You are His… [Dream Again Day 11]

“We hide what we know or feel ourselves to be (which we assume to be unacceptable and unloveable) behind some kind of appearance which we hope will be more pleasing. We hide behind pretty faces which we put on for the benefit of our public. And in time we may even come to forget that we are hiding, and think that our assumed pretty face is what we really look like.” Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning

My mother had been a single mother since I was five. By sixteen, I was one, too. We needed help.

I remember the smells, and it’s not the ones I smelled as I walked the dumps of Guatemala. It’s the smells I smelled when I was 17 and a mama, and I boarded the city bus, with a toddler held tightly to one side of me while maneuvering clumsily a stroller on the other. I remember being scared, and hoping to go safely get from one place to another.

But what I remember most is how small I felt.

I remember standing in line, sandwiched between two strangers. We were all lined up on the side of that building — in line to get our food stamps. It was the in the cool of the morning, but the air was thick with more smells. Smells of urine and body odor, matted hair and dirty threads. I was scared to be standing there. I wanted to be anywhere but there. I stood there hoping, this time the person at the window was going to treat me like human being and not a deviant. After all, I was on welfare.

But what I remember most is how I felt less than human.

Fast forward 13 years, married and with more children by now. I was at a retreat, sitting in a hotel room, in a circle, with ladies from church.  A few were Indian style on the floor, and I was seated on the bed. I’m not sure how we got on the subject, but as I perched on the edge of the bed, clinging a little too tightly to the watch around my wrist, I said it.

“I feel better wearing this watch, as if I am somebody with it on.” It wasn’t one those watches that cost a few hundred dollars, but one of those that cost thousands. It was gift from my husband and with it I felt like, I’d arrived.

That lands on my list of “most embarrassing things” I’ve ever said.

For years before, I’d walk into a store in the mall, weighted by judging eyes, and ignored by sales associates. Perhaps it was my ethnicity. Perhaps it was because I was such a young mom. Or perhaps it was just me. Years later, I was still dealing with the feelings of inferiority. Wearing this watch, I clung to it and assigned it’s value to my own.

As a Christian women, the purse I carried, what wrapped my wrist, what hung on my ears, and the heels that lifted me counted, too. Counted in the equation of adding up to my worth.

I have come a long way from that place. I think nothing of wearing boots from Goodwill, a top from Plato’s Closet and bottoms from off the clearance rack at Target. The designer purses that once draped my shoulders and made me feel a bit more noble, sit on a shelf in boxes as dust collectors. The watch, the one I clung so hard to and found value in, the one that is famous and doesn’t even keep time, sits most of its days on the bathroom counter. Though I am grateful for the heart of the man who gave it to me, I prefer a $10 vintage silver bangle on my wrist. I where it for me, not anyone else.

I cannot base my worth on how little or how much I have. And the words that Paul spoke, lead me in knowing the source of all my sufficiency is in Christ. Like Paul, I have learned, “how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.”

Philippians 4:12-13 AMP

The enemy will use anything he can to take our eyes off of the One who defines our true value. The One in whose image we are made. The devil knows, if we really knew who we were in God, as heirs of God’s Kingdom, there is nothing that will be impossible for us.

“Satan’s greatest psychological weapon is a gut level feeling of inferiority, inadequacy, and low self-worth. This feeling shackles many Christians, in spite of wonderful spiritual experiences and knowledge of God’s Word. although they understand their position as sons and daughters of God, they are tied up in knots bound by a terrible feeling of inferiority, and chained to a deep sense of worthlessness.”Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning

Sometimes we desire to present a perfect image so every one will admire us. The truth is, if we do, no one will ever really know us. And our truest selves can become hidden to even our own-self. God knows the real us, and loves us anyway. No matter what we own, where we live, the size of our house, or bank accounts, the number followers or likes. No matter our outer appearance, our title or our status. No matter our educations, our background, or our occupation. And the “no matter” list is infinite. No matter what, our true identity should be defined as someone who is passionately, fiercely, and radically loved by God. Any other identity serves as a counterfeit.

When we really know who we are and understand that we are accepted by God, then we can walk in confidence, secure in the realization of our significance in God’s eyes.

FREE PRINTABLE: You are HIS…

Write It Out: Will you take your writing place out and be honest answering this question, if you need to be? Have you ever felt inferior or judged by the value of your possessions or your status? Did you assert that value as your own? Have you, possibly, also judged others by the same measure? I have, and for that have repented.

