If I make it to heaven
I may be as bloody as hell.
Would you still take me?
I’m afraid that you might say,
“Depart from me, I never knew you.”
– “Wrong Body”, As Cities Burn
This day, 11 years ago, I became a disciple. A follower of Jesus Christ. I was baptized at Owens Beach in Tacoma, Washington at the age of 15. I’m not sure if I exactly comprehended the gravity of this decision. Deciding to do anything for any length of time is difficult, much less choosing something forever. For the rest of ever. Even typing that out gives me this sick, queasy feeling. Commitment and making decisions are not my strong suits.
Despite this, I can easily say becoming a Christian was literally the most important decision I’ve ever made. I’ve met the most wonderful people you can think of whom I call my brothers and sisters, grown exponentially more as a person than I ever could have alone, and have been given an immeasurable sense of hope and peace in the knowledge that I have a relationship with the Creator. The Creator of everything. That being said, this year has been rough. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally. I’ve felt weaker and more broken and more alone than I have since I was 15. I’ve made more mistakes, compromised more of my beliefs, and sank lower than I could have imagine. If my bright-eyed 15-year-old self saw me today, she’d probably be like, “Dang girl, what is wrong with you? Why are you being such an idiot?” Man, that’s depressing.
However, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear (Isaiah 59:1). I’m hopeful that my failures and weaknesses have a purpose. I’m choosing to trust God, that his love for me is greater than my shortcomings. Also, my spiritual birthday is an awesome time to reflect back on the wonderful times I’ve had as a disciple. I’m even grateful, in a way, for the poor choices I’ve made, because those experiences reinforce the goodness and strength of the Bible, and how poorly my life goes when I decide to be god. Which would go horribly by the way, if I could be God. I would smite everyone, probably.
With that, my goal for my 11th Spiritual Year is to meditate on Revelations 2:4-5: Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” And because that is slightly depressing, I will also meditate on Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Below are two of my favorite songs that kind of summaries my feelings. Please check out the songs. They’re amazing and wonderful, just like you.
You’re a door-without-a-key, a field-without-a-fence
You made a holy fool of me and I’ve thanked you ever since
If she comes circling back we’ll end where we’d begun
Like two pennies on the train track the train crushed into one
Or if I’m a crown without a king, if I’m a broken open seed
If I come without a thing, then I come with all I need
No boat out in the blue, no place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have caught my leg instead.
– “In A Sweater Poorly Knit”, mewithoutYou
Well, Jesus Christ, I’m not scared to die,
I’m a little bit scared of what comes after
Do I get the gold chariot?
Do I float through the ceiling?
Do I divide and fall apart?
’cause my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark
And the ship went down in sight of land
And at the gates, does Thomas ask to see my hands?
– “Jesus Christ”, Brand New