About the Author

Lisa Murray is a professional therapist, author, and blogger. Her passion is to help others embrace a life of wholeness and peace.

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  1. Lisa,
    I grew up much like you…trying to color inside the lines and be “perfect enough” for God to love me. It’s exhausting!! I was terrified that when I messed up, that God was disappointed in me. It took many years for God to break down all those ill conceived notions. Also being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and getting help, enabled me to see God more clearly. I still struggle at times, but I know deep in my soul that ONLY Christ is perfect. I can never be perfect other than to accept His gift He gave me of sacrificing His life for me. He did this, not so that I would continue to try to earn God’s graces (that’s pride), but so that I could walk in freedom – knowing I’m loved because God IS love and I can trust His heart. Your post is a wonderful reminder of all that is good and true…loved The Ragamuffin Gospel!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev,
      As a recovering perfectionist, sounds like we have a lot in common. I, too, struggled with anxiety (a nice by-product of perfectionism). Yet God in His great love didn’t leave me there. He scooped me up and brought me the healing and wholeness He knew I so desperately needed. I am learning to find peace in the imperfect, the messy. Thank you for sharing today!

    • Lisa,

      This article was so applicable to me. And it was published on my birthday July 9th which was also a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing your journey and wisdom. Mary Langford

  2. Amen! Life is so messy, we are so messy, I am so so messy. I love your post, your honesty!! I, too, know the unfailing love of our Lord and Savior — it was a journey indeed. We all have our own God designed journeys, of course, if we but trust Him with our whole heart, He will walk us through – praise Him! The Gospel of Grace melts me, always has and always will. Beloved sisters – daughters of the King!! ❤️

    • Though I knew so many aspects of God, I never knew His overwhelming grace. Yes, it still melts me that He could love a ragamuffin like me. Becoming His Beloved changed everything about my life! Blessings, Kay!

  3. I reread this three times. I needed to see this! I’m passing this on to others. Thank you for being transparent and obedient!

    • I am so glad this encouraged you, Lazondral! Scripture says we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. My heart is that hopefully my story resonates and encourages others on their journeys. Blessings to you today!

  4. Lisa,
    I always look forward to reading your posts. Your work is and will touch the lives of many as you so truthfully and humble tackle, with your words, the truths of God’s Love and Grace.
    Thank you for sharing and caring.

    Linda Darlene

    • Linda Darlene,

      I appreciate your kind words! So many of us have such a distorted view of God’s love and grace that infects every area of our lives, even our relationships. I LOVE being able to share bits of my journey in order to encourage others on their journeys as well. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Blessings.

  5. I sent out an S.O.S. to God last night, feeling so exhausted from trying to be perfect, of never being good enough, fearful that I will never be who He HS called me to be because of my imperfections and failures. Then I wake up this morning to find this message in my inbox. God used you Lisa! I needed this today! Thank you for following His leading and thank You, Father for sending this to me through Lisa!

    Blessings,
    Tami

    • Tami,
      So glad God brought this to you right on time. I love how He knows our hearts, our needs, and sends us encouragement in only the way He can. He really does love us that much – imperfections and all! Blessings today, sweet friend!

  6. I read this and it remember long time ago a friend of mine ‘s little boy was ask to sing . He sang ” Jesus loves me” I had to get up to get something because it was at a luncheon and passing by I had to stopped. I was stunned during his singing he sort of changed the wording of ” Jesus Loves Me” of the ending he sang …” Be Happy He is Strong ” I will always think when things go wrong in this world……I go back to that memory.

    • What a beautiful memory, Lisa! He is strong for each and every one of us. His love is the greatest gift we can ever receive and embrace. Thank you for sharing your sweet memory here:)

  7. I love your comment that we can never really learn to love ourselves or others unless we come to understand God’s love for us and how we are his beloved. Such truth and something that I will be working on for my lifetime. Thanks for the wonderful reminder that we no longer need to live in fear.

    • Theresa,
      God’s love is the foundation for us being able to love. How could I love if I had never known HIs great love for me? That was a definite turning point on my journey away from fear and towards becoming His Beloved! Have a great weekend!

  8. Oh Lisa, I thank you the Lord for these timely words of encouragement 🙂 The Lord is so good and He is so faithful, working on me to root and establish me in His love, healing the old earning and perfectionism. “You can find freedom from your desperate fear and claim your truest identity, your worth as the Beloved, His Beloved”-what grace in those words that I am so thankful for 🙂 May we all know His sweet love that enfolds us no matter how messy we may be, no matter how broken 🙂

    • Absolutely An!

      What a gift we have in God! We no longer have to remain slaves to fear and perfection. We are His heirs, His children. He delights in us and showers us with His love. Our belovedness is our truest identity. May we never forget! Blessings to you today!

  9. Lisa, For the longest my cheese was falling off my cracker. I started to learn about overcoming fear through a particular ministry, even though they taught about love, my life was a constant battle. Now, I have embraced the fact that II was accepted into the beloved, and by professing that He made me righteous, causes Issaiah 54:17 to work fear to dissipate. Children should have great peace. The children of God should have great peace. He is our peace. Thank you for such a great post. The Bible does tell us to be perfect as Christ but as believers we are already to God becuse of His great sacrifice, this is pure grace. When we try to be perfecr, we fail. When we let Him perfect us, He will.

    • Rebecca,

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who felt like her cheese was falling off her cracker! You are so right – children should have peace. Peace is one of the primary themes in my writing. God designed us for wholeness and abundance, the fruit of which is always…peace! Blessings to you this day!

