Naked and Unafraid
Hey, thought you might be interested in knowing…. Next week, we start a brand new study entitled Light Bulb Moments. Registration for the classes is full. Slots went very quickly. But we would love for you to join us via devotional and podcast. The devo goes up for sale today on the website (relayoftruth.com/shop) and the podcasts will begin posting on 9/14. You should also check out our Spotify praise playlist (Light Bulb Moments) that coincides with the truths of the study. Will you help us spread the word? Below is one of the devos from the new and improved devotional. Let me know what you think!
Recently, I heard someone reference this quote by Carl Jung: “The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.” And ohhhh, how true that is! How the world loves to tell us who we are and who we are not. The world loves to determine our “value” - by what we own, what we do, how we look, where we are from, where we went to school, where we didn’t go to school, how we vote, what we know, who we know, our athletic prowess…. The world has an exhaustive toolbox of definers!
But they are precarious and inadequate (and let’s be clear - completely faulty) definers! And we all seem to discover that sooner or later – because there are definite times in our lives when it is virtually impossible to define ourselves by our titles, our responsibilities, our relationships, possessions, or accomplishments. Completing one chapter of our lives, struggling to find our place in another, we can sometimes wrestle with who we are and what our purpose is in life.
Perhaps we are leaving high school and headed into the unknown of college.
We have enjoyed 4 (or 5 or 6) magnificent years in college and must now face adulthood.
We thought we were going to marry that person, but the relationship is over.
We are struggling to have children.
Our career is faltering.
We must walk away from a long-held dream.
We find ourselves with an empty nest after years of raising children.
It can happen in a myriad of ways. Life changes! And we must switch gears in response. The ground shifts beneath us, and we must regain firm footing. And it’s in these transitions that we can find ourselves asking the deepest of life questions.
But this is what I have discovered about those times: If we are willing to stand mentally and emotionally naked in the midst of them, and ask ourselves, “Who am I without any of life’s ‘definers?’ What makes me who I am, and what gives me value?” And if we then determine to have the courage and tenacity to answer those questions in the light of God’s Word rather than the trappings of this world, our lives can change forever.
Because here is the true beauty and freedom that we can discover and enjoy walking through difficult and/or changing times:
Our identity does not.
Our value does not.
What I do may be a reflection of who I am, but it does not determine who I am. What I do and what I have may bring value to my life, but it does not (and it cannot) determine my value[. Do you see the difference? I so desperately want us to see the beauty of this truth! Because if we will, and if we will commit to walking in that truth, no situation and no person (not even ourselves!) can make us believe the lies of inadequacy or insecurity. For when we come to understand and enjoy the significance and purpose, the absolute beauty and dignity, that our Heavenly Father has created us to enjoy every single day of our lives, we may still feel “naked” sometimes by this world’s standards, but we are certainly not afraid and we remain convinced of our intrinsic value!
As a child of God, these are a few of the things that are always true of you:
You are unconditionally adored by God. The One who knows you best – loves you most. His love for you is not based on who you are. It is based on who He is. It is God’s nature to love. No matter what you did or didn’t do – God loves you. No matter if you love Him back or want nothing to do with Him – God loves you. And God’s love is action-oriented. He is always pursuing you. You are unconditionally adored by God.
God has great plans for your life. You were made on purpose with purpose[a2] . If you are currently breathing, your Heavenly Father has great plans for you. And those plans transition from one day to another. They transition from one chapter of your life to another. You may graduate from school. You may retire from your occupation. What has filled your days for years may come to an end. But God has new things in store for you tomorrow.
Our Heavenly Father guarantees us custom-designed grace for our day. Where does life currently find you? What does life currently find you doing? God PROMISES us the resources that we need to be successful in our every day. At this point in your life, do you need more patience? Self-control? Love? Courage? Tenacity? God has placed Himself in us – and He desires to give us what we need. In His faithfulness and love, God uses our hard times to make us wiser and stronger. He desires to use the experiences of this life to make us more like Himself.
We are all familiar with the saying, “There are some things you can’t un-see.” This is absolutely one of those things. If we will see it, it will change us. It can be profoundly scary to see ourselves stripped of what this world uses to define us and assign our value. It can feel remarkably vulnerable and uncertain. But if we will determine to work our way through the process, if we will trust God to define us when it seems that nothing else does, we will find true freedom and life enjoyment on the other side. Because no matter what life brings our way, we will know:
We are unconditionally loved by God.
He has great plans for us.
He will provide for our every need.
And He is committed to making us our truest and finest selves. He is fully committed to making us more like Himself.
That is who we are and that is what gives us value.