Remember Who You Are

As I’ve been reading through the book, Unglued, I’ve been hit from so many different directions. I could easily say, “God is testing me in this area,” or, “The enemy sure is attacking me in this area.” Isn’t it funny how we pick one or the other in our circumstances? What is it that determines whether it’s God testing us or the enemy attacking us?

Honestly, I think it’s just something we Christians say when we really just don’t know what’s going on in our lives.

Does that mean God doesn’t use moments to test us? Absolutely not. God does test our faith at times, but just because something isn’t going our way, it doesn’t mean we’re being tested.

Does that mean the enemy doesn’t attack us? Absolutely not. The enemy does attack us, and sometimes our circumstances reflect those attacks. But just because something isn’t going our way, it doesn’t mean we’re being attacked.

Can it ever be that we are flesh, and we are sinners, and we are facing consequences of our actions that might have taken us off the path God intended?

Can it ever be that someone else, who is flesh and who is a sinner, is facing consequences of their actions, and we are being indirectly affected?

Can it ever be that it truly has absolutely nothing to do with our actions or the actions of someone we love but simply that we live in a fallen world where not everything is always perfect?

Whew. And breathe.

Right now, I’m smack in the middle of so many circumstances trying to force me to come unglued, and today I keep going back to something Lysa said in chapter 7. She talked about her family motto, Remember Who You Are. Today, God has continually placed this phrase in front of me as I have faced circumstance after circumstance after email after phone call after another email after circumstance. Life is playing a game of chicken with me, and life is out to win.

God keeps saying, “Remember who you are, Misty. You are not the unglued woman whose emotions dictate her actions. You are my child, filled with my divine nature and my strength, and with these things, you choose your actions based off of my gentleness, grace, and love.”

Then, he says, “Remember who they are, Misty. They, too, are my children. They may have forgotten who they are, so help them remember. They, too, are filled with my divine nature and my strength. They are to be given grace and love just as you have been given my grace and love.”

In these moments where I feel everyone around me is pounding on my door and my world is caving in, I have a choice to make. I can either lose my ever loving mind, as I have done so many times before, and yell and sulk and cry and slam and cry some more, or I can remember who I am and allow God’s divine and gentle nature to take over my actions.

Who am I?

God says I am created in his image and have been made new. He says that I carry his Holy Spirit inside of me and am able to utilize the supernatural love that comes only from him. According to God, I am not the woman whose emotions dictate her actions, and I can face these circumstance while lifting my hands in praise and thankfulness because I know God is in complete control of the situation. Therefore, I do not have to lose control.

I want to end with a paragraph from chapter 8 of Unglued.

Sometimes I find myself talking about God so much he becomes more of an identity marker than an identity changer in my life. Having God as an identity marker reduces him to nothing more than a label, a lingo, and a lifestyle — I’m a Christian so I talk like one and act like one. But having God as an identity changer is much, much more. It means I am no longer the person I was before, someone who comes unglued at minor things. I am making imperfect progress. Shifting, breaking away, and being chiseled. I am a woman whose identity has been changed by coming face to face with the one who has the power to completely transform me (p.125).

Allow God to be an identity changer in your life rather than an identity marker. It doesn’t change the circumstance, but it can certainly change how you respond in the midst of the circumstance.

Hide the Words in Your Heart

Memorizing scripture is what many of us learn to do from an early age. When I was a teenager I questioned why we were always memorizing verses but not really doing anything with them other than having contests to see who could recite the most verses from memory.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the importance of doing this. All throughout the bible, we are told how vital it is to know the word and live by the word. It is through reading over and again that we are able to memorize the word and truly hide it in our hearts like David talked about in Psalm 119:11.

In today’s world, it seems we Christians are always fighting for our faith. So many people want to rid the world of anything resembling Christianity, and there are already countries where it is illegal to read from a bible. By memorizing scripture and hiding those words in your heart, no one can ever take your bible away.

Click the link below to read more about a pastor in China who was imprisoned and how the scriptures he memorized as a young adult helped him stay sane and kept his faith strong.

Freedom to Memorize Scripture

Those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Moments

Have you ever had one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days? It seems like those are the times I feel defeated, broken, inadequate, disappointed in myself, and discouraged, and it’s so much easier for me to let my emotions take control of my actions.

My poor family gets to experience the brunt of these emotional outbursts because I try desperately to hold it in at work or in group settings. It doesn’t even matter what they do or say, but it seems I explode on the first person to say or do something that hits me the wrong way. Again I’ll say, “My poor family.”

This is something I’m working on, and it is definitely a baby-step work in progress.

Last Friday, I had one of those days. I honestly didn’t know what to do other than cry.

When I have days, or seasons, where things are just not going as planned, I find myself trying to use scripture to study whatever it is I’m going through.

Years ago, I had a very lengthy process to find scripture that speaks to me in those desperate times. If I had trouble with those feelings of defeat and inadequacy, I would look up anything I could in the Bible’s concordance regarding self-image, negative feelings about self, etc. Then, I would study all the scripture referenced and cross reference it with other scripture, and the process could drag on for days. I would usually get overwhelmed and give up after a while.

It wasn’t until a few years back that I realized there’s a much simpler way to dig into scripture during those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad moments in my life.

Just Google It!

It’s so easy to do this. Enter whatever topic you’re wanting to find scripture for. For example, I might enter, “Scripture when feeling defeated,” and get the following:

week-3-bible-tips-google-example-1

The first result gives a “dynamite” scripture to memorize and remember during moments where you’re feeling defeated.  The scripture is:

Isaiah 41:10
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
 Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (NLT)

I encourage you to use this simple tool in times where you feel yourself coming “unglued” or needing encouragement for things you are facing. God wants to deliver all of us from the emotions that take control of our actions. He wants our words to glorify him, but if you’re like me, I can assure you your words do anything but glorify him in those raw emotional moments.

Have you ever Googled your problems to find scripture to help you through them? If not, try it this week. Write down the scriptures you find and place them somewhere you’ll see them regularly. I like to write scriptures and encouraging words on the bathroom mirror for myself and my family to see first thing in the morning.

This is a great addition to what we talked about last week with Praying Dangerously.