Mar 31, 2014

A New Story

Our whole family was sick this week.  The yucky, middle of the night, throw-up kind.  And we all got it one by one.  It was a looooong week.  Luckily I got it after the kids did.  Not so luckily, I definitely had it the worst of us all. So we spend a lot of days holed up, TV watching, doing a whole lot of nothing.  I had some time on my hands.

I was reading in Ephesians and thinking about who I am as a person.  We all have a story.  Some lovely, some not-so-lovely, and we all have a narrative that we live by.  Here is what I found in my Bible.  I found who I am.  Do you know who you are?  
And also, this is who I am NOW.  Not someday when I manage to get myself a little closer to perfection.  My house is a wreck after this week, the kids are fighting, people are puking, there isn't a stitch of makeup on this face, and here I am. And if I go back into my life even farther, I find a path littered with secrets and shame and masks. But I don't find a need for a mask in these verses. I find more than just acceptance.  I find the mask stripped, and a new life given full of grace and an abundance of love. I don't find any "if, then" statements.  When you are perfect, then...Nope.  It's now.  I am living in God's kingdom as His beloved child even now.  I have dumped all those secrets, failings, and masks into the King's lap and He has redeemed them. I have come trembling, expecting the King to act as our often too human church or even myself, with judgement, and found only love.  And then He invites me to dig a little deeper and I find more of my true self only to hold it up to His light, and again, I am loved and slowly transformed.  His truth is rooted in grace.  It's such a sweet love.  I have discovered it's like nowhere else.  How can anyone else manage to love me that completely in my shortcomings and at the same time breathe truth and transformation so completely?

It seems me that as I start talking to God about my shortcomings, I see myself before Him in my mind's eye.  He is usually standing somehow in front of me, taller than me.  As I talk I let my confusion pour out.  I am reminded of scriptures.  We discuss my joys, frustrations, and lows. I wonder if He shares the same joys, frustrations and lows about me. Are we seeing the world the same? I ask Him that we might. And somehow, by the end of my prayers, He is around me.  Instead of being in front of Him, I am centered in Him.  Like a child, curled up on her Father's lap.  

 I highlighted it all in blue in my Bible (I always go with blue for some reason), but in case you missed it, here ya go:
You are: Blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, loved, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, given wisdom, united to Christ, heirs, sealed as a promise, God's own possession.
So is this your story?  This is my story.  
If you are feeling forgotten, far away, unloved, shamed, a failure, or unworthy, God says, "Let me tell you your story, dear one."  This is your story.  This is your truth.
I made a little subway art.  It's an 8x10 size.  If you click on the picture, you should be able to save it to print it.  It's yours.  I put mine on my inspiration board until I find a better spot for it.  Right above the card my sister sent me of a Mom whose house it falling apart while she sips coffee in the kitchen.  It made me laugh so hard then, and it makes me laugh so hard now.  Because you see, that's me.  A straight up disaster but for the parts that the grace of God is redeeming little by little.
 Do you know your story?  If not, go back over Ephesians 1 yourself.  If you call yourself a child of God, then that's your story.  Any other just isn't the truth.