I was once a survivor. I followed the belief that everyday, every breath was simply one second closer to getting through the chaos of my story called life. It’s a part of my reality that I hid extremely well, yet in stuffing my hurt, loneliness and insecurity, I became lost. I ran from God. Here is my story.
I spent the majority of my childhood and teen years secretly angry and terrified of God. I know it might be difficult to read those words, but it’s true. When life seems hard and simply makes no sense, we blame the only One that can bring peace from chaos, yet rarely stick around long enough to listen to His voice. I spent so much of my life pointing the finger at God that I refused to believe any of the Truths found in His Word. I knew mentally what the Bible promised, but it brought no peace to my aching heart. I seemed happy on the outside, yet completely shattered on the inside. My mask served it’s purpose well – I was hiding my anger, stuffing my disappointment and refusing to let my hurt show to others.
During the summer of one of my elementary years, I remember lying awake in bed at my grandma’s house. I was gleefully spending time with her away from the constant coming and going of any typical active summer. Yet, that night my mind was running at such a fast pace. I remember looking at the window and noticing the moonlight shining under the thinly lined curtains. My toes curled as I slid gently over the carpet, trying my hardest to keep a steady balance. I desperately wanted to get a better look at the rounded moon glow. As I peered back the shade, I was awestruck, most possibly for the first time in my life while completely absorbed by the beauty and clarity of the moon that I knew God created. Just a few days ago, I was told again, the story of creation. I was reminded of the creativity and perfection God displayed as He put the world and universe into motion. I knew that God Himself spoke the world into existence but formed man with His hands:
“Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. (Genesis 2:7 NLT)
I also understood that God knew all about me:
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 NLT)
I was painfully aware that God knew me while I was in my mothers womb:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart…” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)
However, can you imagine how the message of a loving Creator God loses translation when the receiving ears belong to someone doubting why they were even created to begin with? As I gazed into the moon that night with these very passages running through my head, I remember tears streaming down my cheeks as I silently asked God, “Why God? Why did You choose not to complete me? Why couldn’t You have loved me enough to give me normal sight, two ears that actually work and an arm that fits my body correctly? Why don’t You love me that much?”
It was very evident to me that there was a God. His love was very visible all around me. Yet, I feared to be near Him because I felt like this body He gave me was a representation of His love for me, personally. I never doubted His unending love for those around me. But His love for me seemed incomplete, disabling and abandoned. If God wasn’t going to finish me, I surely wasn’t going to be complete in Him.
Thus, my running began…
Survivors believe they can make it through life, barely, on their own.
Thrivers find a fullness of life through an identity built on being His child.
Survivors find it impossible to be loved completely just as they are.
Thrivers spread the unexplainable unending love of their Abba by the way they live their lives, fueled by experiencing His presence continually active in their lives.
Survivors define their identity on the obstacles they have overcome.
Thrivers define their identity on their relationship with God.
Survivors are consumed by events of their past.
Thrivers feel confident in their life defined by His purpose.
Are you a survivor or a thriver? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Part 2 coming tomorrow!