“The ‘Who’ of Me”

We know that God works to help those people who love him. He uses everything that happens to them to bring something good. He does this for those people that he has chosen to serve him. Romans 8:28 EASY

If you would have told me that when I was a child, I probably would have shook my head in disbelief and ran with my ears covered.

My upbringing was inclusive of a large family — extended family, to be specific. Truth of the matter is that I was raised by my aunt (whom I refer to as ‘mama’) and uncle (whom I refer to as ‘daddy’); my biological parents did also participate along the sidelines, but they decided that working in their careers far outweighed the importance of raising their offspring. So I lived at one location during the weekdays and another on the weekends.

This was not an ‘easy’ situation as I grew into my childhood years and attended schools in the area of which I lived. Having to explain to friends ‘why’ I have two sets of parents was unpleasant to say the very least. Mama attended all my daytime school events and even signed my report cards. My biological parents attended the evening events, such as open house and musical recitals.

If you can recall the years of elementary and junior high schools, kids are just not, well, tactful (putting it mildly) about their inquiries. And I absolutely dreaded having to verbalize my living situation. I was shown looks of disdain as they would blurt out, “Why don’t they want you to live with them?” All I could hear were the words: want you. And that was when I knew it was going to be a very lonely journey.

No one wants to explain the details of their pain — especially a child. It only intensifies its existence. Other children rarely welcomed me into their circle — at least that’s how I perceived it. So I maintained distance and immersed myself into academics to anesthetize the hurt.

Relationships were difficult to develop (as I look back, it was probably because I lacked the skill of friend-making) and every young girl seeks to be accepted by at least a few ‘good’ friends. It was not easy to ‘discern’ who truly wanted to be my friend, since I was so hungry for companionship. The times I had been bullied at school for having an ‘ethnic’ last name, I did not even tell any of my parents — I simply wanted peace and harmony when I went home (at both of them). I learned to silence my own voice.

Coming into adulthood, I had developed a solid relationship with mama because she always told me, “Honey, you have to pray to GOD — for everything — all the time.” I can recall her telling me this when I was just starting kindergarten. Did she know I would have a rough start in life?

When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I was profoundly awestruck when I came across this scripture verse in Romans. Somehow I knew that it was there for me to grab at the appointed time. I was 17 years old when I accepted Jesus as my Savior — thank you, GOD, for opening my eyes at a young age. Because the years to follow were to be some of the greatest challenges for me to face.

Had I not received this verse at the time that I did, I’m sure my life would have played out much different. I would not have had the comfort to know that GOD Himself was watching after me, and that all the hurtful and agonizing times of trying to understand why I had to endure so much at such a young age, and why some people seemed so harsh and uncaring and unloving — I get it now.

It all points to who I am — who I was designed to become — and Who purposed me for His Plan. The who of me points to Who created me.

So clear to me now, the connectivity to those in pain — my empathy levels have always been high; I attribute it to understanding the agony of feeling alone in the thick of my own pain. No one wants to experience loneliness when support and encouragement is what you need and seek.

Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God. 2 Corinthians 1:4 AMPC

As an adult, I began to see how GOD would precisely orchestrated my situations — the places, people, events — and I realized that He was working things out for my good (as in Romans 8) while bringing healing and restoration to those in my sphere (2 Corinthians). I simply had to listen to Him, follow-through and reach out. He was always behind the scenes quietly loading my tool belt.

Girlfriend, if you question the why of your existence in this specific time, the environment and the people, the events both good and bad — first ask about the who of your existence.

To Whom do you turn when times are tough and ugly? Have you met the One Who can exchange your ashes for beauty?

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3 NLT

As a child and young adult, I was searching for relationships and companions to fill the void of disconnect. Desperately longing to be included, I’ll admit to some wrong choices. But when GOD Himself shows up to give definition to the word, Relationship, it sticks with you (if you accept the Invitation).

It is then that you can grow into the woman you were designed to be all along — and the skinned knees and bruised elbows that you encounter along the journey, GOD will use all of that.

When I researched the word, relationship, the findings were interesting. It is defined as a state of connectedness between people; relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption. The connection that is formed when you accept the gift of salvation from Christ, by His blood, we are then adopted into the family of GOD.

For me, this is profound. I exist as I am because of Who GOD is. I am loved because He is love. I am chosen because He is love. I am forgiven because He is love. I have purpose because He is love. If GOD lives in me, then love lives in me and it is intended to flow through me to those with whom He places along my journey.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word, declaration as a formal or explicit statement or announcement; the beginning of a state or condition.

What declarations have you made about who you are? List them here.

Take a look at your list — are you content and happy with what you have said of yourself?

  • What changes would you like to see?
  • What possible tasks need to be implemented for you to experience the changes you desire?
  • What are you willing to do to make these things happen?
  • Whom do you need to call upon to help you?

Improvement is feasible after the admission that something is awry and change in direction begins to take shape. There’s work to be done, but you will be glad you went there.

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMPC

This is the declaration of Christ upon you — if you will accept His transforming love through repentance and salvation.

It is my heart’s desire that you would have this understanding and this relationship with your Heavenly Father. Regardless of your age, the time is now while you are contemplating if what you are reading is real. Your hurts and disappointments of yesterday or yesteryear can have greater meaning — if you are willing to go there and allow GOD to give you the insight to those events.

Jesus said, ‘Go on asking God for what you need. Then God will give it to you. Go on looking for what you need. Then you will find it. Go on knocking at the door, and God will open it for you. Matthew 7:7 EASY

Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come I’m to you and feast with you, and you will feast with me. Revelation 3:20 TPT

Wherever you are, Sister, in this journey of yours, you need not travel as a lost wanderer. You can know Who you are if you trust the One to Whom loved you before you first set your tootsies on the planet.

Allow me to leave you with one of my favorite songs by Crystal Lewis, Beauty for Ashes: https://youtu.be/C2aOnSJcDpw (if you prefer to listen).

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear, Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy over your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear, Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear, Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear, Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair.

Sweet Friend, if you’re tired and weary, haggard and worn out — you’re in good company. Many of us started that way, but that’s not how it has to end. Your story is included in HIS-Story. The best part is that it’s a love story. If you open the door to your heart, it will begin to unfold and you will understand the fullness of who you are and to Whom you belong.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwoVisionary


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