Pre-covid, I met weekly with “Book Group,” a close group of women who despite calling ourselves “Book Group,” have not read a book in quite some time. Originally, this group was just a group of Christian women who all had kids about the same age, but as time has gone on, these women have become some of the closest and most cherished friendships I have.
We started meeting before any of my children started school so the months leading up to my oldest starting kindergarten were filled with me asking questions to the women who had older children than I did. The centerpoint to all of my questions was this: how do I help cultivate my child’s identity in Christ?
Although so many of the conversations surrounding that topic were geared towards our children and our parenting, so much of it applied to our own personal journey with Jesus. How were we living into our identity in Christ?
I am still in-process of walking fully in who I am in Christ. I know the words, I know the verses and most days I believe it, because that’s who Christ says I am and Christ is truth. But some days, as life hangs heavy, as doors close, as hurt surrounds, it is hard to fully believe those truths. To believe those words about myself. To rest in them. I may know them in my head but to understand them with my heart is another story. That’s where muscle memory comes in. And I’m so thankful for it.
The same way my fingers instinctively know what button to push to type out a word, the muscle memory of truth comes from years of preaching the gospel to myself. During seasons of my life, or even just moments in my day, despite the lies the enemy tries to feed me that I am not good enough, that I am failing, that I am unlovable, the muscle memory of truth kicks in and I am reminded that I am fully known, fully loved, and fully forgiven.
Muscle memory doesn’t just come with a snap of the fingers; it comes with practice. It comes with time. And it comes with a relationship with truth, Christ.
So as I sat in my living room asking questions of my sweet friends, and talking about how we can remind our children of truth everyday, one of them said she used a family mantra. Was I supposed to know what that was?! She described it as having them repeat truth to themselves so that when their life hung heavy, or a door closed or hurt surrounded, they could fall back on their muscle memory of truth.
As I thought about what I wanted my children to know deep in their bones, at the very core of their soul, what I wanted their muscle memory to be, what I wanted them to remind themselves of when the going got tough as well as when it was easy, it was that they were fully known, fully loved and fully forgiven by our Great God. And regardless of what was going on around them, they could rest in that.
Since those conversations years ago, my children, as well as my husband and myself, have recited these words countless times – and they serve as a muscle memory of truth:
“My name is _______, born to Meredith and Phillip Read. I am a daughter of the King, the Most High God. I am fully known, fully forgiven, and fully loved by Him. I will rejoice for God is good.”
Even as I type this post, I hear my youngest daughter downstairs singing, “I am made…made in the image of…made in the image of God. That’s where the light comes from.” (Song by We are Messengers).
I invite you to take time today to come into the presence of Jesus and ask Him what muscle memory of truth He wants you to store within your soul. What muscle memory He wants your children to have. What He wants your grandchildren to have. And then I encourage you to print it out and share it with your children and yourself every single day.
My mom made up a song that she sang me every night of my early childhood, reminding me how much I was loved. When I became a mom, I instinctively started singing the same song. I expect my children to sing the same song to their children. Routine and repetition matter. It engrains truth. Don’t miss the opportunity to engrain truth into your children, your grandchildren, yourself.
You are fully known. You are fully forgiven. You are fully loved by Him.
God, thank you for the muscle memory of truth.