The Father’s Arms are Open Wide

I wish I could tell you following Jesus is really easy and that all you have to do is read your bible and go to church and bam you’re good to go. I believed this lie for soooo many years. And became really ticked off with God when I didn’t feel that “spiritual high” or when I didn’t get what I wanted/prayed for right away. #SassyChildOfGod.

I was just going through the motions. And although I may have looked like the Christian girl who had it all together and all figured out with my artsy bible pics on Instagram, my twitter filled with bible verses and inspiring quotes, and joined just about every single Christian organization on campus – I still felt completely lost & felt like there was MORE.

And there is MORE. I think often times we just starting doing, doing, doing and we forget to take a step back and examine our hearts. We forget to make sure that we’re going on mission trips to SERVE & GROW His kingdom, not so other will give us a pat on the back and see our good deeds. We forget that we go to church to hear the word of God in order to be TAUGHT how to be more like Him, not to just check off the boxes and say you were present in service. Now, by no means and I am perfect. I struggle with this & my heart is still a mess. But the good news is that Jesus is our physician and we are His sick kids, eager to be healed and seeking different ways to be cured. But HE is the only one who can heal our messy broken hearts. Isn’t that beautiful?

Our purpose in this life isn’t to make ourselves known, it’s to make HIM known.

Last night when John and I were laying in bed, about to go to sleep, I turned over to face him. I asked him [completely out of the blue] “babe, why are you proud of me?” Sleepy, yet willing to answer, he began to list every single reason why he’s proud of me. And it was a good list hehe. I smirked and continued with “yeah, but what else?!” Haha yup I’m that girl. As you can see, words of affirmation = my love language 🙂 And being the kindest and most patient person ever, he continued to list off plenty of more reasons. #ThatsBae

Then the water works happened and I started bawling like a baby. “I don’t feel worthy.” I whispered. “I’m just a mess. I’m tired and burnt out and just feel empty. And I feel so far from Jesus and so broken.” He wrapped his arms around me as tears continued to roll down my cheeks. In that moment I felt so loved- yes by John but it was like Jesus was just giving His daughter a big ol’ hug.

He whispered to me “Jules, You don’t have to be perfect. Jesus doesn’t expect you to. You are SO loved and Jesus doesn’t love you any less. He yearns to know your heart more.” I wiped the tears from my cheeks, sniffled, and smiled.

I’ve been struggling with being in Word. Like biiiiiig time y’all. And if I’m being 100% candid with you and myself, these past couple of months I’ve felt like I’ve lost that fire for Jesus. I’ve been searching for love from friendships, my husband, and trying to fill my time up to stop me from feeling empty. My heart has been so hungry for The Lord.

John made a really good point that really got me thinking: “if you and I were only to talk once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month, we wouldn’t be as close. It would be hard to know each other and hard to love each other deeper. The same thing goes for our relationship with Jesus. When we go a long period of time without Him, we start to feel empty and the enemy starts to attack us. But the Good New is Jesus paid the price for us, knowing that we aren’t always going to love Him well.

This morning I woke up with a sense of peace. I woke up comforted and knowing that I AM LOVED. And was just sweetly reminded that I need Jesus’ love every day. Praise God for continuing to pursue our hearts even when we don’t want to be pursued. Praise God for convicting our hearts and breaking them for what breaks HIS. And Praise God for His unfailing love that always draws us back to Him. So, a huuuuuuge thank you Jesus for Your mercies made new every day!

God’s love language is obedience and He reminds us in John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.” Don’t feel pressured to be perfect. The more you fall in love with God, the more your heart will just adore your Heavenly Father and that adoration will blossom into obedience and being faithful to what He calls upon you.

If you’re burnt out on Christianity, rest in this: It’s NOT about having it all together or making it look like you have this whole Jesus thing figured out. It’s about embracing His unfailing grace. It’s about obedience and constantly seeking His truth rather than the false teachings of the world. It’s about discipleship- teaching others how they too can live a life walking in His love. 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved. // Ephesians 2:4-5

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. // Hebrews 12:28-29

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. // 1 Peter 5:6-7

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. // Psalm 136:26

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. // Colossians 2:6-7

Also, listen to this song 🙂

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