In college, I spent a lot of time seeking meaning and purpose – in my life. In the world.
I was curious.
I had accepted Christ when I was younger, but hadn’t fully given my life to Him.
I was unsure.
I knew I had a big, gaping hole in my heart that nothing could satisfy. Nothing. Not personal relationships, material possessions, substances, food. Nothing.
And believe me – I tried a lot of somethings to fill that hole.
Some of my attempts to fill the hole were healthy and some self-destructive.
I went to a shaman and had a healing ritual performed.
I went to an astrologist and had my chart created and read.
I took college courses on religions around the world.
I met with numerous counselors.
I attended the occasional service at the Catholic Church.
I did body detoxes and juice cleanses.
I practiced yoga and intentional breathing.
I numbed my mind and body with substances.
I binged. I purged.
I hooked up.
I read self-help books.
I followed bands.
Seeking and searching. Searching and seeking. Again, some things healthy and some self-destructive.
I don’t have time to get into my entire testimony here – and you probably don’t have the time to read it.
The short of it is this, when I came to my lowest point – the point in time when I wanted it all to be over – the point in time when I was ready for my life to end because I had traveled down a rabbit hole of bad choices and didn’t know how to possibly climb out – at that point in time, I remembered the prayer I prayed at church camp in middle school.
I clearly saw Jesus.
I remembered Him.
And I wanted to live.
Slowly and surely over the course of the next few years, my life changed. The hole vanished.
What drew me to Jesus? I knew no matter what I had done – He would love me. Nothing was too big or too awful for Him. He knew me. He saw me. He was with me in all of my seeking and searching. He knew about every bad choice I had made and would make. He was there. Patiently waiting for me to turn my eyes to Him.
It was His love that drew me in.
Not shame. Not condemnation. Not a checklist of things I needed to get right before He would accept me.
I came to Him broken asking for His love to cover me.
And I still come to Him broken. Every day.
And do you know what? He still loves me.
When I accepted Him, there wasn’t a contract I had to sign saying I would have it all together in x-amount of years or else our arrangement would be over.
It was more along the lines of – I will forever mess up and He will forever love me.
Do you know what else? I loved knowing God called His followers to love me and all of my imperfect mess. That gave me hope.
And that’s the kind of Christ follower I want to be. Not one with a list of rules and obligations, but one who strives to love others well. Someone who another person can come to in their lowest moment and know they will be loved and accepted. Hugged and not rejected.
All others. Not just those who are like me. Not just those who voted a certain way. Not just those who dress a certain way or have a certain amount of money in the bank. Not just those who believe just as I do. Not just those who live just as I do.
ALL others. ALL.
I will never, ever have it all together. And neither will you. Neither will anyone you encounter on this broken planet.
Isn’t that comforting?
Let’s strive to love each other well. Let’s embrace each other for our strengths. Our weaknesses. Our similarities. And our differences.
Let’s be salt.
Let’s be light.
Let’s show love to the broken-hearted.
Let’s remember – we are all works in progress. We are all broken.
Let’s meet each other in our brokenness.
That is where we see beauty. That is where we see healing. That is where we see Jesus.
*This originally appeared on the Truly Yours Jen – Jennifer Thompson, writer Facebook page