I once saw this poster for a church that said “I know He is but what am I?”. I didn’t go to the church and I never got to hear their answer to that question. But it got me thinking…
I know that God is our Father and that He loves us. I know that He is holy. I know that He is all powerful. But what am I? Because I’m not holy. I’m not all powerful. I can barely color inside the lines. I fail. I don’t know everything. I’m weak.
Before I really knew who God was I would describe myself as average: not pretty but not ugly, not talented, not worthy, a failure, not good enough, not strong enough. And I didn’t think anybody understood what it’s like.
That’s what I always told myself. But now I feel like I’m not the only one. After hearing about some of your struggles, I see that the theme is common. We don’t know who we are. We are in pain because we AREN’T acting like who we really are. We’re confused. We want to give up.
So who are you?
If God loves us -if God is love- then you are just that. Loved. If God is our Father who loves us then who are you? You are a BELOVED son or daughter of God.
So I might not look like a supermodel. I might not do well in school. I might not be able to sew a dress. I might not be able to resist temptation. And I might be alone. But we were never intended to conform to a certain image and become a supermodel. We were intended to bring glory to God, to be loved.
We all go through this identity crisis. We don’t know who we are and we don’t know why we are here. We struggle.
Some of the struggles you told me about were that you:
1. Felt unworthy
2. Felt alone
3. Felt broken (emotionally, physically, mentally)
4. Felt like a failure
5. Felt weak
So let me go back to my list of might-not’s. I might not succeed at everything but God does. He is all powerful. And He loves us so He wants to help us! So I might not be strong enough to resist temptation, but He is. If I seek His help, He can lend me His strength to overcome temptation. I might not be able to sew a dress like I want to but He can help me. He can help in ALL things. So when you feel unworthy, He loves you. And if you seek Him, He will lend His worthiness to help you. So when you feel alone, He will send His comforter and be with you. When you feel broken, He will help you. Whether it is to open up to someone, to travel, to overcome a disability.
We are the ones that God loves and wants to help. That’s who you are.
God heals. He puts the broken things in this world back together. When we are worn, He reworks the fabric. When we are shattered, He puts the pieces back together and makes us new. Because He loves us. Sometimes we think healing has to come in a certain way. We have our own picture in our mind of how the pieces fit together and then we claim God has put the puzzle together wrong. That He hasn’t healed us. But maybe we don’t know what the puzzle is supposed to look like at the end, only He does. So we push him away when He comes to heal. You are the one He wants to heal.
Our identity doesn’t lie in anything that we do. Thank God. Because my love fails. I’m not the Mel who loves God, because sometimes my love isn’t strong enough. My heart is weak. But His love is strong. I’m Mel, the one who God loves. And that will never change. That is my eternal identity. So your love for God is failing? It’s alright. That doesn’t define you. His love does. And if your love for God isn’t strong, He wants to help you love Him. He can lend you His heart.
If God loves us then why do we feel all this pain?
When I was 8, I played the piano. I was trying to learn this song to play for my Grandma. I wanted to show her how awesome I had gotten. I played that song over and over again in our living room. And the neighbors would walk by and smile at me. They saw me and couldn’t help but “aww” (I was a cute kid. Don’t know what happened since then.) And then they would proceed to tell me things like “That was amazing!”, “You’re so good!”, and “You’re the best 8 year old pianist ever!”. (I watch Ellen. I know they lied about that last one.) They really cared about me, right? They just didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Well it turned out, I ruined that song. I hadn’t checked the key signature and was playing the wrong notes.I wonder now how I didn’t notice the notes were wrong. But I didn’t know how the song was supposed to go. I thought it was supposed to sound the way I was playing it. I still remember when my older brother came in and sat next to me. He told me that I had made a mistake and needed to look at the key signature. He said the song didn’t sound as pretty when you played the wrong notes.
I cried. I was so angry. I was embarrassed. Nobody likes being called out on their mistakes. I was hurt. But my brother loved me enough to hurt me to help me. Does that make sense?
He wanted me to be able to improve and play the song right. He knew how it was supposed to go and wanted me to learn to play it like that. And funny thing is, the guy that brought the tears was the one who gave me a big hug.
God does that. He loves us so He lets us hurt in order to help us.
Isn’t that so cool? It all comes down to knowing who God is and who you are. Once you know that, there is no need to worry. Because you will feel hurt, you will feel abandoned, you will fail. But that isn’t who you are. God is love. And you are loved.