Friday, March 6, 2015

Letting go of your rights

I love to journal. It really opens up my eyes to what's brewing in my heart. Many times my pen will hit the paper and pour out what I didn't even knew existed within me. 

I also love writing down favorite quotes, lines from books, sermons, and revelations I feel God is speaking to me. I am a visual and tactile learner, so in order for something to really stick with me I need to hear it, write it, and reread what I wrote. If I just listen to a sermon or just read a book, I am less likely to retain the information. I love highlighting or underlining books for this reason as well. 

I have Sitora journal for this very same purpose. I want her to be able to express her feelings, emotions, and process life in this way. If she grows up and doesn't care for it anymore, at least I gave her the opportunity and the tools to learn how to process what God is doing in her heart.

I have encouraged her to draw pictures and write what she is feeling in her journal, but she insists that for now she wants to copy her Bible word for word in her journal. I have always told her that Jesus will lead her if she asks Him to, so I have to trust that this is Him leading her. I never once suggested to her to copy her Bible passages in her journal, she just came up with it on her own. She picked her current favorite Bible story to start with and has been working in it for quite some time! She is using The Jesus Storybook Bible and is copying this story (it is written in a more kid friendly way but this is the scripture it is based upon):

Matthew 6:25-43

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So what is filling up my journal these days? Well, I recently read a fantastic book called Grace for the Good Girl: letting go of the try-hard life by Emily P. Freeman. One particular chapter really stood out to me, and here are some of the excerpts:

* I will choose to continue to depend on Christ even though I don't yet feel acceptable. I choose to release the right to manage others' opinions of me and rest in the sufficiency of the Life of Christ.

* I will choose to allow God's definition of my acceptance to trump my own.

* Brokenness is evident when you no longer react with your previous flesh patterns (masks) when the following rights are challenged:

- Your right to a good reputation
- Your right to have acceptance
- Your right to be successful
- Your right to have pleasant circumstances
- Your right to beauty or strength
- Your right to have friends
- Your right to be heard
- Your right to take offense
- Your right to avoid reaping what you sow
- Your right to be right
- Your right to see results
- Your right to be loved by others
- Your right to never disappoint people
- Your right to a clean and organized house
- Your right to explain yourself
- Your right to be the favorite

Misty Edwards, one of my favorite worship leaders at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City says, "The frailty and purpose of life are what drives me the most, and I've always been so aware of both. I'm captivated by thoughts of eternity, who God is, and I'm very consumed with serving an audience of one. What does He want from me? Living that question leads to so many more, and I'm driven to fulfill His purpose."

Wow. All of this is really deep and hard to swallow sometimes. For me personally, I've always felt safest when I'm the favorite, when I have a good reputation, when I'm accepted, when I never disappoint anyone. To disappoint others is like ripping out my heart. But I need to serve an audience of one. Like Misty said, living out that question- "What does God want from me?" is what will drive us to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Dear friends, I pray that you too would serve an audience of one- Jesus Christ. I pray that you would let all hindrances fall to the ground as you chase after the Author and Perfecter of your faith. May you look to Him for your safety and fulfillment, not the people or circumstances around you and not how you feel. May He be your One Desire. People and things and circumstances will come and go, but Jesus Christ will never leave nor forsake you.

Amen and amen.

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