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Come As You Are

From the moment I stepped foot inside a Christian community I began hearing the simple phrase "come as you are." and I was convicted to share it with others too. I wanted to live it out, and to present the feeling of unconditional love no matter who was in the room. This phrase quickly became just that, a feeling. Even when it wasn't spoken aloud it was felt so deeply within this Christian community.

 

Over the past two years God has been molding and transforming who I am. I made the decision to get baptized in 2020 and since then have been praying that God will use me for His glory. That He will break all the chains,

crash through all the walls, and build me back up into His image. This prayer was scary, it still is. But it is also the most liberating prayer I have ever prayed.

 

I recently came back to this prayer and began reflecting on what has happened since I first spoke those words. In a matter of months God has been doing a clear work on my heart. And this work has been painful to say the

least. It feels as if He's taken a spotlight and pointed it on all the deepest darkest parts of me. He's challenged me to step out into the light and allow this transformation to take place. I cannot tell you how many times I have

wanted to run the other way. I have wanted to avoid it all. To deny the words that need to be said. To ignore the brokenness that still consumes me at times. But no matter how scary it gets I am brought back to that moment in the water. The decision I made the moment I gave my life away will forever have the biggest impact on me. Little did I know this decision to surrender wasn't a one-time deal. It was and still is a choice I make, each and every day.

 

Speaking of choices, in the past few months I decided to seek professional counselling. For the first time in my life, I started speaking to a therapist. I made the choice to not sit in the dark and talk to someone. This decision was HUGE for me. It was also very scary. And if I'm being honest, I've wanted to run away nearly every time I see my next appointment approaching. But something amazing begins to happen when you lean into these uncomfortable moments and that's why I'm writing this right now.

 

I've been exploring my subconscious choices, specifically the choices I make in relationships. For most of my life I've believed that I needed to earn my relationships. To provide something in exchange for friendship, companionship, or love. Be it food, gifts, time, or emotional support, I have always felt like I needed to bring something, give something, to keep people in my life. Maybe to prove that I was worth keeping around too. And unfortunately, when others don't appear to "need" me, I feel like I need to do more for them to show them I’m still here. I desire to be needed by the people in my life and I have a hard time stepping back and allowing God

to do His thing. I have a hard time feeling worthy in relationship when I cannot offer something.

 

I'm telling you all of this because this personal realization really hit recently and that original phrase, “come as you are,” came pouring back into my mind. I started thinking about the relationship I have with Jesus and wondering if my worldly relationships truly reflect this? Jesus modelled for us what relationship can and should look like. He has always whispered "come as you are," and yet I never fully let this hit my heart in all the ways it could.

 

It makes me think about Mary and Martha in the book of Luke. Martha felt like she needed to provide a service to Jesus, but Mary made the choice to be still. Just like Mary I'm brought to my knees with the realization that I bring absolutely nothing to the table and that's okay. Jesus stills wants me. He still desires to be in relationship with me and I don’t need to earn His love. I'm beginning to learn that it's okay to just be in relationship with people too. I do not need to prove my worth, I can just be me.

 

I've spent most of my life placing false expectations on myself and my relationships, but God is truly breaking these chains. He’s teaching me how to love others who have nothing tangible to give, and how to take the pressure to perform off of myself too. When Jesus calls us to come as we are He is saying, “you are worthy of love.” Jesus has truly saved me from myself. From the lies I grew up believing, and from the fears that have left me crippled in the past.

 

I have come a long way and I have a long way to go, but I want to invite you along on this journey too. I'm praying that you are able to step in to the light despite your fears. Come as you are, and I promise I'll do the same. 


Kerstan Cooper