I was worshipping today. I have the privledge to work for a church and our staff meeting today was a time of worship. God chose this moment to open a seed, which had been planted long ago. This little time of worship peeled back the hard shell and allowed the plant within the seed to quickly grow from a seedling to a beautiful tree with many branches. God showed me this seed had been planted in deep soil that my on and off again times with God had kept nourished until this very minute.
The seedling manifested itself by way of a softening heart toward my mother. God gave me the ability to see her how God sees her. Specifically, he showed me her heart of worship. This is the seed that she passed on to me. I felt an increased joy and heart of worship in that moment. I have always loved worship, but I felt like that was nothing compared to how I felt in this moment. I knew this was my mother’s heart toward worship. I saw how beautiful my mother truly is and how beautiful her heart is. Even as she loses the battle with her mind to dementia, I felt God show me how she looks to him even now, and more importantly how she will look to him in eternity. She gets to do her favorite thing for all of eternity and it made me burst with tears of thankfulness. Thankfulness for her beauty and joy as she gives glory to God – her favorite thing to do.
All of this in the span of an hour of worship.
There is a piece of me that is hidden. So hidden, in fact, that I don’t know how to find it. I hid it to protect it as a child since no one was protecting me. No one cared to make sure I was secure, so I secured myself.
What was once a safe place has become a prison. I want to release it to you, Lord, but I don’t know how to find it. There is a piece of me, which would connect with You much deeper than the part of me you see, but I don’t know how to find it. It is the pure, truly human part of me, the image of you that you breathed into me. It is buried alive within me. Only you, Lord, can resurrect it. The piece of me that can truly connect with you. Only you can find it. I need to be still, to not cringe in fear of being seen by you. I need to be quiet and allow your Spirit to seek and find me – the real me. Bring shalom to my core, restoration to who I was created to be. Find the pure, created piece of me buried deep. Spirit connect with my spirit and bring forth who I was created to be. Break the lies that are holding the doors closed, release the truth to set me free.
Even while that piece of me is hidden and buried, you meet me in my prison. You talk to me and give me hope while the Spirit breaks each chain, removes each wall, working to free me. You sit with me.
When I was 14, I tried to destroy myself through alcohol. I don’t remember the last part of my 14th year because I blacked out so much from too much alcohol. I didn’t stop drinking until I became pregnant at the age of 15. I didn’t stop drinking for myself, but for the new reason I found to live. I never stopped to question why I didn’t like myself, why I was set on self destruction. Before the alcohol, it was food. That started around age 7 when I would sneak to the bread drawer in the middle of the night and start stuffing my face. After the alcohol, it went back to food. I remember at age 25 telling someone I hated hearing my name – hated it. Just hearing it made me cringe. Why the self loathing? I’m still not positive, but I know it’s not how God sees me.
Recently I started reading this amazing book a friend told me about, Women, Food, God, written by Geneen Roth. It talks about getting to know your present self. It talks about allowing yourself to feel. It has been an eye opener, but I keep thinking, why should I spend so much time on myself. Again, it went back to self loathing. Why didn’t I think I was worth it?
It is a lie that has been passed down through my family, women to women. We see the example left from the previous generation. They treated themselves as less than divine. They showed my generation they were the exception to God’s love. The thing I need to remember is I’m not a child anymore. I don’t have to accept what I was taught. I am now willing to question those generational lies.
What example do I want to leave my daughter? I want her to know she is a child of God and God sees her as precious – he gave his life for her. People see actions, not words. I want to influence my daughter and maybe even the generation before me. They learned it from their mother’s. Maybe I can be the generation used by God to put a stop to the lies and start passing on truth. A very strong motivator to put in the work of learning about who I really am and waking up to the life that is mine through Jesus. I am made in the image of God.
A song that comes to mind is Furious by Jeremy Riddle.