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“The Bible” when translated from its original Greek literally means “The Books.” These are the books, the ultimate books, the ones that define the heavens, the earth, and everything in between. These are the books that define me, that have my name written between the lines because they were written for me. These are the books that, together, make up the ultimate love letter. I can’t imagine better words; I don’t know why I ever tried.

I don’t strive to even touch the beauty of the words that reside in that love letter, but I dream of God taking my hand and using it to build worlds. I want to write something that matters. And there was a period of my life when that was all I wanted to do. I loved writing and I got a lot of praise for it; it was just good. I auditioned for a creative writing program in my city. Long story short, I didn’t get in. And that was it, I was done. The negative thoughts began to creep in.

I am a failure.

Why did I think I would be good at something? It didn’t matter that, for years, people had told me my writing was good. It didn’t even matter that I had liked my writing before this point. That one rejection letter was a tangible reminder that I had failed. It didn’t matter that I had pretty much no control over the situation.

Abram’s wife, Sarai, tried for years to give him children. It wasn’t until she was ninety years old when God finally told them that she would bear a son. And she laughed. I imagine it was, at least somewhat, a nervous laughter. It was too late. And I imagine that she had shared my negative thoughts all those years in between.

I am a failure.

I based a lot of my value on the things I can’t control.

I had writer’s block for the next four years. I would take pen to paper, I would stare at it for a couple minutes, and I would leave it blank. I had lost my ability to even try and it was absolutely ridiculous. Staring at blank journal after blank journal – the ones that lined my desk because people thought I would use them – I looked into my inability to try and there it was again.

I am a failure. I think I’ll always kind of regret those blank years.

When Abram took his wife with him to Egypt he made her tell the Egyptians that she was his sister. Pharaoh took her to be his wife and when he realized what Abram had done he sent them away. At this point, if Abram and I were anything alike, he would have thought about how stupid he had been. And he, too, would have shared my negativity.

I am a failure.

I based a lot of my value on my mistakes.

When I finally could actually think of words, I wrote them down. But it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t share these words. If people read them, surely they would also realize I had failed. I have journals – a lot of journals – filled with thoughts that will never be shared, locked away by my fears. The same fears that accompany the negativity that has haunted me all these years.

I am a failure.

When Peter started to, by the grace of God, walk on water, he got scared and started to sink. He had one simple task, Take courage! Do not be afraid. But he wasn’t able to rid himself of the fear that comes from trying to remain in control. I imagine that after this experience Peter thought about renaming himself Simon because I imagine that he, at least for a minute, also shared my negative thoughts.

I am a failure.

I based a lot of my value on my fears.

But I am not defined by my struggles, my mistakes, or my fears. I am not defined by my failures. I am not defined by the pain of this world, but by the Kingdom that is coming down to it. And it’s that Kingdom that is helping me trade out those old thoughts for new ones.

I am loved.

I am beautiful.

I am worthy.

I am His.

There’s a lot I still don’t know. I don’t know why one letter held the ability to knock me down so far. I don’t know why I can’t do some things. I don’t know why I still have fear lingering in my mind, just waiting to attack. I still don’t completely know all of whatever lesson I was supposed to learn from all this.

God renamed all of them – Abram, Sarai, and Simon [Peter.] He redefined them according to what he saw in them. And he’s doing the same for me. There’s no turning back, even if I don’t exactly know what it will do to me.

I don’t know my name, but right now, that’s okay.

 

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