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Sam Sanya1 
Sam Sanya

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 

Psalm 139: 13,14 &17

Have you ever struggled to fit in, be accepted, or feel good about yourself?  

For most of my childhood, particularly as a teenager my identity was a big deal; I got picked on for being a preacher’s kid, for being too dark skinned, for having a parent from the north, for missing school a lot and playing catch up because of my frequent asthmatic attacks etc. I tried to fit in in my own way until I found that my true identity was and is in Christ, plus finding friends who affirmed and loved me for who I was. My best friend to date is my wife Rachael; this very beautiful, godly and clever young lady who said yes to me and accepted me just as I was and still does. The churches I have been part of have welcomed and loved me for who I am and above all I have found great confidence in God’s word because no one knows me like he does, Jeremiah 29:11 says it well.
That’s why I come back to Psalm 139 over and over again especially when I start to doubt myself. When I look around me and everyone seems more competent, better looking, more successful and the list goes on….

I need to be reminded that God made me and cares for me and that I am loved and accepted by my greatest fan – God the creator of the universe. If anyone reading this is struggling with self-image and identity. Feeling unloved and unwanted. Jesus says to you that you are fearfully/ carefully and wonderfully made by him and in his very own image.

He knows my name’ has been one of my anchor songs for years, I used to sing it a lot until people thought I’d written it. We all have songs or books that we come across that connect with us deeply, hope it encourages you too.

Prayer:  Dear God, thank you that when you made the world you saw that it was beautiful and you made people in your very own image. I pray that we shall find our confidence and identity in you and that you will surround us with people who will build us up, encourage and affirm us and help us too to be those who build up others and see ourselves and others as you see us, that way we can love others as ourselves. Amen.

Prayer Request: Pray for the young people of St Stephen’s today.  It is a particularly challenging time for those whose exams have been cancelled or who are due to change schools.  Pray for resilience and good mental health as they wait and hope for a more normal education to resume.