Today’s story comes from a truly amazing young woman and is a journey I have been gifted with a front row seat to. I have witnessed her transformation from timidity and uncertainty to beautiful, humble boldness that is rooted in the identity she has gained. I have both watched her fight, and watched her surrender, and now I am watching her rise into a life and a purpose that radiate the grace of God.
Here is yet another testimony of the wound which fatherlessness bestows, and of the fierce love of God the Father which relentlessly pursues our hearts with the reality that He is everything we need, even when we don’t know we need it.
And here is the story of identity robbed at the hands of human weakness and failure, and of God’s redemptive power to use everything and turn it into something good. As you read her story, may you receive the revelation she has shared in the deep and wounded places of your heart, and may you be granted the faith to believe God for more than you have dared to thus far!
“My name is Melanie, and this is my resurrection story…
At a very you age, I asked myself one question over and over and it went along the lines of something like , “Who will defend me?” As a little girl, I knew the answer to this question always pointed back to myself. If there was anyone who could protect me, help me, or fight my battles, it would have to be me. And this is what I believed, because the image of a permanent, providing, protecting, defending love was non existent in my life.
Although my biological father was always loving and affectionate towards me when we spent time together, he was never a permanent part of my home. He never owned a house or a car, or a long lasting job. His life was very unstable and he was always on the move. He couldn’t provide anything for me; he had nothing to offer me, and growing up I was actually okay with this. Or at least I had to be okay with this, because it was all I really knew. I cherished the moments we did have together and never focused on what I was lacking. As a child, later an adolescent, and then moving forward into my teenage years, I developed a very independent mindset. My expectations of authority were small, and my dependence on others had become stripped away. I became my own defender, my own protector, my own everything. It was an Identity that I took on and it later became a huge hindrance when I began serving Jesus.
I didn’t realize my need for a permanent father at the time, but when I came to know Christ, I became aware that in many ways, my life had been destroyed growing up without one. This became evident when all of the joy I had found in Jesus upon initially serving Him soon became a struggle to keep, because I was functioning so independently. One of my greatest struggles was simply learning how to receive any help from Father God. In trying to walk out my calling , I quickly became heavy burdened and was always striving for something in my own strength. Every tough situation I encountered while serving God felt extremely frustrating, and sometimes I could even physically feel just a heavy weight on my body.
The Holy Spirit began to shed light on the roots of where this was coming from in the area of my childhood, and my lack of a real example of Fatherhood. God began showing me the mindsets I had built that weren’t allowing me to receive any help from Him, that wouldn’t let Him fight any of my battles. He began revealing to me that when hard situations arose in my life, I didn’t allow Him to fix anything. I would first take it upon myself to fix things without ever really even turning to or trusting that God could take care of it. I never allowed Him to be my strength. I just didn’t know how to trust God, or how to just be weak and let Him be my strength. Eventually, always trying to figure things out on my own resulted in me carrying many burdens and alway striving, even while serving Christ.
When the Holy Spirit revealed this to my heart 7 years ago, I intentionally sought God from that moment on and asked him to set my mind free from the past. Since then, He has taught me daily how to fully lean on Him as a Father, and how to trust Him in fighting my battles. I can look back and say I have honestly received so much freedom from that point until now. It has been a process of healing and breakthroughs and repeatedly just allowing God in and letting Him show me who He is: A strong Papa. I had to learn that a life with jesus no longer required any of my own strength.
Although this process seemed long, I know now that God wanted it this way because He wanted to prove to me that he wasn’t just going to to be my defender for a moment, He was going to be my defender forever: always there, always stable, always permanent. He didn’t want me to have little expectations of Him. He wanted to prove His faithfulness to me over a period of time, so that I can surely know that He is here by my side forever and I no longer need to take care of myself. He wanted my expectations of Him to be high.
I’m so grateful to Him for that, and for the process of healing He has taken me on. I’ll admit, it required deeper trust at times when it seemed like it was dragging on forever, but I wouldn’t change a thing today. . With the help of Holy Spirit, I had to learn to let him be all that He wanted to be. My identity was redeemed in being a daughter who can lean and depend on a strong Father. In learning to trust him, and let him be a Father to me, I received so much freedom.
Today, I want to thank God for bringing me out of a mindset that was always believing I had to work for or towards something, for bringing me out of striving to fix situations on my own, and even striving to fix myself . He has helped me understand that I don’t need to work for His love, or work without it.
I have meditated often on Psalms 23 during this process and I still continue to as I grow deeper in my identity as a daughter. I am believing and declaring that God is the Great Shepherd of my soul, and is capable of leading and protecting me all the days of my life. I securely know now that all God’s love is wrapped around me and will be forever, that fighting battles are easy when He fights them for me, and that being in His presence is effortless. I’ve learned personally that the biggest revelation we can have is just receiving from God, with no restraints.
I want to encourage anyone that, if there’s a mindset you believe is hindering you from receiving all that God has for you, it can be redeemed. It may be a process or a day-to-day journey of healing, but God will fight for your freedom. You don’t have to fight for anything, you simply have to be willing to let Him heal you, and you have to sincerely want to be free. He wants to redeem you from the past, from pain, from any lie that keeps you from walking in your identity as a world changer.
It never occurred to me that, from the moment I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, I was to be apart of his intentional plan of Love. All I knew was that I was lost and in desperate need of a Savior to rescue me from the chaos I was surrounded in. I was in need of someone to lead my life, because I could no longer do it on my own. I can imagine this is how it starts out for most people as well. In taking that first step, simply falling at the feet of Jesus, surrendering everything into his hands out of desperation, most of us never realize that in that moment, God was calling us to so much more.”
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord