I am so excited to have Lauren share her heart today on Fit for His Glory. Lauren is one of my favorite people! She works in women's ministry at New Vision in Murfreesboro, TN and has a huge heart for women- just like you! Lauren's journey with Jesus is raw and real, my favorite kind. Why? Because none of our lives are perfect and sometimes we need a good reminder. Thanks Lauren for pouring your heart out and for sharing your journey with us!
One of my favorite decades is the 1950’s. Can you imagine opening the white picket fence for the children as they walk to the school on the corner, or the twirling your skirt and apron combo as you are about to serve someturkey and dressing? Is it possible thatthe reason I love the thought of this so much is because I am a single womanwith the imagination of wife and mom life? My heart even skips a beat at the idea of having a family.
I think about other decades. The 1920’swhere the short hair and swinging dress were a must. The 1970’s where we all wear our love for peace. The 1980’s where your status was based on how high you could keep your hair. (Shout out to Texas you all are still rockin’ it! I aspire to be you!)
Looking back through the last century, we have defined true beauty in a plethora of ways. Craves and trends have changed so quickly that you can get whiplash just thinking about it. I can relate to that, though, in my life. 2015, you have taught me so much.
At age eight, I realized that I was a sinner; that I had been living a life disobeying Christ and walking without Him. In conversation with my mother, I realized that the only way to God, eternal life, and a relationship with Christ, was through His son, Jesus. So, on July 31, 2000, I gave my life to Jesus. It was in that moment, that my little eight-year-old self was not only created in the image of God, but I was reborn into the righteousness of Christ.
This is my identity, but it wouldn’t be until post college that I would begin to pause and dig into who I am in Christand allow that to unleash in me.
Chosen- Loved- Redeemed- Beautiful.
Yes, I heard and believed all of these things, but this year I was tested. I had spent my life striving to live from a place of grace, from an understanding of my identity, but starting in March,2015 gave me a run for my money. Andladies, running isn’t my choice of exercise.
A blessing and a “curse” for me is that Words of Affirmation is my love language. So, comment below some encouragement! (Only kidding) What I found myself doing was taking anything that anyone said to me, no bueno, and pinning it to my core and saying “this is me and this is what I can do for you!”
Here is where the battle of the mind would take me. For years, I had trusted people around me to encourage me and build me up. “Lauren, you are so organized, beautiful, your family is perfect, you just have it all together.” Again all of which was uplifting and encouraging! I was just a bad steward of these words. I took what others said about me and pinned them to my identity. When I would fail in my organization, it would crush my identity. When I didn’t feel beautiful, it would crush my identity. As you can see, I was living in a place with a shallow identity. The seed was landing on a rock and not on soiled ground.
What changed? My desire, a choice. I began to pray for a desire to flee from, as John Piper would say, being a “Wimpy Woman.” I wanted to be a strong oak as we see in Isaiah, and it has taken persistence and discipline to get there.
I have spent many days with my Christian counselor and those around me who are trusted and pursuing Jesus,walking through fear, self-doubt, my desire to be true to myself, and to only pin the identity of Jesus to me. Oh ladies, it has been a workout.
The biggest part of de-pinning the false and pinning the truth is knowing these two promises:
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
So I am not a woman of fear. I am a woman of freedom. I am not a woman of doubt. I am a woman of belief. I am not a woman defined by others. I am a woman defined by the Word of God.
Here are some ways I went to battle and tips that I have for you if you can relate:
• Take what you are hearing about yourself or are believing, and look in scripture to see if it is TRUE orFALSE. Be still. Wait for the Lord to speak.
o Example: I am fearful. Well, Romans 8:15 says “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Therefore, what I am believing about myself is FALSE. I will legitimately have conversations with myself and say, “is this true or false?”
• Seek Godly council. This is so important. Pray and search for a woman of God who is thriving in her relationship with Jesus. Someone that you can trust as a safe place for you to lay it out there. Be ready to receive. Take what you receive from her back to the Word to test the advice given, and APPLY it.
• Get your spiritual workout on. I encourage women to have QT (Quiet Time) before PT (Physical Training). We have to be persistent in asking the Lord to search us, know us, show us the evil in us, and lead us to the way everlasting.Obey and apply what the Lord is calling you to. The reward for me has been freedom and peace!
• Scatter scripture like confetti.
o Get your note cards, lock screens, and mirrors and post scriptures that scream truth. Repeat truth to yourself over, and over, and over. Think about it. You may have spent some serious time believing alie. It’s going to take TIME, PERSISTENCE, & DESCIPLINE to heal. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take the time, do the hard work. It’s worth it.
o Look back to the verse above, Revelation 12:11, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Since I didn’t want to live a life stuck, I chose to testify about the good, the beautiful, the bad, the ugly, and how GOD was moving and teaching me. Oh sisters, the freedom! I was NOT about to give Satan a lick of glory. I know that this year was for the Glory of God and my good.
▪ Romans 5:1-11
▪ 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
▪ Philippians 8:3-11
Today’s the day. Let’s go.
The reward of this year is priceless! As hard as that dry, sanding, clay colored valley was, I honestly can’t thank the Lord enough for walking thigh to thigh with me. I am so thankful that this year was spent figuring out my emotions, who I am in Christ, and how to handle frustrations and triumphs. I can confidently say that I am stronger, confident, more bold, not shaken as easily, and more free than ever. I haven’t arrived. I won’t arrive until I meet Jesus face to face. But sister, I am going to strive. I am going to press on. I am going to be steadfast in the Lover of my Soul and thrive in the understanding that greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. Want to join me?
Hey Ladies! One thing I am passionate about over here at Fit for His Glory is helping women know and believe that TRUE beauty is found in Christ alone. Nothing and no one else will ever satisfy our hearts like His love! Each Tuesday we will hear from women who are on the journey to true beauty and the beautiful path that God is walking them down. I am so excited to hear their stories or redemption, grace, passion and persistence! I pray that this column encourages you to look more like Jesus every day and pursue His love over everything else!
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