Embracing You, Now. – Guest Post – Jessi Schafer

If I were to paint a picture in words of who I am in this chapter of my life, it would go like this:

I’m a mess, but I’m saved.

I’m sitting in my 2001 dirty Honda Accord. Exhausted and sweating because I feel like I never actually sleep, and I just packed up both of my kids in their car seats. I’m wearing an oversized sweatshirt covered in snot and spit up, trying to cover that extra baby weight–because losing that is something I just don’t have the energy to think about today.

My car is a disaster, and I can’t remember the last time I cleaned it. So many empty coffee cups (that’s motherhood). Mail I’ve neglected to open. Random things from the move we tried to accomplish in a two week time frame. Crackers smooshed into the carpet, and a Wendy’s bag because, after feeding my kids, cooking for myself just seems like too much.

Here’s the good news. I’m not saying all of this to complain. I’m saying it because this is what I’m grateful for. I’m grateful for my mess, and no longer will I feel unworthy or not good enough because of it. 

I hear so many people talk about living with regrets. Wishing they would have done something differently. Wishing they could have just skipped that heartbreak or that big move or that season of uncertainty.

Let me tell you something–those weak moments, those not-so-pretty moments are the ones that we gain so much from if we let ourselves.

Those moments that test your faith, that break you down so that God can put you back together stronger and feeling more alive than ever before.

This is our world right now–keep pushing, keep grinding, work more, keep going so that you can accomplish your goals and better your life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, your career, or your situation. What happens, though, when we get so sucked into this idea of getting to a certain place…

We miss our moments along the way. We miss our “right now.” We take pictures for our memories, but do we actually fully live in that moment if we are thinking about the fact that we need to take a picture of it?

How often can anyone say they completely shut off the world, their thoughts, their anxieties, their to-do list, and they just lived? No phones, no priorities, no pressures, just you and your surroundings.

If you put so much pressure on yourself because of your situation, then anxiety will build and take over. You rob yourself of a learning opportunity and opportunity for growth. If you just stop and seek Jesus, you will see He never expected you to do it all because He did it all.

He did the work.

He sacrificed Himself for us, for you.

So that you could live, now.

Embrace you, now.

If you have faith, He will change you. If you are constantly afraid of not being where you want to be, you’ll never have peace because there will always be something more you need to quench that thirst for approval. You’ll be disappointed every time you fall short.

Freedom comes when you give yourself a break. When you listen when God says rest. When you stop trying to do it all on your own and prove yourself to the world and realize Jesus never asked you to prove yourself, only to have faith and love.

You do not need to be strong for everyone else. You can let go. If you believe in Jesus, you can take a breath and remember that you are saved! This life isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.

Remember who you were and who you are now. You’ve already come so far. Remember you are going to be freed from pain. While you’re here on earth, God can use you… not only the future you but the you right now. the messy you. No matter how ugly and broken things look or feel, remember God didn’t choose you to be perfect. He chose you so that despite where you are and what your circumstances are, your faith in Him will guide others.

Do not let fear overwhelm you. There’s no fear in love. God does not give us fear or disappointment or insecurities. God gives us peace and joy and love. You can love fearlessly if you can trust Him.

Easier said than done, I know. I struggle daily with my fears and sometimes let them guide me. I let the world guide me without even noticing that I’ve stopped listening to God and started listening to this world. That’s okay. That’s life. Life becomes so routine that we neglect to stop and to just be.

From what I’ve been learning on my journey, one thing I know is that the world and its ways are loud. They cloud. They consume. They take over, but God… His voice is quiet. It gives us peace. It gives us rest.

When your world feels chaotic like it’s all circling around you and you can’t stop it, know that you can stop. You can rest. You can just be. That’s when you can find His voice. God is at work behind the scenes. He’s had a plan all along.

Beauty can be found in the brokenness so don’t be afraid of it or discouraged by it. Embrace it. You will find what God is teaching you. Jesus sacrificed it all because He loves us. We don’t have to earn that love. It’s already there, and it will not fade. No matter what we do or don’t do.

i’m grateful for my mess. My kids are little, and I know this is not going to last forever. I’m going to look back and miss those times when my kids were small, and I sacrificed it all for them. I’m going to miss that mess, and if I let the world guide me and run my life, I’d miss my moments. I’m not willing to miss this time with my babies or the next season of life and the blessings that come with it. Messy or not, I’m grateful for it all, and I know it’s changing me and teaching me more than I could have ever imagined learning.

Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is to let go, trust that He’s got you covered, and watch Him move in your life.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2

“Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup: You make my lot secure.”

Psalm 16:5

“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear.”

Psalm 112:6-8

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

“‘Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.'”

Matthew 11:28-30

“‘I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.'”

John 16:33

“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.’ And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:41-44

-Jessi

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