We are in our last section of telling our story. We've covered:
Gender: Not living out our original design, family influences, and societal influences
Grief: Stripping away the pretense of life, enlarging the soul and knowing more of God
Grace: Forgiving, healing relationships, intimacy through restoring relationships and growing faith
Moving through all of this Ann and I experienced a deep level of gratitude. We realized we never would have made this journey of our own choosing. We were deeply humbled before and with God.
Brennan Manning says,
It takes a profound conversion to accept that God is relentlessly tender and compassionate toward us just as we are, not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance) but with them.
That was a new thought that He loved all of me. I didn't need to cover myself up, God can and wants to be with me just as I am. It's not a surprise to Him that I'm not perfect. :)
I heard a sermon once that mentioned that a huge part of Christian maturity is recognizing just how subtly, and not so subtly, we are sinful and self-centered. Overt sin we can recognize fairly easily, but it is in recognizing our self-centeredness that we can more fully own the grace God sends to us. We also begin to grasp His acceptance of us as who we are right now, not for what we can do for Him. He delights in us as we are and is working His art through our souls.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God's acceptance is always there, but we must own how despicable our self-centeredness really is (not in a self-contemptuous way but in an honest, grief-filled, humbling way). Allowing His acceptance to drive us to our knees opens our eyes to how profound his love really is and we can rest in being chosen by Him.
He delights in glorious and wretched me. I am grateful for his delight.