I had barely flipped the calendar over when my mom, sister, kids, and husband began to ask me, "Do you know what you want for your birthday?"
Sadly, no. The running list of ideas I have are gifts for someone else, and my wishlist on Amazon is full of business books, not exactly birthday material.
Why is it so hard? 🤷♀️
Do I have trouble receiving? I used to.
As I was sitting with God about this, He reminded me of a season of my life where God had a gift for me, and I couldn't receive it.
Can you picture the silliness of it? Here He was with this beautifully wrapped gift in his hands and His arms extended towards me. And I couldn't receive it.
I stared at the unopened gift.
Even knowing that what was inside was perfect for me, something I wanted and exactly what I needed.
I knew it was exceedingly and abundantly more than I could hope or imagine.
Yet, I struggled.
I couldn't bring myself to open my hands and let God give me this gift.
Because deep down inside, I believed I needed to EARN it. I needed to be WORTHY of it.
And that was a LIE.
The best gift God wanted to give me was something I could never earn. I could never be worthy of it. But He wanted to give it to me anyway just because he loved me.
Why do we struggle with this kind of love?
Because the world tells us love is reciprocal, we get love through doing something or giving something back.
And that is also a LIE.
God's love is NOT like that. With God's love, there are no strings attached. There is nothing conditional. There is no do this to get that. There is no performance, nothing to do right. There is no act or behavior he wanted to see from me first.
No, God's love is perfect.
And as God's love worked its way into my heart, I could finally open my hands and receive the gift he had for me.
Inside was WHO I AM.
It was the most amazing gift I'd ever received.
I'd been searching for it my whole life.
I even tried another brand by "the world." But the world's way of defining me left me empty.
But this was different; when I received WHO GOD SAYS I AM, something happened.
The labels were stripped off. Chains fell. And I stepped into the freedom I had not known all because of what God said:
I Am Accepted (Romans 15:7).
I Am Free. (Romans 6:22)
I Am His Beloved (Song of Songs 2:16)
And so many more...
Now, I walk with new confidence, one backed by Who God Says I Am.
So, Where Do I Find Who God Says I Am?
One of the most common questions I get is, Cherlyn, "Where Do I Find Who God Says I Am?
Throughout his Word, He tells us who we are and who he is making us to be.
But it can be hard to find all those verses when we're struggling to know who we are. And I didn't have the time to be flipping around in my Bible, hoping I would land on the right scriptures. I needed His affirmations, NOW.
We need verses all in one place.
Then I remembered my journal. Because as God began to rebuild my identity, I wrote down the scriptures He gave me, and there on the tear-stained pages was the answer I needed.
I took all of those verses and made a list of Who God Says I Am.
I have a gift for you - I made a checklist of over 80 things God Says We Are, and I want to give it to you.
Let Me Pray For You
So today, if you don't know who God says you are, or you haven't been able to receive it, or you need Him to tell you more, I want to pray for you.
Father, your Word tells us every good and perfect gift comes from you (James 1:17). You desire us to know WHO WE ARE, and I ask that you speak to our hearts. And God, as you whisper, may your voice confront any of the lies which have set themselves up against the knowledge of what you say (2 Cor 10:5). And may any hindrances of receiving what you say be thrown off (Heb 12:1) in Jesus' name. Amen.
Blessings to you, and may the love of God wash over you.
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Find that voice inside that responds to all your circumstances with confident boldness, that voice that sends packing all the doubts, fears, anxieties, and worries; and that voice that stops the chaos from spinning. How do you roar like that? Find out how in Cherlyn's new book Roar Back: Transforming Struggles Into Strength.