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I feel like a spectator. Like life is moving and swirling and exploding in technicolour glory for everyone else and I’m just watching. Waiting. Hanging back by the door. Tentative and nervous and small, sad and frightened. Where did my bravado go? My bluster, the confidence of youth? How did it leach away, to leave this fearful, tearful person behind? When did I become this melancholy shadow?

But then. I remember that God made me. I remember that he knit me together in my mother’s womb. I remember that he knows the number of hairs on my head. I remember that he knows my coming in and my going out. He knows about every tear that falls. And he loves me. He loves me so much sent his Son to take all the sin – the blackness, the stupidity, the hurts, the angry words, the jealous thoughts, the terrible actions, the spite, the venom, the mixed motives, the doubt, the despair, the arrogance, the willful ignoring of God – and all the punishment I deserved for that sin…and to obliterate it. To take the awful punishment on himself so I wouldn’t have to go through it. To be cut off from God so that I would never have to be. To make it so that I can be in a secure, loving relationship with the God of wonders.

There is immense peace in that. There is confidence to move forward. There is comfort and joy and boundless gratitude. There is motivation to be more than a melancholy shadow, but to know that even when I do feel that way, he still loves me. To paraphrase the old hymn, the things of earth do look strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.