A Certain Gumption

Romans 8:37 (NIV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Last week I needed a skirt for my husband’s office Christmas party, so I went to the mall.

I never go to the mall.

I mean, I used to! Lordy, did I have a closet full of cute clothes back in the day, people! But having kids and staying home means making choices and so mall-shopping fell off my radar. But there I was. Heading straight for one of my old haunts. The cute little girl in her cute little skinny jeans was quick to help me start a dressing room. (Oh, how I remember the good ol’ days! No one at Wal-Mart follows you around and writes your name on a dressing room door. Smile…)

Molly, the cute skinny jeans girl, chose some things for me to try on in the size she presumed that I was.

I laughed out loud at her. No, no, Molly. I haven’t been that size in quite a while (but nice sales approach!).

As I pushed Leighton’s stroller into the dressing room (with my name on the door) I just had to smile. She had arranged the jeans and sweaters together, the dresses and skirts together and even chosen some jewelry to accent the outfits. Man, this girl is good!

I look at the label on the jeans and think this chick is outside of her mind…

Except they fit.

Molly knows what she’s doing. I don’t think they have college classes for retail but if so she got an A.

I think the people running the company are onto something. Labels are powerful.  If I like their label better I will come back.

I keep thinking about it…

Maybe the most important decision I can ever make is determining which labels I’m willing to wear.

What we believe about ourselves matters. Who we believe matters. Where we get our information matters.

Certainly God doesn’t give a hoot about what labels are on our clothes, but I’m convinced He cares deeply about the labels on our heart. About where we shop for our identity.

Creator has a lot to say to His children.  But even when we know some of what He says, we don’t accept it.  Don’t buy it.

Why?

In a way I felt like a sneak leaving that store with those clothes…like an imposter pretending to be a size I’m really not.

Sometimes we slip into Bible verses or church services but leave secretly feeling like an imposter.  God says I’m more than a conqueror through Jesus but really, secretly, I know it’s not true. I’m not a size overcomer. I’m a size failure.

Hey, look. I don’t exactly feel like a conqueror these days. I feel weak and emotional and seem to be hosting a perpetual pity-party. And writing a blog post doesn’t change that.

But picking up my Bible will.

Choosing to believe and wear the labels God has given me is my only chance.  Even if at first I feel like an imposter.

More than a conqueror.
Dearly loved.
Forgiven.
Apple of His eye.
Accepted.

Having the mind of Christ.
Doing all things through His strength.

I can’t help but think about Jesus. Born among animals in a barn. Growing up the obscure son of a carpenter.

Imagine Him grown…walking toward John the Baptist…insisting John baptize Him. Hearing the sound of Creator’s voice…

Beloved Son.

The imprint on His heart.

The label that would deflect all others.

They called Him a blasphemer.  A liar.

Beloved Son saved us anyway.

It takes boldness, a certain gumption, to believe what God says in spite of what the world thinks of us.

In spite of what we think of us.

Confounding as it may be, it’s in believing Him that we conform to who God says we already are.

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