How God Made Me

A few years ago, I was at the beginning stages of diagnosis for what would eventually be identified as a chronic illness. In daily pain, I pursued relief as one physician after another “practiced” medicine on me with little to no result.

I prayed, grinned, and bore a lot of weight before the Lord finally led me to an amazing doctor a mere 1100 miles from home. He empathized, understood exactly what I was describing, and to my delight quickly diagnosed me with an allergy to my own hormones which he would successfully treat. It was a rigorous path to wellness and a condition which I still deal with if I don’t take care of myself.

I take you on the back roads of that journey to bring you to this final destination…

In that doctor’s office in Austin, Texas the man in the white coat said these words to me…”I think it’s important that you realize that you are just one of those people who feels everything.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

I am a believer of a Savior who compels me to a faith that is capable of moving mountains. I am also the masterpiece of a Creator who has knit me together with threads of emotion that run deep, long, and wide.

For me – faith reigns, but feelings come first.

And for a long time, I thought something was wrong with me. That because I processed through feeling, my faith was lacking. My emotions were bound up in not-holy-enough-shame and not-good-enough-condemnation.

Because I was told I didn’t have a right to be angry. Or to hurt. Or to be sad. Or to wonder or worry or doubt. I was told that genuine faith would ignore emotion all together.

So you take the girl who feels everything and you stuff down all those emotions and you end up with a kind of ragged-edged internal conflict that somehow upends faith all together. You end up with a perfect exterior and a whole lot of brokenness on the inside.

So I stood before God feeling wrong – inside out – a misfit of sorts.
Then He reminded me that He doesn’t make mistakes. And He made me.

He knit together my tender heart and my capacity for compassion. He fashioned my nerves that get frayed when I’m extending my reach beyond His calling. He forged my willing spirit that longs to comfort, encourage, and speak truth. He made me to feel.

Faith reigns – it transforms – it is refined, perfected, and proven true. Our faith is handcrafted by God for the path He intends us to pursue. If we all exercised it in the same manner, the body of Christ would fall prey to monotony instead of being the living, breathing movement that it is.

If I didn’t feel deep and long and wide, I couldn’t write the words that resonate with people the way they say they do. I wouldn’t balance out my husband’s level head and even keel. I couldn’t read the silent emotion that flutters across my son’s face. It would be hypocritical of me to meet and minister to women who are crying out for freedom to be real in a world that wants to fit them in a neat and tidy mold.

I simply couldn’t do what God calls me to, if I tried to be someone other than who He made me.

We can spin ourselves dizzy chasing after the people we think we should be. We can wish and compare, feel less and do more, but at the end of the day we can’t run away from the person God made us to be. Would we really want to?

God has made each of us complex with divine purpose, infinite potential, beautiful intricacy and a capacity to believe in His exceeding and abundant promises. We don’t need to apologize for being unique or bear shame for painting our faith with broader strokes or bolder colors – we simply need to believe in the God who saved us by grace.

The God who never condemned the broken or transgressed for their hurt. The Master who didn’t shame Peter for His denial. The Physician who didn’t chastise the woman who tugged at his hem for healing. The Savior who didn’t deny the soul thirsty woman at the well.

The God who designs, knows, and understands our heartaches, longings, and deep-seated emotion – our feelings – and still loves us beyond anything we could fathom.

We need to inhale that God and exhale that grace.

Faith reigns and His truth prevails, but God made me to feel. And I can’t help but think He smiles when He sees my passion and emotion, my excitement and nervous energy – when He sees my heart.

Looking down from His heavenly throne I’d like to think He says, “There’s My girl. Just give her a minute. Let her cry, let her shout, then stand back and watch what that faith of hers will do.”

** Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holley GerthMeredith BernardKristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Featured Image Credit

31 thoughts on “How God Made Me

  1. Wow, beautiful friend! Thank you for sharing some of your powerful story of God’s redeeming grace and love in your life. He is so faithful! I especially loved, “Looking down from His heavenly throne I’d like to think He says, “There’s My girl. Just give her a minute. Let her cry, let her shout, then stand back and watch what that faith of hers will do.” That made me smile. You go, girl! With Him as your guide, your faith will move mountains! Bless you!

