I have been learning in my heart what it means to be justified. Learning that, as a justified person, I am clean already. Shame, for the justified believer, should be a foreign experience. It is only when we believe the lie that our justification is not complete that we experience shame.
It’s funny, in a way, because Austin and I discussed this very topic on the way down here. I regarded it as a purely intellectual conversation–never realizing how much the very thing impacts my own life. Never realizing how much I struggle in my heart to believe that very thing.
I have been learning that I am not Christ. I am not the Promised Savior. I am not the one who gives or sustains life, or creates order in the world. I did not speak the universe into existence. That’s what God did. That’s His role, not mine.
When I dreamed as a child that someone was killing my brother John, rather than trusting God, I took it on myself to be his life sustainer. When I dreamed of my friends being led astray to false doctrine that would only entrap and kill them, I took it upon myself to be the truth bearer and rescuer.
When the Daisies needed a teacher, I was the Savior. When no one would play the tambourine, I was the rescuer. When a Sunday School teacher, a nursery coordinator, a PowerPoint person, a middle school girls minister were needed, I was the deliverer. But I’m not. I can’t save. That’s not my job.
Lastly for now, I’m learning that there’s nothing wrong with being a child. In fact, there’s something incomprehensibly good about being a child. But I lost that long ago. I was still a child when I took on the job of a woman; still a child when I started to deny myself the joys of childhood. And now I am old. Old beyond my years. World weary and battle-scarred. I am an old woman at 21 years of age.
I was in the eighth grade when I wrote The Holy of Holies–an almost completely autobiographical story. I was in eighth grade and my child-heart was already almost dead. Right now, I feel like I’m mostly just grieving for a childhood lost and praying that God would restore to me a child-heart again. I want to see again with the eyes of the child who was “not meant to die, but to be forever fresh-born.” (G. MacDonald)