Whole in Him
Questions are one of the most innate human responses to the realities and concepts of the world. Whether it is second guessing one's clothes for the day, what classes to take for the year, why a relationship ended the way it did, or even the high philosophical questions beyond all direct answer about the image of God, we constantly question. As we question, we begin to be molded, transformed, gaining new understanding, and becoming an individual unlike any other person before.
However, in today's society, this sense of questioning is beginning to die out as we accept whatever pops up before us on our cell phone screen when we log into Instagram, Snap Chat, and other Social Media platforms. There is a shallowness developing in the current generation that is allowing for hollow shells of a person to form since there is no depth or deeper reasoning to thoughts and opinions. The value of the person is diminishing as we are lost in the chaos of being subjected, and in fact subjecting ourselves to the scrutiny of others under the guise of how amazing or epic our latest Insta pic came out. I mean, our lives have to be a bright shining beach setting where we stand with sun kissed skin, or the greatest sexiest selfie displaying the curves of our body or of the gains we are getting as we get swoll beneath the weight bar right?
Succumbing to the demands of eyes craving for the next pleasure filled stimulation, we spend the majority of the time staring at our screens. Even when we are with friends and supposedly "hanging out" we may end up staring at our screens over making eye contact and actually having a meaningful conversation. And so, as we stare at our screens, life passes by, and we never appreciate the actual moments. The cavity within our hearts grow, before we know it, we are breaking down internally. We try to hide the pain, suffering in silence since our life should be picture perfect worthy. Yet, even then, we are losing the ability to live with dignity as another person whips out their phones to record every mistake we make for a good laugh. We are lost.
Although I was given the chance to push on through my high school life in the midst of adversity and obstacle without the pressure of being plastered across someone's snap chat, or Instagram feed, it was at times so hard I wondered if I would be able to rise up to the occasions. In love with so many things that were shallow, I too fell victim to the world. I suffered the loss of who I was. I allowed myself to be preyed upon by the requirements and demands of the society around us. I sought love from those who could not distinguish the difference between love and lust, who deemed sex as a requirement in a dating relationship. I both broke hearts and had my own heart broken. I felt myself slipping away but tried to ignore it. I smiled in front of others when I was dying inside. And I never knew how I could ever make it out of the dried up well I had fallen into.
Then something amazing happened.
One of the most incredible things about being a Roman Catholic Christian, is the moment when we encounter Jesus just as we are. The moment when we realize, we are standing in front of the very Lord Himself, and He is looking at us with such complete and utter love that it literally overflows from him and soothes the wounds inflicted upon us. His grace, the concept of being accepted for who we are despite the faults we have, the mistakes we've made, and perhaps horrible things that we've done is beyond words. It breaks us down to the very core of our being. We stand bare before the Saviour of the Lord, not a part of us not seen.
In Jesus, we see the true beauty of the world around us. Gazing upon the mountain sides, the clouds which are brush stroked in the heavens, and the wild rapids of a forest, there is no doubt that there is something greater than us. Something beyond us, for the beauty is beyond description. In Jesus, we stand accepted, loved for who we are and not needing the affirmation of others. Rather, we only need One person's affirmation, to know that they see us, that they want to know us, and they want to have a relationship with us. That person(s) is Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit all in one. He is the One who's affirmation truly matters. As the Scriptures say, "If God is for us, who can stand against us?" (Romans 8:31)
You dear reader, an amazing and incredible individual. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) God has literally crafted you, He knew you before He formed you in the womb of your mother. (Jeremiah 1:5) He has breathed life into you, and He loves you so much, that He seeks the true and unstained happiness for your life. And that is with the promise that there is more than what meets our eyes. He stands as the author of all creation, His hand poised with a pen on the blank page of your story. And He is writing in His guidance with each choice you make, always answering your questions when you cry out to Him with Why or How. His continuous "Trust me." is never failing as is His love. With God, we rise above our enemies in the most humble of ways, and we ourselves become a light of the world as we give our worries and stresses over to God. (Matthew 5:14) We know our value is defined by Him alone, and not others. And guess what? God says you are worth it. For remember, if God tends to the birds of the air so that they are fed, how could He not care for you all the more? (Matthew 6:26)
Earlier, dear reader, I stated that something amazing happened to me. That something amazing that happened to me? Well, I fell in love for the first time. And I mean real love, not the love that we see on tv or in movies like Fifty Shades. I fell in love with God. And from that moment, Jesus lent me His strength to climb out of the well. He lent me His air so I felt that I could breathe again. And He lent me His shoulder to cry out not only all of my sorrows, tears of pain and regret, but also tears of joy and redemption as His love covered me like a blanket of serenity. And if you are rolling your eyes thinking that only a single person would be so zealous about God and the word "love", after I fell head over heels in love with God, I reignited a friendship my Junior year of High School with a man I had known since Middle School. He asked me to date him, and today that man is my Fiancé. And my Fiancé only pushes me to be the person God made me to be all the more.
Reader, Jesus seeks to do this for you as well, whether or not you deem your trials in life as insurmountable or a little bump in the road. As you grow in your own understanding, he invites you take His yoke, and let Him help you carry what feels like the weight of the world sometimes. (Matthew 11:29) Above all, He promises to never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
Life will never be perfect. You will still mess up, and you will still make mistakes. Moments will come and go where you have to apologize for a wrong you did when you'd rather go hit your head against a wall than say sorry to a particular person, and other times when you must swallow your pride and lend an olive branch to someone who has utterly wronged you. There will be times when you feel that God is right next to you, and there will be times when your feel He is the farthest thing from you. And let's face it, we will continue to have some of our most embarrassing moments recorded due to today's technology. But it doesn't matter. We are human. The truth is, when those moments come, and it feels like God is anywhere but here, He hasn't gone anywhere. Jesus continues to stand beside you, and He continues to wait for you.
Jesus releases you from the shackles of the world. While you are here on planet earth, the world does not make you. Nor did it ever make you, God made you. So dear reader, do not think you are alone in your strife. Put down your iPhone, turn off Snap or Instagram for a week, see the true beauty of the world, not what our society wants you to see. And ask questions, ask many many questions. Never stop, until you find an answer. And trust in Jesus that He will always answer, and that He loves you just as you are. You are perfect as you seek to overcome your imperfections. You are whole In Him.
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