Since I can remember, I was especially too hard on myself. I was picked on growing up, but I was terribly mean to myself, too. I thought, “I’m going to beat up myself so bad that nothing anyone says will phase me, because I verbally hurt myself worse.” I was not verbally abused or anything like that by anyone except myself. I was a quiet person, and I only talked very much to my family and close friends. Since then, I have learned to value myself and love myself for who I am.
Now, instead of verbally abusing myself, I am disappointed in myself. If I think I should do something and I don’t, I feel guilty about it. Or I feel bad for not being what I deem “productive.” I’ve mentioned that on this blog before. In my eyes, “productivity” is achieved by running around and doing a lot of things, being on my feet until I’m too tired to stand anymore, and transforming a certain room to look spotless before Dr. Coyote comes home. But I’m not productive like that. I’m not being the best I should be. I’m not perfect.
“You shouldn’t feel bad or guilty about not being the best you should be according to your book,” I felt the Lord telling me. “You are already the best person you can be in my book. You don’t need to change. I love you—you are my child.”
Dr. Wile E. Coyote has been encouraging me, as well. He doesn’t understand why I need to be on my feet so much if it zaps my energy. In fact, he tells me that I don’t need to. I look at a list of demands I have for myself, and instead of requiring myself to get it done in a few hours, what about a whole day? Or even a few days? Who is going to know if I put up all these fliers all over the county today or over the week?
I pray for motivation, but it doesn’t come. Does it not come, or am I not supposed to be doing that right now? “God has planned every single day before you were even born,” Dr. Coyote told me the other day. “So if you don’t get something done one day, it’s okay. It’ll get done when it’s supposed to.” This word was very encouraging when I heard it. It’s not like we’re Calvonists, but Dr. Wile E. and I know for certain that God has got everything under control. So why am I trying to control it? God obviously knows my needs better than I do.
In church, we are doing this series about defeating the giants in our lives as we read 1 Samuel 17. We have talked about when giant problems occur, the characteristics of a giant killer, and strategies of slaying our giants. Well, I think in writing this, I have discovered my giant. So I’ll remind myself of God’s faithfulness, because he will be faithful once again, and I will defeat this non-reasoned guilt!
When I was in middle school, I entered the darkness of depression. That’s probably what led to my verbal self-abuse. The Lord was very much protecting me through those years. My journals from them are darker, but all my poems are filled with hope. I had a smile on the outside, even though inside, the smile wasn’t there. I learned that negative thinking only led to more negative thinking, so I did all I could to be positive. Even when I felt like throwing myself a pity-party, I had family who loved me turn that frown upside-down, whether I wanted it or not. Even today, when a friend or relative tries to throw themselves a pity-party, I do all I can to make them smile. I started on medicine for my depression and anxiety in college, and I am generally much happier (and, you know, being a newlywed now and all that….hopelessly in love with my husband? Just adds to it!)
I struggled for years, thinking that I didn’t deserve to get married, because who would look at me and not see the MS first? Who could love me despite the MS? Me, with the MS included? God had plans much contrary to my thoughts. I mean, hello, I just wrote a whole series on how awesome God was in bringing Dr. Wile E. Coyote together? Being married before the first year of med school? All our friends and family in Christ here? Yep, God knows me better than I do, as well as everything else.
My thoughts drift and I wonder if God even uses me. I mean, I want him to, but am I allowing him to? I miss my friends, even if I haven’t seen them in person for a couple years. So I write them letters, and they write to me back. A letter from my friend Becca that I received a few weeks ago: “Your persistence never ceases to amaze me. After, what? 3 years….and you are still pursuing me in relationship. And I appreciate it so much!” Letters I get from friends and family are very encouraging. And I’ll write back! So write me a letter, friends! Because God uses them so we can lift each other up.
I will stop feeling guilty over things that are not my fault or I have no reason to feel guilty over. If I didn’t get the laundry done because I was spending too much time with Jesus and lost track of time? I am NOT sorry, because I got to spend that time with my Lord. If I forget about starting supper and have to change plans quick because I was writing a blog post, I am NOT sorry, because I stock my kitchen so I can do that whenever I think about it and because writing blog posts help me think and feel better (don’t you notice the trend of despair toward the beginning and resolution toward the end?).
Just for precaution, when I successfully knock Goliath over with my slingshot, I am going to run over and use his own sword to kill him and take his head.
My God is SOOOOO bigger than any Goliath!
Anna E. Meyer
I couldn’t find a video on YouTube of Jr. singing this song, but I’m singing it in my head.