The Holy Spirit of God gets my attention often uniquely, unusual, yet using the ordinary in my day. For instance, in the past couple years, I’ve become interested in genealogy and my family tree. Never really giving the passion for genealogy a second thought, yet aware, some days it seems to consume. My reasoning… Why…. I’m leaving a legacy for my family, of course. My children are not blood related; therefore, tracing my family line has no impact whatsoever on their past heritage or on their children’s future heritage. I put together books as a surprise for my siblings almost two years ago. Yet, I’m still drawn to find out more. These past few weeks the question kept popping into my head, “Why do I spend much of my time doing genealogy research? Why does genealogy draw me like a dog obsessed with a bone?”
Ferreting out truth is the foundation for my love of Bible study. I love being a detective and putting all the pieces together. Genealogy is prime detective work. That in-and-of-itself could be reason enough. The question would not die, “Why the need to explore and allow research of this nature to consume my time as often as it does”?
It’s not easy sharing my journey with the Lord. It requires a level of transparency I would just as soon not reveal. Yet, someone else might struggle similarly and I hope my transparency will give them encouragement and hope.
Most of my life I’ve “felt” like an outsider, like I never quite fit or belong. I’ve an overwhelming need to belong; to feel like I matter. I didn’t grow up in a “Cosby” family; oops, with the revelation of recent Cosby events I better find a different role model. Because of the dysfunction in our home my siblings and I weren’t close. We had good times and moments but the bond which should have been there between brothers and sisters, just wasn’t; at least not for me. As we’ve gotten older some of that has changed. One however cannot turn back the clock. You cannot erase years of patterning through dysfunction overnight. I can’t speak for my siblings, but I can say for me, that sense of wanting to belong, to be loved for who I am, warts, imperfections and all, runs deep.
Genealogy research opened a doorway into my heritage which extended beyond the boundaries of my family. Not to mention it’s revealed a few interesting tidbits, skeletons and new family connections. My family, for the most part, never talked about their family of origin. I knew my paternal grandparents came from Scotland and New Zealand, the “Old Country” as they referred to it. Did they have siblings? What age and how did they travel to the United States? What did their life look like as a child growing up in the later part of the 1800’s? I knew nothing, nada, zilch. I knew even less of my maternal side of the family. The things I’ve discovered have brought more depth to my family. I know it may sound crazy and I admit I don’t totally understand. But it has, it does and that’s what keeps me ferreting out more roots.
“So what?” Why does it matter I’m passionate for genealogy research? It certainly isn’t a sin. On one side of the coin it absolutely doesn’t matter. I enjoy it. It’s exasperating and fun all at the same time. I’ve used my passion to help others discover their family tree roots. All good! But for me, the very fact the question would not die, said, God’s about to reveal a truth I need to discover or understand in order for spiritual growth, to take place.
I’m a child of God. I accepted him as “The Way, The Truth and The Life” many years back. When I did, I became a part of His family through Spiritual adoption. In essence I’ve become a sister to Jesus. No blasphemy intended folks, I’m speaking metaphorically. I’ve a wonderful inheritance and a rich heritage to look forward too. Yet, at times it doesn’t seem enough. And therein lays the rub. Why isn’t it enough? God loved me enough to send Jesus. Jesus loved me enough to die, providing the opportunity to become a part of his family. The Holy Spirit’s with me every day. Why is that not enough? It is! It truly is, and yet, there’s this hole…. a hole which never seems to quite get filled.
The answer lies within… its self-worth. Where am I finding my value, my purpose? Do I find my value in the things of this life; in what I do or don’t do? Does it lay in who I am; my prestige or status? Is it about my possessions, how much money’s in the bank, or who I know; or in the number of invites to social functions? Does it matter how often someone texts or calls? Does it lie in the approval of mankind or in their applause, or hearing the words, “Good job girl”? All of these things play a part. They should not be the defining factor.
I, we, you, all have value because God created us. We have value because the Creator of the Universe places a huge, infinite value upon each of us. I, you, we, have purpose. It’s God’s approval, opinion and “Atta girl or Atta boy”, which matter.
I’m still seeking the approval, applause, love and acceptance of others. Lord, teach me how to not to look to mankind for my worth, but to you! May I leave a legacy of faith rooted in you!
Until next time
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10