Wednesday, March 31, 2010

God and LOST

I was in a conversation with someone the other day when they said something that absolutely floored me. That’s the #1 reason I wish I had more conversations with people – because you never know what might be said. Sometimes it’s life-changing, “What do you think about having COWS as our spokespeople and have them saying ‘Eat More Chicken’?”, or it could be something as simple yet still illuminating as “Your shoes untied.”

In this particular conversation though, I was laughing about something to do with how I’d declare myself one of the least stressed people in the world. When suddenly I was corrected by someone else who was under the impression, based on my interactions with them, that I was one of the most stressed out people they knew.

To say I was shocked is almost an understatement. I’m rarely stressed. In physical moments of an actual event happening I may be stressed a bit, but afterwards I possess a surprising ability to not worry about things, especially things I can’t control. (Considering my family history I’d say I’m almost a prodigy in this area.) But here I was facing the charge of being severely stressed out. And upon further questioning (since I was a bit stressed over this concept) it appeared as though my intense desire to get life right seemed to be where the impression was coming from.. Maybe “right” isn’t the correct word, perhaps “perfect” would be more accurate.

I want my actions to be perfect, my words to be perfect, my thoughts to be perfect, my goals to be perfect. Small goal, right? Don't worry though; I fail miserably when I consider the target, but my aim is always the same and I find myself disappointed when I see an obvious specific mistake where I could have done something differently. I want to be like Jesus. I’ll never make it, but it will always be my aim. It is my passion, my joy, my hope; to be as much like Him as possible and draw ever closer to Him.

And my driving passion apparently makes me appear stressed instead of simply passionate.

So to clarify things for those of you who have watched my life and felt that I was stressed out – when I most definitely feel nothing of the sort; I thought I would explain the passion burning inside of me in terms you might can identify with.

Have you ever watched LOST?

I’ve watched 3 hours of it so I will begin this part by explaining that the fact that I only have 3 hours experience with it means I obviously don't "get it" and makes me unqualified to even mention the show. My lack of LOST education bugs my brother to pieces. I’ve only watched those 3 episodes because over a course of a couple of months he had won 3 weeks worth of weight loss challenges which entitled him to choose an activity for the whole family. He forced me to watch more LOST each and every week sure that this week would be the one in which I would catch the addiction he’s carrying for the series.

To say that people have been fascinated by LOST, is such a gross understatement that it’s almost like saying winter is cold in Iceland. When I researched the different theories on the plot lines I found 25,105. Is Jacob good? What is his plan? What is up with the candidates? What is the Sideways? Where is Faraday? In continued searching through countless forum entries people are considering whether or not Flocke is going to let Claire kill Kate, why isn't Kates name written on the cave ceiling, and who Wallace is and why he is the answer.

Others do their own searching so they could just click here to see the Top 10 Questions that Lost Needs to Answer. Or maybe you're happy to have the 23 Questions about LOST Episode 605 "The Lighthouse" Answered. Or maybe you've been burning with 15 Burning LOST Questions. Or for the more aggressive of my readers, you might have been searching for The 100 Questions LOST Better Answer Or We'll Be ****'ed.

Or perhaps you’re more interested in the theories?
Maybe a theory on Time Travel?
Or a theory on Jacob?
Or a Sideways theory?
Maybe you’re new to this and just want General Theories?
Or perhaps you’re intensely relieved to find out the Four Toed Statue Question has been Solved?

I could keep going. Trust me, it was hard to stop once I got started with some of the crazy stuff I was reading. This was just the best example I could find that would accurately describe what I am. It appears as thought it literally kills my brother that I won’t continue watching episodes until I’m hooked. But it’s not because the show stresses him out; but because he’s so intensely passionate about the show. He wants to know the answers to the questions the show has raised in his mind and he enjoys talking to others about their theories and questions concerning the show.

And that my friends, is how I feel about God. The struggle for perfection is just learning the plot better. Figuring out what My Writer is going to do next in the story. Doing my best to play my part as flawlessly as possible. I’m a FOUND fanatic.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Link to Parable of the Race

Parchment and Pen may well become my new favorite blog (2nd only to you Brant).

But inside his post on Once Saved Always Saved is a great story called "Parable of the Race". I'd highly recommend reading the whole post, but the parable is outstanding.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My AD Testimony

This post was inspired by C. Michael Pattons post "8 Things I Hate About Christianity" over at Parchment and Pen.

