Where I live, we have billboards owned by various healthcare networks staking their claim at providing the best patient services and having the best healthcare workers. So, one of these networks has a series of billboards that use a unique method to let everyone know that their patients are treated as people – not just as the illness or ailment they are being treated for.
Typically, I just glance at the billboards and keep going, mainly because there’s not always enough stoplight time to take a message in. One day, though, the light seemed extra long so I actually paid attention. As I sat at a stoplight, I read, “I am more than my stiff joints. I am Beverly.”
All of their billboards are set up this way around the city, “I am more than… I am…” Different issues, different patients, same premise. Another that I’ve seen floating around says, “I am more than a 10:30 appointment. I am Eric.” I imagine that this is probably effective in helping people make medical insurance decisions. I mean, I know I want an experience that makes me feel like a whole person and not just a doctor’s visit. I read that billboard about 6 or 7 times before the light turned green.
You Are More Than Your Mistakes, You are Loved
These billboards got me to thinking about how this plays out in life situations. I know we all want to be seen for who we are and not our “illnesses or ailments”… the stuff we’ve done or mistakes we’ve made.
There have been plenty of times when I’ve allowed others to address me as the mistakes I’d made because I couldn’t seem to let go of the guilt myself. It took me way too long, but I finally learned that once I had sincerely apologized, applied actions of change, and forgiven myself, I could let it go and be free.
Mentally, I put myself on the billboard and filled in my truth; “I am more than my mistakes. I am Alecia.” You’ve got to do the same. Make up in your mind that the forgiveness that God offers is for you. Accept it and understand that you are much more than anything that you have done.
So, What’s the Play Call?
We’ve all had our downfalls, and sometimes it’s easier to hold on to the familiar past and even allow others to treat us in a way that reflects who we were. But, I want us to value our growth and expect others to do the same. Here are a few things to hold on to when your past tries to follow you into your future:
- Don’t let anyone treat you as an “ailment”. Anybody who wants to hold you to what you’ve done in the past does not have your best interest at heart. It’s okay to step away and re-evaluate those relationships so that you have space to be your best self. Remember, Jesus died for every transgression and He will send you people that will show you His love. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
- Know that you deserve better – even when circumstances would have you to believe otherwise. You are not your mistakes, none of us are. Mistakes are things we’ve done, not who we are. God wants you to know that even He doesn’t give us what we deserve. “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” Psalms 103:10 NLT
- Live like you are worth it – and don’t let yourself or anyone else convince you otherwise. Please know that you are worth a fresh start and you are worth the better that is coming to you. God gave His son with you in mind so that you could have this opportunity. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
Sometimes, it takes a “stoplight” moment to remind us of who we are. Take some time to think about how you’ve grown, even make a list.
Go ahead, accept God’s forgiveness, and put yourself on the billboard and fill in your truth: “I am more than __________. I Am __________.”