Remake YOUR Life
Yesterday my husband and I turned 34. yep, you read that right. We share the exact same birthday. If you ask him who is older he will proudly proclaim he is by a few short hours. Born in different time zones, he still has me beat. And the older we get the more and more I TELL people he is older than me. HA!
God has a funny way of bringing you to places you never knew were imaginable. A few short years ago I found myself at a physical and spiritual cross roads. I felt lost in my own life. I did not recognize the woman I had become and quiet frankly I did NOT LIKE HER. She was judgmental, condemning, unhappy and full of self indignation. I like to call her a modern day Pharisee.
Lost in religion instead of basking in the love of God! Like I said, something had to change. I always tell people, "Just ask my oldest daughter. She will gladly tell you who I once was and who I am now are two vastly different women".
Somewhere along the line we start to make ourselves into what we think we are supposed to be instead of who Christ designed us to be. We push and squeeze ourselves into tight little molds, wrapped up in the so called new creation with a pretty bow and sell it to the world as the real us.
Friend, this left me tired and worn out. It was like I woke up one morning and I found that I hated what I had become. I wanted to change. At this time I lived in a tiny little town in Oklahoma. I often refer to this part of my life as the "Healing Desert". Because it truly was. God brought me to this barren land (literally) to show me how barren my soul had become.
I needed to remake my life. Who knew that you could even do that! Well, God did. He remakes our life at the moment of Salvation. The problem I found in my life was this very fact.. I had been born again, and made new but I was still living like the old woman. I just dressed this woman up and did what I was taught was right, instead of getting to truly know my Jesus and what He is like. I guess I never asked Him up until this point who HE wanted me to be. I did however do a pretty good job at looking to others and what they were doing. Taking on what they claimed to be their truth and covering myself with the same cloak. I am so very good at this! I am a recovering people pleaser after all.
But truth is this:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
I thought I was acting as a new creation because I sure had cleaned up my own life. I stopped partying, excessive drinking, flirting, throwing up my food, and the list could go on. When in reality, I emptied these things and filled the void with more stuff, (good stuff) than with the power of the Holy Spirit. I created my clean little Christian life. Everyone thought I had it all together. The dramatic change was amazing! REALLY! Truth is I had conformed to the image of "man" not the true image of God.
The refining process is hard, hot and heavy. The dross dripping from your life can be so unsavory. But just as the vessel in the potters hand, a life REMADE by the power of Jesus Christ comes forth as the most beautiful vessel of all. There are tiny cracks, divots, and chips, but through these imperfections Christ can shine His light brightly into the world.
I had hid my brokenness. Covered it with a sheet. Afraid of who I was and afraid I would not be accepted just as I am. Fear is a crippling disease. One that the enemy loves to plague us with.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."
(1 John 4:18)
As the anxiousness that rid my heart began to slowly be torn away, I was left with an extremely vulnerable woman. One that for years I had tried to hide with busyness and productivity. A woman that at one time loved to laugh, hike, swim, run, be free and live wild. Where had she gone? I wanted to meet her again.
So here I stand at the door of 34. My husband and I holding hands (we have known each other since we ere 13 years old, and have been a couple for 16 years). He has seen my struggle, held a vast space through me in this battle. As we stood looking up at the vast sky from the driveway of our little Southern cottage on the lake, he said to me;
"Babe, look up! what do you see?"
Me; "I see that the heavens declare the glory of God. I see that God sprinkled glitter through the night sky to point all of His creation to Him."
When he replied back to me; "I see our story. I see the scattered bright lights that blanket the night sky and I see how God is a God who keeps His promises. He will make all things new."
In that moment it was like a shooting star struck my heart. God has been refining me and making me new all along. He brought me to this place where I saw that I needed to seek hard after HIM. He showed me that in order to change my direction I needed to change my actions. He knew all along what it would take to get me to this place.
In order to remake my life I needed to follow His plan for me. I needed to stop looking around and start looking up. I needed to see my life the way He sees it. I needed to honor my body as the temple. I needed to nourish my spirit with His word and meditation. I needed to seek Him diligently in conversation. These awakenings did not happen by accident. They were a gift from the Sovereign God of the universe. The one who holds my very life in His hands.
In order to step away from where you are, you have to step in a new direction. That step must be toward God and away from your preconceived ideas! We all have them, trust me. Even Paul had his preconceived ideas of who God was, and until Jesus showed Himself to Paul, Paul was VERY, VERY WRONG!
Remaking ones life is a beautiful process. You learn to marvel at the brokenness, to accept the faults and surrender to Christ, the one true perfecter. You learn to realize you are enough right as you stand, because in Him you are more than enough. When God the Father looks down He sees His Son. You learn that the audition needs to stop! You have already made the cast. You learn that quiet is not bad, that quiet is actually where you meet God and can hear HIM speak the clearest. You learn that others may not like the change in you, and surprisingly you learn to be okay with this. You learn that who you are in Christ is and will always be enough.
Remaking my life started with a conscious decision that I wanted to be filled with JOY. I wanted to fight diligently to know the truth. I wanted to know God in a way that I had never before. I wanted to have no fear and be filled with love.
It is a process, a journey, that will not be complete this side of glory, but it is a journey that I am willing to take, because the fruit I have tasted has been so sweet and I long for more.
34! Here I am. Here I stand. A woman, fearfully and wonderfully made in the likeness of Jesus Christ. A woman who desires more of God and less of me. A woman freed from self-hate and bondage, walking in the true newness that God says is mine!
I am so thankful that my husband always points me TO wonder. He is a steady man, and I am a frantic woman. God in His gracious love placed up together. He knew I would need someone to tell me to SLOW DOWN, be still and LOOK UP. He knew that when He revealed Himself to me and starting ripping up the weeds I would need this precious man by my side to gently, lovingly and at times firmly return me to truth, and encourage me to keep digging.
Look up sweet lady. God is writing your story too. If you don't like the pages YOU have written, close the book and start over, let God be the author. This life is not over until God says it is! Remake it. Start fresh. Pursue hard after Him, He is faithful, I promise you this.
"Nourish your body. Heal your mind. Change your perspective." -BB