He described how much he hated the BC and AD testimonies. He defined the differences between the two as BC testimonies (Before Christ) showcasing how awful life was before. Then the AD testimony says how wonderful I've become after Christ.

So I wanted to give my AD testimony. And I'd love to hear yours too if you'd like to blog your AD testimony and leave me a comment with the link, or if you'd rather just leave your testimony in the comments. I think it would be amazing to see realistic testimonies of CHRIST rather than the self-shined examples of how far WE have come.

I may have knelt down as a child and asked Christ into my heart but, truly the life changing moment for me was January 17th, 2002. I started it by yelling at God. Simply because I was angry. It's been 9 years now, and I still yell.

I love and praise and whine and complain. I've doubted Him and His love for me, I questioned things and at one point I literally said "I quit". I spent many miserable months trying to figure out how to quit Someone I loved so dearly and who was pursuing me so extraordinarily.

I became a foster parent because I felt He led me to it, but in so many ways I failed completely at it. I was frustrated and confused and felt angry at feeling so alone with a burden so great ( which is what led to the "I quit" I'd just mentioned).

I also enjoyed the greatest blessings a person could ask for as a foster parent. One particular blessing is still active in my life as I get to watch her and her parents grow and grow. I glow in the idea that I've touched a life, her life, forever. How could God do that with me?

I've fallen into sin, sins that I know I shouldn't do yet the same ones I struggle with all the time. And I'm not talking about sins like "Not having enough faith", but the nasty dirty sins that you hide from everyone - especially when you've been raised as "the good girl".

But I can solidly testify that every single time I've sinned, and fallen from my walk, Christ has been right there ready to forgive and keep us moving on toward the goal, the prize, the high calling He has for my life.

Jan 17th, 2002 I didn't cease to be human and become some perfect, shiny Christian. But I became a perfectly blemished one. My life in these last 9 years - if you truly knew my life and not just the shiny view that sometimes shines out from my blog or the initial surface view you'll see just upon meeting me - is one in which truly God is glorified for His mercy and goodness, love and patience.

The last 9 years He's set me free from so much guilt, and fear that I've held on to. He's brought me to the point that sin definitely doesn't have as much a hold on me as it did before. He's led me down roads that, quite honestly, if there had been a way to just get out I would have. But for all the heartache and pain He's also given me more peace and joy now than I think I have any right to enjoy. Especially knowing that I only made it through the hard times by His efforts to bring me through and pick me up when I fell time and again.

People see certain things about me and tell me I'm a good person; but in all truth not one bit of it would have even been endeavored if it weren't for Christ Jesus working in my life.

Because only He could make something beautiful of this bumbling, questioning, mess.
And He does.

And I wouldn't trade a single heartache for the changes He's made in me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The mistakes aren't yours to hold on to....

I've struggled with this more than I would care to admit.

But what's more shaming about it is that I only typically think about it when I begin feeling frustrated that someone else is doing it to someone.

I'm sure you've seen it. Someone who is reminded of their past sins and failures - not by their own sorrowful conscience - but by their friend, their spouse, sibling, family member, co-worker. We hold onto other peoples sins because we feel rightful in it.

If you have sinned against me I have the right to remember it forever, and to require you to take steps to prove it will never happen again even if it means it destroys you in other ways. Even if it means you must always remember you're going out of your way because you've sinned in the past. Even if it means you'll never be able to get past the sin and truly forgive yourself and MOVE ON beyond the sin - because you're always paying the cost of your sin.

I hate it when I see it. Some poor person intent on doing the right thing yet always taking extra steps to prove trustworthy, since in the past they have not. It makes me angry.

It makes me even angrier when I fail to see it in myself. I declare myself righteous and entitled to extra efforts because of what someone has done. And it just isn't true.

Once I've said the powerful words "I forgive you", that is it. No more lording it over them, no more chastisement and snide comments. No more sharply pointed jokes aimed ambiguously at my victim.

That's not what Jesus taught.

So when you say you forgive someone - the rest of the story is now between the person and God. Let it go, trust, and accept.

God really can handle the rest.

And NO ONE deserves a life time of reminders of their past.

Now I just have to stop actually doing it.

It's probably going to start with my tenant who just put the "check in the mail" again. :)

Clearing off the sand.

I just traveled back from visiting North Texas again, only this time I made the trip in absolute silence. No radio, no cd's, just silence. And I thought.
And I thought.
And I thought.

It's normally a 5.5 hour drive (though I guess my thoughtful concentration helped move me along because I made it in 4.75), so I had a lot of time to think.

