Sometimes I forget who I am.
Does that ever happen to you?
The last three months have taken their turn at throwing me around. An unexpected surgery, an adoption paperwork slowdown, a struggling career, black worshippers being murdered, and churches being burned were enough to shake me. They were more than enough to make me question his plans, but when the radiology office called last Thursday to say my mammogram was crappy I just stopped trying to be fine. I waited until the kids went to sleep then I crawled in between my cool cotton sheets and melted down. I pressed my face into my pillow as the world pressed into me and I gave way. I let myself imagine the very worst that this could be. The tears flowed unchecked, hot and furious, down my face. I did not try to hold them back because it’s futile to try and fix the dam five minutes after it has broken. You have to wait until the violence finishes before you can survey the damage.
As I fought to understand why these things were happening, handfuls of questions were racing through my mind. When was it going to be better? When was it going to be easier? Where is this blessed life I thought was coming? Why is my son still going to sleep every night in an orphanage? Who am I if I cannot be a wife to my husband and a mother to my children? What will I do if I cannot work again and my family loses their financial stability? What will happen if my worst nightmare comes true and I’m 37 with cancer? Who’s going to raise these babies?
I looked around that night and did not recognize the landscape of my life. I had been set adrift in a sea with no memory of getting into the boat. God was silent and the sea crashed against me threatening to overcome me. All I can tell you is that I lost sight of the shoreline, I lost sight of who I was.
As I struggled for air Satan furtively spewed the deception he is best known for weaving.
“You are failing, God will not help you.”
“You are forgotten, God does not know your name.”
“You are unloved that is why God has allowed this pain.”
It took me two solid days of wrestling with demons to remember that I am none of these things and neither are you. I am His family and I am never alone. And while He may not be speaking out loud to me right now His word is never quiet. So Saturday morning I buried myself in that word, specifically Psalm 46.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields and chariots with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
His words ran over my wounds quickly like a waterfall descending down a mountain side with no regard to the rocks it will challenge on the way.
Fast. Furious. Powerful.
And I can see now why my strength has failed and my purpose has grown cloudy. I was trying to navigate the storm by myself.
I was defining my worth by the works of my own hands. I was busy believing that my life was somehow supposed to be easier while forgetting that my ability or inability to do something is not equivalent to personal failure. I was seeing the present without the filter of His promises for my future. I was breathing the air of deceit. I was swallowing the lies of the enemy without seeing their approach.
And that will never work.
I cannot walk with the King while insisting on being independent from Him, Satan’s devices will win when I let go of the Master’s hand. I will flounder, my own strength will always fail. I suspect, friend, that yours will to.
So I am seeking strength from the one who created strength. I am resting in the beauty that was created when he formed me and called me daughter. I am not listening to empty terrifying words from the one who seeks the destruction of my soul. I am sending him home empty handed to the darkened corners of this world he inhabits.
And I am doing these things by remembering who I am, an heir to the King and a daughter of the royal household of God. I am trusting that he will break the bow and shatter the spear even when I cannot see Him doing it. And I am believing that His strength will be my refuge and that His fortress will not give way when the world presses in and I once again forget who I am.