Since July 2015 (my last post) I’ve spent the last 10 months maturing. Physically, my birthday has come and gone, so it goes without saying that I’ve grown up. But just because I’ve advance in age, does not mean I’m mature.
I realised I’ve been lost. To my Mother I am a daughter, to my siblings I am an example, a role model. To my church I am a helper, a member of ministry. To my friends I am a confidant, to my sisters in Christ I am a prayer partner, to my bible study groups I am a leader, but I’ve forgotten along the way who I am too me. The fruit of this has been resentment, anger, frustration and thoughts of walking away from Jesus, believing that life would be so much easier; but we all know it’s not true. I blamed Him for the trap I found myself in. I blamed Him for calling me in the first place, ‘because if it wasn’t for Him’, I’d still be in my own little life, controlling my own ‘ways’ and living in perpetual sin.
And like the kind, gentle saviour He is, He reminded me that I had not been living the ‘life abundantly or satisfying life’ that Jesus promises in John 10:10.
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
So I took my tail on a plane, and went to the beautiful country known as Jamaica and came face to face with people living rich and satisfying lives. Somehow in God’s wisdom, we didn’t stay in a hotel, but in a house, and it’s because we stayed in this house that I had the real experience of Jamaica. Materially, some do not have much, but what they do have is the joy of the Lord and family values. To sit down at a table most evenings with family, and just be present in that moment are memories I will savour forever.
They’re not lost in titles. It was nice to connect with people. Have normal conversations with people. Be in awe of God’s creation with people. Breathe deeply and be deeply present…with people. Without the expectations.
Let me explain further. You know when you watch a really good movie and at the end the credits role? Sometimes you take notice, sometimes you don’t. Why? Because you think you know the characters by the people they portray on the screen. It’s funny how the credits are set up – the characters names, and then their real names – and let’s be honest, I highly doubt we take the time to read their names 😉 So for instance, my new fav film is CREED! (I watched that on the plane from Jamaica, if you have not watched it it’s a MUST!. I think I disturbed those sitting around me with my impersonation punches lol). I only know the main character of the film, but not the person playing the character. He’s only acting out his ‘title’ you could say.
Just like those characters, who are known for the ‘titles’ they portray on screen, I’ve felt for a long time, I’m not truly known. Like deeply known, all sides, good, bad and ugly and then I read Psalm 139 and I am gently reminded that I am known, both inside and out.
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
Unlike Paul, I can find it hard to be ‘all things to all people…’ but that ability came from his core, knowing who He is and who He is in Christ. He was Paul, first before he was Paul the apostle and it was THAT Paul that Christ called.
With everything said, I hope you understand where I am coming from. It’s my hearts desire that you will see people, before you see titles. Before you see your Pastor, recognise that they are a person. Let real recognise real. See your sister before you see a leader in her. See your Mother as person, before you see her as your Mother (it’s hard but it takes God to give you the eyes to see). See your friend, before you see her as Mother or Wife (if those are her ‘titles’). See your husband / wife as a person, before you view them as your spouse. At the end of the day, we all desire to be known.
God’s word says in 1 Samuel 16:17 that man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart and sometimes we can take this quote and see it negatively. Let’s not forget, God chose David because He saw His heart and knew what He would become. But He always remained David in our Father’s eyes, no matter who He was King too, nor how many battles he won or mistakes he made.
Have peace knowing that you are known, no matter how ‘unknown’ you feel. Christ knows you, everything about you. Present to the world who you are and trust that you can open yourself up to those he’s surrounded you with. It’s even in those relationships where God can show you that you are known 🙂
Until next time,
Love EML xx