God in living a great story.
-Donald Miller "Storyline"
I've said before that I would see myself as a burden to those that cared for me. But the truth of the matter is it goes way deeper than that.
I was never the cool kid.
Never on the cutting edge of what was trendy.
The last time I was at my parents house I found my old yearbooks and flipping through and seeing myself from twelve years ago staring back at me. I wanted to talk to that kid. That kid with the pain in his eyes. That kid that was so clearly uncomfortable in his own skin. That kid that felt like no matter what, he would never fit in, was never allowed to fit in, was not invited to the party. I wanted to tell him it would be okay.
The sad truth of the matter is that it goes deeper than that.
I've heard it called "the spirit of rejection". I've heard it called "self-hatred". I've heard it called plain and simple depression.
At my darkest moments throughout my years on this earth a familiar scene plays out:
I'm in the bathroom, brushing my teeth or washing my hands or shaving. I catch my eyes in the mirror. Lean against the counter, getting closer to my reflection and whisper three words.
This scene played itself out so many times over so many years it never once occurred to me how unhealthy this is. How wrong this is. How much it grieved God's heart to hear this over and over.
I don't even know what I expected from myself. Was it perfection? Something more? One thing I did know was that I would never treat another person the way I treated myself. "That person is made in the image of God!" I would exclaim "There is so much good, so much truth inside that person."
And then I would see my reflection, look straight in those accusing eyes staring back at me and whisper it again.
Here is the truth: I was seeing a lie. A fiction. A figment of my own imagination. I am not some broken twisted wretch screaming for the mercy of God. I am not "the chief among sinners" to steal a phrase from Paul. I am not God's mistake, an afterthought that He is far too busy for.
I am counted among the redeemed. Fearfully and wonderfully made. A child of king. Put on the earth to experience His creation. I am one of His prized, most valued. The spark, the fire, the passion that was present the day that God created my spirit still burns and it burns bright.
I say that to say this. I don't hate myself anymore. I am at peace with myself. I even like myself. Even in my worst days, even when I screw up and miss it by a mile. When I am irritable and flat out mean. I am still the creation of the King. A miracle by most accounts. Created for a purpose.
If you hate yourself...If you find yourself in a similar recurring theme. Know this: It isn't healthy, it isn't normal. IT ISN'T TRUE. You have taken a false identity. Don't heap the punishment on yourself that Christ paid the price for. "For you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."