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A Letter to the Christian “Bad Girl.”

Dear Christian “bad girl”,

I see you. I understand you because I’ve felt the same way you do.

I’m also a Jesus-loving woman who has often felt like a “bad girl”.

I’ve done things many Christians would cringe at the thought of. So, 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 before.

It’s interesting because the people I've met who truly know Jesus are typically 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. Or even your sense of humor.

You feel like you just might not “fit the script“ of a Christian.

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, but besides that, yep, I’ve done it.

And I don’t say that pridefully, because I’ve hurt myself and a lot of other people along the way.

But I DO still really love him, and I know I am, and always will be, a work in progress.

Here is the thing I've come to learn:

Jesus loves us. Even those of us who feel like “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 than some. We may have made a few (or a ton) more mistakes than some, but we all fall short.

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.

The love that transforms us from the inside out.

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 loved despite your past, 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.

You are not your past, you are not your sin.

You aren’t any less important to His Kingdom.

You are God’s creation, and He wants you to come to Him, right now, as you are.

-Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling

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