It was a 12-hour flight. Usually, I enjoy those long ones, but this one was absent of peace so there was no enjoying.
It was an intense conversation happening in my head. I was flying home to see my family after only two months back in Hong Kong.
“Other missionaries-the greats-they didn’t get to come see their families whenever they wanted; I’ll never be ‘as good’ as them.” These were mixed in with a million other words which involved my future, guilt, anxiety, and I’m no good. They were thoughts that are against myself and I'm really familiar with them.
My sister had a newborn baby and I wanted to meet him. I’d cried since his arrival on February 21, so in the beginning of March, my best friend suggested God didn’t mind if I just fly home and see him.
So I did.
Since being here, God has let me know that He didn’t simply “allow” me to come visit my new nephew, but He invited me. The nice stuff- it’s His idea. All of it. The guilt-shame-lies in the airplane tried telling me I didn't deserve to come home again, but God made the guilt-shame-lies be quiet. That's what He's always doing.
He’s not mean. Not even a bit. Yes, there are sacrifices He invites us to make, but at the same time, there’s kindness flowing from Him that’s so big it busts all my boxes and kills all my “I’m not good” and sets me free.
The Freedom started at the end of that rough 12-hour flight. The last couple hours, I directed my attention to God and asked what He was thinking about all of it. He stepped into that mind war and brought peace. He started filling my insides with the truth- He really likes me. I’m not the same as the other great missionaries I admire, but that’s ok. He hasn’t asked me to be them. He’s asked me to be me.
Comparison is an ugly little fool that tries to come and tell us we’re no good nobodies, never gonna be. And that God isn't proud of us because so-in-so is doing a lot better living their life than we are. But comparison is a stupid liar. Whether flying home to meet a new baby or sitting in your living room watching TV, comparison tries to bring in the you're-not-good-enough lie and wreck your peace with it.
Jesus died, went to hell, and shut that little liar up forever for His friends. I’m His friend! Comparison has no right to sneak into my head. King of kings let His skin get pierced through, His brilliant blood spill out all over the ground, His never-sinned body murdered. Now we get to be free. We get to be "good" because He says we're good. The comparison, the accusations, all those “you’re not good’s”, every ounce of shame and guilt - we get to be free from all of it. He did that for us.
God is good, God is good, God is good.
God is for me, God is for me, God is for me.
(try saying it aloud a few times)
I have four days left. I’ve got to hold and kiss and sing to new nephew. I’ve got to slumber party with the other three kids. I’ve got to have coffee dates with dad, vacation at sister's new house, eat Mexican with old lifelong friends, celebrate birthdays, and freedom - “God loves who I am”- keeps growing.
And tomorrow I'm spending Easter at Grandma's.
I love pie and my family and new nephew's tiny toes and visits in living rooms and the Cross He died on so we can all be free.
But believers in Him will not experience shame...and because of Him, God has transferred His perfect righteousness to all who believe.
-Romans 9:32, 10:4