A few years ago, I had never even heard of the concept of a Life Verse. When Beth Moore shared it during one of our women's studies, I was confused as to how one determined which verse was "the one." Did you just pick one you really liked? Did someone else choose it for you? Would it come out of a fortune cookie?
Mine came as a response to struggle. My struggle? Worthlessness.
I have always had difficulty feeling like I was good enough. I've never believed I was pretty enough. Or smart enough. Or thin enough. And those feelings of less than have carried over into a good number of my personal involvements.
I struggle to lose weight because I don't believe my body is capable of doing it. I have difficulty with school because I am constantly comparing myself to the people around me which results in insecurity in my intelligence. I am forever feeling like I don't measure up at work because I'm not as creative/determined/scheduled/prepared/conventional as I should be.
So when Satan attacks my life, he generally does it through self worth.
"They don't like you because they know who you really are, Crys."
"You are fat because you are a loser. You'll always look this way, you know."
"It doesn't matter how many hours you devote to the job. You'll never be excellent at this."
"You might as well get used to being mediocre. That's all you'll ever really be."
"They're really only tolerating you. You are such an annoyance to everyone here."
They are harsh statements. But I have mostly believed them. And I can tell you that losing our child was the nail in the worthlessness coffin. It was one more thing I couldn't do. One of our most basic, primal abilities as women and one more example of failure in my life.
It was official. I sucked.
During Believing God, one of the things we were supposed to remind ourselves of was this: "I am who God says I am." But all of these things (and then some) were the very reasons I was struggling to believe God had already defined me as more than a conqueror. My life seemed to breed failure and I was terrified I would never really be of value to God.
When fear was addressed in one of our studies, I made it my mission to look up several verses that included the words "fear not." (There are so many of them in the Bible. Don't believe me? Do a biblegateway.com search.) I read through them until I got to Isaiah 43:1: "Now, this is what the Lord says, the one who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.'"
It was my deepest fear recorded in the middle of scripture. I was (it's still a struggle) terrified I would never be the person God had called me to be. I had screwed up one too many times. I would continue failing Him in the most monstrous ways possible. I? Wasn't worth the breath He gave me.
But when I read that scripture, I felt like God was starting a personal conversation with me. Me. The person least worthy of His personal attentions.
That conversation hit me in the places I needed it most. He began by addressing my fear, and reminding me of His enduring, redemptive presence in my life. Then, by calling my name, He basically indicated He knows me. He doesn't just know my name--He knows my true self...the things I hide and the internal struggles. And his response to all that mess? I belong to Him.
Intrinsically, don't we all want to belong? This verse, more than anything, has been a reminder that I belong to someone who is willing to redeem and claim me.
It hasn't been magic. I still struggle to believe those things and often find myself repeating those words. Just because something is True doesn't mean we automatically believe. But I know there is freedom for captives through the words of scripture, and I have committed myself to a belief that I am who He says I am even when that seems like the most ridiculous premise available.
I'll continue this series with the ways God has spoken to me through the words of Isaiah 43.
Next up: A specific and direct answer to prayer.
Do you have a Life Verse? How did you find it? I'm interested in the ways God speaks to His people.