I’m Val. I’m 29. I lean toward the goofy side. Short. Awkward. I can dress cute most days. I live alone. Forever single. I have pretty amazing hair. I want everyone to like me. I care too much about that. Usually smiling. Very insecure. Not sure I will ever be good enough to make people happy. Obsessed with music and Netflix. Overlooked. Ignored. Unwanted. Alone. Transparent on the surface level. Closed off on the deeper stuff.
That’s how I see myself. My thoughts and feelings are all over the place. Honestly, I know some of these things are completely untrue. I don’t know where they came from or when I started believing these things about myself. But somewhere along the way, they have become very real to me. I’ve grown up in church. You don’t have to tell me that these “truths” are lies that Satan wants to use to keep me from discovering who God has really made me to be. I know the Bible verses that tell me how God feels about me.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” Jeremiah 31:3
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
But some days knowing and feeling are totally different. And lately, I’ve just felt so hopeless in this season God has me in. My dreams for where I would be by the time I was 30 (your typical Texas girl dreams, married with at least 1 or 2 kids, a house, a dog or two) are very different from my current reality (single, no kids, living in apartment on my own, no pets at all, just plants I can barely keep alive). The single thing is nothing new (hello girl who hasn’t had a date in way more years than I care to admit!). But the whole living alone still kind of is. And, for me, its put a magnifying glass on everything else. Having so much time to sit and be by myself tends to lead to overthinking and overanalyzing my life. I’ve wallowed and have been pretty miserable in this aloneness. I’ve had a really hard time allowing God to use this single & living alone season to grow and prepare me for the next season. Instead, I’ve sat and been bitter and kind of upset that God hasn’t answered all of my prayers in my timing. “Like, for real God, I’ve been praying for a husband and a family since I was like 13. How have you not brought him yet? Goodness! And why did you move me from a place of having roommates and so much going on all of the time to a place where I live alone and don’t know what to do? Why is this Your plan? ” As soon as I have these thoughts, I try my hardest to give them to God and ask Him to help me understand it all. But after 2 years of this, it got really hard to care or hope anymore. and.that.is.the.worst.
Last week, I just had a day where I was feeling all of the sad things. Just like doubting again who I am. What anyone, even God, could see in me. And then a song I’ve listened to a thousand times came on. God uses music to do so much. It’s always how I process. I feel the closest to God when I am lost in a song (even as I’m writing this, all of the perfect worship songs are coming on!). So, this song came on my playlist. And I just kept going back and listening to it over and over. I came home and turned on worship music and just spent time reading one Psalm over and over and drawing the words to this song and letting God really speak these words over me. Letting Him show me how He sees me and who I am in Him.
AND THEN, as if God hadn’t done enough to show me how much he valued me, I heard a sermon that was a game-changer. Like, the whole time I was just “amen”ing at my phone while getting ready for work!
The two biggest challenges for me where:
1. People (or I) can suggest a name for you based on your past circumstances, but only God, your heavenly Father, can authorize and sign-off on what you are called!
2. You don’t get to choose everything that comes into your life, but as a child of God, you get to choose what you call whatever comes into your life. You keep waiting on your circumstance to change so you can be blessed, but God says “I want you to pronounce a blessing over your circumstance and call it what you want.”
Guys! You know how sometimes you can hear something your whole life and never really get it and then someone comes along and says it in a new way and you just think, “why has no-one ever said this amazing truth to me before?” THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED! Like, for real? I don’t have to see singleness and living alone as being unwanted and forgotten about? I can choose to call it a blessing and a privilege and a special time where God is preparing me for something pretty awesome? WHAT?!?!? And because I am a child of God, I don’t have to go around with those labels I have put on myself? Are you serious?!?
God has used this song, Psalm, and this message (really the entire series!) to radically change my mindset this week. It’s amazing what happens when you actually let a wall down and allow God room to be God in your life. So I am going to choose daily to not see myself the way that I have been feeling, but to allow God to write His truth on me.
I am Val. Blameless. Holy. Forgiven. Righteous. Free. Spotless. Worthy. His Child. Chosen. God, I am Yours. [lyrics from Blameless by Dara Maclean]
“I will thank Yahweh with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works (that includes you and me!). I will rejoice and boast about You; I will sing about Your name, Most High… Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You…” Psalm 9:1-10