In the book, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis (read my review here!) challenges her reader to write a letter to herself about her tenacity. This action point really stuck with me because I don’t consider myself an especially tenacious person. I’ve been realizing that I think pretty poorly of myself, actually. I don’t speak kindness to myself, I don’t extend myself grace, I don’t deal gently with my heart when I make mistakes or when I fail. There are a lot of things I want to achieve in this life & unless I can see myself through kinder eyes, I don’t believe I’ll get there. Unless I can see myself through the eyes of Jesus, who believes in me & takes care of me, I don’t think I can get there.
So, writing myself this letter went on my list of moments. This feels a little silly, to be honest, or maybe it feels a little exposing & raw. But, I’m going to trust the process, & I’m going to share it with you, too. Maybe it’ll inspire you to write a letter of your own.
I want to tell you about your tenacity. You seem to think you have none, but I don’t think that’s true. When I think back over the course of your life, all twenty-eight years of it, evidence points to the contrary. Upon writing a first draft of this letter, what came out was a detailed overview of your life up until now – a narration of the seriously hard moments which you overcame. But, after some consideration, it was obvious that you’ve already lived all these moments. You don’t need a run down of all the events that make up your life. What you need is a pep talk. You are literally spiritually gifted to encourage other people, but when it comes to yourself, you neglect your gifting. No more of that! We are done with the self pity and the self doubt, girl. Remember what Rachel told you? Wash. Your. Face.
We could talk about your own achievements, but you & I both know that the only real remedy for your soul, the only thing that will convince you of your tenacity is the truth of who you are in Christ. As we walked through that first draft, saga-of-your-life edition of this letter, we saw time & again that whether you knew it at the time, it was always Jesus who came to the rescue. It was always the Spirit at work in your life, holding you fast, that kept you safe and moved you forward. It was always the sovereign will of God that won the day. So, let’s talk about some Gospel truth.
There is nobody else like you on the planet. God’s creative vision is uniquely on display in you and His plan for your life is predestined and foreknown. God is not shocked by the quirks and faux pas that make you who you are – He designed you that way. In your darkest moments He has seen you. Even now as you flounder & falter & try desperately to find your footing, Jesus knows the path that lies ahead. (Psalm 139)
You have been made worthy by a Saviour who sees you and loves you enough to go to the Cross for you. You “boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to [you], and [you] to the world” (Gal. 6:14). Your worth, Molly, is not in what you own, what you do, the past you’ve lived through, your greatest success, or your deepest failure. It is completely and totally at the cross, where you are crucified and raised to life in Christ as a new creation.
Grace is yours, “as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” the propitiation for your sinfulness, the justification for your wayward soul (Rom. 3:23-26). You have received what you do not deserve and could never have deserved on your own merit. It is not up to you to hold everyone who has hurt you accountable, nor to dole out punishment in the form of grudges and unkindness; rather, you can give & receive grace freely. His grace means the cessation of striving, Molly. All that work you do to cover who you are, to make amends for who you are, to play a part that ensures the comfort of others, and worst of all, presumes to trick the holy God into giving you approval that He has already freely bestowed upon you? Find rest in grace.
You wear His righteousness like a breastplate and you hold a shield of faith that protects you from the lies of the Enemy (Eph. 6:13-17). The protection of our God the warrior has been shared with you – the Enemy has no power where you claim the name of Jesus.
You have been named “friend” of Christ by Christ Himself, and chosen to bear fruit for his glory (Jn. 15:14-16). Imagine the beauty of His face when He walks with you and talks with you as friends do. He has given you divine tasks and commandments and it is your honour to rise to the occasion and step into your God ordained responsibilities and callings.
You are invited to confidently “enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.” You may “draw near with a true heart” and have hope in His faithfulness (Heb. 10:19-23). There is no more shame and no separation between you and the Father. The temple curtain is torn in two, the priesthood permanently transitioned to Lamb of God who died in your stead & takes up your case before the Father (1 Jn. 2:1-2).
True love is known to you, “not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His son” (1 Jn. 4:10). Molly, you are greatly loved. It is actually that simple. Accept it. Believe it. Live like it. He has “loved you with an everlasting love” and He has “drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jer. 31:3). Not only does God love you, He came after you to make sure you knew it.
Whether you feel it is true or not, God has given you a “spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control” (2 Tim. 1:7). When God is for you, no one can stand against you or separate you from His love. Your fear is irrelevant in light of the enormity of His sovereignty and power. The same Spirit that raised Christ lives within you – that should endow you with boldness like you’ve never known (Rom. 6:10-11).
Molly, this could go on forever. God’s Word is entirely about God’s tenacity in pursuit of the hearts of His people. He has tenaciously chased after your heart that you might tenaciouslychase after Him. It is when you understand who you are in the eyes of your Father that you can see yourself truly. He has been persistent with you – He has never let you drift off into oblivion. And in walking with Him all these years, you have overcome circumstances that could have buried you but for Christ. You may boldly dream. You may be who you are under the covering of Jesus’ blood and the freedom afforded by grace. You may try and try and try again. You may love unconditionally, even if it hurts. You may stand confidently in front of the Father and ask Him for big things. You may submit to His will without fear.
In case you forget who you are, see the above references again & again with tenacity until they set you free all over again.
You, girl, are tenacious.
#90. Write a letter to myself about my tenacity. Check.