One of the most difficult experiences in life has been coming to love myself just the way I am. I will admit, the majority of my life I faked it on the outside. And let me tell you, I was darn good at it. Lies I believed from the time I was a little girl and negative self-talk were destructive in more ways than one. I didn't like being Patty. I always wanted to be like some other girl. But now at 32, I am more at peace with myself than I ever have been in my life. I have settled in my body and spirit.
Learning to love myself just as I am has helped me allow Jesus to love me the way I am.
On Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene ran to tell Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved (John 20:2) about the empty tomb. That "other disciple" referenced is Saint John. He is known as the Beloved, the closest friend of Jesus. Saint John was the one who laid his head on the chest of Jesus at the Last Supper (John 13:23). Saint John was one of the few friends who stood by the Cross on Good Friday.
Whether we believe it or not, each of us is the disciple whom Jesus loved.
The names we call ourselves or the lies we believe about ourselves are not at all how Jesus looks at you, my sister. Jesus looks at you and calls you by the only name He has for you, Beloved. You are the daughter whom God loves. That is the only way He will ever see you.
Sometimes we forget. The pain or trauma we have endured makes us deaf to hearing this truth in the deepest places of our heart. But I promise that is as real for you as it is for me. And when you discover this reality, it will change your life.
For the next week, set alarms on your phone to go off at different times. And when it does, pray this in expectant faith: "Jesus help me to see and love myself the way that You do."
Patty Breen is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and thinks old movies are the greatest thing since sliced bread. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.