It's crazy to say that I am thankful for not being who I used to be. Who I used to be wasn't a bad person or anything but I constantly struggled with not feeling enough. I never felt good enough in relationships, in my work, and with my own self image. To constantly have those struggles and to not acknowledge them for what they were, was just perpetuating the problem. Convincing myself that I really wasn't that way was exhausting and trying to be who people wanted me to be was confusing. I really had no idea who I was, at the core. No idea who I was suppose to be and what I was meant to do. Many times I took the initiative to figure it out on my own, make my own plan and each time left me pretty empty or just as unsure of myself as before. I was never satisfied, and the things I pursued were never enough. However, ever since I was young, I always felt that I was meant for something more, and whatever it was, it was going to be big. Frankly though, I was tired of trying to figure that out by myself.
Fast forward to a few years ago where I met Jesus. I say met because even though I grew up in a Christian home and knew of God, Jesus and flannel graph bible stories, I didn't truly know Jesus. I found out that when you really know Jesus, not just know of Him, from the inside out you will never be the same. When you realize that not only is God powerful, not only is He the creator of everything beautiful, but that He loves you so passionately and perfectly. His love...that is what changes your heart. When I realized that He knew me before the creation of any mountain, any ocean, any human being and actually calls me His child, I experienced an overflowing love that I have never before felt.
Being a mama of one little boy, It's hard for me to even grasp the thought of being separated from him. I'm not talking about for an evening for a date night or something, I mean separated for good. When he disobeys and runs from me, I still love Him with all that I am, because he is my son. I don't ignore Him or hold back my love because of that. We have a little chat, forgiveness is given and then the slate is clean. The Father feels the same way for all His children, and that will never change. Something that really changed my thoughts about God was that He actually wants to have a relationship with me. That knowing in my head that He loves me wasn't the end all goal for my life when He created me. He desires to speak, move and change me for my good, because of His undeniable love for me. And that's for all his kids!
I didn't know that there were things that could block that relationship though. You don't know what you don't know. Thankfully through my amazing community, over the past few years I have received clarity, vision and direction for what God has created me to be. First and foremost, I am His daughter! So incredible. Next, I have freedom in Him. He has given me the ability to see lies that I have believed my whole life and call them out for what they are. I have literally felt weights lifted from my chest. Freedom is freely given to me and choosing to believe that has given me such peace. I don't have to believe the lie that I will always not feel good enough or that my life doesn't have purpose.
Recently I was with a small group of people from my church family and God moved and spoke through those people in such a powerful way!
An analogy was made about how when we have a birthday and the cake comes out we are suppose to make a wish before we blow out the candles, however, you never say the wish out loud because then it won't come true. Our Father loves us so much that He wanted us to be bold with each other and share the wishes we have that we keep to ourselves. If we never ask, how can we receive?
Towards the end of the night many of us had shared including me and it had been so amazing to pray powerfully over those things and pray with confidence/faith that He would respond. I felt the need to share one last thing that was a wish of mine that I had never really shared out loud.
As silly as it sounded in my head, I shared that I have always felt close to the story of Moses. That He had become someone who I related to in certain ways and was in awe over the ways God used him. My wish was simply this, I want my life to be like Moses. I want to be used like Moses to display God's power and have incredible stories.
God already knew this wish of course, because He knows my heart, but through vocalizing it and through some much needed prayer, God spoke through people there, and I was called to go to Africa! God knew that I wanted to go to Africa but didn't pursue it because I didn't see how it would be possible. (I had such little faith of my God who can do anything. All things are possible with Him.) My sweet Father wanted me to go, so He made a way! I was blown away and an emotional wreck! l don't know all the details yet but praying for clarity for when I should go. I could not be more pumped about this! God does have big plans for my life, way better than what I had figured out on my own. Prayers would be appreciated, especially that I would continue to surrender my plan, for His and that His love would shine through me, as flawed as I am.
If I would have continued to go through the motions with my relationship with God and settled for a surface-y religion, I would have known my identity in Him and what plan He has for me. An intimate, authentic living, radical loving, relationship with Him has awaken me, and I will never be the same.
. . .
Made this little print to remind myself of the freedom I have and that I can cast worries, stress, lies, and whatever else may be troubling me, off because as God's child, I'm given permission to do so. ( I changed the original lyric "him" to an "it" on purpose...if purpose means I totally realized too late that I wrote it wrong. Ha!) -Lyrics from Florence + The Machine's Shake it Out.