Cultivating My Spirit

To God be the Glory

To God be the glory.

I wish to begin with the full understanding that I give all the glory and credit to God for the woman He has created me to be and for the woman He is continually forming me into.

I’m in awe of how He has designed and chiseled me according to His vision and plan. I am amazing! I am wonderful! And I have the capability of being fully authentic and absolutely fearless!

Emotionally, I was chased into hiding a number of years ago. Slowly, over the last couple of years I have struggled to bring my full being fully into the light. All of me, all at once – continually and persistently – into the light. I didn’t think I had any appreciation for the darkness until I began to explore the illusion of my own invisibility. I could sit back and watch life happen to others. I could give myself time to sulk over my wounds. I could plan and fantasize about a more perfect tomorrow… thereby minimizing the triumphs and worries of today.

When did I begin to believe the lies about me? When did I first believe, like a memory, the false image of what my life would be? When did I stop appreciating my own power? When did I stop recognizing my own beauty? Wonder of wonders, I am here! Of all the impossibilities in the world, I have developed a voice that has cowed and destroyed demons attached to my life and banned them from my present and my future. Of all the unthinkable happenings in the world, a neglected and forgotten girl-child grew into a fiercely independent and productive woman who seeks to love and nurture those in her care.

We look to others for safety and security, but humans are not equipped to give each other the safety and security we truly need. We yearn for partnership and community, but each can demolish our awareness of our true self. A good portion of my youth was wasted waiting for someone to rescue me from a living nightmare. Then one day, God provided an opportunity for me to be my own hero. He rescued me, but He GAVE ME the will to stand up and walk, opportunity to reach out and seek helpers, and the voice to speak against the violent oppression in my life. When I look back on what I thought my heroes would look like throughout my life – mom, dad, uncles, aunts, grandmothers, a husband, education, faith, fitness, a good salary – I am relieved that none ever lived up to my needs. For if they had, they may become idols in my heart and mind. Instead, when I look back on how I escaped and survived disasters throughout my life, I see the weak little girl, the awkward teenager, and the lonely solitary woman (internal images of myself) who decided to get up and walk through the doors God opened for her. I see me guided and protected by my Heavenly Father.  The only one able to make a way through cement boxes thrown into the deep sea of hopelessness. I have learned through the long years of my desert crossing that God provides beyond the needs of our human relationships and beyond our understanding of His master plan. In my relationship with my Father God, through His Son Jesus, and by His Holy Spirit, there is nothing I lack.

There are battles He fights for us and there are battles He sends us into for victory in His name for His Kingdom. Our job is to learn to hear the difference… discern our obligation to His instruction. Nothing we encounter or overcome is for our lives alone. Our Heavenly Father has made it His business to build victorious warriors. Know your battle. Learn your strengths. Keep praises to God on your lips and songs to Him in your heart.

There is so much that could be missing from my life… if I choose to focus on the emptiness. Yet, there is so much that is so amazingly awesome when I choose to focus on the fullness instead. Each step of our process and growth is a choice. Don’t believe the lie that where you are is where you are meant to stay. Don’t eat the lie that what you have is all you are meant to keep. Don’t internalize the falseness that who you are today is all you will ever be. You are created to BECOME so much more. Today is a building block for tomorrow. Embrace the fullness of today – opportunities to love, deepen your faith, embrace heartache and joy, share your story, be hospitable, offer refreshment – whatever today has for you to receive or give, do that… so tomorrow, you will answer similar opportunities with the wisdom of experience and the patience of a teacher.

To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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