Ashamed. Unlovable. Damaged. Have you ever felt this way? Like you’re just too flawed or make too many mistakes to be loved?
We all long for love and we look for it in so many different places – parents, friends, and significant others. But somehow, all of those people fall short. They disappoint us and fail us. Their love isn’t always as unconditional as they claim. They never fill our need because they are just as in need.
The love we all long for is perfect, unconditional, never-ending love. Only a person who is perfect, all knowing, and never-ending can give you that kind of love.
Only God can give you that love.
In the New Testament, Christ refers to His disciples in many ways. We’re His sheep. We’re His hands and feet. We’re His lights in the world. But there is one that has become near to my heart because of the kind of love it represents: Christ calls me His bride.
This always gives me pause. What would it be like to have Christ Himself be my groom? I, who am broken, with Him who defines perfection. I, who am weak, with Him who is infinitely strong. I, who strays daily, with Him who is beyond faithful. The thought makes my breath stop.
Dressed in White
I don’t feel worthy to be Christ’s bride. Sometimes it brings tears of guilt to my eyes. But it doesn’t have to because He has made me worthy.I don’t feel worthy to be Christ’s bride. Sometimes it brings tears of guilt to my eyes. But it doesn’t have to because He has made me worthy. Click To Tweet
Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
Another passage that presents this beautiful imagery is Revelation 19:7-8, “Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and pure.”
This truth is staggering! This is your Groom’s love for you.
We may feel the shame of every sin of every day of our history. But when Christ looks at His bride, He doesn’t see a worn and weary maiden. She has danced in the sun and crawled through the dust. But before Him she wears white from head to toe, His righteousness adorning her like snow. He takes her hand, wipes her tears, and makes her His for never-ending years. She will forever be treasured, forever be protected, forever be loved.
This is me. This is you.
You sit in the dark without a home again. Another family was dubbed unfit. The bureaucrats run your life and forget you’re a person. You can’t wait to turn eighteen and break out of this system. But really, what will that change? you wonder. I will still have no one. I still won’t have a home. Remember you’re a bride.
You sit at the foot of your bed, so many thoughts rushing through your head. The person you thought would be the one has up and left; they’re gone. You wonder if they ever really loved you, or if anyone ever could. Remember you’re a bride.
You fall to your knees on the bathroom floor. You’ve failed so much you can’t keep score. The dirt on your life presses down on you as you close your eyes. I’m a screw up! You tell yourself. I’m worthless. Remember you’re a bride.
When I feel broken, abandoned, or unworthy there is a song I turn to, a song that speaks the voice of Jesus to my heart.
“No matter what you’ve heard, this is what you’re worth: More than all the money or the diamonds and pearls. Oh, this is who you are. Yeah, this is who you are. So, when it’s late, you’re wide awake, too much to take, don’t you dare forget that in the pain You can be brave, and safe. I see you dressed in white. Every wrong made right. I see a rose in bloom at the sight of you. Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable, darling it’s beautiful! I see it all in you, oh, so priceless!”
This is For Kind & Country’s song, Priceless. I put my earbuds in, lay on my bed, put this song on repeat, and it’s like I’m in the arms of Jesus. Sometimes tears slide down my cheeks. Sometimes I just smile quietly. Sometimes I belt out the words at the top of my voice. Sometimes I fall asleep. Every time I remember I am a bride. His bride.
I know none of this makes life easy. Trust me, I do. But it does make it bearable; it gives us hope. Because the wedding day is coming, He promised. And on that wedding day He will wipe away every last tear, and you will never feel ashamed, afraid, or unloved again.The wedding day is coming, He promised. And on that wedding day He will wipe away every last tear, and you will never feel ashamed, afraid, or unloved again. Click To Tweet
The bride stands before the Groom, nothing but undying love stares back at her from His eyes. They’ve waited a long time for this day; He was ready long ago, but she wasn’t. She had doubted His love, doubted whether it would be worth it, and doubted herself. She had stumbled; while His faithfulness had been unquestionable, her own had fallen short time and time again.
But finally, she had arrived at the place where she could see that she couldn’t make herself perfect before she could accept Him; it was impossible, her imperfection ran too deep.
But His love ran deeper.
Now she knelt before the altar, next to the One whose perfection would complete her and whose love would make her pure.
With the words “I do,” she would never have to feel shame or fear again, because she was His.