I have a big birthday coming up next month, and I’ve had a lot of angst anticipating this birthday. I think what the Lord is showing me is that I have an unrealistic view of what “this age” looks like. I’ve set up a standard that I should have it all together, my life figured out by now, and I’ve been panicking because I don’t. The truth is that it’s never going to happen on this earth. Perfection comes after this life, when I’m revealed in Christ to be fully myself, the one he created me to be. That’s what sanctification is, and on this earth I’m still in process.
The last couple of days I was struggling to get out of a pit, lamenting the fact that here I was again. In my time with the Lord, I sensed him tell me, “I love you whether you’re healed or not.” I’m thinking if Jesus loves me just as I am, shouldn’t I love myself that way too? If I place a higher standard on myself than the Lord does, is that not idolatry? Because it’s saying, “I know better than you, God.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t desire to be healed and seek Christ for it. The truth is that because of those wounded places in my heart, I’m driven to seek him more earnestly, and my intimacy with him grows. Our broken places are where we often have the strongest encounters with the Lord. And then out of those places where I’ve been broken and experienced healing, he can use me to be a vessel of compassion and understanding, offering hope to those with similar struggles.
So the challenge that I’m taking up and offering to you is to thank God for every struggle and see it as not just a place that needs to be “fixed,” but a place where we can encounter Jesus. Sometimes it’s very hard to connect in those places because the pain is too great. But we can whisper, “Jesus, come and get me. Be with me here,” and he’s right there. He always has been. He was with us when we were first wounded in that place.
Let’s recognize that there are little girls in us that have been broken, and when they are triggered, they hurt. They cry. They are “stuck” in the space and time where the original wounding took place. We should ask Jesus to minister to them, yes, but we can also minister to them ourselves, from our core soul. We do that by loving them and treating them as very valuable parts of ourselves because they are. When we stop and recognize that the pain that put us in a pit is coming from a different part of ourselves, we are on the path to healing.
I’m now excited about my upcoming birthday and what God has in store for me in this new chapter. And I am at peace knowing all I ever have to be is who he made me to be. These are words from an old Amy Grant song that speaks to my heart, and I’ll leave them with you:
When the weight of all my dreams is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope have all been nicely said
But I’m still hurting, wondering if I’ll ever be the one
I think I am…I think I am.
Then you gently re-remind me that you made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best, the more I get the worse.
And I realize the good in me
Is only there because of who you are…who you are
And all I ever have to be is what you’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step out of your plan
As you daily recreate me, let me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be…all I have to be
All I ever have to be is what you’ve made me.
(“All I Ever Have to Be,” Amy Grant)