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i am

I bit my lip as hard as I could as I held back tears.

more tears.

my eyes were already purple and swollen from them from the night before, and here they came again. I wonder why I struggle. I wonder why I obsess over what people think of me. I wonder why anxiety seems to permeate my whole being-seeping from my pores. I wonder why I obsess with being accepted, desired, wanted. 

I ask. who do You say that I am?

“I’m so tired,” I think to myself. that is all I could even think-my mind being too clouded, too full of mush to think anything deeper. “I’m tired of trying to measure up.”

if I could just be better, do better, look better, not talk too much, wear the right clothing, be more kind, be someone else, be different, then I would be desired. then I would be accepted. 

i’m going to be kinder. i’m going to smile more next time. next time, I won’t talk too much, i’ll wear something different-i’ll hide who I am in order to be wanted by someone. next time. then I will be desired, noticed. 

I compare. I look at others and I compare.

it feels as though a burning hole of hatred toward myself has pierced through my identity.

He answers. 

beloved. you are my beloved. 

i think back to the book of matthew, where Jesus was being baptized.

“as soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. at that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. and a voice from heaven said, ‘this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'”

this was before Jesus did anything. before he started his ministry, before he healed anyone, before he did anything. and the Father is well pleased.

before I do anything?

yes.

my Father speaks sweet, musical words of who I am, what my identity is, before I do absolutely anything. just as I am, where I am, right now in the mess, with tear stricken cheeks and a worrying heart, my Father is well pleased. my identity comes from who I am in Christ. not what I look like, what I wear, what I say or don’t say, what I do or don’t do.

you are valuable just because of your existence. 

but I fail. I turn my face away from you. I idolize things of this world. I was unkind.

you are like a toddler learning to walk, and I am the parent. you stumble along and when you fall, I say, you are okay, get up and keep going-here-take my hand. I love you.

it is I, who was and is and is to come, who does the heart-change-work, not you. just hold my hand. trust Me. 

my Father never said it was going to be easy. he never said I wasn’t going to deal with hard things from my childhood at twenty, he never said there wouldn’t be pain, he never said that I wouldn’t want to be accepted so badly that I want to vomit. he never said that my emotions wouldn’t sometimes wreak havoc on my well being.

He just promised that when the storm DID come, that he would be with me, always, holding my hand, carrying me, wooing me along in this life. He promised me that He has overcome this world, he conquered the storm on the cross- and that I need not worry-because struggles produce perseverance, and perseverance, character; character, hope. I just have to turn to him and ask. 

but I still don’t “feel” good.

my feelings are not always indicative of reality. I don’t feel worthy but I am worthy. I dont feel loved but I am loved, says my Father. 

emotions are fleeting. the Word of God is constant, stable, secure. 

my good friend once told me that our identity in Christ is a strong slab of marble that cannot and will not be shaken by the fickle winds of feeling and emotion.

I am who HE says that I am. I am who HE says that I am.

loved, secure, accepted, made new, protected, desired, wanted. loved. loved. loved.

“let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” hebrews 10:23

 

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