Your True Selfie – The Relentless Pursuit of Who God Created You to Be

Day Three

Our move to Nashville was uncomfortable and definitely inconvenient. Then just two years later, we moved again. This time 5000 miles away to Hawaii. A beautiful, but isolated, island deep in the Pacific, more than 2000 miles from the mainland. Literally the deep, deep South, Y’all and far, far West, dude.

I left friends…again. Left family…again. Didn’t have any of my familiar “markers” to comfort me…again. Had to find and familiarize myself with new schools, new friends, new culture, new sports leagues, new grocery stores and new doctors…again.

Even more difficult, our kids left friends, schools, youth groups, and sports teams…again.

And once again, God gently began to unearth – like a shovel tilling soil – the areas in my life where I was looking to the wrong things for my security.

It’s hard to see with long-term perspective when you’re hurting and in the middle of difficult circumstances, but through the years, I’ve come to realize that God will always use the shaking, stirring, chipping, molding in my life to build something special. Something of greater worth to God that will bring him glory and be a blessing to others.

You see, God wants to do something in you so He can do something even greater through you.

And as a sculptor chips away at a marble slab to unveil something beautiful hidden within the marble, God will chip, mold, and shape your life to unveil the true beauty of who He created you to be.

Even in the pain.

Even in the loneliness.

Even in the loss.

Even in the uncertainty.

Your story is unique. Your personality and gifts are like no one else’s. In fact, the Bible says, you are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece.

In case you don’t believe me, let’s read Ephesians 2:10 and catch a glimpse of how God sees you. (This is a good one to write down and memorize.)

Paul writes,

“For we are God_s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

YOU are God’s handiwork, his workmanship. He created you for a specific purpose. All of your difficulties, all of your challenges, all of your struggles can be used for God’s greater purpose. God has an amazing ability to use average, broken people to display his love and power to the world.

Oftentimes, the temptation is to desperately search for what’s missing in our lives and lose sight of what we have been given – the blessing of what’s right in front of us!

In an attempt to rekindle our zest for life and purpose, we go searching for it.

We think, “Perhaps I should get a new job or career?”

Or, “Maybe things will be different if I move to a new city or make new friends?”

Or perhaps, “Should try a new school or get a new hobby?”

And sometimes, this helps.

But most of the time, after awhile, the same problems turn up there, too.

Because the real challenge for us lays not so much in the circumstances around us as it has to do with something within us.

In those moments of confusion, discouragement, monotony and uncertainty its easy to default to looking at the wrong things, the wrong people and the wrong places for worth and value.

But what would happen if, instead of trying to fix our problems by changing our circumstances, we allowed God to change us?  

You are of great worth to God. His masterpiece. Do not doubt that. You are not “not enough”, but more than enough because of a gracious, loving and merciful God who desires to do immeasurably more in your life.

In the routine of life, God has a beautiful treasure for you. In your everyday activities, He desires for you to live fulfilled and satisfied. Through the dark and difficult times, He has made his peace and grace available to you.

God wants to rekindle your passion for life, not by necessarily changing your circumstances, surroundings or physical appearance, but by slowly, gently, graciously changing you to reveal your true selfie.

Henri Nouwen, in his book, The Life of the Beloved writes, “The spiritual life is not simply a way of being, but also a way of becoming.”1

Take a moment to consider…

  • What are some places or things you look to for your security and worth? Why?
  • What things stand in your way from seeing your life as preciously created by God for a unique and special purpose?
  • Why is it sometimes easier for us to change our circumstances than it is to allow God to change us?

 

1 Nouwen, as quoted by Staci Eldredge in Captivating: A Guided Journal(Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005) p. viii

 

 

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When My Life Feels Like It’s Falling Apart

The news headlines over the last season of time has left me feeling icky on the inside…sad. Unjust treatment, unfair judgments, unthinkable violence – uncovering hurt once submerged but now beginning to bubble up.

It seems this kind of news is all too frequent, becoming the norm in our country. Reading about these events unsettles me and shakes me to the core of my being, unleashing a fear and instability I didn’t realize was there.

Uncertainty about our safety and our nation’s future is something about which I find myself increasingly more concerned. In public places, I’m more alert, aware of my surroundings, guarded.

I don’t want to be like this. I think a lot of my response has to do with the fact that it’s so completely beyond my control.

When I see a need, I like to find a solution. I like to fix things, but I can’t fix this. This all seems so wrong, yet so complex. I feel helpless and at times, hopeless.

A lot of things can shake our security. The economy, the election, threat of terrorism or natural disasters, our health, our job, our future, our family… the list is endless.

In the process, I find it’s easy for me to inadvertently anchor my confidence in the wrong things. I find security in the absence of conflict, my ability to control a situation. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve done so until that thing, that relationship, that situation is shaken or taken away.

Then I find myself wobbly, like a one-year-old learning to walk. Uncertain. Hesitant. Unstable. I don’t like it.

As much as I hate that queasy “on-a-boat-in-a-stormy-sea” feeling that makes my stomach turn and my face pale, it reminds me where I really need to anchor my trust and confidence.

God graciously, lovingly refuses to let me continue living with false sources of security, reminding me that HE is the One who holds everything together.

when-the-earth-and-all-its-people-quake-it-is-i-who-hold-its-pillars-firm-psalm-75_3

Even when everything is shaking around me, He is holding me and won’t let me go.

When have you felt your life “quake”? How did you discover God as the true source of security during that time?