Am I Enough?

Am I Enough?

Am I Enough?

As I sit tucked away in the corner of my favorite coffee shop, I’m in the midst of one of my guilty pleasures…people watching. Scanning the room I see the young college student in his jeans and t-shirt chillin’ by the window, sipping his cup of coffee, and zoned out with his earbuds while his books sit untouched. Then at the big table in the center of the room is the group of housewives dressed in the latest fashion chatting about the best restaurants in town. Over at the private corner table are the two older women who have met to talk about something deeper as one of them leans in toward the other to hold her hand and comforts her.

Then all of a sudden…time stops…SHE WALKS IN…the woman whose appearance is close to perfect. She’s wearing the latest designer heels, has seemingly perfect legs, a skirt that shapes her as if it was tailored only for her, every hair on her head is in the right place, her flawless skin and commercial smile cause everyone in the room to take notice for at least a second but for most, longer than a second. She acts like she doesn’t even notice or care that she grabbed the attention of close to everyone in the coffee shop. She scans the menu like it’s an average day and an average moment for her. I sit there in awe thinking, what would that be like?

It’s THAT type of woman that starts to mess with my head. Why? Because I know I’ll never be like that. I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum from THAT woman. If I could, I would wear t-shirt and jeans, tennis shoes, and a ball cap every day for the rest of my life. And most days, I do! When I see women like that, I start to cut myself down, how I fall short of what our world tells us is beautiful. She oozes femininity and beauty….what a woman is supposed to be like, right? As if flipping a switch, I quickly fall into the trap of feeling “not enough.”

But then my spirit gently reminds me, there’s good news for women “like me”…God makes clear in His word about who I am! Believe it or not, today I’m grateful I’m not THAT woman in the coffee shop. Why?

1. BECAUSE HE KNOWS MY NAME– Let me state that again…DSC_0019

THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE KNOWS MY NAME. He knows tomboy Christy from Arkansas. From the beginning of time to eternity, He knows ME. I can hardly wrap my head around that fact alone. God took time out of His busy schedule and thought about ME…down to every intricate detail of my being.

Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being, you knit me  together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Vs16 “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

And in Matthew 10:30 – Jesus says, “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

In Isaiah 43:1The Lord says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

2. I AM CHOSEN and I AM HIS CHILD– The mere facts that HE CHOSE ME and calls me HIS CHILD makes my stock go UP…and up FAST!

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

I am a child of the King Romans 8:16 says“The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

To me, there’s nothing more valuable in this world than God calling me His child. He is declaring I am His and I get to be with Him for eternity. There is no greater gift or VALUE than that!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life.”

3. GOD HAS GIVEN ME SPECIFIC GIFTS and TALENTS I have a specific role designed by God to carry out for His purpose! That role was set up way before I ever came on the scene.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says, There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. NOW TO EACH ONE the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common good.”

destroyer Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God designed me with specific gifts for HIS PURPOSE. THAT woman in the coffee shop can’t fulfill what I’m supposed to fulfill. I’m designed to fulfill a completely different role for His Kingdom than she is, and she is designed to fulfill a role tailored specifically for her as well.

I’m grateful I’m not THAT woman. God knows my name, He has given me gifts and a role specifically tailored to ME, and He has chosen ME in ADVANCE to do those works, and above all, I AM HIS, a child of the one True King.

Bravegirl Jennifer says, “A woman’s armor comes in all designs.” Today, I like God’s design of me. I don’t want to dismiss, criticize, or compare His workmanship any longer. God’s word says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Thank you God for creating ME. Thank you God for creating the person reading this right now. I urge you, reader, to dwell on these scriptures so that you don’t forget how amazing you are. You’re amazing because God created YOU. You are here because He CHOSE YOU to be here for this particular time in history for this generation. You have a purpose that no one can fulfill but YOU! Now THAT is amazing!

Will you join me? Will you tell God thank you for creating you? Will you ask Him how you can fulfill His design for your life? Let God show you what He can do with YOU, His workmanship, which is always enough.

God Bless,

Christy

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Healing Secrets

Healing Secrets

Deep, dark secrets.   No one has to know.    My secrets are not hurting anyone as long as they just stay here with me.
So what’s the point of sharing them?  I don’t get it.

Those were my thoughts as I sat across from my sponsor at her patio table one summer morning. I was working on what was probably my tenth cigarette of the hour– smoking like a train because #1, I loved cigarettes, and #2, we were talking about things that took me out of my comfort zone quickly.

