For the longest time, I was a completely lost soul. Until about a year ago, I had no idea of anything about myself. I didn’t know myself, I didn’t like myself, and I surely didn’t truly love myself. I was lost in this crazy life, and I constantly let the world inside my own mind. I was insecure, I put my heart and hopes into things and people of this world that were sure to let me down. Getting baptized, finding my faith, and surrendering my heart to the Lord set me free from the things of this world.
No Christian will ever tell you that walking through your faith is easy, because it absolutely is not. Coming into it, you’re crawling. Most of us, or speaking solely for myself, found God when we were on our knees begging for something that we didn’t even know how to ask for. Crying out to be helped, healed, made whole in a way that would never leave us empty or damaged a second longer.
Looking up while the tears stream down, Jesus lifts you up off the ground. Look at you, you’re standing now! He tells you it will all be okay and that the better days are ahead of you. You choose to believe it because it sounds nice, hearing that it will all be alright. Truly accepting it, and understanding it, that’s going to take so much more effort and strive.
Slowly but surely, you start to walk. You start to pick up your bible more because you like the way the Word sounds over the world. Do you fully understand it? Of course not. Can you reach out to others to seek guidance in your knowledge and wisdom to gain? A simple satisfaction that will last you an eternity.
Once you get comfortable at your pace you’re pushed out of the nest. You have a choice to make as always. You can soar on your beautifully crafted wings, or you don’t. But the beauty in falling, I’ve learned, is that you know Jesus is there to take hold of your heart before it even comes close to the ground. So now you fly. You fly and you’re out there so gentle on top of the clouds-almost as if nothing could ever bring you down. Sadly that won’t last forever, not now anyways, not in this lifetime.
The enemy sees now a slight inclination of how much you love our Lord, our God. And he does not like it. He is insecure, and he is intimidated, and then you realize. It hits you that all of the feelings you felt as the person you were before you begged God into your heart, those feelings were not yours. Those feelings were not of God, they were not of the bliss and peace that His presence captivates your life with. You realize that none of that was you, but simply forces of evil trying to desperately and pathetically to keep you from your One True Love. Our Lord and Savior.
The sad part is that sometimes it works. Whether we deny it, accept it, admit it, or manipulate the thought of it, it happens. The enemy of our Christ seeking hearts is keen in understanding the deceit of this world. As we live our lives out, our flesh will sometimes take over. We will fall into temptations, fall into traps, we will fall into pits of our lives we may never understand. A promise any Christian can make to you is that God will prevail, always and forever. There is no one higher, stronger, or kinder than the Lord, himself.
Just as any other, I have lived out the highest and lowest points of my life. Each holding its own meaning and purpose to fulfill a portion of my life individually. While nobody is going to necessarily enjoy the rough days, weeks, months-they are crucial to me. It’s in those reality shaking times that I cling closest to my Heavenly Father. It’s within the darkest moments of myself that I peel another dark portion of myself away and let the light pour through my life, my heart. And the shy, unappealing caterpillar reveals the serenely exquisite butterfly she was hiding away inside the entire time.
Becoming a butterfly is like nothing else. You’re finally free. You can be yourself. You can honor who you are in your faith. You can breath easy. When you finally transform, there’s no going back. You continuously push forward, one day at a time, endlessly doing the best that you’re capable of. The crazy thing is, is that sometimes after you break out of your shell, you don’t even remember the caterpillar that used to encapsulate your life. You can’t identify what it was like to be her, and why would you want to? You are forever changed, you are made brand new, and you are beautiful.
I used to cry out to God ceaselessly. I used to beg for change, beg for understanding, beg for all of the wrong things. I took comfort in familiarity. I was among the loneliest and most terrified of all caterpillars. Did I even want to be a butterfly? I had no idea. My last year has proven to me that the transformation is only the beginning. Yes, of course I wanted to be made new. I wanted to be beautiful and cleansed and honorable again. I became quite aware of just the beginning of my Lord’s capabilities.
Through perpetually seeking out the love of the King of Kings, I learned the truth about love. I learned about loving myself. What beauty there is in that. I started craving the love that can only be sought out from God. Yes, worldly love is nice and we think it satisfies. But dig a little bit beneath the surface and you’ll see it too. God. Yourself. Others. Without seeking the love in your life in that order, you won’t see love. I’ve been blessed. I’ve been transformed and am continually worked on every new day that passes. The difference is that I can now love myself through it, with the guidance of my God.
I often think of each moment in the past I’ve really loved myself. I reflect on them often and take them with me as I ask God to soar forward with me on His chivalrous arm.
Love yourself, because Jesus sure does.