Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Grace That Covers ALL My Sin.

I remember sitting on my couch about 8 years ago, watching TV, and seeing the Duggars for the first time.  I had an "AHA moment" and I thought they were the culmination of all the thoughts and decisions I was wrestling with at the time.  Something began in that moment that lasted until last year.  I thought I had found the perfect family, wife, and mother to pattern my life after, and so began a long journey of trying to become someone else. 

I was not raised as a Christian and I have a lot of skeletons in my closet.  As a teenager and young adult I made every bad decision a person could make, so when I came to Christ I thought that I would definitely need to change a whole lot about myself to be what God would want me to be.  To be enough I thought I would have to be the PERFECT woman, wife and mother.  I didn't really know what that looked like, but sitting on my couch that night long ago I thought I had found her... in Michelle Duggar.   I started that night on a process of changing my outside world to look as much like her world as I could.  I studied her, I read her books, and pattered my life after her.  I thought surely she has to be the PERFECT WOMAN.   I thought if I became the perfect woman, wife and mother then I would be pleasing to God and somehow if I managed to get everything right my children would be great kids, who loved God and they would never make bad decision or do bad things.

There was a problem though, I was NOT Michelle Duggar.   I tried really hard to be like her, but I am not her.  There was a constant battle in my soul and an unrest that left me completely uncomfortable all the time.  I never could quite figure it out, but this was the darkest period of my life.  Then about a year ago I did a Bible study called STUCK by Jennie Allen.  The very first week and all throughout the Bible study God began to speak to my heart and show me WHY I was so unsettled using this verse...  "And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for YOU: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  2 Corinthians 12:9.   In that 8 week study I began to realize that God didn't save me to be Michelle Duggar.  He didn't want me to try to reach some level of outward perfection.  He wanted me to REST in knowing that HIS GRACE covered me.  He wanted me to know that JESUS was ENOUGH.   He wanted me to know that IN MY WEAKNESS, HE IS STRONG.

I am weak, I am full of sin.  I need a SAVIOR everyday.  He set me FREE to be ME...  Angela.  I decided that first week that I would no longer try to be anything I am not, because God is ok with me, and I am HIS workmanship and He will do the work IN me.   In that revelation I realized I would always, while I'm on this earth, be full of sin, and so would my children.  God never promised me anything where they are concerned.  So, instead of relying on my goodness or my children's goodness I began to CLING to the GRACE of God that covers all of our sin.   I put my hope in Jesus and agreed with the Bible that my children are also sinners and desperately NEED salvation from God.   I set them free to be who they are and instead of being SHOCKED by their sin I recognize that we are like the Bible says "deceitfully, wicked".   We NEED A SAVIOR. 

This week when the sins of Josh Duggar were made front page news, my heart hurt for all of the Duggar family, but I was not shocked.  In the last year I have come to understand that being raised in a Christian home really means nothing to a lost soul.  I am not bringing this up to argue over sin, but coming from someone who has done a lot of it, I realize SIN IS SIN.  My heart hurts because I know that my children will commit sin that will hurt themselves and others and they NEED a SAVIOR.  My heart hurts because we are weak people and my children are not immune to soul sin weakness, but as much as that grieves me to consider, I rejoice in the only hope they have and that is that Christ died for their sin.  His grace is ENOUGH to COVER ALL OF OUR SIN.   It will be their sin that finally leads them to Jesus.   I would rather see that happen than for them to cling to any goodness they might think they possess. 

Seeing that the Duggar family is not perfect should not cause any of us to do anything other than realize there is no perfect family or person and that we all NEED a Savior to cover our sin.   As Jesus said when he knelt down in that sand 2000 years ago...  "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."  We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God...  and that is the VERY reason Christ came to earth 2000 years ago to take our place and cover our sin.  Thank you, Jesus.

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