We were discussing some things I had never shared with anyone, ESPECIALLY the people I respected the most… my parents.  They just happened to be coming into town that day to visit and celebrate with me my one year sobriety birthday.  My sponsor looked me in the eye and with a concerned, loving look said, “I think you need to tell your parents about everything. It’s eating your lunch.”

I looked at her straight in the eye and with a tone of determination and authority,  said, “No F’ing way in hell.”

In those days, the “F” bomb for me was quite common.  I was struggling in my recovery. I was depressed and couldn’t get out of it.  After throwing the “F bomb” in her face, she gently said, “Ok, how about this…go home, get on your knees before God, pray about it, and if you still feel this way, don’t talk to them about anything.”

I said, “Ok. I can handle that.” After all, I wasn’t agreeing to anything. Talking to God about it was not a problem at all. I could do THAT!

Walking back in the door of my duplex, I went straight to my bedroom and fell on my knees and started to cry. No…I actually started sobbing…overwhelmed with fear: fear of rejection…rejection from the two people I respected most in this world, full of frustration wondering why this was so important to say… couldn’t I just repent and let my past stay in the past?

“LORD THERE IS NO WAY I CAN DO THIS!  IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO, YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO DO IT.  I CANNOT DO THIS!  THERE IS JUST NO WAY!

Leaning against my dresser, I felt hopeless. Then, I heard it…coming from the kitchen: my sobriety song…the one I’d listen to when I felt discouraged.

My ipod was on the charger and I’d left it on shuffle that morning. It had been playing all morning from the time I’d left my house to go to my sponsor’s, until now. I hadn’t touched it. There were about 1,500 songs on my ipod and I was amazed THAT particular song started playing.

The next song right after that was “Happy Birthday.” It was my sobriety birthday! I sat there in awe of the two “random” songs I had just heard on SHUFFLE and hope started creeping in through those fearful tears. That defensive attitude I displayed just a short while ago started to soften.  Music is one of the most powerful ways the Lord touches me and He got my attention that day. He got me good.

Getting up, I walked into the kitchen and stared at my ipod.  The next song that came on began with these words:

I’m forgiven, because you were forsaken, I’m accepted, you were condemned. I’m alive and well, your spirit is within me, because you died and rose again. Amazing love, how can it be, you my King would die for me? Amazing Love, I know it’s true, it’s my joy to honor you in all I do, I honor you.”

If there was anything I needed to hear, it was those first words: “I’m forgiven.”
Then the next line… “I’m accepted.”

Wow, how powerful those words were to me in that moment. God was showing me that  the outcome of this conversation with my parents didn’t matter.  I am forgiven and accepted by Him.  HE is my security.  I started to cry again and said, “Ok God, I’ll do it.” I couldn’t believe how my mind had changed so quickly. All of a sudden I had total peace. I had the strength to do it.  Just leaving that small door open of praying to God made all the difference.

Our Story Not in Isolation

My parents showed up not long after. We sat and talked for over an hour and I confessed, making amends with them.  They were so gracious to me and we even prayed together when it was over.  I realize that other people do not always have the same grace given to them as my parents showed me that day and I will forever be grateful for that. But even if they had not responded in a grace filled way, walking in obedience to God was what had to take place in order for my healing to begin.  It still would have been worth it.

Because of my confession and amends, a new freedom and a new power rose up in me, leading to more healing. So THAT’S WHY His word says we are to confess our sins– so that we may be healed!

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16 paraphrased)  In other words, healing starts with CONFESSION. And you know what? The more I tell my testimony, the more freedom I receive EVERY TIME.

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There would be many more moments like this one in the years that followed and God would continue to show up and walk beside me during those steps of obedience. The more steps I took, the more freedom and confidence I would receive. I started experiencing His faithfulness, His peace, His joy, self-control, and His love. I started getting into His word and actually applying it to my life. Getting a taste of the fruit of His spirit only made me hungry for more. I realized THAT was the fruit I had been seeking for so long that I just never could find. I was just looking in all the wrong places.

As a result, today I no longer walk in shame or guilt over my past mistakes. I don’t have to keep secrets for fear of rejection from others. I realize that my purpose on this earth is to GLORIFY HIM. Because God is the center of my life, I’m able to accept His grace for the times I mess up and then make it right with the people I’ve hurt,  Experiencing Him overrides all my fears of not measuring up or worrying about what other people think.  It’s so much sweeter that I’ll take the risk.

Now the question remains…will you take the risk? I hope you will…because YOU’RE WORTH IT. Join me in risking it all for Him. He is faithful and waiting.

God Bless!

Christy