When SoulScripts asked me to write a blog post about anything I wanted, I had a hard time choosing a topic.

I sat down at my laptop with a million thoughts buzzing around in my head; it felt like I had to write the perfect blog, which led me into walking away from my laptop.

Pressure turned into anxiety and despair. I just didn't know how to write the right thing (no pun intended).

I sat at the pool in my apartment complex and watched the sunset bounce off the water, which paralleled to all of the thoughts jumping around in my head.

I finally gave up trying to write the perfect post and decided it was probably best for me to just write the most honest blog I could–a blog that demands not perfection, but imperfection.  So here, my sweet reader, is my most imperfect blog post (written by the pool on my phone).

Think of me sitting across from you with our favorite drinks in hand (mine is most definitely Topo Chico these days) and we're going to have the most honest, heart-to-heart conversation about Jesus.

I'll go first:

IN MY 26 YEARS OF EXISTENCE–I HAVE NEVER WANTED TO QUIT LIFE MORE THAN IN THESE LAST FEW MONTHS.

I know you're probably waiting for me to say “but God [fill in the blank]” or offer some deep theological explanation, but right now, for me, there isn't one. Life has completely and absolutely wrecked me. Not in a sort of “trial” you get through and learn all these amazing one-liners about God and Jesus that you write about and help to change people's lives.

Sigh. I wish.

It's been a four-year journey including two major back surgeries, constant (chronic) pain, endless doctor's appointments, medications, spinal injections, nerve injections, hospital stays, bouts of depression, grief, panic attacks, anxiety, unanswered questions, and doubt, all while trying to run a nonprofit that works to fight sex trafficking…and still be a normal 26 year-old.

I have never doubted God more in my life.

I have never been more close to just “throwing in the towel” (I told you this would be an honest conversation).

And, I've become so tired of the endless prayers for healing and still seeing no change. Not to mention the insensitive things people can say when healing doesn't happen ( examples: “You should have more faith” or “If only you did A, B, and C every morning…you would be healed“).

Newsflash: God isn't our genie. We don't get to tell Him what to do.

Here's the thing: I have lived my whole life trying to be strong.

Growing up, I was that “perfect Christian girl” who never did anything wrong. I prayed the loud intense prayers, sang all the trendy worship songs, read my bible all the time, and journaled at coffee shops…and guess what?

I still have intense chronic pain, not a lot of answers, and still struggle daily with depression and anxiety.

Now, I bet you're wondering, “Ok crazy lady. Where are you going with all this? Isn't this supposed to lead me back to Jesus?”

Exactly.

I think we're missing the point. I think my whole life, I HAVE MISSED THE POINT.

I HAVE TRIED SO HARD TO BE STRONG, PERFECT, GOOD, KIND, GRACIOUS, SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS, AND EVERYTHING ELSE, BECAUSE I THOUGHT (SUBCONSCIOUSLY) IT WOULD EQUATE TO THIS PERFECT, PAIN-FREE EASY LIFE FOR ME.

I thought doing all the right things “religion” tells us to do would get me the outcome I wanted. Instead, it has absolutely destroyed me.

It's left me sobbing on the floor in despair or unable to get out of my bed in the mornings because I have become SO DANG TIRED of trying to be perfect and strong.

I am so tired of feeling disappointed by God.

So, I have decided to stop.

I have decided to become weak.

Last week, I called my parents sobbing. I felt like I couldn't do this anymore. The grief, the pain, the questions, the anxiety–it's been unbearable.

So, I started to ask for help.

I stopped being strong in my own sense of the word, and instead, have reached out to friends, family, and strangers saying, “I need your help”.

And you know what I'm learning in the process of asking for help? Of showing weakness? Of not being perfect? Of giving myself grace to make mistakes?

JESUS.

I have finally understood my need for JESUS.

Not religion, not sermons about Jesus, not people telling me to do this or do that and in return I will have this awesome life full of nothing but butterflies and green fields…

Trust me, I've tried all of that and look where it landed me…face down on the ground in despair.

I have learned that Jesus never promised us easy outcomes, (I mean come on guys… we follow a dude who was CRUCIFIED on a CROSS and his friends were beheaded, and we think our lives are going to be easy?!”)

No.

Jesus didn't promise us that, He promised us a life to the fullest.

He promised a peace that surpasses all understanding, despite the trials and the heaviness life throws at us.

Recently, I was listening to a podcast, and the speaker said something that changed everything for me:

What if a miracle is simply a shift in perspective from fear to love. And in life, in our everyday choices, we have two options–to move towards fear or to move towards love.”

I heard that, and something clicked.

I realized I have been waiting this whole time–doing all of these “good works,” and doing all of the “right” things–expecting MY miracle in return. MY healing. MY. MY. MY.

And yet, Jesus hasn't really been that concerned about my external circumstances. He has been waiting for me to change my heart and shift my perspective from external to internal.

To understand that, no matter what happens to me, the best miracle I can ever ask for is the faith to move from fear to love. In all circumstances.

So, this is my new journey:

To move from fear to love.

Simple right?

I think, all along, Jesus wanted faith to be simple.

We've overcomplicated that.

We try SO HARD to be perfect and good and do all of the right things when Jesus actually said “blessed is the weary in heart, the meek, the poor. For they will inherit the kingdom of heaven.”

So, let's become weak, friends. Let's start to ask for help. Let's start to live our lives like we actually need Jesus. Like we actually need community. Like we actually need each other.

Because no one can relate to perfection. But we can all relate to imperfection.

Written By: Grace Theisen
@grace_theisen

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6 thoughts on “How We’ve Over-complicated Following Jesus

  1. Girl, preach! There isn’t a lot out there about suffering and still moving towards Jesus by those who are actually still in suffering, so thanks for saying it like it is! I am right there with you, only it is some pain, but mostly autoimmune disease and food allergies for me. It is HARD. Praying for you sister! Nothing but Jesus will do. Can’t wait until He makes it all worth it and we have new bodies. ❤️ 😊

    Posted on June 1, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    1. Thank you sweet angel!!! I am very passionate about talking about doubts because no one seems too. A book that changed my life is called Heart Made Whole by a Christa Blak Gifford!! Would highly recommend 🙂

      Posted on June 3, 2018 at 10:35 am
  2. Wow, thank you so much for this!! I have been in a similar drought season of anxiety and depression and can TOTALLY relate to this and it’s so comforting to know I’m not alone! Thank you for sharing your story!

    Posted on June 1, 2018 at 11:17 pm
    1. Thank YOU for reading!!

      Posted on June 3, 2018 at 10:35 am
  3. Wow, thank you so much for this!! I’ve been in a similar drought season of anxiety and depression and I can TOTALLY relate to this and it’s so comforting to know I’m not alone! Thank you for sharing this!!

    Posted on June 1, 2018 at 11:20 pm