It’s hard work, reinventing yourself.
But that’s exactly what I feel like I am doing. And what I feel like God is doing to me and through me.
It’s almost like being turned inside out. Everything that has become familiar since Jack went to prison, I am praying will become unfamiliar. Like living in complete solitude. Like overeating. Like being overwhelmed by the challenges of life instead of, well, being challenged by them.
I can’t do this transformation on my own. I can only do it through God’s help. Oh, I have to do my part–and believe me, my part is hard work! But I can only do my part if I believe there is a God and that He loves me enough to assist me.
Some of the outer ways I am reinventing myself:
- Limiting myself to 1200 calories a day
- Slowly increasing the amount of exercise I get each day
- Severely limiting my time on Facebook
- Reading again like I used to (usually a book a week)
- Gradually weaning myself off of much medication
- Gradually re-entering the world again, through Sunday School, Worship, and other events
Some of the inner ways I am reinventing myself:
- After a month (December) of complete inconsistency at spending time with God, getting back into spending time with Him daily
- Fighting off the voice that tells me I’m ugly, abandoned, a failure, unwanted and that I’ll never succeed
- Cultivating my mind by challenging it intellectually
- Taking classes to increase my potential at my job (this could be an outer way, but it involves my mind as well)
- Memorizing scripture slowly. Right now I’m memorizing Romans 8
- Continuing to listen to scripture be read through YouVersion every night as I fall asleep
The “word” I have chosen for this year is to “Live”. I want to live again. I feel as though I died when Jack went to prison, and I’ve remained “dead” long enough. It’s time to live.
The “symbol” I have chosen for this year is the Oak Tree, based on Isaiah 61:3. I want to be an Oak Tree (I just recently wrote a post about this) that glorifies God. If you see me around with a beautiful Oak Tree necklace on, you will know what it means to me. It’s bold and strong and has firm roots. That’s what I want to be.
And the verses I have chosen for myself this year are in the passage of Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;[a]
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified
This passage is subtitled “The Year of the Lord’s Favor”. And that is what I need. God’s favor to see me through. God’s favor to do the things for me that He promises to do for Israel in this passage.
- I need to hear the Good News…the Gospel Story…over and over again. And you do, too
- I have been brokenhearted; I am brokenhearted. Only God can bind that broken heart together.
- I have felt like a captive to my body, to my mind, to my broken soul. I desire liberty from this captivity
- I have mourned–grieved. And I still grieve deeply. I need God’s comfort.
- In my grief, like Job, I have covered myself with ashes. Not literally; figuratively. But I want my God to give me a beautiful headdress instead of these ashes I’ve lived with for so long.
- Gladness–there is a word that I’ve not heard much in the past few years. Gladness instead of mourning. Joy, real joy. I must fight for it.
- My spirit has often felt faint. Both in real life and metaphorically. I want God to clothe me with a garment of praise as I learn to worship Him again in spirit and in truth. Not a show. Not going through the motions. Real Praise.
And then the passage comes to the Oak Tree. (You can click on that link to see the brief post I wrote about Oak Trees). Oaks of righteousness….planted by the Lord!! Do you see that? He does the planting, not me. And He does it so that He might be glorified! Oh, how I want my life to glorify Him!
So, my friends, you see the tasks I have laid out before me. Maybe you need to take inventory for this new year of what God would have you do and what God would do in you and through you.
I’m scared. I’m nervous of failing. I’m terrified of coming to the end of 2014 and nothing having been changed in my life. I don’t think I can continue to live the life I have been living. Pray with me, both for me and for yourself, that we will have the courage to allow God to change us even when the change is painful and unfamiliar and frightening. For He would never do anything that wasn’t for our good.