Self-Compassion Comes From God's Compassion
The most recent one I did involved writing about what imperfections make me feel inadequate, and then writing a response letter to myself from the perspective of "an unconditionally loving imaginary friend".
The exercise is all about self-compassion, but I realized that what really needs to happen is for me to take Christ's perfect, undeserved compassion for me and apply it to myself. You see, I don't deserve compassion on my own, but it is given to me willingly by a perfectly loving artist God and was won for me forever on Jesus's bloody cross.
I did the first two steps of the exercise a few days ago, and I just went through step three, which asked that I read the letter I wrote to myself. I thought it might be worth sharing with all of you. I ended up writing it from God to me, because he meets the requirements of "an unconditionally loving imaginary friend", except that he is not imaginary at all.
And his grace and compassion are as real and personal for you as they are for me. I love you all, to the best of my feeble ability. May this letter bless your heart.
My dearest Elizabeth,
You are lovely. I am so sorry that you are going through this pain. I have bought you; I have won you. You are mine. And there are no stains on my bride! My death and resurrection have covered you. Your sins are forgiven.
I love the way that you want to follow me, want to please me with your life. I love that you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable to me and to others, and how, because of that, I am able to give you the great pleasure of being an instrument I play to woo my creation with sweet notes of love, back to myself. You have no idea how stunning you are, or how proud I am of you. I cannot wait to be reunited in heaven with you and your precious brothers and sisters. You are mine. Never forget that.
You want to be free, and I want that for you, too. Please remember that these things take time. You cannot unlearn your sin in a day, or even in a decade. But I ask you to trust me. Trust me to work in you to will and to act in order to fulfill my good purpose, as you, my dear one, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). This is not easy. These are deep and complex knots.
Be patient with yourself. You do not yet have all of the answers, but you have me, your friend who sticks closer than a brother. You may be alienated from your brothers because of your sin, but you are never too much for me. I am your dear, sweet savior and the Prince of Peace. One day all of this will be reconciled. You will not be alone forever, and you are, in fact, not alone now. You feel alone, but my Spirit is in your heart. Others can see it.
I am so glad that you have received the friends I have sent you, welcoming them into your heart and honoring me by how you have been careful to treasure their hearts, too. I have spoken through them to you, giving them my eyes to see my majesty in you, the majesty of your inherited royalty.
You are never alone. Never alone. You are always seen. You are always heard. Not one of your tears falls to the ground, wasted. I collect them all in my bottle (Psalm 56:8). I give ear to your groanings and you are not generic; you are a specific, intentional creation of mine, part of the body of believers.
I love you. This, too, shall be made right. Trust me, my girl. Stay close to me and trust me. I know what I am doing with you.
Your Father, Yahweh
What is God whispering to your heart today?