One of my favorite Biblical characters is King David. He messed up in a huge way but kept a tender heart before the Lord. He was always real with His Father. Psalm 142 says that he poured his complaints to God. I have always thought about the fact that David is called a man after God's own heart, and I believe it is because God had his heart. I mean, when you read some of the Psalms, David says some crazy stuff that most of us would be too scared to utter - especially to God!
I have endeavored to keep my relationship with God genuine. I usually spend the first 20 minutes or so of my day talking to God and giving Him all my cares, concerns and all the "ick" in my heart. Engaging with God this way consistently has brought so much peace. We are not made to bear the weight of all the burdens that come on us in this world.
The other day, as I was washing off all my makeup, it hit me that after spending time being real with God, I then take about 20 minutes to make up my face in an attempt to cover all of my flaws. We all want to put our best foot forward, but at what point to we just say, "here I am - like it or not?" I have had too many fake relationships that I am in the place now where I crave true community. I want friends who know me, flaws and all, and still love me.
It is vital that, if I am wanting to be loved unconditionally, then I must love unconditionally. Many years ago, I would get close enough to someone to see their flaws and then not stick around to love them regardless of those flaws. Now that I have had years of loving people in their icky places and also receiving love in my not so pretty places; there is so much freedom in that place of true friendship. Isn't that what we all want - to be accepted just like we are? Let's practice accepting others just the way they are. After all, the only person who could ever claim to be flawless is Jesus and He thinks we are all pretty great :)