Known & Loved

Meet Erin!

Erin & I haven’t known each other for too long, but that doesn’t matter because we’ve connected so quickly. We are co-workers at Forever 21, and that is where our friendship began. She is the spunkiest, cutest, most kind-hearted person I’ve ever met, and her heart for the Lord & His work is big. I’m so excited for you all to get to know her a little bit. She has impacted my life greatly, and I know what she has to share will impact yours too!

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I was driving to work one day feeling heavy and sad. I didn’t know why.

Anxiety. Worry. Guilt. Shame.

“What?”

Anxiety. Worry. Guilt. Shame.

“Guilt? Shame? I don’t have those things. Of course I’m anxious; I’m a college student. Maybe every once in a while, but it’s really fine. Everything’s fine.”

I didn’t want to admit that I struggled with these things. I pushed the 4 words aside for a couple weeks & tried to convince myself of my “fine-ness.” I like feeling all-together… People that struggle with those 4 things don’t have it all together.

Getting ready in the morning- Anxiety. Worry. Guilt. Shame.

Going Grocery shopping- Anxiety. Worry. Guilt. Shame.

Sitting in class- Anxiety. Worry. Guilt. Shame.

Lying in bed- Anxiety. Worry. Guilt. Shame.

I’m sure you get it by now, but I still didn’t. If anything, I was ticked that I couldn’t get those words out of my head. They ran through my mind for weeks. They became kind of a little rhythm or even like a weird poem that my mind would repeat to myself over and over and over and over. I pushed them aside, denying their significance, until one day I just couldn’t anymore. I knew something had to change.

There’s nothing I did differently, necessarily… I didn’t learn yoga or buy essential oils or spend more time outside (although those things really are cool.) I knew God had given me those words, as a super painful (but also awesome) gift… So I stayed close to Him. I prayed when I didn’t want to, I read His Word when I didn’t want to, I sang when I didn’t want to. I trusted. I surrounded myself with people that I knew would be honest and understanding and uplifting. I spoke with people that I knew had gone through similar things. I spoke with a woman trained to help people who were feeling what I was feeling. And I trusted.

And God has been so so faithful, guys. He brought my sin to light, and was with me through every step. God has been so good to free me of those 4 words. I am free of feeling heavy & squashed & crushed with worry. I know without a doubt that this is an answer to prayer and a result of staying close to Him.

Within the past month or so, God has brought the story of the woman at the well (John 4) into my life 7 or 8 times (when Taylor said this blog is called The Well I almost passed out.) For those of you that don’t know it, Jesus, a Jew, was alone and resting at a well in Samaria in the middle of the day. Jews and Samarians realllyyyyy didn’t like each other. Also, no one would normally draw water in the hottest part of the day, but this Samarian woman did. She was probably trying to avoid all the other women that went in the morning. This woman lived as an outcast, in shame.

Jesus started talking to her, which was shocking enough because she was a Samarian woman. Then, he asked where her husband was. BOOM. That hit her right where it hurt. He knew she’d had 5 husbands and was living with a man that was not her husband at the time. He called into the deepest, darkest, most sensitive part of herself. He brought her ugly, shameful, sins to the surface, saying “I know your most shameful things, your most sinful things. You can’t fake it in front of me. And wow, I love you.”

He also told her about how he is the living water, and how those who drink from what he offers will never be thirsty again, and will receive eternal life. She left the conversation knowing that she was fully known and fully loved by the Savior of the world. She knew that he would sustain her and love her forever, despite her shameful past and sinful condition. How amazing is that.

I feel like I was kind of like the woman at the well. God, in His good and perfect timing, brought my darkest sins to light right when it was time to deal with them. It was hard to hear and it was ugly to go through. But through it all, God showed me how faithful He is, how sweet He is, how gentle He is, and how loving He is. He is a healer and redeemer.

I know it’s not unique or different or crazy that I’ve struggled with anxiety and worry and guilt and shame. It probably would be more unique if I didn’t. It’s still such a hard concept to wrap my mind around: being fully known and deeply loved. How incomprehensible is it that God knows all of these feelings and my deepest darkest parts of me and loves me anyways?! It’s so silly that I try to clean myself up or act like I’m fine in front of Him… because He knows my flaws better than I do. And to Him, I am still so worth loving.

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