I was confused about that for a very long time. So confused in fact, that even my heart and my head were at odds.
My head knew from years of Sunday school that Jesus came and died on the cross to save us. My heart believed it was up to me to save the world and I was worthless if I didn’t. Houston – we have a problem!
My Dad was a very successful urological surgeon. Students came from all over the world to study and learn from him. I heard him say many times that if he could give his life to save a patient he would. And yet, in his own eyes he was never good enough because people still died. No pressure here.
Dad never had anything but love and adoration for me. I can honestly say he was my biggest fan. But, when I looked at him and I looked at me the conclusion I drew was how can I ever be good enough if he’s not good enough with all the lives he does save and everything he knows. It wasn’t that I made a conscious decision that “I suck”; no it was more insidious than that … it was a mindset that filtered all input and output.
How did that filter impact me? Honestly, that will take several blog entries to share because it defined so much of my identity that God in His kindness cleaned and restored that filter one small section at a time because that’s all I could handle.
First filter section that was cleaned — It is my very first inner healing conference weekend in June 1998. I was there because I had seen so much freedom released in my friend’s life that I wanted what she had but I was really nervous about being there.
In walks this woman who looks exactly like my husband’s cousin who I really love and enjoy. Guess who ended up being my facilitator that weekend? Yup. She was the one. God helped me to feel safe by sending this woman who looked so much like someone I loved and trusted.
The teaching starts and 2 things were said that I have never forgotten:
- You don’t have problems, you are the problem.
- If you have to do anything to be loved; that is not love that is performance. Love is unconditional.
The second point had my head absolutely spinning! My whole definition of love to that point was I would do anything to make you love me; or I would do anything for you if I loved you.
That gives you some background for what happened next. We broke into small groups to process a question we had been given. I don’t remember the question but I do remember my response. I saw myself “on the cross”, thorns, nails hanging there. The revelation that came was I believed Jesus died for everyone else, but I had to keep sacrificing myself for everyone else because I just wasn’t worth His dying for me. Being real honest – the way it felt to me in that moment was “you’re wrong God to die for me and if you will just let me, I will show you why”. I was sooooo scared that really was the truth and I felt so burdened, overwhelmed and trapped. The facilitator helped me to break off agreement with and to ask forgiveness for believing that lie and then I was able to receive the truth that Jesus’ dying for me wasn’t about my worth; but about His unconditional love. I saw/felt the crown of thorns lifted off my head; the nails removed from my hands and was so lovingly lifted off that cross and into the embrace of my Heavenly Father. It was a dimension of love I had never experienced before; not because it wasn’t available but up until that change in my filter, I was not able to receive it.
Finally my heart and my head agreed – it really is Jesus’ job to save the world and not mine 🙂
It’s been a daily journey continually asking My Heavenly Father what’s His job and what’s my job; continually making the choice to let Him be God in the lives of those I love even when I don’t understand their choices rather than rushing in to rescue them. I’m not saying that I always get it right. But even that’s OK because both my heart and my head now know that whether I get it right or wrong, I am unconditionally loved either way!