My dad lost 40 pounds the year I was born. He was young, so young. He’d fled his home country to America to find freedom – leaving behind his parents and all he knew. He met my mom, and they exchanged vows. Two year later, I arrived with unexpected challenges. My hip never fully developed. My right limb was deformed with two missing bones and a disfigured foot that was quickly amputated. I would walk, but with a prosthetic limb.
I always knew that I was different, but I never questioned why. Thankfully, my disposition is decidedly sanguine. Through most of my childhood, I limped along with a smile on my face and was unaffected by what my doctor’s called a congenital birth defect.
At age 12, God’s mercy reached down and scooped me up into His arms. I heard the Gospel – that Jesus loved me, chose me, cherished me, died for me, and had a purpose for my life. I asked Jesus to forgive my sin and become the Lord of my life. Just as I was reaching the difficult teenage years, full of angst about identify and appearance, God revealed Himself to me and filled me with His peace.
I will never forget the first time I read Psalm 139. I just knew that this psalm was written just for me. My birth was not an accident filled with defect at all. You see, God saw me – my unformed body in my mother’s womb. I am His workmanship --- fearfully and wonderfully made. My ESV Study Bible explains this so beautifully: I am fearfully “set apart”…God “set His love upon” me at the moment I was conceived. Every molecule in my body was designed purposefully so that His glory might be displayed in and through me.
I am wonder fully made. And so are you, my friend.
I pray that today you may know that you are a beautiful creation. You are the very image of our omnipotent God. He makes no mistakes. He redeems every moment of your life. He has designed you purposefully.
I’ve always loved the image of the butterfly. I am reminded that daily, as I walk with God, He is transforming my life. Right now, I may be in a dark cocoon, but one glorious day, I will break free of this fleshly shell and fly.
Choose today to spread your wings and fly for Him. You may be limping along, but His glory is revealed through you.
You are wonder fully made.
Lyli Dunbar loves teaching. For 17 years, she mentored teenagers in the Christian school setting, and now she has serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida. Lyli married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging young couples and singles in God’s waiting room. She enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. Lyli writes about life lessons and faith on herpersonal blog. You may also connect with her on Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest.
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12/26/2013 04:38:38 pm
Thank you for this wonderful message. I take notice of your words, saying, God makes no mistakes, which came timely to me, and thank you.
12/26/2013 05:19:00 pm
12/26/2013 11:52:39 pm
I love the Psalms, and this particular Psalm is so packed full of little gems that encourage me on a daily basis.
A dear friend shared Psalm 139 with me when I revealed to her my struggle with Bulimia. I too felt as though those words were written specifically for me. This post comes with good timing as they are words I need to focus on again. Thank you for sharing so personally with us, Lyli. You have spoken to my heart today. Much love.
12/27/2013 12:19:28 am
I'm so glad you were encouraged, Beth. I love it when God brings a Scripture to my attention that speaks right into my day.
12/27/2013 12:25:21 am
THANK YOU!! I'm limping along Lyli, physically & spiritually. I really needed this right now, today. I never knew about your birth, to me, you were fearfully and wonderfully made and it is so easy for me to look at you and see the beauty that Christ made but so hard to see it in myself? I love the butterfly just like you dark cocoon was so profound to me & describes exactly how I a feeling. Thank you for reminding me once again I will be flying soon & very soon!
12/27/2013 01:31:43 am
So glad you were encouraged, Beth! I love it when God gives me a Scripture that speaks right into my day.
12/27/2013 01:34:17 am
Heather, praying today for God to be very present with you right now in that cocoon. May He birth something beautiful and glorious in you during this season. Hugs
12/27/2013 02:15:26 am
Lyli, you are such a blessing and encouragement! God is using you mightily to speak to His beautiful daughters!!!! Keep speaking!
12/27/2013 03:01:49 am
Carole, it's a blessing to be a part of God's family and have sweet sisters like you! Thanks for your encouragement here today. Hugs :)
12/27/2013 03:00:08 am
What a blessing!!!!
12/27/2013 03:03:09 am
Miss Benson, thanks for your investment in my life when I was in high school. You made my day by leaving a comment here. xoxo
1/1/2014 02:30:22 am
Looking forward to that glorious day, Mia! :)
12/28/2013 07:39:54 am
I love your attitude, Lyli.
1/1/2014 02:32:44 am
He's transforming us - inside and out. :)
12/29/2013 10:40:19 pm
I'm getting to know you better, Lyli ... with each post we share! You're an iron sharpening iron gift in my life this year, and I am thankful.
1/1/2014 02:33:32 am
And, I am thankful for you, Linda. Happy New Year! :)
12/30/2013 05:51:22 am
Oh Lyli - I am so deeply moved by this! Thank you for sharing your story. It is such an inspiration!
1/1/2014 02:26:48 am
Rosilind, hope you have a beautiful year of ministry and memories this year! :)
1/1/2014 02:25:27 am
Sweet Laura, you are not supposed to make me cry! I am thankful for your blog -- you point me toward God's beauty with your poetry and reflections. Happy New Year, friend! :)
1/1/2014 12:32:11 pm
Jennifer, thanks for hosting on Wednesdays. I love visiting your blog to read all the beautiful redemptive posts that are linked up.
1/1/2014 01:05:17 pm
Psalm 139 liberated me, too - and helped me understand my boys - that God has the plan - that He is not surprised by how I respond or they respond. I am so glad your shared your story - and how God revealed the beauty in your story! I love your beautiful encouraged heart!
12/27/2016 06:21:52 am
Beautiful story my dear and faithful friend and thank you for being that great prayer warrior too! Truly blessed with your friendship!
12/28/2016 09:23:32 am
Oh, Lyli, you are one of the most beautiful people I know. You radiate the love and peace of Christ. ((Hugs)) to you for this reminder.
I love your spirit! What we go through makes us who we are and is a part of God forming us to be who he designed us to be.
12/29/2017 06:57:46 am
What a beautiful testament to God's faithfulness. xo.
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