Friday, November 4, 2016


I shared this post on Facebook yesterday. I was blown away by how many people read it and then sent me either private emails or direct messages. I cried because so, so many of us are hurting and we don't feel safe to share that we're hurting.

We don't feel assured that we will be loved in spite of our pain.

We are ashamed that we're in pain. When did that become truth for us? When did we become a people who regards false strength as something to worship and achieve instead of loving people where they actually are even if where they are is a deep, dark pit? 

So many people are hiding who they are because they are afraid. Their fear and shame has defined them. That makes my heart weigh about 1000lbs.

So many people are hiding because there are always those people like the "1" email I received that told me they'd be praying for me because, obviously, my faith wasn't strong enough to "get over it". Seriously, thanks for the prayers. You won't ever waste one on me.  

Then, I started reading between the lines of these emails and messages I was getting. There's this undercurrent in every one of them that says maybe God doesn't love me if I'm this way.What is "wrong" with me? Why can't I "just be joyful"? Why can't we all "just get over it"?  Even the one from the person who thinks someone can pray off everything wrong on this plane of existence and we can all run through the tulips together.

And that pissed me off. Not at the sweet people writing me letters, but at the lies they'd believed. 

How do we counter lies? With truth. That stuff will set you free!

So here's what I believe:

We're God's children. He LOVES us. All of us. NO ONE is excluded. He loves us just like we are, right where we are today. Period. You can't be badder than God's goodness and love. You can't be bigger than God's heart. I KNOW this.

I have four kids and I love them. Do I always love what they do? No. Absolutely no, but I love them with a wholeness that can not be reduced. Nothing can reduce the love I have for my children and I KNOW that God loves me and the entire world even more than I love my kids.

He is bigger and cooler and truer and better and more everything than I will ever even glimpse in anyone on this plane, so if I can love my kids this way, I know that God loves His kids in a way I will never understand in its fullness.

So, I wonder...

I wonder if these sweet women who sent me those heart wrenching emails and posts believe, like I believed for a LONG time, that God is just waiting to bring the hammer down because they "aren't doing it right". I mean, when I struggle, my first thought is that I am not doing this right and something is horribly wrong with me. I know now that that is a lie, and yet I still struggle with that truth.
Sometimes, I imagined God just waiting on me to get to heaven so he could judge me and tell about all the blessings I missed because I wasn't perfect down here. I've heard that preached from a pulpit.

Perfectionism is something I struggle with every single day of my life and have for as long as I can remember so I tend to project that thought onto pretty much everyone I meet. I had to be perfect and do life perfect, whatever the hell that even looks like.

Life is hard. It isn't hard because I am doing something wrong or awful and God isn't waiting to beat me over the head with divine judgement. 

He already did that to Jesus in my place. 

God is waiting on me to accept His grace and do the very best I can right now and He will walk with me and not leave me in the dark because He knows the dark scares the Holy right out of me. 

We are not going to get to heaven and God point to the divine calendar and show us all the dumb things we've ever done and all the blessings that we've missed. I do not believe that because God is good. God is FOR ME. God gave His Son for me. He LOVES ME RIGHT NOW JUST LIKE I AM.

When my kids get hung up on their mistakes, you know what I do? I listen, let them know I heard them and, yes, they made a mistake and then I remind them of that time they gave up their seat for an elderly person. I remind them of the time they spent 30 minutes picking me the PERFECT bouquet of flowers (weeds!) and made my entire day. I remind them of how courageous they are and how gentle they are and how joyful they are and how much I love them. I tell them truth. They are not defined by every mistake they make!

How can I not believe that God will do even better than that when I go to Him and say, "DID YOU SEE THAT GOD? How can this ever be made right. I am so awful"?!  

How can I not believe that God won't say, "Yes, honey. I saw that. It was a tough day. Do you remember that day that was even harder and you were still kind and gentle and prayerful?"  

And He'll smile at me and hold me close, because He is a good Father. He isn't waiting to punish us. He's waiting to love us.

He reminded me just yesterday that I didn't give up. Not on my husband or my friends or my babies or myself and, most importantly, I didn't give up on Him.

And He never ever gives up on me or you or anyone else. Like every parent, He remembers every tear and every kindness. He isn't waiting to punish us. He's waiting on us to come get a hug.

If that hug precedes a Lexapro and a good hard cry on the bathroom floor or something else we're told repeatedly to feel horrible about, God isn't loving you based on you.

He is loving you based on Jesus. 

You get to be imperfect and broken and still be loved. So does everyone else.

For God so loved THE WORLD. The entire, whole world just like it is was right then even when they hung His only kid on the cross. Actually, especially when they hung Jesus on the cross.

We aren't bigger than that. Our pain and our hurt and our joy and our heartache and our laughter and our lives and our good deeds and our mistakes aren't bigger than that. Thank God!

Love, K

 ps...even if you don't believe this today because the lies are big and loud right this minute, it's OK. You're OK. Maybe even audacious because you're still fighting and I believe God loves audacious people and scared people and sad people and all the people. All the time. He is to be revered for that reason more than all the other reasons. Amen.

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