Four Years of Being Sweetly Broken
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Saved in September. Sweetly broken since.
The day I was baptized was during one of the oddest seasons of my life. My testimony doesn't include an exact day and time of my salvation, although sometimes I wish it had, but what I do know is that after September 24th, 2016 real change had taken place in this heart of mine by the power of a Resurrected King.
After many months that year of seeking Christ, falling into sin, feeling unable to get out of that pit, and being under the weight of my inadequacy and failings, the day I planned to get baptized finally came. The ocean water at Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs didn't have saving power. Jesus commands His followers to make a public profession of faith through baptism and I wanted to be obedient to that.
There was only one problem, I was in the way.
The line to be baptized was a tad long and I became anxious as I stood there in gym shorts and a t-shirt awaiting my turn. All alone, knowing nobody in the row, I was quietly crying to myself on the beach. If you are close to me, you're not shocked that I was tearing up, because I always do, but to say this was a different cry would be an understatement.
I wanted to turn around on that beach and run back to my mom and sister. There was no way I could follow through with this baptism thing. I was too unworthy. The weight of my unworthiness was nearly crushing me into the ground.
The only action I could muster up between tears was a zoned-out clap for those who were brought up out of the water before me. The spaces between myself and the pastor became shorter and shorter. I looked out into the open water with one last chance to ditch it all.
To say I was in the way is a tricky and untrue-to-some-extent statement. Nothing is incapable for the Lord and that day proved it. In my failings, in my heartache, in my confusion of why my prayers to be saved had not been answered, He brought me out of death and brought me into life.
The weight of my unworthiness came from my living in darkness. My baptism took place in September and I had been begging God to make His ways known to me since mid-February of that year. I felt so strongly I was the one girl the Lord just wouldn't save and journals I used during that time attested to my fears.
By a miracle of God my eyes were finally opened. The veil was removed. The Lord moved in me during that month to make me understand that my unworthiness and sinfulness is what Jesus died for. My hungering was the Holy Spirit working inside of me all those months to crave eternal matters and have a longing for the Lord. The weight of unworthiness I felt could have never been worked out by any work or merit of my own. It had to be thrown off at the foot of the cross.
Salvation cannot be earned, for it is a gift.
The Lord is the only one who could make me worthy. His blood shed for me is what qualifies the king over all, God, to look down on me and declare me worthy.
Friend, faith in Him is what makes you worthy. Your identity is found and hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3.) And even that faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8.) My eyes being opened was a gift. My longing after the things of the Lord is a gift from Him, because from outside of Christ, nobody longs for God and nobody is good (Romans 3:10-17.) Jesus didn't come and die to make us better but to make us new (2 Corinthians 5:17.)
There's a song entitled Sweetly Broken and the lyrics below are what summarizes the reality of what I felt, and still feel and know, recounting coming to faith in Christ and being obedient to Him in baptism by the power of the Spirit at work in me, when I didn't even know it.
What a priceless gift, everlasting life
Have I been given through Christ crucified
You've called me out of death
You've called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now, through the cross, I'm reconciled
The gift of salvation is a priceless treasure. Eternal life is the gift we have been given when we are in Christ and that eternal life only comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus (John 3:16.) He really did what He said He would. God is the one who has the power and authority to call us out of death and into life (Romans 6:4.)
Apart from Christ, if your faith isn't in Him and when my faith wasn't in Him, we live under His wrath (Romans 1:18, Romans 2:8.) If we are to die apart from Christ, we spend eternity separated from Him. That's why the song sings, as a believer, I was under your wrath. But now, by faith in Jesus Christ's resurrection from His death on the cross, I am made right with God. He took the wrath my sins deserved and I received His righteousness. I am reconciled - made right with God - and you can be too. Not by good works, not by trying to be a good person, not by giving to charities or volunteering, but by the cross.
Four years of being sweetly broken is still so sweet. The Lord has wrecked me in innumerable ways to reveal through His word how He works and who He truly is. I am so thankful I didn't have to work to earn my salvation. I am so thankful that even as I walk imperfectly on earth, still tainted by sin in the already but not yet, He is keeping me. And He will keep me until my days here are done.
Lord, by your power, please help me to really live for you. Please help others to come, by your power, to the foot of the cross too.