Last Sunday, as I sat next to a dear friend at church, something felt off. During announcements, I leaned over to her and whispered, “My shirt feels odd. I think something’s wrong.” She smiled kindly and rather indulgently, “You put it on inside out.” I leaned back and stared at her. She smiled again and said, “It’s fine. Your hair is covering the tag.” I just started laughing…probably a little too loud for church.
That’s me…all dolled up with my shirt inside out.
Unfortunately, inside-out and backward shirts and mismatched things are all too common for me.
As hard as I try to be perfect…or at least appear as less than a complete mess…I can’t seem to pull it off.
I had the thought as I snuck out of the service to fix my shirt that I no longer want to define myself as a mess anymore. I don’t want to call myself a hot mess, a complete disaster, an utter wreck, or even a bit broken.
I feel like everything I’ve read lately (including my own stuff) talks about how messy or broken we are, and I think I’m going to stop defining myself that way. I have messy circumstances, disastrous relationships, wrecked things, and broken stuff, but ME, nope.
I’m a masterpiece created by the most amazing Artist. Sometimes all I can see are the knots and twisted thread on the backside of the tapestry that is my life, but my God sees the beautiful work of art that’s being created by His careful, good, and loving hands. (Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship)
I’m chosen by the only One who knows me completely. God chose me before the foundation of the world. God chose me, knowing all my idiosyncrasies, all my sinfulness, all my faithlessness, all my failures. He knows things that no one knows…all the things…and He still chose me and still does. (2 Thessalonians 2:13 God chose you; Ephesians 1:4-6 he chose us in him before the foundation of the world)
I’m precious to the One who sees me just as I am. There’s a verse that brings me such comfort; it says, “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20). God does not condemn me. There is no condemnation for me. I’m the opposite of condemned. I’m precious, and all that beautiful word implies. (Romans 8:1 There is, therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.)
I’m dearly loved by the One who is Love. I struggle to wrap my brain around the beauty of being loved completely, relentlessly, and unconditionally by Love Himself. It’s too big to grasp. Love loves me. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I’m redeemed and saved by the One who was willing to die for me. I don’t need to live in a place of fear or worry. My future is secure in Him. When I stand before my Father, He will look at me with love. He will not rehearse all my failures, drag up all my mistakes, or parade all my sins before me. He will look at me and see His dear daughter standing in the righteousness of His Son! (Ephesians 1:7)
I’m peaceful because the One who is Peace is mine. I don’t often live like I have Peace or peace. I live like I have to make peace, create peace, or find peace when peace is mine already. Jesus is my peace. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
I’m hopeful because I know who holds my days in His hands. I can get really anxious when I think about the future, even tomorrow. I’m the queen of second-guessing, decision-despair, and generally over-think everything. I’m working daily on truly trusting God with my life…with my moments…believing that He is sovereign and good always. That, amazingly, has increased my hope exponentially. I have hope because I KNOW He will not let go of me. (Romans 15:13)
I also have started grasping how no matter what is happening in my world, no matter what circumstances break my heart, no matter how I wish things were different, I am loved by the One who holds every single thing in His hands and who is completely and utterly good. I can trust that His goodness and grace will take care of everything, especially me and mine.
I want to speak words of truth into my life…words that I would want my children to speak to themselves. I would hate it if my children rehearsed their failures or perceived failures. I would be miserable if my children saw themselves as messes or disasters. I believe my Father feels the same way. He does not desire me to define myself by anything but Him.
I am a chosen and dearly loved daughter of the King. I am a precious and beautiful work of art. I am redeemed, saved, and protected. I am safe.
Tags on the outside don’t mean anything except that I’m a little rushed and probably should wear my glasses!