When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.
When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.
I've been doing a lot of growing this past year. Growing up in God, and growing up in myself.
I've had to come to a lot of harsh conclusions that I didn't want to face, like I'll never have friends because people can't handle my honesty. So I've had to get comfortable just being alone with myself ALL the time. It's lonely and it's hard. But I have also become accustomed to the silence, and in the silence, I have found me.
Since I have been here in England, I have lost myself. I have become insecure about my body, insecure about my personality, and insecure about my definition of success. But it was because I kept comparing myself to other people that I came across. Then one day I got fed up. Tired of my mood swings, exhausted from my deep depression episodes, sick of being stressed out because I could not stop caring about what others thought of me. Am I too fat? Am I too sensitive? Am I so ugly that no one wants to be my friend? Am I too pretty that no one wants to be my friend? Will I ever be good enough? Do I talk too much? Am I too quiet? Am I too negative? Am I too stupid for my job? These are real questions that I have been torturing myself with for the past 3 years that I have been over here. Until my wonderful husband said to me with all the love in his heart, "I miss the Melissa you used to be when I first met you." "You used to be so confident, and happy, and independent."
OUCH! Talk about a slap in the face with the truth stick! But it got me thinking, he's right. I've never really cared too much about what other people thought of me because I knew in whom I was rooted in. I will shamefully admit that I have forgotten that I was created in GOD's image. I AM fearfully and wonderfully made.
Who am I to ever say woe is me because no one likes me, woe is me because someone that claims to be my best friend lies to my face because they don't know that I already know the truth, woe is me because I don't have any friends...MELISSA ANN GARCIA! When Jesus was on this earth, he was the most perfect man, yet he remained alone. He was persecuted, condemned, crucified, but did NOTHING to deserve any of it. He washed the feet of Judas after knowing and saying out loud that he would betray him. He shared his bread, his last meal with those that claimed to be his followers, but when it came right down to it, they let him down, they betrayed him, denied him, even after all the miracles he showed them, after choosing them to be his disciples, after all of that he was left alone; to suffer alone, to die FOR THEM.
Why? Because he knew he had a purpose. It wasn't about him, it was about them. All of them that needed him, so they could CHOOSE him and be with him eternally, he did it for them. This earth is temporary, this pain is temporary, this life is temporary. But Jesus...Jesus is ETERNAL. And to live for him and to suffer here on earth for him, I will gladly do. It is NOTHING compared to the sacrifice he made for me. Father, forgive me for my selfishness and my pride. It's not about me God, it's about you. When people lie to me, when people use me, when people hurt me intentionally for their own sick amusement and satisfaction...through my tears, through my pain, I WILL love them anyway. I will love them and be kind anyway, because I might be the only "Jesus" they will ever know.
I will sacrifice my heart so they get to choose salvation or eternal suffering. God created me in his image, he created my heart to be sensitive and caring like his, he created me to cry and show I am weak so I can lean on him to forever be my strength. These people that take and take and take from me, I will let them take because I know my source will never run dry. They take because they run out, I give because they need it. O Father, I understand now and I praise you for my struggles. My heart breaks for those that do not know you. Show me God, show me how to love them like you love me. I pray they only see YOU in all that I do. When they hurt me 20 times, Father, let me forgive them 21 times. Forgive me for my shortcomings, forgive me for making this about me, I am but an extension of you. Use me God for your purpose. In these things I pray Amen.
So if you're reading this and you've ever hurt me, I forgive you. I forgive you because I need God more than I need your approval. I forgive you so my cup will be filled with love so I can share it with you. I love each and every one of you. ALL of you! Thank you for showing me what I'm truly worth by driving me into the arms of my Father every time you brought pain to my life. Because of you, I see that we could all use more of Jesus, and I will be the person to show him to you.