If you’ve met me for half a second, a word that might come to mind when describing me is flirt. (Some other words might be loud, dramatic, or even obnoxious.. but let’s work on one flaw at a time here people.) My closest friends will tell you that I don’t have a type, I’m a serial dater. In fact, I’ve dated someone from just about every social clique you could think up. However, none of my “flavors of the month” (as my mom so affectionately began to call them) worked out. And thats because I’m a runner. For one reason or another, I always find a reason to bail on a relationship. Like leaving the dinner table right when the main course arrives. Or throwing a book away when you still have one chapter left. And I do it with friendships too. Somehow, subconsciously, I’ve developed a sensor that throws a wall up around my heart whenever someone gets too close. I believe it started as a defense mechanism, but has ended up doing more harm than good. I’ve always chalked it up to circumstance. Thinking that friendships come and go, and that young relationships aren’t worth the fight anyways. And then I heard a phrase that has haunted me ever since.
You accept the love you think you deserve.
This one sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. You see, for so long I haven’t liked compliments. They made me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t like to be touched or hugged, It made me cringe. And I was quick to “date” anyone who showed the slightest interest in me, but also quick to cut ties when things got messy. (You might be wondering why I’m baring my soul on the internet for all to read, but I promise I’m going somewhere with this.) All of us as people have an idea of our self worth. What we love about ourselves, what we think we’re good at, and what we think others see. When I sat down to think about my own self worth, I realized that I don’t ever validate myself. In fact, I could quite possible be my own worst enemy. I overlook my triumphs, but magnify my smallest mistakes. Now thats a scary thought.
When you’re 15 years old, you have an idea of who you’re going to be when you’re twenty something. The goals I set for myself were unattainable, I simply couldn’t foresee obstacles that would change my path. That would alter me as a person. That is not to say that this new version of me is any less worthy, but in my head I have failed. I wasn’t, and am not, good enough. I chip away at my self worth by constantly harping on myself for every shortcoming. Ya know, when left to our own devices, we can make quite a mess out of what should be a beautiful life. Anyways, this is where the quote comes in. I haven’t been able to accept love because I don’t feel that I deserve it. I feel like I have to earn that kind of affection, and I just don’t measure up. This makes for some bad outcomes in relationships here on this Earth, so imagine the damage it does to my spiritual life.
The idea of unconditional love is unfathomable to me. You mean to tell me that I don’t have to earn it? That if I screw up, its not going to leave? That this love is the exact same amount, an immeasurable amount, regardless of if I’ve just failed or succeeded? Why? I don’t know that we as humans will ever comprehend that God’s love for us doesn’t waver, that it is constant and all-encompassing. But it is! When I do wrong, or I start to put myself down, I subconsciously pull away from Jesus. I feel like he loves me less at that time, so I try to protect my heart from being let down. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is when I am at my breaking point, when I’ve hit a wall, that Jesus is begging me to simply take his hand and accept his love. And that’s it, absolutely no strings attached. What Love!
I want to end by saying this: Satan is incredibly conniving. He grabs hold of your smallest feelings of inadequacy and magnifies them in your eyes. And I’ve allowed him to do that in my life. He doesn’t want me to accept God’s love, because I could be capable of great things that scare him. So he feeds on feelings of worthlessness. But by letting go and letting love in, you win the war. I don’t know about you, but I want to be on the winning side. I want to be loved, I want to accept that love, and I want to love others. I don’t want to be who I wanted to be at 15 years old, I want to be who God handmade me to be. I want to fit perfectly into His plan, and I want to spread His love to His people. Amen!