Identity in Christ

One of my favorite authors is Lysa Terkeurst; I follow her blog and have read many of her books.  A while ago, she interviewed her pastor, Steven Furtick about his new book, “Crash the Chatterbox.”   I remember he had so many amazing things to say so I bought his book.   To be completely honest, his new book sat on my nightstand for many months. Can anyone relate to that?? Love how God’s timing is always perfect. About 2 months ago, a friend and I were talking about how easily negative thoughts can enter our mind and distract us from our purpose. As I was looking for a way to encourage her, I saw this book sitting on my nightstand.   I opened it up and read the insert about the book, it said, “Inside your head and heart is a chatterbox. Its lies are keeping you from realizing your God-given potential. The voice you listen to will determine the future you experience. Learn how to Crash the Chatterbox… and Hear God’s Voice Above All Others.”   Wow- this was exactly what we both needed to hear so we started reading the book and it was amazing- totally recommend it to all of you to read!

In his book, Steven focuses on 4 key areas that debilitate us: insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement. I thought I would start today with some of the profound truths that I have learned about insecurity from his book:

He talks about how important it is that we know our identity in Christ and how this is not dependent on anything we do or cannot do. God says we are his masterpiece, loved, redeemed, valuable, fearfully and wonderfully made…. Again, none of this has to do with our performance. This is just who we are in Christ and by focusing on these qualities, we can crash the chatterbox in our minds that say the opposite.   Sometimes we may feel defeated and I love this one part of Steven’s books because he gives examples of how we may be feeling frustrated or down but then states a truth or promise of who we are in Christ- so powerful!

  • I don’t like myself very much in this moment but I am loved.
  • I don’t seem to be gaining much ground in this battle but I am more than a conqueror.
  • I don’t have a lot of confidence in myself right now, but I am strong and courageous.
  • I don’t know how to fix this part of my life but I am healed and whole.
  • I don’t know how long I’ll continue to struggle with this sin, but I am forgiven and free.

How do I know?   Because God says I am.

Ladies, I hope this message encourages you! I know it is so freeing to know that God loves me and accepts me just as I am that I don’t have to do anything more to earn his love. God loves each of you so much. Tell yourself today that you are valuable, loved, accepted and His Masterpiece!! I want to end with this great quote from his book, “The chatterbox cannot control the thoughts and trajectory of the child of God who faces each day with this attitude: I have nothing to prove, because I am already approved.”

Love, Jodi

Vulnerability

I have heard the word vulnerable multiple times in the last day.  To me, this word means being completely authentic and open; sharing the real you!    However, being vulnerable can have 2 results:  you can receive judgment from others when you show the real you or the real you can offer encouragement to others.   Sadly, both results happen when you are vulnerable; one of the risks to being vulnerable. In this day in age, with Facebook and social media- we only see the good times in people’s lives, however, not many people share what happens behind the closed doors of their home.   I love what Steven Furtick in his book, “Crash the Chatterbox” says, “We are comparing our behind the scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel. This is one of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity.” Well, what if more people shared their behind the scenes footage. What if more people were vulnerable showing the authentic side of them: the good, the bad and the ugly.

So, here is me being completely vulnerable- I hope this brings you encouragement and not judgment.

2014 has been the hardest year of my life.  At the end of January, I received heartbreaking news that crushed me.  My marriage of 15 1/2 years was ending.  Honestly, I will never forget that day! For months, I was in a deep grief; I had all the emotions: shock, anger, sadness…. Lots of tears and lots of journaling!  Ladies, I am here to say that God is faithful in the hard times, more than you can ever understand.   There is a verse in Proverbs that says that God is close to the broken hearted and I am living proof of that.   You are never alone!!  God is always there with you!!  This last year, I have experience God in a way that I have never experienced before.  I have learned that God cares about you so much, even the littlest details that we sometimes think don’t matter.  God wants to use us, even in our brokenness!!  One common theme that I am learning is that God uses our pain; I am not sure why we have to go through some of these hard times that we do encounter but I am confident to say that he never wastes that hurt.  You may have a broken heart but you are not a broken vessel.    Honestly, I say this to myself all the time; I may have a broken heart but I am not a broken vessel.   God please still use me.

Ladies, no matter what you have experienced.  It could be going through a divorce like me or it could be losing a loved one or another hard time, God can use that pain!  He wants to take you from a place of heartbreak to a place of strength.  You can only get there by completely relying on Him!!  I don’t know if you read the Jesus Callings but they were so helpful to me during those first few months.  Each day, I felt like that message had been written just for me.  It was exactly what I needed to hear that morning on that day.  Some of the messages were: you are not alone, I am here with you during even your hardest times, trust me, I am your Strength, Keep your focus on me… I remember one day it said, “I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone- nothing.”   Ladies,this is truth!! I don’t know what hard time you are in now or that you will be facing in the future but I do know from first hand experience, God can be trusted and He is faithful even when life circumstances go completely differently than you planned.

This past year has been a growing year for me and I truly feel closest to God than ever before. My new passion is reading books that encourage me and challenge me and God has been asking me to share what I am learning with others. So I have decided to start a blog called Heartbreak to Strength: sharing what God is teaching me in the midst of my pain.”   It is heartbreaktostrength.wordpress.com

Please feel free to forward this to anyone going through a hard time; I truly want my vulnerability to encourage others.

Love, Jodi