And it’s been one heck of a year. I’ve finished up my first year at the University of Virginia and I can confidently say that I am a new creation. As written in my last post, God has taken me into His hands and has led me on a path that promises so much hope and joy. He has redeemed me. From someone who was so broken and unwilling to change, to someone who has purpose and a new way of living. The dead has truly come to life.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:2o
I’ve always struggled with not feeling good enough. And this translated directly with my relationship with God. As a sinner who continues to make the same mistakes over and over again, I could not accept the love of an all powerful and perfect God. I made excuses of not being worthy of His love and ultimately never being worthy because of my sins. This sense of guilt followed me through the first couple months of my first year. And prevented me from building a stronger relationship with Him. I met up with my campus pastor to talk about my problem and that was when I realized my mistake. He told me, “Sometimes. When we hold onto our past sins, we lower the cross and what Jesus did for us on that cross. We say what Jesus did on the cross was good but not enough.” This put a totally different perspective on my relationship with God. It was no longer about me focusing on how inefficient I am but redirecting my attention to how GREAT my God is and what He did for me. He died so that I may be free of any kind of guilt or shame.
“There is therefore NOW no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1
This means I can rejoice in the fact that my sins have been washed away because of Christ’s sacrifice! And while sin is still taken seriously, so is the grace of God. There is a God who is perfect and loves me so much, even though I am so sinful.
After this revelation, my relationship with God just kept growing. I got baptized in the spring in front of my XA family,
made close friendships,
and went to Atlanta for my first missions trip. In between, I had lots of late night runs to Cookout, faced rejection, stood up for myself, and learned to say yes to wherever the spirit led me (ex. SICM).
It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve found to love myself for who God has made me to be and not who I have made myself to be. I still have a lot of growing to do, but I look forward to how He will grow and use me, especially, as a 1st year core group leader next year.