What did you have to do to feel accepted when you were in high school?
Did you have to upgrade your style? Did you have to lose weight? Did you have to switch lunch tables? Did you have to ditch old friends? Did you have to use profanity? Did you have to disrespect your parents? Did you have to change the way you spent your weekends? Did you have to lose your virginity? Did you have to silence your convictions and beliefs?
All in the name of acceptance, right?
Last night, I was talking with a recent high school graduate about the newfound freedom she is experiencing now that she is out of the stressful culture that once pressured her to change things about herself to be accepted.
I laughed as I gladly welcomed her to the rest of her life. But then I got to thinking. Does the game of acceptance really end when we cross the stage and receive our high school diploma?
Five years out of high school and a year out of college, I admit I have been struggling to feel accepted lately. Granted, the pressures are not near what they were in high school (thank goodness), but the hidden struggle is still present.
I think about the few relationships I have where I know I am totally accepted for who I am – no change necessary. There is a comfort and confidence that comes from knowing I am loved and accepted just as I am. There is real freedom and joy in completely real relationships.
I love how Jesus consistently guides me to the truth when I discover my own weakness.
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
I am wholly accepted in Jesus Christ. Before God created the world, he decided to adopt me as his very own daughter. He chose me, just as I am, because of the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. I am eternally drenched in grace from the inside out.
The love and acceptance I have in Jesus is constant. It will never increase nor decrease. I am entirely his forever.
There is a comfort and confidence that comes from knowing I am loved and accepted just as I am. There is real freedom and joy in completely real relationships.
Today, I choose to walk in the joy, freedom, confidence, and comfort of my completely real relationship with Jesus – knowing I am enduringly loved and accepted just as I am.