From the time I was a little girl, I’ve believed that deep down, there was something wrong with me. I felt like there was some sort of normalized personality standard that everyone else could meet, except me. As I young child, I could never sit still. I routinely fell out of my chair at school, church, and even the dinner table. Why couldn’t I just sit still? I was that kid who left a trail of mess and destruction behind them; I lost things, broke things, and was notorious for messy desks, backpacks, and lockers. Why couldn’t I just take the time to be neat, clean, and organized? I was loud and talkative, and often spoke too fast. I was impulsive, speaking and acting without thinking, leading from my emotions. Why couldn’t I just slow down and think things through first? I loved living life at a full decibel: fun, bright, happy, colourful. And yet, I often felt this weight of disapproval, of frustration, of being just “too much”.
Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the weight of the “too” took its toll on my heart and soul. I felt an outward deep rejection of who I was, that moved inward and took up residence in my inner core. I saw my personality traits as being ridiculous, wrong, and even sinful. Everything I am was wrong, and sinful and I longed for a new identity, to have the ability to fit inside the mold of expectations. I supressed myself; no longer would I be “too”. Not too loud, too shiny, too bright, too emotional, too much work, too much of a mess. Slowly and steadily dulling and muting the brightness of the colours of my personality until finally there was a dull grey. I lived in the grey, in depression, rejection, abandonment, worthlessness. A broken mess, with no hope of redeeming, no hidden jewel, no worth, no beauty worth searching to uncover, nothing worth fighting for. No good.
Through the Corpus season, I was faced with a mirror: I began to truly realize how I have viewed myself, the beliefs I have had about my personality and identity; I have had to hold that image up to the image that God has of me, and I have seen the chasm of difference in the two. In the past I thought that, at the very least, God agreed with me about the depths of my depravity and unworthiness. The Father was the kind of parent who saw me coming, in all my craziness and mess, and rolled His eyes in frustration or turned away in anger. I was coming with my messes, brokenness, and just so much sin, and I felt like God’s response was a resigned sigh, that all he saw was my sin.
In the mirror of Corpus, for the first time, I recognized that as a lie.
Now I know that I stand before the holy throne of God clean, holy, and righteous. I am the bride of Jesus, intimately known by Him, and so deeply loved and cherished. He sees me, my full personality, and He calls me “beautiful” and “beloved”. He actually created me that way on purpose, in His image to represent Him and express aspects of Himself. All those things that make me uniquely me? He loves each and every one of them. I’m not too much of anything, but perfectly and beautifully good. He created me perfect, and his own redeeming work on the cross means that I’ve been justified: from the moment of my baptism, I have been brought back to that perfection. Nothing I can ever say or do will change that the Father will always see me from that perspective: His justified, worthy, beautiful, colourful, messy, beloved daughter. I don’t have to work for it or strive for it, or fear that it will some day change if I don’t slow down and I make a mess for myself. Nothing in heaven or hell can change the work that He has already accomplished in me and the way he sees me:
Good, just the way He made me.