Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

In God’s image

photographer

Would you just look at that giant fat face?  School pictures were not a favorite thing of mine.  I dreaded that day and it seems I was never disappointed with the “face” that would stare back at me.  It was like the photographer knew just when to click the camera that would capture the worst image.  Sometimes I wondered who that person was in the photo, because it sure didn’t look like the girl I saw staring back at me from the mirror.

School pix

My mother never liked having her picture taken.  Growing up and even now she does not want her picture taken for various reasons.  I wonder when it was that I picked up that same fetish…..”oh, don’t take my picture, I can’t stand to have my picture taken.”  There are a number of pictures out there with my hands in front of my face. I hate the way I look and I can pick myself apart and tell you all the flaws better than a magnifying glass.

The other day a friend of mine said that she and her family were waiting to have a family portrait taken until her and her husband lost all the weight they were trying to shed.  I didn’t think too much about it until I got home. A very sober thought hit me and I remembered a couple of verses pertaining about tomorrow.  James 4:13-16 (NIV) reads:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.”

 And then there’s Matthew 6:34 (NIV), which states:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

While the Bible never says the exact phrase, tomorrow is not promised, it’s pretty much understood that at any given time, we can be called by our Heavenly Father to go home.  In fact I had it put very abruptly to me once by my English teacher in the ninth grade, “your main purpose in life is to die.”  Say what?!! That was a reality I wasn’t ready to hear, but there it was and I chose to put that statement in the recesses of my brain. But, I’ve never been able to totally forget it and I wonder how many memories I stopped or missed out on because I wouldn’t allow my picture to be taken. 

As I sat here thinking about missed opportunities an older school picture of mine popped up in my head.  Blech!!  Of all the pictures to pop in my head, why that one?!  Oh, that’s why.  Okay, okay, I asked earlier and “You’re” showing me. I hemmed and hawed and I cringed and thought, “I’m going to have to go through soooo many pictures to find that one.” So I chose to not bother in the search because I already knew what it looked liked….it was etched in my brain.  Instead, I went about my day and eventually went to bed.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can to do today.”  That’s exactly what I did and now it’s still “nagging at me this morning. Why do I wait when I know what I’m called to do? I opened the lid to the mass of pictures not in any kind of real order, some in boxes, some in bags, some in albums and I reached down to one of the boxes and there on the very top was the very picture I hated from school. 

I plucked it up and stared at the picture, started to pick apart all that was wrong with it and then my heart softened as I heard God say, “why are you condemning my creation? That is my daughter whom I love very much.”  I started to cry and realized how hard I’ve been on myself for far too many years.  I allowed my own words to beat myself up over and over again.  So I looked at the picture with fresh eyes and I hugged the picture to my chest and apologized to her; to me

Somewhere along the line, I let this particular picture define how I would always look in pictures.  I tell myself now; it’s just a picture, a moment in time captured to reflect a day God allowed me to live.  It’s a memory to be cherished, to laugh or maybe even shed a few tears over.  Is it my best picture?  Ohhhhh noooooo!! Does it define who I am?  Not by a long shot.  But it defined me, for far too long. 

But this day….today…..I am here, I am loved, I am thankful, and tomorrow is not promised.  If we’re constantly waiting for the perfect opportunity, the perfect weather, or for physical perfection, then I dare say we’re wasting away before our own eyes and missing out on far too much this life has to offer.

We only get this life; we choose how we spend it.  We can believe in the lies of the enemy or we can stand firm on the Rock and know no matter how our “picture” looks, we are a beautiful creation, handpicked and knitted in our mother’s womb.  We’re not some turkey carcass that gets picked apart for good meat, soup parts or trash, we’re human beings created in God’s image.  God doesn’t pick us apart, He sets us apart.  If we’re too busy beating ourselves up, how can we be the light that needs to shine for others to see?  Ouch!!  Message received. 

