Last week was a “somehow” week for me.
My friend took off time from work to attend our conference and visit I and our other friend… and considering how much we’d missed each other, one would think that our time together would be filled with catching up and doing stuff friends do but no… it was filled with lots of down time… at least for me.
For the last one week plus I have been withdrawn, moody and struggling with identity crisis.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a kitchen person.
I don’t like kitchen chores and maybe all other kind of chores for that matter.
I can do them if I want to but I won’t deliberately CHOSE to do them.
So I probably won’t join you up in the kitchen till you tell me to do so…
I am also not a physical touch kind of person.
For example, I won’t willingly massage you because I don’t know how to massage and even though you maybe tired, I’d rather soothe you with words rather than try to take oil and massage you…
Sometimes also, I get a bit wrapped up in myself.
If I am working on a post maybe, I would be with my phone/laptop for as long as it takes and not say a word to someone I’m sitting with physically.
And I can also be a bit detached from people, so it just may not cross my mind that I have to factor in someone’s interest for example into what I’m doing.
It’s not intentional, it’s just the way it is… and when I am called up on them, as much as I sometimes get defensive, I try to correct them…
But then when my friends were around, I just felt called up on these things a lot, so much so that I had an identity crisis… one where I started struggling to see my strength and the good in me.
In fairness to my friends though, they probably had great intentions on correcting me on some of the stuffs but something about the whole scenario didn’t make me want to work on it and get better, but rather it made me start questioning who I am.
It probably had more to do with how I received what they said but looking at it all right now, I see that it was just satan’s way of trying to fight to take away my confidence in who I am which springs forth from who God sees me to be.
And while pondering on this issue one morning during my quiet time last week… I was worshipping God as usual but I know He knew what was in my heart.
And so He said “I Love you wholly”.
And I kept asking Him “what do you mean by I love you wholly?
In the light of everything that’s currently happening – me feeling a bit skewed and lacking in a lot of different aspects… what do you mean by I love you wholly?”
Those words kept ringing in my head all through the week, along with some verses in Romans 8
“And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”
Romans 8:30 NLT
Now the process of our becoming who God wants us to be and shining forth His glory follows what Romans spells out above.
And what was jumping at me was RIGHT STANDING with God.
And then I asked myself, what is the correlation between right standing with God and God’s love?
Well, hold on we’ll tie it all up in a minute…
Amplified version of Romans 8:30 says:
“And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].”
Romans 8:30 AMP
So right standing with God is seen as being acquitted, justified and made righteous with Him…
Now the deal is God didn’t give us right standing with Himself because of anything we did/do… He gave us right standing with Himself because of His love for us… and guess what? it gave Him good pleasure to do so!
So when God told me “I love you wholly”, He went ahead to tell me, if I could love you with the abortions, do you think that it’s your lack of cooking, communication and “caring” skills that I can’t love you with?
I see all these things Frances and I love you STILL with them.”
I just believe that God knew what I was struggling with in my heart that my friends didn’t know.
I withdrew from them during the last one week and I just couldn’t help myself.
I was struggling with satan messing with my mind and I was trying to fill myself up with what God thought of me which is what is important.
I understand a bit of the reason why satan could come in and shake me…
When I was in the world/before I came to Christ, I struggled with my identity… arising from having half past eyes, to being fat, to dating a boy who would tell me “only me would love you and have you”…
So I believe that even though I have moved past all those, satan saw a loophole that he could mess with just for a bit and see if I would fall.
Remember the “He who thinks he stand should take heed lest he fall” warning from the Bible.
Yes. This was an example of one of those…
You’d notice that God gave those He called right standing with Him before He gave them His glory.
So knowing who and what we are in God is manifestly important before we can shine forth our light in Him and walk in His glory… so if satan wants to cut short our glory in Christ, what better way to do that than to pull off our confidence in who we are in Christ?
The funny thing was that I couldn’t share with my friends what was up with me, so they basically were all up in thinking and throwing in my face that “I was being selfish and not caring about others by withdrawing into myself”.
I was struggling with lots of stuff in my mind, trying to win the battle with God’s word and the more they thought I was being selfish by withdrawing from them, the more my flaws were being thrown in my face, and the more satan came in with “maybe you aren’t all that after all”.
Oh, sincerely, this battle is all up in our mind like 2Corinthains 10:5 says…
And in the midst of all that, God’s weapon to me was “I love you wholly”.
And then I found this in Ephesians 1:6 (MSG)
“Long before he laid down earthâs foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.”
It says we are to be made WHOLE and holy by God’s love.
And I must add by a right understanding of His love.
So God went ahead to tell me…
“I see all those things Frances, but I love you still with them.
Be patient with you. I am working in you.
Only be ready to move, change and receive.
But I love you still wholly, that’s my message to you”.
He wanted me to know that I can never doubt His love for me.
If He had transformed the girl who used to be wrapped in sexual sins, why do I think that it’s kitchen stuff that He can’t change if that’s what He wants to change(I want Him to change)?
