I grew up in a church where I was constantly being told to do this and not do this. I thought that Christians were these perfect people who walked around humming hymns and always making the right choices. I felt like I could never measure up to those standards, so instead of trying to live this “perfect” life, I decided to do things my own way. I ran as far away from God as I could, doing anything to fill this void inside me with things of the world. After about four years into living a life that pleased myself, my mom finally talked me into going to this huge Christian conference in Atlanta.
That weekend changed my life and I started my journey walking with Jesus. I wish I could say that I came back home and started living my life for God and was totally transformed. I tried to keep living life the way I had before I gave my life to Jesus but something inside me had changed and I started to feel so guilty about the things I was doing.I realized that following Jesus meant sacrificing some friends, bad habits, and most of all control over my life. Slowly, He began stripping away the old and replacing it with Him. You see, the most beautiful thing about Jesus’ love is that He never leaves us the way He finds us. He wants to make us new but it isn’t this overnight process. Even though I grew up in church and was taught right and wrong, I had to learn how to be like Jesus and choose Him every day and there were days when I didn’t choose him. I have learned that where my heart is focused is where my actions seem to follow. My first year after surrendering my life to Jesus was not easy and was filled with tears and frustration but I really learned what it meant to surrender completely and tasted true grace.
GRACE. Oh that word just gives me goosies because that is how I define my life. I am a product of it and so are you. I never thought God could use me, I felt too broken, too far gone, too sinful and unlovable. Maybe you feel that way too but I have good news for you. You have a Father who loves you so much that He gave His own child to be beaten and tortured so that He could pour His grace over you without fail. Jesus’ blood covers our sin and God looks at us as one of His own. Here is the best news that I have found out about.. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT! Now that we got that out of the way..
Let’s just be real. We suck at life sometimes and there are days when we fail miserably at this whole Christian thing. Even that sweet old Christian lady at your church who is known for being a prayer warrior and living her life like Jesus has her bad days too. Being a Christian does not mean you have to do all the right things, wear the right clothes, say the right words and be this person who has it all under control. Christians are people who desperately need God’s grace and are daily striving to be more like Him. That is why we need people to be real, not perfect. Perfection does not exist, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to achieve something that just is not attainable.
We are all on this journey together, learning more about who Jesus is and how awesome it is that He chooses to love us! My challenge is that you let someone see your ugly, your “not quite so perfect” side and watch how God will use that to lead to real connections with other believers. Living life in fear of not being perfect isn’t how we were meant to live this life! God wants us just the way we are—broken, imperfect, ashamed, and covered with sin to allow Him to work in our lives in only the way that He can.
My name is Morgan Maxwell, I am 24 years old. I have a passion for Jesus & cupcakes. I love to write about what God presses on my heart and I pray that through me, people would better know Him.
“..Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” Joel 2:12-13
This is my favorite verse because it's such an amazing reminder that no matter what, God still wants us.. "Even Now". You are never too far gone to be used by Him! My life is a testimony of that truth and I am so happy to share my adventures with Jesus with you all!
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.