As I get older, I have this inward sense of shedding the layers that once enrobed me.

I find myself caring less about what others may think of me, though the insecurities still visit me often. Intentionally peeling away the coverings you have grown accustomed to is scary. Vulnerable. Exposing.

Sometimes, my mind is juxtaposed with turbulent thoughts—the new thoughts pushing me to leave the worries behind yet the old mindset clinging on for dear life.

I find myself wrestling with the truth that though I desire to live with a renewed mind, my old foes visit me often. Fear, insecurity, worry, anxiety, anger—though I ache to abandon them completely, they still find a home inside my head, far more often than I care to admit.

And as I try and fail and try and fail, I am faced with the truth that was told from the beginning of time: my fickle heart betrays me.

I bow my head. The tears escape me and flow freely; I let them run their course. The tears that I once hid away no longer shame me, for I know they do me good.

They lead me home to You.

You, the One who calmed the storm and the raging sea. The One who loved the sinner, the harlot, the tax collector, the most despised, the least esteemed. The One who washed the feet of his betrayer and called him friend. The One who looked out on those who begged for him to be crucified and still prayed for them to be forgiven.

The One who died and rose again for the least of these.

For me.

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It’s been so long now since I met my God, but when I think back, it feels like yesterday.

It was an unassuming evening in my campus dining hall at college. I was a 19-year-old, party-loving, booze-drinking, living-for-the-weekend kind of gal. I knew all about God—or so I thought. I had grown up in the church. Yet really, I knew nothing at all.

I didn’t know that the Jesus who sat with sinners wanted to sit with me, too.

One encounter with this Jesus and I was completely undone. Ruined for the life I had been living.

And, truly, I have never been the same again.

Nearly 15 years later, I’ve learned that faith is so much more than turning up to church on a Sunday. It’s more than reciting scriptures and singing religious songs. It’s more than praying little prayers to bless my food and it’s more than Bible craft activities with my kids. It’s more than outwardly conforming to a set of religious standards. It’s just so much more.

It’s a relationship. It’s all about relationship.

It’s reading the scriptures that depict His death and being absolutely full of sorrow that my Savior did this for me.

It’s reading about His resurrection and rejoicing that he made a way, just for me.

It’s reading about Him calming the raging storm and praying that He would calm the storm inside of me.

It’s turning to His word in every season of my life and knowing he will make a way, even when there seems to be no way.

It’s taking the fear and worries and anger and anxieties and troubles of my soul and handing them over to Him. And then waking up and starting the process anew.

It’s trusting Him with my todays and every single one of my tomorrows.

As I get older, the layers—these insecurities, worries, old habits—they are no longer comfortable. They no longer sit right on me. Like an ill-fitted dress, I find myself tugging and pulling and not being at ease. They simply don’t have a place here any longer.

So, I say goodbye.

I disrobe myself of the things that weigh me down and I focus my eyes forward—to You, the one who saved my soul.

Lead me home to You.

Originally published on Her Mustard Faith

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Sina Steele

Sina is a wife, mom and creative from New Zealand. Along with raising her daughters, she enjoys working from home in social media, design and writing. She serves alongside her husband at a Christian missions-training college in New Zealand. She loves encouraging women to step out in faith, and you can find her writing ministry over at Her Mustard Faith.