  2. God knows our heart better than we do. I was frustrated one day and my dear wise, daughter said, “God knows your heart.” You said everything beautifully, Tiffany. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish our feelings from our mental thoughts but God knows it all. I have a tendency to be too sensitive and feel too much and yet I block some things. Quite a mixture. We need to be kind to ourselves and sometimes it is not easy for all those parts of us that are bundled together.

  3. Beautiful post! I simply couldn’t do what God calls me to, if I tried to be someone other than who He made me. Yes, this! It’s so true. God formed us to be ourselves. Thank you for sharing this as a reminder to be the unique person God created us to be,

  4. Tiffany, so grateful to be here today. Psalm 139 has been on my heart all week – I even wrote my own post on a few verses from that chapter :) This here is so good > “Faith reigns and His truth prevails, but God made me to feel. ” And that my soul knows very well! May He help you & be with you & give you His strength in all that you feel. Blessings!

    1. I think there are a lot of us “feelers” out there and it’s good to know that God gives us room to move and serve Him through feelings that some perceive as weakness. So glad you stopped by, Joanne. I’ll pop on over and read your words too! :) Blessings.

  5. Your words are water for my parched soul today. I LOVE THIS, “Faith reigns – it transforms – it is refined, perfected, and proven true. Our faith is handcrafted by God for the path He intends us to pursue. If we all exercised it in the same manner, the body of Christ would fall prey to monotony instead of being the living, breathing movement that it is.” That’s a lot of words to hi-lite, but I love them all. There is truth here. So. Much. Truth. And I love your last line…trust me, I’m right there with you in the crying, shouting, ALL the feelings…maybe that’s why we’ve connected so well online. ;) Love you Tiffany! xo

    1. Aww, Meredith…there are tears. You know when you sit down to write and the enemy tells you that you’ve got it all wrong, then you read comments from women nodding right along with you and you praise God the devil didn’t steal the words?! I’m there. So glad it refreshed you, friend and so, so glad to have connected with you. Some day I hope I can give you the hug you gave me today. 💛

  6. “…we simply need to believe in the God who saved us by grace.” Yes, yes, yes. You placed the words beautifully, Tiffany. We simply need to believe. (sitting a spell with you via #tellhisstory )

  7. I’m so glad you found relief for your pain and illness! And I’m also glad that you share you thoughts and feelings. I’m a stuffer from a long line of stuffers. I’m learning to feel my emotions on the outside and not just the inside :). Thank you for the encouragement!

  8. This is beautiful. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 11 years ago, so I understand so much of what you’re saying. Know more about what’s happening physical and has changed my spiritual perspective. Thanks for sharing your story here and with #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Thank you, Kristin. Those physical and health issues can really ground us in our faith. It’s made me so exceedingly grateful for God’s grace in this very fragile life. Looking back and seeing the healing He has brought makes walking forward in trials more manageable (not always easier, but definitely more manageable.) Thanks for visiting and as always for hosting us at the link up. Hugs!

  9. I love this! So beautiful, true, and compelling. I completely agree and resonate especially with this quote: “Our faith is handcrafted by God for the path He intends us to pursue.”
    We have a similar message and writing style – it would be fun to collaborate sometime on a cross-over blog post or other project! Thank you!

  10. Tiffany! I loved this post. In my drafts right now is something entitled “For the One who Feels Everything.” :) I can absolutely relate to all that you written here. You communicated it so well, so clearly, so beautifully… and with much hope!

  11. Love your line, “we need to inhale God and exhale Grace.” Beautiful! God made each of us unique – yet wonderful in that uniqueness – and we need to give ourselves grace to accept who God made us to be.

    1. Hi Kathyrn – Grace is amazing, isn’t it? It accepts us into the beloved with all our little quirks and still works to transform us into something better than it found us. So glad you visited me. Blessings to you!

  12. A beautiful tribute to God’s faithfulness, Tiffany.
    Surely, His grace is sufficient and His strength made perfect in weakness.

  13. I think we’re a lot alike! It’s been a long road of learning to feel my emotions without letting them be the boss of me. Happy to be next to you at Holley’s!

I love hearing from you! Won't you join the conversation?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s