Today I found myself sitting in a coffee shop, the Bible open across from me, and a latte safely snug between my hands. This moment was profound to me. Not because of my love for coffee, or because the walls were painted my favorite turquoise.
No, it was profound because in many ways, I didn’t recognize the person I’ve become.
There was a time where I refused to be alone in my own company. I couldn’t go out and eat alone. I didn’t walk to school alone. I certainly wouldn’t live alone. And in one moment two years ago, on a rooftop in Ghana, I realized a horribly ugly truth: I did not love myself. In fact, I loathed most parts of me. And I resolved on that rooftop that I wanted to see myself as my Creator sees me: beautiful, loved, unique. Because how heartbreaking is it if I avoid the one person I can know the best – myself? How could I hope for others to love me, if I alone wasn’t willing to? And what did my lack of love for myself say about the Creator – the One who knit me together, who designed me, who calls me His beloved?
On that rooftop I cried because my heart broke. Because I knew that God wanted me to love what He’d created and died for.
Everyday it’s a journey. I wrestle with choosing to believe who I am in Christ instead of who my insecurities say I am. I wrestle against the idea that pride is loving ourselves and being confident in the things we excel at. That’s not true. Being prideful is finding our identity in those things, not humbly thanking God for them.
I seek the things that I love – and if I want to, I do them alone. I visit the park alone I love so much. I wander the market. I sip coffee in a new coffee shop. I hope someday to have someone to do those things with – but either way, I want to love being with just me. I want to know the person that God has created – to understand what it means that I am made in His Image, to understand the things He’s created that make my heart dance. I want to dance to the beat of my heart.
I think as we understand the created, we too understand the Creator. We are missing a characteristic of the Lord if we deny understanding who we are. Because we’ll see His fingerprints in the very way He designed our heart to beat.
So I’m quietly rejoicing for that moment today. I’m rejoicing that as God forms us into new creation – that slowly, I am being given a new heart to love. To deeply love God, to love others, and to love myself.