhere in my past, I decided there was a thin, weak string that connected me and God. His love, mercy, and grace ran down the string and into my heart. My good works kept that string intact, but when I made a mistake, the string was cut and I was separated from God. The standards and expectations I had for myself were so high they were seemingly unreachable. I believed so strongly that God would only use me when I had myself put together, so I never wanted Him to see the broken, and flawed person I was. I peered into a world where everyone seemed perfect while I felt so at war with myself, in constant comparison. Never feeling good enough for other people, or for God, I kept putting on masks. Covered in a blanket of pride, I hid myself from an omnipotent God.
I knew in my mind He was my father and loved me the way I was. But I struggled to get the belief out of my head and into my heart. A month into DTS, I found myself on the floor praying out to God. I still felt bricks on my chest; the weight pressure and expectations on myself to be spotless. I clinged onto these expectations more closely than I held onto God. But I could hear Him telling me to let it all go. So, I released it.
I took off my mask and He took it from me. He told me I was beautiful. I laid down my expectations and he threw them away. He told me he accepts me. I told Him I felt alone and comforted me. He told me he was my father and my friend. I stretched out my hands and He held them. He told me I was Beloved.
Suddenly, I felt the Holy Spirit like I never had before. And I realized in that moment that God was trying to show me that He will use me right where I am. I may not know every verse in the Bible, or have the most eloquent speech, but that is okay. It is Him who works through me to move mountains, not my own strength in perfection. I can run to the arms of Jesus because He wants me there. He knows everything there is to know about me.
In this season of learning and growing season I am willing to let him plant seeds within me. I am no longer afraid to be who I am. I am no longer living up to unreasonable expectations. I am no longer putting on masks. I am no longer held back by fear. His love does not run down a string from the Heavens into my heart. He is here with me and nothing will separate us. He is for me and His love is unbreakable.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Ashley Beck (MAD DTS Student)