Each year at this time I go on a trip to a women’s conference. I try to use it as a time to look inside myself and evaluate where I am stuck in an effort to get free. Every time I go I get the opportunity to look at myself in the mirror through the awesome speakers as they become very transparent about their shortcomings and how to overcome them. It’s usually a time to face those things about yourself that you know are detrimental to your growth and find a way to let them go. It’s not always easy but it’s always rewarding.
So much has happened and changed over this past year that I look forward to escaping to a quiet place and reflecting. Sometimes removing myself from my daily routine and situations can give me a completely different perspective. I am needing that very much right now. I am so ready to hear what that Still Small Voice inside me has to say. I believe it’s going to tell me to let go of many somethings that no longer serve me. I am ready for the challenge, yet I know it won’t be easy.
I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the way things have always been that you don’t allow yourself to experience the possibilities of the way things could actually be. We allow what others say about us and to us to frame how we see ourselves instead of getting to know who we really are and defying what they think and say. Many times we trust what others say about us and our future more than we trust ourselves and who we are capable of being. We have to remember that most people are filtering their opinions of us through the filter of their own shortcomings. Most of the time what others say…it’s not even worth holding it between your ears. Let it go in one ear and out the other.
Decide today that you will start that project you’ve always wanted to do, even if your friend thinks it stupid. Take that college course you’ve always wanted to take even if someone has told you are not smart enough. Life is just way to short to live out of someone else’s head. Start to live your best life right now. If you are waiting on permission to do so, I give you permission. Be the fabulous you that you were created to be, the world needs you!
So happy I go to Saturday evening church. Rainy Sunday morning…lovin it. If you really know me, you know that I will be completely transparent when I believe God has given me something of great value to share. It’s one of those moments.
I believe over the past few weeks He has had me on the Potter’s wheel, reshaping what I have thought about myself for along time now. It’s never, ever easy to be molded and shaped into a new form, at least not for myself. But what I do know is that God only designs good and beautiful things. Anytime God has His Potter’s hands on you, allow Him to change the shape of what you think you are supposed to look like into what He KNOWS you already look like.
I spent some time in the Word this morning and then did some reflecting. I know that God has a huge plan for each one of us. For me, I have become more determined then ever to discover what mine is. I have come to realize that I have been living out of someone else’s head for a very long time when it comes to my destiny. I have finally decide NO MORE WILL I LIVE FROM A POSITION OF WHAT SOMEONE ELSE MAY EXPECT ME TO BE…this child of God’s is ready to step into His perfect will for ME!! Others may not understand it or even agree with it, but all I have to say to them is, go talk with God.
My greatest hurdle, those old tapes that play in my mind. They can be so loud at times. But I am working hard on erasing and replacing those old mindsets that have held me captive in places I no longer want to be. I am so ready for truth to just flood over my mind. The Word says we have the mind of Christ, Phil 2:16 and it’s available for us at anytime. God has given me everything I could possibly need to overcome. If I am seeking to line myself up with God’s destiny for my life, then I must believe that He will equip me with everything to fulfill it. God will never, ever, ever set us up for failure. So, any thought I may have about possibly failing at the will of God for my life is a complete lie from satan. It doesn’t mean I won’t have challenges or even set backs, but with God on my side, what do I have to fear?
Recently I have had the thought that I don’t even know who I am anymore. Then God gave me this awesome revelation. When you live out of someone else’s head, being defined by what you think they expect you to be, you will always lose who you are because that is not how He designed us to live. We are designed to be what God planned for us to be before the foundation of the world. In His plan is the only place we find true identity, happiness, hope and fulfillment. When we seek to be someone outside of that, we will always feel as though we don’t know who we are. You cannot live with one foot in the Kingdom and another foot in the world and walk in victory. And make no mistake there will be those whom try to get you to stay as you are…don’t let anyone or anything keep you from God’s plan for your life. God’s got your back!
I know it won’t be easy, but I am going to step completely, with both feet in, into my destiny. I have come to understand, nothing can be harder than to live outside the will of God for your life, doing so puts you in a place of complete hopelessness.
Do you talk AT or TO? Read on…
My church has a mobile kitchen we use as an outreach for local communities where we fed them and let them know how much God loves them. We recently had one where we fed them Turkey and all the trimmings. When we have these outreaches there are small groups that go door to door and invite people to come join us for the meal. The encounters are usually brief and if they can’t make it, depending on the circumstances, we offer to bring them back a meal.
During our latest outreach my group encountered one resident that could not join us due to physical issues. We offered to pray for this precious woman and bring her back a meal. She was a Christian and graciously accepted both offers. But what we discovered as we prayed was that her wounds were so much deeper than physical pain. After praying for her, she revealed to us her heart was hurting over a recent personal situation. New to our community, hurt and lonely, she had now become very tired and weary.
