In her book So Long Insecurity Beth Moore states, “We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.”
Sounds like a good theory in concept. The problem is, is that sometimes, we do not know what truth is in regards to who we are. A few years back my belief was that I was a most heinous individual. I hated myself with such a great intensity that it was physically nauseating. The song I listened to over and over again was “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been.” I wanted to be beautiful, for there to be a grace about me that radiated, alas, it didn’t. I believed that no one could really want to even talk to me. I had nothing of value to offer. I was too much of a disappointment to everyone in my life. I felt I was a detriment to those around me.
So I holed myself up. I could not look up at anyone, afraid I would see disappointment in their eyes. I wanted to have an emotional beauty about me, to minister, to be an artist and a writer. Could I dare define myself by such things? The fear of failure during these years kept me in a silent jail. I was only one who was unworthy of anything. I allowed every negative action to affirm my beliefs.
Worse yet, during this time I had a woman who I thought was going to mentor me separate herself from me. I was devastated and her actions confirmed every negative thought I had ever had about myself. It was my ultimate confirmation.
Even now, years later, it is hard to believe and write anything to the contrary. I believed the lies so long, they are ingrained into my very core.
How is it that I had every believed such things to begin with? Who knows why I have such worthiness issues, but they plague me.
At some point during those years I decided I had to determine what truth was. People are fallible. Always remember that. The things that come out of someone’s mouth are often flawed because of their own perceptions. The only place to turn was to scripture and I had to believe it as if scripture were speaking directly to me.
So what is the truth?
1. I am worth rescuing. (My theme Psalm is chapter 18)
2. I am a reflection of the Creator. (Gen. 1: 27)
3. God has plans for me. (Jer. 29:11)
4. He rejoices over me. (Zeph. 3:17)
5. I am holy and without fault in His eyes. (Eph. 1: 4, Col. 1:22)
6. My story can be used for His Glory. (Eph. 5:14)
I can only allow God to define me. It is His truth that sets me free. If I start defining myself based on what others think of me, then I become paranoid and lost in the insanity of it all. I have my doubts and setbacks. My last blog entry can attest to that. But I know that God knows my name, and regardless of who I am in relationship with humanity, I am precious to Him.
What truths do you base your life on? What lies have you believed? How do you allow those things to define you?
I recently had the awesome privilege of baptizing one of my oldest daughters. She had been wanting to be baptized for quite a while and my husband and I kept asking her more in depth questions. Finally, she chose a date. A very special date. The Sunday before Thanksgiving.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving is a very special date for us because that is the Sunday my father passed away two years ago. I thought it very fitting that on the day he took a step closer to God, my daughter chose that day to also take a step closer to God.
To baptize my daughter is an experience I never thought I would have. Not only because my daughter could choose from a myriad of family members and mentors, but simply because in my Christian denomination tradition, men typically are the ones who do things in leadership roles such as baptizing. I go to a church, for which I am very grateful, that they are trying to change and expand the role of women in the church.
So I got to baptize my daughter. There was so much I wanted her to know. I had prepared a speech for her, but in the moment, I became very nervous and forgot about half of it. I think I will write it all down in a letter to her so she can have it as a keepsake. I want her to know that God has plans for her. Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for you to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” I want my daughter to know that by taking Christ on in baptism, it allows her to go perfect and blameless before God, since Jesus made the atonement for our sins. I want her to know that she does not have to wear the robes of spiritual shame, but can shed the for a robe of righteousness. I want her to know that she is going to mess up, but that God loves her radically and will pursue her all of her days.
I think I hit most of those points when I baptized her. I think I just forgot to elaborate on many of them as I had planned to.
Nonetheless, It was a very special day for me not only because I got to baptize my daughter, but because I am wanting to go into women’s speaking ministry. Although there is much I need to overcome in the way of nervousness, my daughter’s baptism for me, in many ways, was like my initiation into that role from a spiritual perspective. I hope that continues to be true for me. For the church family that stayed, I thank you. For my family that came, bless you. And for those who were only there is spirit, that was a gift.