Four days ago, during a conversation with my roommate, we discussed a few things concerning my journey and how I react to life. After expressing obstacles that I had endured, she looked at me with great concern and astonishment, and uttered, “WOW. You have been through a lot.” Puzzled, I thought to myself, have you been through a lot?
In that very moment, a metaphorical light bulb went off in my head. Years of torment, disappointment, heartbreak, grief, strife and pain flashed before my eyes reminding me of the scars that had made up my frame of mind. Harmless jokes offended me and caused walls to immediately stand post. Smug glares and “throwing shade” aided a mental retreat away from anyone offering an exchange of glances. I dodged every opportunity for constructive criticism leaving me to think that I knew all about myself. In a single moment, I was reminded that the essence of who I am had been painted over and covered by years and years of trials. I did not know who I was.
Looking back, I can recall most obstacles I faced that created a pathway to denial about the real Areanna. After an incident transpired, I took on that identity. I became that person making the mistakes, that person failing to measure up. Convinced of this plagiaristic activity, I gave up the rights to my authenticity. I no longer owned my identity. Have you allowed pain after pain, heartache after heartache, disappointment after disappointment determine who you are?
Are you the man that endured a treacherous breakup that you never imagined happening? Or the woman that needed that man to stay so you could have a fighting chance at love? Are you that angry soul that felt the need to spew venomous words at anyone risking the opportunity to feel your wrath? Are you that person pleading with God to take away the desire to do “it” one more time? No matter the case, no matter the cause, you are not what you did! You are not what happened to you. That was a season in your life that you endured to blossom into this new person that sits (or stands) here reading this today. In the past five years, several obstacles have come to make you stumble and even fall. But you got up. Your end, Jesus Christ, stood there interceding that you would hear the future calling your name. Please listen.
Flip through the thinly printed pages of the bible and research who you are. You are beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). You are the head and not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom (Deut. 28:13). When you are in need of strength, run to the Lord who is a strong tower, where the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). The Lord grants you peace. He will not give to you as the world gives. Let your heart not be troubled (John 14:27). Perfect are the plans He has for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
You are better than two black eyes every other month. Know that someone will love you for who you are and nurse you back to health. You are worth more than a late night movie every Thursday night. You are worth a Saturday brunch following a relaxing walk in the park. You are more than an allowance every month. You are precious and the heir of a marvelous kingdom which just so happens to live inside you!
Tap into the truths that were said about you before you were hit with a ton of bricks. Tap into the kingdom relationships that surround you. Assess the hurts and pains that you have endured and ask God what these have caused you to think. Detox your mind, body, soul and spirit to rid yourself of these inappropriate thoughts of mediocrity. Assess what dangers you crossed and how those circumstances shaped your mind. Take a deep hard look at what life circumstances have layered over the true essence of who you are at your finest. Assess the hurts so we can enjoy the grace!
My prayer for us is an open mind to receive the goodness of the Lord. Lord, we repent for believing the false truths about who you called us to be. I thank you God for allowing the filters to be removed. And we thank you for clear sight of your path. Direct our will to that of yours, O God. Lord, we thank you for your sacrifice that breaks every chain of condemnation. We are free. Free in you, Lord, and free of every old mindset. Create in us clean hearts and right spirits. Set us on a new foundation made of your word. Keep the divine connections near us, Lord, and sweep away any distractions. We thank you and bless you. And we ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!