Untangling A Tangled Mess

My father was a military guy, and he liked order. This rubbed off on my sisters and me. We all tend to get a little antsy when things aren’t in their proper places. I think I’m more tolerable of untidiness than my other siblings. Sometimes I leave dishes in the sink overnight and can go a couple of days without hanging up my clothes, but I recognize and appreciate the discipline of order. When I don’t have it, I’m not as comfortable. The procrastination anxiety of having too much on my plate to manage will ultimately drive me nuts. So, I try not to let things get too out of hand in my living space. I enjoy that ‘feel-good’ sense of calm that you get from cleaning up and having things tidy. If only life could be that way most of the time, we’d be all set.

One can appreciate the ability to compartmentalize, because that’s what we do in life. We can have order in one area, but total chaos in another. We can have confidence in what we’re doing in one aspect of our existence, like our jobs for instance, but when it comes to other areas, we can’t figure out what’s up and what’s down. Very often, this seesaw effect is most apparent in our relationships because intimate connections reveal our greatest vulnerabilities. We’re not perfect. We’re going to make ‘big time’ mistakes. This comes with the human experience. It is important, though, to forgive ourselves for those mistakes. It is equally important for us to recognize, especially in our relationships, that we are in a process of development.

If life proves nothing else, it bears witness to evolution and progress. Life is an ever-changing and evolving dynamic. As believers, this means trusting the reality that life doesn’t end because our physical bodies die. We are born once physically, and then born-again spiritually. The first birth gives us life on earth, and the second birth gives us life in the Spirit through Jesus Christ. The second birth is an eternal reality. Jesus Christ always knew what he came to earth to do, and he also knew the suffering he’d have to endure to make the second birth a reality for humankind. In John 3:14-16, he spoke of his death to Nicodemus and said that he had to be lifted up and crucified on the cross. He said that everyone who believes in his mission, sacrifice and resurrection would receive eternal life.

Eternal life is life that never ends. There’s little to no reason to become better humans if we have no hope of life beyond what we can see day to day. Because our hope is in Christ, we understand that life affords us a choice to become better versions of ourselves through God’s love, and not through negativity or hate. We can choose better because of Christ and what he accomplished, and we can be present in the moment knowing that we are WORKS-in-progress.

God has designed life in such a way that the more we comprehend that it’s Him who does the untangling of life’s messes, the more progress we make. We move ahead by leaps and bounds if our mode of operating is one of not interrupting what God is doing in our lives. He’s teaching us a new and better way of handling life’s hiccups, and the lesson is that we should not use our words and thoughts to block His flow and further tangle things. We block God’s work through doubt and negativity. These are groove killers. They take us out of the realm of faith, and therefore block the process and the progress.

All it takes is one time—just one time for you to speak positive words of hope unrelentingly over a troublesome situation. A commitment to do so will get you hooked by the results it yields. This is achieved by saying what God says, and He says that through the faith of Jesus Christ, all things are possible by believing and trusting Him. Jesus Christ said in Mark 11:23 that we can speak to a mountain and tell it to move and be cast in the sea; if we command this with no doubt in our hearts, that mountain is outta here. If we believe, and don’t doubt in our hearts, we will have what we confess by faith.

This isn’t always an on-the-spot or overnight reality. It’s a process, just as we are a work in process. It takes a lifetime to get some things right down here, and just as we must be patient with our own self-growth and development, we must be patient as we continually apply faith, and not fear, to the situations of life.

God will make our crooked paths straight. If we confess and think anything that doesn’t jive with this truth, then we’re thinking and confessing something that is contrary to who He is and what He has said in His Word. Doing this, falsely thinking and confessing, is dangerous business, and we should want no part in it.

God wouldn’t give us these powerful spiritual tools if life were always easy. We wouldn’t need them if we didn’t make mistakes and if we didn’t need to learn to walk by faith. God has given us His Word so that we walk in the Spirit and in the grace of all that He’s made available to us. Let’s believe that God will untangle the tangled messes of our lives, and let’s trust Him with all our hearts by speaking and thinking in alignment with His power and love. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Untangling A Tangled Mess”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

A Quick, Crazy, Evil and Violating Thing

It happened in a coat-check closet of a banquet hall of all places. I was happy to see a large mirror in it when I walked in to hang my coat. I’m always checking to see if I have lipstick on my teeth, it’s a thing with me. There were people coming in and out, but I made my way and stood in front of the mirror, checking my teeth first, and then proceeded to fix my hair a little bit. A guy I briefly made eye contact with standing in line suddenly appeared and bumped against me from behind. Before my mind could grasp what was happening, my body sensed something was very wrong. He maneuvered as if someone has pushed him in my direction, but that wasn’t the case. He pleasured himself and violated me in that instance. It happened so fast that I couldn’t calculate it, and when I turned around, he was gone.

