Most of my day was spent at the church (not complaining, those are the best days!). I spent the morning in church, headed home for a bite to eat, back to church for pinewood derby car making, home again to have a snack, and finally youth group. It wasn’t until the ride home from youth group that the words in the title of this post truly sunk in.
Before we started building the cars, I was chatting with two of my favorite 5th and 6th grade girls. I’ve let K help me take pictures before so I was giving it to her when she asked for my picture because “I’m beautiful” which I replied with my “heck no/Ed” face (Jenny and Kim know this way too well). K, bless her soul, then asked “What do you mean you’re not beautiful?” At the time I shrugged it off and life moved on. I had no idea how this small moment would affect me just a few hours later.
Currently, Rick is teaching/using videos with Francis Chan’s amazing book “Crazy Love.” I absolutely recommend it to anyone who’s a Christian, wow it’s good. Tonight’s lesson was on what does it mean to have God love us with this “crazy love.” At one point he poses a question about a point in our lives when we truly got what God’s love means. Immediately, I thought of my breakdown at camp a month and a half ago. In that moment I saw how much God must be hurting to see me so sick and at times fighting against Him. Thinking about it now almost brings me to tears, in a good way. I still don’t understand how God could love ME, with my brokenness and scars and faults and baggage. How could I possibly be good enough to be considered His child?
After thinking of the night at camp, I realized how much what K said relates to it. These past few weeks I’ve sunk into a depression. I’ve questioned everything: my value, abilities as a youth leader, academics, and other things I don’t feel comfortable speaking (or blogging) of. Thinking about how God sees me is so much like K’s (and the other kids/girls) view. She loves me. She thinks I’m beautiful. She treats me like I am the best person in the world. Not that she knows anything about my eating disorder or depression and whatnot, but I feel like she would see past those things even if she did. She isn’t the only one though. So many kids at Awana look up to me. I get more hugs than I can count every day. My girls have assured me they love me too. Rick praises me on what I’m doing during youth group Wednesday nights almost every time I see him. Kim no doubt loves me and values our friendship. Mama Joyce always always hugs me. Mrs. Hall always talks about how great of an AP student I was and how I continue to be good to her kids and help her out. The list doesn’t stop at church and this isn’t even everyone at church, but for space and the point of this post, let’s pretend it does 😛
Each of these people mentioned are all showing God’s love to me, I just didn’t realize it before. They don’t care what I’ve done. They aren’t forced to love me or even like me, but they genuinely do. This love is pure and true. I didn’t see that all before. If all of these people, and the creator of the universe love me, how could I be as terrible as these bad thoughts say? Not one of them have ever said anything remotely close to what my thoughts constantly echo: you’re fat, you deserve to die, you’re too broken, no one could ever love you, you will never be enough, you aren’t worth anyone’s praise, perfection or you’re a failure, on and on. Why is it that I still believe these thoughts over everything else that I’ve ever heard? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question but I am going to try and combat it just the same.
Starting today, I am keeping a “Love Journal.” I am going to put all of the nice things people say/text/whatever about me. The first entry will be what K said today. I want this to look back on. Even if I can’t believe them yet, they are much closer to the truth than any self-talk I’ve ever had.