My Only Hope

Jesus.  You are my only hope.  My only hope.

This world, its systems and its outright corruption waiting at every turn only let me down.

You gave me Your Word.  And You told me it was Truth.

And You have never lied.

Not once.

God, You sent Your Son, just as you had promised.  You spoke about how He would come and heal the lame, cast out demons, bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted.  You spoke about how He would restore order to this chaotic planet.

And then, You came through.

You sent Your Son—Your One and Only Son.

Born in a humble family—a young couple not even married yet.  They didn’t have much.  But You didn’t require much.

You came in all Your splendor as a tiny baby—born not of the seed of Joseph, but of the Holy Spirit.  Pure. Undefiled.  Virgin birth.  You came into this world as one of us—so that You could not only identify with us and empathize with our human frailties, but so that You—You alone—could one day die a criminal’s death.  A man born perfect—a man born fully God and yet fully human.  You lived a sinless life and You died at the hands of those who called themselves righteous.  Me.  You died at my hand.  You died for me.  You saw me before I was ever born.  You knew me intimately before I was woven together in my mother’s womb.  And You knew every last mistake I would ever make.  You knew every last thing I would ever do.  And yet, You chose me.  You let me drive the nails through Your wrists and Your feet.  You let me beat Your body until You were no longer recognizable.  You let me shove a crown of thorns on Your brow, and hurl accusations and insults at You, as I stood off to the side and jeered as they raised You up on that cross.

And yet, You looked at me with compassion.  With love.  You breathed heavily for me, and You thirsted from Your weary journey.  As You looked at me, You asked Your Father: “Forgive her, Father.  For she knows not what she does.”

You were 33 that day that You died.

I pretended I knew You for 30.  Some of those were years that I was deceived by the enemy.  Some of those were years that I wanted to know You but had no idea how to get to You.  And some of those were just flat out years of rebellion, pride, and angst against this world.

I went my own way from the time I was a child.  I rebelled against authority and I chose to go a different direction in life from the time I was 15.  I chose a life of sin over knowing You.  You, in Your mercy, put a Bible in front of me when I was trying to find myself.  And I pushed it aside.  I chose to live the way of the world instead.  I chose a life that would haunt me to this day.  A life of homosexuality in which I was always afraid.  Always terrified of the next person finding out.  I lived in fear.  I lived in torment in my soul.

Week by week, Sundays came and went.  They were the longest, most dreadful day of my existence.  I hated them.  I felt sick from the time I realized Saturday was over until the sun rose on Monday morning.  My stomach was in knots and there was sense of dread that hovered over me.  I had chosen a lifestyle that You did not approve of.

I had chosen freedom over rules.

Or so I thought.

But every day was another day in which I could be found out.  Every day was another day that I wondered how I was going to get myself out of this mess I had gotten into.  And every day, I fell a little bit more deeply into the lie that “being myself” would end up proving to bring me happiness. And truth.

I longed for the day that my way of living was recognized widely throughout the nations.  I longed for the day that I would be given freedoms that everyone else had.  If only I could one day be married.  If only.  If only I could find that one out there who was meant for me.

But the longing never ceased.  I craved more and I wanted more.  I got sucked in to a world where I had no business being, and I loved it.  Except, I hated it.  I hated the shame I felt every day of my life.  I hated the gnawing that no one knew about going on inside my soul.  That gnawing—incessant gnawing—that ate my alive every single day.  It was a miserable existence.  But I made sure I didn’t show anyone that side.  If they knew about me at all—they were to be convinced that I was happy with the choices I had made.

Except, I hated myself.  “Why did I have to be born this way?” I would think to myself.  Over and over again, “why couldn’t I be normal like everyone else?”  I was set on the idea that had been going around inside my mind for years—no one on the outside had to tell me this—that I was “born that way.”  I was flawed.  And, the only thing I knew was to live a life that fulfilled some kind of purpose.  Maybe that would eventually make me happy.  If I lived in such a way as to be proud of who I was—even in my flawed anxious state—I would eventually find fulfillment and happiness.  But no matter what I did or who or what I poured myself into—everything was futile.

I tried for years.  15 to be exact.  And when I finally realized that nothing I did could ever make me happy, I asked You, Father, to help me.  I asked You to change me.  And You did.  You took away the desire I’m pretty sure immediately.  And I was left without that desire, but still feeling empty inside.  I tried to fill that with men.  And drugs.  And more and more cigarettes.  But nothing filled me.  Nothing sustained me.  It still took me awhile to come to the end of me.  I was (and am) a hardheaded individual.  And yet, You had immense patience with me—letting me venture down avenues trying to find myself—only to come up empty.

The day I found myself is the day I found You.  Or rather, the day that You grabbed a hold of my heart and changed my life forever.  You may have died that day at 30, but that was so that You could bear the weight of my sins-and others who would one day come to know You.  But that wasn’t the final story.  You were Resurrected just 3 days later, by the same Spirit that You put inside of me.  You changed every broken wounded place to a place of healing and warmth and love that I had never known, that day on my knees in 2012.

The only reason I even asked for You to change me was because I was told it was wrong.  I don’t know of any other person in my life that was ever so vocal about the lifestyle that I had chosen to live—than the one who You put there to tell me.  You work in mysterious ways, and I cannot begin to fathom all that You have done for me.  The majority that goes unnoticed by me every day.

Thank You, Father, for protecting my life, my health, and my sanity.  Thank You Father, for allowing me to go through the experiences that I have and come out on the other side knowing You—and madly in love with Your Son, Jesus.  Thank You, Jesus, for changing me and for still being patient with me even on my roughest, most bullheaded days.  Please help me to live a life of obedience to You.  A life that honors You.  A life that is surrendered 100% to You.

I want to see You one day and kiss those scars in Your wrists, and wash your feet with my tears.  You have taken this wretched, broken woman and turned her into Your beloved.  I cannot fathom the infinity of Your Love.

Help me, Lord Jesus to live a life pleasing and honorable to You.  You are my Only Hope.  I dare not trust in the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

 

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