Somewhere amidst the questions and descriptions in the post "Finding Normal," I see an underlying theme. Being normal is required for being good enough. As I ponder the words and thoughts, I sense a deep desire that we all share ... to be good enough. Most of society, family of origin and even self-talk tells us that being good enough (whatever that is) is based on our performance. If we are successful, or wealthy, or have successful children or "have it all together," then we are good enough ... acceptable.
I recently read a devotional where the laments of the author were that she just longed to be accepted by her family. She felt like with them, her worth was based on her status as a human doing (her accomplishments) rather than a human being (who she is). I'd heard that before. If ever anyone dares to ask us who we really are, we generally answer by sharing what we do.
But here's a thought. What if, instead of looking at others for approval, or even worse, looking to others as our measuring stick for success ... what if we looked at ourselves through God's eyes? You may be thinking that He's the toughest one of all ... being perfect and everything. And knowing everything about us, like what we think and what our motivations are and what's in our hearts? We can't even pretend to "have it all together" with Him. But look with me at what He says about you. (and these are just off the top of my head.)
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
I know you have all heard this. And we think it is a sweet sentiment. But I always like to look at the context when I pull out a verse from scripture. This Psalm begins with an admission that not only has God "searched me," but He "knows me." Nothing about me is hidden from Him. I can't hide behind accomplishments, or pretend I have pure motives, because he knows the truth. And He still says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says -- He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine."
This is one of my all-time favorite reminders of how God sees me. Jacob ... formed by God, but not perfect. He was a twin who tricked his brother out of the birthright. He was a deceitful boy who wrestled with God and had his name changed. Far from perfect, but God tells him to not be afraid. God has already redeemed the mess that Jacob makes of things. God not only knows Jacob by name (both of them) but Jacob belongs to God. He is God's very own.
I don't know about you, but I feel like there are lots of things in my life that need redeeming. I've made mistakes along the way (and that's a huge understatement!). Things have happened in my life outside of my control that I wish I could have changed. Those things were damaging to me, yet God says I am redeemed. Whatever it is that has brought you to today, God is enough to redeem it. He knows you. He knows your name. And with God, your name means more than He knows what to call you. A name, with God, means He knows all about you ... your nature, your character, your mistakes, your potential, your true hair color. And even knowing everything about you, you are still HIS.
So ... looking for normal? You have found it. Look into the face of the God who made you, who loves you unconditionally, who redeems everything in your life and who calls you His own.
About the author:
Teri is passionate about teaching, writing, and ministering to fellow sojourners. She spends her days working in ministry and her evenings and weekends being wife and mom.