i was 19, it was a Thursday night, and my best friend and college roommate, julie park, and i were sitting in her car discussing an issue that would ultimately change my view point on the Christian life. i didn't think it was important to share on here because it's actually very simple and i don't want to come off dumb, but it has helped shape my faith ever since and maybe it'll help yours.
i had come to Christ about 8 months before but was having trouble reconciling a lot of things. i was having difficulty letting go of my old lifestyle that had helped shape my identity. it had made me feel uncomfortable and i was exhausted. i hadn't embraced any sort of faith growing up, so my god, was me. and even though that god had obviously left me empty inside, at least it was familiar.
i had been crying. we had just left a church service and julie had seen me crying. and it hurt her heart. she was the closest friend i had, and had been along side me that year through a lot... answering my questions, feeding me food to sober me up when i'd come home to our little dorm room at 3am, wiping my tears when yet another one night stand (to my surprise) didn't fulfill me... she had seen me at my worst and she loved me entirely.
"i just don't get it!", i sobbed. "i'm sittin here trying to obey Him, trying to let go of my old life, and i can't f%@king do it!! this is TOO HARD julie! i don't understand how you do it! i WANT to change! i WANT to be happy and i KNOW God wants me to be happy but i just can't DO THIS! i'm so f%@king TIRED!.... (sob)"
julie: "liz. ......liz. hey, it's okay. let me tell you something. cause you've got something radically wrong."
me: "what..." (crying softly, looking out the window)
julie: "you don't stop doing something because God tells you to. you don't stop it because it's in the Bible that that's not okay and you shouldn't do it. you stop doing things because you love God. and that's it."
me: "what?" (turning towards julie)
julie: "the only thing that God wants from us is to love Him, liz. THAT is our focus. THAT is what changes someone. THAT is how His yoke is easy and His burden is light. if you sit here and focus on your own strength and efforts to achieve something, you will grow weary, liz. you will be frustrated and you will miss it. for example, a wife doesn't refrain from cheating on her husband because cheating is wrong, she refrains from cheating because she loves him. THAT is how this all works."
cue light bulb
friends, we aren't called to exhaust ourselves. we aren't perfect and God knows that. but WE and our plans don't have to be. so if you're sitting there today, weary and frustrated because you just can't seem to get your life together, take a minute and check to see what perspective you've got goin on. you might need to see the bigger picture. and that bigger picture might change your life.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10
“I have loved you with an everlasting love." - Jeremiah 31:3