“Not good enough.”
“Should do better.”
“Must try harder.”
“Fed-up. Useless. Hopeless.”
If anyone else spoke to me like this, I’d cut them off. “You’re not my friend,” I’d tell them. “Get out of my life.”
If someone spoke them to my daughter, I wouldn’t bother with words. I’d punch them. I’d push them over and pull them very close. I’d whisper, “if you feed her these lies – the lies you told me, the lies I tell myself – I will kill you. I will rip them, bloody and trembling, from your deceitful, stinking mouth.”
I will not accept these lies for the people I love
but I’ll take them on myself.
So I say to my daughter:
“You’re precious, honey. God has made you special.”
(But not mummy. God made a mistake with mummy).
“You can do amazing things. I’m so excited to see what God is doing in your life.”
(Mummy is a wee bit rubbish. She gets anxious about things that other people find easy. Sometimes she feels sad for no reason. God is sad when He looks at her).
“When you make a mistake, you can say sorry to God: and He kisses you and takes it away.”
(Some things are too dark to be covered. Not enough kisses to cover mummy’s mistakes).
“It’s okay to feel sad and angry and scared. You’re safe. Your feelings can’t hurt you.”
(I am what I feel. I am what I feel. I am what I feel).
Two voices. One for her; and one for me.
She hears the first but she sees the second. I might not speak the lies, but they shout through my self-doubt. And this is not okay.
It’s not okay for her – and it’s not okay for me. Because I am someone’s daughter too. And my Father will not allow His children to be destroyed:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1a)
More than my mistakes or my fears or my doubts.
More than my feelings and more than my mess.
In Christ, I am a child of God. I am dearly loved.
And in Christ, you are too.
He will not stand back and watch us shrink. He will die before He lets us go.
The lies may whisper, but whatever happens; His voice is louder still.