By Tijuana J. Williams
For years, I allowed the world to shape how I viewed myself. The world favored lighter skin. I frowned because my skin was dark. The world promoted long hair. My hair was not only short, but seemed to rebuke any attempts to help it grow. I can look back and laugh about it now but those days, for a young girl who wanted so desperately to fit in, were grueling.
I remember meeting a young lady at church who shared a scripture with me that states, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…..” I had heard it before but really did not think it applied to me. I was convinced that the world’s rules were the governing body and all that did not line up with its standards were subpar.
I joined her Sunday school class and each week, she encouraged us to be who God called us to be. She told us not to allow the world to define us. She repeatedly declared that we were chosen. I smiled and went along with it, but after a while, I could not take it anymore. I told her one day after class, “Maybe you are chosen, but I don’t feel like I am.” She challenged me to gain a greater understanding of the word. So I went to the dictionary…yes, the hard-backed book!
This is what it said…..
Chosen: Having been selected as the best or most appropriate, one who is the object of choice or of divine favor, selected or marked for favor or special privilege, selected to do or receive something special, preferred above others.
Confirmation. None of those statements described how I saw myself. Her desire for me to gain greater knowledge left me in a more dismal state than I was before. And to think, she had the nerve to be a Sunday school teacher. I couldn’t wait for Sunday to come. I was going to let her know her suggestion did not bear comfort to my weary soul, but instead left me in a place more bleak than before my research began.
You see, childhood taught me in order to be selected, you had to be good at something. Special privileges were tied to knowing the right people. Favor was only shown to those who were influential. And the final authority as it related to preference was, without a doubt, the world.
Sunday could not come fast enough.
That day, I anxiously waited for my teacher to mentioned that we were all “chosen“. As soon as she said it, I raised my hand. I gave her the definitions and shared my lack of agreement. She didn’t agree or disagree. She simply opened her Bible and read this passage. “God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure. God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love….”
I was overwhelmed.
Who does this? Who would choose me for no apparent reason? I had done nothing to deserve being chosen. I definitely felt that I didn’t know the right people. The world never preferred me over anyone else and special privileges was a term I deemed foreign. Yet despite the world’s measures, the Word provided me with a different perspective. One I chose to accept.
These two things I know:
1) The world today is even more brutal than it was when I was young.
2) The Word is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.
No matter what the world is telling you, you must remember because He chose you, they do not have to. When the world tells you you are not good enough and you have gone as far as you can go, be prepared for the enemy’s, “Amen.” But beyond the undermining efforts of the naysayers, allow God’s Word in John 15:16 to resonate in your head and heart. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you….”
The world may never understand why we are chosen and how we are able to accomplish things that would bury others, but we know. Before our first breath was every exhaled, He chose us.
Proudly declare today and every day, “I Am Chosen!”
For more about Tijuana J. Williams, visit www.sharingmyheartblog.com