During a counseling appointment, I discovered something about myself: my deepest desire is to be fully known and yet still loved. That “and yet still” says a lot about how I view myself. I wonder if it resonates with some of you.
“To be known and loved.”
I crave connection. Some of the greatest joys in life come from finding a common thread with another person and the other greatest joys are made more joyous by sharing them with someone else.
Connections are built through self-revelation — through sharing one’s experiences, thoughts, dreams and fears. Vulnerability begets vulnerability and an initial act of self-revelation lays the foundation for a growing, authentic friendship.
We all crave love. Love lies at the core of our being. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that in experiencing and participating in the love of God and the love of others, we find the purest fulfillment of our purpose. I’m sure that I’m not alone in desiring to be loved.
These two words are weighty. They testify to the brokenness that we recognize within ourselves. They testify to our self-loathing. They testify to our fear of vulnerability and our fear of rejection.
Having experienced these feelings and fears, I found that self-deception was not the answer. My self-loathing was not solved by the dismissal of my faults. Telling myself that my brokenness is not actually brokenness didn’t fix it.
I found healing from self-loathing in self-acceptance, brokenness and all. I found healing in embracing the “yet still,” not rejecting it. I found healing in experiencing the scandal of divine love. God, knowing my brokenness fully, loves me anyway. I found healing in accepting the familiar words of Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
In the scandal of divine love, my deepest desire finds its fulfillment. I am fully known — brokenness and all — and yet still I am so deeply loved.
To conclude, I’d like to take a risk. I’d like to confess my brokenness to you and ask for your grace, acceptance and, perhaps, love. I hope that it will make someone feel less alone and that it will be an encouragement for you to take the risk of vulnerability as well.
I have gossiped. I sometimes don’t brush my teeth. I have said degrading and offensive things about others in order to make people laugh and win the approval of man. I have failed to respect and honor the dignity of each person. I have failed to respect and honor my own dignity. I have spent too many hours playing video games. I have lied to make myself look better. I have failed to steward the created world. I have loved people in the way that I want to love them rather than the way that they want to be loved. I have been unwilling to accept and to offer constructive criticism. I have been a messy roommate. I have consciously ignored the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I have rejected the freely offered love of God.
Knowing me more fully, I ask for your grace, acceptance and love as a member of this community. If you cannot extend it (and I understand why), I will rest in the love of God nonetheless.
I hope that you will be willing to take the risk of vulnerability. Only by allowing yourself to be more fully known can you more fully experience the beauty of the “and yet still.” I pray that you will experience and participate in the love of God, the love of others and the love of self.