Let’s say we’ve never met.
How would I introduce myself to you? Hmmm…
Well, as a functioning member of polite society, I would probably leave it at, “Hi, I’m Kathy. Nice to meet you.”
But what if someone gave me some sort of societal truth serum? What if I had to give you descriptors right there in the introduction? And what if I had no choice but to tell you what I honestly thought at that very moment?
There are days when it would go something like this:
“Hi, I’m Kathy, an overweight 46 (almost 47)-year old spinster with two cats who talks too much and is very loud.”
Other days you might get this:
“Hi, I’m Kathy, Director of Children’s Ministries at South Potomac Church, where I am in charge of all things kid from birth to 5th grade. I struggle with having enough volunteers, knowing how to handle conflict in a godly way and a feeling of always coming up short in some way.”
Yet another day it may be:
“Hi, I’m Kathy. I am the youngest of two girls who grew up right here in Maryland in a Christian home. I have three beautiful nieces, a wonderful older sister, a godly brother-in-law and a Mom and Dad who love God, each other and me.”
“Hi, I’m Kathy, Ginger’s little sister, who, in contrast to her, has always been the not-quite-as-smart one. I am no dummy, but my sister is brilliant. Her vocabulary makes mine look like I am in preschool and her skills in creating things also can’t be beat. She has a solid marriage and amazing parenting skills. I want to be just like her when I grow up.”
Looking in the mirror or at my life, at my roles, my tasks, my responsibilities, my circumstances.
My foibles, flaws and failures.
Perhaps by the words others have said to me. About me. Behind my back. Or to my face.
Or possibly by my health at the moment. The illnesses I have – and the days that they have me.
Perhaps even my sin. My past mistakes. The consequences of them.
At the very least, my comparison of myself to others.
So, the questions:
Am I more than how I look? My job? My relationships? My history? My weaknesses? Even my strengths?
Am I more than the difference between what culture says I should be and what I am?
The world answers with a resounding “NO”. It says, “You are defined by those things. Your roles, titles, degrees. Your salary, bank account and investment portfolio. Your jean’s size and your gene’s outcomes. Your last review by your boss and the opinion of significant other’s in your life. How many toys you have and what labels you can afford. Your pre-existing conditions. These are the things that make you, you.”
And in that case, I am an utter failure. Held up to the measuring stick of culture in America today, I fail miserably. Only one degree. No husband. No children. A BMI that is too high and a bank account that is too low. A dead-end job with no chance of going any higher in the company. A miserable sinner.
But, oh, thank God! That is NOT what defines me. That is NOT where my worth comes from and it is not the Truth of who I am! No matter how I feel. No matter what the magazine says. No matter how someone else chooses to evaluate me or my life. They are not my Creator, nor are they the King of the World. Therefore, they do NOT get to define who I am.
Because God, who is my Creator and the King of the World, gets to write the definition. And here is His version of my most real self-introduction:
“Hi, I’m Kathy, the beloved daughter of the King of the World. He adopted me into His family after paying an incredibly high ransom for me – the exchange of His Son’s life for mine. I did nothing to deserve my adoption and am completely flawed in deep and disturbing ways. Although I am a pauper by birth, I am a Princess now with all the love and power of the King of Kings as my resume. I am forgiven of every sin, past, present and future. My Father delights in spending time with me, listening to me as I talk and whispering reassurances of His love to me in a thousand ways every day. He has designed the perfect tasks for me to do in His Kingdom and has not only prepared them for me to do, but has gone before me to make sure everything is good. He protects me from my enemies, lifts me up when I am sad, holds me close when I am hurting and rejoices over me with singing all the time. He loves me just as I am but He also loves me too much to leave me as I am. Instead, in love He prepares challenges for me to face and obstacles that He will help me overcome. And even when I face those challenges, He is right beside me, giving me strength and cheering me on. He is mine; I am His. And although I am one of billions that He has adopted, He treats me as if I am the only one. He hears me every time I call. He comforts me every time I ask. He fills my life with good things and renews me every day. I cannot offend Him to the point where He will leave me and I cannot earn His love for me because it is already at its highest capacity. I am His and He is mine. Always.”
You know, when that is the True self-introduction of my life, everything else fades away. All of my comparisons, circumstances and short-comings become very dim in the light of Who He is and who I am in Him. And no one can separate me from Him. From His love. And from the Truth of who I really am in Him.
So, here you go:
“Hi. I’m Kathy, daughter of the King of Kings. Have you met Him? If not, can I take you to meet Him? He’s awesome!”