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“I am not worthy. I don’t deserve to live.” These were the words spoken to me by a young woman whom I encountered in my ministry. “I can’t do anything right. I can’t even successfully take my own life.“

Through her tears, Christine (I will call her) looked at me with such deep sorrow and suffering. Christine shared how it seemed that all the people in her life had abandoned her. She told me how they were tired of the repeated narrative of her addiction, and her numerous lapses consuming the substances of her addiction.

Gently, I placed my hand on hers and tried to assure Christine that not all had abandoned her. I told her that she is beloved and worthy, and that the Creator continues to be near to her. That the Creator never leaves her side.

The skepticism on her face spoke volumes to me. I could see Christine‘s inner voice telling her that none of this could possibly be true. I could see how she felt utterly unworthy of love and compassion.

“God can redeem anyone,“ I told her, “Even those who have pushed away all that seems good in the world.”

Later on, as I reflected on this interaction, my own inner narrative bubbled to the surface. Lately, I have been in a place of wondering if I am worthy of love. I have found that I have undervalued myself, and in doing so, have been destructive to my own body.

Overeating, and the dependence on food for comfort is another form of addiction. My fluctuating weight over the years is evidence of that. Yet, seeking to change the inner monologue is no small task. And, it’s easy, I have found, to revert back to unhealthy habits when life turns difficult.

Loneliness tends to trigger my desire for food. It also seems to trigger my consuming a nightly glass of wine. Both food and drink seem to numb the pain of my situation. Yet it is temporary, and I am left with tight pants and an evening accomplishing very little.

When I reflect on what I have put into my body, I further sink into sorrow and loneliness. I become frustrated and disappointed with myself for over-indulging. This