When I returned to my seat, the look on my face indicated that something was wrong, and my friend was concerned. She asked me what happened, but I couldn’t get the words right. I tried to explain, but my explanation didn’t make sense. I shook my head, which she took to mean that she should just let it be, but really it signaled my overwhelming sense of disbelief.

I did what so many do when they are victimized in this way, I questioned myself a million times in a million different ways. There was nothing unusual or suggestive in the eye contact I made with this man, yet, I still questioned myself repeatedly. It’s an old habit from childhood that, for me, has been challenging to break. Children who grow up in abusive homes sometimes blame themselves for the abuse they suffer. They desperately want to be loved and will do anything to keep believing in their parents; even to the point of faulting themselves.

Intellectually, I knew this thing wasn’t my fault, but old programming got the better of me. It was a quick, crazy, evil and violating thing that happened, but at the time, it was something I had never heard of. So, I didn’t tell anyone what happened, fearing they might not believe me. I was used to suffering in silence, and that’s what I did. As time went on, what I began to understand is that the painful and silent thing has a voice, and it speaks in ways that our mouths could never articulate. My anger and sorrow about what happened to me manifested itself in physical ailments, extreme sadness at times, and a neglect of self.

I had a few mountains in my life in the past, and this violation became another one that I needed to conquer. I was sinking, becoming more bitter and angry, and I decided that instead of continuing to drown in my emotional pain, I would dive deeper into the Lord than I had before.  

1Peter 1:6-7(NLT) says, “6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” God doesn’t cause our problems and tribulations, but He will always help us through them, strengthening our faith and making us stronger than before.

Some people will do evil things. They will take the free-will gift of God and do horrendously vile deeds with it. As much as we’d all probably like to forget this, we can’t. But we don’t have to focus on it. Instead, we can focus on the reality that God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save us. We mean this much to Him, and because of what He’s done for us through Christ, we have a choice. We don’t have to let those who refuse to know God’s love destroy our desire to live by it.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14(NLT), God said that if we humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, and turn away from wrongdoing, He’ll hear our prayers; He’ll forgive our sins and restore us. Yes, we get knocked down, and sometimes it’s a pretty hard hit, but God is a healer of brokenness. If we allow His Spirit to work within our hearts, and be willing to surrender bitterness and anger to Him, we will always get back up stronger and more determined to live love through the power of His strength.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“A Quick, Crazy, Evil and Violating Thing”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

“Clean-Up” Women with Dirty Hearts

Growing up, I knew a group of women who never waited for permission to go after what they wanted. This was especially true when it came to men. It really didn’t matter all that much whether the man was married or in a relationship. If they took a fancy or the man seemed interested, they’d do whatever it took to take him from the woman he was with. Their mentality about this was cavalier to say the least. They figured if the woman wasn’t on top of her game, doing everything she could to keep the man satisfied and happy at home, she deserved to have him swept up by another woman. In an odd way, I marveled at the dichotomy of these women. On the surface they were very unassuming, and at times quite nice; but boy could they be ruthless. And the fact that they were not beautiful or particularly well-versed made the results of their audacity even more uncanny.

They were known as “clean-up” women, no doubt because of the cutthroat way they swept up a man, and did so to such a degree that not even a hint of him was left for his ex. When I think of them now, I think of what God says in Jeremiah 17:9(NLT), “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” These women were both insidious in their motives and actions. I would hear my grandmother say of them, “God don’t like ugly.” She was not referring to the aesthetics of their faces, but the content of their character and the way they disregarded families, children, and the mothers and wives who had struggled to hold it all together.

The ‘clean-up’ women in my town had many children and raised their girls to employ the same tactics they had used themselves. Other women that I knew feared they might have their husbands and boyfriends swept up. As I grew older, I inherited the same sort of fear. Long after I moved away from my hometown, I became ever so aware that clean-up women were not restricted to the area where I was raised. I dare say, they are in every town and city, sucking up leftovers and crumbs from what used to be a feast of matrimonial unity, and they leave no trace of Christian sisterhood in their wake.

