April 24, 2019
I Was Afraid
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
"I thought you were a ‘Super Mom’ that I could never measure up to ... I'm relieved to know that you don't have it all together."
A friend and fellow mother of twins spoke those words to me after I experienced a nervous breakdown when my children were very young.
The image I’d portrayed to the world was that I had it all together and could keep a lot of plates spinning: supporting my husband as he launched a small business, helping my sister through a difficult divorce, making gourmet meals and homemade baby food, completing house projects, leading Bible study and much more. All while caring for three children under 2 years old.
Those spinning plates came crashing down on me in a matter of days when I suffered a nervous breakdown — insomnia that led to extreme anxiety. I felt like someone had stuck an electric current into my brain. There was no way to turn off the jumble of irrational thoughts and fears constantly running through my head.
I went from high-functioning to barely functioning, and I couldn’t hide my breakdown from friends, family and neighbors. Everyone knew that something was wrong with me. And that shiny "Super Mom" image went up in smoke.
Thanks to my amazingly patient husband, my mom who moved in with us for a period of time, dear friends, deep Christian counseling, prayer and medication, God brought me healing over the course of several months.
Despite my faith in Jesus, before my breakdown I behaved as a “human doing” rather than a “human being.” My primary identity was based on what I accomplished as a wife, mother, believer, volunteer and employee.
But I’ve learned this was oh-so-wrong!
I’ve learned that in Christ, I’m a completely new creation, and if you know Jesus personally, so are you! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
As believers in Jesus, our primary identity is that we are each a uniquely created image-bearer of God. As image-bearers, we reflect Christ to a hurting world by allowing Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, to flow through our lives and help people experience His love.
When we focus on portraying an image based on our performance (or a million other things), our lives leave others feeling inadequate instead of loved and accepted.
Today, I’m grateful to lead a ministry dedicated to supporting courageous women overcoming trafficking, addiction, incarceration, poverty and persecution through part-time employment making jewelry. We help women find their new identity in Christ and watch God work in their lives.
I was afraid. But because of Him, I am free to be who He created me to be.
Father God, thank You for the gift of new creation. Help me reflect Christ to a hurting world by allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through me. Guide me as I seek to empower people to experience Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (ESV)
To honor our new identity in Christ, Fashion & Compassion has created The boHia Collection. boHia stands for "because of Him i am," and the collection includes crosses and bars handmade by the women we serve, stamped with words representing our identity in Christ.
As the boHia Collection includes only a few words reflecting our identity in Christ, we’ve created a list of words with Scripture verses to remind you of your identity in Christ. Click here to access the list!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What word or Scripture do you identify with most strongly as you consider your identity in Christ?
Join the conversation — let us know what you’ve overcome and which word and Scripture you most identify with.
© 2019 by Michele Dudley. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Fashion & Compassion for their support of She Speaks Conference and Encouragement for Today devotions.
Originally published Wednesday, 24 April 2019.