Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Posted by Erin Posted on 1:46 PM | 1 comment

Chosen Series:Part 6

If you remember, in part 5 of this series, we talked about believing what Jesus says about us over listening to the crowd. Pretty awesome, right? I mean, we can know who we are. We can walk in complete security of the identity we have in Jesus. And how great is it that we all do this so easily?!

Ok. Let's be honest, that last part...the easy part...that isn't true. I wish it was. It would be amazing if we were all living out our days in the full confidence of who we were made to be. The truth is, very few of us are there. Most of us are taking steps shrouded by lies that others have spoken over us for years. Or maybe, and probably, lies that we have spoken over ourselves for years. I want to share with you my own struggle with such things. It's a day of vulnerability. Speaking of which, I saw a wonderful definition for vulnerability the other day. Doug Ferguson tweeted it, someone I follow retweeted it. "Vulnerability is when you deeply reveal yourself, legitimately desiring but never demanding a loving response". Uh. Yes. So my goal in sharing is not for pity or anything other than that I want you to know that you are not alone. I hope that you can learn from the things I am processing. I am a firm believer in learning from the hard lessons of others. Of course, there will always be an aspect of having to experience it for ourselves. There will always be work we have to do. 

In a conversation with a friend about what was keeping her in a job she wants to leave, we began to talk about what she can see herself doing. The question was posed, "What are your thoughts on the corporate world?" Her response was, "I just wouldn't fit there." She went on to talk about how she doesn't dress like she would need to, she doesn't communicate like they do, and ultimately, she wouldn't be able to do it. As she shared, I kept thinking about how deeply rooted the voices of her past are...the lies she's learned to walk in. And the Holy Spirit was whispering to me, "Erin, you are stuck too and you know exactly why." This was what came of my moment of clarity:

I think much of why we stay stuck in the lies is because of the method by which we try to free ourselves (not to mention that we are trying to free ourselves which will never work. Only Jesus can free the captive). There is something in us that believes that in order to not be captive to the lie of the identity we have always believed was ours, we have to take the complete opposite identity. For my friend, it would look like this: I am currently this way(however she sees herself) and this person cannot be part of that world (the corporate world). If I want to be a part of the corporate world, I will have to be the assertive, confident, force people to see and hear me, woman that is opposite of all I have ever been." For me, I realized that my struggle to be healthy was rooted in this very thing. The me that I remember has always been fat...even when I wasn't, that was the identity I lived in. I have, over the years, attempted to break those chains. I have started exercising, eating better, making wiser choices...I have shaken my fist to the puffy clouds of ice cream and vowed that "NEVER AGAIN SHALL YOU DEFEAT ME!!!!!" And a week later, I was sabotaging myself again and accepting my fate as the fat girl. Even this last summer I started running with some friends. I dislike running with my whole being. But, I started and I stuck with it for awhile. I was seeing results and tasting a tiny bit of freedom. And then my schedule changed. I got tired. I remembered that I hate running. And I quit. Resolved again to just find a way to fashionably hide the extra rather than get rid of it. 

The problem, I believe now, is not so much in my determination but in my belief of what I should be. You see, I was believing that in order to not be the fat girl, I had to become the girl who loves to run, who makes a home video of P90x before and after success, who blogs about eggplant and kale recipes and brownies made from spinach, black beans, and celery. In order to not live in the false identity I'd adopted, I would have to adopt a different false identity. But, I couldn't do it. I couldn't make myself be the runner girl or the healthy living author. I am not her. And because I could not be successful at being her, I would resign to be who I have always been. I do the same thing with other areas too, honestly, probably more than I am even aware of. (Holy Spirit, examine me, teach me.)

We can't be free from the chains we wear by trying on new chains to see if they look better. And as I said before, only Jesus can free us. But, also, as I said before, there will be work to do. If I want to rid myself of the lie of believing I am the fat girl, I will have to make some changes. Firstly, I will have to speak truth over myself. I will have to remind myself about who God is, that I am made in His image, that He loves me and made me purposefully. I will also have to surround myself with people who will speak truth over me and lovingly confront me about the lies I'm believing. Secondly, if I want to be healthy, I will have to do some things I don't love. I will have to sometimes run, even if I hate it. I will have to celery and kale and drink more water than coffee and soda. I will have to do P90x when I'd rather sleep or hang out with someone. I don't have to enjoy it. I may not ever love those things, but if I keep it up, I will start to see results, I will start to taste freedom. And I will love that. 

I don't know what lie you are believing. Maybe you feel like the invisible woman and think that if you could just learn to be the social butterfly instead of the shy one, that life would be better, people would love you. And to overcome that, you will have let Truth wash over you. And you will have to seek out community sometimes when you would rather be alone. You will have to invest intentionally in people when you would rather wait for them to come find you. You don't have to be the social butterfly but you will have to do some work. And when you start to find that your community is beginning to feel like a safe place, you will love the results even if the work was not fun. Maybe it's the lie that you are are not feminine and you think that in order to be a real woman you have to wear dresses and more makeup that you like and dangly earrings and that you have to be giggly and dainty all the time. Again, let Jesus get a hold of your heart and your mind. Then put the feet to the treadmill. You don't have to be a pageant girl to be feminine. You don't have to have a sweet little southern accent. But you may need to take a fair assessment and make some changes. Do you let the men in your life treat you like one of the guys? It can be fun and feel safe. But, you are not one of the guys. Start asking them to treat you like the woman you are. Ask by behaving differently around them. Let them be men: carry the groceries, hold the door, watch their conversation,etc...  I don't know what it is for you. But, I do know that we all have, do, or will believe lies about who we are and about who we have to be instead. I know it's easier to be resigned to the familiarity of the false identity than it is to let the Healer do some surgery and remove something that makes us feel like...well, us. It's hard. It hurts. It takes time. Recovering from surgery typically means we have to slow down. None of us really like to do that. Recovery means we have to ask for help. Again, not our favorite thing. And often, recovery means scars. Something we try to hide. But, friends, in slowing down, we find that we don't have to carry much of the weight of our daily lives as we  previously thought. In asking for help, we find that we are not alone and that we are, in fact, loved. And in the scars, there is beauty and hope and your story. Share your scars, your story. Others need you to. You need to. Because of Jesus, every scar is a story of redemption. And that is beautiful.

Questions for today:
1. What lie have you resigned to? What lie have you tried to adopt in order to undo the first?
2. Find a verse to start claiming over yourself. Share it with us.
3. What are some good work-it steps you can take this week? You know, the hard, not fun, but necessary things...

Happy Journey!



Alicia said...

Hey sister. Your post today was BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much for sharing your heart! This spoke a lot of truth to me as well so thanks for being vulnerable and sharing a piece of you.