Confession

There have been many times in my life when I have thought of myself as a saint, as one of those strangely holy humans who have graced this planet with their presence. And I have thought of this arrogance as acceptable, because it took true humility to be willing to recognize oneself as righteous and called to be an example that would be an affront to many. Crazy thinking, huh?

This sense of "holiness" has many times kept me from being open to new ideas and new ways of experiencing God. If I experienced God in a unique way that could seem theologically off-beat to someone else, I thought of myself as an exception, because I was doing or thinking or hearing the "right" way.

In my life it has been hard for me to accept being "normal" and to accept my humanity and everything it means to be human. My spiritual existence has come more naturally to me. Every day I learn more and more about my humanity, about my place in this mix of a universe, and how limited I am.

Tonight I chatted with a friend on the phone and when she asked about how my internship was going, I shared about all of the new things I am learning. What she heard was what an amazing internship I have, not my sense of being under-qualified.

This week I've thought a lot about the grace that has been poured out upon me. I feel as though I have been blessed since birth by God. I was born in the United States of America. Wow, that right there is a huge cup of overflowing undeserved grace! My family was very poor (by US standards) when I was born. They lived off surprise bags of groceries that arrived on their front steps and random deliveries of cash to their mailbox. But that time in their life acted as a training ground for my parents to develop shared values about money and hard work. It was also the tender soil to which my mom's faith in Jesus Christ came alive, which was a spark for my identity in Christ.

I was blessed with early faith - another example of God's overflowing grace! I was able to attend a great public school, receive a good education, tracked within the higher level classes, and given freedom to explore my faith in the public setting. More grace.

I also had amazing guy and girl friends. In childhood, God placed around me young people of faith who were willing to share how important the Bible should be in my life, and how God guides how they live. During my teenage years and beyond, God answered the prayer of one of my now friends and brought together six young women to support each other through puberty and beyond. And when I think of the guy friends God placed in my life, I give praise for the model they set for how men and women should interact. God protected me in so many ways.

I also think about the many opportunities that have come my way and the manner by which God has graced me both with these opportunities and the discernment process to decide which ones to accept and which ones to turn down. Such powerful leadership training! What great places of accountability! None of my doing. Which is something I realize now, but didn't realize then. I was given an advantage over other children, youth, and even young adults.

My life is the formation of God's working and orchestration. My life is really not my own. I was bought at a price. And that price was the death of God's son.

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