I look at myself in my inner mirror. I frown and mutter "You still have that wicked TEMPER, don't you? You get GRUMPY, and your innocent husband gets to hear your NASTY voice. And you can be so CRITICAL. Who fitted YOU for a halo? And - by the way - you're still too LAZY to pray enough. If you don't keep going to God, you can't keep on keepin' on, Girl Friend."
Nope. On bad days, I don't like my outer or my inner me. On bad days, I don't see any growth from my adolescent self to my so-called mature self.
I have no hope. I'm ALMOST ready to throw in the towel.
But, if I stop to remember that I'm God's child, if I remind myself - in spite of my bleak mood - that I AM struggling every day, trying to grow more patient, more loving, more self-disciplined in my physical and spiritual habits - then I can hear God's Voice reminding me "To everyone who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna,and I will give a white stone, and on that stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it." (Apocalypse2:17.)
The Lord knows us more fully and intimately than we know ourselves, not just as a people but as individuals.
The Lord knows our unique hidden struggles - with life, with others, with ourselves.
The Lord feeds us daily with hidden manna - Jesus, our Living Bread from Heaven - if we recognize and acknowledge our hunger for holiness.
And the Lord considers each of us His Beloved, to whom He gives a special new name, because we are reborn in Christ. This name is a Love Name, a name that signifies how unique, how precious, we are to Him. A name that encompasses our personal struggles and triumphs, our good works, our personal charisms. Only in Heaven will He breathe our hidden name to us - and whisper "You are irreplaceable in My Heart."
The more we remember the One Who loves us, the more we have the strength, the courage, the joy, to love ourselves. Because every moment of every day He is whispering our True Names to our souls as He quietly, patiently loves us into New Life in Him.