Today I... ...saw something I've never seen before.
I have had a very poor image of myself. They are referred to as "the formative years" - and when the experiences of childhood, which in my case included some very negative experiences, the formation of who you are and how you view and relate to the world can become very skewed. I have had a very difficult time seeing myself as anything but "no good". As recently as a few months ago, I shared with someone that I thought that this was something I would always have to live with - my poor self image was my "thorn in the side".
Well, today, as I was doing my daily readings, a bit of a light went on. Ephesians 3: 16-19 reads
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [l]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Suddenly I'm seeing things differently. If Christ is to "dwell in your hearts through faith" and we are to be "rooted and grounded in love", and thereby able "to comprehend... what is the breadth and length and height and dept and to know the love of Christ..." even to the point that it "surpasses all knowledge" and "that you maybe be filled up to all the fullness of God"... well, how can that co-exist with self hatred and self deprecation? Is it not actually a command to be "filled with love"? And can one be "filled with love" yet hate one's own self?
So it is a matter of obedience. If I cannot accept my "loveliness" in Christ's eyes, than it is because I choose not to. And if I choose not to, doesn't that give me every reason in the world, every excuse, not to have to "change" or to conform to his image? To indulge any sin I want? To stay stuck in my puddle of mud at the bottom of this horrible pit? (When I could be up there dancing in glorious light?)
This day of all days it will be the most difficult for me to begin to walk this out. Having been taken apart at the seams, and being fully cognizant of how my foolish belief system has affected and hurt others, how can I suddenly see myself as "loveable".
But I am highly motivated. (If DON'T want to die in this mess, in the middle of this "stinkin' thinkin'" then I HAVE to change. I want to go out " a trophy of His grace", bringing glory to HIM, not just a product of my own silly clinging to an old way of life...) God helping me, I will.
No more self deprecatory remarks from me.
I also read this morning (in the Daily Light) that whatever we ask, believing, that God will give it to us and it also says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault (thank you Lord especially for that "not finding fault" part) and it will be given to him..."
So I'm asking in faith... for the wisdom I need to walk this out. For the wisdom to grasp the hand of the One who wants to deliver (instead of saying, "no thank you, I quite like my pit. It's comfortable here.") and to open my eyes to see His truth about me and about how to relate to others. Send me your Truth, Lord, and grant me the grace to walk in it.
Today I think
this just might be
the first day of the rest of my life.