‘His’ Identity Series #2.
Welcome to session two of ‘His’, Sis! I hope you’ve grabbed your favorite caffeinated beverage, your coziest blanket, and are ready to draw closer to the true heart of Jesus and your chosen identity as His alone.
Before we jump into this week’s topic, I want to give you a quick update on my Peony bush. Despite my annoying impatience, she has decided to take her sweet ole time and slowly blossom. There is only the faintest hint of a petal peeling from its bud, but finally showing evidence that blooming has gently begun!
The weeds that I pulled the last time we chatted have not yet returned… but I suspect that if I don’t keep at it, they’ll find their way back into the garden! Some of the weeds might return disguised as pretty, little flowers, Sis, but what lies beneath the surface only seeks to squelch the beauty of the Peony root. No matter how pretty that weed may look from the outside, its ugliness on the inside will always make it what it really is; a useless weed. But, we tend to forget that until we’ve uprooted what’s underneath the dark soil.
And that’s what we’re doing again today… uprooting another soul weed that seeks to hinder our relationship with Jesus and push us further away from our rightful identity as Daughters of the King.
A few weeks ago, the soul weed we tended to was the ugly one that says in order to be loved by God, we have to perform a certain way, and there is a special formula, a “right” way to be, in order to be welcomed into His arms of unending grace. But we uprooted these lies by taking a look into the home of Mary and Martha and learning that our only requirement is to mirror the stance of Mary. We cultivate a relationship with our Creator by sitting at His feet and listening to His voice… and His redeeming love extends far beyond our behaviors and actions.
Remember, His love is who He is, not just what He does, and He showers it unconditionally on each of us because we are His children.
It is through a moment by moment relationship with Jesus, and the consistent act of sitting at His feet and receiving His freely-given love, where we bloom into His image and overflow with His love, pouring it out into the world. An image shaped by grace and molded by mercy. It is here in the blooming that we step fully into the identity waiting to be given to us from the hands of our Creator.
I understand, though, that just because you know what is being said, just because you know in your head about this love that Jesus has for you, doesn’t mean that you believe it in your heart enough to walk it out. I get it, Sis! It can be hard to fully grasp this magnificent love from a God that you can’t even see. It can even feel a little awkward or uncomfortable, and that’s ok to admit! That’s why this week I want to dive a little deeper into the heart of God and unpack what may be keeping us from having an intimate relationship with Him.
First, I want to say that I am not an expert and I understand there are hurts and wounds you may have that I will never understand. Wounds that are so deep they have affected your view of the Father. I know this world can be cruel, so please know that I come from a place of love when I share these truths with you. Sis, my soul aches for you to understand Jesus’ true heart toward you so that you feel empowered to walk freely in your true identity – His daughter. I want you to be able to wrap yourself in the overwhelmingly awesome love He has for you, so you can live your life with your identity rooted in Him alone.
I explained last week that in order to cultivate an identity rooted in Him, we have to understand His heart toward us, which draws us into an intimate relationship with Him.
But what about our hearts toward Him?
What keeps us from believing in our hearts this wondrous love and receiving it as our true identity?
Well, Sister, I think I have a few ideas on how to eradicate these soul weeds that whisper lies and warp the truth of who He is and Whose you are.
So, the first step to eradication is naming the soul weeds and bringing them out of the darkness so we can expose them to His radiant light. It’s time to take a look at the bitter roots that are squelching your beauty and stealing your joy.
I’m going to share with you some soul weeds I’ve personally experienced that have kept me from stepping fully into a relationship with my Redeemer. I believe these soul weeds, if not tended to regularly, have the power to hinder me from Him, causing a misplaced identity, which only feeds the sour roots of insecurity and bitterness. Basically, they’re total killjoys! Eww!!
- Earthly Expectations.
Take a moment and ask yourself how many times you’ve judged God through the lens of your own personal experiences. I’ll be the first one to say that I have done this more times than I can count! I have based my view of God, and His heart toward me, on how others have treated me. I have allowed my circumstances to dictate what I think is true about Him. I have misplaced my identity in others because this soul weed breeds a deep mistrust in my Heavenly Father. Sis, maybe your relationship with your earthly father is broken and tattered. Maybe there are deep, cavernous wounds that ache to be filled with love, but only hurt with rejection because of the actions or words from your dad. So it hurts too much to even try to look up at your Heavenly Father because that bridge of trust has already been broken by an earthly father. A father who was supposed to love and protect you, aiding in your security, not damaging it. Maybe you think that if your dad doesn’t see your worth, how could Jesus? Or, maybe a friend, parent, or the man you loved deserted you, betrayed you, or was unfaithful, leaving you feeling worthless and abandoned. If they left you, abandoned you or betrayed you, why wouldn’t God?
