Growing up, I’ve never been the prettiest or the brightest or the smartest person. In fact, I was a child who was picked on a lot during my elementary days. I was called some pretty awful things that I won’t share here. And because of that,I’ve always been one who is very self-conscious of myself but today I was listening to my colleague and another pastor talk about how it is simply just about loving the people and being there for them. This made me realize something about myself. I truly need to “just be me”; just be who God created me to be; be authentic!! Often times I know that is easier said than done but there is so much freedom, grace, and truth in being who God wants me to be! This summmer and other times when I’ve met new people I’ve always wondered what to say, how I come across, and sometimes am even quiet (I know hard to believe!) because I am so self-conscious around them. But I’ve come to realize that if people really love me, they will love me for who I am. So I simply want to say “thank-you” to all those of you who have simply let me just be me; no strings attached! What a gift of grace that is and may I/we all daily share and remember that gift of grace!