The Unedited Version
They say an author’s first novel is often autobiographical, and, although unplanned, Lynn Peterson, my lead female character, developed on paper much like… well… me.
After some critiques of the first chapter, Lynn needed editing.
I heard: “She’s all over the place,” “She’s on an emotional roller coaster,” and “I’m having a hard time relating to her because I can’t settle on one issue.”
While it wasn’t me the agents and editors were referring to, I connected with their critiques of Lynn.
I’ve had this fear, one you may share, that when I’m laid out in black and white for all to see, an unedited version of myself, I’ll be too much to handle… and the fear goes even deeper, touching an inherent need.
A need to be loved.
Because if I really think about it and ask God to search my heart, I’m not afraid of being known… I’m afraid of being known and not being loved.
Realization comes, then the question—Who can know EVERYTHING about me, inside and out, and still love me?
If we’re fortunate, we have at least one person who knows us well—a first draft version of ourselves with just a few minor deletions—and loves us well. Bring that person to mind.
Can they say: they know when you sit and when you rise (like 24/7) and perceive your thoughts from afar (Psalm 139:2, NIV)?; they discern your going out and lying down (like 24/7) and are familiar with all your ways (139:3)?; before a word is on your tongue they know it completely (139:4)?
Did they create your inmost being and knit you together in your mother’s womb (139:13)? Do they know all the days ordained for you before one of them came to be (139:16b) or the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)?
There is only One who is this intimately acquainted with all our ways (Psalm 139:3b, NASB) and “demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV) This is how it’s meant to be.
If another human being could fully know and fully love us, we wouldn’t experience a need for Jesus.
More than anything, Jesus wants to hold this special place in your heart. He wants to be your One and only… my One and only.
The only One who loves our unedited selves with an unedited love.