Several things swam in and out, problems with my tenant, problems with my parents, and challenges with growing.
One thing that gripped me though was how I tensed up as I crossed over every single bridge. And that lesson kept me occupied for the entire trip.

You see, it had snowed the night before, so sand trucks had lumbered down the highways dumping sand on the bridges to clear the patches of ice. By the time I began heading home the highways and bridges were long since cleared and perfectly safe. I knew that.

I knew it with everything that was in me.

I didn't for a moment think that there was ice on the bridge.

But every time I reached a bridge and saw that sand I instantly tensed, straightened up in my chair and watched the road more carefully. The sand is to protect from ice... is there ice??? Watch out for ice!

So I did.

I've got at least one relationship in my life that if you asked me if it was a good relationship or not, a Christ-centered one that helps me become a better person - I'd tell you yes. Just like I'd tell you the roads were not icy.

But the minute I am physically in their presence, I find that the relationship is covered with cautionary sand. Sand that prevents sin from overtaking either of us.
The relationship is clear from sin, I'd tell you there is no sin at all, no reason to be afraid, but when I see the protective sand covering the relationship, instantly I tense up and I tread with care. So much that I wish I could apologize, yet I have no words to explain the apology.

You see, later on, there are great big sweeper trucks that get the sand off the roads. They do that because if the sand is left on the roads then it will begin to degrade the road, and the road will deteriorate and crack and develop pot holes and weak spots.

There was a point where I should have swept the sand out of my relationship and not proceeded with the fearful caution - and I just don't know how to.

Instead, the sand just sits there and every single time I'm in the presence of my friend the foolish fears begin to grind that sand into the relationship.
I worry that my friend hurts with guilt and shame because I am cautiously treading over my sand.
I worry that my friend lives with fear just as I do and has tossed their own sand out for protection.
I worry sometimes, that I'll never figure out how to just be, and love without fear of consequence.

But even as those worries cross my mind, I know - I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God has worked some amazing changes in me and my fears, and how I deal with the past. And the Bible reminds me that "...that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"

If you need to dump sand on some relationships to make sure no one slips into sin or temptation; by all means DO IT. But once the ice has melted, once it is no longer a danger make sure you clean the sand up so it can't deteriorate your relationship. Fear, and doubt concerning one another has harmful side effects on friendship.

May this be my anthem till the day I die. God Is Good. I can trust Him with my life, with my changes, with my fears, with my failures. I trust Him to hold onto me when I make a mess of everything and find myself facing piles of sand on my friendships. I trust Him to help me figure out how to live a life without that sand. Without that fearful protection.

You can too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SEEING the future.

I realized something as I thought about yesterdays post concerning my "passion".
I mentioned that the missional living hadn't really panned out as we'd imagined it because someone in the house didn't like strangers. But that's not the entire story. I don't know about anyone elses reasons, but I know that I simply had the idea that missional living was a good thing.

I had ideas of what missional living involved and what I could do to begin ministering.

But in the last couple of weeks I've had a vision of missional living.

The difference between the two is that I have a picture in my head now of exactly what my goal looks like.

There's nothing wrong with ideas. Let me say that I'm "ideas" biggest fan. I love the unusual and creative, the inventive and thoughtful. Change, not for changes sake, but for betterments sake. Ideas are wonderful.

But admittedly, sometimes I have ideas that I don't understand how to implement. I don't quite see exactly what they look like in production and often my methods go awry.

But a vision is a bird of a totally different color. At least for me anyway. Perhaps I'm just a bit too dim-witted for ideas to pull me through.
The vision though was just simply a picture of things that I already did, and how it would allow missional living to succeed. It gave me a picture of who I could reach out to. It told me where to do it. It told me what I would use to do it - and ironically enough it was the exact same method Jesus used quite often.
That takes care of who, what, when, where, how - and I already know the why.

Back in June when I moved here I wouldn't have been able to carry this off. But now that I've seen it - I'm anxious to begin scaring myself with the possibilities of it.

Have you ever seen your ideas before you began them?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Passion of the Christ

So, to be perfectly honest I didn't watch the movie Thursday as I planned.

I woke up and the song "I will glory in the Cross" was rolling through my head. Main lyrics are:

I will glory in the cross, in the cross
lest His suffering, all be in vain.
I will weep, no more, for the cross that He bore
I will glory in the cross.

And that put me off even more as I informed God that He could make me sing the song, but He couldn't necessarily make it true.