A few in the group were able to use our own personal situations to encourage her. I was able to love on her and let her know that I completely understood feeling weary. My family has been in a very long season and at times I have to fight off weariness myself. I didn’t judge her and scold her because as a Christian she should know better. I was there to the heart of Christ. I put my arm around her and could truthfully tell her I understood the pain. I reminded her that meditating and speaking out God’s word to renew her mind was HOW she could walk in victory over her situation. I was thrilled and humbled that God used me in my own brokenness to connect with someone hurting to give them hope.
I made a conscience decision not to talk AT her, but TO her. I didn’t want her feeling condemned and beat up because she was struggling. Satan already had her feeling isolated, alone and like a failure because she was struggling even though she knew what to do. I wanted to talk TO her and tell her she is not alone and there are other Christians that know exactly what it feels like to be weary and lonely even though they have a personal relationship with Christ. It can happen to any of us. We sometimes take our eyes off of Jesus. Just read about Peter in Matthew 14 when he got out of the boat and started to walk on water. He was fine until he took his eyes off Jesus. When that happened, he began to sink. So understanding where she was, I wanted her to have HOPE!
Christ understood that we get weary sometimes and that is why He said….”Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Matt 11:28-30
So, be salt and light (Matt 5:13-14) and talk TO someone and tell them or remind them HOW to walk in the victory that we have in Christ. Leave someone feeling up beat, not beat up….The question is, AT or TO, which do you do? If you want to have a positive influence……..always choose TO! We are all Works in Progress!
Recently I had a huge disappointment. When faced with it, my first hope was that those around me could not see through me and see how hurt I was. I really had some raw emotions and knew that I didn’t want to expose them to those around me. So, I managed to wait until I was alone. Then came the tears. For the whole day, I struggled to fight back tears because I FELT so hurt. Some might guess and others might wonder if I got angry. Yes I did, after the tears I got angry.
The disappointment is still fresh but I have chosen to work through it rather than staying stuck. So I have had some thought about why I was so hurt and why I got so angry. I asked myself if there was a life lesson I could possibly learn from this situation. What can I take away from the circumstance that will help me grow in wisdom and character.
One of the first things to come to mind was, I cannot stay anger and be an ambassador for Christ (2Cor 5:20). I cannot be hateful and represent LOVE (1John 4:8). SO, I have to completely surrender my FEELINGS to God. (NOPE, that’s not easy and I am finding out even today there are feelings I still need to lay down) I can’t keep hurt and anger or any of the other emotions I am feeling if I want to grow past this point. (Yes, as I am learning to grow in my relationship with Christ, there are times when I know I must surrender things to God that makes me FEEL as though I will explode out of my skin)
Up until the time of this disappointment, I would have told you that I could handle that situation with much more grace then I actually did. I have grown by leaps and bounds, especially over the last decade, but I have so not arrived at the point where I can totally control my emotions. What I know for sure is that’s okay because He meets us exactly where we are!
I started to ask myself why I was so hurt. Was my pride a little hurt and that was why I was feeling so angry? I think a little. But the truth behind the major hurt was I felt that I had been told one thing and something else took place. I expected one thing and I got something else. If it had been something better…you know I would not have had an issue with that. SMILES!
So, as I really started to evaluate what was going on, God started to reveal some things to me. He showed me that in this particular situation I was looking to man to give me value and hope. I really had not gone to God and prayed about the situation when told I could expect “xyz.” Perhaps if I had, He might have shown me there was something else He planned for me. Maybe He would have reminded me that He planted my gifts and talents in me and He knows exactly where and how He wants to use them. Perhaps He would have reminded me about how His timing and plan for me is PERFECT. Instead of any of that happening when I was told that a “xyz” was going to happen, I started looking to man and expecting without having a clue what God had to say about it. My hope and expectations should always be in God (Psalm 27:14). I truly had grounded myself in the promise of man instead of the promises of God. I was looking to the word of man to give me my value and worth instead of looking at God’s Word and KNOWING my value and worth in who I am in Christ.
So, my life lesson comes down to this. God knows me better than any man does. He knows my heart’s desires and wants nothing more than to see me be all that HE has made me to be. He has a perfect plan for me that will far surpass anything I can ever hope or imagine (Eph 3:20). My value has absolutely nothing to do with my status in life but everything to do with my position in Christ! So, man may think small of who I am and my what my potential is, BUT GOD knows the greatness of who I am in Christ and He knows the greatness of the potential He placed in me for His perfect timing (Hab 2:3).
Now…I need to move on with an attitude of gratitude. I am grateful that God has a plan for my life (Jer 29:11) and that man’s inability to see my potential will NEVER limit God’s ability to use it!