Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No more starting over

And I find myself here on my knees again, caught up in grace like an avalanche.
Hillsong United, Avalanche

No more tears. No more crying because I keep making the same mistake. No more doubt and self-flagellation.

Or that's the idea, at least.

The trouble is that change is a painstakingly slow process. We tend to believe that the decision to do or be something is the most difficult step. I really don't think so. Maybe it is the first step, but it is not hardest. The hardest step is the one that comes right after you fall down. Again. And again.

No, friends, deciding something does not make it so, but I persist in thinking so. So when the conviction fades and the past rears up again, when I stumble and fall, I begin to wonder if I really decided to be different. Maybe my conviction wasn't strong enough. Maybe if I just really committed, this time I would get it right.

It is painful, even devastating to doubt the sincerity of your convictions. It makes you feel like you cannot trust anything. Nothing can be sure.

That's a lie. It's a lie that curses you to an eternity of "starting over." The truth is that even the most sincere convictions can be followed by mistakes and relapses. This does not mean the conviction was false, it means you are imperfect. Accept your imperfections (she said to herself). Love them because the empty spaces are what make room for grace.

I read something beautiful over at A Deeper Story today:
Do not be afraid when unforgiveness rears its ugly head, after you’ve “decided to forgive.”  
It does come back, it will come back. And it will come back as a little lie in your head that tells you that you didn’t really forgive, you don’t have to, you don’t want to, or you can’t. 
And when that lie comes, fight back with Jesus’ forgiveness and grace. We cannot fight lies on our own, for we are not authors of truth. We cannot fight unforgiveness on our own, for we are not bearers of undeserving gifts.
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Lies are fiery darts of the enemy. We don't fend against them by growing fireproof skin, but we deflect them with a shield. Ephesians six calls it a "shield of faith," and lies cannot pierce through faith.

So when God tells you that He is making you new, believe Him.

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