by Andrea Madden
Identity is an oft-mentioned topic in this day and age of Me first, Me second and if there is anything left it’s Mine! Everyone wants to know who he or she is and how they fit. They want to belong and to find their significance. And in many ways this is right. We are all created in the image of the creator. He crafted us each to carry a part of Him, to reflect Him uniquely.
That worked really well in the garden…until they ate the fruit. Then all hell broke loose. Literally. So here we are, each disconnected and lost from that intimacy in the garden. Every human being is starving to taste the significance we all were created for.
When we don’t find it, we substitute. The need is that great. We literally cannot live without it. We settle for the counterfeits when we can’t grasp the real thing. Isn’t that what self-medication is all about? Trying to fill the void? We are made to be miniature images of God, but we have lost the connection to the real thing. We can’t connect to God so we try to be God. Too often we hurt ourselves and we hurt others as we flail, grasping for power, control, and significance, none of which can be ours apart from the relationship Abba offers us. We step up on anything or anyone to get higher, closer to God, like the tower of Babel.
Or we aim the anger and frustration at ourselves, knowing intrinsically that we are like God but impotent, unable to affect basic changes without help. This turned in rage is possibly the most destructive, because we shut ourselves off from all help, believing the lie of unworthiness. This dis-ease can be virulent. We spew our rage and unworthiness around and that brings the effect unworthiness seeks: isolation and sometimes the coalescing of other people who feel unworthy, thus compounding the downward spiral.
If I can understand rightly who I am, or even better, WHOSE I am, the pain and longings for the counterfeit begin to subside. I am not God. I never will be. And if I think about it, I am really relieved I do not carry all that responsibility!=}
I am a child of the living God. Whether or not I have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus or not, all humankind is born with the ability to know and reflect the creator. This is universal truth. The innocent child hungry to bond with busy parents to Hitler, Osama Bin Laden and everyone in between, all cry out to take our places in His-Story.
Once I have the relationship with and through Jesus, I am now in training to rule and reign with Him for eternity. Yes, forever! Let that sink in a bit. What we have here is so short in the light of: forever….
Living for eternity in the here and now is a challenge. There are unending distractions vying to keep us from what really counts. The counterfeits look for us as much as we look for them. Not a happy out come without intervention.
I really have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept that God loves me so much that He sent His only Son to die in my place. That was the only way to have a relationship with Him! But I know it, because I have personally experienced the love.
I don’t see Him with my eyes or hear him with my ears, but with Abba’s intervention and persistent training, my spirit sees and my soul humbles itself. I am able to sense His presence. I sense His favor, His acceptance and even His delight in this once little girl, now an aging woman, who dances in her spirit with her Abba. He takes my hands, lifts me up just enough to let me put my little feet on His big daddy feet, and we dance and twirl and I feel the swoosh in my hair as I float through the air. I am, for a few moments, that innocent little girl cherished by her daddy. I AM the delight of His life.
Even after tasting of an appropriate, God intended, filling of my void, layers of counterfeit still need to be peeled off. These layers of counterfeit used to be really hard to let go of, because I believed the lies that they were part of me.
All that began to change once I experientially tasted that the Lord is good, really, truly good; it became easier to let go of the counterfeits so I could have more of the authentic.
Some days are easy in the light of His presence. Others days were a struggle to remember that He exists. But after practice of consciously exchanging counterfeit for authentic, the presence has grown and increases His territory in me. It may not be consciously felt at any given moment, but a deliberate look for the presence and He is found. (He did not go anywhere…I just wasn’t seeking.)
These experiences of His favor are carried in my heart and they pull me though the very real pain I feel, we all feel, in this present existence. I thank God for the pain because it reveals the longing, giving me the option to choose Abba and not the counterfeits.
Who am I? I began this wanting to talk about my counterfeit roles, titles, and positions that falsely meet my longings for significance and how unsatisfying they are. How I never seem to be fully free of my desire for earthy recognition. I find my answer in the logos, the living word that tells me the truth of who I really am as it touches my heart. I am my beloved’s and He is mine. I desire to allow myself to be filled with His presence, beyond containing, shining brightly, to bring hope to others.