I try to be a good person. Try to smile at strangers, give my money to people in need, be open and accepting to perspectives that aren’t mine. I try to turn my cheek, hold my tongue instead of lashing out, live with a kind heart rather than a spiteful one. I try to stay positive, to pray, to think of others before myself.
But I’m not always good at being good.
Sometimes I lie. Sometimes I tell people things I know they want to hear, rather than the truth. Sometimes I ignore a situation I know I should get involved in, even when it hurts. Sometimes I am selfish, or walk past the homeless man on the street corner, begging for any loose change.
Sometimes I put on a front like I’m this great Christian, like I’m awesome at doing what God wants me to do, that I’ve fully put my faith in Him and don’t ever question or doubt.
But the truth is, I’m far from perfect.
The truth is, I swear. I gossip. I question His purpose and plan for my life. Sometimes I drink too much, or pray and wonder if He’s even listening. Sometimes I go weeks without opening my Bible, or get lazy and sleep in on a Sunday instead of going to church. Sometimes I talk the talk, rather than really living in His light. Sometimes I make my needs the center of everything, and forget to come to Him until there’s something I want.
Sometimes I really suck at being a Christian.
But the beautiful thing about you, my God, my Father, My Savior, is that even in every bit of darkness—even the darkness in my own heart—you bring light.
And even when I’m so far from perfect, you love me anyways. You give me healing. You bring me new beginnings. You show me that I am never far from your reach. And you guide me back to you.
God, I know I can be terrible. I know I let people down. I know I screw up. I know sometimes I break your heart with my sinful habits and selfish ways. But still, you forgive me. Still, you love me. Still, you remind me who you are, and who I am in you. Thank you.
Thank you for pulling me to my feet when I am down. Thank you for sending your Son to die for me. Thank you for your encouraging words and strong arms, reaching to me, lifting me out of brokenness. Thank you for your guidance. For your listening ear.
Thank you for being here for me on the days when I am so far from your presence, and for showing me that I can be forgiven and start again.
I am so far from perfect. I make mistakes repeatedly, even when I know better. I listen and study and focus on living like you, and still, I choose the wrong path. But you love me anyways.
You accept me as your daughter, as your child, as your sinful, beautiful creation and you make me shine even when I feel like I’m stuck in the shadows. You help me smile, even when all I want to do is pity myself and bury my head in the sand.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving me despite my flaws, despite my sins, despite all the ways I won’t and never will measure up to your perfection. Thank you for giving me a second chance, a third chance, a three millionth chance to start again, and for loving me, unconditionally.
I know that I suck at this, God. I know that I continue to fail. I know that I won’t ever be the perfect daughter you want me to be—but I’m trying. And I know you see that. Thank you. Thank you for loving me. And please, encourage me when I’m down. Give me hope when I feel weak. Right my path when I start to wander again.
Bring me back to you.