I was 12 when my father left. Nearing the end of seventh grade.
We left our town in Kansas. We left the church he pastored and the radio station he ran and the house with the pool in the backyard. Apparently, we were bankrupt too.
My mother, brother, and I moved in with her parents in Houston. My grandfather was an interim pastor just making ends meet. Mom subscribed for food stamps to help with the grocery bill, a fact my grandmother could never fully accept. We heard the landlord back in Kansas had thrown out all our personal belongings before a friend had a chance to gather them up and drive them down to us. All I brought was my stuffed bear.
Mom looked for a job and a church member gave us a 1973 Impala (in 1986) to drive as we tried to make sense of our devastated lives. Mom found a teaching job outside of town and my brother and I rode with her every day to a school north of Houston that next year.
I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom upstairs in my grandparents’ house and locking the door. I clutched a picture of my father, as I closed my eyes and pretended it was all a dream. I wanted to believe that when I woke up, our life would be back to the way it was.
You see, I was always a dreamer.
So much of what I struggle with now–materialism, pride, a craving for stability–stems from that year and the years that followed in high school.
They were lean times. Thanksgiving dinners left at the door. Mom’s friends’ hand-me-downs to wear for my freshman year at a new school. Rushing to pay the electric bill the day it was due to be cut off.
All too often, I let all that was spinning outside define me inside.
Where I was became who I was. What we had became what I was worth. How we lived was a reflection of all I lacked.
It took years of God working with me. Years for me to see God’s truth that Where we are is not Who we are. (<==== Click to tweet)
It took me two decades to understand that my circumstances do not define me.
They test me; they do not reflect me. They surround me; they do not pervade me.
My bank account does not make me poor.
II Corinthians 8:9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
My infertility does not make me inadequate.
Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My unemployment does not make me unwanted.
Philippians 4: 12 – 13 – I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
My singleness does not make me solitary.
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 – May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you…
My scars do not make me imperfect.
Hebrews 10:14 – For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
I am His and I am rich, more than enough, wanted, accepted, loved, and perfect in His sight. (<==== Click to tweet)
Because I refuse to let my circumstances dictate my worth.
Shared by: Gindi Vincent
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