"On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you." John 14:20 CSB
“This house STINKS! We need to open some windows and air it out.” I complained as we arrived home from church one sunny Sunday.
“You are the only one who smells it.” My husband said to me for probably the one-hundredth time.
It is true that I seem to have super-natural senses. I smell things other people don’t smell. I hear things other people don’t hear. I guess if I start seeing things other people don’t see, I better call a therapist!
I was allowing myself to get so hung up on the scent of our home because I believed that somehow a foul smell would cause visitors to think I was a poor housekeeper and therefore unacceptable as a wife, as a mother, even as a person.
Truly. And that’s not all.
When I was single until the age of 34, I worried that people would think it was because I was overweight and undesirable.
When I was first married, I worried that people would think I was a horrible wife if my husband wasn’t smiling and happy at all times.
When I tried and tried but couldn’t get pregnant, I worried that people would think I wasn’t taking good enough care of myself. Or that I had somehow lost favor with the Lord.
When we first adopted three children and went through six months of “observation,” I worried that the Social Worker would decide I was not a good mother because the living room had not been vacuumed and there was cat hair on the furniture.
Through the years of educating our children at home, I would worry every day that I might miss something critical that will cause them to fail later in life.
Are you noticing a theme?
Why have I worried so much about these things? I have worried because throughout my life, I have found my identity in how I look and how I perform. Any sense of failure has meant a black mark against who I am as a person. If my house stinks, I stink. If my house is perfect, I am perfect.
I will forever be grateful to the Lord for the person who took the time to show me that since I am in Christ and Christ is in me (John 14:20), my true identity is found there.
Sadly, we live in a culture where even as believers in the Gospel of Jesus, we find our identity everywhere else. We find our identity in our successes and failures.
Did you know that the Bible has something to say about how we smell? "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." 2:Corinthians 2:14-15 CSB
I like to imagine God inhaling deeply of the air around us. Everything we do to glorify and identify with him smells sweet and lovely. Everything we do to glorify ourselves and identify with the world stinks.
So, what do you smell like? I know I don’t smell perfectly sweet all the time, but knowing my service to God by representing Christ gives off a sweet fragrance, I have become willing to let him show me where I stink and allow him to change my scent.
Christians, do you know who you are in Christ? If not, ask God to help you see. Search the scriptures. Allow what IS true about you to BE true about you. Do life from there.
Trauma Mommas, Imagine "enduring" yet another tantrum with the confidence that says, "This may be hard and I may not like it, but my child's trauma responses do not change who I am and do not represent my failure to parent well."
Truth seeker, If you are not yet a believer in Christ, let me invite you to meet the only one who cannot just save you from eternity in hell, but can also save you from yourself.
You are loved.