  10. Lisa,

    I desperately want what you’re describing, but I’m still at the terrified stage. How do I make the switch?

    Rebekah

  11. Rebekah,
    So thankful you stopped here today! It’s absolutely okay that you are where you are on your journey. So many of us have been there, too. God is leading you and will continue to lead you as you lean into Him. For me, as I began learn of God’s great love for me, I began speaking to myself differently – with kindness and compassion instead of shame and condemnation. I learned to feel my worth not as something I had to earn, but an immutable fact. The more I filled my heart and mind with God’s truths about me, the more I believed them and the more I acted out of them. He always saw me as His Beloved. Thankful for me, God walked me through my fear and allowed me to see myself as His Beloved! I will be prayerful for you on your journey!

    • Lisa,
      Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will try them. I realized in reading your response that instead of believing God’s truths about me when I encounter them I discount them or tell myself they can’t be true about me. I have asked God to help me stop doing that and start accepting His truth. I’m hopeful that this will begin to make a difference. Thank you for your prayers.
      God bless,
      Rebekah

  12. Wow, you could have been describing me! As I’ve taken unsure steps in the new identity of being His beloved, it never gets old to hear that message that we are loved for who we are, not who we wish we were or even who we’ll eventually become. Thank you, Jesus! And thank you, Lisa!

    • Pearl,
      Hearing that we are loved never gets old, does it? It is what our heart longs for. I think most of us search to find that kind of love from so many sources – through performing, through relationships, through pleasing others – that we never get to experience love from the Source of Love Himself. How freeing to be able to see ourselves in truth the way God sees us. That changes everything! Blessings, friend!

  13. I, too, struggle with perfectionism. Perhaps “beloved” would be a good word to focus on in 2017. I can get a head start by gleaning truths from your uplifting, encouraging post! Thank you, Lisa!

    • Absolutely, Nancy! Perfectionism always left me empty, hopeless, and shamed. “Beloved” is one of the most beautiful words not just to know, but to own as my spiritual identity. I think that could be a great word for 2017! Blessings to you on your journey.

  14. Lisa,
    This post made me feel as if you’d looked inside my heart and written a post about it. While I only have anxiety in extreme circumstances (which I’ve been going through over the last 6 months, or 9 years if I’m honest) I do suffer from perfectionism, which is my way of “trying to please God & others” and I’ve been on a loooong journey of discovering how deeply God loves me & to TRUST HIM to live truly free in a culture that really doesn’t want us to. I could write a book on my story…and hope to someday, but for now I just want you to know how much your post echoed my truth–and I’m getting out my highlighted & dog-eared copy of The Ragamuffin Gospel to re-read for the third time! Thank you for your beautiful transparency!

    • Jennifer,

      I’m so glad this post resonated with you. No doubt God is at work in your life and is bringing you to greater places of healing and wholeness. And I, too, re-read The Ragamuffin Gospel often to re-center and ground myself on God’s truth. Thank you for sharing, friend!

  15. Any suggestions for helping our 8 year old son to grasp this? He sounds a lot like you described yourself as a youngster. We keep praying for him to have courage and confidence in who God created him to be but it is difficult to watch him sit on the sidelines of life because he is afraid of trying new things and is afraid of failing. Unfortunately he inherited these traits from me…

    Thanks for the post!

    • Michelle,
      I love this question! I think we as parents can begin at home talking about how God sees us and how we can see ourselves. We can model for them how we can speak both compassion and kindness to ourselves in our grown-up world, and also how they can be truthful, compassionate and kind towards themselves, even when they blow it. This doesn’t mean there are never any consequences, but it means their worth is still in tact, even in the midst of potential failure or disappointment. I used to imagine what God would say to me in a moment and then I began to say that to myself. It was hard at first, but over time the negative internal dialogue that had been ingrained in me started to soften and shift. I never want to go back. Living with myself as the Beloved is the beginning of my ministry of compassion to others, the beginning of healthy relationships. Blessings to you and your son!

      • Thank you Lisa! Yes, I want him to see how much value and worth he has while he is young instead of grasping it later in life like his mom. We will keep praying and trying to model it for him.

  16. This post describes me! Thank you for such an encouraging post! I can so identify with the fear, the anxiety. For me it’s there just below the surface, an anxiety that will not leave me alone. This post could not have come at a more perfect time, I feel that God is calling me out of this anxiety into a beautiful adventure of being His beloved. I just have a hard time believing it. And if I’m truthful, I’m scared. Sometimes I don’t know how to shut out the lies of the world and believe I’m His beloved. It can be such a struggle. I want to believe I’m beloved and step out in faith, but sometimes I’m so unsure of how to do that!

    • Kelsea,
      Thanks so much for sharing! Keep taking the steps forward and God will be faithful. You will find the healing and wholeness you desire. Sometimes we have formulated such a hard-wired pattern of negative thoughts about ourselves, it is unconscious and destructive. You can begin by writing down the negative or fearful thoughts as you become more aware of them. Ask yourself what God would say about you in this situation, then begin to say those things to yourself. There are also great books that can help – I love Brennan Manning, Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, my book Peace for a Lifetime, that all address how to find freedom and wholeness on your journey. Blessings to you today, friend!

      • Lisa, thank you so much for replying and for the encouragement! I will certainly be trying out the things you mentioned as well as checking out the books. Thank you!!

  17. Beautifully written, Lisa … I lost myself in your writing! I’ve heard so much about this book … I’m thinking I need to get a copy for myself. To really *know* God’s love for us … Changes everything. I *think* I know … But this post challenge me to to look deeper …