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On Race, Lies, and the Truth that Sets Free {#ChosenandWorthy}

Today’s #ChosenandWorthy post is one that gives me goosebumps. It’s a story of race. Of ugly words, thought processes drenched in deception, and the enemy’s evil ploy to convince a force for good that she had nothing meaningful to offer. As a beautiful young black woman, Christin sat across the table from those placed there to guard and protect her. As part of her college study abroad program, she had ventured far away from home and from the safety of her family.

Ultimately, what lay forever etched upon her heart was far beyond the study’s syllabus. Careless cruel words not only broke her heart in the moment, but they triggered painful memories and buried labels.

As you read Christin’s story, I pray it not only ministers to your heart, but that it gives you eyes to see that which you may never have noticed before. Imagine this young beautiful girl as yours. As you, your daughter, your friend or your niece. Imagine her sitting across the table, eyes spilling over with tears. Her heart sinking with every word.

But before you leave today, friends, would you please share your words of encouragement with Christin? Sharing this story took bravery so let’s cheer her on and together fight the enemy! 

Welcome, sweet Christin! I adore you ?


On Race Lies and the Truth That Sets Free #ChosenandWorthy - Racism is a tool the enemy uses with an intent to destroy. There is a Truth, though, that defeats the lies and sets us free to live in victory.- Christin Baker for Lori Schumaker

“Christin, you are pretty, but it’s too bad that you’re black.”

Her words pierced my soul like a razor-sharp dagger. I was in Honduras, thousands of miles from my home on a college study abroad program. The beauty of the tropical trees, vibrant flowers and sights of the city were so inviting. But at that moment I felt unwelcome. Unwanted. Utterly despised and rejected.

At first I thought I misheard her words.

I was sitting at the kitchen table of my host family one afternoon working on homework. My Spanish was improving, so I thought maybe my host sister meant to say something else. But by the response of the others in the room, I knew I had heard correctly.

I quietly excused myself from the table and burst into a puddle of tears.

Alone in my bedroom, I cried out to the Lord.
“Why am I not accepted for who I am?”

Memories of that terrible day came flooding back to me recently as I sat with my kids in the story hour of our local library. The featured children’s book was a story of a king sheep who rejected all others in his flock who were not the sleek, cream-colored hue of his prized wool coat. He drove out of the pasture all the tan and brown sheep, leaving them forsaken and forlorn.

“That’s me.” I thought to myself.

“I feel like a little brown sheep.”

Growing up I believed the lie that I was not good enough because of the color of my skin.
Growing up I believed the lie that I was not good enough because of the color of my skin #ChosenandWorthy #identity #hope @ChristinBaker12 Click To Tweet

I remember feeling left out in school, ostracized and driven from a flock of people who did not accept me as their own.

Maybe you have felt like the “black sheep” of your family. Perhaps you never quite fit in with your high school group, or colleagues from work.

Maybe someone has told you that you’re…

Fat.

Ugly.

Stupid.

Unwanted.

The wounds of such vicious words sear our souls like a hot iron, branding us with labels God never intended us to bear.

The wounds of vicious words sear our souls,branding us with labels God never intended #ChosenandWorthy #identity #hope @christinbaker12 Click To Tweet

But we serve a God who is greater than our deepest hurts. A God who quietly soothes our pain with the healing balm of his abundant love.

On Race Lies and the Truth That Sets Free #ChosenandWorthy - Racism is a tool the enemy uses with an intent to destroy. There is a Truth, though, that defeats the lies and sets us free to live in victory.- Christin Baker for Lori Schumaker

That day as I sat on the library floor, Jesus met me with such comfort and peace.

I sensed him softly whispering,

“Christin, I made you a brown sheep as part of my divine plan for your life. You are beautiful. You are lovely. You are my precious sheep. And I am your Good Shepherd.”

We as the body of Christ are all sheep in God’s flock. We come in different shapes, sizes, and colors–and we are all treasured by the Good Shepherd.

The enemy and thief of this world attempts to steal our God-given identities.

