For many, the vision of a little child running carefree brings feelings of joy and delight. However, for me, I became branded by severely painful life experiences from toddler age, and I graduated with honors in living out the results.
Subsequently, the word ‘victim’ felt stamped across my forehead, like a clearance item holding little value. After each traumatic experience, I took on labels – the burn victim, the sexual abuse casualty, the parental betrayal recipient, the grief-stricken mother, the domestic abuse target, the depressed and the neglected.
Never did I identify myself through the eyes of who God says I am.
Being raised around destructive forces created blinders, making it more of a challenge to accept how God viewed me, as I only could see how life treated me. It took almost my entire life to accept “I am not my circumstances.” It is easy to fall into the trap of defining our worth based on what has or has not occurred in our life.
From there, failure can easily find its way to the depths of our hearts. After so much trauma, our identity and worth naturally come from others’ estimations of us. And, yet others’ opinions are often problematically revealed through their own brokenness.
One thing I know to be true is the Creator’s view of us never alters. On the contrary, it is always consistent and full of delight for His children.
Taking ownership of this truth changed me from a “damaged goods” outlook to the beautiful proclamation that I am a loveable child of God. “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12).
No matter what horror or loss has occurred in our lives, God has already decided to love us anyway (Romans 5:8). Being a part of His family brings so much richness.
We are all now loved, forgiven, treasured, deserving, protected, beautiful and worthy.
His identity for us is the only one identity worth embracing.
*For deeper reflection, listen to John 1.