I was recently reading a devotional, and in it the author encouraged the reader to make a list of three things God has done in your life. Initially, I laughed to myself. Only three! I mean, God has done more in my life than I could possibly fit on paper. Even a whole notebook. He woke me up in the morning, gave me hot water to shower with, and who could forget about coffee?! Talk about the best invention ever! And that’s just the first hour of my day. How in the world I could just pick three, I didn’t know, but I felt led to try. As I quieted my mind, these three bullets came to me, and I thought I would share them with you.
1. He healed me. Ok, so I could start with how God miraculously healed me of epilepsy. How after a decade-long battle of neurologist visits, medications three times a day, abnormal EEG’s, and debilitating migraines, He took the disease completely, totally, and immediately from me. I could talk about that, but no, it’s more than just a seizure disorder.
I could tell you how He took the pain from my knees, the pain that had been there since my twenties, the messed up knees that a doctor had told me when I was twelve years old would eventually “go out on me.” I could tell you how I carried that curse and constant pain into my forties, but the day I asked for His healing, they never hurt me again. But this is about more than not needing a knee replacement after all.
I could testify to physical healing, of myself, and of my children. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that God isn’t limited to just one kind of healing. He certainly had healed my physical body, but He had also healed the rest of me. If I looked on the outside like I used to feel on the inside, I would resemble an old China doll. The lines of harsh reality had riddled my fragile shell like cracks in aged porcelain. One wrong move and I probably would have shattered to pieces. But God.
My life before the love of Christ was broken. Torn by the pain of rejection, I felt lacking. Twisted by the lies that I was only as good as the people who had left me in life, I felt worth little more than nothing. I felt empty. We’re not made to feel that way, and as such I wasted many years trying to fill myself with anything I could. Anything that would give me some substance, make me feel worthwhile. I sought the approval of man, and I numbed my pain with empty indulgence. I tried to be better, basing my worth on what I could achieve in life. It never felt like enough. It wasn’t until I found the love of Jesus that I could be healed from all the hurt this world had piled upon me.
He healed me from the pain of sin, and He gave me eternal life. He healed me from my past, and He gave me a future. He healed me from rejection, and He adopted me as His own. He healed me from the bondage of slavery, and He gave me real freedom to live life fully and joyfully.
2. He gave me a new identity. I have had several last names in my life. I had the one I was born with, and later, my adoptive dad’s last name. I had my first husband’s last name, and now I have my second husband’s name. I have held many titles in life, some of them I’d rather forget, but others that I’m proud to go by to this day. I love holding the role of wife, mother, nurse, and friend. I’m a writer, a Navy veteran, an encourager, and a singer at times. I’ve been known to be a goofball, a crybaby, and even an outcast. I have been labeled things that make me cringe, and I’ve been called names that made me cry. But do you know what all these things have in common?
They are meaningless.
They are meaningless when held alongside my identity in Christ. Often times in life we can falsely build our worth and self esteem on the titles we possess or roles we play. We think we’re what our last name is, what job we perform, or how well we perform it. We assume we’re what we do, the mistakes we’ve made, or even the things we’ve failed to achieve. We fall to lies that we’re held back by who our family is, genetics, our financial circumstances, where we live, the way it’s always been, or our lot in life. We never reach the potential God has for us because we believe in a false identity. The identity of this world.
When I came to know the Lord, I realized my true identity was in Him. I was His child. I was created in His image, with a destiny in mind. I was forethought, artfully designed, on purpose, with each detail precisely constructed in love. I was worth dying for, and I was worth pursuing. I was a child of the King, protected, holy, worthy, righteous, and redeemed. I was His. I was not alone. I was loved.
3. He gave me a purpose beyond myself. Once I found myself healed and whole, loved and set free, I felt an urgency to share this miraculous happening. It’s like, if you suddenly had the best cup of coffee in your life. It would be all you could talk about. You’d make sure your spouse, your best friend, and all your coworkers knew how to find this divine cup of joe. This is where I found myself.
Each day, as my spirit draws closer to the Lord, I become more certain of the plans He has for me. Knowing my identity in Him, I am able to throw off the minuscule concerns of this world that have no eternal perspective. I am able to shed the busyness, the ridiculous distractions that vie for my attention, and in essence, pull me further from His truth. I think that’s the first step to finding God’s purpose for your life. You have to be able to let go of all that entangles you, trying to take first chair over His kingdom.
As you can release the treasures of this world, and can begin building eternal equity instead, you can find true purpose. You can find true peace. True joy, even.
When you can let go of the things of this world, the titles and roles that you think complete you, and instead find real fulfillment through your heritage and the inheritance of your Heavenly Father, you will discover your true path in life. Consider this world a practice run. The real thing is what awaits us.
When I realized this profound, yet simple truth, I found purpose. I found a purpose beyond myself and my front yard. I found a way to be full, to the brim, and an understanding that because of Him, I am never lacking. And in this fullness of life, I make each day about pouring out that love on others. The more I give, the more I get. I never realized that before.
So, now I would encourage you. Sit down, clear your mind, and ask yourself, “what has God done for me?” You might just discover along the way, what you can do for Him.