I few weeks ago I posted a blog about a one word New Year’s Resolution. The idea is to find one word that defines the area you want to grow in during the next year.
Well, I prayed about it and thought about it and I got one word stuck in my head. I think I mostly picked it, but since God didn’t recommend an alternative we’re gonna roll with it.
It concerns an area in my life that God has been working in, hard, since June of 2012: my self-hatred.
I’m not sure how or when it started. At some point during my childhood I just decided I wasn’t such a much and the low self-esteem has stuck with me ever since.
I never really figured it was that big a deal. Self-loathing was my normal, so it must have been everyone else’s too, right?
I even tricked myself into thinking that it wasn’t self-hatred, it was humility.
But as I got older, this ‘humility’ took a dark turn. I discovered relief in hurting myself, both emotionally and physically.
Self-berating and belittling became a near daily occurrence. I’ve called myself names I would never call another person. And every few months, when the name calling didn’t feel like sufficient punishment, I took things to the next level.
The truly sick thing is, I didn’t view this behavior as wrong. I honestly felt that I was getting what I deserved. It gave me a release and I felt better afterwards.
God had already been ministering to my heart for some months when I met my future husband and read the book he’d written. Your True Value is a self-help book on gaining confidence in your identity as God’s child. I never would have picked up a book like this in the store. It didn’t seem like my cup of tea at all.
But God used it to open my eyes. I finally realized that my self-hatred and self-harming were sinful.
It makes perfect logical sense really. I would never treat one of God’s beloved the way I’ve treated myself. It’s sinful to hurt someone He loves. And since He loves me, it’s sinful to hurt myself.
Unfortunately, I’ve viewed myself as worthless for so long, that love doesn’t feel right or natural. It takes focus to avoid my default setting of self-abuse. I keep getting off track.
Thankfully, God never gives up on me. Slowly but surely, He has been loving me back together.
And that love He’s shown me has opened up a whole new way of living. It enables me to trust Him and serve Him wholeheartedly. It enables me to love Him, myself, and others. It brings me joy, and peace, and hope. And it lets me share that with those around me.
When I let it.
This year, I’m determined, by the grace of God to let Him love me, so I can move past my insecurities and fully enjoy this amazing Jesus.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain.
For 2014, I’ve chosen the word Loved. Because that is what I am. That is who I am. And that is how I’m going to live.