Friday, February 11, 2011

Whose Words and Labels Define You?

"For years of mornings, have woken wanting to die. Life itself twists into nightmare. For years, I've pulled the covers up over my head, dreading to begin another day I'd be bound to just wreck. Years, I lie listening to the taunt of names ringing off my interior walls, ones from the past that never drifted far and away: Loser. Mess. Failure. They are signs nailed overhead, nailed through me, naming me." These words from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts (emphasis mine) rattled in my head and heart. Through my dreams and waking fog.

Names ringing off my interior walls.

Fat. Failure. Liar.
Slut. Angry. Crazy.
Lost. Sad. Wrong.
Lost. Worthless. Unworthy.
Alone. Ugly. Stupid.

The list goes on and on. The echo inside my heart raises to the fever pitch cry of an angry mob. I spent years looking for the voice. The love. The hope. That would quiet those voices. That could tear down those "signs nailed through me, naming me."

My whole life I have been labeled by others, by the world, by myself. And I live in those labels. Pinned under them like a bug on a Styrofoam board. A spectacle defined by them. A life barely lived.

As I read Ann's words in this book I understand. I know these words I've never read. I breathe in her pain, and while it looks different then mine it still smells and tastes of bittersweet loss and love. I am nearly paralyzed as I read this book...afraid to breathe, hesitant to read and open doors long closed, and yet I fear if I put it down I'll miss the heavenly whisper in the turn of the page.

When I finally lay my head down for sleep, I can't. Labels. Names. Words. What are they? Do I still live by them??

I would love for the music to hit an epic crescendo here and across the screen the word


You'd sigh in a doesn't-Hollywood-make-it-all-better kinda way and life would have a pretty little bow on it.


My life isn't decorated by bows and ribbons -- more like,diapers, toys, school papers and laundry. And this isn't Hollywood (for one thing which I am thankful) and Hollywood's manufactured happy endings are not eternal and they aren't filled with saving grace.

Emotional. Uncool. New.
Inexperienced. Fat. Tired.
Angry. Unlovable. Lazy.
Trivial. Egotistical. Proud.
Confused. Lost. Cowardly.

Oh yes, the labels are still nailed to me. And while I get up every morning with the hope that today will be different. That today I'll live in the true reflection of Christ's love in me. But by the end of the day if anyone can even see Christ in me He is but a hint of His glory, if that, as though twisted in a fun house mirror.

Isaiah 43 says, "I have called you by name; you are mine."

Mine, whispers Jesus.

From the heights of heaven to the depths of my heart God reminds me, you are mine.

Where do I lose that? How does the world speak louder than the Bible? Than the Creator? Then the one who bears the scars for my sinful life?

I am His.

And while I am His, I will fail, but He will redeem the failure. I may overeat, but He will forgive the sin and walk with me to better choices. I will be emotional, but He made me that way and He can help me channel those emotions to emotionally driven energy not outbursts and entanglements. I will be proud and boastful, and He will correct the wrong thinking, humble me when needed and teach me to be boastful in Him.

You see, at the core of my being. Those very fibers He knit together in my mother's womb. I am who He made me. But left to my own devices, to the world's forces and cruel names, I'm not the best me I can be.

It is in Him, that I can become that woman. It is through Him that I have the strength to pull those covers off. It is through Him, that I can rip down the labels of this world and see my label.

Washed white at the cross my name tag sparkles in eternity.

It says, Hello my name is Wendy...and I am His.


Leebird said...

Did you do a mind meld with me?

we'll both get it one of these days. I love you beautiful friend, Leebird

The Heart and Mind of a Woman said...

Good stuff, girly. Good stuff.

Wendy Mueller said...

First, can I just ditto Leebird? Second, thank you, thank you, thank you. You put into words what my heart has been feeling all week. I have felt those names and labels overpowering me this week.

Thank you for guiding me to the peace that I needed to rest tonight.

~Yet another Wendy. :-)