Dear Christian “bad girl”,

I see you. I know you. I am one of you. I’m also a Jesus-loving “bad girl”. I’ve done things many Christians would cringe at the thought of. I know the awkwardness you feel when you are around certain “church people”. It’s not that you don’t like them, or don’t want to be their friend, but somewhere in your mind you wonder what they’d think of you if they really knew you, and knew the path you’ve walked.

Maybe you’ve even been hesitant to get involved in a church, or really get to know people there. I know I have.

It’s interesting because the people I’ve met who truly know Jesus are usually very loving and accepting, yet there were times I was still reluctant to connect with them. Sometimes I still feel like I need to put up a facade around them. Maybe you feel this way, too?

You wonder what they would say if they knew your past, especially the dark parts. You wonder how wide their eyes would be if they knew how much your mouth resembled that of a sailor, or how much wine you drink . . . on week nights. Or how you think inappropriate jokes are hilarious. You try to imagine their response if you were vulnerable enough to share the thoughts that go through your mind. You wonder if they would question if you really love Jesus.

I’ve been there, too.

But you do really love Jesus. So do I. Yet, I have committed just about every sin in the book. I haven’t murdered anyone yet, but besides that, yep, I’ve done it. And I’ve hurt myself and a lot of other people along the way. But I DO still really love Him. Maybe you can relate?

Here is the thing I’ve come to learn: Jesus loves us bad girls. He loves the heck out of us.

And He doesn’t want us to hide either.. even the parts of us that are scary to share. It’s through our testimonies, through these hard times, that His goodness is seen. Your failures, your sin, they don’t change whether or not you have a purpose or if he can use you. He can, period.

We might have taken a rockier road then some. We may have made a few (or a ton) more mistakes than some, but no one is perfect, right?

I think if Jesus were here right now he would give us a giant hug and say how happy He is to have us. He’d say we always have a place at the table with him, and that’s exactly where He wants us. No lecture, no shaming, just love. So, so much love.

Because to Him we aren’t bad girls at all, we are simply His beloved daughters.

So just know, the next time you question if you even belong in the church, or in a Christian community, or if you really could be open about your past without receiving condemnation, the answer is absolutely.

People who know the heart of Jesus and live it out will be there to extend that love and grace to you, no matter what you’ve done.

So come as you are, rebel heart and all.

Originally posted on the The Unraveling

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Kelli Bachara

Kelli Bachara is a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos. She is a mental health therapist, writer, and podcaster. Kelli loves her Goldendoodle, coffee, and this beautiful thing called life. You can find her at www.kellibachara.com.

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