Thursday, May 29, 2014

Square Pegs and Puzzle Pieces

At the end of May my graduating high school class had their 30th year reunion. I didn’t go; I was celebrating a wonderful young man’s college graduation.
I did, however, look at the photos for days. I looked to see if I could recognize the 1984 faces in the now forty-something faces. Most I could. Deep down you can’t change bone structure and eye squints and laugh lines. Or light behind the eyes.
It was very bittersweet for me.
Some of the people in the photos changed my life. They invested in me when I was still the wayward girl from the basement days. They prayed for me when I didn’t know Jesus and didn’t really give a flip. And their investment weighed in on the fact that I am here now writing.
Some of the people I didn’t know at all. Perhaps I knew their names when we were in school. Perhaps, we passed each other in the hall ways. Or perhaps we knew each other and avoided each other. We all know how high school is. And there were a couple of groups I longed to be a part of, but never managed it at all.
Until the last decade of my life I have always struggled with belonging. You know, the proverbial square peg to be fitted into a round hole—partly because of my own choices. Partly because of things I had no control or choice in at all.
I lacked an innate sense of belonging. I wanted so much to have the assurance that yes, this is where I fit. I am the puzzle piece  that belongs here.
As I looked through the 1984 Reunion photo albums I felt that odd sense of square-peggedness again. Sadness crept into my spirit; this deep longing.
We are wired for the eternal. We are mapped for community and belonging. It is an innate need.
Earlier this week I had breakfast on my porch with a new friend. During our two hour conversation there were many things said, prayed and hoped.
One thread of our conversation remained with me long after breakfast was over.
We discussed identity.
Who are we?
Who defines us?
What roots us?
Whose voice will rise above the din and chaos? Or the silence?
Because it matters. Who we believe we are determines everything about us.
And for a brief period this week I seemed to have amnesia.
I looked at the photographs and wondered had I attended the reunion would I have had a place? Would I have fit anywhere? I scolded myself at first because I felt that I was regressing in my growth and having a little woe-is-me party. Yet, this was not true at all.
God used it to remind me of who I am lest I forget.
On the porch sitting around a little round table with Frank’s donuts and the birds singing and the breeze blowing God reminded me who I am. As I was attempting to remind someone else the Spirit spoke the words right back to me. 

This is what the LORD says… "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Fear not.
I often fear I am going to forget who I am. In so many ways.
Fear not the LORD says. Tamera, don’t be afraid. I won’t let you forget who you are. I have redeemed you. I bought you back from that black place you used to abide. I ransomed you, paid a high price for you because I love you. Tamera, I have summoned you. I have called you. I have called you by name. What is that name? You Are Mine. That is your name.
Your name is You Are Mine.
I no longer have to be concerned with where I belong. Or where the edges and curves and corners of my puzzle piece fit.
My belonging is in Him.
No one can take that from me. Or modify it. Or reverse it. Or negate it.
That odd sense of square-peggedness dissipated.
The reality and truth of God’s word swallowed it right up.
Everything we do is determined by who we believe we are.

(Please take a little over three minutes to listen to this song by Jason Gray. This has been the sound track in my spirit this week.)










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