More ponderings.

My 9 days away from the blog have been spent pondering.  Well, they've been spent driving the kids places, home schooling, cooking, chatting, and all kinds of other things.  But, my mind has been pondering.

The hour I spend downtown with Carson each Tuesday has become a time of great renewal for me.  He runs, and I think.  In the noisy quiet of city buzz, I'm able to steal away into myself.  It's perhaps the highlight of my every week.  I'm an extrovert in the truest, most textbook ways, but this one hour-long conversation with myself allows me the interaction that keeps me moving.

I walked and pondered your words about this blog and its purpose.  That led me to pondering me and my purpose.  Which, ultimately, led me to a place of deep gratitude for this place I'm in.  Not just Panama City, Panama, but also the place I'm in with my journey through life.

I'm sure part of it is being okay with being an adult,   I'm even more sure that an even bigger part of it is walking in deeper relationship with Jesus.  For the first time ever, I recognize that I'm not the sum of my failings.  I'm not the picture of "not good enough."  I'm not just a mess.

My value isn't measured in what I can do, who I know, or how useful I am. 

No, my value is complete and perfect in the love of Christ.  And, I have had the privilege of spending the past three and a half years diving deeper in what the Truth means for my reality.  For me, it brought freedom.  And total redemption.

I used to believe (because church people taught me) that Tony's job as an accountant for a secular corporation wasn't good enough for God.  We have received congratulations from people who mention "at least" Tony has "earthly success."  I used to shy away from church functions because people would ask me what Tony did for a living, and I really wanted to say something holy like missionary,  but all I had to offer was accountant.  

I now have the freedom of rejoicing that God is using my exceedingly-gifted (and handsome) husband in the corporate world.  And the freedom to know that God desires Tony in that job.  The job isn't less than.  It's perfectly within God's perfect will.

I used to live in constant fear of a god who was constantly looking to destroy me for my mistakes, sins, and short comings.  More than that, I used to have the constant frustration of forever failing, in my strength, to be anything God would desire.

Freedom has brought the total understanding that God's love isn't changing.  It isn't affected or altered by my behavior.  

**Did everyone get that?  We're running over that one again because my guess is some of you don't get it.  And, that's okay.**  

Think about the highest point in your faith journey.  That moment when you were thrilled because you knew that you had done the right thing for the right Reason.  Okay.  You there?  Now, think about how much God loved you in that moment.  Got the warm feeling?  Perfect.

That's exactly how God loves you all the time.  ALL.THE.TIME.   Just let that one soak in deep.  And, stop arguing with me about it.  God cannot love you more, and He will not love you less.  Ever.  Period.  Done.

Freedom to know that God has given me power, through the working of the Holy Spirit, to walk out everything He desires of me.  This march toward holiness that we're all on?  We're all going to fail in our flesh.  And God knew it!  The Holy Spirit marches with us- not as a brutal tyrant ready to rip you to shreds for your sin- but as a constant companion and comforter to encourage you through the battle.

I now sleep at night.  And breathe deeply during the day.  I celebrated my birthday this past Sunday, and I don't think any purchased present compares to living without fear or shame.  And, the superest, coolest thing is that freedom is totally available to everybody.

No one needs to live in a state of shame.  Or of fear.  Or of guilt.  You don't have to believe that God just needs more out of you.  Or that doing more or giving more will make Him love you more.  Nope.  You can breathe deep, too!

I was talking with my 1:00 am friend the other day (at 11:00 pm).  She said the sweetest thing.  I'm sharing it not because I want to brag, but because I want to promise you that you can be different.  She told me, "Lisa, I met you right after you moved to Panama.  And, I know that the you of now wasn't the you of then."  

This isn't about beating up the old me or glorifying the new me.  It's about recognizing that the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow has mercy enough to accept me as I am today, and love enough to not leave me that way.   And the journey- in the long term- doesn't bring discouragement but freedom.

Cue another deep breath.


Anonymous said…
I love reading your posts. You are not only entertaining, but inspiring! There are people like me out there that wonder sometimes if we are doing enough for God to love us. Your words are comforting. Keep writing, and I'll keep reading, and taking deep breaths of my own!

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