Image shows a lady looking in the mirror
Testimony

Who You Say I Am

‘I give it all to you God, trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me’

I stood at the back of church, tears streaming down my face, as I struggled to sing these words. I couldn’t comprehend how God could make something beautiful out of me when I was this useless to Him.

I have struggled with my identity in Christ for a long time, but I thought I had cracked it, believed it even, until this summer when I started some therapy for stress. This turned into an exhausting and releasing process; I learned a lot about myself and why I was so stressed and I spent a while beating myself up about it.

Along the way to healing, I discovered that I had not cracked my beliefs about my identity.
I had merely covered over them with smiles and proclaiming to people that I was a child of God.
I knew all the right words to say, but I didn’t truly believe them.

I couldn’t sing words that meant I believed God could make something beautiful out of me. I couldn’t receive a compliment without cringing. I couldn’t accept that I was good at anything. That I was worth anything to God. That my friends truly wanted to hang out with me because they liked me.
I felt inadequate constantly, especially at work, in my new(ish) role as a team leader.

I realised that I hadn’t cracked any of my identity issues when my therapist asked me to be kind to myself at the end of each session. ‘But why? I don’t deserve to be kind to myself,’  I thought to myself. She would tell me that I am great.
I couldn’t believe her.

What made me believe such lies? What makes me believe I’m any less valuable than anyone else? How had I got this wrong for so long? Why do I spend so long striving for perfection and to please others and never put myself first?
It’s all because I didn’t believe I was worth it.
It breaks my heart, now.

At the end of one therapy session, I was asked to speak to myself kindly, to at least stop speaking so badly of myself. When I struggled, she asked me what I thought Jesus would say to me, about me, when I was giving myself a hard time. She reminded me that the bible tells us to love one another as we love ourselves… and that means that we have to love ourselves!

I was completely stuck. I couldn’t think of the words that Jesus would say about me. I tried to write a list. It became a blank piece of paper. I wound up writing down the words of “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. I couldn’t quite believe them yet. I’d built a habit of listening to this song on repeat every time I felt I didn’t have the ability to get through the day, because I felt so inadequate. By the end of the day I had managed to write that I was loved, I was strong, I was chosen.

That day, was the beginning of my turning into the road to finding my identity. Finding it in a way that I will hopefully take with me forever.

You may ask, how did I find my way back to my identity?

I sought truth until it hurt

I read the bible every day. I found a version that spoke such beautiful truth to me that I started to believe it. I spent time finding passages that told me who I was in God. I clung to them.

Verses I found:

1 Thessalonians 1:4 – ‘Dear brothers and sisters, you are dearly loved by God and we know that He has chosen you to be His very own.’

WOW! God has chosen ME, to be his. Sometimes, when my mind gets in the way of the truth, it’s hard to remember, but it is truth. God has chosen me, he loves me as his very own, despite all of my inadequacies and failures. He loves me, always!

1 Thessalonians 2:12 – ‘We comforted and encouraged you and challenged you to adopt a lifestyle worthy of God, who invites you into his kingdom and glory.’

Amazing! No matter how I feel about me, God has invited me in, he wants to hang out with me!

Ephesians 1:5-6 – ‘ For it was always in His perfect plan to adopt us as His delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that His tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify His grace—for the same love He has for His Beloved One, Jesus, He has for us. And this unfolding plan brings Him great pleasure!’

He loves me the same as he loves Jesus. He LOVES me the SAME as he loves Jesus!
This is so significant to me, this means that he wants to know me, He wants to love me, and even with all of my flaws, I am enough for him.
And I am enough for me, too.
I don’t need to strive to please God, because He is already pleased. So, why else do I need to strive?! Simple answer – I don’t. So stop!

I found songs that really spoke truth about identity and lies and I listened to them on repeat.

I mean it. Every day on my walk to work I chose a song, or a playlist and I listened. Constantly. Until the truth started to sink in.
I listened to motivational short speeches filled with truth.
Here’s what I listened to:

  • You Say – Lauren Daigle
  • Tremble – Upperroom
  • Surrounded (battles) – Upperroom or Michael W Smith
  • Cover the Earth – Kari Jobe
  • Joy – For king and country.
  • I can handle this – Steven Furtick
  • I will be confident – Steven Furtick

I chose joy.

I chose to be joyful when I couldn’t remember what joy was. I chose to find the things in life that brought joy. And I chose to see that about myself. To see where I could bring joy. Because I’m not a bad person. I’m actually a pretty great person. I just forget that most of the time.

I believed that God is fighting my battles, because He loves me.

He loves ME. And he wants me to be filled with His joy, because that is my strength. And He wants me to believe that I am loved, worthy and a precious daughter of the one true king.

prayed for breakthrough and I asked friends to pray too.

I asked friends to pull me up every time I spoke badly about myself. Every time I called myself an idiot, or made out that I wasn’t worthy. I got an army of believers praying for me. And it worked!

I started to break down the lies. I have believed so so many lies over my life. That I am not good enough, that I need to strive for perfection all the time, that I need to achieve to prove my worth etc.

1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is incessantly prowling like a lion, waiting to devour us. He feeds us lies, just like he fed Adam and Eve a lie.
And he’s clever. He hits us when we’re down and his lies begin to sound like truth.
His voice isn’t louder than the voice of God, but it seems that sometimes, he is easier to hear. And we believe the lies.
But… what’s exciting about our God is that whilst Peter tells us that the enemy is prowling LIKE the lion, Revelation 5:5 tells us that God IS the lion, that will conquer. So I tell the devil to SHUT UP and I look for truth.

Also, God tells us to clothe ourselves in His armour. That’s a sign that He’s expecting a battle. So, we need to spend time with Him, to shield ourselves with faith, to know His word.
Jesus fought the devil with scripture. Scripture is truth. Let us use that.

I started to believe that I am important. I am loved. I am chosen. I am worthy. And most importantly for me, that I am enough. Not only that, but I am good enough. I am good enough for all that God has planned for me.
And that is enough for me.

Today, I sing the words at the start of this song with joy. Because, I know that God will make something beautiful out of me. He already has.
I am his daughter and He is an incredible creator, so I must be pretty great, too.

And, just in case you were wondering, so are you.

 

One Comment

  • Rachael Birch

    A great honest piece. Another good thing to listen to is ‘Do you believe what I believe about you?’ By Godfrey Birtill and ‘I am amazing’ by Philippa Hanna

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