In Spite of me.
Over the past year I've come to the realization that I am far from perfect, but that's a no brainer because of course no one is perfect. It just took me a minute to realize it.
By perfect, I mean that I assumed I needed to do everything right in order to receive the blessings of God. I strived for the best and never settled for less because I thought by getting everything “correct” it would stand as the ultimate standard and lead me to becoming the woman I wanted to be and to the places I wanted to go. I had a specific vision in mind and it did not include the pain I’ve experienced and the tears I’ve cried. But, I’ve come to see that it was all working out for my good.
“All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Sometimes I even allowed my perfectionist tendencies to show up in my academic achievements. For instance, I assumed that If I aced this exam, if I passed this class, if I selected this school, and got this job then everything would be perfect. Piece by piece it would all fall in line. Yet I've come to understand that everything I’ve obtained in this life has nothing to do with my sole efforts, but everything to do with God’s grace over my life and His perfect will for me.
The levels I've gone, the places I’ve been, and the doors that have opened, just as well as the doors that have closed are all because of God’s grace. The Lord loves me in spite of me. The imperfect me. The woman who struggled with love. The woman who feared failure. The woman who feared public speaking. The woman who worked endless hours without breaks to accomplish a goal. Yet, no matter how high I’ve been or high low I’ve gone, I am the woman that I am because of God’s grace.
Grace is an undeserved favor. Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the undeserved favor of God.
I’ve finally made peace with my past and let go of the things that were, because God knows what He’s doing and He’s in control. It is beautiful to accept God’s love and grace for you because He has already chosen you in spite of who you are and what you’ve been through and what you may be going through. The Lord sees us at our fullness which is why He never gives up on us even when we can’t see it in ourselves. He sees every scar and flaw, yet He still chooses us.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
No one has to be perfect to receive the blessings of the Lord. To receive acceptance, favor, mercy, grace, and love. By and by I've learned that we don’t have to ask for these things because God has already given them freely. In spite of our past mistakes and imperfections these promises were already in His will for our lives. A free gift that could never be repaid. We just have to say “Yes.”
“The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22