He said “His love transforms, changes, renews and changes and this He does even with the “small things”.
But still, even through the transformation, His love is never in doubt.
He loves me(us) crazily and would stake His life on His love for me (us) which He has already done!
I don’t believe that my friends had wrong intentions at heart in pointing out my flaws, they love me… but God wanted me to look beyond my wanting to please them or gain acceptance from their perception of me.
He also saw that satan was using the incident as a leeway to clear away my confidence of who God sees me to be…
So what God did is what He always does… He took me to the truth, His word which is always the ultimate weapon to fight satan’s lies.
And then He opened up the way He sees me to me…
He opened up why He sees me that way, which is because of His love… a love that never changes or decreases because of one thing or the other that I have done.
God is working in me to be just like Jesus but even through the process I am acceptable to Him as I am because He has given me right standing with Himself… again this isn’t because of what I do, it’s all because of His love for me.
So I went down Romans 8 after reading about my right standing in God and found this…
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, wonât he also give us everything else?
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No oneâfor God himself has given us right standing with himself.
Who then will condemn us? No oneâfor Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at Godâs right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christâs love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, âFor your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.â )
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from Godâs love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrowânot even the powers of hell can separate us from Godâs love. No power in the sky above or in the earth belowâindeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:30-39 NLT
And imbeded in the above Word was all and is all I will ever need in reply to satan’s lies about my identity in Christ.
God said “I love you on Monday, I love you on Tuesday, I love you on Wednesday, I love you on Thursday.
Nothing you do can separate my love for you and it’s because of this love that I gave you right standing with myself.
Yes, you with all your seeming flaws and all you are ashamed of.
I say you have right standing with me.
Nothing you did made me do that, I did that because again, I love you.
My love makes you whole in me”.
Those are God’s words to me but I also believe that they are also for someone who struggles with believing who they are in Christ.
What springs up your moments of identity crisis might not be little things like mine…
They might be big things like you feeling dumb, daft, empty…
Everyone tells you that you don’t have anything in you..
You are ugly, a fool and have nothing to offer…
You keep falling into sin…
God says, I have given you a right standing with me, who will dare point a finger at you… a finger that doesn’t align with who I have called you to be in my sight?
We have to understand that as long as we think of ourselves as less than who God knows us to be, we can never live out our full potential.
We can never shine forth His glory like He wants us to do.
We have to be secure not in ourselves but in our identity in Christ to be able to reach lives for Him like the way He wants us to do.
Leave those flaws and all what not behind.
Like He told me, “I am working on them, only be ready to change when I tug at you to do so… but also know that that doesn’t change who you are in my eyes.
I am molding you in me, but still I love you as much as I ever will right now.”
I believe that if we would let this truth of God’s love wrap around us, the depressing moments of questioning ourselves, our abilities, our strength and who we are would stop.
I don’t know who else this is meant for, but whenever satan threatens to sink you into depression by making you think less of yourself, remember that God loves you wholly.
And imbedded in God’s love is your being accepted, justified and in right standing with Him as you are.
And also in that love is the power to mold you into becoming more like Jesus… so let God’s love do its work in you, even as you bask in your right standing in God right now.
Father I thank you because I am good, great, justified, acceptable and loved in your sight.
Your truth is the only truth that I believe.
You have called me yours, you have called me loved, you have called me justified and that I believe.
I am powerful, strong, filled with potentials and amazing strength in you.
Thank you Lord!
I encourage you to read Romans 8 in the MSG and AMP version too.
If you sometimes doubt yourself and who you are, please let God’s truth about who you are sink into your heart and give no heed to the devil(or even whatever people may say (if their words aren’t coming with good intentions).
God loves us crazily.
And I hope that you know that too.
Till our next online bible study,
P.S: Hope you read the post on upcoming events we have before the year wraps up?
Click here to see events lined up for December and also let me know if you can join us for any of them 🙂
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estherDecember 9, 2015 at 12:21 pm
We both have similar character traits and sometimes d withdrawal symptom is the only me time when you can heal and deeply reflect on issues many people can’t relate with you on some levels just a special few but God loves us deeply and he alone understands us and deals perfectly with US be rest assured he has us covered
Frances OkoroDecember 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm
He does know us even better than we know ourselves Esther..
And the deal of withdrawal symptoms, I pray God works on it for me..it helps me tremendously but lots of people don’t understand it.. again God does understand cuz He made us and will tweak what’s needed to be better as we dwell in Him.
ChinenyeOctober 2, 2016 at 10:04 pm
Wow…. I am just reading this post now… Almost a year since it was written and it is addressing my present situation and through this, I can say that God really loves me.
I wouldn’t know why he loves me this much, but I just want to say THANK YOU LORD for always coming through to me even when I misbehave and don’t deserve. You are indeed GOD and not man.
Thank you Frances for this…. More of God’s blessings
Frances OkoroOctober 10, 2016 at 1:31 pm
Thank you Jesus for wrapping your daughter Chinenye with your arms of love..for letting her see your heart towards her…we are grateful.
*Much love Chinenye