Listen to the LORD who created you, to 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
Brennan Manning said, “We often feel like the homely peasant girl for whom the king has come to take a bride.” Our sense of self-condemnation makes us back away from God’s call to live as His beloved. We feel unworthy. Our pride says that we can’t believe His words. Our own view of ourselves overrides it. Imagine someone asking you today, “Do you believe that God loves you?” You would nod your head appropriately and answer yes. You know the scripture verses. You learned the Sunday School songs. But the problem is, our understanding of love has been compromised by our 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, the Great Physician, to do spiritual surgery to remove the arrows. 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 that must be lived out by daily acts of faith.
Many were made to feel unworthy by their parents. They were never anyone’s priority. Work came first. Or other children were preferred. Perhaps ministry even trumped their importance. Spouses can tragically communicate that their mate isn’t worth much. Children tell their parents, “You’re a bad father, or bad mother.” We tend to soak in their opinions of ourselves. We rationalize that these are the ones who know us best and if they call us deeply flawed, don’t they have credibility? No, not if their opinion of us contradicts God’s opinion of us..
How do I live cherished in a world where few are cherished? I believe my Father’s proclamations of love, by faith. I am no longer to be ruled by the hole in my soul. The wound is not crippling me anymore. The story becomes a narrative that I can tell others to extol the Fatherhood of God. My story is no longer a tragedy. Though it contains tragic elements, the overriding theme is joyous redemption. Throughout my life, I may have had many storytellers but I’ve finally learned that the only one that counts is the one told by my new Father. I’m a Daughter of Promise and every single thing is safely under God’s providence and it’s waiting for redemption.