A major theme in my life has been condemnation. From a Christian perspective, condemnation is birthed out of Satan and is meant to tear a person down eventually to the point of self-destruction. There are sins I have committed that I could only confess to God himself. There are mistakes that I made that I still feel shame over. There are acts of unadulterated meanness that I have done towards people that when I look back on it, it is hard to believe that was really me. My actions alone were an easy entrance for condemnation. Concurrent to my actions ran a bevy of emotional issues. Sometimes, I feel inadequate. Like, I am not giving enough, or I am not doing enough. Other times, especially in adolescence, I constantly questioned my purpose here. I did not stand out or fit it, and people that mattered to me then never saw me. As condemnation began reciting its mantra to me, I just fell. I fell into a darkness like no other. I was hateful to my family and loathed everything about myself. Years of this continued and eventually a thoughts of suicide became common and frequent. They were so normalized for me that I believed everyone must feel this way, most of the time. I never acted upon it, thank the Lord, but they were there.
Being 23, I do know certain aspects of myself very well. I know that there are insecurities ,within me, that when triggered will lead down a specific road. Earlier this week, I wrote a post titled Little Insecurities. Overall, this post talked about how I was struggling with my weight. When I struggle with my weight I also struggle with the way I feel about my appearance (embarrassingly and especially to men). Add in that I am surrounded by a neighborhood where boyfriends seem commonplace; Valentine’s Day is looming like a sniper attempting to murder my solace of singleness, and I have 1% interaction with straight men in a week. I think it is fair to say that I took a hit in the insecurity department. Now, nothing is wrong with an insecurity every now and then, but these two compounded are the ones that lead me down a road of regret, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And surprise, surprise I arrived at Regret Station in Shameville, USA this morning. I did something I haven’t done in years, and I woke up this morning and it just killed me. I couldn’t even think about it without becoming immediately saddened. While, I walked through Regret Station, I ran into an old acquaintance. Condemnation. Most of the morning was spent mentally beating myself up.
Tosin, how could you even do that? What kind of Christian are you? You are in seminary. You should be better than that. You don’t deserve to go to seminary. What use are you to the Kingdom of God if you keep making the same mistakes. You are a terrible mother. What kind of example are you to your kids? If people knew they would never talk to you. God doesn’t want to keep forgiving you for the same mistakes. Have you even really changed since you became a Christian? A Christian would never do this.
On and on they cycled through. It hit nap time, and I went up to my room. I am reminded, by the Holy Spirit, of a sermon on Youtube by Judah Smith about Barabbas. That is me. I was saved by grace. I could not have worked hard enough to earn the acceptance and kinship with GOD. There is a section in the sermon at minute 6:10 where it is as if it is a dialogue between Judah and God, but he was taking the words out of my mouth.Tosin: God, I’m so ashamed God: Give me your shame Tosin: But God, what if I do it again? God: I’d still be here. Tosin: Oh God, I don’t want to hurt you. I LOVE YOU. I don’t want to do this anymore. God: Give me your sin daughter.
Then, Romans 8:1 begins to play in my heart:
There is therefore now, NO condemnation for them that are in Christ Jesus.
Peace. Peace entered my room and I had the immense pleasure of walking away mid sentence from an unwanted acquaintance.
Lord, thank you that Your eternal forgiveness.