Jesus is my testimony

Jesus is overwhelmingly enough.

Like every single one of us, I have a story.

These are the words that I allowed to define the way I felt about myself and how I lived my life for decades.

Unwanted. Never enough. Fraud. Abused. Abandoned. Adopted. Medical problem. Different. Bullied. Crazy. Dysfunctional. Broken. Just a mess. Unlovable. Worthless. Failure. Rejected. Isolated. Undeserving. Alone. Waste of time. Burden. Shame. Guilt. Pain. Grief. Useless. Unredeemable. Mistake. Depression. Anxiety. Weird. Trauma. Mediocre.

Believing these lies created really destructive behaviors:

Dishonesty. Manipulation. Suicide. Chaos. Disrespect. Disobedience. Idols. Approval addiction. Deception. Alcohol. Self-sabotage. Pain killers. Rage. Obsessiveness.

I did everything to try to compensate for how I felt. I spent the majority of my life striving for freedom. I tried Christ-like behavior. Prayer. Reading God’s Word. Bible studies and devotionals. Therapy. Writing. Success. Social media. Community. Self-help books. Church sermons and podcasts. Conferences and workshops. Christian accountability.

For the record, none of these are bad things. In fact, most of these things should naturally  come out of a heart completely surrendered to Jesus.

But guess what? Even if I had some success here and there, I never experienced true freedom. And when I had tried everything else, I tried Jesus.

When nothing else is, Jesus is overwhelmingly enough.

He came to this planet to die on a cross and rise again for me (and for you). When I was finally able to surrender to the finished work of Jesus, I found supernatural strength. You know what else I found? I found out the Truth. I found out that I am:

A daughter of the King. In His royal priesthood. Coheir with Christ. Priceless. Beautiful. Righteous. Free. Chosen. Loved. Worthy. Valuable. Forgiven. Accepted. Healed. Covered by grace. Perfect. Known. Redeemed. Mended.

Jesus is my testimony.

I’m not here to say it’s “that easy.” I was raised in church, had a key to my church at 17, attended a top-tier Christian university, stayed pretty close to Christian community throughout my life, etc. Most people would see my life from the outside and think I should have figured out this whole Jesus thing about 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, it took me more than 27 years of grueling destruction to finally accept that I just couldn’t do it on my own. For the umpteenth time in my life, I found myself in the eye of a self-inflicted storm. A storm that hurt people I greatly love and respect.

None of us are on desert islands. Every single decision we make affects more than just us. When we choose to self-destruct, we choose to hurt everyone around us as well.

I found out that real courage has nothing to do with strength and striving, and everything to do with surrender. I threw myself at the feet of Jesus. I asked for help. I embraced humility. I got honest.

It has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. This season has proven to be beyond painful at times, but also has revealed so much beauty. The more I mercifully forgive the sins of my past, come to know the truth about God’s character and creation and seek the will of God in everything I do, the more peace I have.

The more I realize that God loves me intimately and wholly, the more I understand that He didn’t send His son to die to give me eternal life just because I needed it but also because He WANTS to spend eternity with me. That is how much He loves me.

So it’s that simple.

Jesus is my testimony.

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