Recently I was asked, “What do you wish you could tell your younger self as you reflect back on your life?” Surprisingly it didn’t take long to come up with my answer! “I wish that I would have been at peace and content with who the Lord made me to be much sooner in my life.” As the words rolled off of my tongue they shed light on a truth that has been stirring in my soul.
Much of my life I wrestled over body image issues, questioned my abilities, desired different giftings and longed for contentment all while knowing I was created in the image of God, and that it was good. Decades of chronic pain clouded every aspect of my thinking. Over the last 56 years I have come to realize, that I am not alone.
I would suggest that if we are really honest, many of us live our lives thinking that God made a mistake. Whether it’s our looks, personality, gifting, or life circumstances we question ourselves and God: I know that God is good, but is he good to me?
Often we develop a “composite woman,” taking the strengths and positive qualities of people who seemingly have it all together, and we measure ourselves against the amazing aspects of this fictional woman. Not only that, but we take our shortcomings and measure them against her greatest qualities (at least the ones we perceive are strengths). And in the end we come up miserably short every time! In other words, we say to God, “I am not satisfied with who you made me be and how you designed me.” This is an affront to God’s character and brings into question his good and perfect design.
Psalm 139-:13- 14 profoundly influenced my thinking about who I really am, made in the image of God.
For you formed my inmost parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; My soul knows it very well.
For many decades, l did not resonate with the truth the psalmist writes, “Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Once I fully embraced this truth, it was though the scales fell from my eyes and the clouds parted. Nothing changed externally with my pain or in my gifting, but there became a sweet contentment in my soul that God made me exactly as he designed. My soul grew to know it very well. As I meditated on Psalm 139 and prayed it over and over, God spoke tenderly to my heart and allured me into right thinking.
Interestingly, once my soul was settled, my focus shifted outward and my thoughts centered more towards thinking about, caring for and loving other people. I didn’t wake up thinking about me all of the time but was able to move forward with praise and worship to the Lord and have a heart to love and care for other people on a level that has been a delight. I must confess, there are still days when wrong thinking creeps in and I need some brain retraining so that my soul can resonate with the truth from God’s Word. But he is faithful!
Does your soul know that God made you perfectly and wonderfully?
It is true! May the Lord speak tenderly to your heart, mind and soul and allow you to be freed from the trap of believing lies. May your soul delight in the Lord, and may you believe what He says about you!
Other Scriptures that have impacted my thinking:
Isaiah 43:4 “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Praying for you, and I’m excited for what God has in store for you. He has made you exactly as He desires, fearfully and wonderfully! May your soul delight in this truth.