Over the past few weeks I have been bombarded, in nearly every study I have been doing and books I have been reading, with the truth of who I am in Christ and who I was made to be. I did not realize it until a few days ago, but it seems like God is trying to tell me something. Something I really need to tune in and listen to.
Ephesians 1:5, 13 – he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
When I came to know Christ, almost a year ago, I did not know who I was or who He was for that matter. I was lost, with no clue how to get to where I needed to be. It’s like I was wandering in the mess I had made of my life and I did not know where to begin to get out. It seemed the more I tried to fix things, the worse I made them. It was a cycle…a cycle that I was trapped in.
Then, as a crazy turn of events, I met my dad. With his faith, he contradicted everything I had believed. And through a series of serious and life changing conversations, my dad led me to believe that this whole Christianity thing might not be so crazy after all.
Through another series of unexpected events, my mother-in-law led me to Celebrate Recovery. When I first showed up there, I was like, “Seriously, what am I doing here!!” The first lesson I heard at CR was on Sanity. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. It was when I heard that, that I realized there might be something wrong with me after all and maybe this program would be good for me. I felt like I had spent the previous 24 years of my life doing the same things over and over and over and over (you get the picture) and always expected something to be different. It never dawned on me that if I wanted things to change – I would have to change.
But the thought of me having to change terrified me. I did not like who I was or where I was headed, but changing meant facing the unknown and I did not know if I was ready for that. You see, my life had been built up of mask upon mask, and removing those masks terrified me because I did not know who was under there and what if, when all the masks were removed, I found out I hated that “me” just as much as I hated the masked “me”.
But God put some wonderful people in my life to help me through the scariest parts of the transition. As I began my Celebrate Recovery step study, I was forced to answer some hard questions about myself. I really had to look at myself and look to the core of my emotions and pent up feelings. It was quite overwhelming when I realized I had suppressed my feelings for the last 24 years and was forced to face them. I’ve never known how to deal with anger, sadness, frustration, betrayal, etc. For most of my life I just pushed those feelings away because I was afraid to feel them, but I was learning I had to feel them if I wanted to be healthy. So I processed through things that hurt me when I was 8 as well as things that hurt me just the week before. The feelings were all so fresh that is didn’t feel like there was any time lapse.
Throughout most of the journey, I struggled with who I was in Christ. I struggled with seeing myself as God sees me and not as the world sees me. I struggled with not being ashamed of myself and who I was because He isn’t ashamed of me. I struggled with realizing that He really could love me even after all I had done. But thankfully, God gave me a wonderful sponsor and spoke words of love and wisdom into my life. She helped me to see that I am loved and I am cherished by my Heavenly Father.
I never got to be “daddy’s little girl” growing up, and that is what I wanted more than anything else. And even though I now have a healthy relationship with my dad, a relationship that I wouldn’t change for anything, I will never be able to change those years of longing for him and I will never be able to go back in time and be “daddy’s little girl”. But what I now know is that it’s not too late to have that relationship with God. I am His daughter and He wants me to come to Him, as a child who just wants to crawl up in her daddy’s lap and know she is loved.
Psalm 68:5 – Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
Over the last year, specifically the last eight months, I have come through a tough battle with myself and drawn closer to God. I have cried, I have laughed, and I have felt more love that I ever knew existed toward me. I have learned who I am in Christ and I have been able to rest in that.
1 Thessalonians 1:4 – For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.
But now that I am nearing the end of my step study and planning to share my testimony and become a leader at Celebrate Recovery, I have been faced with a lie that I am not good enough. I have forgotten who I am in Him and for the last few weeks I have been faced with an immense amount of insecurity about who I am. I have really struggled with fear of becoming who I used to be, forgetting that Christ died so I could be set free from that slavery and because of Him, I now have the power to say no to temptation and turn away from my sin.
Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (What an amazing truth that I don’t have to EVER go back to where I was; He freed me from that.)
Thankfully though, God hasn’t given up on me and He still continues to show me more love and grace than I deserve. He continues to pour His blessing into my life. In the last few weeks, He has really been showing me that I am who He says I am, not who I believe myself to be. After all, He made me and He knows me better than I do, I’d rather believe and trust Him anyway.
Romans 8:17 – and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.