Be Still, Quiet

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Every May my voice box seems to take a vacation. Not kidding. I can literally feel it disappearing. So, last week, it started packing. I get this tickle in the back of my throat, it's not painful, it doesn't hurt, it just feels different. Eventually over the course of a week I lose little by little until eventually you cannot hear me at all.

This started last Wednesday. Let me say too, that I hate losing my voice. I'm a talker naturally (what woman isn't?) but I also love to sing and worship and when I lose my voice I typically lose all of it so even trying to talk is a bit painful because it's straining my vocal chords.

I found it intriguing though that my voice would start disappearing during a week where I began to speak privately some things over my life that I ought not too. I started saying things to myself like, "You are not a good enough mom. You are not a good enough photographer, you will never make it." During this time others were speaking these things into my life; some of those "other people" were close friends or even family members. Isn't it something when those you think are for you seem to turn so quickly against you?

I felt like I went from a run to a crawl. Within a day. How could someone so confident become so doubtful? What would others think of me if they knew that I wasn't always confident or happy? I'm not perfect, but I always feel this pressure of seeming to be. I don't want something I'm struggling with to deter others from the Lord I only want to allow my life, words and actions to bring people closer to Him. I believe this is my biggest purpose.

Well. God understands and knows that I'm not perfect. Still I took the words and promises God had placed over MY life and said, "Look God, it's not enough. I'm not enough. I don't believe you." 

BOOM. Voice gone.

Luke 1:19 "And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. BUT behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe MY words which will be fulfilled in their own time."

I'm not the only one who doubts. Lets break this down. Zacharias was doubtful that his wife would bear a child because they were old and his wife had been barren. I love Gabriel's reply. He so firmly and lovingly told Zach (that's what it's abbreviated too right?!) that what was meant to be a day filled with glad tidings and joy was now going to be a quiet day for him because he had doubted and because God simply did not want him to speak anything negative any further not just on him, but his wife and son.

See, that's the thing. When God calls you to something or brings you through something He does it in His own time. Not yours. Just because you cannot see it this moment doesn't mean it's not going to happen. In my own case I was doubting my entire existence basically (or my talents) and God was DONE with it. God will only put up with our whining for so long before He quiets us.

Using our doubting words doesn't just affect us either. It affects many of those around us. In Zach's case it would affect Elizabeth as well as his coming son John. The Lord had a very special plan and anointing for John and He was not going to allow Zach to speak anything else over Elizabeth and John that would hinder this calling or purpose.

It is in our times of quiet that we learn & grow the most. Great creative and wise scholars gained most of their wisdom through times of observation. We must learn to see. Not just speak. During the last week God silenced me and told me to be quiet. He wanted me to see something I was missing, hear something I really needed to hear, and He simply wanted me to stop speaking poorly over my life.

So, today, do you feel like you're crawling in your circumstance? Are you wondering why God hasn't picked you up off your belly? God uses those times with our faces in the dirt, with our eyes wide, and our mouths closed, to strengthening our walk. And then before you know it you are running and than jumping. Be encouraged friends and keep going.

Be Blessed,


Who Does He Say That You Are?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Part of my life I allowed others to speak things about me, over me, and to me that were inaccurate. I've shared my identity struggle with you before in pieces but lately God has been revealing to me all types of amazing things about what His word says about our identity in Him.

So part of my story is damaging because most times it was men that I would allow to speak these negative things. Men would degrade my personality, my physical style and dress, my dreams; the enemy knew that I had a sensitive spot for my affirmation from them and thus used these guys to try and tear me down. 

For a while it worked. I had these horrible conflicting thoughts of whether I was ever going to be good enough. Am I a good enough mom? Woman? Dresser? Photographer? I was told a lot that no one would be able to love me in a certain way because I was just too much. I would love too deep and that I would never find someone who could love me in this way. That it would always be a lonely road. My ex-husband used to say that no one would love me because I had a child, literally trapping me in fear with him.

It was completely exhausting.

As I came up out of this God would bring people into my life that were going through the exact same thing. I realized that too many people allow others to define who they are. I heard countless of stories from both men and women who were trapped in depression over their identity because someone had said they weren't meant to be a musician, that they were  not being a good house wife or friend, etc. I'm a burdened in the area of identity and believe that many of what stresses we face are because we are not solid in who we are in Him.

God brought me to a very well known verse in Luke. 

Luke 9:18-20 

And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 

So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.” 

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 

Here we see Jesus talking to His disciples about His own identity. He is asking them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" 

Lets stop there. Isn't this what a lot of people say about themselves as well? You can find a teenager saying, "Who does my boyfriend/girlfriend say that I am? Or my parents or teachers?" You get up in age and than you are asking, "Who does my wife say that I am? My kids?" It's a consistent season of change. You think you are solid but really your identity changes with each season because we find ourselves allowing different people in the different seasons of our lives to define us.

Than Jesus goes on to say, "But who do YOU say that I am?"

We know that it was the Spirit that revealed to Peter what Christ' true identity was. And in that same way God wants to reveal to you, for certain, what your identity in Him is. 

Just within this past week God used this verse to say, "Who do I say that you are?" Instead of asking others and pulling from others we have to pull from Him. The closer we get to Him, the more we find out who we are. 

If you were only leaning in on your motherhood and than you lost your own only child, you would in essence lose your identity. 

I'm in a season of life where my identity has never been so real to me. Even my physical style in clothing, something I always struggled with, just now naturally comes to me. The confidence I have in myself, even when I'm struggling with doubt, is truly freeing. When you are solid in Him, you doubt yourself less because you are hearing Him more.

I encourage you today. Write down the names of five people who have spoken five negative thoughts over you concerning your identity. Write down what those things where and then give them back to God. Rid yourself of them. You could even burn the paper as a symbol of your letting go. Than sing, "Let it go!" (Kidding). 

I cannot wait to hear your stories of forgiveness and freedom.

Be blessed,