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An Open Letter to My Inner Child
Dear Little Aaron,
Since becoming a father of two young boys, child abuse is a topic that I take very seriously. It breaks my heart to hear stories of psychological, physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse in children. I would like to pick these wounded children up and give them one large, collective hug and hold them tight to my chest. With my own boys, I am vigilant and strive to establish a place of security and safety for them as a steward of their true Father. But with you, little Aaron, I have been abusive. Self-hatred is as terrible and destructive a form of child abuse as any. More than that, self-hatred is really hating the Creator for making you less than you believe you should have been. So before God, may I ask for your forgiveness?
You see, in my “adult” I prized all the wrong things and dismissed with contempt what I saw as the irrational fears of you, the child. I thought I needed to fix you, to present you as acceptable to the world in order to boost my own image. When you failed, I responded with contempt. But the Father called you, wounded child. You’re His very “treasured possession,” who was perfectly created in the womb of your mother. He celebrated your very existence just because you were His child. So with humble apology, I confess my tragic sin and ask you to come out and play! I promise that I won’t abuse you anymore.
Instead, as with my own two boys, I will stand against self-hatred. I freely lift the weight of expectations and release you to run into the arms of your loving Daddy. I stand for your freedom to run up His Mountain in your inquisitive, playful nature. Your freedom is my delight, lifting your chains of bondage my joy, and embracing your simplicity my desire. You see, in the adult I thought that I had to always amass things to grasp. But I see now that a child, embraced in the grasp of his Father, holds everything in his empty hands.
I know the work of healing has just begun, but I promise to no longer dismiss your fears as irrational. I see that a child is honest and wears his emotions on his sleeve. Logical or not, they are real and cannot be healed if they are not recognized as such. But that is the thing about you: you’re honest and content to be dust. My sin is to think I’m more than dust, so I present a lying presentation of my true identity. But He fills the common clay jars and simple wineskins with His presence. All my attempts to deny my nothingness and place the weight of self-expectations on your neck grieved His life.
So I say yes to you, because you are the real naked, desperate, wounded, curious me without pretense. You are the real me He called and created, seeking me out in the religious manure I was wallowing in. I cherish your wounded story because it is my story, and His. The only thing I ask is to love you and release you to the Father’s transforming love. Be simple, honest, desperate, human, and inquisitive and hold nothing in your hands. Say yes to the cross that frees you from Adam and brings forth the radiant life of His Son. Most of all, be content to be nothing but His.
Warmest tender love,