Once I was a wife.
A wife and a missionary.
For years, I identified myself as these things.
Then one day that identity was gone, and I suddenly needed to answer the question:
Who am I?
Three years ago, I became a separated woman. I was a broken person in charge of mothering four little children. In the early days, while I sat in church, I imagined that there was a large stamp inked on my forehead that read, USELESS TO GOD. Later, after my divorce was final, a new imaginary stamp was added, “DIVORCED.” At church or whenever I mingled with others in the Body of Christ, I imagined that when they looked at me, that’s what they saw. But even worse, I imagined that when God looked at me, He saw those large red letters on my forehead too.
Don’t be misled, during those early months and years after my separation, return to the US, and divorce; I was shown much grace and abundant love by the Body of Christ. It was me. I alone had condemned myself.
For the last three years, I have been on a journey of learning the answer to the question, “Who am I?”… All my life God had been revealing the answers to that question, but until I had reached the point of utter devastation I had never sought them out. Now I was seeking those answers, and at first, God sent members of the Body of Christ to speak truth to me about how God viewed me. I was shown love, often had Scripture sent to me, and at times, I was told boldly and right to my face who I was in Christ.
Soon after, praise and worship music started to continuously pound the truth of my identity into my heart. I would sit in the car and sing the lyrics along with the artists, and after some time, the words I was singing became truth and I started to believe it in my inner being.
As the imaginary ink began to fade from my forehead, I fed myself on the truths from the Word of God, day after day, hiding them in my heart. I began to truly understand and believe how God sees me, that I am NOT condemned (Rom. 8:1) or useless to God (Eph. 2:10), but that I am holy & blameless in His sight (Eph. 1:4), that I am dearly loved (Col. 3:12), and that I am part of His family (Rom. 8:14-17). He does not look at me and condemn me for the ruin of my past. My failures and brokenness are not unknown to Him, but in His eyes I am covered in the precious blood of His beloved Son, and He loves me exactly as I am.
“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” – Psalm 3:3 (ESV)
On those days when I once again feel my head begin to bow in shame, when I feel like an outsider because I’m a single parent, I don’t let the enemy win. I hold my head up once again, fully aware of my unworthiness to call myself a child of God–but I am no longer in the practice of condemning myself. The USELESS TO GOD and DIVORCED stamps have been pulverized and destroyed. The precious knowledge of my unworthiness and the fact that my Heavenly Father loves me anyway leads my heart to worship the One Who died to make me His beloved.
Copyright © Rebecca Onkar, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved