Today my daughter came to me with some pretty heavy Heaven/Hell, God/Jesus, Adam/Eve, good/bad, prayer/worry questions. I took a deep breath and I tossed up a quick prayer that He would help me help her.

For nearly an hour, she asked questions and we talked about big things. We walked away after a big hug and a promise to talk through and learn about these things together going forward, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to tell you about it.

So here I am. This is me.

I believe in God AND I have one billion questions. Like, SO MANY questions. I’ve had doubts and fears and worries. I’ve studied and read and prayed and worshipped. I have rejoiced and experienced a peace that I am certain was Him.

And here’s the truth: Sometimes I still fall into the lie that says I’m not the right kind of Christian.

When my young daughter was feeling some similar inadequacy and posing many of the same questions I’ve asked myself, I thought that maybe we aren’t the only two.

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Let me say that I greatly respect the writers and teachers who pour their hearts and a lifetime of study into sharing God’s word, but I’m not that kind of Christian. I’m no Bible scholar and I’m not comfortable cherry-picking verses to prove a point or teach a lesson. I am not confident enough in my ability to do this responsibly, so I’ve chosen not to do it much in my writing. But make no mistake that I’m pretty crazy about Jesus. I have some seriously mad love for the man who loves, forgives, and led us by example.

I’d 100 percent wear a t-shirt that says, “I’m with Him.”

That said, I’m messing it up in a million different ways.

The most life-altering thing I’ve learned along the way is that there isn’t a point system that earns me into Heaven. He loves me and literally all I have to do is let Him. And I do. I believe and I love Him and His grace covers my messiness. That’s pretty much what I told my daughter today and if I have to tell her every day until I die, then that’s what I’ll do. There are plenty of voices willing to point out the shoulds, so I’m going to be His voice that tells her she is wonderfully made and she is enough.

It is so incredibly complicated, but it is so very simple. She is enough. I am enough. You are enough.

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If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you know this whole Christian thing is real because you’ve felt it in your bones and experienced it intimately, but you’ve felt discouraged by the public face of religion and don’t feel qualified or called to be that kind of witness- you are not alone.

There are many beautiful, qualified, and genuine teachers of the Word and I sincerely hope you find a few to learn from and with. But in me, you will find a flawed human with big questions, genuine hunger for understanding, and a deep-rooted belief that loving God and loving people is enough. There are certainly times when I will tell you of these things, but for the most part, I hope that you will know it simply by knowing me.

Please look at me, read my words, feel my sincerity, see my messiness, and know that you are welcome here. Bring the love and forgiveness.

Your mess is welcome here, too.

That’s the kind of Christian I am.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Mandy McCarty Harris

Mandy McCarty Harris lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, young daughter, three dogs, and eleven backyard chickens. She writes about living happily in the messy middle of life. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and at HappyLikeThis.com

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