The Many Faces of Family: March 2018
"The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor." Esther 8:16
Esther got to a time of light and gladness with joy and honor. As I pondered that verse, I realized that she honored others first. She released her agenda and body to her kings—to King God then the earthly king. She went all in. She accepted her lot. She had suffered the loss of her parents, yet she trusted God enough to open her hands and touch the King’s body with so much love, compassion and honor that he instantly was drawn to the essence of her and knew he would be a better man with her by his side.
Since Esther was a beauty queen, I don’t think I have ever aspired to being “like her”. Yet, I can honor my King when I touch my husband and kids with hands so surrendered to God that His healing energy passes through my skin to theirs. I can be fully present with them because my spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and body no longer are being pulled to other places to find my comfort and identity. This indeed is the “quiet” spirit—the one who emanates acceptance.
However this acceptance was a hard-fought battle……….
Being an extroverted, rambunctious, never get tired of talking girl has made me question my worth. After all, 1 Peter 3:4 says “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.”
Like Jacob I have fiercely wrestled with God and my earthly Father for the blessing of identity and self-worth. From my earliest memory, my life has been a struggle, and I had hated my name because it was a masculine name. Bitterness, the belief that God did not intervene the way He should have, caused me to believe that I could not trust God or anyone else to help me, be there for me, guide me, or affirm me. Like Jacob I was exhausted with my head up against a rock, when my Lord came to me and asked me to “let go”.
For years I have asked, “Let go of what”? The meaning of the name Jacob describes a person who is clever at finding a way around an obstacle. Jacob did not want to rely on his earthly father or heavenly father to bless him with provision and identity. Instead, he used self-protecting tools of manipulation, control, and deception. I deceived myself into believing that I was a good Christian who “trusted and relied” on God while I was trying to control everything and everybody around me.
Like Jacob something in me has broken. I am walking in a different way because I can now lean on my staff—I am turning to prayer and His Word as quickly as trouble arises and true comfort soothes me.
Isaiah 43 is real to me because I have accepted it on all levels—spirit, soul, body.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43
To surrender the burning desire for God, people, and myself to do what I have decided is the “right thing” is a hard-fought battle. Jesus said in John, that He only said what God told Him to say and how to say it. Pressing into solitude in order to hear God then obeying what He says do is so terribly hard when your flesh, others, and the enemy are putting competing thoughts in your head.
I have come to be very grateful and praise God for the gift of His precious Spirit that stays with me, allowing me the grace and time to find my balance, as I limp along. May we be ever diligent to pick each other up daily, believing more in His ability, than our own. I will not be deluded any longer—the potholes covered by water are in my road, so I am learning to welcome and will rely on my staff and my guides, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and trustworthy, believing brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our New Series: The Many Faces of Family
Each and every story matters. We all have a need to be seen, known and welcomed to come and share our part. Each month, we will share stories and interviews of those who are living out their journey of healing to say, “We believe God can transform our pain into compassion for others.” Join us as we learn more about brothers and sisters, parts of the community of Christ, who share who they are, where they’ve been, some of the mess, and what it takes to journey home again.