This is a beautiful and transparent article from a woman named Lydia, a woman who knew brokenness intimately and felt completely unworthy. That is until God showed her just how worthy she is!
When I was a teenager my father gave me one piece of dating advice:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
Unfortunately, I didn’t take that advice and my heart was left unguarded. For many years I gave my love and my loyalty to those who did not earn it, and I was left broken and confused every single time. I could have filled an Olympic sized swimming pool with all the tears I cried in anguish as a result of betrayal, loneliness, and heartbreak.
When I met Jesus, I was living deeply in my sin, willingly ignorant to my own self-destruction.
That is how Jesus works though, He finds us in our deepest, darkest corners of despair and He pulls us into unimaginable redemption.
Through Jesus, my life was lifted out of darkness, and when I handed everything – the hurt, the shame, the doubt – over to Him, things began to move in my life that I had been convinced would never come true…
Soon after finding Jesus, I found the man who would ask me to be his wife. Kenneth came into my life like a knight in shining armor, swept me off my feet, and showed me what true, Christ-like pursuit of my heart looked like. He treated me like I was everything and anything he had ever hoped for, and even though that was exactly what I had been searching for my entire life, I severely doubted whether or not I deserved such a love.
One night, several weeks after Kenneth and I had started dating, I was woken up in the middle of the night by a deep, searing sense of shame. There was a wild summer storm happening outside my window, and as the rain and thunder waged war on the outside of my little house, the enemy waged war on my heart.
I sat there in my bed and cried so hard that I made myself sick. After what seemed like hours I finally started talking to God through my sobs… and I told Him,
You can’t let Kenneth love me. I don’t deserve anyone that good, and You know that! You know I’m broken and I’m worthless! Give Him someone better, God!”
Looking back, I was a lot like Sarah from Genesis. I had known in my heart my entire life that God had someone special for me, someone who would love me like Kenneth did…but when He finally sent that promise, I doubted. When God promised that Sarah would conceive a child in her old age, she laughed at Him and told herself there was no way that could happen(Genesis 18:9-12)! I may have not been laughing like Sarah, but in my state of complete emotional disarray I may as well have been.
God had sent someone wonderful and beautiful into my life to fulfill His promise to me, and I was sitting there like a complete lunatic howling above the storm outside about how He was wrong.
As I was shouting at God to “take Kenneth back” because I wasn’t worthy, the Lord gently calmed my heart enough to hear Him when He told me to open my Bible. How I managed to pull myself together enough to get out my Bible is beyond me, but when I did I opened it up to my favorite verse…the verse that had brought me back to Jesus in the first place.
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
I read those words over and over again that night, saying to myself, “by grace I have been saved, by grace I have been saved, by grace I have been saved…” I read it until it was my Truth, and it was so deeply engraved on my heart that I knew it would never fade. The war was over, the fight had been won, and Jesus had wrapped me up again in His peace because I knew that I was made new.
No previous mistake and no former heartbreak had written me off God’s list, and because of that promise I went from sobbing to smiling. I knew how loved I was to be given that kind of forgiveness in Jesus’ name.
When the sun rose the next day, I let it all go. I thanked God for Kenneth, and instead of telling God that He should send someone “better” to love him, I asked the Lord to keep making me into the BEST person to love him.
The love that Kenneth gave me so freely was not something I was unworthy of… Jesus had made me worth loving, and Kenneth saw that in me even when I didn’t. With the weight of judgment and shame lifted off my heart I was able to see God’s promise for my life, because I knew how powerful the name of Jesus is, was, and will always be when I am faced with such darkness.
Sisters, when the past sneaks up on you in the dark, remember that the battle has already been won for you. You are loved, cherished, and pursued by the King of Kings, which makes you more worthy than you will ever know. God has never doubted you and He will never forsake you, regardless of what mistakes you have made or will make. Just as 1 Peter 2:4 tells us, we may have been living stones rejected by men, but we are chosen and precious in the sight of God! Amen, amen, AMEN!
Lydia McGarva is a lifestyle blogger and author from Northern California. Recently engaged, she is knee-deep in wedding planning and Pinterest pinning! When she isn’t writing for her website (www.thehometownmissionary.com), Lydia enjoys working on her family’s ranch with her fiancé, meeting with her Women’s Bible Study group, and cooking enough food to feed small armies.