Thank you Lord for showing me who I am in you! This coming weekend I will be in our town’s annual Christmas parade as one of the most popular characters.  I didn’t know Mickey Mouse was one of the most popular characters at the time I said I would do it. Immediately thoughts came into my head….will people take my picture? I hate having my picture taken. People will make fun of me. Maybe someone else should do this….someone skinnier, someone….STOP.  Are those the things God would say? Not at all.  He would tell me I am well equipped and more than a conqueror and perfectly able.  So bring on the picture taking as I let my light shine for all to see!!

Do you know who you are in Christ?  Do you know the power you posses when you realize not who you are, but WHOSE you are?  Come to Jesus, accept Him as your Lord and Savior and begin to know what you were made for.     

6 Comments »

“Jonesing” for Jesus

-Falling-Wine-Glass-psd93020

There are several definitions of the word “jonesing” per the urban dictionary. In this case I chose the following definitions; “the act of needing something badly, usually related to chemical dependency and exhibiting a strong craving or desire for something eaten, imbibed, or taken as a drug; comes from the opiate culture.” Now, I have to go look up imbibed because I’m not entirely sure what it means.  Ah, it means, “to drink, to take in.”  

A few months back God and I made an agreement.  He told me to destroy all wine related “idols” in my house and I did.  Lots of money went in the trash that day. But it really wasn’t about the money.  I was doing really well for almost 3.5 months.  Then I back slid.  Not once, not twice, but a few times. I back slid so much I went and bought a case of my favorite wine because it was….say it with me…”on sale.”  But, every time I poured a glass of wine, I felt uneasy.  But….I wanted the wine, so I drank the uneasiness away.  Woke up the next day and I felt horrible.  Again, I vowed no more jonesing for wine.  But I didn’t destroy the wine like I did the first time, I wanted to prove that I could control this beast.

Trouble with that is, I felt the same way I did when I first destroyed the wine “idols.”  That still small voice was telling me to do something, and I wanted to prove otherwise. I am after all, equipped with will power, am I not?  Besides, other people are allowed to drink wine. Why a glass filled with “wine” is a common hand prop in most television shows.  But…in tv land, they are more than likely drinking grape juice or sparkling cider or something similar. But, those “other people” didn’t make an agreement with God to give something up.  I did.  Again, it’s not about the drinking, it’s about the drunkenness.  

So color me not shocked when a couple Sundays ago my pastor said these words as part of his sermon:

“Romans 13:13—We must also avoid the sin of “drunkenness.” The Bible never uses the word “alcoholic.” Alcoholism is supposed to be a disease, but it’s really the sin of drunkenness.  In April, 1988, the United States Supreme Court ruled that alcoholism is not a disease.  If alcoholism were a disease, it would be the only disease we bottle and sell for profit.  We drink for joy and become miserable.  We drink for sociability and become argumentative. We drink for sophistication and become obnoxious.  We drink to help us sleep and awake exhausted. We drink for exhilaration and end up depressed.  We drink to gain confidence and become afraid.  We drink to make conversation flow and become incoherent.  We drink to diminish our problems and see them multiply.”  He went on with statistics but I heard enough to know that my sin was not drinking; my sin was getting drunk.  And there wasn’t a single statement he read that didn’t pertain to me.

But I didn’t make an agreement with God to not get drunk, I made an agreement not to drink alcohol.  I asked God to take away the want for alcohol, but He said no, I want you to want me more.  So if every day I get to choose God, then so be it. I don’t “have” to choose Him….I “get” to choose Him. He shed His blood for me. Gave His life so that I could live the life He planned for me when He knit me in my mother’s womb.  Pretty sure I’m not living a holy life when I pick something up God asked me to put down and I agreed to the putting down.   

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve of what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)  The chains of alcoholism run deep in my family and took away more than they ever gave.  He knows this. He knows what it cost not just my family but far too many others. In part, it almost cost me my own life.

