Confessions

There have been so many times when the words of one of my favorite writers, Ann Voskamp, line-up completely with the state of my heart and recent reflections of how God is restoring my life. Today was one of those times; her outward transparency paralleled my inward insecurities to a raw extreme.

I find her transparency inspiring, and the boldness she has to publicly confess the flesh -the real- deeply refreshing. She confesses the things we as Christians feel like we ought to have ironed out by now but indeed still have difficulty grasping.

Quite honestly, I think that the simplest aspects of God’s love are often the most challenging to accept, especially when constant self-examination continues to expose the ugly, making our sin seem like a giant stain that will never wash-out.

And it won’t, not on our own.

That’s why we need Jesus. That’s why we need his church. To support and pray and practice forgiveness: both receiving it and giving it. To live out our relationship with the Lord in a way that challenges and refines the body, sharing lessons and confessions that lead us closer to the life God intends for us.

Ann’s confession did just that, for my sister’s struggle with the theory of grace mirrors my own. A struggle that has been holding me back from true love.

Because she said it so beautifully, I’ve decided to insert her words as my own confession. In doing so, I’m acknowledging my humanness and incapability to grasp such a holy concept, but at the same time re-committing my thoughts to be filled with the truth God has gifted to me.

For whoever reads this, I pray a revelation of receptive truth and acceptance.

_____

I struggle with grace.

I struggle to comprehend that I am fully loved by God no matter how much I fail.  That’s the place I go when I let too much cover up the truth of God in my life.

Because I know myself. I know all my weaknesses and failures. I know what I’ve done and what I regret and what I’ve been saved from. I know all the ways I continue to fail on a daily basis.

And if I’m disappointed in myself — then how is God not disappointed in me? How does He look at me with unfailing love and hope that I’ll do better tomorrow but won’t love me any less if I don’t?

It doesn’t make sense.  And sometimes it just feels easier to cover these insecurities up and pretend they’re not there instead of exposing them to the light.

Over the last few weeks God has shown His love to me in a hundred different ways, just small simple things.  There have been moments when I’ve almost felt like it was too much. More than I deserved. Confirmation that He is weaving together plans and purposes and a future I couldn’t have imagined.

And I’ve felt Him say to me in the deepest part of my heart, the part I sometimes let get too covered up, “You are so much harder on yourself than I am.”

I am. I’m hard on myself. I get caught up in the comparison game and feel like everyone is loving better, living more purposefully, doing more significant things and, essentially, blooming so much better than me.

I give other people the benefit of the doubt, but I never give myself that same grace. And that’s what God has been whispering over me.

Grace. 

He has never once looked at me, shook his head and said, “Wow. What a failure. I should have gotten someone else to do that.” That’s not how He works.

I don’t know if any of us have the capability or the comprehension to ever fully grasp the love of God. It’s too big. But I know that the only way we’ll ever grow and become what He has called us to be is when we expose ourselves to the light.  That’s where we bloom.

That’s where we have the fragrance that tells the world

who we belong to,

what He has done for us,

and that we are covered in ridiculous amounts of grace by the light of His truth.

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