I wanted to share my story.
We all have one.
I have many. Especially when it comes to pregnancy.
But the Lord didn’t want me share that.
So I won’t tell you about my 3 battles with hyperemesis gravidarum and the PTSD I have from it. I won’t tell you about my miscarriage. I won’t tell you about my hemorrhaging and blood transfusion. And I won’t tell you about the continuous battles of breastfeeding I endured. Maybe one day I will. But for now, the Lord told me to be silent.
I’m gonna be honest. Brutally honest. In fact, this could be quite embarrassing.
I like attention.
I’ve like attention since I was a little girl. I feed on others affirmation of me and most of my life built my identity on it. God knew this. He also knew it needed to be broken. I didn’t realize how much it needed to be broken until recently.
In Matthew 4, we read the story of how Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Starting in verse 5 it says:
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
Jesus came to save the world. He came to bring good news. How perfect would it be for him to show this display of power? That would certainly bring a crowd. That would surely affirm his identity as being the Son of God right?
But Jesus didn’t need the approval of the world to affirm His identity.
From the beginning of my pregnancy with Annalise, I knew I would be sick. Extremely sick. And because of the trauma of Charleigh’s pregnancy and my miscarriage I held on to bitter and angry feelings that I thought would only be healed one way:
Show the world what I went and was going to go through.
I wanted people to know my pain and suffering. I wanted to prove that what I had was different than just “morning sickness” I wanted it more than I wanted healing from hypermesis
gravidarum. I thought I could handle going through it again. And in the process, I would finally get the sympathy and attention I longed for from others.
Before my first admittance in to the hospital I watched Heidi Baker preach in Raleigh from my computer. Towards the end, I began praying in the spirit and kept repeating the same word over and over again. So I wrote it down, “Kacia” or “Cassia”. I wasn’t sure on the spelling but I knew it sounded like one of those. I also had no idea what it meant. I thought perhaps it was a name for my future baby. I had been praying for that. So I questioned it for about an hour, and after not getting any answer to this strange word, I gave up.
Not until this month, 2 years later, did I know what that word meant. In Psalms 45:8 it talks of cassia.
“All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.”
Cassia: one principal spice of the Holy Anointing Oil used to anoint priests, kings and their garments. The coming King Messiah’s robes will smell of cassia (humility, being stripped of pride, set apart or holy with a servant’s heart)
When I read the meaning I immediately heard my Father saying,
“You were holding onto pride my daughter and I knew that. But I wanted to anoint you with humility.”
It hit hard. I knew exactly what He meant. I desperately wanted affirmation of how strong I was for going through what I went through. I wanted people to somehow understand my sufferings. But it all came down to one thing. Pride. And the Lord wanted to strip me of that.
Not only in that area, but EVERY area of my life. It is a continual renewing of my mind.
“The quickest way to disrupt God’s perfecting process in your life, is to try and put out an image of perfection to others.” _Steven Futrick
Most of my life I’ve spent projecting the best image of myself to others in order to win their approval. As if that approval really mattered. I would think, “if this person liked me…then I must be pretty special.” But if they didn’t, then something must be wrong with me.
Silly sounding right? Maybe I’m the only one. But the worst misconception I lived by, was trying to continually win the approval of God. If I could just somehow live a holy life. Then God would like me a lot.
But God taught me that if I am IN CHRIST, and Christ is holy. Then when He sees me. He sees holiness.
Holiness is what I wanted. What I prayed for. But I thought I attained it by my actions. But the scriptures depicts a completely different picture.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
1 Timothy 1:9-11
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
How many times does our confidence as a child of God decrease when we make mistakes? Howmany times do we feel like we failed God when we mess up? How many times do we subject ourselves to a self worth of nothing because we feel as if we have no value? How many times do we look at our struggles and think “God must really be disgusted with me now”
But it also flows the other way. How many times do we feel like we got more likes from God after reading our Bible, or refraining from a sin. How many times do we measure our holiness by what we don’t do? How many times do we feel we have earned more of God’s love by what we did for someone else.
But we are not holy by any effort on our part. As believers, we are holy because He is holy. We are set apart because the Holy Spirit lives in us. But when we allow pride (or other sins) into our life, we can’t walk into the holiness He has called us to. And the biggest revelation of all is…
We don’t have to earn the approval of God to be loved by Him.
Duh right? I mean it’s been engrained in our mind since we were small “Jesus loves me this I know” But for me, it needed to go from my head to my heart. I can’t earn more of His love for me. He simply loves me and has accepted me since the beginning of time.
If we could truly grasp our identity in Christ, what freedom that would bring in our lives.
Please don’t get what I said confused, I do want to please God. But not because I’m trying to win His approval. But because I am madly in love with Him.