Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Letter to explain: Dear me

Dear me.

Ha. That's a great start to a letter, isn't it? 

Dear me. Deary me. 

What I mean to say was, 'Dear Me'.  The 'Me' that I thought of the other day; me a few years ago. You came into my mind somehow and it was as if I was back there in the days when I was still muddled up and mostly miserable.

That makes it sound as if I'm all sorted out and ecstatically happy all the time! Well, not exactly. God knows that I still chew my fingers when I'm anxious and that I constantly over-think. I'm sure you're familiar with those habits. They're proving difficult to get past, to be honest, but I'm not beating myself up about it. Does that surprise you? Well, I do my best, and if that means two steps forward and one step back, then I am gentle with myself. God picks the battles, these days, and I'm so much better at listening and working with Him instead of charging off on my own agenda and getting nowhere. 

I wanted to write to you to explain a few things.

I know that you catch a glimpse of me now and again, and I can remember the combination of despair and hope that you feel when you see me. I know that you have mountains to climb before you can leave behind some of the rubbish that you carry around with you and I wanted to tell you that it's simpler than you think. I suspect that you won't believe me because it's all very well for me to say, having come out of the other side of the mess, but I have to say it anyway.

When I said simpler, I didn't mean easier. I know how hard it is.

Trust. That's all there is to it. I'm not sure that you know what it means, if you don't mind me saying. Of course, you will mind me saying that, because you're very sensitive to criticism, but I think you need to have a close look at the whole area of trust. You've made big strides in recent years, but I think, deep in your heart, you know that you struggle to trust anyone, don't you? You've been hurt and let down over and over and you've put up so many barriers even against those who are closest to you. 

Do you actually trust anyone? Is there anyone that you don't have a defence against? Anyone with whom you can be completely yourself? You think you're good at vulnerability but there are places in your heart that nobody can go, aren't there? Not even God. 

And that's the key.

He wants you to know how much He loves you. He's endlessly patient, and He knows that you need to be handled with care. He will never rush you, and He will never barge in unannounced. But I remember those days and it's nearly time. You're starting to understand that to find healing on that deep level, you must first understand who you are. You cannot expect God to make you whole if you don't know what's missing.

You are a precious daughter of the Living God. You are perfect just as you are - no, don't shake your head and look away like that - He loves you with a breathtaking love that you can only begin to imagine and that love is not dependent on anything that you do or don't do, anything that you say or achieve - and certainly not on your appearance. 

He's going to help you believe this. You're going to be amazed at the difference it makes. You'll be transformed. He's going to show you that you are loved by the Creator. He's going to write on your heart in big, easy to read letters that He knows you and He loves you and He will never stop loving you. He's going to keep saying it until you begin to believe it, and once you do the hard work of healing is done. 

You still don't understand, but you will. I know, that sounds intensely patronising coming from me, but I have the benefit of being a few years down the road.

He's going to teach you that because He loves you so faithfully, you can trust Him. He is equal to any task and He will never let you down. He will give you rest when you're weary, He will keep you safe when you're afraid, and He will give you courage when you need to be brave. Believe me, it's true. You don't have to look anywhere else for anything. That's what you do now.

I know, because I've been there. What do you do when you're worried, or afraid, or depressed? You look around desperately for something that will help. You anxiously contact a friend, you reach for something to eat, you go to sleep. You think those things will help, but they only treat the symptoms, not the cause.

People will be unavailable when you need them, or they'll make mistakes and let you down. Unnecessary food just makes your self-esteem and body image problems worse. And if you go to bed to shut out the harried voices in your head, you still have to wake up again the next day.

Stop hedging your bets. Food may comfort temporarily, but God is the Comforter. You may wrap your cardigan around you defensively but His arms are stronger, safer and warmer. They offer real protection.

