Running From Grace
I wish that I could sit here and tell you I’m perfect, that I am a finished product and at twenty-six years old I have mastered all of life’s problems. However, if I were to utter those words I would be completely and totally lying through my teeth. What I can tell you though is that I have learned so much through trial and error and through the grace of God I have learned that I am NOT my past, or my choices, but I am a work in progress.
I’ve always been a perfectionist and my mentality was always set on the fact that I couldn’t come to fully know and appreciate all God had in store for me until I was 100% perfect in my walk with Him. I made a habit of running from God, I made a habit of quitting when things didn’t serve my life the way I wanted them to. I ran away from people and responsibilities because if it didn’t make Kaitlin happy and please my selfish human desire then I wanted no part of it. I was running a hundred miles in the wrong direction, I was lonely, and I was miserable.
It wasn’t until I really looked in the mirror one day and caught a reflection of a broken and lost person that I realized and truly believed that God had so much more to offer me than the things I was trying to give myself. Being married at a young age and divorced with a child in my twenties wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing for me to accept. I felt like I had failed God, myself, my child and my family. I tried to fill a void with earthly things and shallow relationships when all I had to do all along was run to the One who had never left my side. The thing I realized that morning looking at myself in the mirror was that no matter what I thought of myself, no matter what other people thought about me, God still had a purpose for my life. No one could take that away from me and no matter how fast I tried to run, I could never outrun a God with a plan for my life.
We so often wait on our circumstances and situations to become “perfect” before we step out and try to serve God and others. Thankfully, God’s love and goodness isn’t based on our current conditions. His love has no limitations; it doesn’t come with a checklist of requirements to meet before He gives the Grace that so many of us are thirsting for. Living for God means dying to yourself and your selfish desires daily, it means recognizing that you are HUMAN. I will still make mistakes, I will still stumble and fall, but I know that my purpose and my calling is waiting on me to stand back up and keep moving forward.
In the moments I find myself judging others and pointing out their flaws, I’m quickly reminded of my own. The biggest misconception society has is that anyone who loves and lives for God isn’t allowed to mess up or make mistakes. They are so wrong. The truth is that God provides forgiveness and grace that surpasses every single screw up we could ever face. God knows no limitations; His love truly has no boundaries. We need to not be so hard on ourselves or others because we ALL have a story. We are NOT our past, not our choices, and most certainly not our mistakes.
As a mom, I want my son to know that loving and serving others is essential to our walk with Christ. I want him to know that everyone has a different story and we should take the time and get to know their blessings and struggles before we criticize or place judgment on their life. I also want him to know that it’s okay to mess up, it’s okay to get it wrong and not know what you’re doing because God’s forgiveness and grace covers that. If we all lived to serve others and to see their potential rise and not out of any selfish ambition or motive, but out of the goodness of God, our world would be so different.
I know that I, a 26 year old from a small town in Florida, may not be able to change the world overnight, but what I do know is that I’m willing to try. I know that I will continue to make mistakes and get it wrong a few times, but God’s purpose for my life isn’t based upon those conditions. I want to serve others and help those who might never know the love of God. It’s definitely A Time For Change, and the time is now. We are all serving a purpose in our life we just have to make sure it’s the right one.
By Kaitlin Pridgen September 25, 2015 Kaitlin is a small town girl with a big faith and an even bigger appetite for God. She loves serving others and trying to make a difference no matter where God plants her. Kaitlin's mission in life is to show others the love and grace that's been given so freely to herself and encouraging others through her writing.