On the Side: June 2022
I am who God says I am
by Shelly Wyrick
One day, a mole decided life underground wasn’t his thing. Ready for something new, he found a folded lawn chair in a driveway and thought, yes, this was his best next step. So he moved in.
Moles were made for underground living. When these creatures find themselves above ground, they look…well, they look silly. Their eyes and ears are small, so they run around confused. After all, you don’t need good eyesight when burrowing. Because God made them to dig, their back legs are stubby, and their front legs are strong. Their fur is sleek, and their bodies cylindrical, just like the tunnels they were born to create.
God designed a mole to be a mole. He created you to be you and me to be me. When I walk into that reality, pursuing the plans He’s set out for me, I move toward being the masterpiece He’s revealing. When I look at who God says I am, I see my great value. But, like an above-ground mole, there’s trouble when I define who I am. It’s prevalent in our culture. We decided, “I am who I say I am,” or “My marriage is what I say it is,” or “My pursuits, dreams, plans and how I spend my time are how I want them to be.” Oh, friend, we were made for more! Being the captain of my soul sets me on a confusing, off-course route that misses the incredible destination God has set out before me.
When my eldest daughter was in seventh grade, she fell in love with softball. This meant I honed my skills as her softball spectator. On one occasion, I pulled into the parking lot of her middle school and unloaded the grocery bag of snacks, the lawn chair, picnic blanket, and the three other kids. Off we set across the vast field toward the game. Eyeing an area near the outfield, I began to set up camp. As if in slow motion, I bent over to unfold the chair, and to my horror, a mole ran out. A half-blind mole who scampered around aimlessly and shockingly close to a field of middle school girls. The lawn suddenly appeared strangely well-mowed, with not a single blade of grass for this critter to hide behind. At this moment, my children gaped as the vermin zigged and zagged perilously close to the softball diamond. I could see, in my mind, what would happen if the team saw the debacle, and not wanting my tween to die of embarrassment, I did what a compassionate mother ought to do. I caught the stinker. Wrapped in a blanket, I hiked the little guy, squeaking in opposition, a solid 200 meters to an area that would be a much better choice for his life.
The mole erred when he decided life on the prairie wasn’t his jive and considered the lawn chair a better direction. He was wrong. We are wrong when we declare we are who we say we are. Alternatively, when we proclaim Jesus as Lord over our lives, we tap into life and love that abundantly exceeds anything we could ask or think. When I am who God says I am, I suddenly have an out-of-this-world purpose. I realize my work right here is not only worthwhile, but it is my calling.
Our medical marriages are part of that. Maybe that’s going really good for you right now. Perhaps it’s not. Based on how many relationships are falling apart around me, I beg you to consider: how is your marriage? If you’re off track, setting yourself up in a place you were never meant to be, I long to lovingly wrap you up and relentlessly carry you back to God’s path. But I can’t. A better idea is to tap into who God says we are. We have access to who He is and His abundant power, wisdom, love and hope. We don’t have what it takes to make a healthy marriage in this culture, so let’s not limit ourselves. God’s abundant grace, love, mercy and redemption are within our reach as we live out who we are in Him.
I am who God says I am. You are who God says you are. He is just the power we need in our marriages to propel us in the right direction.
Help me right here, right now, to ask what you want me to do in my marriage. Help me to believe I am who you say I am, and help me to live that out in marriage, tapping into your surpassing greatness to be who you want me to be toward my spouse.
Shelly is wife to her manly medical man and mom to four school-aged children. She began her career as a physical therapist before becoming a stay-at-home mom and recently is pursuing the creation of hopeful art. Shelly also enjoys jogging, writing and keeping up with her family on their many outdoor adventures.