“Who are you?” She asked again, gently.
It emerged in the course of our session that I had no idea who I was. I only defined myself by my roles.
I had a great childhood. The greatest bit of my childhood wasn’t really the playing with the neighbourhood baby squad, going out to all sorts of fun places with my family or awesome TV even if they were all wonderful. My favourite part of growing up was the fact that I was an exceptionally brilliant kid, in school. I noticed everyone gave me affirmation around my performance. So I grew up believing that if I was any kind of good, it was only because I was gifted, academically.
I carried this mindset into my adulthood.
Check my bio. I’m a mother. I’m a counsellor. I’m a pastor.
“If you didn’t have those roles, who would you be?” She asked.
I stared blankly at her.
“What do you like about yourself?”
“That I’d really like to be a decent mother, an effective pastor and have deep and meaningful relationships”
She laughed. “What you like, not what you’d like”
“Is there anything about you that you like about you that’s not tied to what you do?”
I thought about it for a second, “uhhmm…maybe. I don’t know, my son?”
“Honey, is it possible that you’re healing lies in discovering who you are in God? The day you find that revelation, everything will change in an instant.”
It’s a strange thing. We spend a lot of our time, thinking we’re dealing with negative words spoken against us by other people, and yet most times, everything from the outside can only break us if it finds a witness from within. A broken marriage had become a make of failure in every area of my life. Everything I heard, saw or felt, I checked against this failure.
It seems like a good thing to peg who we are on how we perform but it’s a mirage, a fallacy. As long as you are on earth, you are bound to fail at more than one thing. It was very hard for me to believe what didn’t work out isn’t who I am. But that’s because I was looking for affirmation from myself, my own sharpest critic.
In the words of Timothy Keller, “if our identity is in our work, rather than in Christ, success will go to our heads, and failure will go to our hearts.”
God made you. He made you perfect for Him. He put in you a treasure for his own enjoyment! He placed in you great value, to build up this world. He made you his plan for the advancement of his kingdom. You are God’s secret weapon, fire, wind, earth, light, spice, a well, a wonder, majesty, an oracle. You are the decree of The King, the manifestation of His creative power, the epistle of His wondrous works, the chosen one. There’s nothing about you that’s bland or ordinary. God marked you from before the foundations of the earth to solve a unique problem in this world.
God thinks highly of you, He speaks highly of you and will not hold any of His limitless resources back where you’re involved. Your success and the fulfilment of your purpose on earth is of paramount importance to him and matters to him more than it matters to you. You mean everything to him.
Before you could do or say anything that could possibly please God, He poured His life, His essence and an entire fortune into you. Who you are is not a function of what you do. But what you do is the materialization of your revelation about your identity.
He created many things, but you are his masterpiece. He made you for greatness, but fruitfulness is a nature issue, not a result of toil.
My life slowly started taking shape after great tragedy not because time heals everything, and not because I slowly started to regain my strength but because God tugged on my heart until I agreed to look into His eyes, and see how He sees me. I saw lots of emotion, love, pride, tenderness, kindness, forgiveness, and security. In His eyes, I saw I wasn’t condemned. In His eyes, I saw great compassion from someone that thinks I’m beautiful, strong, delicate, passionate and a force!
His light flooded my heart and began to shatter falsehoods.
I finally started to see that I wasn’t just a pile of brokenness with no hope but I was a wounded soldier, with battle scars, sword in hand, 1,000 on my side and 10,000 at my right hand. Every single giant that had sought to kill me- asthma, depression, low self-esteem, sin, unhealthy choices, dysfunction; I SLAY!!
For we are God’s MASTERPIECE. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10