Being Beloved

Rob and I talked often about our mutual instinct toward performance and our mutual struggle to lay our striving down and accept grace. We both longed to know the love of God and rest in Him.

For most of my life, I believed my worth was based on my performance, my intelligence and skills, my ability to measure up. My life was a constant attempt to be the best at something and an inevitable disappointment when I fell short. I assumed God’s love was contingent on my good behavior, on my performance. That I had to earn His love.

Even though my striving always ended in disappointment, I kept longing for His love anyway. And even though my conception of Him was so misguided, He kept drawing me toward Himself. When I thought I needed to earn His love, in His amazing generosity, He simply welcomed me as His Beloved.

Discovering and embracing my Belovedness changed my life. God was not aloof, critical or capricious. He was a Good Father, a Gentle Shepherd, and a Loving Guide. And all of His goodness and beauty and truth, His very nature, He offered in love to me. I could choose to build my identity on disappointment or I could embrace my true identity — a precious child of God, eternally beloved.

That kind of radical hospitality blew me away. God didn’t care that I couldn’t measure up. He didn’t make me work to gain His love. He offered all of Himself to me, a kindness that would sustain me in the hard days that were to come.

Even grief can feel like striving if you let it. Am I grieving right? Am I feeling what I’m supposed to be feeling? Am I making progress? Am I trusting God enough? All of these questions reflect an attitude of performance, as though grief were an obstacle course I needed to complete with a prize at the end for “Best Job Done.”

Instead, in my grief, I hope to embrace the posture of Belovedness. God doesn’t want me to power my way through and be as strong as I can be. That’s not my work to do. All God calls me to do is rest in His love. I grieve — and live — well when I remember that I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine.

Published by Clarissa Moll

Discovering grace in grief

2 thoughts on “Being Beloved

  1. Oh, I get this one! Am I grieving right? I spent an entire counseling session on their very topic a few years ago. Now I understand grief is a journey for me and God. He’ll guide me through and it will be uniquely mine.

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