If you’ve seen me the past few weeks, you may have noticed something new on my right wrist. It’s a wide leather cuff with a distressed copper plate bearing the word “chosen” in lowercase letters. And if you took the word at face value you might mistakenly think I’ve got a mighty high opinion of myself these days. But like all things, there’s a story there.
I ordered the cuff a few weeks ago upon the recommendation of my prayer partner Kris. It’s handmade art and it feels like it. Becky and her crew over at Farm Girl Paints made it just for me. No one else has one exactly like it because I got to pick the word I wanted.
So I picked chosen.
I could have picked fearless, or audacious, or brave. But I didn’t think it was a good idea to walk around wearing something I couldn’t be all the time. It kinda seemed like false advertising, you know? I needed a word that was a tangible, everyday reminder of something true. I needed a word that would keep me focused and working when I didn’t believe I could do the work.
And honestly friends much of the time I don’t believe I have the ability to write, or mother, or speak, or lead, or teach, or do any of the things God has made clear to me that I should be doing. I have always struggled with insecurities, that’s no company secret around here, but lately my own anxiety about my work has nearly paralyzed my willingness. Somehow within my sternum, nestled right alongside this fire for him, resides an insecurity streak as wide as the Red River. It daily infects my thoughts and reminds me constantly of how I have very little to offer, how others will judge the words I share, and why my work is not worthy. And if I let them the reminders become ferociously loud gremlins capable of devouring every scrap of effort I try to put forth. They become strong enough to ultimately drown out my belief in God’s ability to work through me.
But here’s the thing, how I feel about something does not change God’s truth about it.
And the truth is this,
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ….” (Ephesians 1:4,5)
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,…” (Ephesians 1:11)
I am chosen. You are chosen. We are all chosen. Every single person you meet today has been chosen. Paul boldly declares that each of us was chosen before God ever created the world. We were part of the plan before there was a plan.
I love the idea that we were chosen to be family. Chosen to be loved. Chosen to be heirs. Chosen to holy. Chosen for the Kingdom.
In a world that specializes in leaving people out I find there’s so much beauty to me in that word chosen. This tender anxious disbelieving heart needs to know that it was chosen by the King in order for it to beat in time with the Savior. I have to plant my feet on his truth, firm in the knowledge of his selection, so that I can muster up the courage to accept his marching orders.
Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re able to fully embrace all that God is showing you and run full force at it with belief in one hand and knowledge in the other.
Bless you dear one, run your race.
But if the rest of you wake up to face the day, see what God is asking of you, know what you’re supposed to do, and know what you’re about to face, but think to yourself, “There is no way I’m ever gonna be able to do this.”
I hear ya. You are my people. Maybe you, like me, need to remember that sometimes when the believing is not working like it should you should just go with the knowing. Maybe you need a bracelet, or a necklace, or some important tattoo to remind you that God chose you before he picked out the color of the sky or made peaches sweet.