But Jesus reassures us in John 10:10-11,

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” 

Our Good Shepherd, the ruler and Creator of us all, humbled himself and became a sheep like us. Not only is he the Good Shepherd, but he is the sovereign Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

He laid down his life so that we can experience…

Salvation.

Joy.

Hope.

And freedom from the labels others have placed over us.

I learned a powerful lesson in the library that day. I do not have to live in shame or inherit the hurtful words of others. The only words that matter are the words of the Good Shepherd.

“…he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger…” -John 10:4b-5

Dear sister, whatever dark past you have endured, remember who you are in Christ.

You are beautiful. Lovely. Chosen. Worthy.

When you look into the mirror each morning, remember to see yourself through the eyes of the Good Shepherd.

Because he is the Good Shepherd, you are part of his chosen flock. (John 10:14-16)

Because he is the Living Water, your cup overflows with love and grace. (John 7:38, Psalm 23:5)

Because he is the Bread of Life, you are fully satisfied and lack no good thing. (John 6:35, Psalm 34:9)

Because he is the Vine, you are fully grafted in him. (John 15:1-4, Romans 11:17)

Because he is Abba Father, you are his royal daughter. (Romans 8:15)

Because he is Creator, you are his treasured masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)

You are, because He is!

On Race Lies and the Truth That Sets Free #ChosenandWorthy - When ugly words and thoughts are slung your way, call them out as lies and replace them with Truth. A chart to know you are #ChosenandWorthy- Christin Baker for Lori Schumaker

 

Let’s collectively refuse to listen to the voices of roaming strangers. Only the calm, comforting voice of our loving Shepherd saying,

“Follow me.”

He will lead you to calm, quiet waters. He will restore and revive your soul.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.  –Psalm 23:1-2

Christin BakerChristin Baker is a wife, homeschool mom, blogger, and passionate lover of Jesus. As a former elementary school teacher and curriculum developer, she worked for years in children’s ministry, and writes children’s articles for a Christian magazine called The Banner. Her desire is to help women discover their true beauty, purpose, and identity through the spiritual clothing we have in Christ. She writes at Garments of Splendor. You can also find her on FaceBook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


Just in case this is your first visit here and you want more #ChosenandWorthy, check out the posts below and then subscribe so you don’t miss any of what’s to come!

Don’t forget, when you subscribe you also get full access to the resource-filled Library of Hope!

Encouraging & Equipping Women to Escape a Broken Identity; Join me and an array of gifted writers, authors, bloggers, and speakers as we journey from a broken identity to one firmly rooted in Christ. Lori Schumaker #ChosenandWorthy     Yes, you are "More Than a Victim"! It can be all too tempting to keep "picking at" the trauma from our past. Even if our history is littered with injuries from others or unavoidable circumstances, it is our choice to continue living with a "wounded" mentality. - Gretchen Fleming for Lori Schumaker and the #ChosenandWorthy Series    To the Girl Who Doesn't Know She is Worthy - In the reflection of whose mirror do you determine your worth? Is it out of the brokenness of man and the world? Or out of the One whose love is perfect and unfailing? #ChosenandWorthy - Lori Schumaker     Do your thoughts easily stray down a self-defeating path where every wrong turn, whether big or small, leaves a shame filled mark on your heart? Friends, let's say "no" to shame and trade those thoughts for ones that align with truth. The truth that says you are chosen and worthy! - #ChosenandWorthy - Lori Schumaker   What Label Are You Wearing- Have you ever allowed words to stick to you like a sticky descriptive nametag? Join Cindy Bultema as she shares her story of discovering she is #ChosenandWorthy. Learn Truth to replace the lies of shame and rejection. -Lori Schumaker     As you wait ... and wait ... and wait, have you questioned just what it is you are waiting on? Are you questioning your purpose? And questioning God? Don't lose hope and remember these 5 things we need to learn during this season of preparation! -Why Waiting Has You Questioning Everything - Lori Schumaker for Missional Women #ChosenandWorthy



In fact, here’s an example of one of the resources waiting for you in the Library of Hope!

