I had laid in bed sobbing uncontrollably, to the point I was barely able to stifle back the sound or even breathe. I had wrestled all night with the thoughts of quitting….EVERYTHING. I would not just instantly make an emotionally decision. No, it would be intentional because that is how I have chosen to live my life now. What would that look like? How would that effect things? Or would it? Can I walk away? From ministry? Work? Church? I wanted to just hide and become self-involved because well, it’s easier and safer, than living outside of me. Mediocracy looked more appealing then ever.
In those early morning hours, as the last tear left my heart, I resigned to walking away. I had chosen to JUMP off the mountain side and was allowing the gravity of life to pull me back into me. I had chosen to give into what I can only describe now as spiritual suicide. I reasoned that I will still love and serve my God but that I was going to walk an easier road. HA! Isn’t that what Peter did when he denied Christ? The illusion that I would still love and serve Him but walk away from all that I was serving Him through. If that’s not denying I don’t know what is.
So what does this have to do with covenant and church?
I have grown up in church and under sound biblical teachings. Throughout this time somewhere in my upbringing (physically and spiritually) I had made the theology that I was to be in covenant with select safe people. I have always heard to be careful who you are in covenant with because that’s a bond that cannot and should not be broken, so I was careful. I’ve been taught, make connections with people because you need them, and they need you. Build relationships because people are what matter and stay committed to the path because finishing well is the goal. All of this is true. However, in this midnight hour of my life, the Lord clarified His teachings into a deeper sense of understanding.
You see, I had jumped….walked away… but HE did not. I was looking for a person that I was in covenant with to be there in my darkest time, I mean isn’t that a part of building relationships? When you are committed to the same God, same service? Shouldn’t those people be there in times like this? My expectations of the relationships and commitments to do life with people, had failed me completely. Not the people, my expectations. Maybe these people were busy doing life themselves? Maybe they were going through their own dark times?
Relationships can be withdrawn from.. can change… will change. Commitments come and go. New ones added, old ones put away. Covenants made with people… by people… broken.
At the moment I had resigned to walk away from it all, I received a text from an old friend, Elise. A friend that if you had asked me if I was in covenant with her, I would have hesitated to answer. Yes, we were close friends over time but I hadn’t necessarily done life with her like I had others, the ones I felt I was in covenant with. She was simply reaching out and sending me some encouraging kind words, not even really know knowing what was fully going on inside me. Then the Holy Spirit showed me this picture.
This time a new stream of tears flowed. Tears of thankfulness that He didn’t let me continue to fall. Thankfulness that He brought the right person there that I would allow in to help draw me back to Him through covenant. The rope in the picture IS HIS COVENANT that He made with me and I with Him. The reason Elise was on the other end? Because she had made the same covenant with HIM. It’s not the people that keep you connected, it’s the covenant. Just as he has saved me when I was a sinner and living a life of hell, His love covenant saved me again, differently. Even though people may walk away from relationships, commitments, and covenants made (like I did in this moment), Jesus WILL NOT and DID NOT.
For His LOVE covenant securely wrapped me up and held me from death. It was strong and unfailing even when I was weak and fallen.
Over the next week Elise helped slowly, and gently draw me closer to safety. I sent her this pic jokingly, little did I know how true it really was. You see her help didn’t come from a platform, it was personal (even though a platform has helped many other times). The connection and relationship was there and built. The commitment made by her was to GOD not to me. That’s why we make connections, build relationships and commit to the walk. Because at some point during this faith walk you will find yourself at one end of the rope or the other and the only thing holding is the covenant Christ made with you and for you.
Elise moved at a Spirit-led pace, and was truly a Faith coach to me during this time. She didn’t hold onto me, she held onto to HIM, while HE held me. Then when the time was right, she helped bring me safely back on the solid rock I had jumped from.
I told Elise the other day, this post would be tough. Is it wrong that I secretly hope no one reads it? The openness and transparency right now feels dangerous to me. If it were about me, my weaknesses, or failures it would be. But it’s not. This post is about Him and His greatness. Proof that HIS COVENANT with us reaches us and saves us when no one else can! Elise could not have reached me (I was too far gone), but the covenant I had made with Christ and that He made for me is limitless and unbreakable. It is His covenant that saves us over and over. My theology on church covenants, relationships, and commitments were shallow in thinking because they were connected to people. When the truth is…
The covenant Christ made with you through His blood is the only one that can never be broken and can always reach you. You may walk away, but He never will. He will always provide a safeline to draw you back to Him.