A big thank you to everyone that wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday. It was a good day. I didn't really do a whole lot....ran 1.23 miles (yes, the .23 counts!) after work, ate lasagna at my mom's, watched a movie with my hubby (while Duke barked at the surround sound system), and rode my new bike. Yes, that's right. I am 22 years old and I asked for a bike for my birthday. And I was more than a little bit excited when my parents rolled it into the living room. My body may be 22 years old, but I'm pretty sure the inside of me is only 7. Maybe 8 on a good day. Isn't it just beautiful??
I had seriously forgotten how hard it was to ride a bike. It's been so long. Stationary bikes just aren't the same. But now I can for real start training for the duathlon I am competing for in September. I have a loooong way to go, but I am excited. But now that I've got Roman on board with me, it may be easier for me to get motivated to train. I'm going to kick his butt. (Love you darling!) :)
But let me tell you, I'm so glad that God loves my silly self. Because that is exactly how I would describe myself: silly. I like to be a total goofball. Spend one day with me and Roman and you will understand. Example: yesterday, every time I called Roman he answered the phone by singing Happy Birthday to me. The full song. And added weird voices to it to make it different every time. Another example: sometimes we break out into strange songs at random and sing scream at the top of our lungs. Yesterday's song was "Bicycle Race" by Queen. The Lion King song is a popular one around our house. But hey, it keeps us laughing even on our worst days and I like to think God smiles every time, maybe even laughs, shoot, maybe He even sings with us. He probably just laughs.
But I'm glad that He loves us just the way we are. I'm glad He loves everybody just the way we are. We don't have to come to Him as perfect with all of our lives figured out. He wants us to come before Him as silly, imperfect, even in the middle of a mess that we created with our own two hands.
I was reminded of this last night while reading my Bible. I've been sticking to the gospels a lot lately, and God has shown me all kinds of new stuff that I've never noticed before. (Crazy how He can take something you've read numerous times and still show you new stuff.) I was reading in Mark 2:
"While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Him and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw Him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, 'Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?' On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" (verses 15-17)
I could almost hear my heartbeat as I read that last verse "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." The gravity of His words pounded in my heart. What an awesome thing to know! The same God that created everything we see, the same God that is righteous and holy and perfect, the same God that can raise people from the dead, that same God is after my heart. And He wants my heart just the way it is. He doesn't want me to try and get my life in order before coming to Him (like I could even do that by myself anyways-but we sure try). He doesn't want me to strive for perfection so that I feel like I deserve His love. No, He wants my heart just the way it is. He wants my life, just the way it is.
He wants me. My silly self. My silly self who was late for work for the millionth time this morning. My silly self who pitches a fit when I get a nasty e-mail from a co-worker. My silly self who lets her pride get in the way every day. My silly self who will skip her devotions because she's too sleepy. My silly self who forgot to do the laundry for the third day in a row. He wants me! All of me!
I don't know about you guys, but I have made some dumb, stupid mistakes in my 22 years of living. I spent an entire year of my life running hard and fast from my faith. I mess up every single day and fall short of perfection on a constant basis. So to read that God calls the sinners like me to carry out His plans just blows my mind!
I wanted to share this with all of you, because I know I'm not the only one out there who feels totally inadequate. Truth be told, there are Sundays when I sit down to play the piano and think "I can't do this. I'm not good enough to sit here." There are days when I doubt my self-worth. And I know I'm not alone in this. Truth be told, the enemy wants us to feel like we aren't good enough for God. Because if we feel like we aren't good enough for God, we'll stop running after Him. And when we stop running after Him, our spiritual lives wither and die. And then he's won the battle for our souls. So don't give him that victory, because God wants you exactly how you are. Stop listening to the lies of the enemy that say you're not good enough for God.
No matter what you've done. No matter what you're doing today. No matter what you'll do in the future. God wants all of us. Silliness and all, He wants us. Even when we scream the Lion King theme song at the top of our lungs.
Thank You GOD, for loving the misfits. Thank You that I don't have to be perfect to come to You, I just need to want You. Thank You for giving me a purpose in Your plan. I am forever indebted to You. I love You.
"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" Mark 2:17