Continued from here.
The perspective I shared in my last blog entry was not always the case for me. For decades, my stormy seasons were also very dark. I have lived through many dark monsoons, and I questioned whether God even cared.
I was severely abused as a child and grew up into an emotionally shattered woman. I hated myself and could not believe that anyone else could ever really love me. After all, I saw nothing in me worth loving, so how could I believe that anyone else would see anything to love, either?
My self-hatred manifested itself in numerous ways – an eating disorder, suicidal urges, self-injury, intense bouts of anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares … I was one hot mess. I didn’t actually believe that God loved me. I thought I was an “add on” – that Jesus was already dying for someone else, so he tacked me on for the sake of efficiency. I could not/would not receive God’s love, and that made my life dark.
My life was radically transformed when I chose to believe that God loves me. That one choice changed everything and has forever removed the experience of dark and stormy seasons in life. While I still experience storms – and even heavy storms, they are no longer dark.
Hawk Nelson has a song out that I encourage you to meditate on: Live Like You’re Loved. What would change in your life if you really believed that God loves you … just as you are?
Here’s what it did for me: I became able to give grace to others as I received God’s grace. I was able to love others as I realized that God’s love for me is more than enough – that I could not use it all up if I tried. I started learning from my mistakes rather than defining myself by them. I developed hope that anchored me in light – no matter how stormy my life gets, I know that I know that I know that God is in control, He is with me, He loves me, and He is good. This sliver in time is not the end of the story.
Believing and receiving God’s love for you is the way out of the darkness. Life can get stormy, but it doesn’t have to grow dark. The light of the world lives inside you, so darkness has no power over you. Start living like you are loved, and you’ll never again have to experience hopelessness.
[Graphic: Cover of Hawk Nelson’s Diamonds CD, which includes the song Live Like You’re Loved. Courtesy Amazon.com.]