“I’m not good yet.”

It wasn’t unusual to find the note. She writes them often. I find them on my pillow or slipped under my door or on my bedside table. The notes allow her to say the things she can’t get out in words.

They’re a cleansing of her very tender heart.

She apologizes or confesses or asks questions she’s too shy to ask outright. They’re a channel through which she communicates when she might otherwise shut down. Sometimes they make me laugh but other times laughing is the last thing on my mind.

Like this particular time.

I found the crumpled note on my bed. It was obvious she’d almost decided to trash it and then bravely decided to deliver it anyway. Her whole heart, laid out on paper in just a few hastily scrawled words…

“I’m not good yet.”

Oh man.

I wasn’t surprised she was there, really. We’d been talking and studying about baptism and she takes nothing at face value. She wants to dig. She wants to know for herself. And she wasn’t convinced.

She didn’t quite believe she could come so close to God, soiled as she still was. She was still feeling irritation at her siblings at times. She still had moments of jealousy and selfishness.

She was still so imperfect.

She’d gone and done what even we do as adults. She was thinking too much about her own flaws and not enough about His grace. She was complicating the gospel and missing the gift tucked inside it.

Her guilt wasn’t allowing her to see the truth that the ONLY way to approach the hem of Jesus is with all our imperfections. We can’t hide them. We can’t try to stuff them down hoping they won’t sneak out while He’s looking. We have to accept them and present them to Him as a living sacrifice.

Because He already knows. He knows we’re imperfect. He knows we’re riddled with flaws and sins and wrong thoughts and impure motives. He knows we aren’t good enough which makes our desire to be better that much more precious to Him.

My little girl needed to know He wanted her anyway. Not later when she was finally good because that would turn into never.

He wants her now, flaws and all.

The amazing grace that I can’t even comprehend is that good and sweet and kind as she already is, He’s only just begun. It isn’t legalism that saves her. It isn’t the digging in of her heels or the gritting of her teeth, either. It’s the simple, every day laying down at His feet. It’s the opening of her heart and the willingness to listen and obey.

It’s the getting back up a little more changed every time. That is grace. That is mercy. That is God.

And He’s waiting.

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