Good, Good Father
At the IF:Gathering 2016, we sang Chris Tomlin’s Good, Good Father. I had never heard the song before. I liked it. It seemed a good way to start. By the end, it was personal.
You see … I have always struggled with who I am. My name means worthy of love, but I never felt it was true. While I could list many good things about myself, when I looked in the mirror I saw a fat little girl that no one could possibly love. Oh yes, my family might love me, they are required to. But outside of that, I was unworthy. Most of what I did was to try to earn the love of others. Even the use of my talents was really just a way to get people to like me. Anything from making a batch of cookies to singing a song. Maybe they could let me stick around if I did these things.
Finally, as an adult, I managed to lose weight…. enough that men would actually take a second look at me. Long enough to see me and the good qualities that God had instilled in me. But I still saw that fat little girl in the mirror. My mind still believed Satan’s lies that I was unworthy.
I could meet you today. But if I saw you on the street tomorrow. I would never speak first. You see, Satan convinced me of the lie that I was so unworthy and so unlovable that even if you remember meeting me, you definitely would not care to build a relationship with me. You really wouldn’t have any desire to ever see or hear from me again.
It took a lot of fight to stop believing the lies.
Believe in Who I am
It took others believing in me and putting that belief into action. It took a pastor’s wife who believed I would make a good pastor’s wife. And then putting that into action by introducing me to my future husband.
Marrying a pastor somehow gave me license to believe in myself. Maybe, just maybe, as a pastor’s wife, people would care about what I have to say. Maybe, just maybe, I could share the love of God with others as I learned to love myself as God loved me.
I finally came to the realization that I am his little princess and he sees me AND loves me. He really loves me.
As the years went by, the struggle got easier. I was brave enough to lead in many, many ways. I had the courage to direct church choirs and children’s musicals, homeschool my children (all the way through high school), lead women’s ministries, start a homeschool support group for our county, and even lead adult Bible Studies …
A lot of good things. My husband and I worked together hand in hand, heart to heart leading congregations for 25 years.
Blind-sided by Satan Lies
Then last year, we suddenly found ourselves at a new place. We were no longer in full-time ministry. Standing at the threshold of a different life. Not entirely of our choosing. Our identities stripped away, our pride stripped away, and our dignity destroyed. There was nowhere to look but up; to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, … (Hebrews 12:2)
Satan tried to defeat me, dredging up old lies of unworthiness. Asking questions in my ear such as, “Who are you now?” And then He tried to answer his own question with a lie, “You are nothing. No longer a pastor’s wife. So you no longer have anything to say to people. You can no longer encourage women and children in their faith. You are just a sorry, old woman … and FAT too.” Yes. Recent health issues and medications, things beyond my control, have contributed to that.
But I know that these are lies and I will NOT allow Satan to push me down and keep me there. The Book of Proverbs ensures me that “though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again.” And Psalms 145 says “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”
You see, I know, what I know.
And that is that my identity does not come from what I do.
My identity comes from Whose I am.
I’m a child of the King.
Indeed, I am a princess. And the King loves His little princess.
That is who I am!
Art image by Cliparts.co