I grew up in a christian home very active in the institutional system. I was saved when I was 12 and eventually became a leader in the youth group. You know the kind: at all of the church events, always willing to counsel and pray with others, ready at a moments notice to give my “testimony”, and wearing my purity ring proudly.
But this isn’t the “that girl” that I’m talking about.
You see, I was “that girl” that got pregnant while unmarried at 18 years old. Because despite outward appearances, I was desperate to be loved. Desperate to be wanted. And very unhappy.
But the real kicker is that I’m so glad I was “that girl”.
For as long as I was fooling others, I was fooling myself, too. Sure, I gave lip service to “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” but I still believed I hadn’t fallen as short as others. I wasn’t as dirty as others. God didn’t have as much to clean off in me. What a miserable lie to be trapped in.
And when the Lord let me reveal all that was really within me to the whole world (who can hide a baby?), I began to be less deceived of myself. And I began to experience more and more the lavish love of a Lord so rich in mercy and grace. So ready to forgive. So full of compassion, that the void in me so longing for love began to be filled.
In the depths of my disgrace, He came in. He was there. He held me. He comforted me.
I am so grateful that the Lord did not allow me to remain deceived of myself. I am so grateful that He allowed me to see who I really am apart from Him. And I am especially grateful that he took “that girl” and put her in the grave, and in her place brought in a brand new creation. A member of Jesus Christ. A member of the New Humanity. A member of the New Kingdom.
Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50)