From a young age I was making bad decisions, I’m pretty sure I’ve established that theme throughout this blog. I think I got stuck in this rhythm of bad thinking that encouraged a loss of self-esteem, the desire for boundaries and self-control, and before I knew it, any positive expectation I had for myself was lost. I didn’t know who I was, and so I clung to any identity I could find. Sure, I’ll be the messed up girl. The addicted one. The one searching the darkest places trying to find some sort of sense of belonging, or a person to fill that void. Anything over this emptiness. Anything away from the aching in my heart.
This is who I was. And I was dang set on making sure everyone around me knew it.
And they did. They expected it.
There is a story in the book of John that echoed down into the deepest parts of my soul with this nostalgia, almost like it had taken place in my life… you see there was this woman who was caught in the most compromising situation: an adulterous affair. This most likely wasn’t her first offense, and she was caught mid-act. Now the men who had caught her, were these religious leaders who were really just using her to try to trap Jesus in saying something they would be able to use against him, and charge him with some sort of crime. In short, the law said she should be stoned, so they wanted to hear what Jesus thought on the matter. He, of course, was too smart for this plot and diffused the situation rather easily. As these religious figures left, Jesus was the only one remaining there with this woman and this is the part I wanted to highlight:
John 8:10-11: Jesus straightened up and asked her, “woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir.” She answered. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus didn’t see her as an adulterer. He didn’t condemn her to a life of being stuck in that lifestyle. He didn’t ask her if she was sorry or admit her guilt. He already knew she was broken. What He did do was call her out of her reputation. He let her know she was worth more, and that she could have more.
I needed someone to call me out of my lifestyle. I needed to hear that someone thought more of me than my current circumstances. I think that’s a lot of us. We have done things in our past that we think are a part of who we are but God wants you to know your worth is not determined by the sum of your mistakes. Even if you are still struggling in them, there is always the invitation to leave that life. He does not condemn you to a life of slavery. Not to your past. Not to your addictions. Not to your brokenness. There are those of us that need to know right now that we are more than what we have become. Jesus saw it that day in that woman, and He saw it in me the day He gave me my son Jackson, and He sees it in you, in your doubts, in your failures, in your mistakes, in your insecurities. He’s not giving you up. He’s calling you up.