I’ve always been a words girl.
When I was really young, I wanted to be a writer. A published author. It sounded perfect – the telling of stories with beautiful words and meaning; the entanglement of others in the tales you told; the immortality of the written word. I gave it up, early in my life, when I realized that it was hard to get people to pay you for writing, unless you were very, very good, and very, very lucky.
But still, words mean something to me. If you’ve ever studied the idea of the Five Love Languages. . .I’m all about some words of affirmation. TELL me how you feel, what is important to you, what you love about me. In the opposite way, I take harsh words to heart immediately and mull them over for days and days, possibly never forgetting them. This is super fun for my husband, who is a man of very few words, who would much rather show and receive love by acts of service. C’est la vie.
Because of this, I think, I find myself more moved by music and spoken word than others. I have to be cautious about what I listen to – simply because the words impact my heart, and I can find my emotions easily swayed by a song or speech.
Today – March 1, is Self-Harm Awareness Day. And just knowing that through the magic of social media put me a bit on alert today. I felt that I needed to write something, say something, and yet – nothing came. I’ve been there, I’ve walked through it, and I’ve held the hands of others walking through it, and yet – for some reason – when I sat to write a post about it. . . the words evaded me.
As I drove to the gym at lunch time, I was feeling completely insecure about everything. I should be at home writing. I should go to the gym and take care of myself. I should go home and take a nap. I should actually be at home doing laundry. . . .just completely at odds about everything. I’ve also got a kid with an allergic reaction that was unexpected and I am panicking through these first new days of epi-pens when she isn’t near to me, and text messages of “how-do-you-feel-is-your-breathing-ok-do-you-remember-how-to-use-your-epi?”
I drove on towards the gym, arguing internally. I’m still overly critical of my body and some days the gym helps and some days the gym is a glaring reminder of all that is still physically broken within me. I debated turning around and going home to stare at my laptop and try to write instead. To write words that weren’t going to come.
And then, a song on the radio by Zach Williams.
When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough
Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar^^
I pulled into the gym in tears. Fear IS a liar.
I’ve believed all of those things about myself, I’ve listened to the lies fear tells me. And I’ve let it rob my rest and steal my happiness. Fear. Such a liar.
I made it through my workout. My child made it to work with her epi-pen. I sit here and write with the words pouring out, as another child is at her dance practice. And my day goes on.
Some days the words don’t come, and some days the workouts are more than I can handle, and some days the fear of keeping my children safe and whole is more that I know my heart can take.
But God is with me. And with you. Even when we give into fear, even when it overwhelms us, even when our souls and bodies give up, and even when our bodies bear the scars of fears past.
The words still may not have really come through well – this post is a bit rambling. But here today – on March 1, Self-Harm Awareness Day – please know that I see you. I understand. I remember.
But please also know that fear. . . is a liar.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
*The Trevor Project – Self Injury Support
*To Write Love On Her Arms – A non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.
*Suicide Prevention Lifeline – tel:1-800-273-8255
^^ Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Zach Williams / Jonathan Lindley Smith
Fear Is a Liar lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing