Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Know Who I Am, But Do I Matter? (XI/XII)

So we know what singleness is. We know who we are created to be, male and female.

But there's still a question I found looming in the depths of my heart. I didn't want to acknowledge it. It was deep. And maybe a little embarrassing, given my background in the Church.

But it was there, nonetheless, so I dug. Here's what I uncovered.

At the same time I started reading The Gospel of Ruth, I began reading Angie Smith's book What Women Fear. (Ladies, this is a must-read too!) I was in the midst of a chapter on fearing death. Not something I struggle with exactly. Sure, I fear safety sometimes. I'm always relieved after arriving home at the end of a long trip or after hearing that a family member has arrived safely. But in general, death is not something I fear - and for that I am incredibly grateful. So I was reading through this chapter a little bit disengaged and happy there was finally a chapter that didn't completely resonate with me.

Then, I read this sentence.

"At the heart of my fear is the burning question of whether or not I really matter to Him the way I want to believe I do."

Oh crap. I read it again. And again.

There was something deep inside that was stirring. But I didn't know what, or why. I mean, do I doubt that I matter to God? I don't think I do. On a head level. But in my heart do I? I had to press deep to get to the bottom of this. And I wasn't exactly excited about what I was finding. But I was becoming aware of this feeling of wondering how I really matter to God. I know He sent His only Son to die for me. I know He loves me more than anything I could ever fathom. The things that break my heart, the things that burden me. Do they matter to Him?

And then my mind engaged in full on war.

Erin, this life isn't about you anyway. It's all for Him. So no, you really don't matter. It's all about bringing your Redeemer glory, reflecting His love and grace. Living a life sacrificed to Him.

I've been pouring over this verse for several months:

Philippians 1:21, NIV
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

So. Do I matter? 

He is my Father. He created me and loves me.

But still.

It feels a little bit like this: Imagine a family. There's a little girl who has several siblings. She and her siblings are loved and cared for by their father. They are provided for and have all their needs met, oftentimes without even realizing it. But this little girl wants a pony. One day she goes to her Father and says, "Daddy, Daddy! I really want a pony. May I have one?" And she hears nothing. So the next day she goes to him and asks the same thing, "Daddy, Daddy, I really want a pony. May I have one?"

Still no response. No pony.

So she continues, "Daddy, Daddy, I have seen some great ponies. You've trained me with a heart to love and care for one. May I have a pony?"

Silence. Years go by. She continues to ask the question. Her siblings are asking too. They get ponies. She has joy seeing their joy, yet she still wants a pony of her own. Meanwhile she continues to train herself to be a good caregiver, filling her head with knowledge of caring for a pony. She gleans wisdom from those around her who have them, continuing to seek and grow in the time of waiting.

And so she continues, "Daddy, Daddy, I see that you've provided a pony for my other siblings, but I still don't have one. Are you hearing me? I am waiting. I see so many great ponies. May I have one?"

No answer.

And eventually, in the silence she beings to wonder if she really matters. If she mattered wouldn't she have one? If she really mattered, wouldn't her daddy want to give her a pony?

Songs that have met me on this stage of the journey:
Surrender - Barlow Girl
This Road - Ginny Owen

I sort out this question soon in "Our Father's Response" - the final post in the Singlehood series...coming soon...!

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