It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon last week. Sun was shining and a light breeze was going. So perfect for Prom night. The girls and I went out to my mother’s house where my cousin would be meeting us as she graciously offered to do their hair for them. Pictures would follow with my nephew and his girlfriend. Everything was going fine until it wasn’t…
The weather was changing. Storm clouds were rolling in. It was spitting rain and then it would stop only to promise more water drops from the dark sky. As the wind began to pick up momentum, so did my anxiety. Slight problems were happening all around me but I couldn’t focus or hear anything but the pounding of my heart as it was threatening to explode out of my chest to keep time with the storm. My breaths became labored and my stomach was churning. I was shaking uncontrollably on the inside.
I couldn’t breathe.
I needed to escape.
I was screaming inside.
It was in that moment that I felt incredibly out of control. Delirious. I was in a familiar place. I knew my way around but it was uncomfortable and unpleasant.
I was consumed with an elaborate pity party for one. I felt like I was in a heap of the unanswerable question of “why me?” Why was I having a challenging week, well two weeks at that point? What was I doing wrong that I kept falling down into a hole of maddening darkness? I struggled daily to find the light that would lead me out of the pits of anxiety and stress. As I write this… I am still not there. I am much better than last week but I am still trudging along in the bowels of the mess we created.
Later that night, laying in bed, I prayed for some clarity. Some healing and comfort. I didn’t like what had transpired earlier that day. It was nothing of the new me, the authentic me but everything of the old me, the broken me. I understood the process I went through, it was my old normal. Waves of anxiety, fear, panic, self-loathing.
In my sleep, I had a dream. Although, I know it as an actual visit of reality.
I was standing in a room, looking at a wall of greeting cards when I felt the presence of a man to my left. At first, I didn’t look over at him; minded my own business. But I could feel this man’s eyes penetrating my soul. It was then that I looked over at him. His smile was the warmest smile I had ever seen.
It was Him. Jesus was right there beside me. I felt a lump in my throat. I had never felt so honored, small and blessed as I did in that moment with Him, the real Him, right beside me… arms touching.
Knowing my guilt over my actions early in the day, I looked at Him and said, “Papa, I have come so far. Aren’t you proud of me?”
He shook His head… no.
I had never felt so crushed inside. To disappoint Daddy was the ultimate pain.
He wasn’t proud of me. He cried too.
He whispered, “My precious child, you still have so much work to do. Growing is hard but you have more to do. I know your struggles. I know your pain. Focus, ask and trust.” He pulled me into His chest, holding me, letting His love for me transfer from Him to me. I looked up at Him with tears in my eyes. He leaned over to kiss my forehead. Our eyes locked for what seemed to be eternity but was only a few seconds and He cupped my face in His strong, gentle hands as He said,
“You are enough. I am here with you. Now and forever. Share your heart, for I have breathed it to life again. Stop sinking. Stop holding on to old ways. Stop branding yourself with the hot iron of words that do not belong to you. They never belonged to you. Make me proud by the work that you continue to do. Set in motion a new wave of self care so that you walk fully in My light and love. Peace is near…”
And with that, He vanished.
Jesus knew I wanted Him. He showed up. I was feeling so guilty for my antics and the reaction was the old me. He acknowledged my work but made sure that I knew my behavior was not worthy of His approval. Yet like a faithful Father, He made me aware of potential and that I do have work to do for Him that will bring Glory to His name.
And just like that…
Jesus loves me. I AM enough.
Loved without end. Promises kept. Messy Truth.
Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
– Ephesians 3:20
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning; for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk for I give myself to you.
– Psalm 143:8
God wants us right in the middle of our mess because it’s the perfect place for Him to shine through our imperfections.
– Kristen Welch (Rhinestone Jesus)