I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of my life running from myself. And by running from myself, I mean doing everything I can to keep certain parts of myself hidden and pretty. As a little girl, I went through a stage when I was overweight. Feelings of worthlessness and rejection created deep chasms of hurt that have taken a long time to heal because I wouldn’t allow Jesus heal me. Because I thought that when there’s something wrong with you, you just fix it. You make it okay. And then you will be loved again. And so I’ve spent a lot of life editing myself and controlling myself and trying to be the best. I’ve kept quiet and proud so that people would not have to question that I was good and deserving of their love.
Don’t we all do that?
We let people label us as ‘the smart one’ or ‘the funny one’ or ‘the one who’s always kind. We shut off other parts of ourselves, the ugly parts that we assume others don’t want to see.
And as we do that, we miss out on ourselves, on the person God actually created us to be.
In the last few months of my life, the Lord has been teaching me more than ever that I can’t fix myself. All my former ways of protecting myself are not going to work. Controlling my eating is not going to fix me. Purity is not going to fix me. Choosing joy or being kind or doing everything right isn’t going to fix me either. My old systems of operating are faulty and broken, and they’re hurting me.
I cannot fix myself. And I hate to break this to you, but you cannot fix yourself either.
From time to time, I get this picture in my mind of a little girl, who is afraid and vulnerable. I know that little girl is me. I feel her pain, her rejection, and her longing for love.
And the Father reminds me, “Mary Cate, my beloved, you have to love that part of you too.”
There are so many parts of me that I love. But there are pieces of myself that I have closed off and ignored. There are pieces that I have not loved, that I have not allowed the Father to love.
Because we don’t just close off parts of ourselves to others, we close off parts of ourselves to God.
If we would just open up. If we would make friends with the pieces of ourselves that we try to kill, I believe we’d experience an abundance of healing.
In his kindness, God offers us the opportunity to come home to ourselves, to embrace all the parts of our heart that our loved ones cannot handle, that the church deems unacceptable, and that we tried with all our might to hide. He wants to welcome in that broken child in you. He wants to help you make friends with your pain and yourself so you can enter into healing and find true freedom and joy.
God is carving out a place for you, for all of you. It’s big enough for you to breathe, quiet enough for you to hear him, comforting enough for you to receive. It is home. It is your place. And all of you is welcomed there.