The Bravest Words I Know


August 27, 2013 by Beth Hess

I have cried them into a pillow at night. Nearly yelled them at the sky. Whispered them with my eyes to the floor. Swallowed hard and shared them with professional helpers.

I have contemplated them alone. I have dared speak them to company. And sometimes I’ve had them forced upon me by those who love me most.

Each and every time, though it feels like I’m screaming from a depth where no meaningful sound can reach the surface, the admission bubbles up hope. The kind of grace that starts as a whisper, but bounces off the canyon walls until it is an echo that reaches the heavens.

The bravest words I know are these: I Am Not Ok.

For much of my life, personal autonomy was my source of pride. I’m told “me do it” was my favorite toddler sentence. It’s a phase I never outgrew.

There are hundreds of blog posts that could be written on the topic. Because, really, learning to love myself through not being Ok is the story of my life.

And whether you know it or not, it’s the story of yours. It is the gospel. Crimson made white; blind who see; lame who walk; “not Ok” made holy; dead brought to life.

It’s the story of the ages. A story that never ends.

My verses (and yours) continue to be written. But the refrain, the chorus, the portion that never changes… Well, it goes like this:

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean. 
How marvelous! How wonderful!  And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

6 thoughts on “The Bravest Words I Know

  1. […] again I must admit… I am not Ok. That I cannot do this on my own. That I need help. That I am out of […]


  2. […] those, there is no do-it-yourself bounce-back plan. When the only thing you know to say is, “I am not Ok,” it’s time to call in for air support. I have met with Counselors. Nutritionists. […]


  3. […] The Bravest Words I Know: We’ve all had moments, or stretches of time, that are so hard, and we don’t want to admit it, but we are constantly thinking that we are “not ok.” Beth, author of “Just Be Beth,” relies on the words of the Gospel, that Jesus came to recreate those who are “Not OK” into Holy. “How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!” […]


  4. […] few weeks ago, I wrote about the courage it takes to say “I’m Not Ok.” A lot of readers found themselves in my story. Because it’s hard to admit being out of […]


  5. julie says:

    You so know my heart. They are such impossibly difficult words to utter but, to know it, accept it and deal with it, that is the only way to survive it.


  6. Kathy Owens says:

    Thank you, Beth! These are truly the bravest words any of us can speak. The bravest. . . and the best. . . because, as you say, they open us up to the gospel of grace, the good news that Jesus tells us it’s OK to not be OK, because our God loves us just as we are!


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