I went shopping. I hate shopping. I loath it. It is a necessary evil that is avoided at almost every turn. Oh, there are a few stores where I am filled with joy – Chapters feeds my book fetish, David’s Tea is the excuse to try some new tea and spend gift cards, Crate and Barrel is just for admiring, groceries are a necessity.
Clothes! Oh please, that’s an experience that just about does me in. That’s the one I avoid. That’s the trump card. This wins every time and sends me hiding almost without fail. And it happened again. I would like a new pair of pants. Yep, it’s a want not a need. But I would like to mix up my wardrobe just a little.
I attempted a positive attitude. I went hopeful. I would find pants. The first pair I tried on were the last pair I tried on. To be honest, most people who would have seen me in the pants would have wondered why I didn’t buy them. They fit. But I didn’t buy them. They made my skin crawl. It was a brief glance in the mirror. It was “Why can’t I like these pants?” It was get me out of here! Now! That’s all it took and the shopping trip was worthless. Every other store I walked into after that one was a write off. They all have the same style of pants and I just can’t do it without crawling out of my skin.
It turns out the pants were the opportunity for Satan to point his accusing finger my way and up his steal, kill and destroy plan. I kind of caved in. I let his voice be the loudest one in my head. The change room was a battle ground and I didn’t even realize it.
Beautiful is the word I’ve been grappling with for months. I would say I’ve become acquainted with it. I feel like I’m understanding its application to God, to the beauty of His creation, His work. But me? I’m struggling to see that word in me. It’s a vision battle, an identity battle that I’m mired in. And God knows I’ve been grappling with this too, because He’s taken the not so subtle approach of sending the same song for the last week or so. The lyrics are lovely, beautiful in fact. They speak of one who is cherished,
Yeah you are golden,
Precious as a prayer flying up through the air
While the rain is falling
Golden, timeless as a kiss
Baby I don’t wanna miss another perfect moment
To tell you, how you make me feel
The day you strolled in, my heart was stolen
Cause you are golden
The chorus of this song has been on repeat for days now. God I knew that the battle was coming. He knew that there would be other joys that would sustain my heart. But He knew that I needed to see His tangible love written into the deepest places of my heart. So He sent the song again and again. I’ve been asking for Him to open the heavens and let me see Him and He’s responded with showing me that His throne room is accessible to me and that He is sitting on His throne high and exalted. He’s won the battle and sealed my identity in Him.
But identity is a slippery thing. It’s easy to have your identity be hijacked by something or someone else and for it to then become something twisted and ugly. Satan went for the twisty bits in Luke 4 as he tempted Jesus. There were all sorts of ifs … If you are the Son of God (verse 3 and 9). It wasn’t a matter of if Jesus was the Son of God. He was the Son of God – no doubt about it. Satan went straight after Jesus identity.
He goes straight after mine. I’m a child of the King. An adopted daughter, loved and cherished. One who has been called by name. A child who hears His voice and knows it. But when Satan dangles the if, if you are a daughter of God, my heart starts to panic and my ears stop hearing the One who has been calling my name and preparing me for this particular shopping trip all along.
Satan’s using my identity as a place for an accusation not a position of authority. That “if” changes the meaning of everything. If causes a questioning of position, a doubt of belonging, an uncertainty about the future, a level of neglect. Without the “if,” it’s a declaration. A bold statement of purpose with confidence and certainty. In Jesus there’s no doubt about who I am. On my own, with the lies rattling around in my head, that’s when the pants become way to discouragement and frustration. When Jesus’ voice is the loudest, the pants are simply that, a pair of pants I don’t like as much as I thought I would.
So it turns out, it wasn’t really about the pants. It was about who I am. I am a daughter of the King and my identity is sealed in Him.
Scott, H., Kelley C., Haywood, D., Paslay, E., (2013). Golden [Recorded by Lady Antebellum]. On Golden [mp3 file]. Nashville: Capitol Nashville. (2012-13).