I’m reading “Prototype” by Jonathan Martin right now. I’m only a few chapters in and it is wrecking me in the best ways possible. In these early chapters he talks about our time in the wilderness.
“One thing for certain, the wilderness will reveal the brokenness and imperfections that live within all of us. The wilderness also reveals the staggering depth of God’s love for us, every bit as much as it spotlights the devils we let camp out on our shoulders. It is a remarkable thing to simultaneously have our brokenness and beloved mess revealed in equal measure.”
I feel as if I have been in the spotlight stage for an eternity. And even though some part of me longs for the spotlight, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I am finding out that I carry more than my fair share of devils around on my shoulders. At this moment it seems like those are the only voices I can hear. You remember the commercials with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, each espousing their own views about how and what you should do in any given situation. Only I find myself with a legion of devils occupying both sides and all clamoring to make their views heard.
You’re not good enough. Thin enough. Young enough. Talented enough. Beautiful enough. Nobody really reads your blog. Are you even really a writer? You don’t have enough followers on twitter or likes on your fb page. Your dreams are dead and gone, a mere memory. Look at the mess you’ve made of your life. You’re too judgmental. You don’t love well. You’re not trustworthy. You are simply not enough. God could never, would never use anyone like you.
I could write pages and pages about the not enoughs in my life. We all could, I think. Our lists would all look a little different because the legion of voices play to our own particular fears. Always asking us to prove our worth by showing the world that we are enough. And don’t we all buy into the lies of the legion? We let our fears and the lies of those devils on our shoulders, instead of the words of our Father, dictate our worth.
My time in the wilderness is allowing me to recognize the voices of those devils. I have become intimately acquainted with each and every one of them. They seem to be on an endless loop recording in my head lest I forget my place.
Lest I forget my place…
And yet, the wilderness is exactly where I am finding my place. When I am still and quiet, I can hear His voice. And I can know. Know that my worth is not tied to anything I can say or do. He knew me before I was even born. All of my days were written in His book before any of them ever came to be. I was worthy of Him before I took my first breath. Before I could ever do anything to be deserving of His attention. Even if I tried, I couldn’t begin to count the ways I occupy His thoughts.
When I take the time to listen to the still, small voice of the Father, I know that I am His beloved.
He adores me. I am treasured and prized. I am dear to His heart. I am loved much. And I did absolutely nothing to warrant this kind of attention and intimate affection. At this point, I have it in spite of anything I do or say. I have it because of who I am. It is who I am. Beloved of God.
Me and you. Before we ever came to be we occupied His thoughts. Our days were written in His book. When I look back on some of my days, that’s nothing short of miraculous! His Love and His Grace are boundless enough to look past anything we could do or have done. We are worthy simply because of who we are. Now we just need to be still and rest in that. To learn to tune out the voices of the legion and trust that God loves us. To remember who we are.