So I procrastinated all day long about coming home until there wasn't time to watch it.
Then I did the same on Fri.
Then I did the same on Sat.

I was starting to feel really bad about it though, so on Sunday I finally did it.

It hurt, just as I expected.

I didn't make it through Sunday as gracefully as I had hoped, but it wasn't as bad as the last time at least.

But one thing it did do for me is just solidify some plans I've been forming in my heart for a couple of weeks now. When we moved down here, missional living was a big topic for all of us. Unfortunately, one of the people in the house hates being around strangers. And I've yet to find a way to meet new people without them being strangers first. So the missional style we'd planned didn't quite pan out.

But as I contemplate my move I've been more aware that as a disciple of Christ I've been called to go into San Antonio and preach the gospel to every creature. And I've been dreaming dreams while I'm awake as images come to me and ideas and changes.

I'm anxious and nervous. And I look forward to getting started. The movie only solidified that. I'm ready to take the next steps, and I'll be spending the next couple of months studying my Bible more and more because I cannot do this simply on good ideas and wishes. The steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord - but reading His instructions usually help too.

God has given me a passion of my own, yet it's still His.
What's yours?

Circumcision of the heart

I've decided to focus on Romans for awhile and one of the verses I've come across has really stood out to me.

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:29

The verses leading up to that one are all talking about people who judge others, yet commit the same sins they're condemning others for; or those keeping the letter of the law but their hearts still aren't pure.

It also talks about the reverse of that, those who haven't corrected the outside, yet the inside is pure: "Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?" verse 26.

I sit in awe at verses like that sometimes because they speak so deeply of the "riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering" verse 4.

God is deeply concerned with our hearts.

How concerned are you?

Friday, March 12, 2010


I'm 29 now. Sometime around 3 o'clock this afternoon 29 years ago, I was born.

I've written my fond "glad to be alive, and thankful for God memoirs" every single year for the past 5 years. But on this 5th year of my blog, I can only say something still along those lines.

Every single day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
Every day with Jesus, I love Him more and more.

Other people have say such things.. I've even said it myself, but then I tend to forget. But every different year as I sit on this day and remember the past year - I realize it's true...again.

This past year has been... interesting. A year ago next month I travelled to San Antonio and returned home dreaming of moving. And now here I am... dreaming of so much more than San Antonio.

I'm thankful for my life within Christ Jesus. I'm thankful for my faith that will soon take me into far more challenging waters and bring me through each struggle with joy and victory.
I'm thankful, I'm happy, and I'm at peace.

I couldn't ask for more on the this day.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Trusting in God for the answers.

I ended up in a long text conversation last week. Honestly, texting is NOT the way to have a real conversation. Nevertheless, it was the only option available as the person I was talking to doesn't enjoy talking to me about spiritual things. I always... always communicate better in writing than I do in person. So texting probably kept us from another verbal standoff.

But it was all about trusting God, and believing in Him even when bad things happen. Or even when bad things don't happen, but good things don't happen. This person has really struggled with God concerning finances and wishing that God would provide more so their family wouldn't have to struggle.

I argued that God isn't out to make us rich. And that God doesn't hate poor people and that's why they're poor. God doesn't hate sick people and that's why they're sick. Not everything is a punishment, but often simply a trial meant to lead us where we should go. And that God can be trusted when we take leaps of faith.

The idea of leaping in faith was less than ideal to them knowing that leaping could mean financial struggles, and continued difficulties. And how could you differentiate between a leap of faith and a big mistake since the outcome of a leap could be bad? To which I argued that sometimes your ability to know isn't based on physical things, but an inner knowledge - a confirmation by the Holy Spirit that you are walking in Gods will.

Prior to our little text-debate I'd tested the waters with several options concerning different jobs. One very exciting door opened up very quickly for me to go back into a career that was a dream come true and I was receiving information concerning the company flying me out for an interview this week. It seemed almost impossible to imagine that I might actually get the job, so I hadn't even really started praying about it yet.

So I was a little surprised, right after that debate, to suddenly know that I wasn't supposed to make the trip. I don't necessarily understand a rhyme or reason behind it, except for a peace in knowing I'm not turning down something wonderful - I'm turning down something that God hasn't got planned for me.

No regrets, no sorrow, no grief. Just trust.

My rewards aren't of this world. They aren't seen. They aren't things that I can hold in my hand right now. But my rewards have been...... amazing.

