Hello there, friends. It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged anything, and there are many silly reasons like exams, revision, and then the oh-so exciting trip to Africa I went on – it’s been a bit busy for me to blog. But in this time away from the keyboard, I’ve been able to think. I can hear you – oh gosh, she’s thinking. I’m happy to say it wasn’t one of those life-evaluation thinking times, just a bit of realisation and God just showing me a little bit more of me and a little bit more of Him.
I’ve officially finished my second year at university and I have to say, just as I did at the end of my first year, I’ve learnt quite a lot and changed quite a lot (hopefully!) for the better. This year, the big lesson wasn’t just that making mistakes is good because it allows me to grow, the big lesson has been that I am growing, and I am growing into a good person.
I am good enough.
Writing about relationships whilst bumbling through university and adult life (well, the fake version of adult life you get at university, anyway, kind of like Adult Life Lite, or BETA or whatever the hell that means) has had it’s challenges. It’s been hard for me to go over some of the issues that have been covered here and it has caused me to go over experiences or feelings and places that might not have been the most comfortable – or even worse, the places and parts of my life that might not have shown the best side of me. I’ve had the worrying realisation that – shock horror, even though I’ve said it time and time again – I’m single, and somehow writing about that caused me to think about that and make me realise that all over again – and the worry started. I’ve gone through the motions of wondering whether I am good enough, or whether I’m pretty enough or if I’m too fat. I’ve wondered whether I’m missing something or if I’m just not the ‘ideal’ for a girlfriend and maybe one day a wife. I’ve revisited parts of my life and parts of myself where I get so angry with God. I ask him why he made me like this, whether he made a mistake, whether something really is missing – and then I realised: it was me that was missing.
In all of my observations of the world and the people around me, in all of this soul-searching and hopefully, in all of the encouragement that this series has brought myself and other people who’ve apparently read it (cheers, gang), I’ve come to see that there is a serious lack of Annie in my judgement on myself. I recently said to a friend that I have a completely different perspective of myself compared to other people – and not in the puffed-up, aren’t I brilliant kind of way, but the complete opposite. Most of the time, I don’t think much of myself. I don’t think that I’m very nice to look at, or very good to be around. I tend to only see the bad things about myself and for the most part I’m convinced that if everybody knew me and saw me for who I actually am – or who I think I am, anyway – they would be so disappointed.
But thankfully, my friends think better than that – and even more thankfully, so does God.
I have been blessed with a group of encouraging and supportive people around me who love me just the way I am. I’m not perfect, but it turns out there really isn’t as much wrong with me as I thought there was – all that other stuff is just a bit fat lie. I’m writing this not so that I get DMs from you all to reassure me that I really am alright, I’m writing this because I know I’m not the only one who has ever felt like this. I know I’m not alone.
The crux of what I’m trying to say, and I have said this before, is that your worth is not measured by the value other people put into you. I mean, it helps – who doesn’t like to be told they’re good at something or that they look pretty? The real worth comes from the way you view yourself. If you’re anything like me, a little help along the way does make all the difference. The one voice I’ve been ignoring through all of this is Jesus’ voice, and that’s the one I always should have been listening to in the first place. He’s the one who truly does know me inside out, and He’s the one who truly does see all of those bits of me that aren’t nice – and he loves me anyway.
When I said yes to Jesus, I essentially surrendered my whole life over to Him. This means that every thought, every word, every action I dedicated to Jesus. Have I honestly upheld this from that day? No, I haven’t. Do I have to rededicate and say sorry for turning away from that? Yes, I have. In doing that, I’ve turned away from all of those powerful and life-changing words he says about me, and those heart-wrenching feelings He has for me. Forget butterflies in your stomach, I’ve got flipping SEAGULLS in there. I don’t think that came out totally right, but I hope you know what I mean.
This series is about singleness, relationships and having a ‘Godly heart’, yes, but this is also so about you. Just you. Regardless of your circumstances, regardless of the value you put on yourself. This is about you.
Today, I actually opened my bible for what feels like an age. I read from Hebrews, which is a lovely letter and has some cracking stuff in there. Hebrews 1 is the author outlining how much authority and power Jesus has, and how He is so important and powerful that God would hold him such high esteem. One of my favourite verses is found up the top there – that Jesus is the sole expression of the Glory of God and the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature. Jesus is perfect. Jesus is God. Without getting too into the theology of it all, essentially what’s being said here is that Jesus is the top dog and knows what He’s talking about. Hebrews 1 also quotes from Psalm 45 says this:
My translation says that God has anointed you with the oil of joy. The author makes it clear that the psalmist is talking about Jesus, but I think it’s pretty true for us too. When we accept Jesus, when we surrender all of us to Him, he are also anointed with the oil of joy because we share in Jesus. How amazing, right?
I don’t need to worry about being beautiful or good enough. I don’t need to worry about being single or in a relationship, because my worth isn’t found there. It’s found in Jesus – and most importantly, it’s found in me recognising that Jesus says these things about me, and he feels this way about me. If the imprint of God’s nature on earth felt it was the right thing to do to die for me on the cross, there must be something good about me, right?
I don’t want to miss out on the beautiful creation that He has made in me – that’s right, Annie Edwards – because I’m worried about the rest of the world. I don’t want to miss out on the beauty and the fun and even the hard times because I can’t see my worth. This is a journey, and this is ongoing – but with Jesus by my side I know it can be done. Annie Edwards is a good thing, just as YOU are a good thing. If we can’t see it, then the world is in serious danger of missing out on us too – and that would be a real shame.
I spoke at a church in Africa nearly 2 weeks ago, and I spoke about David being anointed as King. There is an absolute babe of a verse in there, that says that God looks at our hearts and not our outward appearances, and I told the church that God values them and loves them so much. I told them that they are all like King David. Can I honestly say that I believed God valued me as much as I believed he values them? Not at all. It was only when a lady came up to me afterwards and said to me with a smile, “I’m just like David”, that I started to realise it for myself. God looks at me, just as he looks at you, and he sees someone he adores, loves and takes so much joy in.
Single, engaged, married or cat-ridden, don’t fret. You are worth so, so much. All you need to do, is open your eyes and see the open arms waiting for you.
Peace and blessings x