lifestyle

But God.

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In the words of Hannah Montana, “Nobody’s perfect.” We all make mistakes. We screw up every single day. After everything we have done, there is absolutely no way we deserve forgiveness. I have so many issues in my heart that I am working through. As a follower of Christ, that is one of my main goals. There are some days when it seems easy. I’ll be doing great! Pursuing Jesus, praying consistently, rejoicing in all circumstances, actively trying to live for Him instead of my flesh, etc. And there are days when I forget. I put something else above Christ, and I push him to the sidelines. Guilt hits me hard on those days. When I’m feeling discouraged on those days, it’s hard to get myself back up. I bury myself in self-pity, and I tell myself lies. “You failed. Why should you keep trying? You’re just going to fail again.” Over and over.

I know I’m not the only one. You’ve been there too. Maybe you’ve hit “rock bottom,” and you have given up. Maybe you’re feeding yourself lies too. “God doesn’t love you as much as He did before you did this.” Lies. Lies. Lies. The more you hear them, the more you believe them. The more you believe them, the more they tear you down. I’ve been there, you’ve been there. We have all been there. We have felt like the lowest of the low, the worst of the worst.

But God.

This phrase is written throughout Scripture. It is a phrase that God uses to interrupt our lives and our thoughts with His infinite grace. Over and over, He is filling you with this truth.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26). 

They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them (Nehemiah 9:17).

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is being done now, the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20).

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 5:8).

Over and over again, God tells us that no matter what we do His grace intervenes. Where our sin increases, His grace abounds. We are going to mess up. We are not going to be perfect. We can’t be perfect. All we have to do is accept His gift of grace and live our lives in pursuit of Him. Don’t listen to the lies in your head. God’s love for you does not decrease when you sin. God’s love for you is infinite and unchanging. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow He is the same. He loves you the same. No matter what.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind (Ephesians 2:1-3).

BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – BY GRACE you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated with him in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For WE ARE HIS MASTERPIECE, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10)

I was spiritually dead, but God. I am imperfect, but God. I am broken, but God. I do not deserve grace, but God. I sin on a daily basis, but God.

I am alive. I am redeemed. I am His masterpiece. I am forgiven. Because God.

words and photo by Lucy Boyland

an extrovert that is frequently mistaken for an introvert, a lover of Jesus and people, a photographer of everything and everyone, an adventurer of arkansas, and a sophomore at ouachita baptist university. this is lucy. an 18-year-old with dreams of opening her own coffee shop and of exploring the world around her.

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