I am worthy of love. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of love.
I am not worthy of love. I am not worthy of love. I am not worthy of love.
Each pattern of words will unexpectedly race through my mind at any given point of the day. Moments of deep insecurity and pain scar my self-image (of mind, body, soul) till all I want to do is bury my face in my hands and pretend that I don’t share the same skin and thought and bone and emotion as the girl in the mirror. Other times I feel so rooted in my identity and so thankful for the orientation of my life that I couldn’t imagine filling anyone else’s shoes.
And the pendulum swings. Back and forth, back and forth.
I am not worthy of love. Because of human nature, this statement rings true through and through. The baby who entered this world from her mother’s womb, blinking with curiosity, was not so innocent after all. She was capable of betrayal and anger. She was a control freak and a perfectionist in the making, ready to dig her heels into surrender and spit in the face of her loving Savior.
And at 20 years old, this little girl in woman’s clothing is not only capable of hurt and wrongdoing and evil; she has committed it – at times even reveled in it. I am the essence of a vagabond soul screaming for the Gospel she doesn’t quite understand, desperately undeserving and hopelessly lost.
I am not worthy of love.
And yet… Someone said I was. The Creator of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the one-true God, (I believe a singular description for the fullness of His being does not exist in the English, if not human, language) saw this stained, guilty, wounded girl cowering in the filthy, dark shadows of some forgotten corner and called her Beloved.
At times the sound of the word pains my ears. Who would call me such? Who would look at the deep recesses of my life – beyond the obviously marred – to the struggles and choices and mistakes that I’ve stuffed to the very bottom of my own Pandora’s box – and call that child Beloved? How could that Someone love me after seeing and knowing and experiencing the full truth of who I am to a layer of my bones that I am not even conscious of? How?
I am worthy of love.
Removing God from the picture – this statement is utterly false. I am not worthy of love. I am rather far from it. No human who could fully see the darkness of my soul could justly say that I am deserving of grace. The life I have lived is not one that merits love. That is the truth.
But there is an even deeper Truth. Or in the words of Aslan, the great lion from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a “deeper magic.”
The One who looked at me and called me Beloved is the same One who spoke and commanded light to come into existence. He covered the earth with microscopic miracles and sprinkled the heavens with massive displays of His might. He fashioned these bones from dust and formed my consciousness with a mere breath. He is the essence of every virtue. He is Good. He is Truth.
In basic terms, what He says goes. From the spinning of electrons around the nucleus of an atom to the salvation of a soul, a word from His lips can stop time and speak anything into existence.
If this God can do all that, then despite the evidence on display at my trial, His verdict of Beloved rings truer than any of the marks against me.
Despite my filthy garments and tear-stained face and soiled soul, He pointed His finger right at me and declared, “That one. She’s mine. She’s free and worthy in My sight.”
And so it is true. I am worthy of love. Simply because the One who fashioned my being says that it is so.
And for the rest of my life I will struggle to earn this title of grace. And this perfectionist will grieve every time I fail because I will always fail to earn it.
But with each passing day I will press into His goodness so that I can begin to look more and more like the person He declares that I am. So that I can become more comfortable within this divine identity and decaying skin – more content in the paradox of my existence.
This is simply a declaration.
That I am His, and He is mine.
And nothing I can do will change that.