It’s Friday. You know what that means. Five minutes fast and furious and uncut. This week’s word: Identity
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” – Brennan Manning
The letters are slanted slashing violently across the page. All sharp edges and fury. I’ve kept boxes full of journals stacking year upon year. So many pages of why, scribbled in rants all pointing at a God I could not trust. A God who never gave me a tidy answer to the wounds I bore in shame.
Why didn’t I get a chance at innocence? Why did that get robbed from me at such a tender age, behind closed doors? Would I ever be clean?
And when I could find no fair answer as to why the image in the mirror looked back at me defiled and filthy, guilty and wretched, I raged all the more. This war with God, this heart turned hard and phobic.
How could He not protect me? Why if all they say is true, do these scars remain? Why does this world suffer and groan and tremble with pain? Doesn’t He claim to be a God who heals? Who redeems?
But this mess that I am, how can there be beauty in that?
Where is the glory of the frail and broken?
And when nothing smoked, drank, bought, or accomplished would quell the pain, I fell to my knees in years of alter call pleadings for salvation that never seemed to come. For a redemption moment that never took hold. I could convince my mind to believe but my heart still beat out that I did not belong. That I didn’t feel any different.
I dug in and worked this Christianity harder. I would pray prayers with big theological words and scripture, I would check off the list of bible reading and journaling happy God thoughts, I would behave. I would try hard to make God love me. I would join small groups and even lead them, spout theology and witness, all while silently repeating salvation prayers like a transaction that kept getting denied.
I still don’t have a moment. There was no one prayer that finally took hold. No lightbulb came on or foreign language burst from my lips.
Instead, my story is one of minute moments strung together over my life, each drawing me further out. Years being stacked, not orderly or linear but beautiful as a masterpiece chiseled rough but worn smooth as cool marble. Steps ascending to the heavens, not attempted by my feet, which so often fall but a staircase for Jesus to come low and touch me.
To give me a new identity. To call my name, beloved.
On Fridays over at The Gypsy Mama, a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Your words. This shared feast. Hop over and share your five minutes on Identity