Take Me As I Am, For I Was Born This Way

+ A Lenten reflection preached at University Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA on March 13, 2013 +

Text: Take, O Take Me As I Am, Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24

How many of us have faced hardship for being who we are? Have you been ridiculed or laughed at? Who among us has lamented that they were a certain, different way? I know for me, I have often wished that God had made me a little bit differently, a little more normally, a little…taller.

We can often hear Christians in the media saying that we are supposed to be a certain way or God doesn’t like these types of people or we should change this thing about us to gain God’s favor.

But the Psalmist reminds us that we were made exactly how God wanted us to be made.

“It was you who formed my inward parts. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works—that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.”

What powerful and liberating words. We are all made according to God’s design. Even though we cannot see God’s plan and where we might fit, God can and we are made to be part of that plan.

This particular psalm has provided great comfort for me personally. In college, when I was coming to grips with my sexuality and spirituality, the idea that I was formed according to God’s plan was what made me realize that there was nothing unnatural about who I loved or who I was. I had so often heard that homosexuality was a sinful choice and was not what God wanted. I didn’t want to offend God and sin with my homosexuality, so I lived life in denial and the closet. But I knew I had never chosen to be gay, and eventually, I realized that I must have been made this way. I eventually understood that, if I was made according to God’s design, and I was made to be gay, that wasn’t a mistake, but was God’s plan. That was when I was able to accept how I was made and thank God for making me the way that I am.

In the words of a more modern Psalmist,

“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are”
She said, “‘Cause he made you perfect, babe”
“So hold your head up girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way

David and Lady Gaga tell us that God loves us for exactly who we are, no matter how hurting, broken, or despairing as we may be.

For many of our LGBT sisters and brothers, the realization of who they are and how they fit into society can be a source of great pain and desperation. It was for me. But the God who made us and loves us is there with us in the dark times, even if we cannot see it or do not understand it. “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Even in our darkest times, God is there.

God was with us before we were formed and is with us still and will be with us in the years to come. God is with us in the darkness and brings us the light of love.

God knows exactly who we are and how we are made and loves us for it. God can see in to the depths of our souls and still loves us. God takes us as we are because that’s exactly how God wants us to be.

As we journey toward Easter and the promise of new life, let us celebrate who we are and how God made us.


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