Have you ever felt that your life was meaningless or without purpose? It’s a sinking feeling that many of us face frequently. This leads us to wonder, “Am I good enough just as I am?”
Charlotte Elliott was born in England in 1789. In her early life, she was considered a talented young woman skilled in portrait painting and writing. However, in her thirties, she suffered from illnesses that left her physically disabled and led to severe depression. During this period, she moved to Brighton and became unable to attend church. Pastor Cesar Malan from Switzerland visited her and asked the question “are you at peace with God?” As someone who struggled with depression and intrusive thoughts of uselessness, she hated receiving this question! She even refused to discuss this with him on that day! Eventually, she reflected on this interaction and called the pastor to apologize and commit her life to God. To this, Pastor Malan answered, “come just as you are!” Years later, in 1834, inspired by those words, Elliott began penning the lyrics to “Just As I Am!” The song assures us that Jesus loves us in our current broken and sinful state. He welcomes us with loving arms and promises us a better life! In 1849, William B. Bradbury composed the music to Elliott’s lyrics to create the hymn that is so well known today. Throughout her life, Elliott penned over 150 hymns and countless poems. She served as the editor of Remembrance Pocket Book for several years and even published a collection of hymns titled The Invalid’s Hymnbook. Even though life presented her with physical limitations, she was able to serve the Lord with her gift of words!
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV).