Yet Here I Am
In a couple of months, I get to marry the man God had in mind when he thought me up. I delayed announcing the engagement on social media, partly because I wanted to relive the joy of announcing it in person as many times as possible and partly because I didn’t know what to say. I always have something to say, but the thought of making the happiest announcement of my life to 1,500 of my closest friends left me speechless.
After three days of deliberation, just eight words accompanied my Pinterest-perfect engagement photo: “I don’t deserve this, yet here I am.”
Our God does that. He puts people in our lives to show us the love of Jesus even when we aren’t showing it. I have broken a lot of relationships in my life.
My first broken relationship was with God. I was a pre-teen with a distorted understanding of what it meant to give my life to Jesus. I thought I had signed up to follow a list of rules. When I didn’t want to follow them anymore, my underdeveloped psyche figured the only logical step was to walk away. I never felt like I was in relationship with God, so it was a clean break, but it was a breakup that profoundly and negatively affected the relationship I had with the most important people in my life.
My second broken relationship was with my parents. My departure from faith and subsequent behavior was never an act of rebellion. While some kids left remnants of their misconduct for their parents to find, I labored to hide the evidence of mine. It wasn’t punishment I feared—though punishment would have surely ensued—I just didn’t want to hurt them. They are good people. They are generous, loving, rational parents, and—even then—I knew my inappropriately curious spirit was not a reflection of their parenting. They raised me up in the way I should go, and when they realized I wasn’t going that way, they loved me anyway; I failed to reciprocate.
I was 21-years-old when I finally told my parents I didn’t believe in their God. A decade of lying about my faithlessness had left me full of shame and guilt. I felt like a failure for not being the kind of daughter my parents deserved, but believing in God isn’t exactly a switch you can flip. Had I opened my mouth to confess my sins to my parents, they would have welcomed me home like the prodigal son. Instead, I let the shame drive a grand canyon sized wedge between us. God knows that shame will do this. He anticipates we will feel this way, and he tells us that in him we will forget the shame of our youth (Isaiah 54:4), but I couldn’t see it then.
The situation worsened when I married a man who was definitely not the man God had in mind when he thought me up. If I were to drop a pin on the place in my life when I was the furthest from God, it was my wedding day, when my mother looked me in the eyes, my hands held in hers, and said, “this isn’t what God wants for you. You don’t have to do this.” I did it anyway. That marriage was my third broken relationship. When it ended, all I could do was beg God to show up, and he did. Our God always holds up his end of the deal.
God promised the Israelites they would be his chosen people, and even when they ran off to engage in misconduct of all types, he kept his end of the deal. His Word says that in Jesus I am a new creation, and when I pleaded with him between snot-filled sobs to save me from myself, he held up his end of the deal. When I begged him to help my unbelief and put me back together, he scooped me up and set me down in a Connect group that showed me the love of Jesus. He redeemed my relationship with my parents. He put me in the right place at the right time with a right heart so I could meet, fall in love with, and marry the man he had in mind for me all along.
I don’t deserve this, yet here I am.
I know this sounds an awful lot like a happy ending, but it’s just the beginning. It’s the beginning of reconciling relationships over and over again in a Christ-like manner, and admitting when I fall short. It’s the beginning of the trials—relational and otherwise— that I’ll face as a new creation in Christ. As broken people we will always have broken relationships, and as broken people we will always fall short of the glory of God, but he always holds up his end of the deal.
Laura Diaz has been attending Summit for a couple years now and is the CEO and Senior Strategist at Kiss Me Creative. She serves as a writer on our Media Team and volunteers in Student Ministries, leading a Connect group of soon-to-be 10th grade girls. She enjoys long sips of coffee and short lines at Starbucks.