Woman in Progress

I like to drink wine, I say 4 letter words, I partake in silly gossip, I watch some TV shows and movies that are not rated PG-13 and I LOVE Jesus!  I can be lazy, judgmental and wear my grumpy face on my sleeve and I LOVE JESUS!
Some people might say that this would make me a hypocrite.  In fact, I’ve even questioned myself on it, several times.  I’ve even beat myself up about it a time or two.  Like, how can a woman that talks about God and spreads the word of God as often as possible, do things that don’t look very “Christian” on the outside?  How do I have any right to lead other women to the cross, when I turn away from it at times? What does a “real” Christian woman look like?  I don’t know but I know it’s definitely not always the woman staring back at me in the mirror every day!  Ouch!  That one stung a little!
I have Christian, religious and spiritual values, and I know, without a doubt what I believe in…but do I struggle to portray it every day? Yes, I do!
So, am I being a hypocrite or just human?

I admit that I do not know all of the scripture that would either condemn me or back me up on this topic, but there are some things I do know for sure.

One, is that God knows my heart! That is such a relief and should be a relief for any of us that are just trying to do our best every day to follow His path for us and spread the word of His salvation, forgiveness, grace and unconditional love. Did you get that? Forgiveness…Grace…Unconditional Love.  I am so comforted in knowing that God knows that I am going to fail Him, He knows that I will be weak, He knows that I will sin time and time again and He loves me anyway. He loves me scars and all! Does that give me a free pass to do whatever I want and behave in ways that are not in His son’s likeness? Absolutely not! But, HE KNOWS MY HEART! He knows and I know that I begin each day in His word and then I try my hardest to live it out.  I am tested constantly and there are times that I pass with flying colors and there are times I fail miserably!  He knows that I am teaching my children all about His unfailing love and that they are able to lean on Him with every single thing in their life.  He knows that I do my best to love and honor my husband the way He calls me to.  He knows that I stop myself from making huge mistakes that would hurt the people I love because I’m being obedient to His word and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide my decisions more and more.   He knows that in my heart, I want to be closer to Him, I want to be more like His son and I want to live the way He is asking me to live.  God knows my heart!

The second thing I know for sure is that I am better than I used to be. I am a much better woman than I was when The Lord was not in my life 100% and when I was not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me.  If you’ve been following my blog up to now, you know that there were times in my life that God was absent. Through most of high school and my 20’s, I’m not sure I even prayed on a regular basis, if at all.  Unless, of course, I needed something from Him.  The only person that guided me was ME! It was for me and about me all the time.  I was still nice to people and loving and fun, but that was just me being Jen, it had nothing to do with me listening to or following God.  Once I had kids, I incorporated Jesus back into my life here and there, but not fully!  Once we moved to Texas, I found out quickly that if we didn’t have a church home, we may not have any friends either, so we got one!  I remember the first question everyone asked me when I met them was, “what church do y’all go to?” We thought that was so strange! But that’s the south for ya! Our faith life strengthened quite a bit, going to church, leading bible studies, etc.  Then my brother died tragically in 2008 and a part of me went with him. I was not wearing the armor that the Lord was trying to provide for me and I had not prepared myself with the emotions that I would face during that time. Paul’s death opened up the flood gates to all of my insecurities, past pain, bitterness, resentment and on to a path of self destruction. But, He forgives me and I am better than I used to be.  I am hearing God’s call for me and I am listening.

I don’t necessarily regret going through those stages in my life, because I truly believe it led me to where I am today and who I am today.  I believe God knew exactly what He was doing with me and was just waiting for me to get on board with the plan!  I am listening to His plan for me now and I am fully on board. He wants me to share my pain with other women.  He wants me to be open and vulnerable and show others how He is workING through me and in me.  As I follow this path, I know that I am better than I used to be. Not without struggles, doubt and fear, but my faith keeps me focused on what He wants from me, not what I want!

Lastly, this is the scary one, I know for sure that I’m not finished failing Him.  I know that I am a broken and weak, sinful person.  I know that I will continue to make mistakes and I know that it’s o.k. I know that God loves me for exactly who I am today.  I am His daughter and His love for me is unconditional.  When I face challenges in my future, I know that I will not always handle them the way He wants me to and I will not surrender the control over to Him.  I will refuse to trust Him with everything and only give some things over to Him.  I know I will fall down and I KNOW THAT HE WILL PICK ME UP…EVERY SINGLE TIME!

So, no, I’m not a hypocrite, I’m human and I’m His work in progress…and I’m o.k. with that.  I believe He is too!

Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.  Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Listen to His voice, hear His call for you even if you don’t feel ready, he will meet you where you are and equip you.