Jen and off we went into the world of captured moments.
To be honest I spent most of the day dreading having my picture taken. As I have shared previously, for far too long my opinion about myself has been negative, everything from my own character to my looks. So why in the world would I want to immortalize a moment in a still and have to look at it? Add to that the fact that I have gained about 25 pounds over the last year and I have no reason to want to look at myself. But of course this dread triggered something in me.
I had to look myself square and ask myself why I was letting this happen. There is no good reason for me to despise myself. Sure I have not been perfect, I've hurt others, I've been irresponsible, I have not taken care of myself as I should and I've failed at times. This all has affected how I physically see myself. Although these things are facts, I am a daughter of God Most High, created in His image and this is the truth. He is fully aware of all my faults and He loves me. Not "in spite of" or "because of" He simply loves me. He as my Father gives me my identity and He tells me who I am. When I choose to listen to Him and what He says all the other goes out the door.
Yes, I have done some not so great things in life, but in Jesus I have been forgiven and God sees me as He sees His Son, righteous, free, loved, a vessel for use, honorable, lovely, precious and the list goes on and on. I am someone special! The last post was about the internal struggle I have had with myself and this one the external. I love the fact that He is telling me to get over myself in these areas and now! A couple of weeks ago I started walking again to begin to tackle the weight problem. As far as the rest of the way I view myself, I've had to tell myself, I'm good all of me and I am determined to continue to view myself as He does, not through a lens of negativity and lies. I am going to enjoy the beauty of who I am and love it!
The picture above is one of the spontaneous moments caught when I started laughing about how serious I was being about taking the pictures. After that I relaxed and decided to have a good time. A few more pics are below.
14 June 2012
08 June 2012
Being able to see the truth of that simple fact helps so much. Because as the old saying goes it really is easier to be myself than a cheap copy of someone else. I was terrible at trying to be like others because I was not made for that. I was molded to be the most amazing me, the one-and-only and the great thing is we all were! We are all beautifully and wonderfully unique and that is what makes each of us so special. Our interactions with each other, learning to communicate with each friend and person we meet based on their particular style of communication is a fun challenge.
In taking on that challenge, I do not have to fully change who I am but I have the opportunity to adapt to the situation to help someone else be comfortable enough to communicate. I love it! We were made to interact with one another, accept each other's idiosyncrasies and love one another.
After years of trying to hide "me" out of fear, I was able to accept how great it is to just be me! I like who I am, all of me the silly, funny, responsibly-minded, compassionate, eager to learn, with a desire to know people, smarty pants, encouraging, guitar playing, anime watching, creative woman who loves how her Creator molded her. I have repented for the many times I tried to tell Him how to shape me and submitted to the fact that He knows what He's doing.
I've accepted me and whether anyone else does or not cannot be the fuel I allow to feed my soul. (obviously still working on this but hey) I hope this is an encouragement to take a moment and think about how fearfully and wonderfully made in His image we are. What wonderful qualities did He place within you that reflect a portion of Who He Is? I pray that when He is identified within, that you will hold on to the truth of that and be encouraged any time any lie tries to tell you differently. You are not like the others, you are uniquely you, an awesome wonder in the sight of God.
05 June 2012
For example the family unit, men are some sort of joke, women still seen to some as weak, kids run households, a negative type of liberality is often mistaken for true freedom, lust is a poor excuse for love, leaders are just people with giant targets on them, off-shoots, splits and division are seen as the path to unity and apparently all humans are some sort of commodity as seen by the staggering numbers of people including young children and newborns who are trafficked each day.
I'm thinking a lot about this today simply because of the things I see happening all around me. I had a distorted view of many things for so long and each day I am grateful to be shown a better way in Christ, in truth. I tried to espouse political correctness and tolerance but found that those were very unsuited to me. I have convictions that have a foundation and I refuse to let them be threatened because someone thinks they promote hate, judgment and division. The command given to me was to love not simply coexist or tolerate. The word tolerate is a tension word that brings up images of waiting until just the right time then making some move for more power. At the core the message of the God of the Bible and Jesus is one of love, redemption, acceptance and unity.
Today I find myself extremely grateful for repentance, an opportunity afforded to me to change my mind, see life, my actions from God's perspective and change to align with that. I do not have to be held captive by deceptive philosophy and vain deceit (Colossians 2:8-10) and I am free to set my mind on higher pursuits than becoming caught up in the tempestuous whirlwinds of what is currently approved of by man's standard. That does not mean I ignore what is going on around me as if that will help anything, no I do what I know. For me that begins with prayer and unifying with other believers who understand the simplicity of not always having to weigh in on every conversation or change in the wind.
The other thing I do is encourage and find ways to support those who have aspirations in particular fields, people who may be of no consequence now and whose names may never be known but those who will have the strongest influence over those in authority. The truth is, whether you know it or not someone or something is influencing you, that's the way the world works. I know that in this way true reformation will be seen. It begins within the heart of a person, then comes out of them hopefully to the betterment of the people and situations surrounding them. This is the power of truth and truth can never be distorted.
01 June 2012
Now although I have said this numerous times and quoted scriptures that confirm it, I see now there was a major caveat to this statement; "as long as I am working and have a steady income." This has been incredibly humbling, to come face-to-face with my own unbelief. After all, I often encourage people through prayer, one-on-one talks and my writing to find strength and security in God our Provider. Many times I have been in need of something that only He could provide whether financially, emotionally or any area you could think of and every time He has come through with exactly what was needed in the moment.
In the face of this I could choose to be discouraged and disappointed in myself but that is not my choice. I stand here today grateful to be faced with the truth. Now that He has revealed this weakness, I can cast that care on Him. I can repent of my unbelief and move forward in power, knowing that yet again He will absolutely provide everything necessary. I see this as a great opportunity to gain a deeper revelation of Him as a Loving Father and truly know Him as Jehovah-jireh personally. I have the privilege of changing my perspective about what is going on right now and not just go through this time but grow through it.
I believe that I will come through this as a better person in all the roles I hold in life, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, leader, employee. I will be more disciplined and responsible in all areas of my life and possess a confidence and authority that would not have been otherwise. I see this as a time of revelation, transformation, restoration, renewal, education and preparation for elevation. God's plan moves forward. He keeps His promises.
The Bible is replete with examples of Him bringing one of His chosen servants to a "certain place" and while there they came to know a new dimension of Him. When I look at it that way I become more and more excited and grateful. Growth and change are not the most comfortable transitions in life but I know it's so worth facing any challenge to gain His truth. Let's go!