Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Affirmation

Most of my life I've known how important words of affirmation are to all of us. Thankfully, God placed some pretty incredible people throughout my life to speak into me. If it was all up to me, I probably wouldn't be as good at speaking words of affirmation to myself or my family. I would still be believing my life was meant as a punishment instead of a gift. 

A leader at our church spoke these words into us this weekend and it reaffirmed a message I believe God is speaking to me: 

Be sowers of good seed everyday. Let the words you speak and the deeds you do reflect what God wants to do through you. 

Many of you that have been reading with me here know that I've been on a lifelong spiritual journey and my life and my heart have been messy all along the way. 

Because I'm in education, I usually take what little time "off" I get in the summers to refocus and listen more intently to what God wants me to do and say and hear. 

The last few weeks I've been immersing myself in reading. I'm reading Anything  by one of my favorite authors ever, Jennie Allen. I've read and re-read her Chase study and just finished up her Stuck study. I love how transparent and authentic she is with her writing and speaking. 

Alongside Anything I'm also re-reading Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers). 

These books are pouring into me what social media isn't no matter how much I clean up my timeline or feed. 

If you really want to read about love- true, pure, unbinding love, you need to read Redeeming Love as soon as possible. I'm serious. You can buy it here: http://goo.gl/h2RybW and if you have Prime Membership, you'll get it as early as tomorrow. It will change your life. 

I wish on all the stars in the sky someone had sent me to read this when I was 14 or 15. What a lot of heartache that would've been healed if only I'd seen and heard these words sooner. 

Two things I'm having to be reminded of as often as I breathe lately is that God's love is greater than anything in this world. It's greater than any pain: past or present. It's greater and wider and deeper than my heart can even imagine. 

The other thing I'm wrestling with on a daily basis is doing what God has called me to do. If I'm willing to do anything for Him, then why am I not doing it? What's holding me back? 

These are some of the lies I tell myself: 

I am unworthy
➵I have nothing to offer
➵This story is just for me
➵I deserve to carry the weight of this story on my own
➵I do not have the words, time or ability to carry out what you're asking
➵It is too painful to relive. 
➵What people think about me and my story will change how they view me

Lately, I'm beginning to think that most of these lies replay in my head because I'm not listening to the right voices. I took an experimental 2 days to deactivate my personal Facebook account and unfollowed a few people on Twitter and Instagram. I started picking up my phone to read and my Bible to study more. 

From Thursday to Monday, I'd handwritten 15 pages that were hard and painful to relive. As I opened my Bible yesterday during my Anything study, I was looking for 1 John, but ended up stopping at John. If you're a believer in "God Winks" as I am, you will know my turning to John was not an accident. 

"He came as a witness to testify to the light." {John 1: 7}

When I stop letting the lies swirl around in my head I'm able to see that God is using my story and my story with #superJace as a testimony to His light. Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not EVER overcome it. {John 1: 5}

I think as a people we get really caught up in the world and the worldly ways and the worldly opinions and when we immerse ourselves in all of that we become most like the world. When I focus on the world, I quit focusing on what God has for ME to do. I forget His promises and start listening to the lies. 

I thought I would share with you our family's daily affirmation. We say this together before we start out each morning. We say it in the middle of the day if it's been a hard chemo day with Jace. We say it at night if the stress level in our house seems to be rising.

I wrote it one day sitting in church as I thought about how the words we say are like seeds. They grow and multiply into something beautiful or they become like weeds in our lives. I needed this affirmation as much if not more than my kids: 




Some days I didn't WANT to say these words. Some days I had great difficulty believing these words. Some days my own family had to prompt me to say them. Even in my resistance, these words had power over my day and my life. I hope they will for you, too.