Originally posted March 29, 2013
“Here’s what truly is at the heart of Wholeheartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.”- Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
Last night our family attended the Maundy Thursday service at our church. We sang one of my favorite hymns, Just as I Am, by Charlotte Elliot. Verse three: Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am. Why is that so hard? Why is it regardless of if we are discussing faith, family, friendships, or work, there is for many of us, lurking beneath the surface, the idea that things will be better when we are better, when we are more worthy. When I lose 5 pounds, when I clean up this house, when I am a better conversationalist, when I have worked a few more years, and feel more confident in what I’m doing. When my kids are older and better behaved in public, when I am better at articulating my feelings, when I have things figured out theologically, when I get rid of all my bad habits, when I don’t doubt…
When will we figure out that when is never, and that right now is the absolute best time to embrace what is? There is no perfect this side of heaven, and since when is perfection a prerequisite to worthiness and love? Why do we allow that kind of thinking?
I am not sure of the reasons this is so hard. Maybe part of our humanity is that we constantly question our Maker, push back a little (or a lot): “Am I really worthy? Do you really love me? Really? Just as I am?” Maybe there are old wounds that tell us we are not worthy, just like this, that we could use a little tweaking first. Whatever the reason, what I do know, is that without exception, every time I sing those words I quoted above, I feel a sense of release, and something in me feels raw, tender, and accepted all at once.
I am ready to throw off the weight of the whens and the ifs, and to see myself as one who is dearly loved, right now (see Romans 5:8 and Ephesians 5:1). Does that mean no refining? Absolutely not. Refining is a life long process. This isn’t about complacency, it’s about the first steps to realize that there is nothing that should hold us back from life, and nothing that should make us feel unworthy. It’s about taking the first steps to wholehearted living. Right now.