I turned 50 this year.
Maybe that seems ancient to you. Maybe I seem like a youngster. It was a milestone for me. I didn’t let anyone throw me a “RIP” party with black balloons and “supposed-to-be-funny-but really-aren’t” gifts. Perhaps I was a bad sport, but I thought the occasion deserved something deeper, I just didn’t know what that was.
The ‘deeper’ for me, I discovered, was introspection throughout the last six months. Several “look how far I’ve come” moments. More “why aren’t I farther along the journey yet” questions.
Where I have settled is in a place I started 25 years ago. Twenty five years ago I was overcoming addiction, but searching for more. Without realizing it, I was still looking for the answers to the questions and insecurities that pushed me into addiction. Am I worth anything? Does anyone love me? Why am I so broken?
But my responses to those questions now are so much different than they were then. Before, they whispered fear and accusation. Now they remind me who God is in my life.
Am I worth anything and does anyone love me? God says YES, he created me (Psalm 139:14), and he loves me so much that he sent his son to die and be resurrected so that I could be in relationship with Him. (of course, it’s John 3:16) This mattered to me when I became a Christian because I had tried everything I could to make me feel ‘enough’, to make me feel accepted, to seem ‘not broken’. Today, it matters for me again because I still find myself in the battle to make myself good enough, respected enough, seen as valuable enough. The foundation of our entire identity is in his love and His acceptance. When his love and acceptance are in the front of my mind, it makes it so much easier to get off the fake “I have to be the best example/Christian/mom/wife” hamster wheel. It lets me be his child. It lets me rest in his love and his peace.
Why am I so broken? This is a weird one for me. My pride wants to ignore my past and its echoes in my life today. Jesus healed that brokenness, right? But some of those voices still whisper, and each time I have to turn them over to him again and claim his promises over the same deep issues. Don’t get me wrong, he has healed me. I am living in victory. But its a conscious decision some days. So why am I still so broken? Today I know a great answer to that question, and it’s from his words to me (2 Corinthians 12:9). His power shows off best when I let people into my weakness. If my past disappeared, like sometimes I want, or I was able to will myself into the perfect Christian I know I am supposed to be, he wouldn’t be able to show his power through me.
I don’t know if you are struggling with the same questions that I have been as I write this, but I do know that Jesus is crazy about you- yes, you! The you that deals with depression, the you that tries to look perfect, the you that forgets to spend time with him, the you that keeps making mistakes, and even the you that still hears the whispers from the mistakes of your past. And he wants to take all those things that you struggle with, fill them with himself, and show off what he can do!
Thank goodness I don’t have to fix myself anymore. I guess I have learned a thing or two by living 50 years.