I have several people who tell me they are excited and anxious to read my memoir once it is finished. I’m encouraged, flattered, and intimidated by that; I hope many people will eventually want to read my story and learn about how I was transformed by God’s infinite love – but I’m also scared to think about people reading the intimate details of my failures both past and present, and seeing the imperfect me (which is really the only me there is when you get down to it).

Maybe my memoir should come with a rating like movies do. It would not be G-rated. My story is about as real and down to earth as you can get; and just because my life is more “normal” now, just because I follow Jesus, doesn’t change the reality of life both past and present. I am a flawed (but lovable) human being. I have a strong sense of purpose in crafting this tale and a large part of that is to present the real me to the world. I’m not putting on any false identities or trying to paint myself in any saintly light because I am tired of disingenuity and I think the world is too.

But being honest and real presents challenges. It requires that I make myself vulnerable. People who are close to me will be reading  this book and perhaps discovering some things about me they deem less than ideal. Not just past things. They might find out just how real, earthy, and imperfect I am right now. I want to issue a loving and kind warning to all the people I care about: this story is not for the faint of heart. You will not agree with everything I say, everything I do, and every conviction of my heart. You might find the real me makes you uncomfortable. I make myself uncomfortable too. I don’t toe the party line on anything and I have a tendency to be contrary just to see what can be discovered in the tension of an alternate view. But maybe that’s the point: If an unconventional rebel like me can find love and acceptance, anyone can. God is big enough to fit all of us under his wing, and this story is about his perfection and grace, not my own.

Written by Tina Gasperson

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