Fair warning, this post is going to be all over the place, probably more so than my usual ranting and emptying of my mind. I have a lot to get out.
I spent years waiting for boys to tell me I'm pretty, so focused that I missed the gentle whispers of a King who says "You're beautiful."
This is something I wrote back on August 21 on Twitter. If I remember correctly, I had no idea at the time why that particular thought popped in my head when it did, but I put it out there anyway because, well, apparently that's what Twitter is for. (The blessing and the curse of social media...but I won't get started on that.)
I'm just going to get right to the point and say that I don't believe I'm worthy of being loved. Even after everything God has revealed to me in the past few years, I can't wrap my mind around the idea that I am worthy of being loved. By Him, or by any of the people around me, even when they fight like their lives depend on it to prove me just how deeply they do love me.
There are probably a plethora of reasons for this. The bullying I dealt with on a daily basis for most of my childhood. Growing up without an earthly father and without realizing I had a Heavenly one. The depression that runs in my family (thanks, genetics). My penchant for being way too hard on myself. It's probably a combination of those, actually. I don't really know. Your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is that my sin has warped this into a vicious cycle that doesn't even make sense to me. I don't believe I'm worthy of being loved, so I push away and don't believe anyone who tells me they love me, but when they're gone I crave so desperately to feel loved I think my heart my actually explode out of my chest. I sabotage relationships before the other person has the chance to hurt me like I am so certain they will, yet I ache to have authentic relationships in my life. Just putting words to that makes me think I am insane.
The first night that I FaceTimed with Alexis, in her prayer over me, she prayed that God would bring me to a moment where I just fell face down before Him...yeah, that happened tonight. Tonight I watched Sanctuary like I do every Thursday night that I am able to, and once again, God used that band to hit me like a ton of bricks. The last song ended, they prayed over Adam and Colin whose last night with the band was tonight, and instead of pulling up my blog to start the post for the night like I normally would...I collapsed.
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a very detailed email, trying to open my eyes to some concerns she had about where my heart was and wrong motivations she felt were taking over my heart and seeping through my words. I didn't hear her then; in fact, I was quite hurt. What else do I expect when I tell my friends I want them to be 100% honest with me always, though, really? Well, tonight, I got what she was saying. I understood it in a way that was so beautiful and painful at the same time that I can't even describe it.
She was right...my motivations over the past few months, they've been all wrong. Even more so in real life than you could see on this blog. Despite the fact that it was never in any way my intention, I was using the health issues that I've been dealing with to get praise, to get people to glorify me instead of the One who is the ONLY reason I am still standing. I've been seeking validation from boys who were never meant to fill my needs instead of the King who loved me when I didn't believe He existed and, even more importantly, when I hated Him. I subconsciously convinced myself that He wasn't enough, all the while leading people to believe that I am some great Christian who only wants to turn people to Him.
Ugh, I've never felt this kind of disgusted with myself before. How many times is it going to take for me to get it right? How can I wonder why God hasn't brought me a boyfriend yet when I'm still acting as though that guy is going to save me? How can I walk through this life, living beyond all medical explanation, and not see that God is ENOUGH? How can I tell people about Jesus but actively spit in the face of the Lord who gave up everything to ransom me from the enemy who had such a grip on my soul for so, so long?
THIS is why we can't live by the Law. The Law will lead us straight into destroying ourselves and self-loathing if we don't see the Grace and Mercy that come along with it, because we're never going to get it right all the time. I know I'm going to make this mistake again (and again and again and again)...but I just thought that that was the old me. I thought I was past the point where I let myself look to guys for validation. I thought I wasn't the girl who thought a boyfriend would be what made me happy with my life. I thought I already was happy with my life...but clearly not in all areas, as I've been running away from God without even knowing that's what I was doing, even when friends try to open my eyes to the truth.
When did I lose sight of who God is and how deeply He loves me? When did I forget what He did for me almost 22 months ago at Sanctuary, and again when He brought me back there in November? How did I get so pathetically off-target that I became all over again the girl who thought people could save me? If I ever want to believe that other people love me and not be terrified of it, I have to first believe that He loved me first and loves me most. And I have to love Him most, too. Because these people...they're gifts from God. They aren't Him. They won't save me. They can't fix me. They can't heal the pieces of my heart that have ached with the burning rawness of wounds that have yet to heal. And they won't mean a darn thing in eternity aside from the fact that we'll get to worship at His feet together.
I was on my knees tonight for two polarizing reasons. Ashamed and disgusted with myself and utterly heartbroken at how I've been rejecting God...and moved to tears at remembering that He loves me despite me. His grace washes over the past few months, and I know that when He looks at me, He is not angry. I am forgiven. I don't understand how I can be forgiven. I know I shouldn't be, by any human standards, at least. But that is who He is, and for that, I rejoice.
Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes to my mistakes and for loving me through them. I'd be dead without it.
And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love, love, love
Burning in my heart