“Though our sins are scarlet, You have made us white as snow.” This is a lyric of a song that I can’t seem to let escape my mind. I thought I just liked these words because of the melody and the story behind them, the story that belongs to you and I. The story that is no matter how scarlet our sins are or how scarlet they may make us feel, that God has made us white as snow. He sent His only Son for you and I. He loved us that much. If you’re anything like me, you don’t always walk in that truth. The truth that my sins mean nothing in light of the King of Kings. My sin has no victory in my life, only Him. That I can walk in freedom from shame and guilt.
I have struggled for a very long time with viewing myself as worthy of love. I allowed myself to believe the lies told to me by previous relationships and friendships. I truly believed I didn’t deserve it. I knew who I was and what I had done. I knew who I said I was and who I really was behind it all. I would jump from relationship to relationship trying to “prove” that I didn’t deserve to be loved by someone. I would get heartbroken and then move on to get heartbroken again because I saw no value in myself. Heartbreak to heartbreak was my pattern. Unhealthy relationship after unhealthy relationship. I thought I deserved to get hurt so I didn’t use any caution when it came to the relationships I decided to pursue. It’s honestly sad looking back at the things I allowed myself to go through simply because I failed to see my own worth.
Moving forward, some time passed and I started really going to church. I went to church for awhile, but I started to really buy in and not leave the church building the same way I came in. I started really diving in and aiming to understand the truths being told to me. I began to fall in love with Creator of the Universe, but one thing I couldn’t grasp was that He did that for me. I believed He died for her sins or his sins, but oh no, not my sins. My sins are bad sins. My sins are ugly sins. I could never deserve that.
I fell into this trap of letting the prelude of my autobiography define me. I let who I was continue to define me even when I wasn’t doing those things anymore. I let who I had programmed myself to believe I am become who I truly thought I was. It was a never ending cycle of alter calls and going back home and never putting it to action because I never saw myself as worth the fight. I hope I’m not getting to real for you guys, but it’s the truth. I didn’t see myself as worthy of the gospel truth that I was being told was for me.
April 2014 things started to change…but only by a little. I got out of a relationship that i had put my whole self into and in my season of grieving, I stopped dating. I took a year off of texting guys, hanging out with guys, etc. I slipped up a few times, because loneliness is real and our culture tells us to reach out to all of the wrong places to find comfort in those moments. Even in my “mess-ups”, I was learning how to be sought after and especially how to be sought after by a King. I allowed myself room to grow instead of constantly trying to fill this void I never even understood I had. I started to learn more about being content, forgiveness, and grace. I started to learn that what God did was for me too. I started to learn that God loves me too. I started to understand this thing called grace and that it’s for me as well.
Fast forward, I have this pretty much figured out now. I am walking in love, in truth, and in light. I am walking in the grace of God. But wait…then Brad comes along. We start dating and immediately all of those ugly thoughts come back into my head. “He’s a youth pastor, what are you thinking?” “You can’t tell him everything about you because it’s undeserving of love.” “If he really knew you, He would leave.” I kid you not, I told Brad countless times that I was just waiting for him to leave me, luckily he never did. He’s really good to me and I put him through a lot. Everything I put him through stemmed off the fact that I had so many misconstrued views about myself and what I deserved. I couldn’t possibly deserve him is what I told myself day-in and day-out. He’s so much better than me. I began to run myself ragged trying to meet this expectation that no one had put on myself but me. Through it all, Brad was patient with me and he would always remind me of the good I had to offer. He’s really great you guys.
I am learning throughout my internship that I’m not that different from many of you. I hear story after story of these inmates and I get brought to tears because they were just like me. They thought so poorly of themselves that nothing could save them from their own thoughts. And friend, that was me. I believed every single lie the enemy threw my way. It was like I wrote it across the mirror of my mind that I would read aloud to myself everyday. It took Brad reaffirming me time and time again.
Then there was something transformational that happened on our wedding day. First, this man chose me to spend the rest of his life with and now we are actually getting married. A day I wondered if I would ever see, my wedding day. I remember moments before walking down the aisle wondering if he was having doubts, if he wondered if there was something or someone better, and my mind began to fill with doubt and worry. Seconds later the doors opened and I walked down one of the most transformational pathways of my life. I took one step and then another into a lifetime of allowing myself to be loved and letting someone in. I walked into a marriage with a man who knows my good, my bad, and my ugly and loves me just the same. Marriage truly is the best representation of the gospel. I walked down that aisle with fear, worry, faults, issues, and baggage, but I was walking towards my husband who looked at me that day and said “I choose you.” I choose you despite your past, your worries, or your flaws. I choose you because you are worthy of love, affection, and someone to care for you. I choose you because I want to. What an honor to be truly known and fully chosen. I can’t explain what it feels like to know that someone knows the deepest depths of me and choses me anyways. Someone who knows how hard I am on myself, yet choses to work through it with me. Someone who choses me even when I can’t find a reason to chose myself.
It’s a process, I can promise you that. I have good days and bad days. I have days where I feel great about myself and days that those thoughts creep back in my mind. Even in those moments, I remember that God calls me loved. He calls me adored. He calls me chosen. And He calls my friend.
Let me tell you, He says all those same things to you. You are so worth loving, my friend. The Creator of this entire Universe died for you. He knew you before you were even a twinkle in your mothers eyes and He said, “I have great plans for you.” It doesn’t matter you’ve been, stop running, He’s right there with you.
God made it very clear to me on my wedding day that though my sins may have been scarlet, He has made me white as snow. And He wants to tell you the same thing, you have been made white as snow. You were made to walk in that freedom and to walk in forgiveness, even forgiveness for yourself. Stop letting to prelude of your autobiography define you. Who you’ve been is not who you are, you are made new.
God is so good y’all. I am learning more and more each day how to take notice of all that God has done and is doing in my life. He has changed my life and I am forever grateful. I wanted to share my wedding video with you guys that you could get a glimpse of what that transformational day looked like for me. It was the best day of my life.