I’m pretty tough. Sure, I cry a drop of a hat but that doesn’t deter from the fact that I am strong and confident. Because I love and believe so much in the mission of The Sparrow’s Nest I’ve tried to look into the future for anything that might cause it’s downfall. Right now that anything looks like me. And it’s because I’m strong and confident in myself.
God and I have been working through removing things in my heart and mind that might slow me down or keep me from obtaining everything He has planned for me. I had somewhat of a rocky childhood. Mental and physical disease in my family caused a chain of events that nearly broke my spirit as a little girl. Like most people, to protect myself from that deep pain and mistrust, I’ve put some kevlar strong armor over parts of my heart and mind that I’ve unfortunately allowed to merge into my very being. Again, you may want to picture Ironman here. Painfully but gloriously God has revealed it’s time to replace that armor fully with His.
I’ve been trying to really nail down and finalize our value statements for The Sparrow’s Nest. Of course since I’m writing them and they’re for an organization that I founded they tend to well, sound like things I might say. While I have no problem accepting them as important for the heartbeat of the organization, I was struck how much I’ve dismissed them personally. Here are 3 things God has revealed through this process of defining my own value statements.
1. I value all life.
From the thought of conception until the soul leaves the body I value this most unique life God creates in His beautiful hands. But for me it’s not just about a beating heart. God has shown me that if I really value life then I need to accept however it comes to me and however it leaves me. I am surrounded by beating hearts that come with their own quirks, and baggage, and hurts, and presuppositions. I need to accept that all life is not perfect especially with those beating hearts that share the same DNA as I do. I cannot dismiss any life just because that life doesn’t do what I think it should, when I think it should, or how. I confess that I have asked God to go ahead and take certain people off of this planet for my benefit. It makes me sick to my stomach to admit I allowed that much hate and hurt to rule my prayers. I can guard my heart because it is the well spring of my soul (Prov 4:23) but God is clear my love and forgiveness should be unlimited. If I truly value life then I have to value grace as well.
2. I offer my best
This one you may grimace at because it has been so short sighted in me. God has revealed this one to be sure mark of immaturity and inconsistency in my heart and mind. I expect the best in myself and others. Not perfection, just whatever you have to offer, make sure it’s your best. However, I don’t always offer my best because I hide behind the circumstances of my past. As much as I hate excuses I’m really good at making them up. I’ve also been extremely limited in accepting what may be others best or expecting a level of the best that they do not have in them. Because God has made us all unique we all have differing ideas of what our best is. Now, I do believe I have a valid argument that many, many people are not living to their full potential primarily due to fear and laziness (another topic, another day). I have learned again that I have to meet people where they are in order to have some level of understanding and empathy of who they are and what they have to offer. We are to offer our total being to God (Matthew 22:37) Because we are human, of course those gifts won’t be perfect. But God will take the best that we have to offer and use it for His purposes.
3. Christ is in the beginning, middle, and end of all I think, say, or do.
If this is truly who I say I am then everything I do must be covered in love, grace, and mercy because this is who Christ is to me. I don’t get to pick and choose who I apply these gifts to. They have been freely given to me so how I should not be able to stop myself from giving them as well. God tells us whatever we are doing, eating, drinking, living life to the fullest, or just trying to make it through the next hour that we are to do those things to His glory (I Cor 10:31). There blocks of time on my life line where I was severely wronged, mistreated, and abused. A lot of things slip past me but I don’t think I’ve blocked any memories of flogging or crucification. If my beautiful Jesus can forgive these horrendous acts in the middle of experiencing them I have no choice but to forgive as well. I have to choose to keep Christ in the center of all things so my gaze in set on him and not these circumstances.
I told you earlier to picture Ironman. Except I’m not Ironman and I don’t get a by on choosing who gets love and who gets grace and who gets forgiveness on this planet. I’m a trainwreck of a woman who God is continually forming into who He pictures me to be.
How is God shaping you today? What lies has He removed from your life so you can live abundantly?
Or here’s an easier one, Which Avenger would you be?
And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times having all that you need you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8