It’s close now. The day we eagerly anticipate all year.

I keep reading about how it’s okay to be imperfect, but I don’t think I believe it.

I look at myself in the mirror and am filled with shame at what I see.

I take stock of the life I’m leading, and I notice the creeping anxiety riding up my spine and across my shoulders, and I wish I didn’t live this way.

I can feel myself crumbling around my edges.

Almost every moment I feel the throbbing weight of my own humanity.

I’m trying to be honest with You, and I keep finding myself caught in dramaticisms.

I cannot pray myself into worthiness.

What is beautiful about Christmas, though, is that You came to us raw.

Unpolished.

Unfinished as the wood You worked with Your hands with Joseph. Full of splinters. Rough to the touch.

You didn’t come the way we thought You should.

That comforts me. It reminds me that I don’t have to live the way I think I should, either.

Maybe it’s the time of year to give a little grace.

Maybe it’s the time to let myself off the hook.

Because that’s why You came, isn’t it?

So that we could breathe a little bit.

This Christmas, o my King, give me the courage to tell all my story. Even the splintered parts.

As Advent rolls slowly, yet relentlessly into a day of rejoicing, teach me to gently how to actually rejoice in it. How to loosen the ropes I’ve wound around myself and breathe a little bit.

Teach me to rejoice in the freedom to be imperfect and unpolished.

You have given me the gift of being okay to be not okay.

This year, may I actually receive it with open arms.

*****

This blog post was inspired by Episode 473 of the RELEVANT Podcast -- one of my favorite things to listen to. Check it out.

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