Affirming Yourself

Sharni-Lee

I have a drawer. In this drawer I keep all the things that I would never throw away.

There are possessions that trigger the memory of the most beautiful moments of my life, and mementos that capture happiest of times. There are those things that take me back to the memory of what I have lost, and things that are reminders of pain. There are letters from friends from across the world, and letters never sent to people I never had the courage to face. There are affirmations and prayers, jewellery, and journals.

I rarely open this drawer.

I open it when I have something playing on my mind. I open it when I am doubting myself, when I need a reminder of who I am, when I need strength. There are so many times when I wish it didn’t exist; that I didn’t need a piece of paper, or picture, or silly plastic toy to remind me of my worth.

I often wonder if others have a space, like my drawer, where they keep precious notes and pieces of themselves to help them in the dark times.

When times are tough, we can forget what makes us great. We can forget how valued we are. We can forget how much we are loved. The greatest lesson I’ve learnt is to never let a chance go by to remind someone of how grateful you are for them. Just a simple “thank-you” can make an incredible difference.  It’s about bringing those moments of love out of the drawer, and reminding someone of how valued they are. 

Jesus shared a story in Matthew about letting your light shine for others to see, that this light would glorify the Lord and bring life.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Many of us are more than capable of letting our light shine and sit it on that lampstand but the struggle arises when we fail to see the light beyond ourselves and affirm it in others. It’s time that we let ourselves be blinded by the glory and power that others can bring into our lives. Let other people’s shining lights be the opportunity to see and feel God’s love beyond your little drawer of reminders. Let this light lead you into a relationship with God, one where, through others, you too can be affirmed of your goodness and worth each and everyday.  

Sharni-Lee has a real heart for social justice and this bursts through in everything she does as a regional assistant for Marist Youth Ministry. After a number of years volunteering with St Vincent de Paul while at high school in Lismore, she moved up to Brisbane this year to take up studies in education at ACU. Sharni-Lee is continually journeying towards defining her own truth in faith which has only been emphasised through experiences of service, relationships and reflection.