“You did not choose me, but I chose you . . . . ” ~ John 15:16a
To start my last post, I included the quote:
“I choose you and I’ll choose you over and over and over. Without a pause. Without a doubt. In a heartbeat, I’ll keep choosing you.” ~ Anonymous
I can love others freely, but why would anyone choose me? The idea that I would be chosen by anyone goes against the things that I’ve been told for so many years. Ideas that have been deeply ingrained into my psyche — I’m not worthy, not loveable, not enough, not deserving . . . .
First, I had the weekend, where it was shown to me without a doubt that I am chosen – despite differences, despite distance, despite what I think about myself . . . I have been chosen. Not for what I can give, but because of who I am.
After arriving home this week, I had a conversation with a wonderful woman. She relayed that growing up she just didn’t feel like she “fit in.” She performed to others expectations of her, but it didn’t feel natural. It wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she had a mid-life mental crisis, not a breakdown, but just a realization that she had been meeting others’ expectations for so long she had somehow lost sight of WHO she was. Her husband, being a psychologist, told her: “just be yourself,” to which she tearfully replied, “I don’t know who I am.” Hmmmm . . .guess I’m not alone in that thought.
When you have gone for years thinking that you are unworthy, unlovable, undeserving and not enough . . . to receive praise is an unfathomable stressor — a juxtaposition to how you see yourself. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. In my experience, compliments usually come with expectations or demands, a quid pro quo in a sense. I told you something nice about you, now you do something nice for me. The compliment or praise isn’t sincere nor is it lasting if it doesn’t gain compliance.
Last night, my daughter and I were relaxing for a bit, spending time together and she asked to watch a movie. I let her make the selection and of all things she chose “Dumplin’.” This is a movie I’d wanted to see, so I was glad she chose it but not being sure of the premise, I was blindsided. The main character is a heavier girl whose mother is a former beauty queen and in charge of their small town’s beauty pageant. Because of her (in her eyes) shortcomings of weight, unruly curly hair, comments from others based on her weight — when the cute guy she worked with expressed interest in her she questioned the sincerity behind his statements.
Today, as I read my devotional, these words jumped out at me: “You did not choose me, but I chose you . . . “
Wait. What? I don’t care how long I’ve read my Bible, or how often, there’s always some new truth that applies to my life.
And then a bit later I saw this photo on a website and it added to my thoughts . . .
Okay . . . .I get it! Time for me to do some self-evaluation. I make progress some days, but it seems to be two steps forward and one step back (if not more). I start to make headway and then something happens or is said and all the insecurity and doubt creeps back in and I feel almost paralyzed. It’s almost as if I’m afraid to do anything because it will be the wrong thing, but at the same time when I’m doing the things that I enjoy it’s very empowering.
Sometimes I wish there were a memory reset button.