Over the last several months much talk has taken place online and in the blogging community about how we view ourselves.  From letters being written to themselves at a younger age, to the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, it has been interesting to see a trend in conversation about self perception.

A conversation with a friend the other day led to me questioning a lot about myself, something I’ve already been doing plenty of during this odd journey God has me on right now.

I’ve been reminded again of the struggle it can be to not let my identity be defined by the perceptions others have of me or my ability to do anything (I’d say of worth or to make a difference, but right now many days it’s really even just my inability to do anything beyond get from one room to another).

Rarely a particularly outwardly emotional person, especially around many others, there’s just something about the video of the first story – the creation story – in the Jesus Storybook Bible that makes my eyes welly every single time I hear it.  And because I’ve listened to it so much, even just reading it below I hear the inflection and emphasis placed on certain words and it hits me all over again.

God’s view of me isn’t based on what I achieve or contribute, nor the current state of the frame of my body, nor what anyone else thinks of me, thinks I should do, or thinks I should have done.

His view of me is that of a Father who loves His child just because I am.

I am His and that’s what really matters and where my identity and definition needs to always come from.

The Beginning – A Perfect Home

In the beginning there was nothing.

Nothing to hear.

            Nothing to feel.

                         Nothing to see.

Only emptiness.

     And darkness.

          And nothing,

                                     but nothing.

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But God was there.

                                       And God had a wonderful plan.

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“I’ll take this emptiness,” God said, “and I’ll fill it up!”

“Out of the darkness I’m going to make light.

And out of nothing I’m going to make EVERYTHING!”

Like a mommy bird

     flutters her wings

          over her eggs

               to help her babies hatch,

                    God hovered over the deep, silent darkness.

He was making life happen.

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God spoke.

                       That’s all.

And whatever He said,

                                               it happened.

God said, “Hello light!”

And light shone into the darkness.

God called the light, “Day,” and the darkness, “Night.”

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                  And they were.

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Then God said, “Hello sea!  Hello sky!”

And a great space opened up, wide and deep and high.

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                  And they were.

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Then God said, “Hello land!”

And there –

                        splashing up through the oceans –

came cliffs,

                         mountains,

                                                 sandy beaches.

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                     And they were.

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“Hello trees!”  God said, “Hello grass and flowers!”

And everything everywhere burst into life.

He made bugs bug.

                                        Shoots shoot.

                                                                     Flowers flower.

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                    And they were.

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“Hello stars!” God said.  “Hello sun!  Hello moon!”

And whizzing into the darkness came fiery globes,

     spinning around and around –

          whirling orange and purple and golden planets.

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                     And they were.

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“Hello birds!”  God said.

And with a fluttering and flapping

     and chirping and singing,

          birds filled the skies.

“Hello fish!” God said.

And with a darting and dashing

      and wriggling and splashing,

            fish filled the seas!

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                    And they were.

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Then God said, “Hello animals!”

And everyone came out to play.

     The earth was filled with noisy noises –

          growling and gobbling

               and snapping and snorting

                    and happy skerfuffling.

“You’re good,” God said.

                                                   And they were.

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God saw that all He had made and He loved them.

And they were lovely because He loved them.

But God had saved the best for last.

From the beginning, God had a shining dream in His heart.

He would make people to share His forever happiness.

They would be His children, and the world their perfect home.

So God breathed life into Adam and Even.

When they opened their eyes,

the first thing they ever saw was God’s face.

And when God saw them,

     He was like a new dad.

                                                    “You look like Me,” He said.

“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made!”

God loved them with all of His heart.

And they were lovely because He loved them.

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And Adam and Eve joined in the song

     of the stars and the streams,

          and the wind in the trees,

               the wonderful song of love to the One who made them.

Their hearts were filled with happiness.

And nothing ever made them sad or lonely or sick or afraid.

God looked at everything He had made.

“Perfect!” He said.

                                      And it was.

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But all the stars and the mountains,

     and the oceans and galaxies,

           and everything were nothing

                 compared to how much God loved His children.

He would move heaven and earth to be near them.

                                                                                                           Always.

Whatever happened,

     whatever it cost Him,

           He would always love them.

                  And so it was that the wonderful love story began…

The Jesus Storybook Bible
The Beginning – A Perfect Home

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