You're starting to work it out, I think. You write in your journal a lot more, and you pour out your heart to Him sometimes and you feel the relief that it brings. You're starting to recognise the difference that laying everything before the Lord makes, and any time now you'll begin to realise that it is possible to overrule that temptation to play with your phone or read a novel when you know that it would be wiser to spend time with God.

Don't get the idea that it's all down to you, though. I don't want to mislead you. You have a part to play, but He will come and meet you. He promised, and He never breaks His promises.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure that this is the thing:
'Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you...' (Matthew 6:33) 
You're on the right track. Spend time with God just for who He is and not so much for what He can do for you. I know you find it hard to separate those things but don't worry. Leave it to Him. Just enjoy His company. Let the truth of His love sink in. Start to relax. You're in good hands.
'Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.' (Psalm 37:4)
It's why you were made. To enjoy Him, and He you.

He already does, you know - He delights in you, and He longs to see that delight reflected in your face. I know, you have trouble believing this, and that's a big part of the problem. When I began to wonder if it might be true He let me see how happy it made Him. There's nothing like it. You're going to be amazed at how different life is when you start to understand. How... free.

Straight after that verse there's this:
'Trust Him, and He will help you.' (Psalm 37:5b) 
He will help you. He has helped you, but you don't yet realise how much.

Be with Him. Enjoy Him. Trust Him.

It's a long process; you won't get it cracked this side of heaven, I don't think. The older I get the more I realise how far there is to go, but I know that there it gets a lot better than where you are right now.

Please don't worry as much as you do. You're not going to get it wrong. He is for you, you know. The God who made the Universe thinks that you're great, just as you are, right now. And He's got something amazing for you.

You're always asking Him for more faith. You're ready to step out, and He'll show you the way. Your faith is going to grow exponentially and I can assure you, you're going to want to tell the world! He wants you to do just that.

It's almost time. 

Hang in there.

With love from

Me
x


The first letter in this series was: Letter to a Stranger, followed by Letter to the brave: No I have the Lord. This is the third in the trilogy!




Linking up with Ruth Povey and Sabrina Fowles for 'Letters To...'
This time the prompt was 'Letter to explain'.




10 comments:

  1. Helen this is so beautiful! This has really spoken to me today and I feel so encouraged to spend more time with God and immerse myself in His word and in His love! This has been a fantastic trilogy - we are privileged to have you linking up with us each fortnight!

    Thank you and God bless! xx

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    1. Thank you! I've loved linking up. Some inspired prompts. Thank you.

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  2. This is awesome, Helen! The unveiling of your thought processes during this trilogy has been a revelation that speaks deep to the heart of each one of us. For who has not wrestled with insecurity or low self-esteem at some point in their lives - if not permanently? These words spoke strongly to me today, "You cannot expect God to make you whole if you don't know what's missing". How true. And in the recovery, healing process, "He's going to help you believe this..You'll be transformed".
    I love the vision God has granted of your future self and I have a feeling she is not as much a stranger as she may seem. You are already being changed and strengthened by His grace. Lovely thougts here that we can come back to and be helped by. Thank you, my friend, for showing us Jesus in your writing and in your heart. Blessings :) xx

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    1. Oh, soon, Joy. I hope so. Sometimes it seems so close, then a million miles away.
      Thanks so much for your wonderful encouragement. It means so much to me.

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  3. There are so many points here that I connect closely with. You have processed your journey so clearly in these words. I love the thoughts you share about how the Lord loves. I always look forward to hearing what your heart has to say on these link-ups!

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    1. Thanks, Karin. Thank you for reading and taking the trouble to comment. Makes my day.

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  4. Your writing just draws me in, I love it! So full of wisdom and grace. This post is beautiful! Thank you for linking up x

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    1. Ruth, thank you. It doesn't feel very wise or graceful! Thanks for having me. :-)

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  5. Helen,

    I really appreciated the opportunity to read this beautifully written, deeply felt letter. It touched my heart so many ways. Thank you.

    Blessings

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    1. Thank you Anita. It's so wonderful to hear that it touched you. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Keeps me going.

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