We are defined.
All of us. We are shaped, molded, angled, built, crafted…
All of us. We carry the talents, gifts of birth, reflections of a perfect Image… We are awesome, capable, creative, giving, loving beings… As we are defined, as we are intended, we are perfect.
But we are also re-defined.
All of us. We are broken, bent, stretched, spent, undone…
For while we are formed and imprinted with the indelible Image, nearly everything that happens after that seeks its ruin. All of us have experienced this: our dads beat the hell out of us; our moms told us we were worthless or an accident; we were sexually abused; we woke up depressed this morning in spite of our very best (and medicine’s very best) efforts not to be; our loved ones died; our friends broke our trust; we failed by our own standards or someone else’s…
Over time, we lost faith in the Image, and then in ourselves. We lost confidence that we were among those who bore it. We lost hope.
Because we thought we were alone.
Over time, we came to believe that we deserved this.
But we did not.
You did not.
Not then, not now, not ever.
For defined does not change its mind so easily. Intended does not acquiesce to such persuasions. And it does not suffer threats to its beloved well.
Friend, You are that beloved. Then, now, and for always, it is you. With all your baggage in tow, with all the wounds that never seem to heal, with the messes done to you and the messes you have made, with whatever you woke up with this morning and the day before and probably tomorrow, it is you.
And this is why you mustn’t give up.
It is why you mustn’t believe, not now and not ever, that you are alone.
It is why you mustn’t believe, not now and not ever, that you deserve this.
It is why you mustn’t believe, not now and not ever, that you are hopeless.
You are defined. You are intended. Whether you have ever seen a glimpse of it in your life or not, you are wonderful, courageous, beautiful, able—a crowning jewel among all that exists.
You deserve to know that even if you have never seen a glimpse of it in your life, the world and someone in it waits with grand anticipation for something only you can provide.
You deserve to know that you deserve the thanks, admiration, and praise that come from resiliency, and giving your gifts to the rest of us.
You deserve to know that every day you wake up feeling like you did this morning and say, “I’ll do this anyway,” hope is winning.
You deserve to know that even if you never hear it, someone is watching, gaining inspiration from your example.
You deserve to know that we are proud of you whether your life sings or barely gets by.
You deserve to know that we are waiting for your song, and that we know its words because it is our song too. You are not alone.
And when you don’t, ask. We’ll tell you.
He’ll tell you.