I loved each of my sisters, but the minute I saw Haley my heart melted as if she were my very own child. Back at school, I called my mom every morning to ask how Haley was doing. I was keeping up my end of the bargain with God, and He was keeping His. Life’s unfairness strained against my religious perceptions and the dam of my soul burst wide open. With my fist raised toward heaven, I vowed I would never love God, serve God, or believe in God again. But my bitterness toward God numbed my conscience and helped pave the way for rejecting many of my religious convictions.By the time that fall came and I packed up my things, it was so hard to think of leaving her. But my view of religion and rule-following and making deals with God shattered two weeks afterward. I had tried to be good enough to earn His love but just as my earthly daddy had done, I felt as though my heavenly Father just turned away. Life became full of temporary moments of happiness.My mind’s eye could see gorgeous possibilities for my frizzy brown hair and buck teeth.If only my mother would let me dye my hair blonde and get it professionally straightened, if only I could convince my dentist to replace my crooked teeth with gleaming false ones perfectly sized and aligned, my world would be wonderful.There was a stark difference between religion as I understood it and what she called her relationship with God. “Lysa, for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, Lysa.Though she had no idea of the junk I was dealing with, she was tenderly responsive to God’s promptings. Sure enough, Jeremiah was beautifully scripted across the front of the card: “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” I wanted to toss the card aside, but something kept me focused on that verse. Plans to give you, Lysa, a hope and a future.” This statement stood in such stark contrast to my flawed perception of being identified by my circumstances.You and your significant other are thrilled because you just bought your own home.Your significant other just lost their job, so you are both struggling with questions about the future in addition to disappointment.
Sometimes, the cause of the high or low is obvious.
I’m not sure when I first felt I wasn’t good enough, but my earliest stinging memory of it happened while tumbling about a skating rink full of elementary school kids.