How true is this statement to you:
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”?
When I sat down to answer this question, I shrugged and wrote down the first thing that came to mind: “um… maybe 70% true.”
I don’t fully believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made (as Psalm 139 says). In fact, it’s easier for me to agree with this statement: “I was fearfully and wonderfully made, but I have profoundly messed it up.”
The every-day evidence doesn’t argue. I don’t treat my body well in my sleep and eating habits. I avoid mirrors. I struggle with confidence in marriage. I don’t often look at myself and think “hmm, this body and soul of mine is attractive.”
For so long, I have over-compensated for my body-insecurities with pride. I chose to say kind things about my body, even if I didn’t actually think them. When I was critiqued about my body or my personality, I countered negativity with self-empowerment.
These coping mechanisms for insecurity aren’t unhealthy. In fact, I think God holds a place for truth-speaking and self-empowerment for his people. However, it must always always always be rooted in DEPENDENCE on Him. That’s where I veered off-course early in my adult life.
So, when my shell of independent confidence-in-self became fractured (as many things did during 2020), my deeply held convictions about my beauty and self-worth leaked through: I don’t feel wonderful. My existence does not seem worthy of fearful reverence. God is probably disappointed with me, because I ruined His wonderful product.
My doubt of Psalm 139:14 means I live each day in disagreement with God. That takes a toll on our relationship.
I believe our good Father wants to bring healing and restore these places fractured by doubt. For me, this is a lot about my body image, a concept I thought I was done wrestling with years ago. For others, this fracturing comes from somewhere else. Maybe you don’t agree that you are wonderfully made because of a a mistake you have made, or because of the way someone else has harmed you.
Deliverance from doubt will take practice and intentionality. For some, it will require mediation and stillness. Others will need professional counseling. Most of us will need repetition of affirming truth to build the faith muscle to agree with God again.
Here is where I am starting:
- Reading Psalm 139—the whole chapter—in different versions of the Bible.
- Listening to songs that agree with God about who He says I am.
- Taking time for Moving Meditation to get truths deeper into my soul.
- Silencing the self-made confidence, and returning to dependence on the Lord (as Isaiah 30:15 beckons us, “you will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will like in quiet confidence.”)
- Noting ways I degrade or demean myself—food choices, sleep habits, negative self-talk,, avoiding cameras, etc.—and making shame-free micro-adjustments to re-align my lifestyle into agreement with the truth of God’s Word. “Search me, God, and know my heart… see if there is any offensive way in me.” Psalm 139:23-24
- Physically nodding my “yes” to Scriptural statements about my identity in Christ.
- Sharing my journey with others for accountability
What is one step you could take to live as though you agree with what God says about you, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made?
You might share another struggle with me when applying Psalm 139. I used to deflect the verse from a theological high-ground and say “this was written about David, not all humans, so it doesn’t apply to me.”
However, we know from the whole context of Scripture that God is delighted in His creation, and so pleased with his redeemed children (see 1 John 3:1). Yes, in our sin nature, we have messed up God’s design, but His redemption power through Christ is more than sufficient to transform us—remake us!—fearfully and wonderfully made yet again through salvation. (See 2 Corinthians 3:18)
So if, like me, you tend to avoid these truths for multiple reasons, allow me to gently clear away the obstacles. It’s time to nod our “yes” at the feet of our Father.