Tonight, I still chuckle at little at the idea that I have to wait until I ask God to get an answer. I was absolutely shocked to realize I had direction concerning the opportunity - and I hadn't even asked Him yet! But because of that, I realized how much I want that to be an every day occurrence. I want to hear Him speaking to me even when I haven't said anything yet. I want Him so actively involved in my day to day life that I'm listening for His thoughts concerning things just because I know He's with me and involved.

I don't want Him behind a little tent waiting for me to visit Him for answers.

And I thank God that He doesn't want to be in that tent either.

Thank you Lord.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Why didn't your comment post?

I hated to do it but a few weeks ago I turned on comment moderation. It's supposed to only affect older posts but apparently it affected the post from yesterday.

My blog exploded with activity recently (tripling the standard daily visits) but with that came a whole ton of comments for porn, "enhancement drugs" and other junk that no one needs to read.

One morning I woke up to 18 different sicko comments that needed to be deleted. That was the day I finally gave in and began moderating the comments.

For other comments though, even if you write something as an error (I had a recent comment that was just the letter 'o') as long as it's a real comment from a real person, I'll send it through so you can see what you posted. I'm ONLY screening out the crazy robots that were driving me batty.

So please comment, and just as quickly as I can each day I'll get your comment approved so you can see it.

Thanks for being here!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Paying attention to God

I love God.

I truly do.

But I've learned incredible things about the way that God loves me in these last couple of years. He's violent, fierce, holy and just. His anger is something so awesome that it makes even demons tremble (much less mere mortals like myself). Yet His love is just as powerful and awesome that even while it seems each week I gain a new insight or understanding of His affections for me - I still have not even grasped a fraction of it; so great is His love.

My love for Him is nothing compared to His for me.

I've also learned though that love is intentional and self-sacrificing. And so as I covet to return to Him as much love as I can I see that Bible study isn't about just learning more religious things and being able to properly state your beliefs.

It's about searching within the pages of this Sacred book, the very character of God Himself. It's about finding out what He's like. What pleases Him, and what displeases Him. Not because you need to know so you can win more souls - but because you just want to know this King you love so much.

I'm bracing myself this week, because this coming Thursday I'm going to do something that actually scares me. In 2004 the church I was attending got several carloads of people together and we all went to see "The Passion of the Christ". Despite the fact that I purchased the DVD shortly after it came out - I haven't seen the movie since - and this Thursday I'm going to watch it again.

If you knew me, you would know I'm not a very demonstrative person publicly. But openly in the theater my heart was simply ripped open and I was sobbing loudly (and embarrassingly) in a crowded theater as they crucified my Lord and Savior. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to watch and I've never been able to watch an Easter presentation since then that included the crucifixion because it absolutely rips my heart out. In that crowded theater, even knowing my words would make no difference, it took everything within me not to scream at the screen to PLEASE JUST STOP.

For the next couple of weeks I couldn't even bless my food without tears falling as I thanked Him for my meal. If you prayed in church to open a Sunday School class I'd be crying again.
The visual of what my Savior went through is more than I can stand. But I've felt Him drawing me towards it again and I just keep putting it off - worried about how I'll manage life in the aftermath.

It seems silly, but I can't just go to work and start crying in between each phone call and that's exactly what I'm afraid will happen. And the kids won't understand if I start crying at the supper table.

God has my attention, and I'm finally resolved to do this - and though I'm nervous about the outcome I know I'll be better off for having done this again.

Perhaps you're scratching your head wondering why on earth I'm carrying on like this about a movie. I understand. Perhaps I'm just too emotional, or sensitive, I'm not sure. I've long since just assumed I am an exceptionally unusual freak of nature. This behavior certainly isn't normal. So at least rest assured that I know I'm a bit off.

Walking through the grocery store with my niece this afternoon she wrapped her arms around me and announced she "had" me. She said she did it because I was always saying how glad I was to "have" her. That she was mine.

And tonight I thought of it in reverse with God in that I hoped He knew for sure that He "had" me. That I am His, mind, heart, and soul. My life is His. My everything is His. This week is His. So this week I'm paying attention to God. I'm searching out His character in the Word of God, and I'm searching out ways to please Him. I will bless the Lord this week.

May His name be praised.

May God richly bless you, and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. May God show you the delights of His heart, and lead you in paths everlasting and true. May our Father teach you and transform you into a vessel of honor and praise that your heart shall flow with rivers of thanksgiving and joy.

The disciple Jesus loved.

I've always been interested in John. "The disciple Jesus loved"
And I wonder how you get a title like that.