I’ve created the 5-Day Hope Toolkit: Claiming the Victory of a Hope-filled Life just for you!

(Get it here) I’ve designed it so that it breaks these 5 strategies down into manageable pieces.

In it, you will receive a 5-day series of Scripture prayers giving you a solid foundation in how to pray God’s Will through praying His Word. You will also receive:

  • A checklist to determine whether you have a hopeful or hopeless attitude.
  • A beautiful printable image with positive “I am ….” statements of truth.
  • A list of my go-to books, blogs, and websites when I am in need of encouragement.

To get to your 5-Day Hope Toolkit, click HERE!

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31 Comments

  1. Oh sweet Christin! This is absolutely beautiful!! What a picture of a loving God who adores us for all of our differences. I’m so proud of you for stepping out and writing this message. I love how God has made you a trophy of His grace. ?

    1. Oh, thank you so much Alisa! I praise God that He floods me with His abundant love and grace each day!

  2. Dearest Christin, what a deep hurt you’ve been carrying for so long. I’m so pleased that our Father sees beyond the labels and sets us free to live boldly for Him — and indeed that’s what He’s done for you. Your story is such a beautiful testimony and I pray that many others will be freed from whatever lies the devil has tried to pin on them today. I am because He is. Brings tears to my eyes! But oh, such beauty and such grace!

    And thank you, Lori for taking this bold step to share Christin’s #ChosenandWorthy story with such love and compassion. You’ve provided a safe place for many women who need this hope today.

    Blessings and a big hug to you both!
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    1. Marva, thank you so much for your words of sweet encouragement! The lies of the enemy are no match for the life-giving, liberating truth of who we truly are in Christ!

  3. What a beautiful lesson/post came from such an ugly incident. Immediately I rejoiced at the victory you snatched out of the enemy’s hand! You did not allow him to dictate who you are. You refused his labels and schemes. You listened well to recognize the voice of the thief was not your true shepherd ‘s voice. You discerned the difference between the lies and the Truth. Bless you Christin for persevering well through the heartache to find the greener pastures of the One who has truly called you as part of His chosen inheritance- beautiful in every way:) Thank you for sharing friend!

    1. Amen, Gretchen! I take such comfort in the truth that NOTHING can snatch us from our Father’s hand! No lie, no deception, no spoken word or false label will EVER separate us from His love! He has given me rest and blessed assurance that I can graze safely on His pasture and enjoy the calm, serene waters of His grace!

  4. I’m going to be very honest here – though no one has ever told me I was ugly because I was black, I have felt less than in scenarios because these unspoken messages exist (even in the body of Christ!). When I felt like this – Psalm 139 is my calling card – I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I am worthy and nothing anyone says or does can take that away. And that’s how I operate in this world. I’ve been told that I’m confident – but that’s the God in me.

    Thanks

    1. Yes, yes, and YES! Nylse, thank you so much for sharing your heart. Even the unspoken messages of others speak volumes to our souls, but we can speak LIFE by proclaiming the truth of God’s Word! I love Psalm 139, and find great comfort in knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

  5. “Our true worth is in Christ” not in how others see us,or how we see ourselves,or our material possessions etc… Thanks for the reminder??

    1. Amen! Thank you so much for stopping by today. I am so thankful you were encouraged by Christin’s story!

  6. Christin, you are beautiful & brave! What a lovely combination. Your carefully and lovingly crafted words resonated in my heart. Due to a life story too long to share here, I found your words life-giving and healing. I praise God for your obedience to Him and your faith to trust in Him for your life and for this written testimony of His grace. Thank you Lori for giving us a safe place on the web for deeply personal expressions of faith.

    1. Cindy, I am praising God for directing your steps here to read Christin’s words. May the truths she shares here stay at the forefront of your mind and continue to propel you toward fully embracing your beauty and worth in Christ. You, my friend, are chosen and worthy ♥

  7. It’s really tough to be part of the “minority”. I had my fair share.
    And I believed the lies for far too long. But God has a way of letting us know what the truth is. That we are loved, we are enough and we are fearfully made.

