you are more…

I’ve probably listened to this song no less than 50 times in the last few weeks. Here’s the story, to me, it’s pretty amazing reminder of how awesome our God is:

I was on my way to an appointment. One I wasn’t too excited about going to. One where you pretty much have to bare yourself…counseling. I’ve probably heard this song on the radio tons in the last while, but this time I was driving and I broke out of my thoughts and really heard the words…

you are more than the choices that you make
you are more than the sum of your past mistakes…
you’ve been remade

anyway. I had the appointment and was just praying that I wouldn’t forget the words of this song so I could look it up later. Of course, I get in the car afterwards and cannot even recall the chorus (which repeats like a million times). I was SO frustrated! I thought, this is the perfect song to listen to as I am starting this journey of moving from the past into the glorious present and future that God has for me.

Not 2 seconds after I thought all these frustrating thoughts (and really horrible ones about myself…what good am I if I can’t even remember the chorus of a song just a few hours after I’ve heard it!!!!) and it came on the radio again. Like less than 2 hours after I had heard it the first time. It was the most thrilling thing and like the Lord was screaming these words into my heart:

you
have
been
remade

But the man who loves God is known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:3

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broken

There seems to be a romantic notion that presents itself when one becomes a Christian. Worship songs, pastors, books etc describe the beauty that comes when we turn our lives over the Christ and He begins to reign in our hearts. What isn’t told (or maybe isn’t heard) to most people, is the fact that for that beauty to truly shine forth, we must be broken
or admit our brokenness.

God doesn’t go after the beautiful. Look at his disciples and those he met with, talked with and broke bread with. They were the outcasts. Their stories, their lives, were full of nothing but cracks and holes. What is amazing is that throughout Scripture, it is story after story of sins exposed and yet God pursuing.
My sins exposed, yet God continuing to meet me where I am.

The trouble is what we do with those exposed cracks and holes.
The Lord wants to shine out of our brokenness into the world…I want to fill in those cracks and try to fix myself.
My fears and anxieties I try to cover up.
My failure and fears I refuse to admit.
These cracks, I try to hide.

I’ve spent the last few years desperately trying to fill in these cracks in my brokenness. It’s been in the last few months that the Lord has started taking his chisel and hammering away at all the things I’ve filled them with. He is hammering hard on my struggles with fear.

All the while he is gently whispering
and filling me
and replacing those cracks with His truth

It is crazy hard not to try and stop His hand (as if I could) as he chips away. But His sweet whisper and the gentle touch of those nail scarred hands are reminding me that He is transforming me into something that will shine His light
so that my cracks will become invisible
in the light of His love.

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like a winter snow

the refrain comes gently at first, like the beginning of a winter snow

be anxious about nothing

but like a snow can start softly and turn mighty, the refrain becomes louder

but in everything

everything I ask? what about all the stuff that I can handle?

by prayer and petition

but I do pray. or do I demand?

and as the snow begins to build and build upon itself and create a landscape of purity

with thanksgiving

I begin to see my heart change. thanksgiving. the answer to my anxiousness. the place I need to focus. not on the minute by minute fears I have, but on the places that He has rescued me and blessed me

set your mind on things above, not on earthly things

words that I’ve heard repeated over and again, but never truly sat with.

so, like the first footprints on a clean landscape of snow, I set forth onto this journey. a journey of focusing on gratitude, instead of fear. focusing on his faithfulness to me, instead of those things that cause anxiety.

taking every thought captive

to begin this journey, I am undertaking this. a chance to focus on scripture. to daily hide it in my heart and meditate on it. to embrace a small part, instead of doing and moving on and never sitting with it.

want to join me?

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my story

I was the good little girl growing up. I had this big brother who, while he wasn’t horrible, he challenged my parents in pretty much everything. By the time I realized that my actions brought about a reaction in my parents (as did his) I made the choice to please them. I didn’t want my actions or choices to bring about the reaction that he got from them.

Fast forward to high school when two things happened: I was a teenager (which naturally brings about a desire to separate from your parents) and I became a Christian (something that my parents were not). These two things drove me mad. If you have seen the movie Tangled, there is a scene when she jumps out of the tower and she is this crazy mess between extreme freedom and excitement and desperate depression because of how her leaving the tower would make her mother feel, but yet how free she finally felt; she was finally doing the thing that her heart had longed for. That was me. I was torn between being who I was learning I was in Christ (and what that meant) and not upsetting my parents (like my brother was doing). In his book, Changes that Heal, Henry Cloud writes:

We are separate people with separate identity, and we must not be conformed into someone else’s wishes that may conflict with what God has designed for us. We must own what is our true self, and develop it with God’s grace and truth. Peter says it like this, “Each one of us should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (I Peter 4:10)

I am learning now, that this choice I made to not separate from others wishes has left me with an inability to make choices. When you are someone who always feels responsible for others and you are faced with a choice or decision, that decision is already made for you. Not based on what you think or feel or what your desires are, but rather on what the other person might think.  This lack of my own control in my life led me straight into an eating disorder. I now know that my history with anorexia was straight from a desire to control something in my life. At that time, it was the one thing that I had 100% control over. I could eat or not and that was my choice.

At 35 years old, I am just now awakening to this part of my story. I think the reason why I feel so muddled and lost right now is because I truly can do whatever I want. Granted I have a family to think of, but how I spend my day in my house with my husband and my children is 100% me. The problem is that I have no idea what that means. I’m struggling with what I desire. I am awakening to the fact that I am not in control of what others think of me or how they react to my choices. As Cloud states: “I am only responsible for what happens in my yard.”

But what do I desire? I asked myself that question this morning and I couldn’t answer it. So this is where I am today. I am sitting with the reality I must admit “my desires so that God can work with me to meet them, delay them, encourage me to give them up or whatever would be helpful…and I must own up to my desires before he can do something with them….God is at work in my desires and I need to bring them into relationship with him.” (H. Cloud)

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)

What amazes me most as the Lord begins to reveal this story to me, is the reality of how he has pursued me from the beginning. When I look back and how he has weaved people and experiences into my life, I can truly see His hand holding me, covering me and moving me to a new place. That, my friends, is grace.


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