Today’s Scripture — 11.18.2014
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. ~ 1 John 3:1
I’m driving down the highway to a friend’s house. I’m due at her house at 3:30. We have a later-afternoon shopping trip planned, and I’ve been looking forward to this all day.
I’m not a woman who’s into the “retail therapy” thing, but what I am into is this: quality time spent with my people. I needed people time.
The whole day up to that point had been an ugly one. It was one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. I had no bread for the school lunches. We had arrived late – again – for the bus. I had shrunk two of my daughter’s favorite shirts. My hormones were doing crazy things, like they do every 28 days or so. And I was feeling this deep sense of aloneness that creeps up on me every so often, especially when the days get shorter.
So I drive to find a friend.
I need friend therapy, I say to myself. I turn into her driveway, hopeful for a remedy. But when I get there, she says there’s been a change of plans. Here’s what I’m thinking on the inside: She can’t fix me. I wanted her to fix me, and now she can’t.
I stand on her back step, wanting to cry. I’m embarrassed at how my insides are reacting, and my adult self can’t keep the little kid inside of me in line.
I hear my voice say to her, “It’s okay, really.” But my tone sounds sharp; my words taste bitter. I feel wildly disappointed, achy, and alone. And there’s no doubt she knows it. She can read the signs, the body language.
I turn to leave, before she sees that I’m ridiculously close to tears. I fake a cheery, “We’ll make it work another time!”
But I hear the pain etched inside of her goodbye. I’ve made her feel bad.
Now there are two of us feeling awful.
Hurt People Hurt People
Driving home, I remember the saying, “Hurt people hurt people.”
I am the hurting. And I am the hurter. I hurt her, my friend whom I love.
All the way home, my sadness widens. Grief opens a wide chasm underneath me. Guilt rushes in with a ferocious voice –
“What kind of sophomoric friend are you?”
“When will you ever stop messing it up?”
“When will you get to the point where you really know who you are in Christ?”
When You Don’t Like Yourself
These are the days when I don’t like myself. These are the days when I hurt myself with accusations, and then I hurt someone I love in the process. Usually, it happens all in the same day – a perfect, furious storm of disappointment.
Sometimes the most impossible person to love is your own self.
I drive home, into the fuzzy gray air, feeling terribly sorry for myself. And I reach a hand to the radio knob, to turn up the music.
A recital of truth streams out of the speakers.
“Tell me once again who I am to You, who I am to You,” the singer sings. “Tell me lest I forget who I am to You. I belong to You.”
That’s when the tears fall. The lyrics swell up inside of my heart, and suddenly I re-remember what I re-forgot. (I know, those are not real words, but they’re the most legit ones when you find yourself re-treading old ground. Again.)
I sing along with the song — each lyric an exhale of released hurt: “Tell me once again who I am to You.”
And my knower, which had re-forgotten, began to re-remember.
Believe That You Are Beloved
It seems that God is whispering these words to each of us: “I named you My Beloved. Believe that you are beloved.”
This whisper sinks me deeper into the heart of God – this all-knowing God who loves the unlovable. He knows me better than I know me.
God knows what’s behind the sulfur in our words, and what’s under the pain in our loneliness. He causes us to peel back the top layers, to go farther in to the places where the hurt really started. The only way this can be done, is through God. The only way OUT, is through Him. He moves our hearts to a place where we can hear His questions. The questions come easy, slow, unaccusing:
“Do you know that I love you?”
“Do you know that I like you?”
“Do you remember that living PreApproved requires a daily starting over?”
“Do you know that your friends can’t fix this, your husband can’t fix this, your good works can’t fix this? Do you know that only I can fix this?”
I arrive at my driveway, emptied out, ready for a new refilling. My soul becomes a cup. I marvel at the fact that He chooses to fill it. He chooses to make me sacred, a vessel.
The chasm below me closes up. My words don’t taste so bitter.
I re-remember what I re-forget.
And I walk into the house, the door falling shut behind me. I dial her number. She answers. I say, “I’m sorry.”
This post is part of our month-long series, “A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes.
How You Can Be a Part of This Movement:
1 – Print out the Scripture sheets. (Click here for printable versions.) Each of the 30 daily Scriptures are quoted in Love Idol, and each one ties back in some way to our identity in Christ. (You don’t have to read the book to participate in this study. But of course, you’re welcome to!
2 – Find the passage assigned for today’s date.
3 – Consider how God is speaking to you. How does the verse help you remember who you really are, outside of all the cultural noise?
4 – Visit us on the blog, or the Love Idol movement page on Facebook, to share what the verse means to you.
5 – Share your insights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or your blog, to add more soul to your scroll. #MoreSoulLessScroll
Tag me, so I can find you. (Or feel free to follow along silently! No social-media presence required.)
I’ll post my own response here on the blog every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes, you’ll find a story, maybe a few short words, maybe a series of photos. That will happen every day, for all of November, God-willing.
If you want to follow along, visit us here every day. Consider subscribing to my blog by clicking here to get these reflections in your email inbox.
Let this be the November that we remember who we really are: Loved. Preapproved. His.
Find all the posts in the November to Remember series by clicking here.
So, what’s your Story? (#TellHisStory Linkup)
A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
You’re invited to tell that story right here, in community with us.
Share your narratives, your poems, your Instagrams tagged with #TellHisStory, … your beautiful hearts. You are the chroniclers, the people who help others make sense of the world with your words and your art.
Story is how we know that, no matter what happens, we can get back up again.
Visit someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Then, Tweet about your posts, and the posts you visit, with the #TellHisStory hashtag. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
A final note: This is a safe place to tell your stories. You don’t have to be a professional writer to join us. Story is built into every single one of us. Your story matters, because it’s part of God’s story down through history, not because you punctuated everything correctly. Deal?
For more details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here. Share the love of story by visiting someone else in the community!
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