Because of some of the devastation I saw, loyalty in a man was something I knew I had to have in a mate. I became relentless about it, and any sign of infidelity on his part was an immediate termination for me. I just couldn’t deal. The premise behind my stance is a good one, because God doesn’t want any of His children being treated disrespectfully, but the motivating factor for my stance was fear. It was the fear of being swindled out of my happiness by another woman’s selfish agenda. I had seen it happen many times, and I was adamant not to allow it to touch my life in any way.

Job, a righteous man who lived in Old Testament times, endured tremendous hardship in his life. In Job 3:25(NLT), he said, “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.” Fear brings a snare. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that fearing people is a dangerous trap. It draws out the very situations and circumstances we don’t want. Fear does not come from the Kingdom of God, it comes from the kingdom of satan, who is the father of lies, deceit, death, darkness, and hate. God tells us in 1John 4:18 that there is no fear in love, because perfect love will cast out fear; it will squash it. God’s love is perfect. His love is the glue that binds a relationship together in Christ, and it is the safety net that surrounds a family with impenetrable unity. Our responsibility is to have unwavering faith in God’s love, and the only way to do this is to learn about who He is.

God tells us in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. They are not interested in knowing more about His love, power, and grace. This is what leaves them exposed to the clean-up tricks of those sent by the evil one. The verse in Proverbs 29:25 warns us not to fear people, but to trust God because this brings safety. It doesn’t mean that our relationships will be perfect. People make mistakes, and sometimes men lose their senses and think for a minute that the grass is greener on the other side, but we serve a powerful and extraordinary God. No problem is too big for Him. We can’t be so concerned about someone cleaning-up where they’ve got no business. Our focus should be locked on keeping our own hearts free of fear and full of faith, so that we can continue to grow in Christ. We must be confident that if we do our part, God will most certainly do His.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Clean-Up” Women with Dirty Hearts”  written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


Heaven’s Idea of a Good Mate

The most important piece of truth that we can know about finding a good mate is that God desires it more for us than we desire it for ourselves. He wants us to squeeze as much happiness out of life as we possibly can. The Godhead bodily is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each is equally God. Although they have different functions, the relationship between the Father, His Son, and His Spirit is so unified by love that they are One. Jesus Christ said about the Holy Spirit in John 16:15(NLT), “The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.” Jesus Christ points to the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit points to God the Father and Jesus Christ; and God the Father points to His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. None of them singling out themselves only but giving glory to the other. Their relationship is beyond beautiful! And although you and I can’t fully comprehend it, we know from God’s Word that relationship means everything to Him. Therefore, He knows how important it is to us as well.

1Corinthians, Chapter 13 is known to many people as the ‘love’ chapter, because it is in this chapter that God defines what love is and how it behaves. He tells us that love is patient, kind, and not jealous. It isn’t egotistical, proud or self-aggrandizing. It’s not rude or irritable, and it doesn’t demand its own way. Love keeps no record of wrong doing, doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins. It never gives up, never loses faith, and is always hopeful. Love endures and will last forever!

This is God’s brand of love and it is extraordinary without doubt. In 1Corinthians 13:4-7, He’s given us a standard in hopes that we will fall in love with it. He wants us to pursue His kind of love and not rest until we have obtained it. In our pursuing, we will see that God’s whole mission is to build us up so that we learn to love ourselves, not by criticizing our flaws, but by continuing to focus on that which is best in us. The best in us is always going to be the love that comes from God. 1John 4:13-14 tells us that we know we’re living steadily and deeply in Him, and He in us, because He’s given us what He is—He’s given us His Spirit—His very essence. It doesn’t matter who we are, if we love with the heart of God, He loves through us. Heaven’s idea of a good mate is someone that allows you to do just that.

In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus Christ tells us not to jump on the failures of others or criticize their faults, because if we do this, we’ll receive the same treatment. He tells us not to kick those that are down, because this hardness of heart will boomerang right back on us. The astounding piece of wisdom he reveals is that the thing we put out there is the thing we get back. This is a big piece of meat to chew on, because it puts the responsibility for the quality of love we extend squarely on our shoulders. It requires us to graduate from baby formula and bring our fork and knife to the table.

