Acceptance.That’s what I was waiting for. I spent so long waiting to feel something more than just being happy in the moment and deeply saddened at night. I wanted the spirit of love to breathe into my body and flow throughout my veins. I wanted to feel loved, most of all by God. I wanted to feel like it didn’t matter what I said or did, because I’d be accepted, anyways.
Well, this weekend I figured out what it meant to truly be accepted.
It took years of praying and a lifetime of hoping, but in a convention center in Tennessee, I found what I had been looking for all along.
First, it started off on a horrible seven hour bus ride, where irritability was at it’s finest and although I was surrounded by those I care the most about, I just wasn’t feeling myself. Or, perhaps, it was myself, since I had feeling unbelievably bitter most days, then. Love had not made an appearance in my heart. I was, again, feeling unwanted and ashamed of myself for simply being who I was.
Then rest of the night declined completely, with feeling left out in many areas, although I’m sure it was my fault. You see, when you feel unloved, you start to act as if you were, no matter how loved you are. You act as if nothing is really worth it anymore and you start treating people differently. Well, that was me, not just that night, but all the time. For months, I had truly felt like this world was doing everything it could to bring me to the floor.
On Saturday, a woman I had stayed
with in the hotel came up to me. She told me that God wanted her to let me know that He was pleased with me. “Pleased? With me? How could that be possible?”Those were my thoughts. I told her of my doubts and she explained that I had no reason for doubt and that He had a purpose for me. Again… Me? I know that Jesus brought a purpose to the least of these, but I out of all people did not deserve to be one of them. She said I had inspired her by the things I had spoken in just a day and that later that night God wanted me to know I would experience worship on a whole new level, and I found myself unable to stop thinking about her words. But I still wanted more. I still hadn’t felt that assurance.
Later that night, we had an amazing worship service. (She was definitely right.) It started with praying at the alter with loved ones and I was talking to God with my struggles. I found myself whispering “I’m just not worthy of Your love. How could I ever possibly receive it?”, and I heard a boy that was praying with me saying “She is.” I knew him, but definitely not well enough for a soul tie to have formed and connected my thoughts to his words. Honestly, I’m not sure who he was talking about; it could be me or anyone else in that room, but I knew one thing: In a room filled with noise, God spoke to my whispers. He got through all the loudness and reached through to someone who was barely audible, even if you had your ear against her mouth.
But God wasn’t finished with the process, yet.
After service, we had worship and God had definitely made me feel assured, so I decided to stop asking and start giving Him the praise He deserved. I found myself sinking in His spirit; at first, resisting the urge, but then I caved in. First, I was on my knees, but then I found myself completely on the ground, just worshipping. I felt hands on my back and beautiful prayers being spoken. I was being prayed for acceptance to be felt. I heard exactly what I had been needing. The words acceptance were repeating, sounding more beautiful every time being spoken. Then, the spirit of acceptance made it’s way into my heart.
I knew God had used three events to touch my heart. He cared so much to assure His child that He had done so much just so she could feel better and gain confidence.
The sad thing is, acceptance was there all along, I just had to find it. I tried for so long to find it in others or in situations; when instead, it was with me right along. I had it everywhere I needed and God was trying to show me that, but I didn’t listen, because I had to find it in myself. I put up this blockade that separated me from the links that connected me to the love of the rest of the world. I was imprisoned, trying to find ways to escape; when all along, I was the jailer. I was trying to put a bandaid on everyone else’s wounds, when I had injuries of my own. I spent my time trying to find ways to spread love onto others, when I needed to show myself that love, too. So often we forget that, we too, are people that need to be loved and cared for.
Acceptance was right in front of me this whole time, I was just searching in the wrong places.