This whole blog site thingy is new to me, but I know I love to write, and feel it’s my best outlet. There will many times you will read this blog and it’s purely for me…sorry about that. My hope and prayer is that when you read these blogs, you’ll feel loved and encouraged.
Just to give you a little history and background of myself, I grew up in a wonderful, loving family, centered in a belief in God. My family was known in our little town and I carried many identities. Most of them were natural…like a daughter, friend, sister, leader, singer…the ones we all carry from the time of birth. Naturally, because of my love for music and creative outlets, performing was very natural for me. I think there is such a thing as healthy performance that comes in the package of accountability. It was my privilege and honor to bless my parents with the decisions I made. There was an expectation on my behavior, and it was a good thing. Many expectations were put on me, some healthy, some not so healthy…at no fault of anyone, but my own. It’s who I became. I became this girl who loved people and loved God and just longed to be accepted by everyone. I think all of us feel that way sometime or another. I hated feeling that someone was disappointed in me. I hated knowing that I had let someone down, so I ran around just trying to make everyone happy with me.
When I moved to Tulsa to go to ORU, I came to the realization that nobody knew me. Nobody knew my family, or what I was good at…it was a fresh and clean start. I remember just begging God to make me something new…something He would be proud of and someone I could be proud of. So I did a lot of things. I made a lot of good decisions, which was great, but it quickly became an identity and this offering I would give to God…like, “here you go, I’ve done what I’m supposed to do, please be proud of me.” That’s how the world works, right? We do what were supposed to and then there is reward. I did it right. I did the right things, so naturally I felt God’s love and acceptance…like He was proud of me. I found satisfaction in doing the things of God, behaving in all the right ways. It made me feel validated and worthy of God’s love.
But what happens when you don’t do the right thing, and you aren’t proud of yourself? All the guilt and condemnation from the enemy and people who are hurt, become this identity you strap on. The shame, the doubt in yourself and most importantly in the love of God. All I believed of God came to a screeching hault when I had nothing to offer Him, but me…no good thing, no right decision, nothing but little ole me, totally ripped apart. It was there that I found God. I was stripped of everything, good and bad, that I had accepted as myself, all of it was gone. I was left staring at this God I had claimed as the love of my life, hanging my head in shame, begging Him to love me again…to be proud of me again. All the while, He never loved me for what I did or what I had to offer, He just loved me. I’m moved to tears every time I think about His love that has no conditions.
I’ve slowly moved back into a place of leadership and singing again, and the desire’s of my heart have changed. It’s not longer about me, in fact I’m scared to death to think about me…all I want to stay in tact is my identity of being HIS. That may sound cliche, but think of who you are and what your represent and if EVERYTHING was stripped away from you, could you cling on and survive with the simple, precious gift of being His. That’s all that matters. It’s taken me a while, but I’m proud of who I am…but none of it compares to His love. He pointed me out and still claimed me as His, when many couldn’t and shouldn’t have.
I guess I just want you to feel encouraged and even challenged, to simply get to know your God. He longs to love on you, for you and nothing you have to offer. He’ll slowly start building your identity up in healthy, wonderful ways. It’s so easy to grasp for dear life for the things that make us feel good, that help us escape, that feed those gross parts of our flesh. Let those things go…rejoice in the fact that you’re HIS and that’s all that matters.
you encouraged me tonight….i am much older than you, but i still struggle so much with who i am in Christ. thanks for sharing.
Very nice, thank you for sharing! I am thinking everyone can relate to this, God bless you!
Thanks for sharing this, Noelle.