I’ve heard it said that life is a sum of our choices.
I haven’t been a fan of that phrase during certain seasons of my life because it felt unfair.
What about the things that happened to me that I had no control over?
Didn’t those things define my life as well?
A couple of years ago I started seeing a therapist after my life had hit rock bottom, at least my own personal version of rock bottom.
I sifted through the rock and the rubble with my therapist week by week. One rock at a time. Sometimes I got so frustrated that I threw them all back in the pile only to start over the next week with the sifting process.
But I chose to keep going.
In my weekly conversations that consisted of trying to untangle the mess of the sum of my life choices up until that point, I started to realize that I did in fact have a choice in everything, even in the things that seemed out of my control.
That’s a humbling reality right there, but reality it was.
The fact was uncovered that I had the choice about how I reacted to every single situation in my life.
I chose how my life was going to move forward from that day on.
I could choose to get out of bed every morning. Some days I chose this and others I didn’t.
I had a choice whether or not to have just “one more” glass of wine instead of actually facing my situation in life.
I had a choice whether or not to blame the Church for what had been done to me and leave it, or I could choose to stick around and try and make it better.
I had a choice whether or not to bad mouth someone who had slandered my name or to instead trust the God of justice with His ultimate outcome someday.
I now have a choice whether or not to open myself up to people or to close them out.
I have a choice to trust or be defensive.
I have a choice to be angry or to embrace the unexplainable peace of God that only comes with my full surrender to Him.
I have choices. Every day.
Some days I choose really amazing things. And some days I don’t.
So yes, my life could be identified as a sum of my choices, and that definitely is a part of my identity.
But as I’ve been praying and working through the process of what my true identity is, I’m making another choice.
I’m choosing to think of my life as ultimately defined by the fact that I am a choice.
I have been chosen by God.
He made the choice to die for me even when He knew there would be days that I would choose the taste of wine or men over Him.
He made the choice to invite me into this world even though He knew the pain I would endure.
He made the choice to stick around and fill me with His Spirit even though He knew that I would doubt Him to the point of walking away from Him time and time again.
He chose to create me.
He chose to love me.
He chose to die for me.
He chose to be raised to life again, for me.
He chose me.
And He continues to choose me every day.
He continues to forgive, heal and comfort me every day.
He continues to choose to partner with me and show me His incredible plans for my life day by day.
He has chosen me.
He has chosen to devote His entire existence to loving me.
He has chosen you too you know.
And now, more than any other choice in my life, the one that will continue to matter the most, the one that will continue to define my identity more than any other choice I could ever make, is the choice I make every new day to believe that He has called me chosen and worthy of that choice.
So today, once again, I choose Him back.
I choose to love others the way that He has chosen to love me.
And I choose to love myself because He has chosen to love me.
I am a choice.
I am His choice.
And that is the choice that ultimately defines my identity.