Yes, but

Believing and receiving the unconditional, unearned love of God for me is terribly difficult sometimes. Earning God’s love seems safer, more controllable,  more sure.

After all, I hold myself to very high standards of not just acting right but being right; of not just acting in loving ways, but being loving. Why would God expect any less of me than I do of myself?! I am often not right, and I am often not loving. Why would God not be disappointed in my human imperfections? Why would God not love me less because I continue to sin?

My husband tells me when he says I am beautiful, I roll my eyes. My husband tells me when he says he loves me, I wince. What is that? Do I do the same to God?

When I think of receiving God’s unconditional, unearned love, I feel rising in me a “Yes, but…” Yes, God, You say I am beautiful in Your sight, but do You really see who I am? Yes, God, You say You love me, but do You really see my heart?  Are you just loving who You hope I will someday become? Can You really, fully love me? Can You whole-heartedly, covenantally love me nowAlready?

This sketch and poem flow from the “Yes, but” place in me, the place where I roll my eyes at You, God, and wince. I block Your love. I am afraid You will one day wake up and see that I am not beautiful and that I do not deserve Your perfect love. I am afraid that if I open my heart to receive Your love freely, I will be rejected and my shame will deepen.

Sometimes I am afraid I am too much for You–too headstrong, too scattered and distractible, too talkative, too quiet. Sometimes I am afraid I am not enough for you–not worthy enough, not feminine enough, not lovable enough, not attentive enough, not trusting enough.

Yet, You say You love me as I am. You say I am Your beloved child. You say You will never leave me or forsake me. In the gospels, I watch how you love people like me, Lord Jesus. So I choose to believe, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

Instead of blocking You out with my “Yes, but…,” I choose to receive Your love, God. I choose to offer You an unqualified, “Yes!”  I choose to surrender to Your love. Please help me. Only You can take away the “but” and infuse the “Yes” with power.



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