I have written a few pieces that act sort of like letters to me from God (one of which will be included in my new book coming out next month) and let me tell you those are emotionally wrecking enough! But to think of speaking over myself in my own voice was slightly terrifying and therefore I knew immediately that it needed to be done.
So, last night I “went to bed early” which really means I went and hid in my room and wrote for 2 hours and this is what I ended up with. I cannot express how difficult and healing and emotional and empowering this process was. I challenge everyone to try it; you might be surprised what you learn about yourself in the process.
Jess,Oh Jess, I have been so hard on you. So many times I have dismissed your great triumphs while other times I have neglected to embrace your failures. I know that this has left you with a war inside that keeps you from being able to fully love yourself. Please forgive me for this. You are so much stronger than you know. You have walked through so much darkness many times without a flashlight. You have faced monsters, and you have leaped over mountains.
You are a warrior. You are brave. You are loved so much by so many; never let the days of loneliness, when it feels as if no one understands you, never let those moments drowned out the truth that you are incredibly loved and important. Depression and anxiety do not define you. Addiction is not your master. You are a free, vibrant, passionate daughter of your Father God and He delights in teaching you your identity. You have struggled to be accepted your entire life and even now, when others seem to only want you for what you can do for them, DO NOT FORGET that you are held tight by heavenly arms. He is closer than the skin on your bones.
I am proud of you. Though your humanity is hardwired for struggle you are an overcomer. Even when you hide behind your tough smirk and edgy style you are a dainty porcelain doll in the hands of The King and He handles you with care and affection. Being soft is not weakness.
You are enough. Even when you have empty hands. You are enough. Even when you are exhausted. You are enough. Even when you can't push down those emotions you hate so much. You are enough. And you are worthy of love and affection. Don't you ever stop believing that. Don't you ever give up hope. Don't you ever stop fighting to create those spaces of grace you are desperate for.
You have purpose and design but you are not shackled to your efforts. Remember to rest. Though you are incredibly significant, the world is more than capable of getting along without you, so stop believing things will fall apart if you stop holding them together. Your arms aren't big enough for that, but your God's are. Be still. You deserve times of rest. Self-care is not selfish.
Never stop believing in the church, even if it has failed you more times than you can count. Never stop believing in good men, even if you have been hurt by bad ones. Never stop loving strong women, even if you have been bullied by them. They are all worth it just as you are.
You are beautiful. Your differentness is attractive and endearing. Your goofiness is adorable. Don't even change just to please someone. I love you; today, tomorrow, and the next day. Even when I forget to say it, even when I don't want to say it, even when it hurts to say it, I love you. Keep your head up, darling. Clear eyes and full hearts can't lose.