I wish I was told that once the honeymoon is over, reality kicks in. That I am not expected anymore to wait to be fed, that my growth depends on me this time, and that surrender is not done only once at the altar, but every day I choose to die to myself for Him. When everyone was excited cheering me on as I stepped into that water, I wish I was told then that it takes time; that change doesn’t happen overnight, that forgiveness might be a one day decision but healing takes time.
I wish I was told that at times I won’t understand, at times it’s going to have to hurt, and that the wait might take longer than expected, that my sanctification would be a lifelong process, so I wouldn’t have to lose hope and feel so ashamed and guilty every time I fell again, right after winning a previous battle. I wish I didn’t have to keep telling myself, “This is the last time,” because it really was the last time only when I fully surrendered and gave Jesus the reigns to a chariot that was way off course from the intended destination. It’s only by His power that that bridge was burned when I was steered back along the path I so desperately searched for. Ohh the things I wish I had been told!
How I wish I knew that God wouldn’t punish me every time I sinned, but rather I’d suffer the consequences of sin because of simply walking away from Him. I wish I knew instead, that He’d rejoice over me for every good wholehearted deed, no matter how small, more than He despised my sin. I wish I knew there was such a thing as forgiving myself as well, because there’s no extra ounce of my own strength that could have set me free from the chains that held me back. I wish I knew that He understands my weaknesses and flaws, and sees past them all, deep down into the depths of my heart and soul, to that spark He can use to light up a fire inside and fan it.
If only I knew I would meet religion- a man who slightly looks like Jesus but who unlike Jesus is full of himself, and how much he would push me to seek people’s approval, even God’s; How much he would lead me into the performance kind of life, how much he would twist God’s word, how much he would fill me with the pride of being a Christian who doesn’t live for Christ… Oh how I wish I knew that even if I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, I’d still have had that peace inside my heart that I honored God regardless. If only I listened to that still gentle voice, instead of that Apostle’s assuring voice, that gently gave me a slight discomfort when I turned away from that part of my spirit that knew deep down there’s no way God can overlook and lower His standards for a simple lie, even when that simple lie seemed like the only option I had to get what I needed then.
How I wish they had told me how there’s no such thing as a “cool,” “fun,” “chill” Christian, for carrying Christ’s name really means risking the world’s acceptance for His kingdom. I wish I knew “weird” was beautiful since I was fearfully and wonderfully made, every part of me, every fiber in me, all of me a masterpiece like no other called to be fruitful, for greatness.
But again, I wish they warned me about the joy I would experience from becoming His, the peace that would come with knowing that I have a home- an eternal home, and the security I would find in knowing that my heart and life is in the hands of the author of life itself. I walked towards him that day with so many questions, doubts and fears, for I knew that once I said YES, I would be saying YES to the death of myself. But today this I know, He is faithful in every season; He stretches those He loves; He allows confusion to grow our faith; and He really perfects those He chooses. He will bring to completion everything He called you for. There are so many things I wish I had been told before I walked that aisle. There are things I wish I knew before I got lost in that crowd…but that’s the whole point — To walk oblivious of how He’ll turn your story around, how He’ll be able to bring His word to life, for nobody really can explain what living for and with Jesus feels like as there are no words to describe the feeling. You have to feel it yourself, and I promise you. You will be speechless too.