HIS HEART: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39.
I know a love deeper and stronger than the wounds you carry, sweet girl, and there is absolutely nothing or no one that could separate you from it. That love, that unconditional acceptance you crave, is waiting for you at the feet of Jesus. I know it’s difficult to understand, but please hear the tenderness in my voice when I tell you that the damage done by those who were supposed to love you, but only wounded you, does not even compare to the healing waiting for you at the foot of the cross. Jesus aches to hold you, to heal those hurts and bind your wounds, and tell you that He is nothing like the people who have left you feeling damaged and destroyed. His love is greater, it is perfect, and it will always be enough if you would only allow Him a chance to prove it to you.
- It’s Awkward.
Girl, I get it… trust me. Guess what? So does He. It’s more than ok if you feel awkward trying to cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus! Maybe you weren’t raised in a Christ-centered home so you weren’t taught how to pursue a relationship with the Creator. Or maybe you were, but you weren’t raised to believe that He’s someone who intensely pursues you and aches to know you on a moment by moment basis. He may feel extremely far away and irrelevant to your everyday life, so why bother? Besides, what would you say… what would you wear?! What does it really look like to sit down and talk with Jesus?
HIS HEART: But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7.
Sis, remember what we talked about last week? There is no pressure for you to show up a certain way into the presence of Jesus. You just have to show up honestly, with your whole heart, and I promise He will meet you there. Every time. Remember, He is after your heart, and He seeks to spend time with you simply because He loves you and wants you to know who you are to Him. Do you know what I would suggest? Ask Him to meet you right where you are, with everything that you are, and all that’s on your mind. Put the pressure back on Him to show up. I promise He’ll answer the call and far exceed your expectations. His presence is a safe house where you are free to be yourself. (We’re going to dive deeper into this one, later on, so stay tuned!)
The dirtiest, darkest, most hateful soul weed of them all! The one that whispers, “you are only the terrible things that you have done.” This is the root where branches of insecurity and unworthiness bear ugly fruit that only seeks to destroy your rightful identity as His. Sister, I have done some things in my past that I am not proud of. I have wounds that run deep from the very choices I made in the name of temporary acceptance and false love. For a long time, I believed the soul weed – the ugly, terrible lie – that because of the things I had done, I wasn’t worthy of this love that only Jesus could give. I believed this kind of love was only reserved for those that made “good” choices and weren’t so selfish with their ways. Maybe you are living in the darkness of shame and it’s so thick and foggy that it has suffocated any hope of freedom found in an identity rooted at His feet. Take it from me, sis, take off that robe of shame because it’s not yours to wear and exchange it for Jesus’ robe of righteousness. He bought it just for you!
HIS HEART: and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3.
Do you want to know one of my favorite things about Jesus? He is so quick to forgive! In His world, mercy always triumphs over judgment. Sis, if you come to Him with your heavy heart and surrender the shame at His feet, He will trade the ashes of your past for the beauty of who you really are; His. Yes, sometimes the choices we make have lasting consequences and they can take time to heal and bind up. But that doesn’t mean you are the sum of the mistakes of your past. It means that you have a story to tell; one full of the redeeming love of your Father, who crowns you with beauty, and uses the ashes of your past for the display of His splendor. Nothing is ever wasted once submitted to the presence of Jesus, including your biggest regrets and deepest wounds.
Phew! Sis, I know that was a lot… and if you’ve made it this far… yay! Grab an extra coffee! But in order to fully comprehend the love Jesus has for us, we have to get to the root problem of what keeps us from running into His open arms. We have to begin uprooting those soul weeds that whisper lies and tell us we aren’t worthy of a relationship with Him. Those soul weeds only make Him seem far away and unattainable.
It’s so important to name the things that keep us from Him and try to steal our identity as ‘His’ right out from under our noses. True eradication begins with submitting the bitter roots to His radiant light and allowing His love to penetrate our hearts. Even as I write this, I am overwhelmed with the love He has for you that my words could never do it justice. My prayer is that through this blog series, love will transfer through your screen and plant itself right in the middle of your heart, mind, and soul because when we begin to believe that we belong to Him, everything else is put into perspective through the lens of His grace.
Sister, you are worthy of a love this deep that only He can give. You are worthy of a life lived radically redeemed and wrapped in mercy so sweet it will leave you forever changed.
I am praying a blessing of love and joy over you this week, as you fight to eradicate the soul weeds with the truth of His heart.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
He who created you, Jacob,
He who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. –Isaiah 43:1