My nine-year-old crawled in bed with me. Yes, she still does that and I love it. She’s the baby of the family and my little cling on. She wrapped her arms around me as I wrapped her up in my arms.
“Mom, I need you to pray for me.”
“Is something wrong?”
“I am having bad thoughts…like something bad might happen.” She whispers.
I began to pray, asking God to help her to not think those thoughts or worry and then prayed for a hedge of protection around my family. I asked God to help me with my thoughts and that I wouldn’t worry either.
Tears fall softly down my face as my daughter starts praying.
“Jesus, I just want to be the best me that I can be. Help me to do that. I want to be the best me I can be.”
She begins to tell Jesus how she falls short at this with words from a nine-year-old heart. It reminded me of how many women have basically said the same thing with bigger words laced with regret.
How many women feel like the worst version of themselves? Too many.
My tears fall on her as we say ‘amen’ while I search for words to tell her about how God sees her heart and would honor those sweet prayers of her. I find the words and remind her of the worth found deep inside of her and that maybe, just maybe, she’s being too hard on herself.
And my mind drifts to countless conversations and endless words from women I know doing the same thing, being ridiculously harsh and unkind to themselves.
I think that’s what we all want; to be the very best version of ourselves and every day we have a million opportunities to blow it. But, we press on knowing that God sees our hearts and searches all the deepest places within us.
Everyday we give our days like a gift to the God that formed us, and most days we wonder if it’s enough.
Years ago in a moment of mentoring I apologized to someone who became more like a sister and less like mentee. I told her how I wished that I had done more to help prepare her for the road ahead. She looked me in the eyes and said something that I’ll never forget.
“Jennifer, sometimes we learn more from Clark Kent than we do from Superman.”
Her words set me free; I hope they will set you free too.
In all this striving of trying to be the very best version of yourself, perhaps it’s time to look at yourself through the filter of “I am enough” and give yourself a big fat break.
Perhaps that could be your Christmas gift to yourself, to be a little nicer to the woman you look at in the mirror.