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  • Writer's pictureOksana Lemeza

That's Not Who I Am

Proverbs 16:24 (TPT)

“Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits”.

I remember standing in the hall with my 3rd grade class, lined up for a bathroom break after recess. I had gotten into another fight with my bestie, and so obviously we couldn’t stand together in line like we usually did. We had our differences and that we tended to bicker and then cry about it. And then make up the next day. Kid stuff.

Our teacher noticed that my friend and I were not together and talking like we normally did, and she mentioned it to the playground patrol lady that walked in with us .

What this lady replied to my teacher in front of the line was

“ Yeah, Oksana is just a very manipulative girl”.

I will never forget how my face flushed with deep embarrassment and my eyes started to burn from the hurt and betrayal I felt in that moment. I think I clenched my teeth trying to hold back the tears.

I remember thinking how wrongly she spoke of me, wondering what my friend had told her. I remember thinking that this woman must hate me, and now my favorite teacher would believe this lie and hate me as well. I felt so mad that she would say that to our teacher and in front of other students. I felt so betrayed.

I know I was probably just as at fault for why we got into that fight, but I felt like those words were just so cruel and unfair.

As us students got back to our classroom after the bathroom break, my teacher pulled me aside.

I remember she leaned in, and APOLOGIZED for what was said about me. I know she saw my hurt face in the hall. Maybe she even saw me choking on my own tears.

She didn’t even have to apologize for what was said. She wasn’t the one who said it!

But what my teacher said to me literally took away all the anger and shame I felt. What was starting to turn into bitterness, instantly was lifted off of me. She simply took the time to notice and apologize, but what I heard was

“Im sorry, but I know that’s not who you are”.

I chose to believe her.

And all was well. Her words brought healing to my troubled soul.

These words were more powerful than what was said a few minutes ago.

After that moment forgiveness and joy came! All the things I felt in the hall started to disappear. My friend and I went on being friends later, and I never felt any bitterness or hurt towards the playground lady.

Now I know kids can all be brats, and I’m sure I was no angel. I definitely needed to grow in love as well.

But the point is that I am who God says I am.

I am not perfect, but I do not have to answer to the name of “manipulative”. I don’t have to make that part of my identity.

I do not have to believe what others say about me. I just need to know and trust that what He says about me is all that matters. (Even as a work in progress!)

John 8:36

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

I want to take this opportunity and apologize to you. I want to apologize on behalf of anyone who ever spoke pain into your life. I want to apologize if anyone spoke destruction into your identity. We are all human, and we all need Jesus in order to speak with love.

Words have power, but God’s word is final and most powerful.

He says you are redeemed and forgiven.

He says you are smart.

He says you are chosen.

He says you are trustworthy.

He says your words can uplift.

He says you do matter.

He says you do have what it takes.

He says you are compassionate.

He says you are generous.

He says you are a world-changer.

He says you are beautiful.

He says He made you perfect.

He says you are loved.

He says He has a plan for you.

I challenge you to forgive, let go, and start answering to what the King calls you.

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