Listening to the song “Damaged” by Plumb. It seems a lot like my life and my perception of myself. The lyrics are something like:
Dreaming comes so easily
‘Cause it’s all that I’ve known
True love is a fairy tale
I’m damaged, so how would I know
I’m scared and I’m alone
And I need for you to know
I didn’t say all the things that I wanted to say
And you can’t take back what you’ve taken away
‘Cause I feel you, I feel you near me
Healing comes so painfully
And it chills to the bone
Will anyone get close to me?
I’m damaged, as I’m sure you know
There’s mending for my soul
An ending to this fear
Forgiveness for a man who was stronger
I was just a little girl, but I can’t go back
I have written several times about the things I was told as a child, the abuse endured by me and my siblings and the hardships that I have encountered on this journey through life. Unfortunately, as a child, my sponge of a brain soaked up the devastating lies I was fed and believed them as truth, and now it is so engrained in who I am that I am not sure if I can change it. Actually, I KNOW that I cannot change it on my own. I am nowhere close to strong enough.
It makes me think of Jacob/Isreal in the Bible. God told him “Your name will no longer be Jacob …. From now on you will be called Israel.” (Genesis 32:28)
I know that I don’t have to stay the same! I have been given a new identity. In studying Jacob’s life, I realized several things that gave me hope for my own situation and mindset.
Notice that three things happen:
God gives Jacob a brand new identity (Genesis 32:28). Essentially, God says, “I know you’ve blown it. I know you’re conniving, but I see in you a prince. Beneath all your emotional hang-ups, all your insecurities, all the stuff you don’t want anybody else to know, I see a prince.” I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around this. I don’t think it would even be possible without the help of my husband. He is my strength on certain days and by sticking with me through some of the most difficult things I have ever encountered, he has truly shown me the love of God and I am able to see a little of the fact that God views me as precious, as valuable, as more than a conqueror.He says: “Beneath all of your sins and hang-ups, I see a princess/prince. You can be something great. You can be what I made you to be.” And isn’t that what we all want? To make an impact, to be someone to somebody?
God blesses Jacob/Israel (Genesis 32:29). Deep down, we desperately want God’s blessing. If we want God’s blessing, we have to take the steps God requires of us. As the song above says “Healing comes so painfully”. But if we don’t go through the steps to heal properly, it is like we are living life crippled when we coulld be strong and healthy. I guess I relate it to my wrists. When I was a child I had broken wrists several times that I never had set. They would hurt ALL THE TIME and made it very difficult to move my hands at times. When I fractured my wrist as an adult, they re-broke my wrist to allow it to heal properly and although it took long time, and it hurt tremendously, the long-term advantage is so worth it. I have full mobility in one wrist and almost full mobility in the other. There is still an extra build-up of cartiledge, which may never go away, but overall they were able to heal and become healthy again.
God gave Jacob/Israel a limp (Genesis 32:31). Remember, when they wrestled, God dislocated Jacob’s hip. Jacob walked away with a limp, and it served as a daily reminder to depend upon God. Our weaknesses, our insecurities, our addictions… I truly believe they are a reminder that we NEED someone bigger than us in our lives. We cannot do life by ourselves. We have to have something to hold on to!
God does his deepest work in your life when he deals with your identity — who you are and the way you see yourself. We will always tend to act according to the way we think about ourselves. So the deepest changes we encounter in our lives involve changing the way we see ourselves.
He says, “Let me show you how I see you.” I believe that when I can see myself the way God sees me, it’s going to change everything about my life.