it's faux spring here in western Montana... sunlit mornings, 50 degree days, and my thoughts are drifting towards planting the garden and dinners on the porch. it's January's joke and i'm pretty sure February's blizzard will be the punch line. meanwhile....
i've been giving thought to the blog & i want to share some good recipes you can make this week, including a very delicious bean salad. but then i decided that beans have been around for like forever, and they can wait. what i’m really wanting to write about is being birthed out of asking, for months now — ‘what is it i most want to share with people?’. and in the vein of my stirring desires and hopes, i’m going to press in even deeper on the heels of my last post about lies, into the topic of our identity. recipes, soon. xoxo
remember back in the day the whole WWJD movement? i may have worn a bracelet. maybe you did too. but now i feel the question ‘what would Jesus do?’ missed the mark.
& the question we should be asking is ‘who is Jesus, really?.
is He who i think He is, or have i made Him to be a whole bunch of stuff He's actually not?
who is He, really? and.... do i want to know Him?
this is the beginning of pressing into & understanding our identity in this life. because if God is who He says He is, it will permeate & transform every part of us.
if you ask yourself with honesty ‘who do i really think God is?’ innumerable responses creep up, including the ways He’s hurt you, the places He’s let you down, how He’s left you to fend for yourself in this crazy life, how He’s a jerk, He’s distant and cold like your own real life dad.
or maybe you feel a totally different sentiment altogether - that He is holy and perfect and awe-some, & Jesus has set the bar super high and "i need to be striving harder to meet that bar and be as holy as possible to make Him happy".
do you ever feel this way?
i had the joy of hearing Elyse Fitzpatrick speak last year in Kansas City, and if you aren’t familiar with Elyse i hope this sparks a curiosity to seek out her books or hear her speak if you can. our church hosted a 2 day womens’ seminar and being the stubborn, prideful woman i am, i refused to go, thinking inside ‘ womens’ seminars are so 1993. there’s no way i’m doing that. ‘ …until the day of the event, when i felt a distinct pull in my spirit saying ‘ you need to go to this seminar. you’re meant to be there’. uggggggggggh.
so i went. and i sat in the front row. and my jaw dropped. and my butt went numb in the pew. but i didn’t care, because i was glued to the words coming out of this woman's mouth. i had never heard the story of who Christ is shared so vividly, and who I am as a woman because of who He is, told in such a bold, matter-of-fact, truthful way.
right then & there in the pew God’s Spirit moved through Elyse’s words and set my feet on a new trajectory that is insatiable. i realized that everything in our lives hinges on who we think God is.
i'm here to declare on this blank page blog place provided by squarespace these life-altering, life-giving, true words:
our God is gracious & good & He loves you
............ you ........................
with steadfast love.
He is the God who says I am your light and your salvation (Psalm 27:1).
I am the opposite of a lover who leaves. I am Constant, I am Good. I am yours.
I am near to you,
to free you of feelings of failure that dominate you & hold you captive,
to redeem you from the things in your life that keep you from knowing freedom
and rob you of peace in my Presence.
is that not radical? it blows my mind apart.
the gospel message is this: Our Maker came to our earth - to the earth He made, to the people He made- to take your place and my place in the death we deserve because of our rebellion against Him, and then to die for us, all to make us right with Him.
"For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." -- 2 Corinthians 5:21.
He is our Redeemer, because "He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready." -Romans 5:6-8.
He is our Right-Maker, so that we can be in a wide-open, transparent, forgiven, comepletely-at-peace relationship with God. and this is no small thing.
but so often we tend to nod off at this point. because we’ve heard this before, that He died for us, and now we’re saved and yaddy yadda bla bla the gospel.
maybe we just don’t see how this Reality of who God is intersects with our every day life - our every day of cooking meals and deadlines at work, getting stuck in traffic, our frustrations boiling over with our marriages, our hidden away secrets and hatred we harbor towards people in our lives, our parenting, our sense of worth.
how does the person of Christ, our God, make a difference in these places? is it enough to just vaguely know about God, that He’s there somewhere, sometimes near, sometimes far, floating in the heavens, looking down on our days and weeks and months, just loosely or rigidly commandeering the planets?
or is He so intimately woven into our existence, our beings, our lives that who He is affects everything?
do you believe He wants to transform you? to redeem everything, every, thing?
our every day of cooking meals and deadlines at work, getting stuck in traffic, our frustrations boiling over with our marriages, our hidden away secrets and hatred we harbor towards people in our lives, our parenting, our sense of worth. all of it?
He is our salvation. i'm praying you know Him as so....
and if you don't, i'll pray that He will make Himself real to you, and you would know Him as your only Hope and Salvation.
my prayer for us all is that He would stir longings in us & give us desires only He can satisfy.
may Jesus be our Source,
our All .
it is knowing who He is that, in turn, shows us our true identity as women, as lovers of Jesus, as livers who long to glorify Him on this earth with the lives we've been given.
our identity, part ii will unpack who we are because of who He is. that's next up on the blog.
i hope you come back, and i hope you feel welcomed here. i hope these words feel like a giant comfy quilt you can wrap yourself in. i also hope they feel a little bit like a pang in your spirit.
because i care about you.
and because God is pursuing you and simply put- He never gives up.
His love reaches down to you & to me for the length & breadth & depths of all of it.