(Originally published on January 18, 2014.)
It’s odd, really, the way we define ourselves in terms of what we do and who we know. Daughter of these parents…accountant for this firm…mother of this child…horse-lover…nurse…artist…wife…good cook…best friend. We spend our whole lives looking for where we fit in, searching for the labels that will tell us who we are and make us feel good about ourselves….and then hanging onto those for dear life, because what if we lose those definitions and have nothing left? I guess when we come into this world under the proud gaze of two young parents, the first label is already waiting for us with the name they choose, and it never even occurs to us to stop collecting as we go, to step back and question the whole mind-set.
But we who know the Creator have a larger picture to consider, because our lives are not bounded and defined by what happens on this earth. Long before we were laid in our parents’ arms, Someone dreamed us up and designed us down to the smallest detail, saw all of our decisions in all of our days, knew what we would do and who we would become, chose where to put us down into those parents’ arms. “I am God’s workmanship. I am valuable to God.” He who calls all the stars by name and holds them in their places knows the real me– the person I am on the inside– and loves me for that, just because He made me. “I am God’s treasure. I am capable.” And we who know the Savior have an identity that He gives us– Truth to live by that is so much bigger than what we do, or who we know. “I am forgiven. I am free. I am being transformed. I am welcome in Gods’ presence.” Because when you know God for Who He really is, you can begin to know yourself for who you really are.
There is stability in knowing who you are on the inside, in laying aside the outside labels that come and go, that may be ill-fitting and even destructive, or may not ever fully materialize the way we wish they would. There is a freedom in being who God made you to be, laying down the worry about what others want you to be. There is security in knowing you are completely loved, no matter whether you succeed or fail.
And when we go around the room and read these truths to one another, I see it on each face, hear it in the voices soft and reverent: the power of Truth to nourish souls. “I am a new creation. I am gifted with power, love, and a sound mind. I am an heir of God. I am God’s delight.”
The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.
Before the throne of God above,Before the Throne of God Above, Bob Kauflin
I have a strong and perfect plea;
A great High Priest whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands;
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heav’n He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart…