I lay awake in my bed, replaying words I wanted to hear and knowing the reel in my head was pointless. I am the only one losing sleep over these exact things. So I got up since I wasn’t sleeping anyway, and I wrote myself a letter.
I wrote it from the perspective of the person I wanted to hear it from, and I wrote the things I wanted to hear. Then, I carefully poured over each line, trying to decipher what exactly the summary of this two-page letter was.
An apology – one where the offender owns their mistakes, acknowledges how grievous they were, and apologizes. No blame-shifting, no excuses. Yet, this only took up a few short lines of this two-page letter.
The next two pages were recognition of the trials I faced because of said person’s mistakes, and how well I’d navigated the trials. It was a “you are good enough,” “you did enough,” “you tried hard enough,” “you pushed on,” “I see you.”
The long-running voice in my head that plays my faults and failures on repeat if I let it, was at it again. It was saying that by not receiving this letter or these words, I was not good enough. My struggle was not seen enough. I was invisible.
The paper felt cool beneath my touch as I ran my fingertips over the pages. It was time to “Marie Kondo” this emotional baggage. It certainly doesn’t bring me joy. They are words that, as a words-of-affirmation girl, I crave but may never hear.
So I started with the apology. I spoke words of forgiveness over the offense and offender – releasing them from having to apologize to soothe my insomniac brain and the overworking of my mind.
Then, it was time to face the words of affirmation. My thoughts went back to writing about identity and I tapped the page. This is still that same battle of who am I and whose am I that rages anytime I look to the left or the right. So I lifted my eyes heavenward. I belong to Jesus, and I am who He says I am. He speaks life over me and His words of affirmation are more than enough to sustain me, no matter what offenses or trials or fires I face.
And I tore the pages down the middle, then into bits. (I’d like to add a flare of fire or a scattering on the wind here, but that’s not how it went down.) I scattered the bits into the trash can over leftovers and wrappers and wipes and the rest of the garbage. The seeds of doubt, the weeds of unforgiveness and bitterness, plucked from the soil that is who I am becoming.
Sometimes people don’t realize they owe us an apology – this stewing that began and kept me awake was from offense years past, one I thought was already forgiven, although maybe not forgotten. And yet, here I was, awake, letting it all tumble around in my head and eat away at my identity.
When do unhealthy thoughts seem to creep into your mind? Make the time to write them down, analyze or summarize what is going on, and release or forgive what you need to, then turn the identity bit over to Jesus. He wants to tell you who you are. Let His voice calm the storm, quiet the waves, and affirm you today.
Until next time,