“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” ~ II Corinthians 6:18
Have you ever found yourself asking the question: Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here? Growing up, I found myself asking these questions from as early as I could remember. As a little girl, I couldn’t quite figure out where I fit in. I remember being a very loving child and I always felt happiest surrounded by people I loved the most. While other girls were dreaming about being powerful career women, I dreamed about marrying my dream husband and becoming a housewife who would take care of our home and our children. Family, love, security…..those were the things I dreamed about and I believed they would bring me peace and joy.
At the age of 2 years old, I was diagnosed as a Chronic Asthmatic. I want to make a point that the Lord has miraculously healed me of this disease (look out for that testimony in an upcoming blog), but my experience with this illness throughout my life involved me spending most of my life in and out of hospitals. It’s amazing to know that even then, the Lord had his hand on my life and he knew his plan for me was to live and not die to declare what he has done. He gave his angels charge over me and one such angel I found in my mother. She was always taking care of me, always so diligent in her care for me. She knew my illness inside out and she never left my side. I can remember there was one particular time when I just wasn’t feeling well but mommy knew that something just wasn’t right. She and daddy rushed me to Andrew’s Memorial hospital’s emergency room and I overheard the doctors telling my mother that my lungs had collapsed and if she had waited one moment longer I would have died. I had so many close encounters with death throughout my life.
I did not realize then that the enemy was using this illness as one of the many ways to plant seeds of fear in my life from an early age. I started to question why wasn’t I born “normal”? How come my lungs neva mek good? Something as basic as breathing, I couldn’t even do that properly and it always left me wondering when would be that day when I just wouldn’t make it!!! My self-esteem took a huge beating. The diagnosis of asthma also introduced steroids as a part of my treatment which caused massive weight gain. The name “fatty boom boom”, among others only opened the door for an unhealthy relationship with food and an overall destructive view of my body, my image and a further hit to my self-esteem. I took on the spirit of shyness and I only felt comfortable remaining close to my trusted tribe of 2 friends or my mother. This spirit of shyness also lead to me developing a crippling fear of public speaking or doing anything that made me the center of attention. Why would anyone want to speak to me or hear what I had to say I thought? I believed the lie that my worth was directly related to how I looked or what I could do. What a lie!!!
As I entered into my early teenage years, my mother and father continued to have their marital disagreements and my home life spiraled downhill. I stopped caring about everything in life, I hated my family and I hated my life. I took on the spirit of people bondage and acceptance became a life mission for me. I didn’t care where it came from, I just knew I had to find a way to fill the gaping hole that was in my heart. As I entered into my third year of high school, I found acceptance in friendships I found there and I stopped focusing totally on school even going as far as sculling classes and finding myself in places I was not supposed to be in. Then I got the news at the end of the school year that I would have to repeat my third year. Again the hand of the Lord showed up and something inside me knew that no matter what was happening around me, if I became a failure, it would all be on me. I stopped pitying myself and instead took on a spirit of control to excel. I decided that I would now control my life and that I would take whatever I wanted in life. I found a new wind and went on to excel in high school, I became a prefect and even went on to study the sciences in sixth form. I pursued college and graduated with honors at the top of my class which led me to landing a job on the opening team of a brand new luxury hotel. I continued to excel in my career, taking the culinary industry by storm, traveling and representing Jamaica and the Caribbean region in a number of international competitions. I became the very thing I never dreamed of becoming: a powerful career woman.
All the while, the gaping hole in my heart got bigger and wider. Still I continued wearing the mask of my achievements as a pretense that I was in control and I had it all together. No one knew what was going on beneath my broad smile and my positive outgoing demeanor. I continued to make one mistake after the other in my personal life, the partying, the drinking, the smoking, the boyfriends. Never having any peace, no signs of stability in sight. By this time, I continued to starve myself having developed an eating disorder from my childhood weight gain, not caring about the damage I was doing to my body. All I cared about was ensuring I kept myself looking the way that I wanted. Still the hole in my heart continued to grow deeper.
