“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life” (Col 3:1-3; TM)
One of the greatest discoveries I have made is to know myself! Next to knowing God, I discovered who I am. I now have an identity that is found in Christ alone. Before I became saved I only knew that there is a ‘me’. I knew I had a name, parents and a sister; I was a medical doctor; I had a husband and three children; I had wonderful dreams of success in this world… But all these ‘external additions’ were not able to explain to me who I really was. I defined myself thru the opinion of others. For example, as a child, I saw myself thru the eyes of my parents. Both of them were my teachers. They were very proud of me and I tried to make them proud in return. I pushed myself very hard to always be first in the class. It was my way of paying them back for their love. After I got married I saw myself thru the eyes of my husband. If he said that I was beautiful that day I was ‘floating in the air’ with happiness. I was ready to quarrel with anyone who saw me ugly. But when my husband was too busy to compliment me, I felt foolish and ugly. After I had children, if they said: ‘Mummy, you are a good mummy…’ I felt proud that I am a good mother. I was ready to ‘compete’ with other mothers for the title ‘the best mother in the world’. But when any of my children emotionally rejected me and loved ‘another mother’ more than me, I will weep, blame myself and feel so sad. It was the same with all my relationships, with family and friends. I depended totally on their words. I gave them too much power over my soul and they used it or misused it.
This situation could have gone on forever if not for the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the grace of God I became born again in 1986. Since then my greatest passion is to know God and to become like His Son Jesus Christ. Thank God for my husband because he too is a child of God. We encourage each other in this holy race. Like I said, one of the greatest discoveries I have made is to know myself! I study the Word of God and I apply it daily to myself and to my circumstances. I see myself now thru the eyes of God. No opinion matters except that of my Lord. I know that I am a sinner saved by grace. No man or devil can condemned me because by faith, I died with Jesus and rose with Jesus. Whatever negative things you may say about ‘me’, you are talking about a dead woman buried long ago and who feels nothing.
I no longer define myself thru my outward appearance. I do not see myself as a fat, short, ugly, wrinkled and old menopausal woman. That is not me at all! It can never be me! I see myself as a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. My body is nothing less than the temple of the Holy Spirit! I believe that! He changes me from inside out! I am holy because God my Father is holy. Even if I am a hundred and twenty years old like Moses, my youth can never become ‘old’ for it is ‘renewed like the eagles’. Because holiness is beautiful I am beautiful! As a wife I am precious in the eyes of God. The Holy Spirit will help my husband to see me as precious. As a mother, I am totally fulfilled. I am not a mother in ‘Warri’ but I am ‘a mother in Zion’ (Jdg 5:7). My children, natural and spiritual, are covenant children, special, unique, gifted and wonderful. If the devil likes it or not, they shall serve the Lord who brought them to me!
After I discovered myself in Christ, I developed a relationship with myself. I love myself so that I can love others. I forgive myself as the Lord has forgiving me! I encourage myself thru the Word of God! I prophesy on myself, what I should be according to the Bible. I pray for myself, that my dreams come true! I delight myself in the Lord. Therefore my heart’s desire shall manifest! It is just a matter of time… I truly enjoy my company. I am surprised at the wonderful things God has done in my life. He has made me spiritually strong. He gives me peace and joy. He puts His Words in my mouth to encourage others. My hearts sings… And His work in me continues… With unashamed face I behold Him who saved my soul! Today, I give thanks to God for my life, for what I have become, eternally safe in the Beloved! It is well with my soul….Glory to God!
Love in Christ alone,
(I wrote this letter in 2018. The words are still fresh, and Spirit filled. Read, pray and be blessed! My husband took me this picture on the little bridge over the river where God opened the heart of Lydia (Acts 16). This was in Philippy, Greece in one of our travels. My husband is now in heaven. In all things I give thanks to God!)
Silvia, This is one of the best explanations of what “finding our identity in Christ” means. Thanks for being so authentic, and for being an example. Your strength to carry on your ministry without your husband is truly a reflection of where your identity lies.
Dear sister Mary,
God saved me thru the Blood of Jesus Christ. God saved my husband thru the same Blood of Jesus Christ. God called my husband and I individually to ministry. Because we were married, we did ministry together. After my husband went to heaven, I was left ‘alone’ on earth. But my salvation and the call to ministry could not be interrupted even by his death. The Holy Spirit allowed me to ‘mourn’ my husband in ‘a regular way’ for only a month. After that, in the middle of the pain, the passion for Jesus started burning afresh. I could not resist it. My pain faded away as the Love that never fails consumed my heart. The Lord Jesus Christ re-baptized me with His Love and Fire. The power from on high entered my bones. I forgot my tears. I forgot the grave. All I saw was Jesus Christ, calling me… “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!” (SS 2:10-13). People from all over the city started coming to the church. There was nothing special about me in the past. My husband was a true preacher! A leader of men! I loved his shadow. I was so safe there. After his going to heaven, the light of God shone on me. I was exposed to His Grace. I could not hide. He helped me to rise! To stand and shine! People came to listen to that one who had no voice. My husband is a Nigerian. All the members in our church are Nigerians (color brown). I am the only one different (color pink). It is a strange color scheme… but none cares anymore… I hope that you understand… People came, not to see me, but to listen to me. We never had so many people in the church… From my strength, they gather strength! From my hope, they drink hope! This is my story, this is my song… To God be all the glory!
So grateful for His faithfulness. Your testimony is such an encouragement.