Have you ever found yourself ranking sin?
Murder is THE WORST. Sexual sin… pretty high up there. Gossiping… not really a big deal. Hating your boss… ehh, don’t we all hate our boss? Lied to your significant other… it was just a little white lie about something that isn’t THAT important… at least you don’t cheat, right?
I’m convinced it’s apart of human nature to compare, to size up, to inflate someone else’s sin to make us feel better about our own sin.
Last night, my Bible Study group started a new study called “Goliath Must Fall.” I bet you can guess the theme… overcoming the giants you face. These giants can be sins, unhealthy thought life, unhealthy emotional patterns, etc. The author asked us to answer one of two questions:
- How have you changed in the past five years?
- How would you like to change in the next five years?
I felt compelled to answer question one, to expose a giant that I generally kept hidden, a giant that I never imagined would be mine to face. My heart was racing, as I was about to be vulnerable, exposing myself to potential judgment.
It’s been four and a half long years on my healing journey. Four and a half years ago, I moved out of my dad and his wife’s emotionally abusive home. A few days later, my dad went to Afghanistan for seven months. When he returned, he didn’t let me know he was home. You know those sweet videos where a loved one comes home from serving overseas & they surprise their family & they all hug each other tighter than tight? Yeah, I didn’t get that. As far as I was concerned, he was still on an air base in Afghanistan… I saw a picture on Facebook of him with family. That was how I found out he was home. I’d lost a lot of weight at the time (because of my exercise regimen, not at all related to my emotional state). Losing weight meant that I gained a lot of male attention that I’d never really received before. Pair that with complete rejection from Daddy… I became a statistic. I chose it. I chose an impure lifestyle. I knew what I was doing. I may not have been mature enough to really examine and admit why, but I knew I wasn’t choosing God’s best.
Up until my early 20’s, I’d been living as a victim of the emotional rape that divorce and emotional abuse inflicts. I was so busy floating between my biological parents’ homes & flying under the radar to avoid any conflict with my dad’s wife that I didn’t have time to get into boys, the wrong crowd, drugs, & alcohol. Once I was out, the Lord allowed me to go down a new road & experience firsthand the emotional pain that living impurely brings. You see, I’d never really committed a big sin, so this was my first rodeo.
Yes, the Lord allowed to me to choose pain. He knows that gives Him an opportunity to heal, to bring us closer to Him than before.
I used to think that I was generally a good Christian, because I’d never committed a racy, juicy sin. Now, with new eyes, I look around & see that we’re all in the same boat, sinners on this beautiful sea of grace… each drop full of reckoning, revival, & recovery.
While I’ve already admitted a lot here, I have one more thing to share. When you Google the meaning of my name, this is what pops up:
The name Kaitlin is an Irish baby name. In Irish, the meaning of the name Kaitlin is: Modern phonetic form of the Irish name Caitlin from Catherine meaning pure.
I am certain that divine inspiration did not lead my parents to choose my name. My guess is (& I’d be willing to bet money on this) that they didn’t even consider the meaning of the name. This makes me a little mad, I’m not gonna lie. For those that know me well, y’all know how much care & thought I’d put into something like that… I’m SO the opposite of my parents, thank goodness! 😉 God knew, though. He knew that He was going to teach me through the meaning of my name. He knew He’d bring healing to my heart & others.
Just like when Aaron, the brother of Moses, was helping direct the construction of the golden calf at the bottom of the mountain, God was speaking to Moses on the mountaintop about anointing Aaron to be a high priest. He lets us go down that road & His good thoughts about us, His good plans for us never waiver. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences, but His love is still there through it all.
That impure season of my life has taught me much. Sin is sin across the board. Sin is why there is so much hurt in the world. I need Jesus more than I ever realized. Jesus has been waiting for me to run to Him the entire time. People who love me continue to love me even after they know about my biggest regret in life. (This is something I have been particularly apprehensive about.) Lastly, God can & wants to use my biggest regret & my recovery to spark revival in others.
As someone who grew up in the Christian community, this struggle has been extremely difficult to navigate. Please don’t go it alone. I’d be happy to listen, to be there, to pray. Feel free to reach out & let’s chat.