Say it Loud: “Even as, in His love, He chose us (Me: YOUR NAME ) actually picked us (Me: YOUR NAME ) out for Himself, as His own in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we (I: YOUR NAME) should be holy, consecrated and set apart for Him, and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (Me: YOUR NAME ) destined us (Me: YOUR NAME), planned in love for us (Me: YOUR NAME ) to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will, because it pleased Him and was His kind intent. So, that we (I: YOUR NAME ) might be to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace, favor and mercy, which He so freely bestowed on us (Me: YOUR NAME ) in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

“In Him we (I: YOUR NAME ) also were made, God’s heritage, portion, and we (I: YOUR NAME) obtained an inheritance; for we (I: YOUR NAME ) had been foreordained, chosen and appointed beforehand in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His own will, So that we (I: YOUR NAME ) who first hoped in Christ, who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory!” (Ephesians 1:11-12)

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Dream Again Series:


Continue Reading: 
Dream Again Day 12

Read: Dream Again Day 1

Read: Dream Again Day 2

Read: Dream Again Day 3

Read: Dream Again Day 4

Read: Dream Again Day 5

Read: Dream Again Day 6

Read: Dream Again Day 7

Read: Dream Again Day 8

Read: Dream Again Day 9

Read: Dream Again Day 10

  • Lorna

    “And our truest selves can become hidden to even our own-self. God knows the real us, and loves us anyway.” This was part of my testimony on being bullied. I had buried myself so deeply from others that I didn’t even know myself anymore. And daily I am amazed that the Lord KNOWS my TRUEST self and He loves me anyway ?!?! AMAZING!

  • http://theheartofashley.blogspot.com/ Ashley Ditto

    Your writing is so amazing, this touched my heart tonight. Bless you!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Ditto,

      Thank you for saying so! Only God… truly. 🙂 Blessings to you, my friend.

  • http://www.havingsomeworkdone.blogspot.com Vicky

    There is so much truth in what you say in this post. it is refreshing that you write from the other side of the struggle. It is encouraging to know that “things” can loose their value but that we never loose ours.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Vicky,

      Thank you for saying so! You blessed me tonight! 🙂

  • http://www.findingheaventoday.com Jen Ferguson

    Oh, friend. This is so about sisterhood. It’s about the desire to be authentic, to show each other who we really are, and to not act like the world by hiding behind our masks and our things. It’s about really loving each other and learning to love ourselves…as God loves us.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jen,

      Wow! You just took my breath away! This made me feel so loved and encouraged and humbled and grateful. Thank you. I appreciate you!

      with love,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://gg-notesonthejourney.blogspot.com Glenda Childers

    I was wanting to comment on your link to the Soli Sisters and couldn’t find the way to do it. So am commenting here. Thanks so much for sharing this part of your story.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Glenda,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such sweet words. 🙂

  • maria melendez

    Michele,

    It’s crazy that after so many years of knowing Christ, the layers of our truest selves are just beginning to show. The process is not pretty, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is the very thing that is polishing our vessels. Thanks for showing all of your colors that we may find our own.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Maria,

      I love it when I see you peak in here! Yes and amen to the truth of what you wrote! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to me! Love you!

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie

    I could have stopped at the first quote. God was already speaking to me. I said it out loud, the prayer at the end. When will the feelings come with the words. Oh friend, how I struggle to know I am truly His, and loved for who I am. Why wouldn’t I be? I made me. Is it wrong for me to want to feel this love. But I choose to believe, through tears, I believe!!!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Barbie,

      I was in prayer meeting last night and had you heavy on my heart. I am praying for you and with you for His Word to do the work in your heart. I don’t know why there is a chasm, at times, between what we know to be truth and then live it as a reality in our life. I may be getting to deep into theology in saying this, but for me, it has taken a spiritual deliverance, one that comes by the Spirit of God to abolish strongholds the enemy has established in our life, in our thinking and in our souls. But Christ came to set us free!

      I love you for sharing so honestly. I may not always be able to reply, but you are in my thoughts, near daily. I love you, friend.

  • http://runningthisthingcalledlife.com Jennifer Peterson

    Love this and so true we hide behind our pretty faces or things our hubby’s so graciously give us…. Thank you for the encouragement that I don’t need to hide.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jennifer,

      You have been such a sweet friend and encourager through this series. Thank you! Although, no pressure to continue. What you have done already has blessed me!