Tag Archives: transformed

Shift Change

3 Sep

 

It took many years for me to understand who Jesus is, who He said He is.  Surrender was difficult and honestly only happened from despair.  Religion had clouded the truth of the cross so completely,  it became about how we appear to the world, not the simple (yet so difficult) act of a sinner accepting Jesus as her savior.

I didn’t understand that Grace is Grace, that I don’t have to earn my salvation. My blessings are not earned. He doesn’t punish me, nor remove His blessings. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and for ever.“ Hebrews 13:8 

He already won the war I was still fighting. How many of us are trying to be good enough?  That belief didn’t do anything but frustrate me, because it meant my imperfection and sin kept me from salvation. I also had this hole, this place of loneliness, of not being enough, of anger at not being able to find joy, or peace. Happiness was fickle.

Until the night I surrendered the heartbreaking, defeating strive to earn His love, to being good enough, to just believing Him when He said, “My Grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 9).

He spent the next few years slowly healing me.  I had to spend that time with Him as well,  but I wanted to. I loved hearing the word in church, but also talking to Him. Learning to just sit and feel His love was healing all in itself. I suddenly began to not feel so alone.

I read the Jesus Calling devotional. It became my daily time to read, to meditate and to look up scripture.  Slowly, I began to be transformed. Slowly, I grew in understanding. Sin fell away as I went deeper. Lies became truths, resentments healed, forgiveness became necessary, and peace settled on my heart. I stopped reacting to the world and began seeking His calm when I didn’t have any, His hope when I felt hopeless, His love when I was feeling unloved.  I wanted to know Him more, I wanted to understand more.

As He healed my broken insides, there came the desire to share this amazing Hope. The hope from Grace is like none other. It became less about me, more about Him. The transformation continued. Even this sharing was still about me and my journey.
Slowly, that stopped being enough, purpose began to come to the surface. My time here on this earth, this time of grace and understanding wasn’t about me. My war had been won. My major transformation time evolved to my purpose here. I felt the need to share my testimony, what he did for me, my journey with Him, in the hopes that those caught between faith and doubt would understand what took me so long to learn and truly unlearn.

There is nothing you can do to earn it, there is nothing you can do to lose it. You are never too far gone to be saved. Never too perfect  to not need Christ to enter Heaven. Religion isn’t Faith. Religion tends to be about doctrine and laws. Christ fulfilled the Law. What the law does is create more sin, our world will show you just how much religion can get in the way of who Christ is.  If you believe in Him, you are saved. But! my gosh!… there is a rich and beautiful calling on your life. Not financial, not health, not perfect. Purpose. Healing. Hope. Joy. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Forgiveness.

What the total surrender to and acceptance of Grace creates is a place for Him to begin His work in you; the Holy Spirit enters and dwells upon your heart and you are never alone again. My cup overflows with the Joy of the Lord just writing this.  You have that calling, if you listen. That longing, that need. That is God. He is waiting on the steps, watching for his prodigal son/daughter to appear on the road a long way off… coming towards Him. He will run to you and embrace you from there.

You do have to surrender to Him. You must grasp that He truly died for you and because He did that, by your faith in the power of the cross, builds the bridge for what you can’t do for your self. Be sinless enough.

“Turning a car on but staying park, doesn’t get you anywhere. You have to put it into gear in order to move forward”. (heard on JoyFM)

John 3:16-20 (NLT)

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.

Romans 3:20-24 (NLT)

20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

Christ Took Our Punishment

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[a] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

 

 

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Changed

10 Apr

I saw an ad tonight for a beautiful kitchen. You know the one, state-of-the-art appliances, beautiful cabinets, gorgeous floor. I was shocked that I found no interest. I appreciated the beauty of it, but I didn’t desire it.

There was a time I would have poured over all the trend magazines, worked on new designs for the next dream home. Furniture, paint, colors, toys, clothing, designer bags… (Ok.. still love handbags, I am a work in progress). I realized, in that moment, how different I really am.

Transformation is not something we are ever aware of. How could we be? We are too self focused.

We zone in on our circumstances, our dreams, our people… our feelings. It is when we look back that we see how far we have come. Everything is changing so fast;I am changing so quickly. It’s weird to see this from an almost outside perspective. I have these challenges, these life altering times and hardships that are so swift in the processing. From shock, to fear to anger, to sadness, to seeing God’s hand, to seeing his plan, to hope, to joy, in a matter of days. I can’t explain this any more than this. I lost all I thought mattered and gained everything I didn’t know existed.

Who would have thought I would be this alive in Christ, this deep into my faith? I am the fun girl, the party girl. I am the woman with the controlling nature, the right and wrong, black and white side. Walking this path for Christ, by joining His Army..(did I know I was joining the Army?) we will suffer greatly as we struggle to let go of our version and plan for our life, and learn to embrace His version and plan for our life.

My passion has shifted so tremendously, what I value has changed completely. What gets me excited and what makes me afraid… completely different.
As I lose more and more of my attachment to the things of this world, my love deepens for the people of this world. Not so much their person, not who they are or what they do, but the soul of the person.

I love and miss what is familiar to me, my children, my family, my friends, and I am caught in this place that can feel so alone. My faith is so isolating at times, but that is my greatest Hope of all. He is leading me and I am following. Even as the pain of it settles in at times, He never leaves me alone in it. He has brought righteous, loving guidance. Gentle wisdom and loving friendship to lift me, to keep my eyes on Him with joyful faith.

There are no rules except to love the Lord. Love Him, seek Him and trust Him. The sinner will still sin. That’s okay. We grow and He will guide us where He wants us. Each path is so different, each lesson unique. No one path is greater than another, no need to compare.

I have learned that Faith, Trust, Hope, Forgiveness, Love, all the beautiful gifts of the Spirit, come in layers. Each layer of trial that is peeled back, is a new layer of healing. The best I can explain it would be a shower routine: We get mired down in the muck, we get dirty, we get weighed down. When you have had enough and are ready to be cleansed, you peel off this new layer of your struggles, (unforgiveness, injustice, heartbreak, fear, disappointment). You put that into the hamper to be washed clean by housekeeping. You step into the shower, letting the warm water comfort you, you slowly come to life. You slowly come clean and you feel refreshed. You step out and put on new clothes that have been chosen for you, bought for you. They are a gift. Sometimes it is simple clothing, sometimes it is rich garments with beautiful jewels. These are special items, they never need to be cleaned, you get to keep them and treasure them for ever and no one can ever steal them or take them from you.

That is the Love, Grace and Mercy of Christ. You are healed, made new, strengthened, surrounded, saved, by Him. You don’t even realize how far that Love will reach in until you begin that walk to find it. Suddenly, Grace walks in and everything is different. This makes me cry such tears of joy and gratitude. Jesus, the only name you need to know on a first name basis.

Luke 18
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”