We each have our own journeys of wrestling through self-worth and learning to see ourselves as loveable. This isn’t one of those stories.
This is a story about learning to see others as worthy of love.
I really started to hear about SWL at the beginning of 2015. I resonated with the message of hope and value every shirt and post they wrote was filled with. At the end of January 2015 my mom had a suicidal episode and was hospitalized for a week. She came home, but she wasn’t my mom. For three weeks we all lived on edge, not knowing if she was getting better or worse.
And then one Wednesday I was taking the exam to get my counseling licensure. I wore my SWL shirt as a reminder to myself that whether I passed the first time or not, that my worth and value are bigger than an exam. At 12:55 I locked my phone in my car and went inside the testing center. At 1:30 I sat down to take the exam.
Around 3pm I get my exam results and am thrilled to find out I passed! I get back to the car and my phone, excited to announce to the world that I passed. Greeted by a gazillion texts and missed calls, at first I assume it’s just friends encouraging me on my exam. Quickly I realize that the slew of messages are anything but encouraging.
I call my dad and find out that sometime around 1:30pm my mom went missing. She took the family van and all of her medications, and no one knows where she went.
We make a missing person’s poster. We drive around like crazy checking anywhere and everywhere. We wait and we pray.
My husband and I go to house church as usual because we don’t know what else to do. (In hindsight it was the absolute best thing we could have done. I am so thankful we were able to sit in the love of community that night.)
Hours go by.
We come to terms with the worst-case scenarios, stuck in our own Schrodinger’s cat nightmare and the kind of raw emotions Ben Folds songs are written about.
And then after ten hours of agony, she calls. She tells us where she is and my dad and I rush to go get her.
No child should ever have to see their mom like that.
We get her to the emergency room in time, another week of psych-hospital, and then she’s home.
But she’s still not really home. I still don’t know if I’ll ever get the mom I lost in January back. But even if I don’t, I know that the mom I have now is still so worth loving. That even when I had to see her at her absolute worst that she was worthy of love even then.
For me, so worth loving is a constant reminder to keep fighting to love the people I am tempted to believe aren’t worthy of my love. To continue loving well even when it hurts. I wore my SWL that Wednesday as reminder to myself of my worth, but it ended up being the perfect reminder all day long that my mom is worthy of love too.
Written and loved on by Léah Lesêne. She is a professional counselor in Atlanta. She and her husband love to garden and drink copious amounts of tea. She can be found on Twitter @leahlesesne and her blog www.leahlesesne.com