#SickOfMe, Chapter 1 Blog
Tough Questions by: Genesis Juarez
I gave my life to Jesus at 15 but it was not until I was 19 that I had any type of follow through. I committed to attending church and youth group, and began actually cultivating a relationship with Jesus. Now At 27, I think back at the past 8 years as a believer and think… THANK GOODNESS his Grace and Mercy abounds. If I had to sum up my testimony in one sentence it would be this: I am who I am today because of Christ and despite myself, it is not I but Christ’s relentless pursuit for me, unending love, and saving grace that has kept me from falling into eternal darkness.
My spiritual walk has been one of emotionally led spiritual highs, and ever wandering lows. I’ve had moments where I felt so close to God, and I have also avoided anything that reminded me of my profession of faith. I’ve continuously tried to escape conviction and owning up to my sin. There were seasons of faithful church attendance and thriving communion. I even did a brief stint in bible college followed by a complete overstay in the Chicago night scene. Did I mention God’s Grace is sooo real to me? One unplanned pregnancy, and an overwhelming God moment later, the kind where you know God is so not playing with you so you better get your act together, I find myself in the best place I’ve ever been. I am blessed to be part of a church that loves Jesus, the Word, and people. Toxic and unhealthy relationships are out and new God centered friendships are forming. My career is blossoming in ways I could have never expected and my son is amazing! Happy and healthy, what more could I ask for?
Fast forward to the past couple of months… God has been speaking to me in questions; tough, heart displaying questions. I’ve been scared for the longest time to answer. I know, that these questions will reveal to me my true heart condition. You know the saying, “When you know better you do better?” Well I’ve been avoiding knowing better; because if I allowed God to reveal these truths about myself then I will be held accountable for the aftermath and actually have to change. The thought of changing is truly overwhelming to me. I am too scared to even start; but I hear the ever so gentle whisper of God saying, “Not by your might or by your power, but by my Spirit.”
I started reading Sick of Me by Whitney Capps, and guess what I was bombarded with in just the first chapter? QUESTIONS. So many soul searching questions. Capps writes,
“Perhaps you’ve sensed, like me that despite all your spiritual striving, something feels off in a way you can’t quite describe….If I had to sum it up, I’d say this. For all our best efforts, we don’t look dramatically more like Jesus today than we did yesterday. We aren’t growing more spiritually mature. We may know a bit more, but our lives don’t bear the difference. I have countless list and tips for better marriages, friendhships, and finances. But do I really, truly look more like Jesus?” Pg. 2
There it is. My God moment. And while my self-preservation tries to kick and say, “Well compared to the rest of the world (non-believers) you do.” But let’s be real, the Bible doesn’t call me to compare myself with unbelievers, it doesn’t even say compare yourself to believers. We compare ourselves to Christ! Jesus is the standard, and although yes, while in our earthly bodies we will all always fall short, that doesn’t exempt us from striving for H O L I N E S S…
When I examine my life, my speech, and how I spend my time, and I evaluate if it reflects Christ to those around me, I’ll be honest, more often than not, no. Do you want to know why I think that is? I believe that there is a drastic difference between the “Believer of Jesus” and the “Disciple of Jesus”. To be be a believer requires profession of who Jesus Christ is, but to be a Disciple, one must become like Christ. True imitators of Him. And we can only travel from point A to point B by following the leadings and promptings of the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification. Yes, we are all trying to be our best versions of ourselves, but here is another tough question, WHY? In today’s world the lines between Self-Help and Sanctification have been blurred so let me try and clear it up a little: Self-help is you trying to become better so you can be happier. Sanctification is you trying to become better so you can be holier, and only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It’s all in the Why. You’re “Why” is what keeps you going during the messy middles of your life. Remember your Why, and if you need help finding a valid reason, here is mine: Because HE is WO-RTHY.
The tag line to Sick of Me is “From Transparency to Transformation.” So while we’re getting raw and real about the mess in our lives, let’s also vow not to stay stuck there. I know I’ve lingered in transparency far too long. Can we boldly ask our GREAT God for BIG faith during this season? The kind that truly believes in the transforming power of Christ within us. HE has come to set the captives FREE y’all! Do you believe that for yourself? When I look at myself, I can’t say that I do, but when I look at JESUS, how could I ever doubt? Today, I choose to believe that true transformation is for me. Last question, will you join me?