…I wonder

A New Identity (TFM #4)

A New Identity

The Fighting Man (Part 4)

In the previous article, The State of my Heart, I described my painful journey through life and how that journey built up a strong dose of The Fighting Man (TFM) within me.

I had developed a very strong hate for myself as a result of all the circumstances, choices and actions that had taken place during my lifetime. As recently as twelve years ago, I felt that I was the scum of the earth, and that the world, including my kids, would be better off without me! A lie from Satan for sure, and I bought into it.

In addition to hating myself, I had an extreme hate and hostility towards others that I didn’t get along with or who disagreed with any of my opinions. I was great at living out The Fighting Man, I recognized it and I wanted to get rid of him.

I went to many counseling sessions and read a plethora of self-help books. I acquired many skills and tools whiche helped me communicate better, and I developed a measure of self-control so that I wasn’t exploding all the time. I tried thought control to keep my thoughts positive with a little success.

That was the state of my mind. But, what about my heart? I could never see any value in the person that I was. No matter how many books I read or counseling sessions I sat through, I always lived with a sense of inferiority and insecurity. I needed a new identity and changing my name from Kathy to Kathryn to Kat, as I marked each time I tried to be a better person, wasn’t doing much for me. I would try to be different, I was still the same person inside.

About ten years ago, I found the Secret Ingredient, the first step to eliminating TFM, building in me a sense of self-worth and true identity I had been searching for all my life . It was a long process, not easy, but worth every moment of it.

We are Onions

A Dear Friend of mine explained it this way. When we are born, we are who God created us to be. As things happen, onion layers start appearing and covering who we were meant to be with bad habits, behaviors, responses, and thought processes. By the time we are older, our original personality is still there but covered with some pretty ugly stuff; especially if we’ve been through some junk in our lives.

Well, if that’s so, I was one huge, ugly onion! Over the last ten years God has been peeling off those layers, one by one, and revealing the true creation that He had fashioned with His own Hands. All Glory be to God!

Here’s the story of how it happened. Take heed, though; this one is such a long story that I’ve broken it up into three articles. It is such a pivotal moment in my life of recovery and in the discovery of my identity that I cannot leave a single bit out! It was the beginning…

The First Step

This healing process could not have begun without the first ingredient: Jesus Christ. I had to accept the fact that I could not have a relationship with Him unless I accepted His sacrifice on the cross for my sins.

My sins were many, as you probably surmised from the previous article. To get an idea of how sinful I was, just look at the ten commandments: I’ve broken every single one! There was nothing that I could do to earn my salvation; it didn’t matter how hard I tried to be good.

Romans 3:21-23 NLT 21But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

I had accepted Jesus at the age of seventeen, but never pursued a walk with Him, much less a relationship. I found a religion that helped me to get closer to perfection, or so I thought. It was steeped in rules and works in order to be worthy in God’s eyes and to earn His love and Favor. I lived it and worked it for close to twenty years.

Now everything depended on me: my salvation, my actions, my thoughts, my habits, etc. I worked hard without much results. I still sinned and felt more and more unworthy as I never could achieve that holy human being I was supposed to be – the perfect wife, the best mother, the stellar housekeeper, the humble servant. TFM remained within me as I continued in this unsuccessful walk towards complete holiness.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT 8God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

In January of the year 2000, my brother Pastor Ken told his congregation that they needed to pray aggressively for me as I was getting deeper and deeper into this religion, and he felt that he was losing his sister. They had been praying for twenty years, but at this point, Ken felt an urgent need to get even more aggressive with these prayers.

James 5:16 NLT Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

The power of prayer is amazing! In January of the year 2000, the same month and year that my dear brother issued the challenge, my eyes were opened and I rededicated my life to the Lord and began the long journey to recovery from a broken life, and a rediscovery of who I was meant to be.

Romans 3:24-26 NLT 24Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

I now had a new identity. I was His daughter and I belonged to Him.

Ephesians 1:4-6 NLT 4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

I felt as if a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I realized that no matter how hard I had “worked” before, I was never good enough and felt even more unworthy. When I accepted Jesus and made Him Lord over my life, His transforming power did the changing of all my bad habits, behaviors, responses, and thought processes. My part of the deal? I had to open my heart to Him. I had to become teachable and open to whatever He had to show me and teach me – regardless of how painful or difficult it was.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV 26And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

For the first time in my life, I knew that I was powerless to peel off those onion layers that defined me as The Fighting Man – I needed Supernatural Help and I got it.

John 15:5 NLT “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.(Emphasis mine.)

For five years I learned more and more about this New Person with whom I had started a relationship. As with a marriage, communication and time together is the only way to get to know a person. So, I did the same with Jesus. I prayed and communicated – He got to know all of my deepest feelings. I read the Word, the only truth in which I can hang my life on. And I dug deeper by going to Bible studies, researching, asking for revelation as I studied and fellowshipped with other believers.

It was difficult at first because I had that hate towards man and a lack of trust going on in my heart. The Fighting Man still ruled, but God knew what He was doing. He was peeling back those onion layers one by one, and that takes time. So, for five years He grew me in Him. I think He knew that if He had hurried the process, I would have given up very early in my walk with Him.

Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

At this point, I was still struggling with my self-esteem because it was difficult to imagine that He could truly love me – I felt so ugly! In the year 2005, He began to reveal Himself to me and to show me how He viewed me. He definitely did not want my self-worth to be dictated by worldly standards – He wanted to show me my real worth in His eyes.

That begins the second part of my story and is told in the next article: Do You Really Love Even Me?? This story involves a lot of Supernatural Events that truly demonstrate that God want to be and is a very real part of our personal lives, if we allow it.

A Call to Action

As I mentioned earlier, the first step in the road to recovery is realizing that you cannot do it alone. There is One and only One who has the Power to help transform you. In order to receive that help, a relationship must begin with Him. If you have not given your life to the Lord yet, please contact us or someone you know who walks with the Lord and have them pray with you for the forgiveness of your sins. Accept His sacrifice on the cross and make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. Believe me, things will all of a sudden start falling into place for you if you pursue that relationship with Him.

Am I saying that all will be smooth and easy after that? Heavens no! There is still a mess to sweep up afterward. All of my actions reaped those consequences, no one can escape consequences. But now I had the best Mentor in the world to help me clean up the mess.

I’ve often imagined God up in Heaven watching me as I begin to choose an incorrect path. He has a pad of paper in His hands and a pen, and is working on a list. As I begin taking a wrong path, He’s up there gently saying, “No, honey, don’t go that way. Stop, precious one… No, you’re not going to like it. Back up, sweetie, back up! Ooops, too late! Oh well, I’ll just add it to this long list of things we’ve got to clean up later.”

I can tell you that this list of His has gone from millions to probably just thousands of clean-up items. Haha!

The best part, is that I can laugh about it with Him and know that He has me in His Hands.

John 10:28 NIV I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

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