When Following Jesus Gets Hard

“Follow me”. Two little words. Less than 10 letters in total. Short sentence. How is it that these two little words are bringing me to tears right now!?

Several years ago, I asked Jesus what He wanted me to do for the kingdom and for Him. He spoke two words, “follow me”. In my heart I rolled my eyes a bit and replied with, “Of course I’m going to follow you. But what do I DO?” Again Jesus spoke and said “follow me”. I sat there for a moment and felt my emotions bubble a little. I was trying to figure out why Jesus wasn’t understanding my question. “Yes, gotcha, follow You, check. But what should I DO?!?!” At this point, I picture Jesus taking a deep breath, turning to His Father and saying, “Can you believe this kid?” (LOL) Instead, He lovingly says one more time “follow me”. At that point I got it, sunk my head down, slumped my shoulders forward and say, “ok, I’ll just follow you”. I felt like that was so lame and so easy. I was SO wrong!

Fast forward almost seven years and I find myself back at the feet of Jesus asking what I should do and I hear Him saying again, “follow me”. Only this time, I only need to hear it once. I burst into tears and I almost beg for release from this call of following without knowing. You see, I follow Jesus just like the Amplified Bible describes in Mark 1:17: accepting Him as my Master and Teacher, walking the way He did. He walked fully given over and in complete submission to His Father. He went where God told Him, ate what God provided and loved all who God brought His way. He had moments of sadness when friends died. He had moments of anger when the religious people of the day wanted to twist His words. He had compassion on people stuck in a life that was destroying them and others around them. He begged God for another way. In all of it, He remained faithful, and so will I.

Tonight, I feel like God is inviting me to trust Him more and I’ll just be honest, I’m struggling. I’m afraid He won’t make dreams come true, even though He has promised He will. I’m afraid the financial needs of my day-to-day life won’t be met, even though He has promised He will. I’m afraid I’m following Him wrong, even though I follow Him with a pure and honest heart only seeking to live more like Him in every way. I’m afraid I’m not enough, not seen, not heard and not known. Insignificant. Unremarkable.

Ah, I see you, my nemesis, and your name is Unremarkable. You have haunted me my entire life. You make following Jesus hard because you make me doubt that He loves me regardless of what I do. Even worse, you make me feel unloveable unless I am doing something I have decided is important. So, once again I say to you, Jesus finds me remarkable and while you served to protect me years ago, I don’t need you now. I bless you and I release you.

Following Jesus is hard, folks, let’s just be honest. We all come to the Cross, if we come to the Cross, with our own stories of trauma and pain. Your nemesis may not be called Unremarkable, but yours does have a name. Jesus is inviting you to follow Him completely. Live like He lived. Love like He loved. Sacrifice your life like He sacrificed His. Look your nemesis in the eyes, bless it and release it. Engage your story, dear friends, so that you are more able to “just follow me” when Jesus calls you. Cry, yell, journal, process, and then follow. Jesus is worth the risk.

Shalom,

KA

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