Wednesday, October 7, 2015

of stickerless wemmicks and belonging to Jesus

I learned something about myself this week.

I think I always knew it, I mean, looking back, it's pretty blatantly obvious throughout my entire life.


I like belonging.

I don't mean fitting in - never cared much for that. Wasn't interested in changing in order to belong...I just wanted to belong, just the way I was. Always have. From sports teams, group projects, theatre troupes and casts, classes, everything...I love belonging. I love having people who are "mine", and we all do stuff together, and we're on the same page, and everyone accepts everyone else, and even if there are hard things, we are always still US. There are people who I used to "belong with" in various ways that I still keep in touch with, simply because there *was* a bond, there was something we built, because we *were* a team.

That's all well and good, and a strength of mine actually...to a fault. So many times, I ended up loving people who hurt me, I would feel like I belonged, when the truth was, I had been rejected. You find that out when it's over, and everyone's saying goodbye and leaving, and your "best friends" go silent afterwards, and you realize they didn't feel the same way as you. This was just another thing to them, and they're moving on. And, when that happens enough times, you learn how to pour yourself out (cause honestly you don't know how to do anything else) and then just shake it off, suck it up, and move on when everyone else does.

Well, this week, I was laying some hurts before the Lord, being honest with Him, asking Him to show me where I needed to forgive, where I needed to move on, and what I needed to fix on my end of things. Courage to do what I needed to do, patience to wait for what I can't.

As I was processing stuff, writing it out actually, I realized where these hurts were coming from. My little spirit was struggling with belonging again - or *not* belonging, in this case.

Hm.

I sorta froze. Stopped in my tracks. Sitting there, criss-cross on my bed in my shorts and too-big t-shirt, feeling very weak and very little....I just thought. Slowly the light dawned on my hurting, lonely soul.

"You like belonging. You feel abandoned."

"But there's a truth that you *know*, that you need to embrace."

"You only belong to One Thing."

"It's okay to love people like you do. It's okay to belong. It's okay be sad, it's okay to miss things, it's even okay to have hurts."

"But Liza. The only belonging that matters.....is that you belong to JESUS."

And then the truth began to change things.

I was at the edge of a smallish identity crisis. Jesus was pressing me towards deeper freedom. In light of what I had just realized, I had to choose - to either continue walking in my spirit of abandonment and just grasp onto Jesus but not actually walk in fullness of abundant life that He was offering to me in this area....or utterly reject it, claim truth, and take a step of faith into a new reality.

Even though I didn't feel very brave, new reality won out.

That means a rejection of a previous way of living, of thinking, of looking at myself.

It's a deeper level of son-ship. Of walking in depth of identity that claims *nothing* except my redemption, justification, and adoption into the family of God. It's the ultimate identity trump card, and the only label I claim.

I love that little book, "You are Special" by Max Lucado. It speaks directly into a very deep part of my soul. As a child, I remember that it used to bother me. Looking back, I'm sure it's because, deep down, I knew I was covered with stickers. With labels. Not necessarily of whether I was good enough or not, but self-stuck-stickers that identified me as X, Y, and Z. That gave me a fleshly sense of belonging, that actually clouded my view of my Jesus, because I was claiming so many other things in addition to Him. The Lord freed me from that mentality a long time ago. But this subtle, underlying hurt was still there.

And Jesus was asking to take that too. To show me that there is even more abundant life, even more victory, even more freedom, even more recklessness in following Him with no strings attached.

In that story, Punchinello's stickers start falling off when the more time he spends time with his Creator, Eli, and the more he understands his identity as a precious and valuable "son" of the Woodcarver. How powerful is that?


The more we know of Him, and who we are in Him, the more our identity becomes completely wrapped up in His Name, His Life.

"In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." - Eph 1:5-6

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” - Rom 8:15

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." - Gal 4:4-6

It's a journey, for sure. But the renewing and transforming of our minds as we draw closer and closer to Christ is one of the most beautiful, painful, life-changing, real miracles we will ever know.

The key to healing from abandonment? The key to being a stickerless wemmick with an other-wordly confidence?

Believe who the Father says you are.

Forgiven.

Redeemed.

Restored.

His child.

2 comments:

  1. Sometimes I don't keep up with your blog posts, but sometimes I do, and every now and then one reminds me how much I have in common with you. Loving "You Are Special", for instance. And learning to be satisfied with adoption as His son instead of other things. This blessed me. Thank you!

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  2. Wonderful and timely for me. Thank you, dear.

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