These two simple words have been my anthem for the last 13 months. In fact these words were playing on repeat in my head so much that I ended up getting them tattooed on my left forearm (and in case you are wondering, yes it was my first tattoo and yes, I completely shocked my parents and my kids!).
People believe a lot of things, as kids we might have believed in magic or Santa, as adults we believe life should play out a certain way, we cling to a belief of happy endings. We also believe a lot of lies. The lies that have shaped my beliefs are, that I am not worth loving. I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, capable enough. These believes have shaped who I am and the choices I have made. It is what drives my constant drive to improve myself, my chronic dieting and weight fluctuation, my (past) tendency to accept any man who will show me love, excusing his poor behavior away because, well at least he tolerates me and no other man ever will. I have believed that I deserve unkindness and abuse because I am just not good enough.
But this past year, the words I believe have meant something different. I have wrestled with my past, and my future. I have unanswered questions, oh so many questions, but I have made peace with not knowing everything. I will never fully understand why my prison guard fooled me into believing he was a godly man, or maybe he was at one point and then turned? See, more questions. I will probably never live to see him repent or change his ways and you know what, I’ve made peace with that as well. It is truly one of the hardest things in life, to forgive someone who refuses to acknowledge the damage they have caused and continue to cause.
The words on my arm carry weight. They are both a promise and a responsibility.
Here it is in a nutshell
1. God will not abandon me, like ever
2. God will provide for our us (in every sense of the word)
3. God will protect my children when they are in the prison guards care, gulp, this one takes an extra dose of faith
4. God will comfort me when I am lonely
5. God will be the true Father to my children and help them become men after God’s own heart
6. God will use my suffering to help others and to bring him Glory, hallelujah!
7. God will heal every part of my broken heart and spirit
8. God will reward my faithfulness
9. God will determine my worth, no one else will have that power any more
10. God is enough
Does this mean that I never doubt or fall back into old habits of self hatred? NO. Does it mean that I don’t struggle with my human nature of longing, anger, fear and stress? NO. Does it mean that I am filled with the Spirit and fully capable of taking my thoughts captive and living in obedience to my calling? YES.
I fully believe that God has a purpose for this road I have traveled. He was there in that prison with me, he stored every tear I shed. He has been faithful and true. His heart hurt for me and my boys for the pain we were living with, and he provided an escape. He is the reason I am not completely destroyed and the reason I can keep going, one day at a time.
Living this life with an eternal perspective takes belief. I will chose to walk in the path set before me believing I AM FREE IN CHRIST.
1 Peter 1:6-9
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Through you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.