God knows our destinies. He knows our futures, and He wants to present us with the most loving and wonderful mate, because that’s what He has in store for us. He also knows we’ve had a few issues in the past. We didn’t deal with a few things as honestly and humbly as we should have. The love we gave out was sometimes shrouded in selfishness, and this is what He wants us to see. He wants our eyes opened to the fullness of His love, because when they are, His Spirit has free reign to work within us, so that we receive the same quality love we give. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Heaven’s Idea of a Good Mate”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! fff

Dealing with Overwhelming Disappointment

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. ” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

Disappointment is defined as the emotion of sadness a person feels because of the nonfulfillment of their hopes or expectations. As I read the definition, I’m struck by the dichotomy of how simple the definition reads and how severely disappointment can impact our hearts. Sometimes our souls are wounded from it to such a degree that we’re never quite the same. There’s a saying that “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It’s cliché-ish, but oh so true. But no one wants to think about being stronger when your heart is aching, your confidence is blown to smithereens, and the thing you counted on or the person you thought had your back let you down big time.

As survivors of domestic violence and abuse, many of us have learned not to have high expectations. Your mind and heart will respond very surprisingly when they are conditioned this way. We’ll sometimes convince ourselves that God will not help us because of what we’ve gone through. We might make the mistake of thinking that He is punishing us for some reason, or that He doesn’t care enough to rescue us from disappointing circumstances. This isn’t the case at all. 1Peter 5:7 tells us to give all our worries and cares to God, because He cares for us. God loves us, and He wants to help.

Timothy was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, and Paul loved him like a son. Timothy endured disappointment because things in the church he was overseeing were not going the way he had hoped. He was a bit shy, and a very diligent and trustworthy person. Paul said that assignments given to Timothy would be carried out as thoroughly as if he had done them himself. But with this church, Timothy felt overwhelmed and became fearful to execute the spiritual gifts he had been given.

In our daily lives, we may not have the huge responsibility that Timothy had back in those biblical times, but we know how it feels to want something to succeed and yet have it fail. We know how hurtful it can be when those who are supposed to care about us speak negatively to us or behind our backs. It just breaks your heart and you want to crawl under a rock somewhere.

The encouragement that the Apostle Paul gave Timothy is the same encouragement we need in order to overcome overwhelming disappointment. In 2Timothy 1:6, Paul told him to stir up the gift of God that was in him. He reminded Timothy of his obligation to respond to God in faith, and to remember that God had equipped him to confront and overcome any adversity.

Disappointment can prompt us to shut down and close ourselves off to hope and faith; but we must not give in to this. Paul knew human nature. He knew how paralyzing disappointment can be, and he didn’t want Timothy to retreat into the darkness of fear. He had to make him remember what God has given to everyone who walks in Christ. In 2Timothy 1:7(NIV) he wrote, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

God doesn’t want the disappointments and hurts we experience to get the best of us. But He does want us to see the areas where we have allowed our spiritual lives to cool down. He wants us to notice that we might not be praying and talking to Him as much as we used to, or maybe our priorities have slipped; we’re more enthusiastic about what is happening externally than we are about what is happening internally. He’s reminds us to stir up the gift within, to remember who we are and whose we are. Only God can give us a sense of assurance, and when we focus our attention on Him and His promises, our spiritual lives will be strengthened. We can then view the other side of disappointment, and how we’re bolder and stronger for having overcome it.■

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Dealing with Overwhelming Disappointment” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Unstoppability

I happened to hear a coach being interviewed recently, and she said something very interesting. When asked about what makes a winning athlete, she said in her view a winning athlete is someone with heart. If an athlete has heart, she explained, they understand how to push themselves beyond the capacity of their physical ability or talent. They tap into a secret place that allows them to exceed even their own expectations about what they can do. They have a track record of winning because of this. Her definition of ‘heart’ equates to what most believers know as spiritual endurance. It defies physical, emotional, and mental limits. Once you know how to tap into it, this race called ‘life’ takes on a whole new meaning.

God talks to us about this race in His Word. There were many heroes and sheroes of faith throughout biblical history, and Heavenly Father referred to them in Hebrews 12:1(NIV) as a “Great Cloud of Witnesses.” The critical piece of wisdom gleaned from them is one that you and I can’t afford to miss. It reveals that the race of life isn’t one we choose, it is one that has been laid before us. This verse tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” God is the Creator of our races and the Architect of our destinies. He tells us with everything in life, to place our total trust in Him.

Sometimes in our relationships with others, we lose ourselves. We forget about the race, the finish line, and the prize; and we convince ourselves that immersing in the love of another human being will fill up our empty spaces, and it will take the place of the race we were destined to run. It will not. No human being is capable of doing this for another person; they can’t do it for us, and we can’t do it for them. We are running towards God’s love. That’s the prize, and we cannot put down the baton until this knowledge is firmly etched in the sanctum of our inner beings.

