It's been five months since I've relaunched the Highly and Humbly blog site. After a one year impromptu hiatus, I dived back into the lifestyle blog with the intent of being better than ever. When I came back I had legitimized my business, obtained life coaching certification, opened an online store and really for the first time officially launched the lifestyle brand. Writing the Whoops blog made me feel like I had acknowledged my shortcomings and that I would effectively move forward in life, God, and business.
The first ten weeks I felt really good about my progress. I made sure that I was in perpetual motion so that I didn't fall again. I really felt like I wasted a year of my life trying to recapture a youth I sometimes felt like my salvation stole from me. It still feels odd to me to look back and acknowledge that what I thought I was missing wasn't worth the "catching up" I felt obligated to do now. But, as long as I kept my nose to the grind nothing could stop me.
Two of my best friends married each other and that also helped me to stay busy. Mentally and physically I dedicated part of me to helping them to the best of my ability, but as the wedding date came and went the nagging in the back of my head grew louder.
It's not that I hadn't asked God for forgiveness or forgiven myself for falling off to begin with. Part of my reconciliation with Christ was rooted in the acceptance of forgiveness. I don't think I would have lasted this long if I didn't truly believe that.
However, I've come to understand that I never bridged the distance between my innate desires and my salvation.
That is to say, instead of giving all of me to God, I locked away the pieces I thought He wouldn't like and asked Him to strengthen the pieces of me I know He needed. It's as if I didn't trust that God could, "Create in me a clean heart...and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) I gave God what I knew He wanted and foolishly thought that I could hide the rest. But the deeper I tried to bury the not good in me, the deeper the spiral would be in my lower moments. One small misstep could leave me in a pit of my shortcomings, because instead of surrendering all of me to God, I gave Him what I felt comfortable disclosing to Him.
Do you know the song, "I Surrender All"? The first verse goes like this:
All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
All. God wants all of us. He doesn't need for us to censor ourselves from Him. Spoiler alert: He already knows who we are! He already knows the good, bad and ugly of us! He just need for us to surrender to Him, so that He can continue His perfect work within us.
These last few months have been me realizing that I have more to surrender to God, which is what was nagging at me all along. My repentance for the sin that I knew I committed was absolutely necessary, but God also wanted the heart that put me there.
Luke 6:45 says, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." God knows that we can't fix ourselves on our own which is why He wants us to give it to Him, for Him to fix. God knew that He was the only one that could change my heart, He just needed me to let Him do it.
Ezekiel 36:26 says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" God is in the business of giving new, clean hearts. He is prepared to help us be everything He designed us to be, we just need to remember that He will.
We have to surrender all. Not just what we think God wants, but all of us to Him so that we can be the great that he has purposed for us to be.