I made yet another attempt at stability and I got married. After my marriage failed and I became a single mother to a broken young son, I remember praying to God and asking him for another husband, asking him for a father for my son, asking for the right relationship, the right job, the right anything. I thought if I just got the right thing from God, everything would be better and this ever deepening emptiness I felt in my heart would surely go away. I continued to pray these prayers for years, even after making the confession of Jesus Christ and getting water baptized. Although I had matured in age and I had even confessed Christ, the enemy still had access to my HEART. The door was still open for him to attack my IDENTITY just as he did when I was a little girl. Just as he had done all my life. I still didn’t know who I was. My HEART needed to be healed.
You see I share my story intimately because this is what the father wants from us his daughters: He wants Intimacy. It is only in his presence that our identity can be found and our HEARTS can be healed.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV –
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
I finally got to the place of bring truly tired, broke, busted and disgusted. True repentance took place in my life and I finally saw Jesus for who he is and myself as I truly was before him. (See previous post Letters to Daddy). I also learnt something else that was critical if I wanted change to not just take place as a one time deal but for me to continue to walk in victory.
Proverbs 11:9b KJV –
“but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.”
I wasn’t walking in deliverance not only because of lack knowledge, there was also no application taking place. I had to look at what was driving me to do what I was doing. What was driving me to keep repeating these bad habits and patterns? The translation of the Hebrew word for knowledge into English in the above scripture actually means “to know intimately“. I was too busy coveting and praying for things, trying to do everything in my own strength instead of developing an intimate relationship with Father God, getting to know him, getting to know who he said I was and what his will was for me.
As I sought after my Father, he began to heal my heart and I came into the knowledge of who he said I truly was in him:
Gen 1:26 NIV –
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
As we grew in relationship, in intimacy, he revealed to me how he was shifting me from a place of doubt into a place of belief in him.
Hebrews 11:6 NIV –
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
You see, I really didn’t believe. I acted the part when I was in the world and I brought that same mindset to Christ, again just acting the part but not truly being renewed in the Spirit of my mind through faith. I knew that I loved him but I had to ask myself the question, was I really ready to trust God with my whole life? That meant giving him everything and truly being naked before him. It was not an easy ask but our loving Father wooed me and as he revealed himself to me through the simplest things, I put my measure of faith to work and it grew into a faith that works. My genuine repentance, coming into belief and my application of my new found knowledge in the word of God became spiritual dynamite!!!!
I made a conscious decision to renew my mind daily and to stand firmly on the solid foundation of truth; the word of God. I wanted to share just a few of the scriptures that brought life changing transformation into my life in my early days of building my relationship with our heavenly Father:
John 3:16 KJV –
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV –
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV –
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”
Isa 53:4-5 NIV –
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Heb 12:2 NIV –
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Rejection, Shame, Pain, Blame – Jesus took it all. I don’t need to try and impress anyone with my works anymore and I definitely don’t need to impress Jesus. I am accepted just the way I am by God. And so are you my sister.
I accepted that Jesus finished the work on the cross when he said “It is finished”. His blood paid for all of my sins, both past and present. God’s salvation and grace through the work of his son Jesus Christ on the cross restored my true identity as an image bearer of God. It has already restored yours too.
Ephesians tells us that God has blessed us in advance with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms in Christ. We already have them. We were already chosen to be set apart before the beginning of time just for him and his purpose. He loves us so much that he chose us long ago to be his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, it was for his pleasure and it is his will. You can’t change his mind because he is the God that changes not and he already made the decision about you long before the foundation of the world.
His grace is a gift which we must receive in order to gain the richness of his inheritance. We therefore magnify his grace which he gave to us through his beloved Jesus Christ at no cost!!!! The blood of Jesus has already redeemed us, we receive forgiveness of sins through God’s grace which he gives without measure with all wisdom and understanding. It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. I finally found my identity, my identity is in him!!! When you can, I encourage you to read all of Psalm 139 but here is one of my favorite lines from this scripture below:
Psalm 139:16-17 NIV –
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, how amazing are your thoughts concerning me God! How vast is the sum of them”
What a promise!!! Do you believe it? I pray that you will CHOOSE to believe his word today and not the lies of the enemy. Sisters, let us get back to a life as daughters who pray and seek to build our relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us live our lives in VICTORY in Christ!!! Be encouraged daughters of the King that you are loved and treasured by your Father God. You are his precious jewel. He knows everything about you and he loves you with an everlasting love. Never forget that your identity is found in the King!!!!
I love you ladies but Jesus loves you so much more!!!
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