Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"You Don't Know Who You Are"

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” - Benjamin Disraeli

The above quote is so true. The people we seek to help, family members or not, often don't know the wonder of their identity and the amazing treasure they possess within themselves.

Perhaps more than any time of history, our media-saturated culture bombards us with messages of not measuring up. I believe it is our irreplaceable calling to remind our children, grandchildren and others the wonder of who they are, of the treasure they are to God, to their family and to all those their lives will touch.

I remember when I was 13 years old and had moved to Hawaii with my family. After the "buzz" of moving to Hawaii had worn off I was feeling alone, insignificant and disconnected from the southern California family and friends we had moved away from.

After sending a letter to my grandmother I received a priceless message back from Grandma Vi, (not knowing it was just a week before her death!) The letter was one of encouragement that reminded me of the good qualities she saw in me and who I was as a treasured family member. It opened my eyes a little bit to how God saw me when all I could perceive in myself was faults and failures.

That experience changed my life. I believe in the power of believing in another today because I personally was a recipient of it and was greatly impacted by encouraging words at a critical juncture of my young life.

A few years ago as a tired thirty something husband and father struggling with depression, I was told by a brash young counselor, "You don't know who you are." The words, not coming from someone I yet trusted, stung as an indictment. I interpreted them to mean, "you are not authentic and real. You are a pretender." It felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. Now, not only was I a depressed person--I was a depressed person who didn't have a clue who he was (and 65 bucks poorer!)

As I chewed on that counselor’s message a few days later, I was able to listen to it again with different ears. I believe I heard my heavenly Father speaking the same words but with a completely different meaning for me.

I heard: "You don't know who you are… If you did you wouldn't need to wallow in depression and self-doubt. You would rejoice in your incredible high, exalted and beloved place of simply being my son! The enemy just wants to obscure your amazing identity from your soul. Don't let him, son. Trust what I have said about you in My word. Choose to believe it. THIS is reality. Let it sink in My beloved son."

Same words different message. What made the difference? One message was spoken by someone I perceived as a distant, critical professional. The other was spoken by a committed, "believing the best about me" Father. One messenger seemed to see me as a person burdened with a history but my heavenly Father spoke to me as one blessed with a destiny. My Father's words whispered to my spirit "sounded" familiar to me in my late thirties--kind of like Grandma Vi's words I had heard at thirteen.

I'm sure my grandmother had no idea when she scribbled down those words to her young grandson the reverberating impact they would have upon me and those my life has been able to touch. She sowed those seeds not knowing of the great harvest of fruit they would bear in my life.

Though in heaven now, she still inspires me to do for others as she did for me. Why? Because I am surrounded by people just like me, "who don't know who they are."

Crucified, Buried And Raised With Him,


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Anonymous said...

I had this happen to me by a grandfather when I was young. It is so important that we pass this gift of affirmation onto our children and grandchildren!

Anonymous said...

I like how the Holy Spirit can take the exact same words we hear one way and give a completely different meaning to them. Thanks for this!