Why I am here.

This morning, I read a blog post by one of my favor authors, Emily P. Freeman. It’s so good, that you really should read her post today on Chatting at the Sky. I appreciate her because she gave me freedom through her words. Her books, Grace for the Good Girl and A Million Little Ways were simply life-transforming, and if you’re a recovering good girl, like she and I are, you should consider reading them. (If you hurry, you can get Grace for the Good Girl as an e-book tonight for 99 cents!)

Emily gave me another gift. She gave me the courage to start this blog. She issued a challenge to live my art, and I accepted it, albeit with a little fear and trepidation. (All right, a lot of fear and trepidation!) And here I am, writing my vulnerable thoughts on a page for you to read and criticize and debate and discard. What? Yeah. It’s a scary place to be still. And you know what? Emily encouraged me again today, as I read that even after her success, and thousands of words on pages, she still feels vulnerable about the words she puts on a page.

You see I’ve dabbled in many different topics here in this space. I’ve tackled some heartfelt, down to the depth of my soul stuff, and I’ve thrown out some questions that nag me. I’ve experimented with the controversial and poured out the ache that sometimes overwhelms me.

This is a place where I take what I’ve been processing and put it out there for others to relate to, to challenge. Sometimes it’s a nudge to think differently. Sometimes it’s a question to see if I’m crazy. Sometimes it’s just thoughts on a page. And I guess that’s what you’re getting today.

At the end of the day for me, all of these thoughts are about the incredible, unimaginable, uncontainable Grace of God. Every day I am amazed at His love for me. Every day I am inspired to push the boundaries of this Grace just a little more. No, not by seeing how far I can go before He stops giving me Grace, but by asking questions.

And so friends, what I want you to know today is this:

More than anything else, I want you to know you are loved. God loves you. He sent His Son for you. There is nothing you can do that can put you out of the reach of his love and concern. Nothing.

“Fear pushes and shoves us around, but Love leads deeply and gently within us,” she writes.

I want desperately to help you understand that fear of punishment and hell and damnation are NOT the Love that leads deeply and gently within us. The world is a harsh and crazy place. It is filled with people and places that demand, that claw after our souls. We need a refuge. We need a place, a someone where we can be our authentic selves and be wholly and completely loved.

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:7-8 

That’s the Love that leads deeply and gently within us.

I fear I will be misunderstood, that I will be looked at as one who condones, justifies, diminishes the judgment of God and the obedience to His Word. And tears, they well up as I type these words, because I know what it’s like to stand in the judgment of others. I know what it’s like to fall and fail. I know how it feels to be discarded and overlooked and shamed. My heart is broken for the way the church has treated the wounded and I can’t help but pour out those concerns in this space. And I will risk the misunderstanding in order to make sure that you know that.

So thank you for taking this journey with me. Thank you for being my encouragers and challengers. I am grateful for the privilege of invading your inbox and your soul. For the broken and weary, He longs to give you rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Yes and amen.

 

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