We were created with ‘heart’ in our DNA. And we must remember that God baked it in our makeup for a reason. It’s not just so that we will fall in love with a quality person. Although this is a beautiful part of life that He allows us to experience, romantic love is too temporary to sustain our destinies. If you can ‘fall’ in love, then it stands to reason that you can just as easily ‘fall’ out of love. Romantic love is yummy, but it will never have the glue that Heavenly Father’s love has. This is simply the truth, and if we don’t run the race with truth, we won’t win. God gives us the ability to develop ‘heart’ or spiritual endurance so that we will keep running even if our hearts are broken. We must have faith that we’ll reach the finish line and receive the prize He has waiting for us.

The common thread in the Great Cloud of Witnesses like Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham and Sarah, is faith. We cannot run our race without faith, and we must know that our faith is going to be tested. We have a spiritual enemy, and he will send momentum blockers. It’s a divisive darkness that works through people to hinder our race. Our mission and assignment from our Master Jesus is clear. It is to be unstoppable, because unstoppability demonstrates the highest quality of God’s love; for He tells us in 1Corinthians 13:8 that love never fails.

An athlete loses momentum in a race the moment he or she looks back at their opponent. The longer we look back, the more we stand to lose. Wisdom teaches us that there will be individuals that betray, abuse, and try to undermine our confidence. And sure, our love for them may cause us to look back, we may even cry a little, but for goodness sakes, we can’t let them cause us to lose the race. Jesus Christ tells us in Luke 18:1 to always pray and never lose heart. We must have faith that God has empowered us through the Lord Jesus Christ. His spiritual endurance is in our DNA. Be confident that if you continue to run this race and keep your focus on God, He will handle the momentum blockers, and He promises to reward you in a way that only He can.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Unstoppability”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Becoming the ‘YOU’ God Sees

In Romans 8:29(NLT), God tells us that He knew us in advance, and He chose us to be like His Son, Jesus Christ. This is why it is so monumentally important to know Christ and to know what he accomplished for us. John 1:1 says that Jesus Christ was with God from the very beginning. He sat on the throne with our Heavenly Father, but he left his position of supreme majesty and authority to come to earth. In Romans 10:10, he tells us why he did this. He left the throne of God in heaven and came to earth to give us access to a more than abundant life. Therefore, you and I can reason that before he came, our access to a more than abundant life was denied. This is both mind-blowing and integral to the missing piece of the puzzle that so many of us are searching for.

God knew us in advance. The question that you and I ought to ask ourselves is “in advance of what?” The answer to this question is one that we could never quantify or enumerate, because it would be impossible for us to count that far back. Revelation 1:8, tells us, “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God.” So, you and I can’t pinpoint a date and time that would adequately define the ‘knowing in advance’ God refers to in Romans 8:29, but we can surmise with a great degree of confidence that it’s a really, really, really long time ago. He knew us, and by this we must understand that He knew every inch of us, from the top to the bottom. He knew us, and He chose us for a very specific purpose, and it is to become like His Son, Jesus Christ.

What is Jesus Christ like? In John 21:25, the apostle tells us that Jesus Christ did so many extraordinarily good things during his time on earth that if they were all written down, the world could not contain the books that would be written. The goodness of Jesus Christ is boundless, and his love is pure and selfless; so much so that he endured what none of us could endure and sacrificed his life to cover our sins. If you didn’t believe or accept that such a tremendous act of love was accomplished for your sake, your strength would be greatly diminished, and your growth cut down. This is because you would not know the extent to which God’s love has rescued you, and you would always underestimate the magnitude of His saving grace. We would be relegated to a prison of doubt and fear with such limited thought. Our God didn’t want this and has given us a hope in Christ that exceeds such a pitiful state.

Through Christ we are empowered with inner strength. Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT) tells us this. It says, “16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

If we cannot trust the reality of our amazing, precious, and powerful Redeemer, Jesus Christ, we cannot truly know ourselves, for Romans 8:29 also tells us that Jesus Christ is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” God knew us long before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. God knew us because spiritually we could be known. The person He sees when He looks at us is the person He has predestined us to become. This is why we shouldn’t be consumed with the external things that don’t matter and have nothing to do with our destinies. If you haven’t already, ask the Lord to introduce you to your glorified self. It’s the person He sees in us. Our identity is a replica of Christ, our Big Brother. His Spirit lives inside us and like any great big brother would, he will help the ‘YOU’ you know become the ‘YOU’ God sees.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Becoming the ‘YOU’ God Seeswritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!