I've always felt more of a connection with Peter the crazy, often failing disciple than any of the others. But in a way I've always wondered what John did, what John had about him that gave him the specific distinction of being the "disciple whom Jesus loved".

Any ideas from anyone?

Jumping over the edge...

So here's the story from John 21...

Jesus has been crucified, appeared to His disciples twice and then Peter stands up and says "I'm going fishing." Several others say they'll go with Peter and off they go.
Unfortunately, they didn't catch anything all night long.
The next morning Jesus shows up on the shore (only the disciples in the boat don't realize it's Him). He asks them if they have any meat and they say "No", so He instructs them to throw the net on the right side of the ship.

They do, and by a miracle they catch so many fish they were not able to draw it in because there was just too much.

So that is when one special disciple named John turns to Peter and He indicates the man on the shore and says "It is the Lord."

Here is what the Bible tells us happened next:

"Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship dragging the net with fishes."

There is something in me that has always called me to jump into the sea. Something inside me that screams that the little ship just isn't fast enough, not immediate enough. I want to spend my life jumping over the edge of the ship and swimming towards my Lord, every time.

There is nothing wrong with taking the ship. It gets you there, and someone had to be responsible enough to haul the fish they'd caught. And while I'm prone to an extraordinarily frustrating level to do the "responsible" thing - when someone tells me "There's Jesus", I want to leap.

No waiting. No arranging my recent catch. No getting my affairs in order. Just jump. And I love that the Bible gives me perfect examples of others doing the same thing.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Oh the places you'll go...

Dr Seuss once told me I'd go incredible places. But I never really believed him. I always assumed I'd be a normal person and do normal things in normal places just like every other normal person that I knew.

But, interesting things happened in my normal life that just didn't fit.
I became a flight attendant for American Airlines, spent 6 weeks learning evacuation drills and airport codes and learning how to fly. Would you care for a soda or a headset?

I sat in a hotel room watching the news as the second airplane flew into the World Trade Center. If it hadn't been for inclement weather, I would have spent that week stuck in Buffalo NY. Because of said weather I'd worked too many hours in one day so they had to cancel the next leg of my journey which had me snug in my apartment on that fateful Tuesday.

Then, years later I became a foster parent. Fell in love with 5 adorable children and stressed myself to the maximum that I could handle. Normal people don't suddenly receive two children in the middle of the night. Spend thousands of dollars on daycare for children that aren't their own and suddenly find yourself on CPS's speed dial.

But here's what I've discovered.

None of us are normal. Whether you feel it's your diagnosis, or some traumatic event or even a joyful event that's made you abnormal; you'll always be abnormal.

I remember a phone call from a woman who was simply on my phone because she wanted to order checks. In the course of a simple check order she had repeated at least 4 times that she was "the baby girl who was held hostage on the plane". I was curious for the story, but always mindful of time constraints I didn't ask for the story (though by mentioning it so often I assume she was itching to tell me).
She was ordering checks though - and based on the sound of her voice I had the impression that she was in her late 20's at least.
And yet, when asked anything concerning her identity she defined herself by name and by the fact that she was the "baby girl who was held hostage on the plane".

It's easy to define ourselves by the abnormal things that happen to us, for us, around us.

Or we'll even define ourselves by the mundane or ridiculous.
"What ruby stone are you?"
"Which Harry Potter character are you?"
"Which color of the rainbow are you?"
"Which ice cream flavor are you?"
"Which Biblical character are you?"
"Which celebrity are you?"
"Which cartoon character are you?"
Thank you facebook for your ability to define me so easily.

But our true definition, comes from an event that took place 2000 years ago that concerns us. Yet too often we minimize it and don't see our identity in it. And yet, it defines us far more than say, winning the lottery or a cancer diagnosis.
It defines you more than your rape.
It defines you more than your secrets.
It defines you more than your successes.
It defines you more than your money.
It defines you more than your Olympic medal.
It defines you more than your friends, or who you know.
It defines you more than your election Senator.
It defines you more than your addictions.
It defines you more than your past.

This one event eclipses anything else about you that you might assume to be important. Your looks, your car, your home, your kids abilities, your job.
It says you are the adopted child of GOD HIMSELF.
It says you will have eternal life.
It says you have access to the King who is able to do all things. The One for Whom nothing is impossible.
It also allows you to walk, and talk, and live your life in a relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit as they speak into your life and lead you into holiness.
Because you once were lost, and now you're found.

So next time you consider who you are and what you're capable of - make sure you base it on the correct information.