Don’t let it define you

Psalm 119:143

Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight. NIV

Life here is not easy.

But, at times of trouble, the words that my mom said so often as I was growing up ring in my head, “This can either be something that happens to you, or something that defines you.”

I was a sick kid.  As I write that, I can hear her voice, “You WEREN’T sick.”  She’s right.  I wasn’t sick … I was crippled.  That’s a word that we never, ever used in our house … crippled is a word that absolutely defines you.

I was truly blessed in that my parents recognized my condition early and they did everything they could to fight it.  Now, years later, my affliction is one that is not evident, but, when I was a child, I wore a large, unsightly brace that was impossible to hide.

My parents, especially my mother, never allowed the brace to be the focus … not mine, nor anyone else’s.  They encouraged me to do all the things that kids do, and to not see myself as handicapped … that was another word we didn’t use.

When I would come home from school deflated at having been teased, or fallen down publicly, or whatever it was that upsets a child dealing with a measure of difficulty, she would ask, “Who are you?”  And, I knew that I was to answer with my first, middle and last name.  The next question was, “Who loves you?”  Again, I knew the answer.  She loved me, my dad and my sister loved me, my aunts and my uncles, my grandmother and most importantly, God.  The last question was the kicker, “Has anything really changed?”  And again, the answer was invariably, “No.”

It was a tremendous exercise to keep things in perspective.

She would never allow us (me or my sister) to define ourselves by our circumstances.  We were to see ourselves as she saw us, and as God saw us, worth dying for.

This verse is a reminder of that concept to me.  Troubles, distress, worries are inevitable.  But they will not define me.  My hope, my future and my delight are in my savior and in His commands.

That’s what I’ll think about today.



Filed under Hope, Old Testament, Psalms, Strength, Worry

2 responses to “Don’t let it define you

  1. alice

    absolutly correct. society has a way of defining us. for me it has defined me in so many varied ways….,. thankfully our God doesn’t define us, except that we are His children and in His fold!

  2. Natalie Fairchild

    This was absolutely what I needed to read. With everything that I’ve been through the last 2 months, I’ve yet to hear it put that way. “Who am I” “Who loves me?” “Has anything really changed?”

    What a wonderful, inspirational way to look at not worrying and to not letting what happens TO us define who we are. What has happened has happened as it happens to many people, but it’s not any part of who I am. Thank you for such a wonderful blessing tonight before I go to bed.

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