Vulnerability & Joy: How do you treat the little child in you?
Have you left the little child you once were in the dust?
(Before we unpack that, I just want to give a special welcome to friends of Lauren Gaskill! I’m so glad you’re here! And Splatter Joy peeps, the prequel to today’s testimony is over here with Lauren Gaskill. Please pop on over to her place first. You’ll be encouraged about how to rethink those times when God’s word irritates you. : ) Keeping it real.)
I don’t usually post “fresh” testimonies. I keep them dear and mull them over for somewhere between months to years before I share them online. Eventually, I share them with loved ones and mentors until I feel this sense of release, that it’s time to share. I think it’s my way of cradling these wonders and testimonies, like little babies. I want to rock and cradle them and keep them close. Just pondering them in my heart, letting the testimony mature in me, before I share them with others.
But as I asked the Lord what to share with yall, I know it’s requiring another level of vulnerability. He would! Seeing as the stirrings in my heart are about that very subject…vulnerability. Some people even shudder at just the word, but I’ve come to love and embrace it. I truly believe it’s the path to a joy-filled life.
So, my testimony that happened just this week? Woa. It’s a doozy. I’m taking a course called Ultimate Journey. Part of the process of healing is that we have to write letters from our adult self to our infant self. Well, my baby Danita and my adult Danita wrote letters to each other and ended up in an all-out war. I hate you! Well, I hate you! (I’m telling you. This is vulnerable for me to share all this!) I thought I had overcome all my self-condemnation and self-hatred. These letters showed me that I have learned to love my adult self and accept her and that is a sign of huge healing. But wow. I didn’t realize I had still left the little girl me in that place of self-hatred. But both of these two Danita’s were vulnerable. They sure didn’t pretend to feel what they “should” feel. During the week of writing these letters, the Lord sent me to Isaiah 45. I opened it up curiously and read this:
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’” Isaiah 45:9-10
Why such sorrow in my heart? Because I was telling God He was making me wrong! According to Isaiah 45, that means I was essentially berating Him for being clumsy in making me this way. Sheeesh! Talk about a word that rubs you the wrong way. I did not want to be treating the Lord that way! I love Him dearly. So something had to give.
What do you tell that little girl inside you? Is she too this or not enough that? This week, little Danita told me how she really feels. And big Danita decided to have compassion on her. I went to the altar during worship one evening, dropped to my knees, and rocked with folded arms as though I was rocking a little baby in my own arms. We sang, “I am a child of God.” It was a physical act of worship, demonstrating that I not only accept or tolerate the child God made in me, but that I love her with great affection. I don’t share my story so you can say, “Oh, wow. That’s so great for her.” No. I share this moment of writing these honest letters and rocking my little self to encourage you to do the same. There’s most likely a little girl version of you that you left behind in the dust. And if you’re like me, maybe you never wanted to speak to her again. But in that honest “I hate you” exchange, things quickly turned and the Lord did more healing in that one moment of finally being honest with myself than in the last 30 years of trying to pretend I’m fine.
So how are you today? Are you fine? Or are you ready to do the hard work of vulnerability and honesty so you can set your feet on that path to joy. OH! I can’t wait to hear about the joy and freedom that comes to you as you get honest with God. I am so eager and excited to see the goodness and mercy He pours in once you take off the “I’m fine” lid.