I can remember the weeks following that beautiful day that I first truly gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I remember wondering if it would fade, this new love for my Savior that I had found.
I wondered when I would start wanting to listen to the "regular" radio stations again, instead of the worship ones that I was now drawn to. I wondered how long I would actually make it through this "read the bible in a year" reading schedule. My relationship with Jesus had been an on-again/off-again relationship my entire life, so there was a part of me that thought this might be the same. There was a part of me that wondered when the "off again" part would come.
Only, it never did.
And for that, I am eternally grateful that my Savior decided to change my life on that
January 1st, 2012.
So since everything about my life looked different now, I figured I would always be different, as well. I figured I wouldn't make the same mistakes, I wouldn't feel tempted by my old sinful ways, and even if I did, I figured I would know better than to choose sin over the beauty of Jesus Christ.
And for some time, that was the case. For some time, I truly felt completely free of all of my previous struggles and temptations.
Until a time came, where I was tempted. And then, a time came where I did choose that old sinful nature over the beauty of Jesus Christ.
And I would feel disgusted with myself, wondering how I could possibly fall back into old habits when I know better now. So I would cry & wallow in my own guilt until I found the beautiful grace of Jesus again. Until I picked myself up and walked "long enough" on the "right path" to feel worthy of God's love again.
Except every so often, I would find myself in the same predicament all over again. Every so often, I would find myself making the wrong choice again. I would look in the mirror and find my old self, again.
I would get so discouraged, and feel so disappointed in myself.
Well, I recently came across a verse in Luke 22 that leads me to believe Jesus has a different approach to these "relapses" of mine.
I read this verse, and was thrown off by Jesus calling Peter by his old name, Simon. I hadn't read that name in quite some time, considering Jesus had given the man an entirely new name to go along with his new identity as a disciple of Christ.
It hit me that even this man who knew Jesus, walked along side Him, discipled from Him,
even he fell back on his old habits. Even he willingly denied Jesus Christ.
And how did Chris react to this? He maintained His faith in Peter. He knew that His disciple would eventually repent and return to Him, and He encouraged him that when that day should come, he should strengthen his brothers.
Because no matter how many times Simon denied Jesus, he was still Peter in Christ's eyes. He was still a disciple of God, who could always be used in spite of his brokenness, in spite of his rebellion.
And so, when I find myself looking in the mirror at the Amy that I thought was no more, I will remember that Christ prays for me. He prays for my faith, that it should not fail.
And that only repentance stands between Simon and Peter.