Identity Crisis

Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6  New Living Translation

 


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“I want what you have,” a friend confessed. After years of being involved in each other’s lives, she had noticed a difference in mine. I was confident and at peace. She said she knew it was the result of having Jesus in my life.

She went on to say it was not organized religion she was seeking. Its flaws had long turned her away from that. There was nothing that was appealing about it to her. It was the relationship she craved. The one I had with Jesus had caught her attention and she wished she could have it too.

Confident and peaceful did not happen overnight. I fought against God for my own agenda. I reasoned with Him about His standards. I doubted. I rebelled. I quit. And through it, God waited patiently for that moment when I would eventually stop struggling and turn to Him. It was then that my life began to transform.

Although the average onlooker could not see that my life was all that bad—I had resources, a family, and even happiness—but, I also knew that it was not the life God desired. I had Jesus in my pocket like a trump card to cheat hell, but my mind and heart lacked His presence. I was tired of living a life shamed by the sin I carried.

What I was missing was Jesus had taken my sin to the grave when He died. I didn’t ask Him to. He just did it. It was a gift I was told. Out of love and desire, He died for me. I was rescued from the fate sin had placed on me. Once I accepted that, Sinner was no longer my identity. A completely new list of names to go by became available to me through my relationship with Him.

Some may wonder then, did I magically quit sinning? Even on my best days, I do not get it right every time. I struggle with doing the right thing like every other human, but because I am now a child of God as John 1:12 says, I can go to my Father for advice and correction without fear of being condemned [Romans 8:1]. I am at peace with God because I have developed a connection that is honest and real with Him, not based on fear or ritual.

Working in women’s ministry, I often see how much women struggle with their identity. Their pasts haunt them, making them feel undesirable and powerless to be anything but what their thoughts whisper. Their lives reflect their attitudes about themselves, and the relationship they should be enjoying with God is distanced and impersonal. Who would want to be involved with someone who couldn’t pull it together anyway? They listen to the lies and punish themselves, forgetting what Jesus did on the cross.

The truth is if we have decided to accept God’s gift of salvation, we are no longer the same. I agree that it takes time to change our minds about things we have thought true, but not impossible. A transformation can take place but it will involve doing some throwing out of the old thoughts and replacing them with some new.

Over the next few weeks and months, I plan to take a look into what God’s own words say about us and our identity in Jesus. My hope is to replace some of the negative self-talk with words taken from Scripture. I’m in this with you. Transformation takes time but is so worth it. In the end, you too will have a peaceful confidence that will draw attention to Jesus.

. . .you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,  

for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 New Living Translation


Journaling Activity

I am big about writing out scripture. There is something soothing about it to me. It makes me slow down, helping me notice the words and the thoughts behind them. I encourage you to find a journal if you don’t have one already and give it a try. I use a plain old composition book that you can find in the school supplies for a dollar. I also use colored pens because it seems to enliven the text for me.

  • Take the scriptures from this post and write them.
  • Look them up in other translations.
  • Spend time pondering them.
  • Jot down your thoughts.
  • Look up the word treasured.

Is there something that keeps you from believing God treasures you?

Start a conversation by leaving a comment or talking with a friend.

I am praying that each women realizes that she is treasured by God.

 

New Life

Things worthy of celebration status occurred over the course of one short weekend in the life of our family. First, a grandson was born. Noah James joined his parents and siblings late Saturday evening. He evened out the sides—brothers to sisters—with a 3 to 3 count. Everyone is delighted to make his acquaintance.

Charis and Noah

Secondly, our twenty-year-old grandson, Nick, dedicated his life to following Jesus and was baptized on Sunday. His father did the honors. I am extremely excited to see where life leads this young man who possesses a special gift of caring for his brother.

Nick and Larry

Please rejoice with us. God is good. . .all the time.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3

 

It’s All in the Name

meRecently, I was asked to look into the meaning of my name and this is what I discovered. Patricia Anne Schell can be described as Noble, Gracious and…LOUD! I think noble and gracious are pretty great characteristics to have but loud… well, that’s just troublesome.

This forced me to take the time to dig into its meaning to look for some redeeming factor that might be attached to this sometimes offensive word. Loud means strongly audible; having exceptional volume or intensity; clamorous, vociferous (Who uses that anyway?), blatant, and noisy.

Of all those definitions clamorous caught my eye. This word describes something–or somebody, in this case– that marked by clamor, a vehement expression of desire. Now, this is one attribute I choose to embrace. This is where my heart lies when it comes to writing.

My passion when composing anything is that God’s work in our world and our lives will be intensely evident to the reader. I want to witness God’s goodness and glory in words that demand a response. So, as it turns out, LOUD is exactly what I want to be. In fact, when I write I plan to keep raising a ruckus in a most noble and gracious way, of course.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes…  Romans 1:16