Who are you?
Many of us tend to look at our past mess-ups and failures and think we can never be good enough. Questions flood through our mind like the following:
I’m unlikable because …
I’m the way I am because…
I’m a failure because…
I’m ugly because…
I’m a loser because…
Can I just say we must STOP making excuses and START living the way God wants us to live. When Jesus is our Lord, we are victors – we are children of the King of Kings!
Through this series Becoming What I Came To Be that I started back in January, I’ve attempted to be as straightforward and honest as I can about issues that have been a real struggle for me personally to overcome. Not that I’ve totally mastered them, mind you!
And yes, I do believe how we were raised definitely shapes how we grow up and who we become. At times it can be good, bad or ugly – but we have a choice on whether to break the cycle or not. We must stop making excuses.
Let me go back and briefly remind you of a few personal struggles – and then tell you how God has spoken to me:
1) Kindness: When I was young I rarely showed kindness. As a matter of fact, instead of being thankful for the few friends I had, I used them instead. I used them to get what I wanted – what I deemed was the best for me. It didn’t matter if they got hurt, as long as I got the upper hand.
God in His mercy taught me: I need to get rid of all the malice and bitterness I have in my heart – just as He has shown me kindness beyond my comprehension, so must I be kind to others (Ephesians 4:17-32).
2) Forgiveness: When you experience hurt after hurt, the last thing you want to think about is forgiving those who hurt you! I blamed my mother for years after my dad suffered an emotional breakdown and disappeared from our lives. I also carried grudges at anyone “I” thought had hurt me. My goal? How can I get them back and hurt them like they hurt me?
God in His mercy taught me: If I fail to forgive others for their offenses, He will fail to forgive me for those same offenses. He knows the hurts I’ve endured, so I must trust Him (Matthew 18:21-35).
3) Love: We all need to be loved, but if we don’t feel loved, where can we go to find it? I felt so alone after my dad disappeared – and so insecure – that I looked for love in other men. It didn’t work, as time and again I would get hurt. Couldn’t someone just love me?
God in His mercy taught me: There is only One who will ever love me unfailingly, and His name is Jesus. He died for me, and chose me to join His family. And He did this fully knowing my flaws and insufficiencies (Romans 5:6-11)!
4) Peace: What was peace, and where could it be found? I turned to alcohol and drugs in my quest for peace, but once the “highs” wore off the turmoil and insecurities would come back. Again I’d feel like a loser.
God in His mercy taught me: The only way to find true peace is to keep my eyes on Jesus as He is the giver of peace. This world is full of trouble and pain, but Jesus is preparing a special place just for me, and when the time is right He will come and take me to it (John 14:1-4, 27)!
5) Evil: What started out as silly when my best friend told me her mother and aunt were witches, turned into horror. When you allow your mind to be opened to things not of God, the enemy (Satan) has a field day. Terror plagued me on and off for many years – and still today some memories are way too vivid.
God in His mercy taught me: Guarding my heart and mind is something I should never take for granted. The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, just waiting for a weak moment in which to attack. He knows my every weakness, so I must stay fully alert, and keep on my spiritual armor (1 Peter 5:8-9, Ephesians 6:11-18).
6) Honor & Integrity: Even after falling in love and marrying my husband, I still had a hard time getting rid of my mindset of how I needed to be “the best of the best.” It didn’t matter whose toes I had to step on to get to where I thought I should be.
God in His mercy taught me: Be careful, because I’ll reap what I sow. There have been many times where I’ve gotten caught in my backstabbing, and have been brought to shame. When I work to please just myself I’m going to eventually fail (Galatians 6:7-8).
7) Humility: To be truly humble is probably one of the hardest things us humans have to deal with. We all want to be noticed, we all want what “we” think is best. But thankfully for me the day came when my eyes were opened as to what was really important, which was Jesus. Unfortunately that day didn’t come until we lost our 2 year-old son.
God in His mercy taught me: Even when things appear bleaker than bleak, we can still feel joy, happiness and love. Because of my surrender to Jesus I now know that heaven is coming for me one day, and I’ll be seeing my precious children again. God lifts me up when I remember life is all about Him, not me (James 4:7-10).
Friends, we all have a choice – we must break the cycle if we want to be victorious! Jesus is right beside us, and will catch us when we fall. He knows every single one of our weaknesses, but loves us unconditionally. Nothing is too awful for Him not to forgive when we come to Him with open surrendered hearts!
I pray this series has made you realize how special you are – but most importantly, has made you realize that Jesus loves you more than you can imagine…
Would love to hear your thoughts!