The Trouble With Forgetting Who You Are

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sometimes, it just feels dark, dreary, heavy and damp, sticky, like thick fog on an early fall morning. I often feel as if I am pacing down in a beautiful, lush valley, arms crossed over my head, staring up at giants I can't take down, trying to see through the thick fog that clouds my vision to where I want to be, knowing what waits on the other side of the mountains all around me, but not being able to see through the haze of unknowns covering my path to make it over them, around them, through them.

The world around me spinning a million miles an hour, the voices in my head and on the news and in my house merge into a buzz of constant chaos. I feel the weight of running against the wind, of swimming upstream as hard as I can through this worlds river of "go here, do this, wear these, look like this, make your mark" messages. It's hard to be bombarded with giants of oppression and messages of condemnation and still see the clear path to the other side, to the peak of the mountain through the denseness of the worlds fog.


Oh I know you are out there. You're reading this in your office among piles of sticky notes and expectations and a boss who makes you crazy, maybe you're stealing sacred minutes of privacy in the bathroom with your toddlers fingers to appear under the door in about 5 more seconds. Maybe you're in carline or heading to the airport or on a break from just cleaning up the vomit from the last patient who passed through your hospital room doors. I don't know who you are but I know you're there.

Life is maddening, it is, but there's danger far greater than the chaos around us.
There is a grave danger my sweet friends, and the real danger is the chaos in us. The death of our souls and thief of our peace is in the forgetting who and who's we are.

I'm reading Isaiah again, this time in order. This. Just this.
Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
    For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
    but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its master,
    the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
    my people do not understand.
Woe to the sinful nation,
    a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
    children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
    they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
    and turned their backs on him
One of my sweet and precious little loves has recently has some struggles in school. The teacher approached me with concern and we shared some history and some hopes. Learning from my own failures, I chose to walk a different way through this obstacle of fog keeping my sweet one from what I ultimately want them to be. We got home and had some good talks while throwing a football. Because you know parents, that kids talk more when they aren't staring you in the face across the cold hard table right.. Okay, if you don't consider yourselves the recipients of a good psychology tip, activity makes words and emotions fall out of your child's faces far more easily than the feeling of being put on trial over the kitchen table. Conversation, not condemnation. You're welcome. I didn't even address the behavior, but asked questions about what they wanted to be known for, how they wanted to be recognized or remembered. Ohhhhh, the things that came forth among young aspirations of the NBA or the NFL.. Kind, generous, needed, helpful, honest, someone who loved God, ahhhhh...
And it all clicked. This love knew who they wanted to be, they just forgot who and who's they already were!
Hit anyone else in the chest much? Only me? I dare say a resounding NO.....
Just like the people of Israel, we forget. We stand in the valley with our hands up in the air staring at all that feels out of our control and we forget who we are and who has taken up residence in our soul. We have the entire toolbox to navigate through the thickness of the challenge but we don't even unlock it, because we've forgotten we hold the key in Christ. We've be trained and equipped. We were born with everything we will ever need to fulfill our purpose! We can navigate the hard meeting, the difficult no that we know will hurt someone but is necessary for us to remain both sane and spiritually healthy. We have the right reaction the person who hurts us, annoys us and just pushes that button that they know they should never, ever even consider putting their finger on. We can remain quiet when we want to lash out, we can sit in stillness when we want to just get it done already and we can fight when God tells us to go at it, even though we're alone. We can choose joy when life hurts. We can find the brilliance in the ordinary. We can remain humble when we are on the mountain top and we can reach out or hand to the least and sacrifice for name of our Father without fear or concern of what it will cost us. We really can. We can press on through the waves of disappointment and devastation because we have been equipped. Everything, He didn't leave anything out, but he allows us to choose.
We may not act powerfully, but we can not deny that we have been empowered.  
As believers, if we believe in the gospel that says God sent His son, allowed Him to die on a cross for our sins and raised Him back to the heavens, then we have to acknowledge that we have been empowered. If we believe in the trinity and the power of the cross and the Holy Spirit's living among us and in us then we have to believe we've been empowered to choose and to choose well.
My sweet little love responded with honest conviction that their actions didn't align with who they want to be known for or who's they were. They didn't need to be scolded or reprimanded or punished. They needed to be reminded who they were and who's they were. They needed to be reminded that if they took the time to open the toolbox, that there was a compass. The compass would guide them through disappointment, heartaches and the reactions to it. They needed to be reminded that they get to choose which tools to use and that a hammer would never pave a path to where they want to be, but that the compass in the box could absolutely lead them through the fog they couldn't quite see through yet.
And as I caught the last pass hurled my way during our talk, a tear slipped unrecognized down my check. Mamma also remembered. I remembered who I am and who's I am. I caught the ball and a glimpse of Jesus. I saw him on the cross and I was reminded that my future is forever spoken for. The blood of Jesus, poured out, a promise that no giant is to big, no amount of oppression, heartache, injustice, chaos is void of the opportunity for HIS silence and stillness and sovereignty. No waiting or wandering or climbing or swimming can wear me out if I keep my eyes on Him and keep my view on Heaven and not this world.
What about you? What battle are you fighting with the wrong tools like my little one and me? What about your identity do you need to remember? I pray this gives you some good affirmation and encouragement. 
Press on. Chapter 44 Holds more  promise. I love Isaiah for that.

Israel the Chosen

44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
    Israel, whom I have chosen.
This is what the Lord says—
    he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
    and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
    Jeshurun,[a] whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
    like poplar trees by flowing streams.
Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
    others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
    and will take the name Israel
 Graciously His,



  1. my future is forever spoken for...I love that line Amanda. getting.a little early a.m. reading in and so happy I found my way here. solid encouragement. amen.


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