I've always felt like there has been this weird stigma that you can't love Jesus and have problems. You can't have a mental illness and know the Lord...
You can't have bad things happening in your life and be a follower of Christ...
You're not allowed to admit you wandered away from Him, that you screwed up...
NEWS FLASH to all the people who think these things make someone "not Christian enough". Satan is very alive and well and he LOVES people that love Jesus. And he doesn't love us because of that, in fact he hates that we love Jesus, but he loves to tear our lives down for that exact reason.
I think I've mentioned this quote before that I heard once but I'll say it again because it is the straight up truth -
"The devil doesn't go after the person sitting on the bar stool every night, he goes after the person sitting in the church pew every Sunday."
GUYS. That right there is as true as it gets. Satan doesn't need to attack the people that don't know Jesus, the people living in sin... He needs to take down the Team Jesus folks because He doesn't want us to trust God. He doesn't want us to love Jesus, He doesn't want us to have faith. He doesn't want us to turn to God, he wants us to turn to the world and to him. He wants to take us down (quite literally). He doesn't want us to meet our Savior in Heaven. He wants us to stop believing. He wants us to sin. He wants us to suffer.
I'll be the first to admit that that devil guy loves to mess with me and my life. And I’ve also learned that these things don’t make me any less of someone that loves Jesus. Satan just wants me to lose, I’m not going to let him. But here’s a personal look at what I deal with daily:
Depression and anxiety? Let's have her battle those.
Family problems? Add that one to take her down.
Let's belittle her faith.
Let's make her angry and flip out on that God "she loves so much".
Add a ton of stress and make sure she thinks God won't help her.
Let's make her feel completely broken and unworthy.
Make her stumble off the path.
Let's bring up that past mistake and have her dwell on that awhile.
Destroy her friendship with a best friend? Done.
Maybe let's tell her she shouldn’t even exist.
I think the thing that hurts the most about those things isn't that they really suck to deal with, it's the feeling that it's not okay to deal with them with some help and still love Jesus.
I want to change that. Because I know what it's like to not be able to talk about my problems without feeling like people will think I'm too screwed up for God (and to be sitting in church with all these people who are "too good" to be sitting next to).
As a believer in a Savior that loves me (and you) regardless of all of those things, I want it to be okay for all of us to admit that we struggle. That we are not perfect. That we don't live perfect lives. That we all mess up. I want it to be okay to openly admit what we are dealing with and that we are broken as heck. That we need help and guidance, not whispers, hush-up's, and judgment. We need open arms and people that are willing to say they'll love us like Jesus does. That there is grace and healing from a God who cares about us so much. We need people to be okay with people that need medicine, God created doctors for a reason y'all, of course there is always power in prayer, but we need to be the ones willing to pray and also support what people need. That it's okay that you need HELP. That it's okay that you need PRAYER.
I want to change the mindset that only people with a health problem need prayer and people with mental illnesses aren’t actually sick.
I want to change things like teen moms being hardcore judged when we should be helping them as much as possible and thanking God they didn't choose to abort their baby - something we constantly protest. We cannot protest and then judge them. We need to help and love them like Jesus does.
To wrap things up-
God doesn't expect us to be perfect, He just wants us to try and live our lives to glorify Him. He knows Satan is here to tear us down. God knows were gonna mess up. He knows we’re gonna through some really hard times. He wouldn't have sent Jesus to die for us if He didn't expect us to stumble. He wouldn’t have shown us a love so big, and given us a future free of pain if He didn’t know we would experience some big hurt here on earth.
So, why do Christians expect any different?
The church is the one place people should feel accepted no matter what.
I always said I want my blog to be a place that you know you're not alone. That you're not the only one that has problems. I want this to be a place that you know it's okay.
I don't know what Satan has done to you to throw a wrench in your life- whether it be an addiction, a health issue, a brokenheart... just know you are understood. You’re loved regardless. You truly are not alone.
If you take anything from this, I hope that it's you hold true to the truth that it's okay to not be perfect and still love Jesus.
THE NAME 'BACKPACK + A BIBLE' ORIGINATED FROM WHAT FIRST SPARKED MY IDEA TO START THIS BLOG. I LOVE THAT IT REMINDS ME OF WHERE IT ALL BEGAN - MY LOVE FOR THE LORD AND HAVING A BACKPACK ON MY BACK, WHETHER THAT BE HIKING OR BACKPACKING OR HOPPING ON AN AIRPLANE. I PRAYED GOD WOULD USE ME TO BE A LIGHT AND HE LED ME TO THIS. I LOVE BEING ABLE TO SHARE HIM THROUGH EXPLORING HIS CREATION. BUT EVERY NOW AND THEN HE NUDGES ME TO SHARE MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY MOUNTAIN PHOTO, AND THATS WHY THIS PAGE IS HERE -
HERE YOU'LL FIND THE WORDS GOD HAS PUT ON MY HEART TO SHARE WITH YOU. THE MOST IMPORTANT PAGE ON MY BLOG, I HOPE THESE POSTS BRING ENCOURAGEMENT, LIGHT + LOVE IN YOUR LIFE. THESE POSTS MAY NOT BE FREQUENT, BUT THAT IS BECAUSE I WANT TO SHARE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME TO SHARE, NOT SOMETHING FORCED. I HOPE WHEN YOU READ THESE YOU ARE ABLE TO SEE THAT THEY TRULY COME FROM THE HEART.