Change

I missed a day of blogging yesterday. I guess I will probably miss lots of days in the future, it just seems a shame to mess up so early on. But I am being far too harsh on myself here. I have not messed up. I made no promise to anyone about anything. This is just a place for me to express myself, whenever I feel like it. Guilt has no place here – so I will not allow it in. I will give it to God and tell Him that it’s not for me, that feeling.

Yesterday was a day of some rather extreme highs and lows. I had a very long conversation with a friend whom I love and esteem greatly. I had been terrified about talking to her honestly about this, so I had avoided it (easy to do when she lives on the other side of the world). But she was nothing short of wonderful. She listened, understood as much as she could, and she just accepted me. Just like that. And her acceptance lifted some of the heaviness and the pain that I have been struggling under.

But it was hard, too, because telling her meant telling her all that I have walked through in the last year, and none of that is particularly pretty. Explaining to someone how exactly you got to the point of hating yourself so much that you would rather have died than lived is a lot like living through it a bit again. And I saw the pain on my face reflected in hers, because she loves me.

But afterwards, I managed to take a bit of a step back. And I realised, I don’t hate myself. I’m not sure that I ever did. I have been slowly, slowly for years and years listening to the voice of the outside world and of the devil. I have been letting them tell me that I am worthless, and do you know something? That’s not true.

I am very, very slowly learning to see myself as God sees me. And accept how He has made me, see clearly all the gifts that He has given me. And I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Really, though, He has heaped blessing upon blessing on me, and I am this intricate, fascinating person. I am an incredible mix of confidence and fear, passion and apathy, perfectionism and the inability to be perfect. He is showing me how I am put together, by showing me how He loves each and every single part of me.

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was that He loves me when I am angry.  I am still working on that one. I have never believed that I am allowed to be angry, so I’ve always looked to other people to tell me it’s okay to be angry. There is nothing logical here. I wound up being this person who would talk about others because I needed to hear that I was not the only person feeling like this – I needed to hear that it was okay to be angry.

Following on from this is expressing myself, especially when I am angry. It terrifies me, and my automatic response is to cry. So angry me cries while trying to express my anger, and that makes me even more angry because I cannot express myself, and I cannot stop myself from crying. I used to listen when the devil said that I was not worthy of an opinion, or of a point of view. And though I have really been struggling through this mildly ridiculous argument with my neighbour, I have been clinging on to my own worth in the face of it all. And I hope and I pray that this is starting to sink in, because it is a hard and painful lesson to learn. I want to be able to express myself fully in an argument, and in a relationship.

I want to value myself above all else apart from God. Because nobody else will. I want to be able to ask for what I want in a relationship – not spend all my time running around trying to please somebody else. It is a huge part of my nature to look after others but I have let that take over to a dangerous extent, and I have had more than one boyfriend take advantage of that.

I want to say this year, but not just this year. For the rest of my life, I want to be someone who can prioritise herself. Who can look after herself. So that I can stay strong enough to look after others. I have spent all of my life up to now looking after others and putting them first. So now it is my turn.

I don’t want to be a selfish person, or a greedy person, and I will pray and talk to God and ask Him not to let that happen. I just want to be able to look after myself, as the child of God that I am. He has made me this bright, beautiful, gifted person and it is my responsibility to look after myself.

And the same goes for you, mythical potentially non-existent reader. YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made. So look after yourself, however you need to do that. God made you, and He loves you, and if you let Him, He will show you just how much He loves you.

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