The Princess and the Plea: a Christ-follower explores true identity

 

Photo credit: Jana Greene
Photo credit: Jana Greene

I’ve been learning a lot about my identity in Christ lately. Through a series of events and sermons, experiences and words of knowledge – it has been presented to me that I am not, in fact, a sinner saved by grace, but a most-beloved daughter of Abba whose transgressions were nailed to the cross of my savior over 2,000 years ago.

It would behoove my spirit to believe that, to know it 100 percent. But I am really struggling with it. It took a long time for me – my sin-list dragging behind me everywhere I go like coattails – to accept that I am a sinner and a saint, both. …that there was any “saint” in me to be had.

I am, after all, a paradox. Like the Apostle Paul, I find myself doing what I do not want to, and not doing what I should. But I love Jesus with all my heart; it’s just I’m actually not Jesus; you would never in a million years mistake him for me.

My pastor just happens to be a man I respect very much – a man whose heart beats for God. He knocks around in the supernatural as if God had just poured it into his spirit to overflowing. That might be because God did – in fact – pour it into him. He is different; he is chosen – and humble and grateful. I want that supernatural walk, but my struggle with my identity in Christ is putting a damper on the manifestation of my faith.

I can believe – for 30 minutes in church – that I am an absolute princess, daughter of the most-high God; and as such, God sees me only through the filter of his son when he looks at me. He doesn’t see sin. God is – spiritually speaking – illiterate to my self-professed labeling. “Sinner,” “Alcoholic,” “Worrier,” “Selfish,” “Short-tempered,” “Moody,” “Judgmental.” All of these things about me are true, really. The truth is that I’d rather be all of these things, than to be “self righteous.”

For those 30 minutes in church, I will know that I am royalty – God’s own child – but I also know that – on my drive home from service that very day – I will curse at least a dozen other drivers in the ten minute drive home (under my breath if I’m really feeling holy.) I will have negative thoughts almost immediately, and ask Jesus to help me rein them in, and he will – but I will hesitate to let them go because I feel justified in thinking them. Because I have three young adult daughters (who sometimes make abysmal choices – where do they get that?)  I will worry about each of them, one at a time. Maybe I have had a lustful thought thrown in to the mix for some random reason, or entertained thoughts of how someone has wronged me, or beat myself up for a diet failure, or ….. Well, you get the picture. By the time I get home from church, I feel like a “Princess of God Gone Wild”  at the very least; certainly like a sinner, not so much like a saint. Like one of those princesses who cannot quite get the hang of it, or worse…makes the royal family look bad…brought shame upon the throne –  Apox opon ye!  That kind of thing. (My paparazzi of self-condemnation follows me everywhere, and catches every slip for the world to see…)

But what of the old adage I learned in recovery, “Feelings are not facts?” Am I living in regal-ity, or legality?

Hmmm.

What if the blood of Christ were powerful enough not only to save a wretch like me when I first believed, but cover all of the transgressions I am yet to be guilty of? What if I was royalty enough to cut off the coattails, leave the labels behind, and – and a daughter of the Most High God – accepted the supernatural to overflowing?

While these things sink into my spirit, and begin the (often long, treacherous) journey to my brain, I ask God to help me struggle less and trust more. And wear this crown that sits on my head ever-so-wonkily just now. And ask for him to see me through the filter of his son as I learn to be righteous in Him, and not in self. I want to knock around in the supernatural, overflowing with the same love and grace for others that has been given me.

Help me understand my birthright, God. And until I understand, hold the paparazzi at bay, in the name of your son, Jesus.

Amen.

8 thoughts on “The Princess and the Plea: a Christ-follower explores true identity

  1. I just have to tell you I love your writings. They are insightful just brilliant. They touch me and really make me think (& cry sometimes) as I can relate. Thank you and keep your thoughts coming Cheryl Sent from my iPad

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  2. Wow, Cheryl! What an awesome compliment. I really needed that today, lol. Sometimes when you stick it all “out there” you wonder, you know? It’s therapy for me to write, but I’m so happy when it touches someone else! God bless you for reaching out and sharing that. I hope you have a fantastic day 🙂

  3. I agree with Cheryl – your writing inspires and guides me, lifts me up and also brings tears. I am always thankful that I was given your link at a time in my life when I so needed to hear what you were saying, not just about addiction but acceptance as well. And I hear you on the drive home! On mine, I am constantly saying, under my breath, oh sorry God. I really want to do better! We all need help realizing our inner princess because we are after all only human. More power to your princess, I think that’s another one of those one day at a time battles. All we can do is to continue to try!

  4. Yes, Tina! Thank you so much for this comment. We can continue to try, and we can be honest about our struggles and support one another, right? Our inner princesses deserve tenderness 🙂 Being tender to ourselves is sometimes the very hardest part. I can give anyone else a pass, but I get frustrated with myself for not “getting it” at times! Thanks again, and I’m so thankful for your readership!

  5. Darlin’, you have a gift for saying what so many of us only think…or are unaware of until you bring it into the light.
    Rest in Abba’s love today…and always!
    You are His masterpiece! His poem! His cleverest invention!
    You are loved deeply, wholly and fully!

  6. Darlin’, you have a gift for bringing out into the light things others wish they could express…or didn’t realize needed to be expressed…
    You are Abba’s masterpiece. His poem. His symphony. His greatest invention!
    Rest in His sweet love today. Revel in Jehovah Shalom!
    You are wholly, deeply, fully loved!
    xoxo

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