Who are you? How will you navigate this pain-filled, over-sexed, addicted, spinning world you were born into? What tools do you need to assuage pain, rejection, identity crisis, and fear of the future, and more than that the fear of dying? Some would say “Just look within yourself, and there you will find all that you need to overcome.” Others say, “Just resign to the fact that you are who you are, no matter how broken, tormented, used,or confused you feel.” The favorite: “Just follow your heart.” can become just a short path to your chest; not the great journey you hoped it would be.
There are voices. Plenty of voices. Some that see your potential and call you out to greatness. Some that see your flaws, and torment you mercilessly. Some that call you to join them in their dark closet identities, and others that are calling out for help.
Maybe you realize you are one who needs help. Maybe you are wounded, full of regret, shame, disillusionment, and anger. Maybe your closet identity has taken its toll on your personhood and you really don’t know who you are. Who is going to tell you?
You see, your story will be written by whomever gets to hold the pen. If you give that pen to yourself, it will likely be filled with pain, regret, disillusionment, struggle, survival, and resignation. If you give the world your pen they will fill your stories with neurosis, addiction, perversion, and more confusion than you started with. Or maybe you, like others, will conclude your book with these words, “I am what I am.” Resignation.
“But that’s not resignation,” you say. “It is acceptance. It is being okay with the person I am.” Here is the test: Does your lifestyle continue to wound others around you? Does your lifestyle continue to wound you? If so, you have resigned.
People carry more baggage than they were ever designed to have. The product of a fallen world–every man for himself means that everyone will choose their selfish pleasure, no matter what it costs. A world of “me’s” holding their own pens, gratifying themselves, rewriting their character flaws and naming them something heroic. With their pens of selfishness they end up tattooing others around them. I’ve seen the permanent ink on the faces of many. Some inscriptions say “worthless”, “available for use”, “forgotten”, “unlovable”, “alone”, “dirty”, “for sale”.
What can wash away the stains? What power can redefine our identities? Who knows how to write our story better than us that we could entrust with the pen?
You are not a product of human passion simply. You are a treasured possession of the Creator, God who, when knitting you together in your mother’s womb, made a plan to give you a life full of grace redemption, healing, and victory. This God would watch your every step from your first to your last. Would count every breath you take, and never lose sight of you…not for one minute. He would call to you in the sunrises. He would speak to you in the sunsets. He would invite you to know Him in the melodies of music. He would fight for your redemption and ultimately your adoption. He would do and has done all of this. Why? Because you don’t know who you are.
How could you know, though, when you looked to the broken world to give you your identity? How would you know your story could be beautiful, if you never gave Him the pen? You didn’t know that grace would give your book a new page to write your life on. You didn’t know that mercy would be the pen that writes your name. You didn’t know that the blood of an innocent man, Jesus, would be the substance that washes away your stains, your sins, your regrets, your guilt. You wouldn’t know that unless someone told you.
But you’ve been rejected by your own father. Why would God want you? The wounds of your childhood haunt your identity now. By now you’ve made enough mistakes to send yourself to Hell without a judge to tell you. You don’t think your story can become anything other than what it is…pain, failure, survival, resignation.
You are wrong.
You don’t believe God can help you, so you have never asked. You don’t know that there really is a God, and so you’ve never sought. You believe that if there is a God, he wouldn’t want you.
Your thinking is too late. God already has help and hope waiting for you, so start asking. God is your Creator and the sustainer of your life, so start seeking. While you were in the midst of your sin, pain, rebellion, confusion, and autonomy, God sent His Son Jesus to earth, to bear your shame, and pay the penalty of your crimes by putting Him to death through a crucifixion designed for shameful thieves and murders. He did this because He wants YOU. He wants to take your story and redeem it. He wants to give you forgiveness, grace, mercy, and a new identity. He wants you to become what and who you were DESIGNED to be. He wants to write your tattoos….”beloved”, “accepted”, “forgiven”, “worthy”, “blessed”, “beautiful”, “son”.
Give Him the pen. Surrender your story…every broken, bloody, messy piece of it…every dark page, and scratched out sentence, every doubt and hollow hope.
Meet your Redeemer.
He will write your story with hope– not just for today, but for eternity.