Letters To AnnaGrace
On a rooftop in Kathmandu, my friend Hilary stood up in front of the whole squad and read us two letters. She had been having a rough month, battling sickness and insecurities, and she was able to articulate what two different people had to say to her: The Enemy and The Father. After reading us the two letters she invited us to write the same thing. So, I used her letters and format to create the same thing, allowing myself to fully articulate the deepest insecurities that The Enemy has used, and continues to use against me, and allowing the Lord to speak into those things. I can't quite explain what it feels like to open myself up like this, all I can say is that I highly reccommend that you do the same. Write yourself a letter from The Enemy and a letter from The Father. I pray that you'll experience the same freedom that I, as well of the other people who have done this, have felt.
Anyway, here it is. Thanks Hil!
My name is AnnaGrace Mercer and this is what The Enemy says to me:
I just thought you should know that I've been laughing at you this whole time. This whole thing is just hilarious. You really thought that you could be a World Racer? Really? You're in Cambodia, and you can't handle it. You can't handle the heat because you're just weak. Every part of that mural that you helped paint looks terrible, and you're supposed to be good at that stuff. What kind of graphic designer are you? Those pictures that you saw on Instagram, those stories that you read about on World Race blogs, those are from people who actually have talent and impact. Don't you know that you have neither of those things? Hopefully your supporters back home don't realize what a huge waste of effort and donations you are.
You're at month 4, and what have you really done? How have you really grown? You are going to go back home the exact same person you were before: unloved, unimportant, uninteresting, unsought, and completely worthless. So what's the point of even staying? At least you can be worthless in an air-conditioned room in the U.S. You see how everyone else on your squad is learning and growing? Hear those stories they tell about all of the lives they've changed? Yeah, you have nothing to show for these past three months, and you'll have nothing to show for this whole thing by the time you go back to the U.S.
The most hilarious part of this whole thing is that you actually think that these people care about you. All of those times that the girls on your team have given you affirmation, they've been LYING to you. Don't you know that? Or are you really that stupid? Whenever "feedback time" comes around, they're just waiting to tell you who they really think you are. They can't wait to tell you that you're not funny, that you're not pretty, that you're really just an annoying screw-up who's way too sensitive. That's who you were growing up, and that's who you still are. Everyone wishes they could tell you that, but then it would just make things awkward, so they just whisper it to each other. Every time you hear them laughing from a distance, they're actually laughing at you. Or they're at least able to have fun without you around. You're just dead weight on a dead-end "adventure".
You're the black sheep once again. You're the black sheep in your family; you're the black sheep in all of your friend groups, and you're the black sheep here. And don't go thinking that that means you're "unique". That means you're weird. You don't fit in. No one chose you. No one has ever chosen you. No one ever will choose you.
You're not even halfway done with this thing, so you better either go home or get used to being the most clueless, annoying girl on the team. You've got a long journey ahead of you, and it probably won't even be worth it in the end.
My name is AnnaGrace Mercer and this is what my God says to me:
My Beloved AnnaGrace,
I'm right here, daughter. I'm not meeting you where you pretend to be, I'm meeting you where you actually are, because you don't have to fake it with me. You don't have to believe all of those lies. Get out of the storm. Step out of that rain of lies, and come sit with me by the fire. Let me tell you who you truly are.
Remember when I told you to go on the World Race over a year ago? You were afraid to leave the comfort of your home, your job, your country and your lifestyle, and now you're here. I have provided all of the funding you needed and more. You're in the slums of Cambodia, exactly where I want you to be! I already know exactly where you will lay your head every night. I know exactly what crazy foods you'll try, and I know every face that you will smile at. I know that especially, because that smile is my favorite thing to look at. Even in the Cambodian heat, covered in sweat, wearing the same outfit you wore the past three days, you are breathtaking to me. Don't you know that? Don't you know that I would rather watch you dance around that house than watch the sun set? Don't you know that I would rather listen to the sound of your singing voice than I would the voices of angels?
Those days that you were sick and anxious, I planned that as a part of your story, a story that I will use for good. The story of how my strong and resilient daughter's pain was not meaningless. And let you tell you this: you are loved, you are important, you are interesting. You are sought every single day by me, and you are worth so much more to me than you will ever know.
Maybe you don't always see the fruit in what you are doing, but I do. Don't believe those lies that tell you that you have no purpose here. You always have a purpose because I give you purpose. That's why I gave you all of those gifts. You are so unique in the ways you can glorify me. Don't get caught up in the ways that you are unlike your other squad mates. They have their own beautiful gifts, and you have yours.
Sometimes you're just too hard on yourself, but my grace is sufficient for you. It just is; no if's, and's, but's or maybe's about it. Don't you know that I am the God who carved the tops of the mountains? I am the God who concocted the perfect scent for lavender, and the ripe taste of strawberries. I did those things for you, you know. You're worth it, and I love showing my love for you in those ways. I love showing you the beauty of my creation and how it doesn't even compare to the beauty that is my Beloved AnnaGrace.
You don't have to hide your feelings from me or any of the girls on your team. I have hand-picked those girls to be with you. I have allowed my beloved creation to love and encourage my beloved creation, and I will equip you all to do that. Don't be afraid to tell people what I'm doing in your life, because I just love using your story to bring rest and renewal to others.
I want you to know this especially: I chose you. I already have chosen you, and I will continue to choose you even when you don't choose me. You may have been rejected by the things of this world, but that's because you're not of this world. You belong here with me, and one day you will be. I can't wait for that day, but I need you here. That's right, I said that I need you. You have so much worth and so much to give. I love using your uniqueness in your story, and in other people's stories as well.
And you know that weight that you’ve been carrying from the difficulty of this world? Let me take that from you. Years ago I died on a cross for all of these things so you wouldn’t have to bear the weight anymore, and it is my delight, today, to take it from you again. There is nothing you can do to earn my love and there is nothing you can do to lose it either, so let me take that weight off your back too.
Hey, and AnnaGrace? I would love to tell you these things every day. There's nothing I would want more than to spend every single morning with you. Let me remind you of your worth every morning. Let me show you all that I have for you through my word. Let's meet as often as we can. Talk to me constantly.
I will never stop pursuing you.
With love from Phnom Penh, Cambodia