Now here’s those statistics my pastor read off in his sermon:

“Ninety-five percent of college crime is alcohol-related. Half of all traffic accidents involve alcohol.  Alcohol is a major contributor to one-third of all suicides. Forty percent of all hospital admissions are alcohol-related.  Over half of all child-abuse involves alcohol. Alcoholics outnumber drug addicts ten to one.  There are three times as many alcohol-related deaths as deaths due to drug overdose.”  Whew, those are some pretty staggering statistics.

I am convicted.  So once again I chose the still small voice over what I wanted. I poured the liquid of my sin down the drain, repented and asked forgiveness.  And you know what….He forgave me. Yup, He loves me just that much and He forgives me way faster than I forgive myself.  His “do nots” are for my protection, to keep me from harm’s way. Who am I to question the good He wants for me.  And why would I want anything other than the life He planned for me?  “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10- (NIV)

I’m a handiwork, not a drunk.  I can take pride in choosing and living life for Jesus, I cannot take pride in being an alcoholic.  So this is me jonesing for Jesus!!  Halleluiah and Amen!! All the glory to God our Father!! 

By the way…what are you “jonesing” for?  Would love to hear your comments on what feeds your soul.  Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? He will meet you wherever you are!

Note: I do not have the references for the words my pastor spoke, only the notes which he gave me.

9 Comments »

Good Enough

iStock_000012396048XSmall2

Over on the Proverbs 31 site, we are having our weekly blog hop day for our current On-line Bible Study…A Confident Heart, by Renee Swope. It’s an awesome book and highly recommended for anyone no matter where you’re at in life.  I liked the idea of writing myself a letter, that because of Jesus, I am good enough.  I walked through too much of this life thinking just the opposite.  I still have days that I struggle and I’m thankful for these times because I can lean even more into the love of my Father and let His truth wash over me and fill me like nothing of this world can.  Because of Jesus, I am good enough.

Dear Defeated,

Sorry if this shocks you, but something tells me you’re going to need this! You’re gonna go through some serious stuff.   Some of this “stuff” will be caused by the people in your life, but most of this “stuff” you’ll do because you left someone behind.  You’re going to make a lot of mistakes and you’re going to put yourself before others and commit acts that will put such a burden of shame on you that one day you’ll be filled with so much pain, loneliness, regret, and hate, you will decide to take your own life.

Funny, I don’t ever remember saying “when I grow up,” I would love to be filled with self-loathing, low self-esteem, and thinking I would never be good enough.  But, that’s exactly what happened from the choices I made following after the worst taskmaster who found pure joy seeing me right where he wanted me. Defeated.

Dated: March 1963 – September 2010

Dear Daughter of the Most High King,

Yes, that’s who I am.  I am not defeated, I am raised up.  I am not the things of my past, I am free from condemnation!  I was bought at a great price, and I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. No longer do I bear the pains from the sins of my past.  I am dearly and wholly loved by the King of Kings.  I am redeemed, chosen, renewed, blameless and holy. I am a citizen of Heaven.  I am saved by the grace and mercy of God.  By myself I could do nothing, but in Christ, I can do all things!  I am forgiven, I am loved, I am His and He is mine.  You see, the one I left behind, went before me and is making my paths straight.  I am not defeated, I am victorious, and I am good enough because His goodness makes me good enough!  Glory to God the Father—all the glory is His.

Dated: Nov 2013 – eternity

Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  He will meet you where ever you are!!  You’re never too far gone for His loving embrace!  He truly is the only way!

(Verses: Romans 8:1-2, Philippians 3:20 and 4:13, 1 John 5:18) 

5 Comments »

#UNFILTERED

IN SPEECH. IN CONDUCT. IN LOVE. IN FAITH. IN PURITY.

His Love is Enough

This is My Story...

Just Love

My journey through the process of understanding true love- as God intends.

Living With Eyz2God

One Day at a Time...

Saved By Grace

An imperfect woman with a perfect Jesus

Just in time . . . .

Bible studies . . .

Janee White

Just a girl on a journey of being mended by God.