I am too hard on myself. I really am. And I have been called out for speaking or writing things that reveal that reality---for putting words to my insecurities.
I wrote a letter to a friend yesterday and referred to myself as a "faker." She called me out on it. She wrote me back and in her straightforward way said, "I seriously in no way think fake when I think of you at all." What she wanted to say was, "Get over it!" but she was being nice. I appreciate that---that she didn't say what she was thinking. I also appreciate the fact that I have a friend I know so well. I can read her mind. That is a gift I don't take lightly.
I sat out on the porch today and I thought about what I was really saying when I was claiming to be a faker. The conclusion I came to was, at that moment, I didn't like who I was.
When I wrote the letter I was telling my friend how much I admired how comfortable she is in her skin. She wouldn't deny it because it's true. I need her to be who she is and she needs me to be me. Thankfully, that means she accepts the me that suffers with occasional bouts of insecurity.
It made me sad that I had revisited old stomping grounds yesterday. Today I've been reaching back to lessons learned the hard way, remembering that God loves me.
If He's okay with who I am, couldn't I give myself a break and be okay with the person God created me to be?
Years ago I was processing, hashing through the weeds of things that had thrown me into a pit of despair. My psychologist took me to a place on the journey that, looking back, I know was a destination on a road map he had planned just for me.
"Dea, you love God deeply. And you love people. You love to tell people that God loves them. What I think you ought to do today is say aloud to yourself, 'God loves me.'"
He didn't try to convince me, pull out any Bible verses. He let me sit with his suggestion, uncomfortable in my skin.
I sat there on the striped couch, my hands tucked under my thighs, holding them snug to keep from wringing them. I am sure I was biting my lip.
The doc, he was a patient guy and he waited for my response, nodding encouragement, giving me the yes, you can do this look. For weeks, I had looked away most days when he asked me to step up to the plate. This time I stared back into his eyes. I saw compassion.
I could do it---say God loved me, but not to his face. I had known him for a while. My depression had been long and deep and so was the recovery. I had trusted this guy with helping me move back into life. I needed to find the courage to do what he thought I needed to do.
Finally, I slipped to the floor and lay down on the carpet, crossed my arms and went face down, resting my head on my forearm. My voice spoke first in a whisper, "God loves me." And then again louder, "God loves me." I don't know how long I was down there saying those three words. What I do know is--- I fell into a pit of love.
The words, the crying, the finally being able to say to myself what I had only said to others, broke me open like a soaking rain, the kind that comes slow bringing life to the earth. I was drenched in the knowledge of God's love, swimming in the depths of God's grace.
God had always loved me. He loved me even when I only let Him do it on my terms. He's tenacious, and I love Him for it.
I wish I had written down the date. I'm certain that day was the pivotal point of my life. God sent me the healing psalm but He didn't leave me to pick up the pieces of life alone. He brought me all the way through.
I am not a faker. There are times when I am not as comfortable in my skin as I want to be. I keep getting up in the same skin morning by morning and day by day.
Somehow it feels a little more comfortable today.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose and Jennifer at: