Wednesday, September 07, 2016
He Loves Me.... Still
If you know me very well, you know I’m not lacking in self-confidence. I blame my mother…. I’ve told her often that she and my dad over did it on the self-esteem building stuff. But even if I don’t mention it, I have lots of times when I am annoyed with myself, frustrated that I can’ t do better or be better, wonder why I can’t get it together and do things right.
I also raised a whole bunch of kids who haven’t been able to get it together. They struggle — boy do they struggle — to get through every day. Their early trauma, prenatal exposure to alcohol, attachment issues, and mental health diagnoses have challenged them so much that they often can’t pull it together no matter how hard they try.
In 2003 when the movie “The Fighting Temptations” came out, I fell in love with the movie because of one message. That God still loves us — no matter WHAT. Do you know the movie? It’s a movie about a gospel choir. (There are swear words in in it (and when I bought my parents the movie and forgot that part my mom and dad though it was horrible and wouldn’t even watch it all the way through… but I digress). In the film, there aren’t enough people left in the church choir so they recruit from the prison. Since that was about the time that some of my kids started going to jail, it especially moved me.
Knowing that God loves us no matter what causes me to do to things:
1) It causes to me to see myself differently. I recognize that even when I’m not good enough, He still loves me. It gives me the courage to get up after I’ve fallen flat on my face and live another day. The knowledge that He loves me unconditionally helps me to look past my imperfections and see myself as He sees me. It pulls me into a stronger relationship with Him when I realize that there is NOTHING i can do to make Him love me more than He already does.
2) And maybe even more importantly, it causes me to see others differently…. through the eyes of grace. It helps me to believe that people are doing as well as they can and that I need to offer them second chances. It helps me to look beyond their behavior, to really SEE them, and to know that God still loves them.
Brené Brown in her book “Rising Strong” talks about whether or not we believe people are doing the best they can given the circumstances they are in and the history of their lives. She did a lot of research and you know what she concluded? She concluded that the people who are the recipients of the kind of grace that believes that everyone is doing the best they can aren’t affected very much by that grace because often they don’t know it is there. But the people who HAVE that attitude about others live a much higher quality of life. Isn’t that interesting? If I believe that everyone around me deserves my support instead of criticism it makes MY life better.
In 2003 I taught my kids this song from the movie (It’s one of the few soundtracks I’ve ever purchased — all the music is awesome). We played this song every day on the way to school for over a year. I wanted it ingrained in there heads. I know that some of it still listen to it often. And it moves me every time I hear it. It is especially moving to see this video because it shows the prisoners singing the song…
I hope you’ll take time to watch it today, but also to incorporate this truth into your lives and let it effect the way you see yourself AND the way you see others.