Good morning & good day. Another week has already passed and my soul can hardly believe it.
As I prayed through what this letter would contain for you, I felt pressure behind the wings of my thumbs to type what I am constantly reminding myself:
you are enough.
you are not expected to be perfect.
you are allowed to be human.
you are beautiful.
you are beloved.
you are in made in the image of God himself.
So often I place a measuring stick above my head and it is impossible to reach it's height. I may place a standard that I believe I should live up to, but not put it on others. I may place a standard that I believe others have placed on me. I wonder if you do this too. Do you place an impossibly tall measuring stick above your very own head, whether it be your standard or someone else's, and live life with this impossible standard looming and taunting you?
Whatever the standard is, it is crap. It is false. It is a lie.
You are not called to live out perfection, and instead you are invited to pursue a life of freedom. Freedom where Jesus gives you value because you exist and for no other reason. Freedom where the Truth is our friend, and offers Hope, even when we are awake during the darkest nights. Freedom where your identity belongs to Him, as His child, as His image bearer. Yes you will mess up, hurt others and yourself, reflect Him poorly...but there is grace and this grace will drive you to want more of Him. This grace will inspire you to love others deeper, to offer forgiveness more often, to share this grace that has been showered upon you.
This grace is life saving.
And you are okay.
Messed up, selfish, wholly-unincredible and all. You are okay. And your neighbor, your friend, your sister, your cousin, your mom? They're okay too. They're messed up, wholly unincredible, and broken as well...but He still loves them. He still made them in His image. And in your failings and in their weaknesses, He is stronger - His power is revealed through our misgivings. As we begin to see ourselves the way He sees us, we will also begin to see others in that way.
My girls, this is where redemption for the world plays in. This is where hope is birthed. When we see one another as He sees us, so we go and we offer grace and we invite others into this miraculous way of life that only Jesus offers.
And remember: you are okay. You are enough, right now.
Go about your day in a way that reflects the Truth that you are wholly beloved. With joy, Natalie Brenner