I am a survivor.
Many things have happened in my life which shaped and molded who I am. How I see the world, approach it and engage with it. It’s a fact that circumstances and life experiences shape you. Yet, how you respond, how you react – is all a choice. It may not feel like a choice when your emotions get ahold of you. When sorrow and grief grip your soul – it doest feel like a choice does it?
I’m here to confess my own immaturity and lack of trust. My own fear strained life that nips at my heels. The harder I seem to run from it, the quicker it tends to ensnare me. I mean really, who wants to admit they can’t do it all?
Oh wait, that’d be me.
You see, I am a fighter – it’s how I became a survivor. I rarely take “no” for an answer. I figure out a way. I press on. I rearrange my goals and chart a new course.
Survivors look to take the next step, scurry to climb the next knoll and take the next valley. It’s a fear filled reaction to the current situation – or to that which haunts you. Grief, shame, fear – feelings of insecurity and uncertainty can plague you. These are not feelings which empower and encourage you.
They entrap you.
I am the first to tell you it’s true – for I’ve been entrapped for years. Bound to the thoughts of what others think of me. Enslaved to the fears that gripped my soul protesting that I am not good enough. Caught in the crossfire of my deep lack of faith in who I truly am and who I was created to be.
Our identity and self concept can get twisted at such a young age, defining who we think we are based on the circumstances we find ourselves in. Our family units, our relationships and our experiences define and shape us. This is a psychological and sociological fact. Yet is it a spiritual fact?
Who am I?
The most basic question we find plaguing our souls. Countless books, sermons, blog posts beg to answer this question. Who am I? It’s the ageless and timeless question of humanity looking to uncover our soul. Maybe we are asking an uncertain question. Perhaps we should be asking who I am not.
I am not unworthy.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out, you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” Psalm 139:13-14
I am not a product of my past.
“Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun!” 2 Cor 5:17
I am not living under law.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
You see. Rather than being consumed by what I think, it’s beyond time I entrusted the deepest parts of me to the only One who can help redefine my spirit.
Because of who God is, I can then be worthy. Because of who God is I no longer have to be enslaved to my past. Because of who God is I am now under grace. Grace.
There is this thing about grace in my life. I might offer it to others. Share it with those in need. Profess it to the multitudes. Yet deny it to my own very soul. Rather than give myself grace, I heap upon my shoulders more than I can bare. Repeating the pattern that’s I’ve been running from all my life. I am truly my own worst enemy!
I am sitting here right along with you and confessing this truth. Not because of anything I am able to. Oh no. Frankly it’s because it’s who I am not.
I am not going to deny my sinful side. I am not going to refuse to confess the darkness inside. I am not going it allow it to control my heart.
I am not who you think I am.
And that’s okay -because I am His. I will never live up to the expectations that others place upon me, nor the ones I place upon myself. I am just whom God desires me to be – a woman seeking Him and embracing His presence.
So no matter what you might be facing today. What fear is enslaving you. What hope has been dashed from your soul. Rather than being consumed with who you are, grab ahold of who you are not. Flip your thoughts around. Do whatever you must. Feel the breaking shame on your back and expose it to the light of Jesus in His word.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
You are loved – that my friends, is always enough.
Scripture taken from:
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1984.
Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.
Scripture taken from The Voice™. Copyright © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.