I sat on my friend’s floor, coiling a long telephone cord around my stubby index finger.
A high school boy had not called her back after she had tried calling him multiple times. I was interested to see how another person, rejected like me, would handle things. It felt good, in that moment to know that I was not alone. She was hurting too now. Misery loves company.
But, she didn’t indulge me how I wanted…her response threw me off. Rather than saying, like I would, “There must be something wrong with me,” she said, “Oh, he’s probably busy and will call me later.”
That surprised me. It wasn’t all her fault.
She didn’t believe the worst about herself…
She didn’t blame herself…
She didn’t think she was flawed…
Instead, she gave the guy the benefit of the doubt. She hoped the best and believed the best for him and herself.
And because of that, she side-stepped all the self-blame, self-hatred, and burdening personalization that I so shamefully and easily walked in.
How was it so easy for her to escape all that?
As she saw it, there was nothing wrong with her, but for me? It was all — ALL my fault.
I wonder if any of you are like me? How often do we personalize what likely has nothing to do with us, thereby heaping pain and self-blame on ourselves?
How often do we decide our kids’ walk is our fault? Our marriage is our fault? Our situation is our fault? People’s responses are our fault?
“Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” (1 Cor 13:7)
We are to love ourselves. Do you doubt that?
God tells us to “love others as we love ourselves”, therefore, we are to:
1. Believe the best about ourselves
2. Hope there is a good future for ourselves
3. Endure up under ourselves with belief even in the face of our flaws.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1)
Faith is all about what we hope for.
If we have no hope, we have no faith. If we have no faith, we turn off the faucet flow of the greater things God can and will do for us.
My friend had hope; I had none.
It’s no wonder I got an eating disorder and was ready to die. Without hope, all life dies. Faith can generate nothing new and life-giving.
But, in us, my friends, we have Jesus, the hope of glory! Which means there is always hope! There is always resurrection life power. There is always a new way!
A weekend ago, I spoke at a church, where Jesus came with radical power to heal people of sickness, mental illness, and pain. I have never seen anything like it. The women’s faith believed in the hand of a Saving God! And He came!
If He did it for them, He will do it for you! Have faith that what God has for others could also be for the likes of you, too!
Prayer: Father, you are great. You are mighty. You are able. You are maker. You have good things in store for those who love you. I cast off me for the receiving of you. I let go of what I am not, for the faith that you are bigger than me and my mistakes. I trust you. Life is not about me, but it is for the glory of you! So, today I lean on you and trust in you! You make all things new. You have things in store for me. You have good for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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