I Want to Be
I have this thing where I feel guilty with a preconceived notion that I’m not a good enough Catholic. That I’m a failure. That I’m not pleasing God and I’m a shame to my church and that I don’t put enough effort in and I shouldn’t have done this and that because it’s against the church teaching. It’s a harsh mindset, and it’s one that I’ve lived with my entire life. That I’m not a good enough Catholic for my God.
I wrote this in my journal today, while I was diving into prayer. It was after spending a night in pain because a good friend of mine told me that I was failing him like everyone does in his life. It was after I had scrolled through social media and saw post after post of scripture and Saint quotes from people that I know and look up to. It was after I had skipped a few days reaching out to God because of my own laziness. It was after I spent a weekend finding out that my dad relapsed once again and was admitting himself into rehab. I wrote this in the midst of feeling like a complete failure.
And you know, I used to believe that. I used to believe that God looked down on me, from His throne in heaven, and just shook His head with no words to say. I was stuck in this idea that God’s infinite mercy didn’t apply to me because I was too much. I had an understanding that I had to be in the front line of the mission field or the front pew of the church for my God to accept me. I used to. I don’t know what you profess yourself to in your faith, and honestly, you have the freedom here to follow God how you’d like. But if any of you sighed while reading this above, and said to yourself “I don’t feel like I’m good enough for God, either,” let me take you out for coffee. Literally, right now let’s go. Because we need to talk.
Do you understand the meaning behind the word grace? I see this word and am sometimes stumped by it, because it’s a God-word. There is a depth to it that is hard to explain, but I want to see if I can push through. When I hear the word, I understand it in this way: it’s something that I’m freely given but I acknowledge that I don’t deserve.
Say you do something pretty messed up. Your mom finds out and you imagine her first reaction is going to be to punish you or shame you. Instead, she gives you the biggest hug and says, “I see what you did, and I still love you.” That’s grace. And this kind of grace applies to the way our God sees, adores, and loves us, with absolutely no ending.
Grace means that I am wrong when I say that God looks at me and shakes His head or doesn’t approve of me. Grace means that I have a God, a Creator, who knows everything about me, my faults and imperfections, and still builds a castle for me to be safe in. Grace is a way to acknowledge God’s goodness, God’s forgiveness, God’s love. It’s me saying: I’m a broken-down sinner and I’m not the best Catholic and I’m not the best follower, BUT. I receive God anyways. I am forgiven anyways. I have a place in His kingdom anyways. I know I am not the best BUT, I want to be better. It’s the but to whatever lie you are hearing in your head about how unworthy you are to be called one of His children.
If you were looking at my life, you might have the inclination to say: oh man, Kat, you could be doing a lot better. And you’re right. Go ahead and say it. I know I could be doing better in my faith. And I desire to be better with my whole heart. I will spend every breath that the Good Lord gives trying to be the best for Him. BUT I will say this, in order for me and for you to receive this grace that He freely gives, we have to able to say:
I know I am lowly. I know that I am undeserving. I know that I don’t always do the right things that God says I should do. BUT I am covered and I am still loved exactly where I am. And I am striving to do better every day.
That’s why we don’t get permission to say “I’m not good enough for God to love me.”
That’s not a thing anymore. It never was. You don’t get to say that, anymore, if that has ever been your mindset.
It’s a really simple truth that is hard for us to remember and believe for ourselves.
So listen up.
There is nothing more or less that you can do for our God to love you any more or less. That’s why He’s God, because He’s infinitely good and He’s going to infinitely love us. It’s one of those things that none of us will ever be able to comprehend, but it’s something that we can live freely in.
The thing that makes us feel separated and “unlovable” by God is the way that we chose to love Him. You see, when we feel that distance, we are the ones creating it. He doesn’t change, He doesn’t love less, He doesn’t go anywhere. But we can change and love less and stray because we’re human and we forget that the infinite love of God is the most important thing in our lives.
We have to live our lives aware of the fact that we are going to stray from Him and mess up, and that’s going to make us feel like we are not “good enough” for God. Oh, there’s soooooo many lies behind that statement, and it’s so necessary that we remain aware that our failures and our shortcomings do absolutely nothing to change the way God loves us. I believe we should STRIVE to grow daily-that we should want to be better people so that we can live out the potential of our lives. But, to do so with grace upon ourselves, knowing that God isn’t asking perfection of us. He wants us and He wants to love us, and the way that you are right now…Girl, you better believe He loves you right there.
So, throw off the expectation that you have to be in ministry for the Lord to be proud of you. Throw away the lie that you are not good enough for God. Throw away the idea of needing to do everything perfectly so that the wrath of God does not come down and spite you. Nuh huh honey, that’s not God. Throw away a fear of displeasing God. He is simply pleased by who you are. There's no need to put on a show with a fancy dress in order for Him to look upon you with eyes of love. Give yourself some grace, girl, and step into the love that is specifically yours.