It’s the first ever Free Advice Friday on my blog! Every Friday I’m turning this blog into an advice column. Ask me anything from dating (didn’t date much, but have lots of interesting opinions), marriage (been married 15 years), parenting (have 4 kids), friendships (have had some good and some bad) or spiritual life (I have one). I’m not sure that I will have great answers, but I know Someone who does. My hope is that together we can carry our burdens into His presence and lay them at his feet.
Last week a friend texted me this question and I thought it was a good start for Free Advice Friday: What are some good worship songs when you’ve messed up big time?
My favorite worship album right now is Jason Gray’s “A Way to See in the Dark.” I bought it because I heard the first song “Remind Me Who I Am” on KLove Radio in Nashville. “In the lonely places when I can’t remember what grace is, remind me who I am to you.” This is my new theme song. When I get stuck in my Ice Queen and Orphan thinking, I need him to remind me that I am His Princess, his beloved. “I’m the one You love.”
Another one of my favorites is “I Will Find a Way.” In the beginning it talks about a woman is who so broken and afraid that she has shut the door of her heart. “How should I come to the one that I love? I will find a way.” He loved her so much that he found a way to reach her and come into her heart. I’m reminded how much the Father has loved us to send His only Son. My other favorites on the album are “No Thief Like Fear,” “Nothing is Wasted,” and “Fear is Easy, Love is Hard.” You can see why this is a great album for all my Orphan girls out there.
Another song that must be on this list is “One Thing” by Kristian Stanfill. “Your Love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.” When we sing it in church, it sounds almost like a chant. When I’ve messed up, I need to believe that his love is there, no matter what.
The problem is that when I mess up, it’s really hard to believe that God still loves me. This exposes the lie that I believe that God loves me because of what I do. Because I obey him or because I serve him or because I read my Bible and go to church. None of those are the reasons that he loves me. He loved me before I knew how to do any of those things. He loved me while I was still a sinner (Romans 5:8). So now that I’m “righteous,” has his love grown or changed? By no means! God’s love has no levels, no more and no less. It has always been and will always be 100% plus infinity.
If Satan can get me to believe that God doesn’t love me, he can keep me from the cross, the ultimate sign of love. When I doubt God’s unconditional love for me, then I am slow to repent because I don’t believe he even wants me back. Eventually I stop repenting all together. I stop going back to ask forgiveness again. I stop bringing the things I did in the dark into the light. And then I’m right where the enemy wants me, isolated, alone, in despair because I have no remedy for my sin. This is the place where he is able to steal, kill and destroy this little lamb of God (John 10:10).
But when I am reminded of his great love, that his love for me remains, then I am free to run back to the cross and repent. When I confess and agree with God that I messed it up again, he is faithful to forgive (I John 1:9). I can agree with Satan that I am all those horrible things he has called me, “weak, pathetic, unworthy of love and disgusting.” BUT GOD loves me! I don’t know why, and I know I don’t deserve it. This is the great mystery. But I do know that he loves me. Because I know his love, I can trust that my sin is forgiven.
When I mess up and repent, I invite God in to be the solution. I can ask him to show me the patterns that keep putting me in tempting situations. I can ask him to show me the root beliefs that drive my sinful behaviors. I can invite him in and ask him to heal those wounded places that I keep trying to heal myself. I can live in the light and be in relationship with others because I know that I am deeply loved. There is power in repentance because I admit that I am powerless over my own sin, that I cannot save myself, that I need Someone bigger than myself outside of myself to rescue me.
So my beloved, dear Princess, beautiful child of God…know that you are deeply loved today. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” (John 3:16)
What songs have helped you when you have messed up?
If you have a question for Free Advice Friday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I answer your question in my blog next week, I will send you a copy of my book The Myth of Enuff.