29 August 2011

Take That Worthlessness!

This was my Facebook status this morning - and it has made such an impact on me that I wanted to preserve it here: You are valuable. Yes YOU. Not because of your net worth or your earning potential - but because once upon a time, a decision was made by a Creator who holds the breath of life to infuse life into cells. The exact perfect circumstances had to exist to bring this about and He allowed every single variable to line up. None of us are a mistake. Nobody is an accident. Our entrance into this world did not take Him by surprise - and we each were very much wanted because He decided this world would not be the same without us. From those conceived in royalty to babies born into the arms of teenage parents - and everything in between - to Him there is no distinction. As someone who struggles with intense worthlessness, I woke up this morning to this affirmation that I can only imagine was from Him - that I was wanted and loved and HIS.  How much different life would be if we all lived as if this were true - not only of ourselves but of every single other person that we encounter in our days. We are so loved.  Take that worthlessness!

27 August 2011

A Fist Full of Ashes

Healing is a process. I keep telling myself this - like a mantra that is followed with this positive affirmation "it is okay to be in process".  Nobody likes to be in process - preferring much more to have arrived at the destination of a whole mind and non-fractured spirit, at least insofar as healing is concerned.
A friend shared this scripture from Isaiah 61 with me at last night's group meeting - and though I'd heard it a million times before, this piece was illuminated to me:
".....to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair....."
How easily my spirit despairs.  I looked the word up in my concordance and it means to [smolder].  
smol·der  /ˈsmōldər/ verb: burn slowly with smoke but no flame
The despair is a slow burn - and unchecked it will eat.me.alive.  The smallest thing can trigger deep feelings of worthlessness, the tiniest injury can unearth catastrophic old wounds. It takes constant effort to remember that I am no longer trapped in an abusive marriage or childhood.  It takes intentional choices not to react with the same defensive behaviors - which can range anywhere from lashing out in fear to scurrying into the shadows like a skiddish animal.  It is taking time and conscious effort to trust myself, others and God.
This phrase
beauty for ashes, beauty for ashes, beauty for ashes
keeps rolling through my mind.  Some of the despair has been necessary - to allow this old life to burn away. These ashes are all that is left of my old life - and yet I often hold them in fists clenched tight.  The crown of beauty may be preferable to most - but to reach out for it means to let some of these ashes spill out of my hands.