Some months back I made a request for you to tell me a story from your life of one special thing that was a changing point or something you felt may have changed your destiny and I got a lot of wonderful responses which have pivoted around encounters with your spiritual side, or a particular person that helped in some way to changed your perception of life or of yourself. Getting naked in front of a room full of strangers is not an easy thing to do and since sharing some of the things you have shared was totally baring yourself to me, I decided to take it one step further, now it’s my turn.
There was one person’s note that brought tears to my eyes as she told me that there were two people in her life who had made her feel special when she didn’t find anything special within herself and then more importantly gave her the confidence in herself that made her feel that she could do anything, be anything, become whatever she wanted to be. As I read it I thought I would love to have been that person.
As I was praying a statement came out of me that stopped my prayer and I don’t think I intended to share it, not this soon anyway, but I’m thinking, “Why not?” I was listening to a piece of music that brought some memories to the forefront of my mind and I began thanking God for helping me and for loving me enough to die for me, then a question came out of me that surprised me, I said, “You love me so much, why can’t I love me?”
It was something I had never thought of before, not seriously anyway. I know I have self-esteem issues that I have blamed on the time when I was young that I was bullied at school but that happened so long ago and I wondered why I have held onto it for so long when the bullies life went on without remembering how horribly treated. I believe that was when I started my crusade to take up for the under-dog, to be a friend to the friendless, to take up causes that seemed hopeless. That sounds honorable doesn’t it? But looking at it I don’t think I have been honorable at all, I think I was trying to make that person love or at least like me in retrospect. I tried to earn friendships, to buy favor, to be one person that someone could count on to take up for them if they were ever caught in a situation such as I was.
One day I picked my son up from middle school and was going to go into the grocery store to pick up a few items. As I pulled into the parking lot of the local Publix I saw a circle of boys and in the middle one boy who was smaller if not younger than the boys that stood around him. They were taking turns hitting him hard with their loaded book bags, when I saw that suddenly I was the little girl in the middle of a similar circle and I couldn’t take it! I put my foot on the gas of the big silver Mercedes and roared across the parking lot towards them, I put my hand on the horn and held it down as I drove and I didn’t stop until I got right upon those thirteen-year-old boys that were beating their captive, they turned around and looked for all the world as if every one of them needed a change of underwear! I threw open the door and got out screaming at them like a Highlander running into battle at Culloden and they scattered leaving a very white-faced boy standing alone. I put him in my car and took him home.
Thankfully that story had a happy ending, but there have been times I stepped in when I should not have, taken people into my heart that I should have left alone, tried to be the “saving angel” to those who only had in mind to use my generosity of self and of finances. I feel embarrassed at the times I went out of my way to earn the love of people who didn’t have room for me in their heart. It brings to mind times when in trying to “be all that I could be” realizing that it made no difference, that I was just working and spending good money to do things that I was never, ever going to receive thanks or the reward of earning attention, I quit. The problem was that it began to make me bitter and not at the people who did it to me, but at myself for being such a blithering idiot for not feeling good enough to be liked just for me.
Let me ask you the question, do you love yourself enough to stand up for what you need and what you believe?
Romans 8:39 None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, He loves me warts and all!