My daughter approached her big brother at the sink, where he was brushing his teeth and combing his hair. She wanted a hug, but he nudged her away and told her to stop. She was being annoying.
I acknowledged that she could be, but it didn’t mean he had to be mean.
After listening to his argument I asked, “Then why, when I am nice to you, you are still mean to me?”
He had nothing to say right away. And then forcefully stated , “Because I don’t like when you give me compliments, either.” With his internal shields up, he was going into defense mode.
I see this happen daily. He’s hurting but he doesn’t want me to see he’s hurt. So he’s going to puff up. Become intimidating. And attack before I can.
My heart broke. I remember being where he is. I remember not liking compliments because I remember thinking, if you just knew me, you would know they’re not true.
So my heart was broken for two reasons. One, he doesn’t think I know him. And two, he doesn’t really know who he is, either.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. – Psalm 139:13-18
A few months ago my dad came to visit from Virginia. I hadn’t seen him in two years. I guess a lot of things have changed. In me particularly, I suppose. He kept asking,
“How did you turn into this person?”
“This is not the Kim I left two years ago.”
I couldn’t put into words then, but I knew it was because of God. I knew I had been transformed. I knew I was still transforming.
There is something that happens within you when you are accepted, when you are loved, even when someone knows everything about you. Especially when someone knows everything about you. All your secrets. All your flaws. All your insecurities.
It is transforming.
You start to realize this person will not hurt you. They will never turn their back on you. There is nothing you can say, that will chase them away. That the more you reveal to them, the more they delight in you. Their delight, brings you joy, brings you healing. It brings you comfort.
You find yourself wanting to be in His presence all the time. You feel safe. You feel protected.
And eventually, what others think or feel about you doesn’t matter. Not that you don’t care, but you don’t worry about it as much.
I particularly like the part of scripture that says, Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
This means, He knew I was not going to be perfect. He knew I was going to be absolutely wretched at times. He knew I was going to be arrogant. He knew I was going to fail. He knew I was going to hurt. He knew I was not going to do anything spectacular. He knew I was going to be me, and yet He loved me before I even existed.
I know this is true because the next line says, How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
My son, you are loved! I know who you are, because I know who your Maker is. I know who knitted you together in my womb. I praise Him because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
My prayer for you, is one day you will know who you are too.
Lord, wrap my son in your presence and never let him go. May he one day accept the compliments he receives as a reflection of the work You have done, rather than the hurt he feels. Transform him, as you have me. Let him feel the power of your love. Amen.