You may be wondering how the little girl at the window is doing. She’s still there and let me know she kind of liked meeting up with her younger fearless self.
As I thought about her, I realized my fearful self was using a contemplative thought to keep from being hurt. When it came to putting my writing out there, she leaned into the old, “Let go and let God.” stance. “If God wants to do more with my writing, I will trust God to do it.” With the help of spiritual direction, I realized that I hid behind that stance to avoid rejection. Behind that stance was the belief that my writing wasn’t good enough or valuable enough to market. Now God was challenging that belief. The Spirit lifted the bushel I was hiding my light under.
The fearful little girl in me kind of liked that too. She went along with me living more confidently in my own skin. . . until it didn’t work so well.
Honestly, the uncomfortable things that happened were no big deal. I learned stuff. I could allow myself to be disappointed. But the fearful girl was upset.
I found her in one of her old hiding places. She was under a familiar fear. “They don’t really love me. They’re just being nice,” she told me.
I’ve been unfettered by that fear for a while now, and the thought of going back to living under its tyranny made me want to weep. A few friends came to mind, and I pictured their response to my fear’s accusation. I saw the sadness in their eyes that I would doubt their love for me.
I wondered what it would be like to trust this loving picture?
Then the thought came to me that I shouldn’t be attached to needing people’s love and affirmation. When I looked behind that thought, I discovered my fear of being hurt if I ever lost that love.
The little girl in me had a picture on her wall of all the moments when she felt unloved and unlovable. What made her feel safe was God’s love. Everyone else’s love was suspect and untrustworthy.
I smiled at her and the beliefs she hid behind that kept her from receiving the love she desperately wanted.
I showed her the beautiful picture I had of the people in our life who love me and love her too. Each one had expressed their love for me in significant ways. I watched her look at each face, look into their eyes, and allow her whole body to feel the delicious sensation of being loved.
I asked her if I could hang this picture on her wall. She liked that idea. We took down the old picture and put up the new one. Neither of us was ready to put the old one in the trash, so we tucked it away in a closet behind a few boxes where we wouldn’t see it very often.
Indeed, I shouldn’t be attached to needing other people’s love. Otherwise, I would live my life doggedly pursuing it. Instead, secure in God, I’m invited to come out from my hiding places and receive the love that’s given to me. Receive it, enjoy it, and trust it.
For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.–Ezekiel 34:11,12 (NIV)
∗ ∗ ∗
It’s hard to believe you are loved and loveable when someone wants you dead. This video was created by young people in London, Ontario in response to the murder of a Muslim family one year ago. It reveals the depths of Islamophobia and a cry for welcome, compassion and acceptance. May we open our hearts and unravel our prejudice. May we grow in love and welcome.