Between donning a sweater that smelled faintly of the formula I’d just fed a baby 30 minutes before and my raspy, cracking voice from Saturday’s victory (Roll Tide!), it’s needless to say I was a mess in church this morning.
I woke up late and didn’t have time to wash my hair–thank God for dry shampoo and teasing combs! I had to dig deep to find the willpower to apply the little bit of makeup I left the house with. And, to top it all off, I had a spoonful of Nutella for breakfast on my way out the door. Come to think of it, that spoon is still in my car, along with various items and debris from who-knows-where-or-when.
Have I mentioned I’m kind of a mess?
It was this thought that captured my mind while we sang in worship this morning.
“Oh! Great is our God!
And we cannot contain it!
We sing from our souls, affected by His greatness.
His mercy covers all that He’s made, showing His glory and His grace.”
What a truly awesome God we serve! Like, truly, by all definitions of the word, AWESOME.
As I look back on my life, I can’t find a single reason as to why He would choose me. Nothing I’ve ever done is worthy of His attention, much less His affection. But He did. He chose me.
He chose me because in my weakness, He is so strong. He chose me because through the brokenness in my life, He receives glory in that redemption. He chose me because of His all-consuming love for me; He didn’t want me to be separated from Him for even a moment.
All of this love and mercy and grace and goodness and justness hit me like 75 MACK trucks at once.
I’ll often try not to sing loudly in church because I’d rather not disturb others with my less-than-stellar singing voice, and today should’ve been no different considering my aforementioned voice problem, but I truly could not contain it.
There are moments in life that seem so normal and stagnant and mundane and insignificant, and, again, today should’ve been no different, but God.
If you know me well, you know that’s one of my favorite phrases in Scripture. We’ve messed it all up, we’ve caused this world and ourselves to be consumed in sin and everything that is against the Lord, but God.
His power is over everything. He is completely sovereign over us. Even in the mundane. Heck, especially in the mundane.
Tears started to flow down my face as I just sang to the Lord about His greatness. It was praise and worship and thanksgiving for the mercy and the grace He’s so freely given, for choosing to use me despite all I’ve done, but rather because of all He has done in me.
I know with certainty that the fourth grader I was the day before I met Jesus wouldn’t recognize who I am now for a second. I’m not sure if ninth grade me would recognize me at all.
God has taken my world and flipped it upside down so many times, and I can’t even express how grateful I am for that.
After the absolute worst year in 2015, I look back and can see God’s hand all over it, all of it.
He pushed me to go on mission for the first time ever. He challenged me to end a relationship that was taking priority over Him. He led me to a long summer working three jobs in my hometown, something I resented entirely. He took my identity as a good student and crushed it in two semesters, calling me to find my identity in Him, not my GPA.
He broke me.
But then He filled me to the brim with joy and goodness and love and His spirit. He led to my favorite city in the world to bring in the new year, the beautiful year of 2016, the year that has brought so much growth and rebirth and clarity to my life. He chose me because He wanted to do all of that.
He wanted to take what I thought was most valuable, most precious and grind it to dust. He wanted to show me who I was, who I truly am in Him, not in everything I thought I had and would have forever.
Through that one mission trip, He’s given me a heart for missions, for those who don’t know Him, and called me to life as a missionary. Instead of that relationship He blessed me with the truest friendships anyone could ever find, relationships that are mutually encouraging and filled with truth and love. He used that summer working in my hometown to prepare me to spend six weeks serving Him in our country’s largest city. He snatched my attention from my GPA to realize that those very classes are my greatest mission field.
So, yes, I am a mess by nature, and I’m not totally sure if it’s in His plan to take that part of me away. But what I do know is, He is still working in me and through me and around me, because He chose me. And He didn’t choose me to leave me the same as I was when He found me.
Salvation is one moment, but sanctification–becoming who He wants me to be, who He’s called me to be–is a lifelong process. And He’s with me every step of the way, reminding me of what He’s done in me and in others around me.
I got in my car today in a rush. I didn’t wait for the back windshield to clear of dew and I drove way too fast across town to get to church on time. I spent an hour and a half playing with babies in the nursery, went to the main room and sat with friends as we waited for church to start.
It was just another Sunday to me. But God had other plans. I’m praising His beautiful name for His reminders in the seemingly insignificant moments of life: He is ever-present, ever-working, full of love. It’s all significant to Him.