I don’t even know where to begin with this one, except to say that God is good–ALL the time.
I have been struggling for such a very long time with my thought processes. In other word, I see myself the way I think others see me. I criticize myself in the way that I think others are doing. Its rather like this: “I know you’re going to hurt me or tell me I’m doing this wrong, so I’ll just say it for you, before you do.”
I started this self-examination a couple of months ago. Our pastor started a series on “triggers”…things that have stuck in our minds from the past that, when we experience (or perceive to experience) them or something similar again, it triggers some emotion or reaction, which tends to control our next move.
Wow! what an eye-opener! I realized that I had so many of these “triggers”, I really didn’t kow what my true thoughts & feelings even were about certain things. I only knew that I had to pray and ask God to reveal them to me and to help me process through this wrong thinking.
I have to tell you—even with the Lord at my side, the past couple of months have been a struggle and probably some of the most depressing times of my life. Its been hard to realize that I’m more messed up than I thought. (ha!)
It was at the end of one of these depressing days that I just became overwhelmed. I lay in bed, crying my eyes out, not knowing why. So I asked God. “Why, why do I feel like this? How did I get to the point where I constantly think I’m not good enough and that I need–no crave–everyone else’s approval? How did this start, Lord?”
In an instant, He took me back in time, straight to the point where I now feel like it all started. It was so clear & vivid to me, that my heart broke all over again as I watched those moments replay in my mind’s eye.
It was my third grade classroom. I could see my classmates on either side of me. I could see my teacher, with her bleached-blonde, bouffant hair (it was the 70s, okay? 😉 ). I could see her big eyelashes, caked with mascara (that always bothered me for some reason). There she was in one of the pantsuits she always wore, with that big ole flower pin she always had on her lapel. Even her perfume wafted through my mind.
We were learning to write our cursive letters, which I was so excited about. I thought using cursive writing was so much prettier and grown-up that printing. To this day, I’ll write more than I’ll print. Anyway, we were practicing capital letters that looked similar like the cursive F, T and Q. Remember, a cursive Q looks rather like the numeral 2. That must have been the letter we were on because, even now, I never write a cursive, capital Q.
My peers on either side of me were nice kids. We went all through school together, graduating in 1987. I was friendly to both, but never really close to either of them. The teacher always seemed to favor them over me. I just figured it was because they were cuter, better dressed, more popular than I. Or maybe it was because they cheered or their families possibly had more financially than mine did. Maybe they were smarter than me? I really didn’t know the answer. Maybe my teacher just didn’t like me…but I digress.
So, we are practicing our letters. The teacher is walking around checking our work. I believe she sent me and one of the other girls to the chalkboard to demonstrate, in front of the class, whatever the letter was that were practicing. I remember, very clearly, wanting it to be pretty and perfect. However, instead of hearing “well done” from my teacher, I heard, “No! That is wrong! Why can’t you make your letters like SHE did???” (ack! in front of the whole class!) I was mortified, heart-broken and confused in one fell swoop!
To this day, the mention of her name makes me cringe…though I suppose its time to move past that. As I realized the Lord had taken me to this specific moment in time for a reason, I fell the grip of that bondage loosen just a little. I suppose it might completely break and fall away when I let go and forgive her. In fact, I’m going to work toward that right now.
Here’s where I pray: Lord, as I recognize where this 37-year journey of feeling “less than” began, help me to release forgiveness over this person and pray blessing into her life. Forgive me, Father, for the negativity and unforgiveness toward this person that I’ve held for so long. With your help, Lord, I know I can move forward and this “less-than” chain WILL be broken…in Jesus’ name! Amen!