I had an individual counseling session on Friday--- part of me always looks forward to these sessions, because I enjoy self analysis and another part of me dreads these sessions because I seem to learn things about myself that I have a hard time dealing with.
So on Friday, my counselor asked me, "What are the parts of you that you cannot accept? What part of that little girl inside of you can you not extend grace or mercy to?"
That was the end of our session, which made this question my "homework" for the next few weeks.
In my sessions, we spend a lot of time talking about my childhood and where my issues (control, self defeatism, self criticism) stem from. But we don't beat them to death. We identify the source of the lies that I believe myself and then we find the Truth, through prayer and discussion. An event I went to this weekend really helped me to answer the first part of that question-- what parts of me can I not accept.
I went to my church's district women's retreat this weekend. Annie Chapman was our speaker--- fantabulous! One thing that she said has been sticking with me over the past day or so. "God is interested in honesty, in the truth. We, as humans, are interested in the facts. There is a difference between the facts and the truth. For instance, my friend got pregnant before she was married and worries that one day her child will find out this fact. But the truth is, God has redeemed her, and that fact no longer matters." She also stated that it is the facts that hurt us, because we ignore the Truth.
Facts I have believed about myself: I am an odd duck. I can be loud, quick to act, slow to think. I am not as smart as I want to be.
These facts have hurt me immeasurably for a long time. In a society where red heads stand out for a myriad of negative reasons (stubborness, fierce tempers, strong wills), I am a true redhead. Red heads are pale and freckled in a society where smooth and tan equal beautiful. Yes, I am pale and freckled.
I am loud and boisterous. I enjoy laughter and being the center of attention. But as a child, I never got to be the center of attention in the way that I wanted to be. Instead I was the odd Yankee who stood out first because of her odd accent. As I acclimated myself to the South, I became odd and noted for the fact that I seemed to be an old woman locked inside a young woman's body. Fun, in the form that other teenagers enjoyed, didn't seem to come easily to me.
I have alwaus felt intellectually inadequate. Yes. Me, the chick who got straight A's for most of my 13 years of grade school, who graduated from college magna cum laude. Yes, I have alsays felt stupid and inadequate.
These are the facts that have crippled me for a long time.
But here is the Truth.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-16)
God knows my deeds, my faith, my service, my perseverance. (Revelation 2:19)
He has given me a new self. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
So those are the things that I have always had a hard time accepting about myself. I have always accepted the facts, instead of the Truth.
Now that I have faced the facts, but not accepted the facts as the Truth, I have to move on to why I cannot offer myself the mercy and grace that I extend to others. But I think that might be another entry for another time. I am tired, Baby Girl is rolling around in me, and my laptop doesn't like her power cord tonight.
Another entry, another day!