It was the first time in my life I had ever experienced anything like it. I used to be embarrassed to tell anyone that my birthday was coming. I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they had to do something for me. Most of the time I said nothing.
This year was different. I was telling everyone about my upcoming birthday. For the first time in my life I was celebrating ME. I realized the great healing God had done. For not too long ago I was ashamed of who I was. I believed I was a curse to the earth and to those who had to be in my family.
The most prominent words in my head for most of my life were “you are a problem who creates problems.” I hated that. I wanted it desperately to not be true. I didn’t know who I was. I knew what life had told me. Will the real Julie please stand up?
As a child I loved watching the TV show, “To Tell The Truth”. Three people sat before the panel. Two were impostors, one was the real deal. The panel would ask questions trying to guess which one was authentic. Sometimes they were able to fool the panel, other times they were not. At the end of the questioning, the votes were tallied. The announcer would then say, “Would the real Bill Smith please stand up?” After a few minutes of deliberation as the impostors acted as if they were getting up, the real Bill would stand. The imitators were then exposed for who they were.
I lived my life trying to pretend I was something I was not… until one day…..
I heard the pastor’s invitation. “Take a journey into your soul”. “Walk back into the archives and look for the true person dwelling inside.” He spoke of the effects of life, of how there were two stories written on our lives. One was the story satan had written. The other was the story of God. Which one were we living under? One would take us away from our true identity, the other would take us into it. Would we take the journey back? He asked God to take those willing to go back into the original story of life as it had been planned. He prayed that we would have dreams, visions and revelations.
It was the beginning of the end for me.
That next week I had a dream. I was in a car with a young girl. I was headed to New York with a stop in Washington DC. I realized I was headed the wrong way so I turned back and headed south. I took my checkbook but I had no money. I knew the dream was significant. I sat with God to ask Him what it all meant.
Washington, DC represents history. New York represents new beginnings. The checkbook revealed that I was willing to pay the cost to find my true life even though it felt like a risk. Having no money was a revelation that I was empty of my own resources. I could not pay my own way. The child was me. His words washed over me. “Beauty restored.” “What was lost the destroyer tried to take.” “But I am restoring you.”
It has been His way in me these last seven years.
The end of my resources was the beginning of life. I could no longer strive. It placed me on a road of new beginnings. Without striving I became open to receive all that He would give. The journey took me back into the archives of my history, allowing God to replace what I had believed with the truth of what He knew. He revealed me as I was meant to be.
I saw that He was no longer the God of rules and regulations. He was now the God of rescue and love. He had known who I was all along. My world opened as He became real to me in ways I had not known.
This past Tuesday, I was excited to tell of the day I was born. I knew His delight of me. Together we celebrated ME.
Beauty is rising out of the ashes of my life as God continues to make all things new. This once broken-hearted woman is finding her true soul. It is the story of God. It is the story of me. It is the story of us. Will the really Julie please stand up? She is.
©copyrighted: 2012, julie l. todd