Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
Last year as I was coming to the end of my journey with fear, anxiety, panic, and depression, I found myself completely frustrated. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I knew that God had performed a miracle in my life and had walked me out of darkness and back into His marvelous light, but still I was uneasy about something deep within me. I felt as if my identity had been completely stripped from me and I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.
I am April. My whole life I have identified myself by how happy I am. I love to encourage and build others up. I don’t take things too seriously and try not to worry about things I can’t control. On the other side of that, I have been a horrible person. I have placed expectations on people who could never live up to my standards. I have been awful – I have hurt people in my past because I felt as if they loved me too much and to never experience the pain they could potentially cause me I would go ahead and ruin all that we had by becoming extremely annoyed with that person to the point of just not wanting to speak with them ever again (silly, I know… but I’ve been telling you all along how jacked up I am). I have also built friendships with horrible people who never cared about me for one second. For some reason the abuse and lack of love made me feel loved… again, told you I’m jacked up… the drama is all I have ever known, so it’s hard to get away from what you’ve always known until God fully shines light on that area and says, “That is enough!!”
All that to say – at the end of my crazy (fear, anxiety, panic, depression) journey, I saw there was no room for my nonsense OR any more dangerous relationships… period. God took away all that I had ever known, all that I had ever identified myself with, and all that I thought I was.
I remember that morning very well. I sat in front of the mirror and watched myself cry and plead with the Father. Broken, I picked up my Bible and turned to Matthew 10:39, Jesus speaking, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Immediately I felt as if someone had used a defibrillator on me and the spark of life shot back into my heart. I lifted my head up from my Bible and stared back into the mirror in front of me. I saw someone different yet joy filled my whole being. I realized that God was (painfully but lovingly) removing all the things I identified myself by and replacing them with Him.
My identity in Christ is amazing. He died so that I could live. I died so that I could live. That old April with all those old habits and patterns – Gone. Forgiven. New.
I once was dead but now I live.
Know that if you are seeking Jesus and the road is getting tough for you – it’s because He is trying to make you into His image. I resisted Him for YEARS. ‘One foot in the world, one foot in Christ.. which is really having both feet in the world according to Jesus’ (Pastor Kraig Wall said this today). That was me. Loving God but refusing to give up the life I already had. I had good intentions but it’s not what my Father had for me.
No matter how hard it is right now, remember: John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Alive in Him,