When the doctor told me I had the “leading cause of infertility”, there were many other words that followed hers and seemed to cling to me.
Failure. Ugly. Broken. Unworthy.
I heard them and when the months and years seemed to prove the label of “infertility” right, I allowed all those other words to label me as well. Like the slashes of a knife, they wounded me so deeply, I couldn’t see, couldn’t feel, couldn’t hear.
Ah, the glory of those beautiful words. But God.
This God I serve isn’t like the deaf and mute idols of this world. He is living. Breathing. And His Words are a person, as we’re told in John 1. They are Jesus.
The One who carried the sorrows of this world on His shoulders. The One who whispers of something new, something beautiful. The One who heals blind eyes, heals lame limbs, heals deaf ears.
I spent a month immersed in the Word, in Jesus, in Truth, and when I emerged from that intense month of reading and focus and fasting and praying through the dark hours of the night, I found that I could see and hear and walk.
The lies that had haunted me were suddenly exposed for what they really were. I wasn’t a failure. Oh, of course I failed at things! And technically, my body did fail at bearing a child. But that wasn’t my identity.
We all face labels that wound and scar us.
Our identities are twisted and warped by the Enemy.
My children, who were both came home at eight years old, filter everything in their lives through the words that label them. We’ve found some are technically true, others were never really true, and none of them are actually their identity.
So many days they can’t hear our voices. So many days the lies, the twisted and warped picture the Enemy has covered them with, are all they can see. Some days they barely limp through life—dragging wounds with them.
It would be devastating… but God.
But God, who takes all those perverted truths and straightens them back out, who heals so we can walk again, so we can see again, so we can hear again.
I believe that God is the former of our identities.
He formed mine, yours, and my children’s.
So even on the days when all my daughter can see is the perverted truth of who she is, and even on the days when my son wants to live in a warped reality of who he is–I will keep speaking the true things I know over them.
Yet, in the end, no matter who is speaking truth to us (or speaking lies over us), each individual must make a choice. We get to look at what God has revealed about people—about being image-bearers of Christ, about their worth, their beauty, and His longing for relationship with them—and we get to decide if we’re going to allow His Words to heal us or not.
Can I tell you a story?
For as long as I can remember, I loved working with children. Like Eric Liddell once said about running, teaching and being with children is when I feel the Lord’s pleasure.
But there was a day when someone I respected sat across from me and told me they didn’t think I should work with children because I didn’t appear to be very good at it.
I remember feeling shocked, and wondering if everything I believed about myself was all wrong.
That perverted truth began to scrape away at my identity.
With the help of others who knew me better, who looked me in the eye and told me they believed the Lord had given me a measure of grace to work with children that many don’t have– I slowly overcame that warped idea and whatever the Enemy was trying to accomplish with it.
Except just the other day, I almost stumbled under it again.
My daughter was telling someone why she thought her daddy was more fun than Mommy. And immediately, those words came crashing through me again. Probably Daddy is more fun because I’m not very good with children.
After all, I am an introvert and every morning I just need a little quiet time before I let the kids sit on me or chatter my ear off and sometimes I wish they’d just wait a few more minutes before coming out of their room.
And, of course, I am usually no-nonsense about disobedience and I’m probably too controlling and somehow I always get to the end of the day and realize I never sat down and read books to them like I planned to.
And… really? Maybe God didn’t allow me to bear children because I wouldn’t make a very good mother.
Do you see the lies?
The way they multiply to attack the heart of who we are?
God says something different about me. God says that He makes barren women the heart-mother of nations.
There are days when I don’t make a very good mother, that’s the truth. But that’s not my true identity.
I was made to mother my children. I was made for relationships and to know and follow hard after God.
My identity is not “failure” or “unworthy”. My identity is in what Christ says about me–and it doesn’t begin with “you aren’t good enough…” It begins with, “You are loved and chosen…”
Do you have a story like mine?
Was there a time when you were fed lies by this world? Have you overcome them? Or do they still haunt you?
The truth is found in Jesus, the Word that lived and breathed and walked among us. The One who still does.
Let’s look at our identity carefully, through the viewfinder of the One who says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love…”
That doesn’t sound much like someone who is labeling you with lies of condemnation, does it?