Begin at the beginning…

To get to the end, we need to start at the beginning. And for a believer, the beginning is always Christ Jesus. If we are not right with Him, nothing else is going to work very well. Especially not our marriage.

For life at its core is all about relationships. And being transparent. First with God who made us and then with each other. Relationships require us to be real. And if they are to flourish we must keep making real time investments.

Giving of ourselves. Most especially to the One who gave it all for us. And He welcomes us with open arms, just the way we are. He knows all about us, inside and out, so we need not worry about fixing ourselves up first. As if we even could! And the wonderful thing is that it doesn’t matter how we feel at present. Perhaps you’re a million miles from God. Well, you are really closer than you know. For Father is holding you in His arms, closer than your next heartbeat. He never leaves, never forsakes.

But how can we give of ourselves to others in relationship when we are all broken? And in our brokenness, holing up in our secret shame. Hiding behind our masks. Work, perfection, intelligence. Or ducking out of sight and getting lost in our habits. Substance abuse, overeating, buying too many pairs of shoes. In the end, it all catches up with us. Until He binds up our wounds and heals our hearts.

Once upon a time, I was the queen of façade. My life was so messy, my heart so broken, I thought I was so far from God that He wanted me no longer. There were moments I wondered if I really believed in God anymore. And I continued to listen to the lies so expertly crafted to hit me right where I was hurting. I wanted to give up on my faith.

But on the outside, I looked okay. Going round and round in circles, riding the merry-go-round of make believe masquerading as daily life. Thinking that someday, if I pretended hard enough, the pain would go away. If I controlled my life so it seemed smooth as silk, then the fear would leave me. If I worked relentlessly at improving myself, then the sadness would vanish. Or if I was pretty or thin enough, then someone somewhere would find me worthy of being loved.

And this performance was exhausting! And it never did work! Deep inside, during rare moments when I stopped running, Truth whispered that nothing was okay. My broken-hearted attempts at making my life better to earn the love I was created to desire only stirred up a hornet’s nest of anger. Sinning in my anger I sinned well, I am ashamed to say. It cost me dearly. A marriage crumbled. Children hurt.  Relationships broken. Finances lost, companionship too.

Praise God that one day my shattered and searching heart humbled itself, crying out to Him. The road traveled from then to now has included stumbled steps, and my heart healing, like yours, will continue all the way to Heaven. God as Holy Spirit Counselor is the most perfect and most patient healer ever. And He does it all in love. One day at a time. One baby step after another.

For until we understand in the painfully hurt and/or deeply sinful hidden recesses of the heart how incredibly crazy in love He is with us, messes and all, we will try to be brave or busy or strong or healed in our own strength.

But the Cross is the place where we lay it all down. Where we stop running and allow ourselves to be caught. We yeild the life we desperately pursue to receive true LIFE. His life in us. And isn’t the kingdom of God all about a bunch of “losers” like me who are winners waiting to be escorted to the finish line? Race well run.

Let’s stop running ourselves ragged trying so hard and simply rest. Rest in the arms of the Everlasting One, God’s ever loving Son. Like little children, tear stained from one too many boo boo’s, let’s reach up as Daddy’s waiting arms scoop us close, pressed tenderly to His heart. Acknowledging and admitting our own faults, seeking and offering forgiveness.

Healing will begin in the quiet place where our heart meets His, beginning at the beginning.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1

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16 thoughts on “Begin at the beginning…

    • You’re welcome, Jay. And at the Cross we lay it all down to pick up that Cross and follow Him…Thanks.

    • Isn’t it though? And so heart-gripping evocative, at least for me. Michael introduced me to that song a year ago and it has had such a profound impact on me. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Cathy. Jesus is all about new beginnings, even when it’s a repeat new beginning. His grace is too precious for words and in our gratitude for that grace, hopefully, we will want to live like and for Him.

  1. At the foot of the cross we are all on level ground- no winners or losers, just people needing a Savior.

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I’ve put on the facade myself, I’m so thankful God broke through my messy life and cleaned me up. I was making a wreck of everything! I was completely unhappy. Only in Christ have I found who I am and found contentment with being me…warts and all 🙂

    • The Cross absolutely levels the playing field…we all eat and sleep and sin!! You are welcome, TC, an thanks for sharing yours a bit too. I did make a wreck of so much in my life, but Jesus picked me up, brushed me off and said Let’s try that again…And in sharing our stories, I believe, it gives the next person freedom to share theirs and perhaps begin their own healing journey with Jesus. Thanks for sharing, TC.

  2. How wonderfully ‘real’ this is, and so moving. Thanks so much Sheila for sharing your journey, which is true for so many of us. Putting more energy into how things appear (in order to becoming more loveable), but then realising that He was offering His love to us all along. So glad He lovingly picks up the shattered pieces of our lives and does His healing work on us. Only then can we love others truly, deeply, from the heart. God bless! Ali