Thank you for meeting me beside the pool today.  When I opened the sliding glass door and stepped out onto the concrete, I had no idea You would be there.  I just knew that my world was crazy and I craved peace.

At first I noticed the sounds.  I heard the rippling of the water as it cycled through the filter.  I heard the chirp of the birds.  I heard people driving their cars on the road.  I heard women walking by on the sidewalk, talking about their lives.  It reminded me of me.  Always moving.

I looked out over the backyard where my children play.  It brought sadness because I’m often too busy to join them.  I looked out over the pool where my family gathers.  It brought regret because I’m often too preoccupied to relax.  I’m always trying to find a purpose to what I am doing.  Be productive, be productive, be productive.

Then I noticed her sitting in the corner chair.  It was just a vision in my mind, I know, but it felt so real.  Intentional.  Purposeful.  It wasn’t a stranger sitting there.  It was me.

We were identical except for the energy that surrounded us.  My soul felt like a raging storm.  But she was a picture of softness, calm, and acceptance.  I somehow knew that this was a woman who believed in her worthiness regardless of the world spinning chaotically all around her.  She loved herself.  I could feel it and it drew me to her.  She was able sit with herself and be completely honest and entirely peaceful all at the same time.

I knew she was me, but I also knew she was You.  Because I don’t look like that right now.  This version of me is a glimpse of what it would be like to live as one who fully embraced Your love.  You know I want to do that, but it’s so hard for me.  I’ve known all my life that You love me, Jesus.  But I’ve struggled to believe it.  I want to stand firm in Your love and be unshakeable in it.  But that resolve is elusive for me.  Why?

It’s because I don’t love myself.  I’ve known that for awhile now and it’s been a hard truth for me to accept.  I haven’t known what to do about it.  I haven’t known how to begin to change it.  So You showed up here at my house beside my pool today so I could experience myself at peace.  So I could feel Your invitation to see myself the way You see me.  I can have this peace.  It’s mine to claim.  It will take practice, of course.  But it is possible.  I can learn to believe in my worthiness and offer myself love.

The world called to me, and it was time to respond.  But I left with a new promise that I can carry with me everywhere.  I have a choice.  When my day presses in and I am troubled, I can grant myself grace instead of criticism.  When my interactions with people are imperfect and I feel unlovable, I can grant myself mercy instead of contempt.  You are inviting me to offer myself the same love that flows so freely from You.  I am worthy of love.  From You and from me.

It’s going to take awhile for me to understand all of this.  I’m sure I will take steps toward it and I will take steps away from it.  But I won’t ever forget this day.  The day You showed me how to begin a journey to live at greater peace with myself.  I know You will walk with me and remind me often that I am Yours and I am loved.  Thank you.