I remember when it finally hit me.
Sitting at a mexican restaurant eating lunch, with a twenty-something aged man named Dan. Me, only 17. There’s a baby car seat sitting at the table with us; my little Alli is only weeks old.
He’s telling me how good of a mom I am. How would he really know?
A few nights before, we had sat up all night long. Alli laying next to me on the sofa at my friends house- all of us as high as could be. Who knows when we had slept last. I had met him there, at my friends house. She thought he would be a great “fit”.
He was nice. You would never guess. Responsible adult by day, drug addict by night.
I was nice. You would never guess. Responsible momma by day, drug addict by night.
At lunch that day, both of us dressed our best, wearing our “responsible look” he says to me- “So, you do drugs, huh?”
What? I do what? Oh, that sounds bad.
“Well, I… I… I... wouldn’t put it that way. I mean, I just do the one kind, well… maybe two.”
That day, it hit me. I had never thought of it that way. I know it seems strange. But when we’re caught up in something we like, something that makes us feel good- we don’t always know we’re caught, do we?
I sit with women each week on Wednesday afternoons. They come in. Grey stripes, neon orange slip on sandals, worn eyes. They usually didn’t know.
They were caught. And more than one way. They were caught living a life that had them fooled. They were caught doing something I’ve done countless times. They were caught doing something someone all of us know and love does. Drugs, DUI, past due fines, stealing, fighting, abuse. The list goes on and on.
There they are- Alone. Lonely. Dirty. Ashamed. Some, ready for change- others ready to resume life as it was. All in desperate need of a saviors love. Someone in their life saw it just like Dan did that day. Someone knew what they were caught up in. I guess we always see what others are caught up in though, don’t we? We just don’t always see what we’re caught up in ourselves.
This is the beauty of Jesus. The way he makes us new.
I still crave it from time to time. The rush of doing a line. The endless days, getting everything done- never being tired. Just because you surrender your heart to Jesus doesn’t mean you don’t still struggle with those old ties of pleasure. The difference is- he is now your strength, your rock to help you conquer those desires. Even now, I can hear a song from that time in my life and all of those emotions come back. I can see a person here in my little town and I am brought back to all of the secrets we shared. And just like that- Jesus has to save me all over again.
This is the beauty of being caught up in his unending love. To think, he loves me. Me, the way he does. He knows my heart, my desires, my struggles, and he still loves me. He’s always loving me through evil thoughts, painful desires, judgmental attitude; and self – righteous ‘christian’ pride. He loves me through all the things in get caught up in. Time and time again. And each time- the story of his grace gets bigger and my struggle gets smaller. Each time, I’m redeemed all.over.again.
What amazing grace.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3: 4-7 NIV