I’m a people pleaser. Ever since I was little, I have done my best to achieve whatever others have wanted for me. I don’t resent anyone for that fact, because I know that it was only because they wanted the best for me, but I do think that this aspect of my personality has caused me to be really hard on myself, and to always expect more from me.
This has been beneficial, at times, when it comes to school, work, volunteering, etc., but it continues to draw me back to this place of feeling like I have to get good grades, have to be on top of everything, have to have a clean room, have to have a good Instagram feed, have to act perfect, to get the seal of approval from God. And when all of these things in my life are not perfect, I tend to drift because I feel embarrassed, unequipped, a bad example.
Living a life pursuing God takes constant reminding and self-checking. For those of you like myself, who often forget the true character of God or why you’re doing all of this, it takes waking up each morning and reminding yourself. It takes asking people for reminders. It takes a level of consciousness and honesty about our thoughts and feelings that isn’t exactly normalized.
It’s okay to feel in a slump. It’s okay to be frustrated with school. It’s okay to be angry and feel like life is falling apart. God doesn’t expect or want you to be perfect, but I do think He wants to hear about it.
In the most vulnerable of states, with morning breath, unwashed hair, tears running, our Dad in Heaven loves us. He doesn’t base it on our potential. He doesn’t base it on who we were when we decided we wanted to live life for Him. Nothing we could ever do could make Him take back His love. It’s so easy to forget, because much of love on earth is so conditional. Check yourself. Pray about it. Ask God to constantly remind you throughout the day of His genuine, from-the-core, at all times, kind of love.
He wants to listen to you, and He wants to love you.
Hey Dad, I know that I write sometimes like I’m trying to teach a lesson or remind people of things, but I know this is really just all a letter to me. I know that in this strange part of my life, where I’m trying so hard to do everything and be good at everything, you just want me to slow down and realize that none of this trivial stuff really matters. That just because I skipped class, left early from work, didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning, doesn’t have any impact on your opinion of me. In the most sincere of ways, God, thank you. It gives me peace to know that I don’t have to fit this mold, I don’t have to be this perfect renaissance woman, for you to want me around. Thank you. Thank you for answering my prayers even if it’s been two weeks since I’ve talked to you. Thank you for your overwhelming love. Help me to just surrender and accept it. I don’t want to fight it anymore.
And I pray for each of these people reading this prayer that get it. I pray that you wrap them up in your big metaphorical spiritual hugs, and you remind them that none of this trivial temporary stuff changes the way that you feel about them. Thank you, Dad. Thank you. We love you. Amen.
words by Ashley Jesus and photo by Kate Bartley