It started decades ago. The constant critique of myself. The lack of forgiveness. The constant punishment of myself if I do something wrong or fall short in some way. I push, I strive, I haven’t let myself rest and I hold myself to impossible standards.
To be honest, I have never felt good enough. I’ve always fought to keep up or get ahead in some way. Now, with the constant comparison of other people’s lives on social media and the fast paced culture we live in, it has only gotten worse for me and so many of our generation.
But I learned something recently that completely changed the way I view my shortcomings and allowed me to love myself for what might be the first time in my life. The Almighty God sent his son Jesus to die for my sins, my shortcomings, my failures and every mess up I will ever make for every moment of my life.
His forgiveness covers my past sins, and His forgiveness covers my future hang-ups. He forgives and forgets all of the junk in my life and my heart. In Psalm 103:2 the Bible says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”
If He, the almighty God, the one who holds this world in the palm of His hand forgives me and forgets it all, then who I am to hold on to my mess-ups and punish myself? Who am I to not offer forgiveness to myself?
He died so I could live. He came so that I would have life. He says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He came to bring me forgiveness and make me right with God. And I realized that not only am I making myself miserable, but I am trying to do the job that only God can do. And that is just plain silly.
Time to Apologize
In this realization, I decided it was time to apologize. Time to apologize to myself, to the little girl inside of me who has been punished long enough.
This is my open letter of forgiveness to myself:
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not believing in you. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a liar… I have told you things I never should have said.
I have told you are too frail and too weak to make a difference. That you are wired too different.
I have told you your value is in your work and what you accomplish. That you must be perfect, everything polished. But in the next breath, I tell you you’ll never get there. But no person has ever been or will be perfect.
I’ve been used by the Devil to hold you back. To fill you with fear and throw you off track.
It breaks my heart to know in a way I’ve won. But I want to tell you today that I’m done.
So I thought I would take a moment now to make you this everlasting vow. To tell you the truth from here on out. Here are the truths, I hope you never doubt.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has a plan for you, He’s paved the way. The Bible says God knew you before you were conceived. He knit you together in your mother’s womb to love you no matter what you achieved. It was God’s plan for you.
The gifts you have are not an accident and the passions you hold are not just distractions. They are in you for a reason. For a time and a season.
God has ordained to set you free of your chains. Believe again, little one. God is not done.
You’re beautiful, you’re smart, and your life has worth. He’s cherished and adored you since even before your birth. The pain you suffer is making you stronger. He sees himself in you every day. You are more than a conqueror.
Every inch of your body soul and your mind was created with a plan and a purpose, a unique design. God loves you no matter your scars. He opens his arms to hold you close with an embrace you have never known.
He is the author and you are the story. Every page you turn is there to bring God glory.
Dear me, I’m sorry. I led you astray. But listen to me now, cause it’s not too late.”