Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mistaken Identity

Weak, selfish and never enough were the words often used to describe me growing up. Imagine my surprise when I found out it wasn't true, in reality it couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Recently, while reading The Monster at the End of this Book to my son it dawned on me how similar my story is. In the book, Grover, from Sesame Street questions the title of the book with terror, “Did that say there will be a monster at the end of this book?” Throughout the rest of the story he is trying to keep the reader from turning pages using various methods, begging, building a wall and tying pages together, to no avail. He lets the reader know he is terrified of monsters. On the next to last pages he politely begs the reader to not turn the final page, so they don’t have to get to the monster at the end of the book.

For much of my life I tried to avoid being those things that were spoken over me often and my identity became a burden. Those things didn’t resonate with me, but they affected me every time I heard them, so it became my mission to prove people wrong.

The greatest lie of the pit is that you have to prove yourself. - Ann Voskamp, in foreward to Rebekah Lyons You Are Free

I wasn’t weak, I was strong. I could handle anything and anyone. No one could cramp my style or spirit.

I wasn’t selfish, I would give until I had nothing left. I could give all I had and give more if that wasn’t enough.

I wasn't enough. I would be perfect. If I work hard enough, do enough and give enough, it will be enough.

Turns out, I was wrong.

Turns out, they were wrong.

I am weak, which is why I need a Savior.

I am selfish, which is why I need a Savior.

I am enough because I have a Savior.

Because my identity was not rooted in Him and what He says about me, I built it on what those closest to me had to say. Unfortunately, they were all ways they kept me stuck in our dysfunctional family system. I was like a trained puppy.
Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! Romans 6:6 The MSG
"You’re weak" - so I’d act strong.

"You’re selfish" - so I’d do more.

"You're not enough" - so I’d give up.

It became the worst of self-fulfilling prophecies.
I hated those things so much I started to hate myself. There were many times, I too was afraid of who I was--a monster.
Layer by layer I am becoming more of who He created me to be. Doing less and becoming more.

Believing I was weak made me self-sufficient in the worst of ways. Always trying to prove I could do it myself. It made me tired and left me isolated. As I grow and learn more about who I am and who He is, I realize there really is very little He requires.

Adopting the belief that I was selfish made me feel “bad” all the time, so in order to feel good I had to give my all, especially when others gave nothing because I dreaded the accusations. When I listen to His voice and do what He says I can trust I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

In and of myself I am nothing, but in Him I am enough because He is all I need.

I adopted things that were said to me by people who were supposed to love and protect me because I didn't know Him. I didn't know He had a plan for me. It has taken a lifetime to realize they do not determine my identity or even get to decide who or what I am. The best part of my story is He has used it all for my good and His glory. 
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossions 2:9-10 NIV
Like Grover, I didn’t want to get to the end of the book because I was afraid of “monsters” and in my mind the "monster" was me, because I had been trained to believe that what others said about me was true. It took years of healthy experiences to counteract all the lies. It took hearing the Father’s heart to believe what He says about me. It took Him healing my heart, so I could be what He created me to be.

When Grover finally appears at the end of the book he says, “Well, look at that! This is the end of the book and the only one here is ME. I lovable, furry, old Grover am the monster at the end of this book.” And that is kind of how I felt the other day reading it, “Well, look at that, the only one here is me, lovable, ‘ol me.”

You may not like yourself, you may even hate yourself like I did, but don’t let that be the end of the story. Keep turning pages until you get to the last page and when you get there you might realize you are lovable too.

No comments:

Post a Comment