“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

—Numbers 23:19 NKJV

My father told me I was Italian. Growing up in Las Vegas, our family went regularly to the local Italian-American Club and ate Italian food with the other Italian families. My father spoke Italian and competed in bocce ball tournaments. But … although we had olive skin and dark hair, we were not Italian. It was all a lie.

Seven years after my dad’s death and days before my wedding, my real ethnicity was exposed. My father’s sister, Aunt Lee, had been estranged from her brother for thirty years, but she traveled to Oregon from Rhode Island to attend my wedding. We had connected after my father died, but this would be our first meeting. Aunt Lee told us that my father had left their family as a young man, cutting off contact with them for reasons too sordid to explain here. Despite the circumstances, she was excited to meet us and asked all kinds of questions. Photo albums from our childhood and newspaper clippings of my dad playing in bocce ball tournaments were sprawled on the table. It wasn’t long before her brow furrowed in confusion as her dark eyes darted from picture to picture.

“Do you think you’re Italian?” she asked.

“Yes. We are Italian. Why?” I answered.

“Because you’re not,” she beamed, “You’re Portuguese!”

Aunt Lee’s brown eyes were laughing as she spoke, and her round face revealed a smile. She was amused—but I was not! It was shocking. This statement completely changed my perception of myself and my father. My earthly father lied to me about my identity. What else had he lied about? Aunt Lee told us they grew up on a little farm, not in Reno, Nevada, as my father had claimed, but in Fall River, Massachusetts. We also learned that he had been married twice before and had three other children. Why all the lies? We may never know my father’s motives, but either way, he was not who he said he was—and I am not who he said I was either. My father defined me with lies.

So, who am I? Many struggle with an identity crisis even after coming to know Christ. We are all targets of well-aimed, fiery arrows launched from the enemy’s bow carrying messages meant to define us and undermine God’s Word. Those arrows are all lies too! The problem is they seem to be true because of our life experiences. For example, when the “you-are-not-wanted” arrow comes flying overhead, it can be difficult to argue against if we’ve suffered rejection. We may even let it pierce our hearts because it’s what we know.Believing God’s Word over any other source is key if we are to live in true freedom. If we know what God says about His character and how He defines us as His children, we will recognize those lies when confronted with them. You know, the ones that start with, “Did God really say … ” (Genesis 3:1b NIV). Our defense is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul, believing Him above all else. That’s the definition of faith. But how can we truly know and love someone we don’t spend time with? His Word is His love letter to each of His children, and in it, we learn to know Him and the truth of His character.

Father, Your character is defined by the cross, not my circumstances. I am thankful that You are not a man that You should lie. I am also thankful for Your Word, which is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. You define me in truth and love. May we all open Your love letter, allowing You alone to answer the question, “Who am I?”

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. —John 1:12 NIV

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NJKV).

Marlene McKenna



Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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