My Family

My Family

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Finding My Identity

            Today is my 27th birthday. I have always loved birthdays and thought they were special. I have always celebrated my birthday by reflecting on the past year of my life. However this birthday feels different than all the others. This year I appreciate my birthday more than ever before. Maybe this is because I understand, in a more complex way, the beauty of life. I understand that birthdays are never a guarantee. I understand that every year, every month, every week and every day of life is truly a gift from God that we far too often take for granted. I am hit by the reality that I could not have made it to this birthday. My number could have been up at 26. The truth is though that reality has been true every year of my life, this is the first year I have truly contemplated it and not taken it for granted. During my 26th year, I lost the life of our precious baby and nearly lost my own life as well. How much more so do I realize that life is beautiful and to be treasured? 

            I know that God has a purpose for me to stay on this earth a little while longer. This past year I have struggled with the feeling of losing my identity. I had wrapped up my identity into my ministry and mission work with refugees in the apartment complex we lived in. When all that was stripped away, I felt devastated. Who was I? Who am I now? I lost all my labels. God is continuously trying to teach me that when we place our identity into the things we do, where we live, our job, our relationships or any other thing of this world we will be unsatisfied. All of these things are subject to change and could be taken away at any moment and if that happens the results are devastating. There is no identity of this world that is permanent and constant. 
            I am learning that there is only one identity that can never be taken away from me. There is only one identity that never changes and that is the identity I have found as part of the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. I have been called a daughter of the King and in this I am secure. I have been given new life and freedom in Him.  I am loved unconditionally. I have been forgiven of every mistake I've ever done. I am given a purpose and hope to live for.  If I find my identity and security in Him, I am confident that will never change. 
            May my 27th year be a year for growing closer to the one who gives me life!
Happy Birthday to me :)

          Where do you find your identity? Watch this short youtube video if you would like to hear more!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsDQEb-qlyM

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Deception of Fear.

Definition of Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. 
           I have experienced this unpleasant emotion way too often in the past months. I had begun to think that I had conquered fear and that I was on an upswing in that area. However I began new counseling in April and through this counseling I quickly discovered that fear still had a strong grip on my life. Through much talking, I learned that I am most fearful of what could happen to me in the future. I found myself saying "that I could never handle anything like this again" . I found myself saying " There is no way I would be prepared or strong enough to go through another traumatizing experience". It occurred to me that I have absolutely no control over and no guarantee that I will not have anything else happen to me again. This thought paralyzed me with fear.  However, God reminded me of a conversation that my husband and I had within a week after I was attacked... It went a little something like this........

                 It was a beautiful quiet starry night. Dan and I were sitting on the trampoline talking about and reflecting the events of the past week. We were both still in shock that such a tragedy had occurred in our lives. We were grateful for my life being spared and that we were together. I was still feeling the amazing grace of God in my life and felt such an overwhelming peace around me.  I had heard stories and read the verses about the grace of God that surpasses all knowledge, but it wasn't until that time that I finally understood the true meaning.As  I was reflecting on that grace,  I felt God speaking to me. He told me that if I had known about my attack a few days before, I would never have thought God's grace would have been enough for me that day. I would have lived my days in fear. Interestingly, My biggest fear was not being raped or attacked before this time. My biggest fear was that something terrible would happen to my husband. I joyfully exclaimed that I feel blessed that this was the suffering upon me and not my biggest fear of losing Dan. Dan looked in my eyes and I realized that for the first time Dan's biggest fear had actually come to fruition. With tears in his eyes he looked at me and told me that he would never have expected to feel such joy and peace in his heart in the midst of the greatest struggle he could have imagined. We talked that night about how fear is truly deception from the enemy to make us believe that whatever we fear is too big for God's grace in our lives.  When we live our lives in fear, we ignore the promise of grace in our lives. We claim that He is not enough for us and focus on our own strength. What a revelation this was as we were in the midst of God's grace being poured out on both of us. 

                     
                       I had forgotten this memory all too quickly. This revelation of what fear really is had brought so much peace into my life, but I had lost hold of this in the recent months. More than ever before, fear gripped me. I was so focused on not letting something like this happen in my life again. I walked in fear, checking every lock twice, looking behind me, and carrying my pepper spray and cell phone close at hand. However, I could do everything "carefully" and "right" but still never guarantee that danger would not come my way. I must trust in God's plan and sovereignty over my life. Fear is deception!  God promises us that His grace is sufficient for all our needs. I have experienced first hand how when fear turns into a reality, God is there with an abundance of grace and mercy to carry us through. We must realize that he does not give us a stockpile of grace to save up in case of an emergency. Although this would be ideal, he chooses to wait until the exact time we need it and give it to us in full. This is the reason we cannot fear future tragedies and sufferings. We are not given the grace to handle those today, but only if and when they do come. 
Do I still struggle with fear? Of course I do, but daily I am surrendering it to Christ and asking him for his strength to trust him. I cannot trust in his promises on my own strength. I will fail every time.  Praise God for his amazing grace. 
                                         2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.