If I Had It My Way

Guest Author: Lydia Mammen

If I had it my way, I would be a gentle and quiet woman who exudes love, patience, joy, beauty, class, and wisdom. I would have Romans memorized and be great at daily quiet times. I would have the classiest Instagram, all “cutesy-ed up” with Scripture in calligraphy and Elisabeth Elliot quotes. I would be a good woman, like the Proverbs 31 kind. And Jesus would be smiling down on me from heaven because I was being

such
a
good
girl.

My, oh my, am I glad I don’t have it my way! I’m glad that the call of Jesus isn’t one of perfection, but one of surrender. I’m glad that God sees past all the smiles and sees the fragile girl behind the masks.

And I am overjoyed. I am overjoyed by the way I am known by the Creator. And if there’s anything I keep learning, that He keeps teaching me, it’s that

the Good News of Jesus Christ is not just for some
“one-time, long ago moment when I prayed that Christian prayer.”

Yes, the Gospel met me there at 9 years old, wondering how I would go to heaven. But it also met me in my teenage years when attention and love were all I craved. It met me in the confusion and chaos of 17-year-old, freshman me, learning the realities of life in hard, but good ways. It met me in my foolishness as I searched and searched for satisfaction in all the wrong places. It met me in my darkest moments of sin, shame, and apathy. He – Jesus Christ – met me a broken little girl, there.

All those moments are in the past, but

Jesus isn’t merely a Savior of my past.

No, this Good News still meets. He, still meets. Here, at the start of my 20’s, with no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going. Here, in this area of so much growth and yet so much failure. Here, in a place so broken, and yet so hopeful. Here, in a place where I’ve forgotten grace and thought my abilities would make God love me more somehow. Funny, isn’t it, how far we can get from grace and the true Good News of Jesus Christ without even knowing it.

I forget that following Jesus does not require 7 days of 1-hour long quiet times and knowing every verse in the Bible. I forget that being His doesn’t mean earning favor. I forget that God doesn’t love the Lydia I envision myself to be or the future put-together Lydia, but the Lydia I am, right here, right now.

I know these things, but my, do I forget.

So let’s remember. Let’s remember that this walk with Jesus is messy. It’s not picture-perfect like my imaginary Instagram. Its not easy. But goodness, it is SO worth it. It is worth knowing Him, and following Him, because friend,

H E    I S    S O    G O O D.

And He knows you. He understands.

So the Good News?

Jesus saves. He saves the broken, the lost, the ugly, and forgotten. All things that I am – all things that we are. So let’s stop trying to be to picture-perfect. Let’s get real. You’ll be surprised to see who Jesus really is when you do. He isn’t this guy to win over. He’s your Groom that is waiting for you to be ALL His. Amazing grace really is so sweet!

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good in the presence of the godly. |   Psalm 52:8-9

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