It’s a lot harder to write about things that are in process than things that are complete. It’s a lot harder to tell stories when they don’t have an ending. Yet, isn’t this what most of us need to hear? Don’t we need someone to climb into our trenches (or blanket burritos) with us and say “I’m here too, right now.” Not “I’ve been there, and now I’m out,” but “I am here. Let’s be here together.” Maybe you need this.
So… I am here. Right now. Let’s be here, together.
[image from soworthloving]
This has been a year of learning how to say “I am here.” It’s been a year of transition, a year of “I just moved again” and “actually, I’m not at that job anymore.” It’s been a year of full-time classes, part-time work, and support raising. When I decided to leave Moody and move into an apartment in Reading, I didn’t really realize I was thrusting myself into adulthood two years early.
In the midst of all of the transition, though, I’ve finally found myself settling into who I am. My life has quietly been riddled with insecurities, body-image issues, and general feelings of worthlessness. (All my fellow conservative-Christian purity-culture survivors say HEY!) I was too loud, too much of a leader, too fat, too awkward. From a very young age, I convinced myself of these things. I was a walking oxymoron, displaying confidence and leadership tendencies while inwardly shrinking back from myself.
When your whole life, you hear “be humble,” and “you are worthless in your sin,” and “don’t be too flashy/immodest/into yourself/showy/etc or you’ll attract the wrong type of guy,” combined with two or three mean kids in middle school, you start to believe that it is somehow holier to hate yourself than it is to love and take good care of yourself. Throw in the part where we believe people who are actively suffering for Christ are better than those who are really joyful in their lives, and I was basically screwed.
Change is hard and scary, and lies are easy to believe, so it took the complete-falling-apart of a couple years ago to get me to realize how many of the things I had believed about myself for so long were lies. And guys? That is hard.
Throughout the last year, Jesus has really been prodding my heart on this one. I regularly sit with friends and girls from Crossroads and beg them with tears in my eyes to recognize their inherent worth in Christ. I write “you are worthy” in enormous bubble print on the letters I send them… yet for so long, believed I wasn’t worthy. Wasn’t worthy of love, wasn’t worthy of taking care of myself, wasn’t worthy of being a generally happy person who actually liked my life. I told myself I wouldn’t swear on my blog anymore because of my internship, so I’ll settle with saying “that is CRAP.”
Satan still whispers his lies in my ears sometimes. I try to put those scales back on every once in a while. I’ve found myself sobbing in my car a few times… but I am slowly learning to believe and own my worth in Christ. Jesus thinks I’m awesome, and I should think that too.
I’m taking practical steps to take care of the body He has given me. (The girl who pretended to be sick EVERY. SINGLE. MONDAY. in eighth grade to get out of PE just jogged on purpose). I’m choosing to set boundaries for myself, to say no when I need to, to surround myself with people who lift me up instead of tearing me down. I’m done apologizing for my beliefs, opinions and preferences. I’m choosing to smile more, light candles in the evenings, take bubble baths, read books for fun and write letters to an invisible penpal in a southwestern-themed journal.
This is where I am. It’s one of those things that’s hard to share (I still think humility is an important thing, so I don’t want to be all, “HEY GUYS, I’M AWESOME!”), but I’ve been discovering how many women believe the lie that they are worthless.
And that’s exactly what it is: a lie.
You and I, we are so. worth. loving.