Love Finds Us Where We Are
"Everyone makes mistakes."
This universal truth is one of the most underrated platitudes in the history of platitude-ness. That last word isn't really a word. I made it up. It should be a word, though.
We all know it. We have said it. We've had it said to us.
And yet, even though this platitude is so widely known, used, and re-used from generation to generation, most of us feel it's true for other people... but not for us.
So many of us are quite willing to offer grace to others who make a mistake, a poor decision, or take a wrong path, but when it comes to ourselves, we aren't as grace-filled.
Now plenty of folks act oppositely, so there's that. We've all met those people in our life, and there may have been seasons when we've been unable or unwilling to call ourselves out on our own junk.
But the fact is, there are far more of us who never give ourselves a break.
I know what it's like to regret past mistakes and wrong decisions. Maybe you do, too. If we're not careful, we can quickly find ourselves in a self-defeating spiral if we can't be set free from our regret.
We can wonder if we can ever move past what we've done or what has been done to us. We might even begin to believe that we aren't loveable---that we're too damaged to be known and loved as we long to be.
And sometimes, that belief also extends to our understanding of God's love and grace. This is a hard place to find yourself.
Poet Sofia Isabel Kavlin puts it like this:
What we were was emotionally needy and desperate for recognition — yearning for someone who would come to claim us since we could not claim ourselves.
The good news is that God's love is so all-encompassing that it doesn't just cover a "multitude of sins," to quote the Apostle Peter, God's love covers our entire past.
Author and speaker Bob Goff wrote about this a while ago. He wrote something that hit me like a ton of bricks---a simple thought that was both profound and beautiful:
Love finds us where are, not where we were.
Whatever has happened before serves as a lesson to us, but it doesn't define who we are or (more importantly) who we are becoming. God's love covers our past. We can look back on our past mistakes with eyes filled with grace.
The transformation that comes when we forgive ourselves and are set free from self-defeat, self-loathing, and self-pity is miraculous. It's the kind of transformation that is life-changing.
Because it's when we let go of the past that we learn to live fully in the present while trusting that the future is held for us by a God whose love holds no grudges, has no conditions, and is everlasting.
May you find the courage to trust that love and let your life be changed.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.