"Daddy, I can't sleep."
"I'm just so scared."
What are you scared of?"
"I'm scared I'll do something bad, and then Jesus won't let me go to heaven."
This is how the conversation started. And the little girl's Daddy told her about Grace, about how Jesus knows if we truly want to serve Him in our heart, and about how much Jesus loves us. He told her how much Jesus loves scared little girls. Her Daddy talked about fear. He told her the story of Elijah, hiding after the prophets of Baal had all been killed, hiding because he was afraid. Her Daddy told her that when we are afraid, it's really hard for Jesus to use us. Her Daddy held her in his arms. She felt safe, secure, loved, and best of all- her questions were answered.
The next morning this little girl came bouncing into the kitchen for breakfast. Her eyes were shining as she told me about her long talk with her Daddy the night before. She told me how she doesn't have to be afraid anymore.
Now she spends afternoons writing out favorite Scriptures and giving her Daddy and I our own personal handwritten copy of our favorite verses.
She's free to love, free to live.
I can't help but remember. Remember the many, many nights I lay awake begging God to forgive my sins. I would name every sin I could remember committing, since the last time I had asked for forgiveness. Finally, in desperation, I would plead, "God, forgive all the sins I committed, even the ones I can't remember." Then I would finally fall asleep, only to repeat this pattern many more times.
The burden of my sins, of my mistakes, the guilt, the shame- I carried it for years.
But then I turned to my heavenly Daddy, and He held me, and told me how much He loves me. He told me that He paid the price, once and for all. He told me about His unconditional love. He showed me His scars- the physical reminder of the sacrifice He made.
And I slept in His arms that night.
Morning came..... my heart was full of joy. Not because the days spread before me were easy, or because I had suddenly achieved perfection. No, I was full of JOY because now I was free. Free to live, to love, to be the person Jesus created me to be. Free to live without condemnation for my past.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Thank you, Jesus!