One of my New Year’s resolutions was to go “All In.” I love that song by Matthew West, so I decided to use that phrase. I pledged on January 1st that I would kick fear to the curb and live the life that Christ intended for me to live. I wanted to go “all in, headfirst to the deep end,” just like the song says. I had high hopes, but now, January 3rd, I already find myself in the valley–terrified of everything the future holds.
I tried to be strong. I tried to be a super Christian and dedicate my entire life to the Lord’s purpose. But the truth is, I’m just not ready. I, on my own, am not capable of coming any where near that kind of victory and success. I’m trying to learn that not everything is comfortable, and some things I really can’t do on my own. I’m trying to learn that God gives me strength, and that through Him I can do all things. But I still feel chained. I feel trapped. I know what I want to believe, I’ve read and reread all the right verses, I have the longing to do better and have courage again, but actually doing and believing are totally different than knowing and longing.
God’s will for my life requires sacrifice and work. And as I’m finding out, I’m not ready nor willing to do what it takes. I want to be willing, but in reality, I’m not. I’m too comfortable in the known to step out into the unknown.
Because of that, I found myself falling apart today, telling myself that I’m not worthy of Christ. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t do even the smallest things so I had no chance of doing something great. I felt powerless. I was drowning in the guilt. As I wrote in my journal today, it’s just one of those days where I desperately want to bawl my eyes out while being held in God’s arms, but I know that that won’t fix anything. I know that my guilt is being brought about because of my own laziness–my own failure. Nobody can fix it except me, I told myself.
But then I realized what was happening: I was allowing Satan to win. I was giving him exactly what he wants–my downfall. I was letting it happen. I was looking at my own strength and telling myself that I’m not enough. But how could I do that when Christ already said that I’m His daughter? How could I call myself unworthy when the King of the universe already told me that I’m good enough just the way I am? How could I let the self-doubt kill my joy when Jesus already conquered death? I made up my mind, sitting in my desk chair and staring out the window at the beauty of the evening sky, that I wasn’t going to go down like that. “I’mma go down swinging, if I go down,” TobyMac says in his song “The Elements.” I don’t want to live my life as a failure, but as a redeemed child of God. I will make mistakes, I will find myself in plenty of valleys just like this one that I’m in right now, I will have to fight the elements, but I will go down swinging. I will not give up and let Satan have the victory. I just won’t.
I sat and listened to Chris Tomlin’s song “Nobody Loves Me Like You” twice, watching the music video on YouTube and really soaking in the words. It’s been a real comfort for me lately, but even more so today. I listened to it differently, with a different mindset. I listened to it knowing that Jesus loves me, but not just the way humans love one another. He loves us so much that He died for us. He wants us, and will never reject us. He will not leave us alone–ever! It’s really, really true that nobody loves me like He does. The song really helped me to see that even when I find myself in the valley, falling apart and almost at the point of total defeat, that He loves me even then. He loves me forever, no matter what I do or where I find myself.
I still don’t have all the courage I need to get through life, but I’m getting there. I’m slowly learning how to give my problems to God. I’m slowly letting Him lift me out of the valley rather than relying on my own strength to climb the mountain. I want to go all in, and I will do my best because my God is bigger than any valley. I will undoubtedly find myself in valleys that are too deep for me, I will get discouraged, I will find it hard to keep believing. But I will not let Satan win that easily. Even when I feel powerless and broken, my God loves me; He is faithful and true. I’mma go down swinging.
MY GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANY VALLEY