What does “greater is the one living inside of me, than he who is living in the world” mean to you?  I’ll tell you what it means to me!!!

My first memory of not being good enough was in the fifth grade.  I was a new student to the school I was attending, and believe me, I was not pretty.  Not at all, and the kids on my bus, well, they were not so kind.  I was chubby to say the least with buck teeth and the kids on my bus totally loved (note the sarcasm) that about me.  It was nothing, for the entire 30 minute bus ride to hear “hey, bucky, what are you doin’ on the bus, shouldn’t you be in your habitat?” or “hey bucky, why don’t you crawl back under the ugly rock”, “hey, you fat buck toothed stupid girl, go back to the zoo” (to name just a few things) or to feel wads of spit, or paper spit balls in in my hair.  When this was brought to the attention of the people who were supposedly entrusted to care for me, I was told “I don’t want to stir up any trouble in the neighborhood, just learn to deal”.  This went on for the entire 7 years I rode the school bus…every day, to and from school….which made me very tired.

I also learned through the years, for some, I would never be enough. The “why can’t you be more like” soon grew weary and I always searched, however, for that ONE person, here on earth, who would be like God.  And by that I mean, one who would love unconditionally, forever.

I learned, after telling a friend about child abuse I survived from the ages of 3-16 that sometimes, these things need to be kept quiet, because they were shameful.

So, at a very, very early age, like I’ve already stated, I learned to think for myself, read by myself, listen to God’s voice by myself, sometimes, even having little conversations inside my head with God telling Him, “Hey am I okay, right?”, and hearing God say back, “yes, you are just fine.  You are mine, you are wonderfully made.”  But sometimes, God’s voice is overpowered and you start to believe the bad over the good.  Because, seriously, if your own earthly family doesn’t see the wonderful things you have inside you, who will?  This lack of self confidence, and feeling I wasn’t good enough or any idea I’ve ever had, any thought I ever voiced, every dream I had, when voiced, was shot down…brought a certain amount of pain because you truly are not good enough.

I never knew how all this truly effected me, until I was about 35, being more and more involved in church and it hit me yes, I am good enough, my dreams are great, I have ideas, I have feelings that matter.  So, I talked to God, read some scripture and made a change…and started living again…really living, really loving, and being loved back…until 48 days ago….feeling lower and lower until one day the song GREATER by Mercy Me, came on the radio.  I had heard it many times and I would sing it at the top of my lungs, but the words wouldn’t entirely hit me, until my daughter left my home unexpectedly.

For 40 days I beat myself up and listened again to the voices in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough.  I even listened to my daughter say out loud “this is going to hurt, but we put on a pretty good show for the past four years”…seriously, you’re telling me, and want me to believe, like others before you, I am not good enough to be your mom?  You don’t love me, or care about me?…WOW…those are harsh words spoken from a child.  How do you respond to that?

You respond like God would.  It’s okay, my child, if you feel that way, I was not putting on a show, I meant every kind word, every gesture, every loving thing I did for you, like working three jobs to make ends meet, doing all the household chores so you could concentrate on school and friends, every meal I brought to you when you were at an extra cirricular activity, every gift I bought with thought behind it, every donut and ice cream run, every morning I took you to school and sang songs together, especially our favorite, Super Trooper, and every late night I spent waiting for that text to come get you – – I meant it all.  I would do it all again, if it made your life easier.  I would move the entire universe to show you my love, and why?  Because God showed me how to love.  Did I say there would never be days when we would be at odds?  NO.  Did I say I would never get on your nerves?  NO.  Did I say we would always like each other? NO.  Did I ever say, I would only love you “if”?  NO.  Did I ever say I was perfect and wouldn’t make mistakes?  NO. But like God loves me unconditionally, I love you.  I love you when you are near to me and when you are far away.  I love you when you love yourself, and when you don’t.  I love you when you call out my name for help, and when you want to handle life on your own.  I love you even when you hate me.  And isn’t that what God does?

God didn’t tell us following him would be easy, and that every day would be full of sunshine and happiness.  God did tell us however, “the holy spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  There is no law against these things”  Galations 5:22-23.

WOW…I guess that’s why the song GREATER means so much to me, there always has been, and always will be someone who doesn’t like me, who doesn’t love me, who says I am not good enough.  Truly, everyone wants their family to love them, unconditionally, without boundaries, without stipulations, without the feelings of “I’ll love you if”.  But, sometimes, that is not a reality.  I guess that’s why God and I are together so much.

God tells me:

Bring your tired, (I have many times), bring your shame (I have, over my own abuse as a child, over my failed marriages, over the lack of honor and respect I feel from my earthly family), bring your guilt (I have over every mistake I have made, ever sin I have committed), and bring your pain (I have over every time I have reached out to be rejected) don’t you know, that’s not your name, you will always be much more to me.

Every day I do wrestle with the voices  that keep telling me I’m not right, but it is alright, I’ve brought my doubts (over every decision i have ever made that directly effected the life of another), bring my your fears (I have over every step I took God asked me to take to better my life), bring your hurt (oh my God, how many times have I bought my hurt to you?), there’ll be no condemnation here, you are holy, righteous and redeemed (seriously?  no condemnation?  No pointing out my mistakes, my wrong doings?  my tresspasses?)

Every time I fall (which is often) there’ll be those who call me a mistake (shall I start naming names in just the past week?) No, it’s okay…WHY???

“Because I hear a voice, and He calls me redeemed, when others say I’ll never be enough, and greater is the ONE living inside of me, than he who is living in the world.  And yes, there’ll be days when I lose the battle but GRACE says it doesn’t matter because the cross already won the WAR!  He’s GREATER, HE’s GREATER!!  I will learn to run freely, understanding just how HE sees me, and it makes me love HIM more and more!!”

Yes, I truly hear the voice of God.  I spend every morning, every lunch, every dinner and every bedtime with Him.  I told my Northside Table Group just last night, I don’t have that one A’ha! moment, when God slapped me in the face and I turned away from a life I should not have been living.  I grew up in a wonderful church, started teaching Sunday school in another,  have surrounded myself with good Christian people, and even some sinners who have not yet started to believe. By my earthly family I have been made to feel worthless, been persecuted for loving everyone, been so full of pain and anguish, I literally cried out to God, WHY, why, why am I not loved on earth as I am in heaven?  I’ve even questioned His decision to “knit me in my mother’s womb”…questioned why would HE bring me into this world, to live a life full of questions, condemnation, persecution…just why would He do this?

I decided maybe, just maybe, that’s my cross to bear.  Maybe my walk with God and feeling persecuted, rejected and condemed by my earthly family, is to bring me even more close to God, to keep the fruit of the holy spirit alive inside and to show anyone else walking the same walk I have walked, that we are never alone, we have a greater name, we have a greater love, because as 1 Peter 2:4 states:

As you came to Him, the living Stone – rejected

by men, chosen by God, are PRECIOUS TO HIM.

I am precious, I am loved, and I thank Mercy Me for recording this song because it means so much, so much to me…

I am running freely because I truly see how GOD sees me and all that does is make me love HIM more and more and more and more…My God is greater, than he who is living in the world.  Yes, HE is greater, He is GREATER than he who is living in the world…