    Love this. Stay beautiful and inspiring!

    1. Lux, I am praising God you are turning a deaf ear to the lies and embracing your incredible beauty and worth as a child of God and made in His reflection. I’m so thankful Christin’s words were an encouragement ♥

  8. Oh, Christin. I cry when I read stories like this. I’m glad you turned this around to hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd. I know we all hear words (and say words, unfortunately) that bring harm instead of life, but I pray for each of us to remember who are in Christ so we can live up to our potential in Him instead of down to our fleshly self. Thank you for sharing this hope.

  9. Thank you so much Christin for being brave enough to share your story. I can definitely relate for I have been a victim to this as well and there have been many occasions that I have felt less than because of the color of my skin. My heart hurts that your heart was hurt. May we all learn to see others as the Lord sees us. Through a filter of love and acceptance so broad that He only sees a soul, not a color.

    1. Oh, sweet Natalie! I am so sorry you have experienced these situations, as well. You most definitely are chosen and worthy and loved beyond measure by the God of the Universe! (And I think you are gorgeous, too! ♥) I’m so thankful Christin’s words ministered to your heart!

  10. Christin, Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. It’s a powerful testimony that will help others know how deeply loved they are. I love that the God of this universe speaks in so many unique and different ways to his Daughters. Your story and the verses you share help remind me of the strength we have in Christ to throw off labels, find our true identity, and move into being all the God intends us to be.

  11. This made me cry, tears of sadness and of hope and joy. Thank you, thank you for your brave words and beautiful transparency! You are such a lovely lady and I’m excited to start following your blog! ?

    Lori, thanks so much for sharing Christin’s story! ?

    1. Hi Stefani, It’s so good to “see” you! Christin is such a treasure and I’m beyond grateful for her words of hope, too! ♥

  12. Christin, thank you so much for sharing this. We are a multi-racial family and I’ve struggled as people have said words that wound my children and grand son. Each of us must see ourselves through the eyes of the Good Shepherd who gave everything for us out of love. This really is beautiful. God bless you!

    1. Deb, I am so sorry for the words of hurt you have experienced. I pray your sweet boy grows up knowing how chosen and worthy he is no matter what anyone in this world may ever say to him! ♥

  13. Christin, I’m so grateful for your honesty in sharing! A sheep knows the voice of its shepherd, and I love the reminders of who God says we are and all the truth labels he pronounces over our every breath. You are such a splendid example of a woman of God!

    1. Isn’t she, though, Crystal? I’m just crazy about this young lady!

  14. Hey Christin,

    I know your story too well. Sadly, too many times people like you and me feel like we don’t fit into either culture. Not white enough for one, not black enough for the other. As soon as I accepted my identity in Christ, it was easier to go forward. I’m not saying it’s easy. I said easier. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Hi Sheila,
      Thank you for sharing your own story. I know that like Christin, it will encourage others who stop here to read this! ♥

  15. Lovely post! Thank you for your bravery and courage in sharing this! I’m so glad you are rising above the labels and using your story to others Jesus’ hope and love!
    Blessings to you!

  16. Hi Christin,

    I’ve seen you at almost every blog party I’ve stopped by, and now I’ve finally had the privilege of reading your precious words.

    What an experience you’ve had! Looking back, I know you can see now that God allowed you to experience that because He was calling you and equipping you for this special ministry that you now have.

    Though I have never experienced racism head-on, I have felt it’s subtle effects as a woman of color, and I see how people all over the world struggle to accept people of dark skin. It would hurt me if I had a head on encounter with racism, but I feel that I would be able to chalk-it-up to man’s sinful condition. BUT if I experienced it at the hands of another Christian, another Christ follower, that might slay me because people of the Cross should be above that.

    Oh well, anyway, I love your post, girlfriend! And I particularly like the “because He is, your are” chart. Way to go to you and Laurie!

    Blessings to you both!

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