Friday with Friends featuring guest writer Lauren Talley

I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen, wondering what to write, and the blinking cursor on my screen is taunting me.

“WELL? Hurry up and type something. You’ve got to get this to them tonight so they can post it tomorrow. But make sure it’s ironic, witty and heartfelt, with just the right amount of humor and gravitas. Wait, don’t say gravitas, it sounds uppity.”

Actually, the cursor sounds like the incessant critic that lives in my head.

“I don’t think my eye serum is working. When everyone sees my Facebook video they’re gonna think I look like Betty White. Actually, there was one comment last week about my eyebrows. I hope I didn’t sound stupid. I moved my hands so much it looks like I’m landing planes. At least you can’t see my stomach. When it gets bigger than...other areas, I’m not leaving the house.”

I’ve been a professional perfectionist for 37 years, and I am doggone good at it. Not that it’s a big accomplishment- about the only thing it’s ever gotten me was exhaustion and depression. I’ve spent my whole life trying to outrun my need for grace. For a lot of my life, I had this faulty belief that God was an aloof, distant character who was perpetually displeased, and I had to try hard enough to appease Him. Each prayer I prayed began with apologies and promises to try to do better. But He has a way of allowing our life compass to guide us back where we belong, and mine crash-landed me into a season of heartache and disillusionment. In the middle of a pit of pain, I finally learned about grace.

I had insisted on trying to be the proverbial older brother who does everything perfectly and still doesn’t feel it’s enough, when God wanted me to understand how it feels to just admit your humanity and need for grace, and bring it to the arms of a loving Father.

Bring Him your messy house, credit card debt, undereye circles, and middle-age spread. Bring Him your critical tongue, your temper, your jokes about other people, your secret sins. He wants all of it. Bring Him your humanity, and allow Him to redeem it.

(And if your stomach sticks out too much, He still loves you.)




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