Pick me, Pick me! Whether I yelled out those words or whispered them silently, I knew I would not be picked for the baseball team, because I was not worthy. I did not have the skills they sought. Pick me! Pick me! Though more sophisticated, the same cry echoed inside years later as students voted for cheerleaders or prom court. Even though I knew I had neither the talent or beauty, hope always coursed up – longing for acceptance. Ironically when I – and others – later realized what gifts God had given me, I was startled to learn that acceptance often was temporary and related directly to what I could do for others with those gifts. The acceptance to share my talents gave me pleasure, but there was still the longing for someone to care about ME – whether I had gifts, talents, or none.
Discovery came in three stages.
First God allowed me to meet Ken, an honest seeker who had the same longings as I. We talked of marriage and agreed that we needed to find God – to have a foundation for our relationship and any children God would give us. Respecting the authority of the Bible we determined to read it cover to cover as we searched for direction, and then to follow God’s directions.
Ken explained our plan to a fellow-worker at American Motors. He pointed us to the gospel of John, suggesting we underline all the words believe, since we wanted God to show us what to believe. Ken did it right away. It was a revelation for him and he immediately made those words his own, believing that Jesus was indeed the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6).
I held out a few weeks longer, however, nursing my insecurities and knowing I was not worthy. On that July 4th, while watching the fireworks from the upstairs back porch, I thought of my little baby downstairs and pondered on the mothers who had given their sons that I might enjoy the freedoms of this country. To think they would willingly lay down their lives for people they did not know was a love I could not fathom, and God spoke to my heart at that time, reminding me that He also gave His Son for my eternal freedom and longed for me to accept his gift. I had no doubt Jesus knew me inside out – and bore the cross for me knowing I was not worthy! What an intimate revelation of love!
The third stage came as I eagerly devoured God’s love letters to me. The world had taught me that I was accepted and loved if I was skilled or pretty or had something to offer them. Psalm 139 taught me that I was loved before I was created! The Message reveals it well:
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
I am chosen!