I debated lying on our Christmas card. I was fine with our shortlist of a few of our family’s favorite things—until I read a sweet friend’s card. It was wry, funny—and wonderful.
My own family is funny and wonderful, too. But suddenly, our answers didn’t sound holy enough or unique enough. And suddenly, I didn’t feel good enough. Despite the professional photos and glossy foil, my card suddenly felt lacking.
How easy it is for us to fall into the comparison trap. And for what reason? Certainly, Jesus is not asking this of us. He is not asking us to pretend to be someone we’re not.
Sometimes I still feel like I need to approach Jesus the way I do the world, with my best foot forward. But He is not put off by my secret struggles, my quiet shame, or my feelings of unworthiness. In the moments when I berate myself for something foolish I said or the hasty way I acted—when I feel my absolute worst—He sees me through the lens of love. I love how Lamentations 3:22 puts it: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (NIV).
He sees us burning up, sweating over the worst parts of ourselves, and yet—because of His great grace—we are not consumed. Instead, in Him, we can have hope.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
I need that rest. I need the kind of soul-deep rest that can only come from knowing that I am deeply and wholly loved, and that no mistake is too big, no failure too much to overcome His great love. Even as bad as things can seem, but for the grace of God they are not worse.
We are not consumed. And someone else’s Christmas card shouldn’t be enough to send us spiraling into self-doubt.
In the end, I left my own cards the way they were. We are imperfect, and struggling, and messy, yes—but we are also beautiful and loved. Just as we are.
Just as you are.