My sandwich and onion rings laid uneaten on the red Dairy Queen tray. I sipped my diet coke occasionally, but mostly listened as a broken woman told me her broken story. Abuse, abandonment, fear, cigarettes, poverty and issues I have only heard about and cringed inside about and feared and prayed against. Then she said the words, "I hate who I am". And my eyes could not contain the tears that filled them.
Hate. Such a small word with such big meaning. Webster's describes it like this:
: to feel extreme enmity toward : to have a strong aversion to : find very distasteful, to express or feel extreme enmity or active hostility
In fact the word "hate" is a word that we don't use in our house. First off, my kids dislike a long list of items and I really don't want to hear about it. Secondly, because they are young they don't understand how strong of a word it really is. So anytime I hear the word, it catches my attention.
"I hate who I am". I thought about correcting her. I thought about explaining to her that she shouldn't hate what God had made. I thought about telling her how much there was to love about herself. And quietly I think I must have heard God whisper...."She hates herself because she doesn't know Me. She hates what the enemy has done to her life. She hates who she has become because of sin". And very suddenly I felt the ground leveling between us. How many times do I hate myself when I allow distance to come between me and the Father? How many time do I hate myself when I allow the devil to get a victory in my life? How many times do I hate myself when sin uglies my life with lies, insecurity, doubts? And in an instance, through the water dropping from my eyes I saw my reflection.....
But there's a difference. A big essential difference. I know about the anecdote for self hatred. I know in my soul that there is something that defeats those feelings and emotions of complete failure and self loathing. I have experienced that washing away of guilt, worthlessness and humiliation. I have felt the complete peace, joy and exhilaration that comes from knowing that there is something more.
There is grace. Grace that doesn't keep track of my failures, my past, my choices, my bad decisions, but comes in and washes over my hate and quietly springs up like hope and blessings in my life. Undeserved...grace
We sat and talked and our meals grew cold. She grabbed my hand and nearly....so closely....almost....reached out for Jesus. It was as if she felt the warfare around her...the slight breeze of an angels sword as it whipped by and grazed the face of a demon. The warfare....every bit spiritual. The battle for her soul...so very real. And she said...."I need to wait...think on these things...." and my heart sank....not because I need to be there when she begins this walk of love....but because I knew...I've been there....I've felt the breeze....
Will you pray? Pray for this sweet lady, a mom who needs to know Jesus...who is searching....who hates who she is. Please...please pray.