This post is especially special because we’re together, sitting on a green pleather couch, without our 7 kids, in the middle of the Chosen Conference hosted by Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, SC. God has already been speaking and confirming our identities, which we’ve been sharing with you. And today was confirmation for both of us that where we are in this season, is exactly where He designed us to be.
Identity is something we all have and it’s something we can all lose sight of if we’re not diligent. As women, we often give more power to calling ourselves the wrong names instead of the right names, the names God has given us and so clearly written down for us. When we give power to the wrong names, we hand power over to the enemy.
This blog is about us trying to always grow ourselves and be confident in the calling of the identity he’s placed on our lives. We were reminded of this after listening to Hosanna Wong (@hosanna.wong) speak from her book, I Have a New Name. Specifically, God is calling us to three new names in this season. So we are standing against the enemy and instead choosing to give power to these new names!
There’s a call to action in Matthew 28:19 known as The Great Commission. “Go and make disciples”. How do we do that? Does it mean that we have to be a missionary in Africa telling the news that Jesus died for our sins? Or can we just walk out our front door and use that calling right where we are? Jesus went out of his way to read, speak, and share the word. What if being a disciple simply looked like affirming a friend struggling with postpartum anxiety or confirming a friend's beauty inside and out when they’re struggling with body image. Being a messenger means telling your imperfect story like someone else’s story depends on it. It is telling the good, the bad, and downright ugly, but showing others how leaning on God has helped us through it. We want it known to our friends, our sisters, and even strangers that we have walked through some dark valleys and we will walk through them again but we have claimed VICTORY over our lives and our identities in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. There is a battle, but the good news is, God is on our side and He has already won it for us.
Body image is a topic that we have bonded over and talked about openly as something we have both struggled with. We both recently gave birth for the third time so the topic seems to be something we bring up a lot. Having multiple children to take care of in each of our households does not make losing the weight an easy task. While we both want to lose weight for our own self confidence, we feel as if a majority of our image struggles come from what others might think about us when they see us. BUT Jesus tells us that our body is a temple and that no matter what pant size we wear, or if we haven’t showered in 4 days, and our hair is full of dry shampoo, that our identity is in HIM. As women, we need to declare over ourselves that the mirror is not our true image bearer. When we look in the mirror the names that we call ourselves should have NO negative connotation, for our creator called us his workmanship, his work of art. When you look in the mirror and see something negative, you need to look straight in the Bible and see the words that God has truly called you. The Bible is our weapon to fight the battles of our identity with HASHTAG FACTS. #facts (Yes, we wrote that out so you would read it just like you did).
He has called you free, brand new, chosen, a temple, workmanship, friend, child of God, loved. WE ARE WHO HE SAYS WE ARE.
|Here is a raw and real moment for you. We both immediately looked at this photo and saw our flaws and wanted to delete it and pretend it never happened. We called ourselves negative names forgetting our one true name, daughter of the King.|
The enemy is not a creator, he’s a manipulator and he’s not original. God is the only creator of life and he calls us friend. He’s the original artist and made you as his prize workmanship, with every detail of your physical and emotional being given careful attention by the most powerful hands. Remember that when you see flaws, God sees a work of art and he wants a deep relationship with you! He’s the best friend we’ve got! What if we started believing that and shaped our earthy relationships to mirror that image? What if we spoke affirmation of love instead of envy and jealousy over our friends and peers. It is so easy to scroll Facebook or Instagram and constantly compare your lives to others. Instead of scrolling our social media feeds, we need to concentrate on what's the most important tool to scroll, the Bible. Let’s stop comparing and start celebrating each other’s unique differences, because unique is better than same! Comparison will knock you out of your strengths, steal your joy, and who needs that kind of negativity in your life? Absolutely no one. Find the people who spur you on and who you can in turn help them see their worth and value. Find a table that when you get up, you are NOT the topic of conversation. Find the table that allows you to speak openly and honestly. We all need a friend or friends that will be honest, whether that looks like telling you that you look gorgeous no matter what flaws you see. Or that you are better than that comment you made in the name of gossip. Don’t be afraid to jump in the deep end with people and be vulnerable, and know that there are seasons where you're gonna need somebody and other seasons where somebody is desperately going to need you. Find your friends that will take you at a ten as well as a zero. Let's be those friends that invite people to sit in the empty chairs at our table.