Monday, February 3, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Identity


I am God’s daughter
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

When my daughter was five, she was desperate to dye her dark-brown hair a vivid golden blond, swap her chocolate-colored eyes out for blue, and lighten her olive skin to a fair peach. (She also wanted to change her name, but that’s another story entirely.) In my mind, she should have been immune to these things, but already, the games had begun.

You know, the comparison games. The games many of us start to play as preteens and sometimes never stop.

“Why can’t I have curly hair like her?”

“Why can’t I have straight hair?”

“Why can’t I be curvy?”

“Why can’t I be less curvy?”

What is wrong with us? We’re all so desperate to fix these supposed flaws we believe we have, think if we can just change this or disguise that or get rid of X, Y, Z, or Q then everything will be perfect. Perhaps we think we can alter our identity, change our path.

At the root of all this is a misguided perception that somehow, someway, we don’t measure up to some ideal standard. Somehow, we fall short. Somehow, we are not good enough.

However, one look at Scripture tells us this is all an awful lie.

When God created the universe, He made the heavens and the waters over the earth, the plants and the trees, and said it was all good (Genesis 1:10, 12). He made the day, the night, and the stars above, and said it was good (18). He made the fish, the birds, and all the animals and said it was good (21, 25).

But when He made humans? That was exceptionally special.

Genesis 1:27 says God created human beings “in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (NLT).

That to God wasn’t just “good”—it was “very good” (31).

We know this is true. So why do we think negative thoughts about ourselves and how we were made? Why do we think we were born with the “wrong” hair color?

Why did God make me short, or have broad shoulders or hips?

Why I born deaf, or with a heart condition, or nearsighted?

No matter how God made us, we can rest assured it was by design. God didn’t “mess up somehow” or “make a silly mistake” when He made us. Every bit of God’s design for us was intentional.

And He made every single one of us in His image.

That is profound!

Not only are we made in His image, but we are also known completely by Him—and loved exactly how we are. Scripture is filled with those reminders.

Psalm 139-13-16 says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (NLT).

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (NLT).

This same God—THE God, the One and the Only, the Alpha and the Omega—knit us, formed us, planned our future, and loves us completely and wholly.

And God doesn’t scrimp! I’m His daughter, and I know: He doesn’t make junk.

It’s time we remembered how very much He loves us and how perfectly created we are… just the way we are.

We need to love ourselves just as God loves us.

~*~
Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com.

18 comments:

  1. Such a good reminder for daughters of all ages!

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  2. Amen. I am His daughter. I am loved by Him. I am special. :-)

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  3. Sandra Caballero I am his perfect creation I am his light for others,
    Thank You God!!!

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    1. Amen, amen!! We are the light of Christ shining in the world for all to see.

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  4. Thank you for this today! I'm struggling with extreme pain from my autoimmune disease, an illness that has a genetic component and also a trauma-induced component. On really rough days (which I'm currently having), it's easy to be mad a God for allowing this to happen to me. But then, I recall all the good that has come to my growth and my life because I have to cry out to him for help so often. Pain has made me able to relate to so many more people than I ever could if I were healthy. It draws me closer to God.

    Thank you for sharing this passage in the NLT. The wording is exquisite, and it made me feel so loved and cherished by our God and Creator: Psalm 139:13-16 says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

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    1. Melinda, I cannot imagine how hard it is to have an autoimmune disease. A very close friend struggles with this, too. God bless you on your journey! I appreciate you so much.

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  5. Beautiful post, Jessica. I think it must make the Lord's heart ache when we complain about ourselves...what the master artist has created. We're a masterpiece by the greatest artist who ever lived.

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    1. Amen, Karen!! I pray we hold the opinion of God higher than the world's.

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  6. Beautifully written Jessica. I know God looks down on all of us everyday and smiles at the beautiful princesses he created. As precious as jewels we are to him, perfect because GOD is perfect. It is only when we allow the lies/sin of this World to make us believe otherwise. Praise God for his goodness endures forever.

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  7. There's so much truth in your words, Jessica! It seems like each person must come to terms with the understanding that God had a unique design for each of us, and He calls it GOOD.

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  8. I wrestled with my identity for years... This is but one of the many beautiful facets of my identity given me by my good, good Father. Beautiful post as usual, my friend.

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  9. Such a good truth but often hard to trust in the midst of things. Thankful for God's understanding, mercy, and love.

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