I wrote this almost ten years ago, and just found it again. Perhaps God knew that even though I'm in a different season, fighting different battles, I still need to hear the eternal truths of who He says I am. Those truths helped me today, and I hope that whatever season or battle you find yourself facing, they will help you too. Rise up, sister.
It wasn’t that I was sad. I wasn’t sad, I just needed a pick me up. There was an emptiness inside of me, I was yearning for something that I almost didn’t recognize. My heart was restless.
Which is when it fell into my head, as if out of nowhere. The text message conversation I’d meant to delete years ago… was still there. Messages from a boy. To me! Although now past their use-by date… he’d wanted me then, even if he was with someone else now.
They didn’t mean what they once had, and I knew that it was a risk to look back – but I just wanted to bask in the echoes of what his words had once meant: chosen. Adored. Loved.
So I stealthily began the search for the messages.
I was playing the emotional equivalent of Russian roulette, and I knew it. I couldn’t help glancing over my shoulder. Ducking my head. Lowering the phone.
I was just checking old messages, I said to myself. What was wrong with that? I barely listened to my own lie, as my pulse quickened.
And then I found them, and I immersed myself in them. A full-on, body-slam immersion; throwing myself back into that boy, that time, that moment.
I read hungrily and speedily: gratification now, now, now!
But as I read, the intoxicating high never came. Instead, shame swept over me, surrounded me. The feeling of being dirty was there before I knew it was coming.
And The Accuser started smacking me in the face:
This is not your man.
This is, in fact, someone else’s man.
Thou shalt not covet.
Thou shalt not be like Lot’s wife, and look back.
Thou shalt not call clean what is unclean.
Woe to those who call evil, good.
Because he knew that by this little secret action, I was calling what the Lord had told me was unclean, clean. By looking back and yearning for a relationship that had become evil, I was calling it good.
I was caressing a door that Jesus alone had carried me through; a door He had firmly closed to save me from what was on the other side. I was using the freedom He graciously brought me into to admire the horrors He saved me from. It was the equivalent of spitting in His face. You think Your love is enough? HA! Why couldn’t I stay in Egypt? What was so bad about being a slave anyway?
You were sold for nothing, and without money you shall be redeemed. (Isaiah 52:3)
That was God’s promise to the Israelites thousands of years ago, and it is his promise to me now, and forever.
The truth of this verse staggers me every time. God is saying out loud what I know in my heart: I sold myself to sin for nothing. Nothing was accomplished, and there was nothing gained – it was worthless, fruitless, a wretched chasing after the wind.
The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) – oh, how I felt that. I had just given a bit of my heart back to my past, only to have it crushed all over again. The Liar had said that I would feel better – and I felt a thousand times worse. What had been redeemed with precious blood, I had handed to my enemy – because I listened to the lies.
Oh, the sin that so easily entangles! (Heb 12:1) I see this now: I am often so willing to turn back to my old ways, because somewhere in the deepest part of me my heart is saying to God, I get that you love me, I just need something more right now.
I felt as stupid as a lost sheep, and every bit as dirty.
like a river sweeping over me,
a voice calling to me:
Beloved, we are God’s children. (1 John 3:2)
His beloved. (Song of Songs 7:10)
He has chosen you. (Isaiah 44:2)
His heart is captured by you. (Song of Songs 4:9)
His Son has ransomed you. (Hebrews 9:12-15)
Though your sins are scarlet, they shall be white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. (Romans 8:1)
She whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. (John 8:36)
Turn around, beloved. Turn back to Everlasting Love (Jeremiah 31:3). Know once again, that no matter what you do He will never leave you, could never forsake you (Joshua 1:5). His arm is mighty, and His heart is for us. His heart is for you. His face shines upon you. (Psalm 67:1)
Write this on your hands, on your feet, on your face – you are His beloved. And as you let that sink into your very bones, the deepest parts of your heart, know that there is no other that has saved you from yourself, none but Jesus.
Just as you can’t be in water and not be wet, you can’t be in His grace and not be His holy and beloved daughter.
Immerse yourself in His life-giving love, as wide and as deep as the ocean - you will not want to find a way out.
You will find that you no longer look for the way back, but only towards Him – because when your eyes are upon Him, and His eyes are upon you, you know yourself to be precious and honored and loved (Isaiah 43:4).
You will find yourself running towards Him, not because you feel like you should, but because His love and grace compel you – His face and His voice are home.
And you will hear His Voice, even as you go to turn to the right or to the left: ‘This is the way, beloved, walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:21)
Taking her by the hand, Jesus said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means “Little darling, I say to you, arise.” (Mark 5:41)
Oh! How He loves you!
Nicolie lives in Sydney, has two degrees (theology, & communications), and way more shoes than her husband needs to know about. She enjoys re-reading books, eating all your lollies, and asking hipster baristas if they have decaf.