Falling back (to Jesus) was easy after a season of having fallen away. The utter and complete emptiness I felt while living in such a faraway place was soul crushing. I had this moment, this scales falling from eyes after a season of true deception moment. I knew the only answer was to return. Greatly shamed and certain that He wouldn’t possibly take me back without a severe beating of some sort, I moved back into Jesus. Prepared for whatever discipline I deserved, I said, “Here I am if You want me.”
He wanted me. From that very first moment of falling back to Him, there was a tenderness He used when dealing with me. What I expected to be discipline turned out to be a season of untangling the web of lies that had formed in my mind and heart. There were consequences for my actions, ones we had to work through over the next few years. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t easy. But the journey through healing was ultimately what helped me to truly see Jesus for the first time in my life.
He accepted me “as is” – no clean up necessary before coming back. In that, I found He wasn’t who I thought He was all along. For many reasons I expected Him to have a heart like mine, one which would remain cold to me until I had paid enough of a price for my failure. Nope – not like me at all. I anticipated Him to constantly remind me of how much I had blown it and how people were hurt as a result of my actions. Nope again. Rather than focusing on the “what” of what I had done, He continually had me focus on the “why.” Why was I lacking so much within me and my relationship with Him that I felt the world might have something better to offer? Those why questions were what we spent countless hours exploring.
For those who have fallen away in any area, great or small, this is the Jesus who awaits your return. He’s not waiting to berate you or remind you of what a failure you are. This tender Jesus who stands with open arms will simply embrace you and help you to pick up the pieces and find restoration. Fall back to that Jesus.
I hope you know this Jesus, the real Jesus, not some man-made image of the people in your life who have let you down or beat you up. If you are in a clean or dirty season, He’s the same Jesus.