I went back to church on June 1st… after much struggling, much thought, and much fighting with myself. For a long time, I was angry at God. Upset at Him. Mad. Because I couldn’t understand why I was going through so much for so long. I was tired. I was worn. And I needed rest.
I made the choice to spend time with God daily because I know that he craves a relationship with us. He wants to fellowship with us. And He’ll listen. He knows us more than we know ourselves.
On June 19th, we covered Naomi renaming herself “bitter,” and how our circumstances shouldn’t name us. About how God names us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t name ourselves. I let my circumstances name me for a long time…
I named myself lonely.
But God proves to always be there. To know us inside and out. He knows when I sit and stand. He knows my thoughts before I think them. He knows what I’m going to say before I say it. Not even the darkness can hide me from Him. He is always there. (Psalm 139) And that’s comforting.
I named myself shameful.
When I drifted from God, I started to feel guilty and ashamed. When I sinned, it stung more because I knew I wasn’t close to God anymore. But “even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings…” (1 John 3:20) God wants us to stand in confidence before Him. He wants us to repent and return to Him.
I named myself unattractive.
But “the Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) We shouldn’t worry about what others think of us, instead we should work on our hearts… repenting so our hearts are cleansed for the Lord.
I named myself incapable.
I never fit in with my peers. I grew up raising my siblings. I’ve always felt older than I actually was. And sometimes, I would feel defeated and incapable because adults let me know I couldn’t do the job. However, the Bible says “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) This was my youth group’s focus verse… I wish I would remember it more often.
I named myself unsuccessful.
I tend to dream big and when I fail, I don’t let myself forget it. But God wants us to be patient and let things work themselves out. He wants us to practice and work hard to better ourselves. This is what the Lord says: “When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?” (Jeremiah 8:4)
I named myself poor.
But God will provide. “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”” (Hebrews 13:5)
I named myself weak.
But as a child of God, I am not weak. Because I am strong in the Lord. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:7) With the Lord, anything is possible. I am not weak. I am strong!
I named myself lost.
I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t find a job. Why I couldn’t find happiness. Why I felt so distant and alone from the world. I couldn’t understand why everything seemed to go wrong. But then I remembered one of my favorite bible verses… “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) God has a plan! I just need to let Him lead me.
God made me in His image.
He lives inside of me.
He has a plan for my life.
He will lead me and guide me.
He will protect me.
He loves me.
And He will always be there for me as long as I follow, believe, and honor Him!