I thought I was worthless. No, more like I felt it. I didn’t know I felt worthless. However, it hung like a cloud over my head and just a little out of reach of my consciousness.
It wasn’t until God opened my eyes one day in prayer. I was with a good friend, Sherry, who practices listening prayer.
I say to her, “I’ve seen a lot of violence in my life and I can’t help but feel like those experiences tarnished me.”
Sherry: “Lord Jesus, what does tarnish look like to Belinda?”
Suddenly I see a picture of a tarnished silver vase. I speak out loud what I hear the Lord saying, “I see you as the vase, you see yourself as the tarnish.”
Sherry: “Show her how you see the vase, Jesus.”
I speak what I hear from the Lord, “I see a silver vase with ornate handles.”
Sherry: “How do you want to remove the tarnish?”
In my mind’s eye, I see a picture of a 1970’s commercial for a product that cleans tarnish from silver. A person’s hand holding a silver plate half way in the clear liquid. When they remove the plate from the liquid, the tarnish is gone from the bottom half.
God will remove tarnish from me in similar way. The solution for me is God’s presence and God’s love flowing over me like a flood. You can’t be in God’s love as tarnish. God’s love is poured out on the silver vase.
Why would he pour out on the tarnish — it has no value? He pours out love on the valuable vase. The process of being in his love both cleanses me and affirms my value. This is my story of healing. I thought I was the tarnish. God told me I’m the silver vase.
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. Brene Brown in Gifts of Imperfection
Healing came when I was brutally honest in a conversation with myself (with Sherry and God) about how I feel about myself. I am amazed at Sherry because she made me feel safe enough to be raw in front of her. And she was gentle and kind in the listening prayer.
What is your narrative?
When I believed that I was worthless, I reacted by becoming an overachiever. I was out to prove to people my worth by doing things. I became a workaholic that damaged me and led to my burnout in 2006.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” Epictetus
A brave conversation with yourself is when you are honest about how you feel and then you pursue healing for it. Every person has their bullies. You don’t have to believe what they say or how they made you feel. If you were a child and agreed with their destructive words, as an adult, you can change your narrative.
Since my meeting with Sherry, I’ve begun to feel my worth. I changed my narrative because I can’t walk into the destiny God has for me in the old way of feeling. The narrative you tell yourself is important and it starts with having brave conversations with yourself.