You Take Me as I Am: Insecurity, My Boring Story, and Coming to Grips with Grace

I rediscovered this song this week. It's one of those songs that I love so much that I play it over and over and over again until I wear it out, and then I come back to it six months later. It took me a long time to wake up to what it's talking about, but now I'm starting to understand:

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

For much of my life I've had this aching sense that my story is boring.

I've had this restless doubt (and it still creeps in sometimes): my life story is subpar. It isn't exciting. There isn't any flare. No one wants to hear my Christian testimony. I can't point to any particularly dramatic moments when the lightning bolt of God’s power suddenly transformed me. I don't have a story that's worth sharing.

Some of this is due to my deep insecurity. There's a shadow that often weighs down on me. It comes in the form of insecurity. If I let it reign, it makes me doubt just about anything I think and say and do. Left to my own devices, I will hide in fear and never be known by anyone. I will slowly wilt away. This is why I desperately need to see God. God has to remind me who He is and why I can trust Him.

But I think the notion that my life story isn't good enough is about more than just my personal battles with insecurity. 

My doubts were reinforced by the Christian testimonies I would often hear celebrated: the awe-inspiring stories of God plucking someone out of the all-too-visible depths of brokenness and setting him or her on a new path of freedom. If these stories are anything, they're sensational. It's not that they're false or even exaggerated, just that they're dramatic. Now, I don't want to undermine any of God's mighty acts to save. I really don't. If skepticism or envy (or anything else) keeps us from celebrating with people who experience God's saving mercy, shame on us. Let's praise God for every one of His miraculous stories of redemption. That being said, it can be unhelpful when it's only these dramatic stories that we celebrate as spectacular.

If we think that a salvation story has to have the drama of extreme circumstances in order to be miraculous then we underestimate the power of God's grace in supposedly ordinary stories.

To get back to my boring story, I was ashamed of how uninteresting it was because I hadn’t yet begun to taste the wonders of God’s grace. I didn't realize how miraculous it was that God had saved me by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I didn't see the magnificent power that God displayed in raising my cold, dead heart to life. As it turns out, I knew very little about the power of grace.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought I knew about grace. I could rehearse the gospel to you. Grace was basic stuff. Of course I knew about that. But I had no idea how blind I was. I didn’t really know about forgiveness. I certainly didn’t know about the kind of forgiveness that’s free. I knew all about the Bible (at least I thought I did). I knew about serving God. I was an expert on morality, but I was clueless about grace. Although I supposedly knew that God forgave me of my sins, I didn't have a deep sense that I really needed to be forgiven.

No matter how much I looked like I had it all together, I hadn't come to grips with that most central and foundational Christian truth - grace.

I was oblivious to God's grace. It was all around me. I couldn't see that every breath I breathed, every I step I took, every bit of comfort and joy I had ever experienced came from Him. Beyond that, God had raised me out of the pit of sinful death. How could I think that was boring? The Spirit had awakened me to new life - a kind of life that never ends. How could I not see how miraculous that is? How could I think that being forgiven for the evils I had committed was anything less than astonishing?

How could I think that my prideful, selfish, unloving heart being raised to new life is anything less than supernatural? How could I want more drama than that? How could I want a more spectacular demonstration of power than that?

I hadn't seen the beauty and power of grace yet. I didn't realize just how desperately I needed it. I didn't grasp that God had to do something for me that I could never do for myself. I didn't know that grace oozed out of the very core of His being. I hadn't yet come to terms with just how mind-blowing it is that God has made absolutely free forgiveness available in His Son Jesus Christ, even for me. Even though it's too good to be true, it's starting to fasten its grip on me. As dense as I can be sometimes, I'm starting to understand that this grace has given me a story worth telling.

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again


Redemption Church is a safe place for absolutely anyone to explore and encounter Jesus. For more about who we are and where we hope to go, you can read our story here.