i’ve recently found a love of sunflowers. not the type of love where i want my house covered in them or wear accessories with them, but the type of love that has meaning behind it. i used to hate sunflowers. i hated the color scheme, brown and yellow, blagh! who could possibly enjoy that color scheme? not only that, when i thought about sunflowers i always got a feeling memory of my childhood, and since much of what i remember about my childhood isn’t nice, sunflowers have always been a connection to my darkest times.
while i was in a sozo session (here) i received a vision of Jesus handing a much smaller version of me a sunflower. it was so real, i could feel the fuzzy stem in my small, chubby hands. the yellow was so vibrant that it almost blinded me, but the brown was just deep enough to draw my attention away from blindness. each of the petals stuck out so far that it could have blocked out my entire face if i had it lined just right.
when i got home i decided to do some research on sunflowers, because i just needed to know why God would give me a sunflower, especially when He knew how much i hated the sunflower and everything that sunflowers meant to me. i failed botany, seriously. i had to withdraw from biology simply because of how poor i did when it came to the study of plants. it bored me so much. thank goodness God presented me with the sunflower though, because when it comes to God, i love spending time figuring Him out!
here is what i learned. the sunflower is a heliotropic flower and belongs to a family of more than 24,000 species! heliotripism means ‘sun turn’ and it literally defines the movement that these flowers make to follow the sun. because the sunflowers crave the sunlight, they point to the east in the morning and track it all the way to the west in the evening. at nighttime, the flowers sit in whatever position they want and then come dawn tilt themselves up towards the sun in the east. okay, now i want a sunflower garden just so i can watch them move!
alright, that’s a cool gift from God, but why?
as i said in my last post i went to a deliverance session and experienced some deliverance from some things that were haunting me every day. i think what has stood out most though, is recognizing how God has been positioning me to have this deliverance. for a couple months, God has been highlighting different pieces of scripture or sermons all revolving around freedom and faith. two posts ago (here) i talked about love and compassion, and how i’ve felt my spirit rattling her chains to get out.
during the deliverance session there were several moments when felt the tears welling up inside me and trying to scratch their way out of my eyes. one of the things that was said to me was the enemy (satan) attacks people in several different ways, but each way targets a specific thing; your identity, your value, or your purpose. for the longest time, i believed he had been attacking my identity, which was why i thought i’d long passed the days of him claiming anything about me since i gave my life to Christ, but he is really gunning after my value-my worth.
who hasn’t questioned their worth? seriously, we live in a world, which equates a persons worth to all sorts of superficial things. j. arthur teresi is an incredibly talented writer whose relationship with the Lord is so defined that his work spews God’s love and mercy to all who read it. he recently wrote a poem about worth titled, ‘what’s my worth?’
Is it worth it to ask the question: How much am I worth?
Are you afraid the answer might not justify your birth?
Some don’t seem to care, and others seem they’d rather not know
But refusing to learn, stunts your ability to grow
We need to look past the reflection found in the mirror
It’s when we look outside ourselves that things become clearer
The world says your worth is based on only worldly things
Like how you look, what you wear, and how often your phone rings
But the way the world thinks stinks; it deserves the cold shoulder
Worth is subjective—based on the eyes of the beholder
Here’s the key: Don’t place too much weight on people’s partial view
Not an eye on earth can see you… the way that God’s eyes do
You’re worth what one’s willing to pay; and God won’t be outbid
Jesus says, “You’re worth dying for!” and to prove it, He did
i just love the way the author speaks to things i have felt and thought about my own worth for, well, ever. the amount of times i’ve looked at my phone in a sitting to see if someone has commented on a post, sent me a text or called me is absurd and pathetic, but it isn’t abnormal. i am not the only one doing these things, i’m just owning it. i have defined my worth on superficial things for far too long. and the enemy has been sitting happily by my side watching me struggle.
in “the gifts of imperfection: let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are” brené brown suggests that
“love and belonging are essential to the human experience.”
but in order to experience these two things we must believe we are worthy of love and belonging. she goes on to say,
“most of us use the terms fitting in and belonging interchangeably . . . we know exactly how to hustle for approval and acceptance. we know what to wear, what to talk about, how to make people happy, what not to mention—we know how to chameleon our way though the day . . . fitting in and belonging are not the same thing, and, in fact, fitting in gets in the way of belonging. fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require you to change who you are: it requires us to be who we are.”
ask yourselves, are you merely fitting in, or are you actively pursuing belonging?
so, how does all this relate to the sunflower and God? i believe that God was giving me a vision of how He sees me in my truest state, how He sees all His children in their truest state. if each one of us acted like the sunflower can you imagine how full of love and life the world would be? can you imagine the darkness we could cast out of this world? but what keeps me from being like the sunflower is my fear of vulnerability, and i fear vulnerability because I do not think I am worth it what vulnerability will bring to my life.
this fear of worthlessness isn’t only tied to the sexual abuse i endured as a child, although i suspect it certainly gave me a giant push towards the edge of the cliff, but it’s also tied to living in the flesh, rather than in the spirit. the more i look towards television, job requirements, family expectations, etc. rather than looking towards who God has called me to be, the more i walk down the road of worthlessness. and the more i walk down the road to worthlessness the further away i walk from God’s calling on me, because why on earth would God have a plan for a worthless human like me, right?
our worth is never changed by the choices of other people or even by our own choices. though you may feel worthless, your worth outnumbers the stars in the universe. all we need to do to feel that worth is accept that we have it. it’s ours. its been given. it’s been paid for already!
if you have believed the lies of the enemy that you aren’t worth anything, i pray that you begin to see yourself as a sunflower. i pray that you recognize you have so much courage to face the world every day regardless of the feelings you have about yourself. i pray that you sense your spirit rattling their chains to get out and lay in the arms of their Dad. i pray that God, right now, touches your spirit in such an obvious way that you can’t help but smile, and that that smile feels so great that you can’t help but pursue him for the rest of your days.
God has amazing plans for you, you’re identity is grounded IN Him. Your worth is defined BY Him.
So, which direction are you pointing towards right now?