“Just as I am, she’d said. I’m loved just as I am. She sounded so surprised. Me, too.”
“It strikes me that it’s always the religious people who are most surprised by grace. Those hoops we become so exhausted from jumping through? We created them. We forget that our maker made us human, and so it’s okay—maybe exactly right—to be human. We are ashamed of the the design of the one we claim to worship. So we sweep up our mess and hide our doubts, contradictions, anger, and fear before showing ourselves to God, which is like putting on a fancy dress and makeup to prepare for an X-ray. I think about how the people who seem closest to God are often not dressed up and sitting in pews, but dressed down and sitting in folding chairs in recovery meetings. They have refused to cover themselves up any longer. They are the ones who are longer pretending. They are the ones who know. Pain led them to their rock bottom, and rock bottom is the beginning of any honest life, any spiritual journey. These are the ones who know that faith is standing naked before your maker and asking what Craig asked me in the therapist’s office that day: I just need to know if you can really know me and still love me. God’s yes to us is free and final.”
// Glennon Doyle Melton
I fully believe that often times the Universe brings something into our lives for a specific purpose. While I waiting for my turn in line at Qdoba the other day, I was reading Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I had checked it out from the library three times by this point, but hadn’t read it. There was something drawing me to the book, but I was resisting. Finally, I allowed myself to be open to whatever message I need to hear from Glennon’s story. I’m in line when I read the above passage and tears start falling. I’m sure I looked a little ridiculous, but I didn’t care. I read that passage several times, and kept coming back to it over the course of the day.
These words are haunting me in the most powerful way. These words are why I needed to read this book, at this exact moment in my life. Because what I’m realizing in this season is that I am truly, fiercely, deeply loved just as I am. 2016 was a hard year for me. Certainly not the rock bottom that some have lived through, and for that I’m unspeakably thankful. But, just because it wasn’t as bad as someone else’s rock bottom doesn’t mean that it is any less important in my story. And so now, I’m healing. I’m remembering why I have the word grace tattooed on my wrist. I’m relearning the things that bring me joy, and I’m celebrating those things and incorporating them into my life. I’m taking a cue from Jordan and learning to live with my soul on fire. I’m no longer pretending and I’m finding myself in the healthiest, happiest place I’ve been in a really long time.
I’m opening myself up to God’s free and final yes, and it is a beautiful place to be.