I’m so glad you’ve come by today, friend. I pray that you will feel welcome here and continue to return. I hope that we can learn, grow, and be encouraged together. May you be reminded that you are a child of God- deeply loved and highly favored- each time you visit.
“Merriam, Nicole L 15/F, Crohns Disease”
I wish there was a way to get back the time I spent believing this was my identity. For years, I saw it on medical form after medical form. I wore it on a plastic bracelet during emergency surgeries, scheduled procedures, and extended hospital stays. Doctors spoke it over me. It became my high school reputation among both students and teachers. Then, it became my college reputation too. I couldn’t escape it.
Those years in a girl’s life are already so difficult. Sweet sister, you know. You’ve been there. Maybe you’re even there now. There are so many different labels being tried on and fitted for size. I remember watching friends become sports players, band members, representatives of the student body, sorority women and fraternity men, leaders of various clubs, professionals in their respective fields. I watched and, many nights, I cried hot, heavy tears over the opportunity to choose. It felt like there must have been nothing worse than having a label picked out for me- having no say in which I’d wear. The only thing worse was having no idea which I’d choose anyway.
Each new label I tried on left me feeling more and more confused, self-conscious, and yet, prideful. As my sense of self crumbled, my heart hardened with indignation. I refused to believe that “diseased” really was it for me. If only I had known that “diseased” was never my identity to begin with. If only I had known that- I was fighting so hard- but all I really had to do was rest.
I didn’t learn my true identity for five years after I was first diagnosed. As my family and I sought answers and God’s healing touch, God revealed Himself to me in a way I had never known Him before. Although I would have identified as a Christian even during the years of my sickness, I didn’t know Jesus in a personal way. Once I truly began to sit at His feet and listen, Jesus began speaking to my heart about who I am…
He told that I am His beloved. He loved me even before He created me, and He’ll love me forever. There is nothing I could do to make Him stop. He made sure I knew that I was made with purpose. There is no flaw in me. My personality traits and my gifts are purposeful. There is a mission field picked out for me where they will be utilized for His glory. He told me that sickness didn’t belong to me. And girls, He taught me how to stand and confess that. I have been healed by Christ’s stripes. Doctors have confirmed that there is no trace of Crohn’s Disease left in my body. Most amazing of all, He showed me that, because I belong to Him, He has made me a host of His presence. The same Holy Spirit that lived inside of Jesus now lives inside of me. His love is so pure, so grand, and so powerful that it overflows from within me and affects every other part of who I am and what I do.
As Jesus spoke all of this to me, He put a new label over my heart. It read, “Daughter.” This time, I didn’t mind having a label picked out for me. It was the only one that had ever truly fit.
Since learning of my true identity, God has opened my eyes to just how many people- Christians even- do not know who He has called them to be. There are so many people who still believe the heart breaking lies that I once believed. They still try to make a name for themselves- to find a label that fits. They fail to realize that God’s name, the One our true identity is in, is already the name above all names. So, I’m stepping out in boldness and the confidence that comes from knowing my true identity to help others find the same. I’m using my gifts- the ones God told me He was intentional about giving me- and I’m investing them for His glory.
The purpose of Hosting His Presence will be to help others learn of and live from their true identity in Christ.