Friday, August 12, 2011

The Walking Wounded

by Aleta Kay

Today's message is for all of us who beat ourselves up on a daily basis because we’ve been convinced by people who were supposed to love us that we are helpless, hopeless, and useless. We have been physically abused, emotionally battered and spiritually tattered. We are the little engines that couldn’t. We have imprisoned ourselves in fleshly cages, treating ourselves as criminals because we forget things, drop things, sometimes say the wrong things, accidentally break things, lose things, etc. We believe ourselves to be at the bottom of the dung heap because we are less than perfect. We compare ourselves to others who appear to “have it all together” and we come up so short we are almost imperceptible.
You thought this message was going to have something to do with marriage, right? Well, it does. You see, if we keep ourselves on eggshells, everyone around us is also on eggshells. It is impossible to have a good relationship with anyone if you can’t have a good relationship with yourself. It is vitally important that we start telling ourselves how normal we are. Everyone forgets things sometimes (no, you don’t do it more than everyone else–that’s an exaggeration and you know it!). Everyone loses things, misplaces things, locks themselves out of the car, or breaks something that meant something to them. Life comes with inconveniences, mishaps, illnesses, acne, stubbed toes, bad hair days, etc.
We need to start a new set of tapes in our heads. We need to erase all those negative messages in our minds and replace them with positive messages: There are some things we are good at. We are not who we want to be yet, but with God’s help, we will become that person. We can do it. When we make mistakes, no matter how big or small, we need to forgive ourselves. We need to continue to forgive ourselves, learn from our mistakes and move on. We need to be patient with ourselves and not judge ourselves more harshly than God would. He is a loving, gracious, and forgiving God who loves us unconditionally. We need to see ourselves honestly through His eyes and ask Him to help us be what He wants us to be. Making mistakes is normal. No one is perfect so we are free to like ourselves. One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is "and it came to pass." That means it didn't come to stay. Hang in there.

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