I was saved as a very young girl. I knew what I was doing and I stuck with my decision to follow God. Even so, I still experienced growing pains in my spiritual life. As my mind matured, so did my understanding of faith. Just like other people, I still had to find my identity in Christ.
A Daughter of Miriam
I normally dream very vividly. My dreams can feel so real to me that I even wake up with false memories. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to reference a ‘memory’ only to realize halfway through that I’m really talking about a dream. Knowing this, you can imagine how terrifying my nightmares were to me as a child. One nightmare, in particular, haunted me for many days after I had it.
In this dream, I was surrounded by demons. My hands were bound behind my back, and I remember struggling against these bonds as the lead demon approached me. He sneered as he said, “Daughter of Miriam.” Instantly, the other demons took up the cry. All around me, they shrieked those words at me.
It was haunting, like a coyote pack yipping during the night. When I woke up, I felt branded by the title they gave me.
Miriam is probably better known as “Moses’s sister.” She watched over Baby Moses as he floated in the reed basket. Later, after God led the Israelites out of Egypt, Miriam also took on a leadership role alongside her two brothers. Miriam was a prophetess and worship leader for the Hebrew women.
For some time, all was well. Miriam witnessed miracles as God guided and protected Israel. It had to have been amazing to be alongside her brothers on a journey that only God could have given them.
As the Israelite’s list of complaints grew longer, Miriam became discontent with her lot in life and perhaps even envious of Moses’s status. Her discontentment led her to commit the stereotypical female sin of slander in Numbers 11, as she led her brother Aaron to criticize their sister-in-law. Then, she took it a step further:
They said, “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?” And the Lord heard it. Numbers 12:2 (HCSB)
At the root of all of Miriam’s problems was a lack of trust in her God-appointed leader. She didn’t understand why she needed to follow Moses when God could also speak through her. She thought her way was better.
God summoned all of the siblings to the Tent of Meeting, where Miriam is cursed with leprosy as punishment for her lack of trust. Ultimately, she is healed and restored back to the Israelite camp.
Was I a Daughter of Miriam?
At the time of the nightmare, I didn’t realize that Miriam survived past the leprosy. All I knew was that she questioned Moses’s leadership and was punished with the leprosy. In other words, I thought she died because of a lack of trust.
Was I really like her? Did I doubt my God-appointed leader? Since I knew the New Covenant changed some of the rules Miriam lived under, I came to the conclusion that God was my leader. Did I really have a lack of trust in Him? I was desperate to shed the idea that I was a daughter of Miriam. I began a self-examination as I poured myself into reading the Bible.
Beloved Daughter – God I am Yours
Shedding the Lie
In the back of my mind, I knew that demons lie. I still couldn’t stop my obsession. I wanted a solid answer. Was I a Daughter of Miriam or not?
I found my answer in an often skipped over verse in Mark 1. It’s a very busy chapter full of miracles, so I never noticed it before. After driving out a demon in the Synagogue, Jesus and His disciples go to Peter’s house in vs. 29. Peter’s mother-in-law is sick in bed with a fever. That’s where this verse comes from:
So He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them. Mark 1:31 (HCSB)
Just like the woman in the passage, I felt like a fever was leaving my mind. Did I sometimes have trust issues when it came to following God? Of course! Did that make me a daughter of Miriam? No, it didn’t.
Miriam allowed her doubts to stop her from seeing the bigger picture. She lost sight of the simple fact that she was supposed to be serving God, not trying to make the plans by herself.
That wasn’t me at all. God had granted me healing in the form of forgiveness for my sins. Like Peter’s mother-in-law, I needed to serve Him.
It finally occurred to me that, in all my stress over the question, “Am I like Miriam?”, I hadn’t even checked to see if that was really so bad. That’s when I discovered the true ending to Miriam’s story: forgiveness.
Embracing my True Identity
The whole experience was a tipping point in my walk with God. As I began to mature and become aware of my identity as a person, I also discovered my identity in God. It didn’t come with another person’s name attached, either.
I had known for some time that God loves us. I finally began to comprehend the vast love that He has, though. The God who created the entire world, every single unique organism, loved me. The Bible was more than God’s word; it was an intricate story of how God decided to heal His fallen creation. And He set about healing it so that I could have a relationship with Him.
I was protected, cared for, and also given a mission to “make disciples” wherever I went. I was Lauren, a daughter of God.
Building Trust One Step at a Time
In a lot of ways, I missed the big picture by trying to focus on the big picture. I had been trying to see the end of my story by asking, “Do I trust God?” I think we all tend to treat faith as some big huge thing that you either have or don’t have, and trust is simply faith in action.
Truthfully, I should have kept my focus on the present by asking, “What does God want me to do today?” Isn’t that part of what Jesus meant when He said:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34 (HCSB)
Trust isn’t something you can just increase. You have to take it one step at a time, each and every day.
She writes at www.chaoticlifeoflauren.com, where she is dedicated to helping busy Christian Moms manage life.