I've always been confident. I've always had the answer in class, I've always been good at not caring about whether I had lots of friends, I've always had trouble understanding insecurity. Growing up, my mom often told me how amazed and happy she was that I was able to find my self-worth outside of the opinions of others, the social pressures to be a certain way, to think a certain thing. She has always been thankful that I love myself.
It wasn't until this weekend, at a retreat designed to help 'remove the stones' from our lives, that I realized that the person I just described hasn't been me in a while. Unbeknownst to me, the love I always thought was there inside me, love for who and what I was, has been steadily eroding. Since I was 14, chronic illness and broken encounters and relationships with others have taught me that I'm not worth investing in, that I'm not worth supporting, that there will always be someone else, someone easier, someone less broken, for people to spend their time and effort on.
But these are lies. God says I have worth. God says I do deserve love. God says I am whole and strong, even though I have fibromyalgia. God says I am longed for, even though I've been put aside in the past. God says I am valuable, even though I've been used.
God says I need to relearn how to love myself.
What does loving yourself look like? I'm no longer sure I know, but I am sure that I want to learn.
Psalm 139: 14
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.