Do you have an illness that has such a stigma that it makes you feel unloved? Mental illness tends to do this, but I am sure there are other illnesses that create this feeling…psoriasis, obesity, birth defects of any kind. These are just a few that come to mind. I am in this category, twice. I have a mental illness and I am obese, but the thing that drives people away from me is the mental illness. When I tell someone I am Bipolar, they get this look on their face that tells me they would rather be anywhere else than where I am. It saddens me greatly, but it is the reality. Once people know I have a mental illness, they tend to distance themselves from me. Let me say, I have friends and family who understand my illness and they support me wonderfully, but those whom I just meet or know casually keep their distance. I think it is because they do not know what to say to me. Maybe they are afraid, or do not want to try to understand and get to know me. It makes me feel unloved. Have you ever had an experience like this? I’m sure many of you can answer yes to this question.
The Scriptures say that we are loved by the one who loves purely. Jesus does not look at our outer person, He looks at our hearts. Now, if there is something inside you that needs to be dealt with, God will convict us until we repent, no doubt. But I am not talking about our inner problems, I am talking about how others see our outer person. They judge, Jesus does not…they condemn, Jesus does not, they hurt us with their words, Jesus loves us, yet we put so much emphasis on what others say or think about us, we forget our truest love and appreciation comes from above and not from people. I know it hurts when we are rejected, it hurts to the core and oftentimes, we internalize people’s judgement and begin to think we have no value, or that their opinions are who we are, but they’re not. We need to be reminded every day that we have worth, that we are loved and that others opinions are not who we are! Is this easy to do? Is it easy to wipe from our minds the hurtful comments or the stares, or the ignorance of someone else about our conditions? No, absolutely not. But we can reframe how we see these judgements. We need to tell ourselves that their opinions are not who we are. As I was lamenting to God one day in my quiet time about, yet another friend who walked away from me, He gave me this…
“I have given you my love, faithful and enduring and it will never be taken back from you. You are adored, sacred, beautiful, and you belong to me”.
What beautiful words. They refreshed my soul and made me cry. I knew God loved me, but to have it spoken to my spirit like this was overwhelming. I want you to take these words and tuck them into your heart for the next time someone hurts you. They are like salve to our souls. I know God gave me these words to share with you and I know they will heal hurts. Always remember, you belong to God and you are adored and beautiful. Never forget.