Friday, 4 February 2011

Psalm 139 part 2: Fearfully and wonderfully made. Hmm.

God, this is a good one.
'For you created my inmost being;    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;    your works are wonderful,    I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you    when I was made in the secret place,    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body;    all the days ordained for me were written in your book    before one of them came to be.'
Oh yes, this is a good one, God. Psalm 139 again. I don't want to think about this bit. 

I have struggled with this since I was eleven and someone mean told me that I was fatter than Alice Bennet* (*not her real name)  and no-one would ever fall for a fat girl. And now I'm forty, so that's twenty nine years of struggling. 

'Fearfully and wonderfully made'?  Me

'Your works are wonderful, I know that full well'.  

Indeed I do.  I look round and see the things you have made and I do indeed know that you don't make mistakes. Everything is made just how you wanted it. You planned it. Things are not random, not accidental, and not just anyhow.  'Oh, it'll do' isn't a phrase that you use very often, I'm thinking. 

So how do I reconcile what I know of you, what Psalm 139 tells me, with how I feel about myself?  I've tried every diet in the book and then some for twenty nine years, and it's only really in the last couple of years that I've started to come to terms with the fact that I'll never be what I'm supposed to be if you believe the magazines; that I'll never take off my glasses and shake my hair and reveal a surprisingly beautiful Hollywood woman... and so on and so on.  It's not likely that what you really meant in Psalm 139 is that everyone else is fearfully and wonderfully made except me

I know that I need to take care of myself, and I'm trying hard to get a bit thinner and look after my heart, but I've realised in the last couple of years that we are all different, we are all wonderful, because we are your creations and you don't tend to mess things up.  

feel less apologetic and more worthwhile. Funny that I've got to 40 to start to feel comfortable being me. I've a way to go, but the last couple of years things have happened, and that's all down to you, Lord. There's so much more to each one of us than appearance and there's more than one way to be beautiful. 

I know that you have a plan for me:
'...all the days ordained for me were written in your book    before one of them came to be.' 
I know that if only I trust you, then my life will be as you want it to be; worthwhile.  Even if I don't have a high flying career, even if the rest of the world doesn't rate me, you do.  Because you made me to be me, not pretending to be someone else that I perceive to be more interesting, not envying someone else their dress size, the muscle tone of their upper arms, or their hair, or their talents. You don't want me to go through life fearful of rejection or without the confidence to have a go at things, because you made me to be me, and I am uniquely placed to do the job that you have down for me. 

Your works are wonderful.  So that means that I am wonderful. Am I listening? 

I need reminding of this on a regular basis. I should start each day with Psalm 139, maybe. I don't often feel wonderful.  

I love the way you get messages across, Lord.  Last Friday I was given a bit of paper, randomly, with one of your promises on.  There were about a dozen bits of paper, but mine was part of Psalm 139. I sneakily picked up a second one from those left over and this one was another bit of Psalm 139.

All week I've had that song going round in my head - it's an old old one and it's based on Psalm 139.

'Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you through and through, I chose you to be mine...' dee dah dee dee dee dah...

A couple of days ago I was planning prayers for the 11am service on Sunday and I found out the reading was Psalm 139. 

I can't wait to find out what message there is on Sunday. I love how you can read something a million times and be so familiar with it, and then one day you look at it again and it leaps out at you in a new way.  
'How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!'
  Amen, Lord God. You are endlessly surprising.

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