Did you ever get the feeling that everyone else got an owner’s manual for life, but it must have been handed out on a day you were absent from school, and you didn’t get a copy? Things that should have been absolute and finished by this stage of life still feel like they are continually under construction. The truth is I am grateful for the journey as I learn something new every day and although I prefer sunny days, I can find gratitude on rainy days also. For anyone who knows me well, you know I struggle with an identity crisis that occurred early in my life when my mother, a person who should have loved and nurtured me, told me that she not only didn’t want me, but she already had the daughter that she wanted. This set me up for a lifetime of feeling like I was left alone on the outside of my family.
That sent me on a journey of trying to find acceptance and trying to attain perfection, which of course eludes even the best of us. I strove to be the best student, get the best grades, got two college degrees but it didn’t change anything at home. Along the way though, I did find perfection, the perfect love of Jesus Christ. I did find acceptance, as I know that I don’t have to do anything to earn the love of God and there is nothing I can do that would lose His love.
I always lived in fear that I wasn’t enough, that I was a block of Swiss cheese with too many holes and everyone else was a wheel of Brie. Do you know what causes the holes to form in Swiss Cheese? It is carbon dioxide given off by tiny microorganisms within the cheese. Cheesemakers don’t actually call them holes, they call them eyes, and in fact if Swiss cheese forms without eyes, cheesemakers call it “blind” Swiss. So, I can conclude that I am indeed a block of Swiss with many holes due to the breath that God has placed in my lungs, and He has given me eyes to see good even in the people that were too blind to see my worth. How did I find faith in a household that was so bizarrely unloving? God placed me on a journey to Himself that starting at the age of four. I would get dressed and sit outside my house on a Sunday morning and whoever in the neighborhood was going to church, I would climb in their car as if I was a member of their family. I am so grateful for those neighbors who willingly took me to their varied churches where I heard the gospel and felt the love of God, and love in general, for the first time in my life.
What has stirred these feelings up at this stage of life and when will I walk in healing and freedom? The truth is that I have a wonderful marriage to Mark for more than 30 years; two amazing, accomplished, and beautiful daughters; I am the director of the most special and wonderful preschool, so why are these feelings still coming up? The answer is that my mother died last year and that leaves so many feelings that are left unresolved. But the truth of my worth and identity lies in what I know that God says about me. I am loved (I John 4:16 “We know and rely on the love God has for us”), I am chosen (John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit), I am blessed (Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him). I choose to praise God, I choose to walk in His Love, and I choose to trust that He loves me more than I can ever think or imagine. If anyone is struggling with a crisis of identity, go to scripture and find the love that conquers all. 1 John 4: 18 says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
God’s love wins!
Psalm 67: 1-2 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us-
So that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.