Listen to the LORD who created you, for the One who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
The last skill for living as a daughter of promise is:
5.) Live as one that is cherished.
Brennan Manning said, “We often feel like the homely peasant girl for whom the king has come to take a bride.” My sense of self-condemnation makes me back away from God’s call to be His beloved. I can feel unworthy. My pride says that I can’t believe His words, and must cling to my own reality as the real truth.
And all the while, someone could ask me, “Do you believe that God loves you?” I would nod my head appropriately and answer yes. I know the scripture verses. I learned the Sunday School songs. But the problem is, my understanding of love has been compromised by my experiences with others. In varying degrees, we have all felt degraded, excluded, rejected, ridiculed, passed over, and a host of other things related to rejection. Each memory festers in our soul. Each arrow of inflicted pain still sits there, infected by time. Oh, how we need our Father who is the Great Physician to do spiritual surgery to remove the arrow. The balm of His Spirit can heal the wound as truth replaces the lies of our past.
This scriptural truth needs to be the banner over my life. No one gets to define my worth except my Creator. Not a parent, not a caregiver, not a teacher, not a pastor, not a child or spouse. Only God’s opinion matters because His Word trumps all others as my Creator. He says I’m cherished and I must own that and live it with daily acts of faith.
My father used to tell this story about my infancy. In the middle of the night when I would cry, my father devised a way to put me back to sleep that never required him, or my mother, to leave their warm beds. He took a piece of twine, tied one end to his bedpost, and then ran it down the hall to the nursery. He tied the other end to the rung of the crib. When he would hear me crying, he’d tug on the string and gently rock the crib. That usually did the trick. When this story was told humorously, I felt the sting of unworthiness. Physical affection was almost completely absent in our home. Stoicism was more the norm and because my sister and I lived in want of physical touch, the story was painful to me. My parents were both kind, soft spoken people and intended no malice but the effect of isolation was still felt inside my heart.
How do I live cherished as I remember this story? I believe my Father’s proclamations of love as, by faith, I ask Him to rock me to sleep each night. Still, it’s a bedtime ritual for me. Do I feel Him answer my prayer? Do I have the sensation of being rocked? I would say, mostly no. How do I know that He does it? Because I no longer feel the hole in my soul. While I have slept, apparently He has rocked me and done spiritual surgery on my soul. The wound is not crippling anymore. The story has become something I can tell to extol the Fatherhood of God. Any story of deprivation has only driven me to learn how to experience God as my Father. And that journey is what led to the ministry you enjoy every day called Daughters of Promise.
So live cherished today. Make decisions based on the reality that you are the apple of God’s eye. The next devotional you receive will be me finishing this series by telling the story of two dolls. There will be pictures along with it. Don’t miss it.
I’m praying for you today to stand up tall.