I can’t make the words come the way I want to. I’ve tried. I want them to be pretty. I want to be poetic. I want to tell my story in such a way that it unfolds beautifully. But the story is beautiful anyway – no matter how I tell it – because He is redeeming it. Everything the Lord puts His hands on becomes beautiful. So I am just going to tell you like I would if I were sitting at the end of your couch alternately clutching a pillow and talking with my hands.
When I left the flock I lost my identity. I didn’t know who I was or what I believed. I could quote all the “right” doctrines. And tell you precisely how scripture “should” be interpreted – with no small amount of cynicism. The only solid thing I had to stand on was the cross. I could not deny it’s transforming power in my life and I clung to it.
For several months I was paralyzed with fear to approach any spiritual topic, to read the bible, to do anything that required independent thinking. I believed a lie that I would become the worst version of myself by leaving the flock. I worried that by walking away from certain relationships, I was walking away from Jesus. I worried that I would self-fulfill the prophecy of rebellion, heresy, and immaturity. I was slow to realize that none of those fears materialized.
At 24 years old I am starting over. The simplest truths completely wreck me. A few refrains of “Jesus Loves Me” and I’m a puddle of tears. It’s baffling to me. I’ve been following Christ since I was a small child – you would think I’d know these things by now. For the first time in my life I’m experiencing humility that isn’t forced or full of shame.
I’m getting my identity back. Several weeks ago my pastor at the church I’m attending abandoned his sermon to follow the Lord’s prompting and invited us to wrestle with God as we felt led. I began to pray, not knowing where to begin. Gently the Lord put his finger on the lies that I have believed about my identity. He unraveled the fear. And told me in no uncertain terms that I belong to Him. I belong to Him alone. This is truth that no man can touch or take away from me. I can stop fighting, stop making excuses and simply believe Him.
Psalm 73 has been an anchor for me in many ways the last few months.
|Psalm 73:21-26 NLT|
I still desire Him more than anything on earth. He is the strength of my heart –He is mine forever. I cling to this truth, this promise. No one will take it away.