It seems like these days everyone I meet thinks I am 3-5 years younger than I really am. This is nice, I admit I am not in a hurry to age visibly.
I wish I felt so young.
There is nothing worse than disappointment. Some of the most searing losses I've experienced in my longer-than-it-looks lifetime have been the disappointment with people that truly held a lot of faith in.
It hurts worse to be disappointed with myself -- day in, day out. This makes me feel old because all I can see is wastedness. I don't know why this happens, but I know I'm not the only one to go through it. I've concluded that disappointments are a chief motivator of self-destructive behavior. It's a spiral: think a bad thought, believe it's true about yourself, and then start living accordingly.
When Christ set me free, I'm convinced it was for freedom from this downward-trending cycle of living as though "This Is What I'm Worth." It is so easy to think that we should spend our days berating ourselves for all our failings. Yes, we fail. But we are so loved. We are so precious. We are so created in the image of God, for the purpose of of His pleasure, to bring glory to His name, to do Good.
Addictions, compulsions, impulsiveness, obsessions, overindulgence, negligence: I can identify all of these in my life, and the lives of so many I know. We live in quiet desperation, growing more disappointed in ourselves each day, fearing to share our thoughts with others, trying to patch over the wounds with everything but the salve that it needs ... until one day we reach crisis. And we fall. And everyone knows. And then it's too late. And the disappointment has become contagious.
But it's not about how others feel about me or you, it's not about what people think of us. It's about not letting that discouragement take us so far from our true form -- distorting the truth about who we are, and Whose we are. What He says about me is true, and what He has sacrificed for me defines what I can become. If He will help me, I will break this cycle of creating so much noise all around me to block out the Enemy within me. Then I will open it up to His power, and He will defeat it, instead of watching as I apply my own random First Aid of destruction.
Please, when you feel desperate, don't hold it inside. You will try to fix it yourself. It will not work. You will make it worse. Christ came not for the healthy, but the sick. If you feel sick because of yourself, He came for your healing.