What I Needed the Most

So, I’ve been having the “I need some Jesus” feeling in my life a lot recently. I constantly feel the pull toward church, the desire to pray, the want to talk about my faith and the yearning for something more fulfilling. Coupled with my state of feeling totally lost without any direction of my next steps in life, I felt a pull toward the Lord. But I wasn’t really doing anything about it… 

I don’t say this in a preachy or “oh I’m such a good Christian” way like look at me blah blah blah let me talk about the Lord in some ambiguous way that makes me look so good and holy, because to be honest, I’m probably (definitely) not “a good Christian” by definition. But regardless of what you call me, my background, my religious convictions – I felt this pull. For a while I didn’t even know what the pull was or what in the universe was trying to get my attention… I figured out later it could be nothing other than God.

Fast forward a couple weeks and months and I’m still feeling this pull, like the universe is trying to shake me awake or something. My friend and I decide on a random church to visit on Sunday. We were on our lackadaisical search to find a church we like because she too was feeling this pull. 

I had an outfit malfunction just before we left when my nice shoes broke. So, I rolled up to church in jeans and my black, beat up vans sweating like a pig because Texas in July is brutal. Regardless of the awkward beginning to the day, I sat down, took a deep breath and peace set in. 

Who knew that the particular service we chose would end up being EXACTLY the sermon, EXACTLY (down to a t) the message I needed more than anything to hear – God works in mysterious ways, I’m telling ya.

The pastor talked about reconciliation and how God takes everything broken, hurt, hopeless and doomed and makes it whole again. That he takes us reconciles us and then makes us agents of reconciliation – a beautiful rebirth.

The passage we looked at was from 2 Corinthians 16 – 19:

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation”

Well, consequently, the past few months I’ve been feeling nothing but broken, hurt, hopeless and doomed. While, I can’t explain every little last thing I got from the pastor’s sermon because we would be here until next week, what I got out of it, was a clear call from God saying Nikki, I’m here from you, I am seeking you out, let me heal you. After weeks and months and really almost years of feeling abandoned by the Lord and lost because no where I turned to solved my problems, I realized maybe I wasn’t listening to his call for me. All of those feelings of being pulled somewhere or being shaken awake by the universe, were God's way of calling me. Maybe I let my stubbornness control me with the thought that I can be strong, I can fix myself, I don’t need anyone else and I especially don’t need God…  

I can’t exactly explain the moment I felt it, but somewhere in those words the pastor was preaching to a hungry throng of onlookers, it clicked. It clicked and I thought oh wait…. I don’t need to be strong, I don’t need to fix myself, in fact I can’t because I’m human and broken and imperfect… I get to be weak, I get to be hurt and broken. It’s ok for me to not be ok. But the one who can heal me, the one who won’t let me suffer in vain and can be strong for me, is the Lord. 

The authentic message from the pastor didn’t feel fake like so many sermons I listen to do. They often make it hard to take seriously. But this one was different. It didn’t feel self-serving or preachy or showy – it was a true authentic message about God’s love. Sometimes in the midst of this chaos in the world, mixed with my bad experiences with other churches and other Christians in the past, I forgot that all of this boils down to God’s love – something I desperately need.

It was a wonderful wonderful moment that left me in tears to be honest. I was speechless. And eventually when I figured out how to use words again, I turned to my friend and saw the look on her face and knew she was feeling exactly what I was feeling. We marveled at the timing. After weeks of not going to church, we chose this Sunday, this church, this particular service. 

Neither one of us realized how MUCH we both needed to hear a pastor talk openly, honestly and authentically about the Lord’s power to heal, save and love those of us who are so far broken. This is the first time in years I feel excited and energized by the Lord. While I wish it could have come sooner, I think I finally realized that God has been calling after me all this time and I've been ignoring him. 

I don't know what is going to happen from here, or where my relationship with Christ is going to go, but I feel ready. I feel ready, energized and excited about God's love. I think for the first time in a very long time the sermon I was listening to wasn't about being a "perfect Christian" or about following this set of rules or these laws. It wasn't about judgement or ridicule or some self righteous agenda. It was about God's love and power to take care of us. 

For so long I was in churches, environments or around Christians that thrived off of perfection and judgement. I was so afraid of going back and getting into God's word because I was afraid of being judged for who I am and for my mistakes. I regularly felt that from the community of believers I grew up in... and that's not healthy. But this time, I felt absolutely nothing but love, and I am so excited to dive deeper into that love... 

Until next time, 


1 comment

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