“Since the earliest period of our life was preverbal, everything depended on emotional interaction. Without someone to reflect our emotions, we had no way of knowing who we were.” ― John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You
No way of knowing who we were. Wow, that quote grabbed me. You see, I was raised by very wounded parents who were unable to reflect my emotions. And for most of my life I have been a blank. Not knowing who I was, even what I like, what I wanted, except to make sure everyone else had what they wanted. I never had a “look” or a “style” except to remain as invisible as possible. My ambitions were manufactured to please someone else. I didn’t even know what color my eyes really were until I was 40 years old and I attended a “find your fashion color palette” class. They looked at me and said, “you have green eyes.” What!? I had been told they were brown, and as I tried not to look at myself too much in the mirror, I thought they were brown.
Around that time, I was at a weekend, overnight conference and in the middle of the night I got up to use the bathroom. Halfway across the dark hotel room I was rooted to the spot when I heard very clearly, deep in my spirit, God say to me, “You are mine.” It was the beginning of identity. Of course, in my messed-up state, I thought God meant that I was his servant and I needed to DO something. I frantically started searching around for that something. It is true that we have good works which God has “prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10),” but now looking back over 30 years later, I am beginning to see that that is not what God meant as he confronted his green-eyed daughter that night.
Then the other day I read this wonderful poem by a fellow blogger:
In HIM Redeemed
Volumes of silence, powerful prayer
From love filled praise, or deep despair
Tangible faith, Father hears our heart
Lifted belief, His love from the start
No anonymity, from the bended knee
He’s waited for our prayer to be
Surrendered and lost, no longer bound
Prayer by faith, in Him we’re found
There is no anonymity when I seek to know my Father. There is no being unrecognized or unseen. There is no being invisible – he looks me in the eye and knows who I am. Though surrendered and seemingly lost, in him my real identity is found. Not by wonderful things I have done. Not by what a “good girl” I have been. But rather by my-heart-to-his-heart knowing. My yearning for him reflected in his yearning for me. Knowing who I am is a reflection of God knowing me, and in knowing me choosing me. Astounding!
Charles Spurgeon said it well:
“If he had not loved me with a love as deep as hell and as unutterable as the grave, if he had not given his whole heart to me, I am sure he would have turned from me long ago. He knew what I would be, and he has had long time enough to consider of it; but I am his choice, and there is an end of it; and unworthy as I am, it is not mine to grumble, if he is but contented with me. But he is contented with me—he must be contented with me—for he has known me long enough to know my faults. He knew me before I knew myself; yea, he knew me before I was myself.” — Charles Spurgeon, The Incarnation and Birth of Christ, December 23, 1855
Oh, my sweet Father God, you knew me before I was myself. You made me who I am. You made me to belong to you. Thank you for your amazing knowing and loving! Eye-to-eye, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, I am yours and you are mine (!)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless (strengthless, feeble, weak), Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
But you, O LORD, know me; you see me … Jeremiah 12:3 (ESV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” … Jeremiah 1:5
My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Song of Solomon 2:16
1https://sisylala.wordpress.com/2022/12/21/in-him-redeemed/ (emphasis mine)
Photo free to use from Pexels, Man Carrying Baby Drawing Their Foreheads, by Josh Willink