Oct 31, 2018

Stop Apologizing for Who You Are

Last weekend I attended a Joyce Meyer conference. The theme was Adventure – how God intends for our lives to be an adventure. A huge part of that is being confident in who we are – who God created us to be.

This year my “words” from God are redemption and restoration. I thought He was talking about my speaking and writing; that He was going to redeem the calling He had on my life and I’d be on my ministry path. The path I dream about. The path that fills my heart with joy and passion.

Last month He showed me that He was redeeming ME. I have parts of myself that I keep safely tucked away so no one can see them. He knows about them, of course, but I have not willingly handed them over to Him to heal and redeem. I’m still learning what all that means as He reveals myself to me.

On the way home from the conference, I was pondering the weekend. Out of nowhere came a very loud thought, almost audible:

“Stop apologizing for who you are!”

Many miles and tears later, I continued to ponder what the Lord meant. He showed me that I am quick to try and fit in wherever I am. And if I don’t seem to fit, I apologize for not “getting it right”. I apologize for being too serious, too bold, too direct, too whatever it is I’ve been told is not a good thing. I also apologize, mostly to myself and to God, for not being holy enough, reading the Bible enough, loving others the way I should, failing at so many things, etc.

Last night God gave me a lesson from Bull, a TV show.

Marissa’s husband Greg is accused of involuntary manslaughter when his restaurant burns down and the night janitor is killed in the fire. Throughout the show she doubts him, and puts circumstances and events together that point to him being guilty. She projects her past experiences with men who used and hurt her onto Greg, who was one of those men in the past but who she thought had really changed. Bull (her boss and friend) counsels her to stop being so hard on herself, and to accept who she is, warts and all (in so many words), and to trust Greg.

The fire is found to be arson, then others on Bull’s staff jump to the conclusion that Greg must have set the fire to get the insurance money. They’ve heard Marissa’s doubts and have seen the evidence. Bull wisely instructs all of them to keep this from Marissa until they know for sure that Greg set the fire.

When Bull preps Greg for trial, Marissa secretly listens in. She hears first hand (1) how much he loves her, and (2) that he loved his restaurant and would never destroy it. NOW she believes in him. In the final scenes of the trial, they discover who set the fire and Greg is acquitted.

On the way home, Marissa is now happy and supportive, but Greg is hurt. He shares that he felt betrayed by her telling Bull about something he felt was personal. And he knew she actually thought he could be guilty. When she can’t deny that, he continues.

“You are the sum of your experiences as you often tell me, and I know many of yours have not been great. I get that, but I’m not sure I can accept it. I wanted you beside me, behind me, believing in me, and I never felt that you were there.”

Marissa’s response, including some of the wise words Bull shared with her:

“I don’t disagree with anything you said. I’m not proud of it. I wanted to be there for you, but I am who I am. I can only do what I can do. I can only be who I can be. Please give me time, give me a chance to learn.”

She humbled herself and admitted her wrongs. He forgave her with a kiss. 

Yes, me too. I am who I am. I can only do what I can do. I can only be who I can be. I am not a failure, I am a beloved child of God.

I want to learn, I want to grow, I want to change. And with God’s help and by His grace, I will.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6, emphasis mine)


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