I am tired. Life is busy – with good things and hard things. One of the things I’ve learned in my journey of hope this year is that I have value. And that means that I ought to value myself. To that end I am sharing a post I wrote earlier this year, for two reasons. Firstly I am going to rest rather than write tonight, because that is what I need, and secondly it has some important things to say about relationship with self, and I certainly am ready to be reminded of them again.
‘I’ve had a rough few days. I am so glad that God has put friends around me – both near and far away, who hold and help me, and it is from one of them that this first picture came.
My friend told me, as I told her of my desire to do what I knew to be the wrong thing, that God was watching me take stumbling steps by myself and was there to catch me. I immediately saw the look on the face of every person who has ever encouraged a baby to take its first steps alone. You know the look I mean, don’t you ? That look of excitement, encouragement and belief and the way that their eyes remain fixed on the child almost without blinking. I suddenly realised that as I take my stumbling steps towards Hope that my Father is standing with that look on his face and his eyes fixed on me. He believes in me. He believes in my capacity to take the steps. He is encouraging of me to try. He knows that I might fall ( and yes, I did fall yesterday) but that won’t change the look on his face the next time.
The second picture came to me this morning as I drove to the place where I am working today. I was thinking about my desire to really, really trust God to be my everything. I want God to heal some pretty big hurts and pain. I am asking him to do that, and yet at the same time I behave as someone who has injuries which could heal, but I keep self harming and increasing the pain. I realised that I am causing myself emotional self harm. That picture brought me up short, as I know that that is not the place where my loving Father wants me to stay.
I don’t imagine that I am the only one who does this emotional self harm ? Whether it’s by not eating, or not exercising, or constantly replaying memories, or having contact with places or people who ultimately cause hurt, it is not good for me. Your self harming may look different to mine. I know that God can heal.
You and I are known as we are, we are loved, and we can take those baby steps.