‘The Gospel changes everything…’ is a statement we’ve had reiterated to us multiple times in the student ministry at Beeston Free. It is a concept I’ve recently started to understand and accept further, as I’ve seen it become true in some of my hardest struggles. God has been teaching me a lot around the issue of relationships (stereotypically girly I know!). Due to difficulties in this area in both my family and previous romantic relationships, my view of them has become increasingly distorted. I built a defence around my heart relating to this issue, refusing to let anyone close enough to get hurt again. As my self-worth was belittled, I put on a mask, and as a result my current relationships were often strained. This has caused me so much pain in the past, and continues to do so.
However, more recently through my relationship with Christ, God’s word, teaching, and the support and love from church family and friends, I have come have been willing to open up my heart to relationships again. My Heavenly Father has been teaching me that primarily I am in a covenant relationship with him. This fundamental relationship underpins my whole being; in Him I am loved, cherished and safe. Contrary to what previous experiences speak into my heart, with my Heavenly Father I do not need to bring anything to the table, because I simply can’t. There is nothing I have, or can do, that would make him love me more than he already does. This concept has taken me so long to even begin to understand, and it is even harder to believe. But the Holy Spirit has been working in me, convicting me that I am loved so dearly by Christ, just as I am, in every aspect of my personality and character. Being in a covenant relationship with Christ doesn’t intensify his love for me any further, it demonstrates security. He already loves me fully. Developing my knowledge of this has been great; the hard part is believing it, with my whole heart, and trusting it to be true.
As a result of understanding this unconditional love Christ has for me, my relationships with others have improved. I now fight the urge to prove myself, prove my worth to others. I fight the urge to pay back kindness, and to give gifts in exchange for love – a relief for my friends and family! So, the Gospel changes everything, what a statement. For me, the Gospel shows me my Heavenly Father, his unconditional covenantal love for me, beginning to heal the hurt.