Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Acting Out of My Justification

I lost access to my old blog, and decided to start a new one. This is that attempt.

Last night was our weekly family study of Romans. It was dad, mom and fiance, Andrew. We were talking about justification and faith; being clothed in the new garments replacing fig leaves. The question was where did I feel justification was not enough. When did I feel that I needed to make my own garments to cover what God already died for.

Que family code speak. We started talking about "that one time" and "back in seventh grade" and Andrew sat there looking a little confused. My mom looked sheepish and my dad looked worried. He laughed a little nervously and said that he had opened a can of worms. I hadn't told Andrew about the situation in question.

I made an executive decision. If I'm going to marry Andrew, I have to tell him everything. But it was more than that. I claim to believe the justification of the Cross. I need to live it out. No shame. No fear. Maybe a little embarrassment.

When I was in seventh grade, I went to a very popular private school. I did not fit in at all. I had a few friends who were considered popular. The main conversation was always around sex. Kids were talking about how far they had gotten (which I now know to be a lie). I can never do anything on a small scale, so to bump up my status, I concocted my own lie. A lie that made me popular. Sort of.

I told a few choice people that I had slept with a youth pastor and might be pregnant. This spread like wild-fire. I thought my plan had gone off flawlessly. Until two things happened. A girl in my class called me a slut and I got called into the principals office.

I knew instantly what it was about. My parents were called in and I sat between them while the guidance counselor and the principal looked at me and told me I was dangerous. That I needed  help. That I wasn't allowed back at the school until I had gotten help.

This is part of my dad's and my story. This is where I saw him defending me. This is where I saw him as dad. But for years I struggled with this. Fear that I was really dangerous. Shame over what I had said.

I got the image of beating myself with stones trying to clean the sin off my skin. And as the blood continued to pour out of my broken flesh I prayed with each stroke that it would be the last. The final. Enough to call me clean. I realized a few years ago that it wasn't. I didn' have to keep beating myself. Jesus took the beating that was rightfully mine.

Even though I knew this, telling this story has held an ounce of fear. What will people think when they hear what I did? After last night I realized it doesn't matter. There is a very cliche, yet somehow true saying: those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter. And it's true. Those who love me will see me as Jesus sees me; past my sin.