It’s odd sometimes, calling oneself a sinner. But for me, I know it to be true.
For anyone that has followed my blog over the past decade+, you’ve read a lot of my story…areas of struggle and weakness, sin, failures, joys, triumphs. I share my story because I believe it’s important to take ownership of your life, the good and the bad. Friend, let me tell you that there is power when you put a voice to the things that could have or tried to defeat you. There is a power when you declare victory of struggles and failures. There is a power when you walk in redemption in the wake of sin and shame.
That is my story.
Throughout Scripture, we see story after story of people who were world class screw ups. Murderers, rapists, self-righteous, proud, arrogant, hateful, selfish, lustful, and more all people that are present in the Bible. And it can be hard to view yourself as among those same people. I haven’t murdered someone, but I’ve hated. I haven’t committed adultery, but I’ve lusted; I was addicted to porn for years (that story is mixed within many of my blogs). I’ve been arrogant and proud and selfish. I’ve been overwhelmed with bitterness and anger to the point where it nearly destroyed who I really was. I’ve been someone who is far from perfect and desperately broken.
Why is this important? Because we all have stories that can be full of shame, grief, pain, fear, and worry that we would never be enough, that we could never be redeemed, and that there is no way that we’d be enough. Whether it’s finding an outlet to bury your shame, only to actually feed it, like I did with porn, or whether it’s your pride and arrogance getting in the way even to the point of thinking you don’t need redemption, we all fit the same narrative: that Jesus came to redeem us all.
The story of the Gospel, of Jesus dying for you and me, is one that is inclusive to us all. But a a choice for us each. Why? Because we all are perfectly imperfect but we are still given the choice to choose him. We each have something that, even if deep down, we know makes us unworthy, makes us a sinner- something that keeps us from Him. But that’s the beauty of the Gospel: Jesus makes us worthy. He makes us enough. And when we find redemption in that part of our story, the rest of our story becomes testimony to what God can do.
I was bound, for years, by shame and guilt of years of porn addiction. I was bound by worry that I’d never be enough, most certainly never for a Godly man. I was a Christian girl who had the hidden secret of porn yet desperately wanted to marry a Christian man and be a Godly woman. I was a Christian girl who secretly struggled with self-image issues, with issues of never being enough, and worth never being something I saw in me. But oh Jesus…Jesus loved me where I was at in my brokenness. And not only did he redeem me, he gave me a voice to share my story, not because I actually wanted to share my darkness, but because I wanted to share what God can do in me.
You are redeemable. You are made worthy. You are enough. And your story matters. And when you embrace the redemption and freedom that comes only in Him, we bring a power to the Gospel over the power once that held us down.