Ok friends, this post is really just gonna be me dumping my brain & heart of some of the stuff that God has been sharing with me.
Sometimes I want to separate all the things into neatly organized categories with catchy labels so everyone will understand exactly what they’re getting.
Sometimes I think I should sort my thoughts the way the old HGTV shows would declutter houses: keep, toss, give away.
I want to make it receivable, bite sized, palatable and digestible. But what’s really happening is I’m trying to please people. I’m not being me.
Alright, Solidarity Confession: the real me doesn’t know organized. I didn’t grow up seeing the example. But she don’t like chaos either. I had more than my fair share thank you. She don’t appreciate clutter and confusion. But neither do I want something that’s so neatly set in place that without it we assume that life is disordered. Dear Jesus could you help me find something in the middle?
I’ve been coming into this space that maybe God wants to clutter and scatter some of the things I’ve tried to compartmentalize and at the same time He wants to untangle and separate the stuff we’ve assumed goes together. He is a God of order, not confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33) So at the risk of seeming scattered, here’s my brain dump.
I’ve watched God in the past year somehow, at the same time; wreck & unravel me and just when I thought I was coming completely undone, He was already putting me back together.
I’ve discovered that the truest me isn’t shy. In fact the shyness was the result of a defense. I’m not well kept in tiny pink boxes with bows and flowers. (sidebar: I watch my daughter’s fashion sense of fancy dresses with converse and it’s like watching my personality playout in front of me.) I’m like a mad rush of Lenny Kravitz’s guitar riffs and banging drums with a few symbols and a Billy Joel style piano all played in tune.
Back to the loud music… Slightly crazy, I know, because each of the instruments are having their own rhythm session but somehow they’re giving permission to both the person who connects with one sound OR the one who’s vibin’ on all of them in a syncopated style. That’s the real me. I’m Dave Mathews Band and old school hip hop. I’m Doobie Brothers and Side Walk Prophets. I’m Cindy Lauper and David Crowder. I’m cheesy musical soundtracks and Beethovan. Dare I say it, I’m Tupac AND MercyMe. And honestly that confuses people because they can’t peg me or label me and you know what; I kinda don’t care now because I spent most of my life trying to make sure I fit neatly into a category. I wanted them to knew who I was but I didn’t even know. But what I know now is that I’m over it. I don’t want to be labeled. If they decide to label me, let it be “LIKE JESUS”.
Instead I would rather be known
By the kindness and love that I show
To be known for patience and long suffering
A giver of life by the words that I speak
So with every breath You give to breathe
I pray it’s Your glory that they see
And of all the words this world could say
May they say I was full of grace
-Morgan Harper Nichols “A Prayer for Grace”
Knowing that I am created in the image of the Creator who is beyond limits and labels, maybe; just maybe He has decided that I don’t have a label nor do I need one.
Friends the only way we will ever live beyond the labels is to get after the roots of fear and recognize who we are IN Christ. The greatest opportunity we have to break through the tough, stony places of our hearts and experience God’s unchanging unconditional love is in the simple, yet somewhat difficult invitation to remain/ abide / stay connected in/to Him.
ABIDE– (verb) to wait for, be prepared for, to endure or sustain
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you…. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:2-5 NASB
This is where redemption happens and can I tell you something?
You are more beautiful than you give yourself credit for.
This is the year that He will restore your beautiful, your joy, your praise and your righteousness. God’s methods of restoration and redemption are almost always nothing like ours and the process might seem pretty ridiculous. But one thing is always true, HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING and He WILL finish what He began!
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
Psalms 139:14 NLT • Let God restore ALL that He has done in you!!!
Our desire to be more, do more and even search for more out of this life, was placed in our hearts by God.
He didn’t design us for less; He designed us to be great, to love big and to be more. But again, without Him we can’t do any of this and the only way to find peace or have the ability to live in more is b faith, IN HIM.
Friends, our ONLY option of being our best self is to let go of the hustle & grind; trying so hard to prove them wrong, the desperate things we do trying to seek approval, the obligatory shifts of character trying to gain acceptance.
All of these nagging, tormenting, never-seeming-to-get-ahead mirages are satan’s plan of attack on our identity. If He can get us to think that we aren’t enough then He will cause us to rise up with ill intentions and hurt hearts and he is quick to stand there at our side to tell us that we’ve done; still isn’t it. And yet on the flip side of that coin he has a slick way of telling us to back down and shrink because we’re too loud, too much, too something. Both of these are his kill, steal, destroy plan.
Check your heart. If your heart has any place in it that leans on the side of anxiousness; every action that comes from it will breed temporary results.
Psalm 139: 23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
So much of my identity has been trapped deep in the seat of my heart, covered by scar tissue and God has been redeeming all of it. The healing is a process but He promises that He will give us a new heart if we’ll let Him. He’s calling us back to our original design.
Listen friends, He calls us up; there’s no need to be afraid of that. He never calls us out to shame us. He calls us by name and invites us to come out of hiding and He gently takes those things in our hearts that have bruised us and replaces them with His tender mercy, restoring us back to truth.
Friends my prayer for us today is to let the walls down. To stop playing small when He has called us to greater. To see ourselves in the next mirror we walk by and recognize true beauty and be proud of that reflection rather than see it and begin listing the things we wished were different. Or worse, see the reflection and begin flaunting something we’ve fabricated behind a mask of acceptance.
We’ve put up some heavy defenses because we’ve been hurt. I get it. So have I. Although, the level of protection we’ve justified isn’t for anyone to deem unnecessary and I’m not suggesting that we throw our cares to the wind and act like we don’t need to set boundaries; I am saying that we’ve never felt what real protection from the love of God feels like so we’ve fabricated it and tried to manufacture something. What happens in turn is that this temporary support system is not strong enough to keep us from the attacks of a very real enemy that wants to destroy us. Little things come across our path that trigger memories of those issues we’ve pressed down and decided we just weren’t going to ever bring them up again; and one day they resurface and it burns worse than the initial sting. Roots have a way of coming up.
In Matthew 17:21 Jesus told them “You don’t have enough faith, I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible for you.”
What mountain do you need to move today? Every mountain has a root. Every mountain. That thing that you seem to keep going around and it never seems to go away? Yup. Roots.
Yesterday was a soaking, detoxing and mountain moving day for me. I had to let the Holy Spirit make my head listen to my heart and my heart listen to His love. It’s so easy for me to get trapped in only listening to one or the other and if it hasn’t been guarded by His grace it can be quite deceptive which is which!
I know that I CAN run. I just choose not to and He’s been calling me to run.
I’ve been ignoring it. In fact, I’ve been opting for other forms of movement as an alternative. But yall let’s just call that what it is, that’s disobedience. God don’t bless that. I was reading through the book Restless by Jennie Allen; she says “we were designed to run and He will keep calling us until we get up and move and it’ll be wonky and creaky at first – but in our weakness He is made strong. BUT WE MUST BE WILLING TO MOVE”. 1 Samuel 15:22 reminds us that obedience is greater than sacrifice and friends, if we could just follow the obedience we’d see that God has a perfect plan attached to it. And no He’s not going to reveal the plan because most of us would probably opt for our way because we think it’s going to be easier. When I read that segment of the book I was both convicted and relieved because all of this restlessness I’d been feeling in my mind and body was found in the fact that His love is a fierce pursuit of our identity.
Heart Health Resources:
- Take a moment to listen this message I recorded on learning to run again.
- Listen to the song Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger
- And then, take a few minutes to settle your heart with the “Healing The Roots” Holy Yoga stretching sequence.
MOVE IN FREEDOM – Healing the root places