This morning during contemplative prayer, I had an epiphany—and what interesting timing, since this is the time of Epiphany on the Christian calendar. I’ve been harassed by spirits of rejection and fear for many years now. And I realized this morning that the image they have made me believe about myself is a distorted one. Recently that fear/rejection image caused me particular problems in my relationships—all because I didn’t understand that the people involved love me. How could they love me when I was having such trouble loving myself?
In a recent post, He Loves Me, I wrote about basking in God’s Niagara Falls of love, feeling the physical sensation of His love falling, falling, falling on me. Even though the physical sensation passed, His love never stopped falling. But I need to keep reminding myself of His love until it becomes integrated into my thinking. And although I’ve read it many, many times, 1 John 4:18 became a rhema word for me today:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
I always remember “perfect love casts out fear,” but I had somehow forgotten all the rest of that verse. Fear and rejection had for so long poisoned my thinking that I had come to have a self-image as distorted as a funhouse mirror.
Today I am taking a hammer to that not-so-funhouse mirror. Today I chose to embrace God’s love and a new (true!) image of myself: loved, accepted, forgiven, and precious. God is good!