Your questions are the same ones in essence that I've already begun to work on and in answer to prayers God has already begun to show me.
I know in my struggle to accept/receive that it boils down to trust. Do I truly trust God in who He is and declares Himself to be?
Interesting enough, last night after having devotions with our kids, my wife told me to read hers for the day (we use the YouVersion Bible App). So I opened hers and read it... and it was definitely just for me, BUT it wasn't the one she had read that day, it had advanced to the next day already. The verse that went along with it was:
"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake
, And I will not remember your sins." (Emphasis mine of course). That was the part that stuck out to me. It's not for me or my sake.... It's for His. I struggle with that at the same time that it really hits me and changes my perspective. For His sake???? What the Heck does He get out of forgiving someone like me? Does it even really matter if there is an answer for that question? I don't know.
Here's the rest of the devotional that I read that my wife sent me to but wasn't what she had read at all:
You have a relationship with yourself.
Did it ever occur to you that you have a relationship with yourself? You may have never given it much thought, but you spend more time with yourself than anyone else, and it's vital that you get along well with you because you are the one person you never get away from.
We should love ourselves, not in a selfish, self-centered way that produces a lifestyle of self-indulgence, but in a balanced, godly way that affirms God's creation as essentially good and right. We may be flawed by unfortunate experiences we've gone through, but that doesn't mean we're worthless and good-for-nothing.
We must have the kind of love for ourselves that says, "I know God loves me, so I can love what God chooses to love. I don't love everything I do, but I accept myself because God accepts me." We must develop the kind of mature love that says, "I believe God is changing me daily, but during this process, I will not reject what God accepts. I'll accept myself as I am right now, knowing that I will not always remain this way."
So yes, I'm lonely right now. I never learned to connect with others, and struggle to trust others enough that I could even connect. I long to have others I can be close to, I long for a father figure to help me heal. None of that changes who God is.
To answer the question about the attributes of God, that's interesting too, because it's also an area that I've been working on lately, also as a result of the devotions with the kids. Those devotions have touched on the "reasons" for the 10 commandments, but from the perspective of what each commandment tells us about God. It's very interesting. I think my comment at the beginning though touches on that. It's more about trust... I "Know" it, but how much do I really believe it?
Which is 1 part brokenness in terms of trust and the other part actually boils down to pride. I've touched on this before, but in my woundedness and brokeness, there's that part of me deep inside that "in pride" somehow believes that I'm different than other people, I'm somehow horrible and worthless enough that I'm beyond that Grace and Love of God.... might not seem like it's pride, but when you really look at it, that's exactly what it is, and it's born out of the sinful nature. It's not a conscious then though, it's just there under the surface, born out of lessons taught through abuse and neglect.
I just want to add that it's really good to see so many active in this forum lately. It's was quiet and lonely in here for quite some time :-)