Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Uniquely Broken

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay,
 to show that the surpassing power belongs to God, and not to us.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the 41 years of my life,
it is that we -people in general- long for a sense of unique identity.
I used to think that I was an anomaly.
I used to think that I was alone in my search for something of value,
something that was unique to me.
I used to think that while I struggled through life aching for a sense of self-worth,
the people around me were content in knowing who they were.
But, I am discovering that thinking may have been wrong.
And I wonder if maybe, we are all, uniquely broken.
 
 I am 41 years old.
I am married to a wonderful man whom I know loves me more than life.
I have three amazing kids.
 (I will fight{and win!}anybody who would beg to differ with me!)
My extended family all love me.
And I am blessed to have friends in my life who love me.
I live in a good house.
I have everything I could ever need, and most of what I want.
And when I look in a mirror, I am content with what I see.
But it isn't enough.
I want something more.
I want my very own, unique identity.

Before Christmas, the ladies in our church took part in a Bible study called
  Chase, by Jennie Allan. In one of the chapters, Jennie says this,
 "Identity is found in the distinct characteristics that set us apart or give us worth.
We want to matter and to make a mark on the world. It feels selfish, even arrogant, to admit it. But everyone of us has this need for a significant identity."
 I couldn't have said it better myself. (Which is why I quoted Jennie.) :)
You see, I want to be special. I want to be successful. And I want to have value.
But, the thing is, I don't feel any of those things.
There is nothing I have, nothing that I can do, that is unique to me alone.
There is nothing to set me apart,
nothing that will give me a significant identity.
And I find myself chasing after that one,
 illusive identity that will fulfill that need in my life.
And I have discovered something.

It doesn't exist in this world.

 In my head, I know that my identity, my value, is found in Christ alone. According to Romans 7:18, ...."I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh." But I also know that, according to 2 Corinthians 5:17,..... "if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away,
and look, new things have arrived!"

I know that in my head.

But for some reason, I just can't seem to transfer that belief to my heart.
Every time I think I've got it figured out, I find myself slipping back to that belief that I am identified by my shortcomings. That, because I feel like I don't have any distinct characteristics that set me apart, my value and worth is less than those around me.
Even though I know that only God is equipped to provide me with a sense of worth, I still try to find it in what others think of me,
and in what I am able to accomplish myself.
And I am constantly left wanting.

Which, I am beginning to understand, is the way it's supposed to be.

John 15:5 says,
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything."

Why is it that I try to produce fruit on my own?

I think it is because I forget to remain in Him.

On my own, I am broken.
But, in Jesus Christ, I am uniquely broken.
And I am beginning to realize, that is a good place to be.

Dr. Charles Stanley says this,
"Brokenness is God's requirement for maximum usefulness. Through adversity, failure, and disappointment, the Father molds us into people whom He can use."

Jeremiah 29:11 says,
 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

I am choosing to believe this.
If God said it, it is true.
He has a plan for my life, a plan that is good, and not evil.
It is a plan that includes a future, and a hope.

And I am so glad to know, that He is able to take the broken pieces of my life,
and transform them into something special,
something successful, and something valuable.

Something that is unique to me.