Today is my first prom. That’s right, I’m 28 years old and going to my first prom. I didn’t go to prom in high school because by the time my prom rolled around, I was a mother and would have rather went with a wet dog than the guy who asked me. So today, I go as a chaperone to my special needs students. I am super-excited, and thought that perhaps, even though I don’t want to dress up in a prom dress, I do want to dress up. So I looked in my closet and pulled out anything I had that I thought might be worth wearing. I tried it all on, and nothing seemed to give me the look I wanted. I looked fat and frumpy in everything. So I invited my sister over, and she brought something she thought might look good. It was a bust. So my first dilemma was, there’s nothing to wear!
My second was I have no idea how to fix my hair. If it ever looks good, it was either my savvy sister’s work, or a complete accident. My hair air-dryed after the shower this morning, so it was pretty wanky from the get-go. But then she tried to fix it … I own three bobby pins. So, my hair was a no-go too. I thought I might like the ‘do she put in better if I put on make-up, so I went for my make-up bag and since I hardly ever wear make-up, I had no idea where it was. Turns out, it’s nowhere to be found. With the stress building in me, I yelled, “I’m such an ugly woman!” And then laughed about it, because that’s what you do when you realize you hate yourself in front of other people.
After she left, I headed off to shop for something to wear. Tomorrow’s Mother’s Day, I’m going to prom tonight, so preceding that all is a me-party! An hour or so later, I came home with a few skirts and shirts that looked good in the dressing room mirror. And the weight of rejection on my heart. My old church was hosting a b-b-que in town to raise money for their children’s program, and half the congregation was there. Four years as the youth leader, and out of every fundraise I ever held, my record number was eight people from church helping out. Just so you know, eight is way less than half.
This is all piled, of course, on the rejection from a job last week that would have really benefited my family, and years’ worth of rejection from falling in love with men who don’t really want my heart. Yes, I spent all the quiet me-time today reminiscing about the past…My me-party became a pity-party.
I realized, as I sat here letting all these things hurt me all over again, that I really do hate myself. I’m sure, though, that I’m not the only one struggling in this. And as much as we know about God, and as much as we love Him and love Him loving us, we struggle to accept His love. we struggle to receive it. It’s so foreign, and I think, deep down inside, we’re waiting for Him to give up on us. Waiting for Him to get sick of us. We’re expecting God to reject us, because that’s what we know how to handle. Maybe we’re so used to pain in our hearts and rejection in our lives, and that it is more comfortable to us than being loved.
Here I am, in the midst of a storm of emotions, refusing even now to let go of what I know: God is good. He loves us tremendously, and even though right now, I’m feeling resentment, fear, frustration and bitterness, my God is big enough and loves me enough to rescue me from this pit of despair. And He will. I know that sometimes, God allows us to know the deep, hidden things in us so that we can be healed. So all we need to do right now is surrender this to Him. I have messed up so many times in my life, and not any less since becoming a Christian, and yet I find Him at the point of my need beckoning me. Or I find Him at the place of my pain wooing my heart. He hasn’t run away. He hasn’t rejected me. He’s still loving me, even though I am not good enough to earn His love. Every time I turn to Him, He’s there. Surely the same is true for you.
Father, I want so desperately to love myself. Regardless of how others treat me or make me feel. I want to be steadfast in you and able to love myself. Even if I mess up. Even if I’m ugly. Even if I don’t measure up to what other people want. I want to be okay with myself. I want to love myself. I want to be able to receive your love everyday for the rest of my life. I’m tired of wavering in my relationship with you. I want to know, always, that you are with me and that you love me, no matter what.