I sat in my car.
My son’s last soccer game,
and here I sat, alone in the parking lot.
Too weak to even walk across the field to the stands.
I would never see my little boy play soccer again.
Next year he would be away at college.
Next year might not come for me.
Why had I been so sick for so many months without answers?
The doctors couldn’t figure out the cause of my illness. Test after test.
Month after month I could not keep food down. I continually lost weight until my body started to fight against itself for survival. I could not walk from my bedroom to my bathroom. Our church members told my husband something needed to be done.
He was going to lose me.
So I sat in that car alone and watched my boy run, with tears streaming down my cheeks. I didn’t know that in a few short months my Doctor would discover I had Celiac disease. I thought this was my fault. I was letting my husband down, my children down and my church down.
And I believed it was my fault because I believed God was punishing me.
Not punishing me because He was mean.
I believed it was out of love.
Somehow I was convinced that the moment I had become a Christian, there were rules, everything I did had consequences~ and since I felt I never measured up, those consequences were always bad.
Consequences for not being a better parent, a better wife, a better Christian. Consequences for not praying enough, for not caring for others more, for not thinking about God more or being more thankful.
For not being good enough.
The weight of that will bury you.
I cried and told God I was sorry.
I knew I deserved His anger.
But I was so wrong.
Because that is not my God,
He is not an angry God, even when I can’t be good enough.
He doesn’t expect me to be.
He never expects me to be.
And that is freeing.
God sees all my imperfections, all my shortcomings and all my failures.
I don’t have to be perfect, because His only Son is perfection, and when God looks down at me that is what He sees.
And He loves me with a love that covers it all.
I am covered in His robe of righteousness.
Please don’t misunderstand my words here, the Bible is clear this doesn’t give us a license to willfully sin. Choosing to willfully sin when we know it’s wrong is never okay biblically, but neither is the misconception that God expects us to be perfect.
I had many conversations with my patient husband about this. Time and again he showed me verse after verse.
And then, one day...
In all my brokenness, I gave God the shovel and allowed Him to miraculously empty the heaviness that was burying me.
Through tears, I could see a glimmer of light.
Little by little.
One shovel full after another, until I heard Him tell me~
Charisse, my Son is your perfection.
If you could be good enough, I would not have sent Him to die on the cross.
My overwhelming love for you took care of all future punishment that day.
And I finally believed Him.
I might not ever have answers or know the reasons why we go through heartache and pain, but I know it isn’t because God wants to punish us and I can rest in knowing that He knows the “why”.
A relationship with God is not all about rules.
He does not seek to punish when we don’t measure up.
He understands that we are human.
He longs to take care of us and He loves us with a love that we could never, ever fully comprehend.
If my words could help just one heart to understand this, one heart to be freed from this weight~every heart ache I have ever been through would be worth it~
because my God is love.
That’s what I want you to grasp.
That is the answer I want you to know.
Won’t you hand Him your shovel today?
Galatians 3:11,13, 22,24-25
I Peter 5:10
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Isaiah 41:10, 61:10
Psalm 32:7, 73:23, 103:10 & 11
Romans 4:7, 12:10,12-16
John 3:17, 9:1-3
II Timothy 1:9