Morning friends,

Thanks so much for your prayers. My dad got out of the rehab center last Wednesday and I was able to fly home and leave him and my stepmother in the able care of another sibling. We are praying he will grow stronger again and they will be able to continue to live independently.

There has been quite a conversation on my blog from two weeks ago on the topic Are Negative Consequences Unbiblical? Today I was reading in Hosea and Hosea had some boundaries and implemented negative consequences with Gomer, his wayward wife. We read that after he extended Gomer extravagant mercy by purchasing her back from slavery he says to Gomer, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution”(Sounds to me like Hosea said change NEEDS to happen here for our marriage to survive). Then he adds, “During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.” It’s interesting to note that at the beginning of this section of Scripture, the Lord tells Hosea to go and love his wife again. Loving Gomer did not exclude negative consequences, in fact, it reinforced it (See Hosea 3:1-3).

Thank you, Dawn, for filling in for me while I was gone. Here is part two of the Glorious Unbecoming.

 

 

The Glorious Unbecoming – Part II

Dawn Perry

Welcome back, Christ followers! Looks like many have decided to pick up the challenge of last week and let 2017 wash you anew. This is tantamount to your own Glorious Unbecoming. What priceless gifts await us in the process of it all? The most priceless gift being a cleansed, renewed, and radiant self. That’s what we’re signing up for here. What better testimony to the work of sitting in the presence of the Master Creator  ~ a new creation, the old has passed away and all things have become new in accordance with 2 Corinthians 5:17.

How did you do with your questions from last week? At the very least they led to some wonderful threads and interactions in the comments section of the blog. So this week we will continue to explore and frame the process of a Glorious Unbecoming. As we unfolded last week it begins with a lost soul meeting the Master Himself during the drudgery of the daily. First note to self, He comes to her, meets her right where she is both figuratively and literally. He does the same with us today.

Secondly, He came to make her an offer. It was to be an offer only He was authorized to make on His Father’s behalf as her Creator. It’s the same offer that stands before us today in the form of our own Glorious Unbecoming. He offered her so many things, but the three we will unpack today are her deliverance, her dignity, and finally her destiny. It’s important to know that these were only things He had the ability to bestow on her. Why? Because she belonged to Him. He had purposed her from eternity past … nothing at all has changed over the centuries.

Deliverance. Let’s start there. Let’s trace back for a moment in eternity past to the process that was started in the Garden of Eden itself. From the presence of perfection rose the first cry for deliverance. The first example of our need for redemption, renewal and salvation. When perfection itself was destroyed by the first children. The Master was familiar with the process, He had been at this for quite some time. So many similarities throughout Scripture in the way He handles these sticky wickets.

The woman at the well started her Glorious Unbecoming right at the moment she decided to listen to what He had to say about her ~ Step One in deliverance. One of our readers declared quite truthfully that listening is the first indication of love. Not only did she listen, but also she leaned into the truth He was speaking to her. These weren’t the soft and pretty, feel good truths He unfurled to her. This was her resume of wrongdoing that was quite accomplished. Yet she learned, listened, and asked for more! What was it about His approach that drew her into Him?

My estimation says His pencil was one of love, grace, and space that drew her inside of His circle that day. This would have been in direct opposition to the pencil of her community that had drawn a circle of judgment, shame, and blame in which she found herself on the outside … continually. Of one thing we can be sure, when we are inside of the wrong community we will always be on the outside looking in. That outside leaves us vulnerable to the enemy’s attack. Just like an animal pack, the vulnerable are hit first. Crushed by sneak attacks of lies, deception, isolation, doubt, fear, and finally the deathblow of a crushed spirit.

Proverbs tell us that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Can you relate? She could. That’s why she needed deliverance, and so do we. Here’s the deep work of deliverance. It starts with the “Aha Moment” in which the unraveling of ourselves begins. He shows us, as He did her, her need for a Savior. He showed her the great need she had for Him because of her brokenness! Again, this is the gift that only He has the capacity to deliver. The gift of Himself, her Savior. He says to her, “I who speak to you am He ”(John 4:26b). She believed Him instantly. Do you?

Repentance is the next work of deliverance. It literally means we are offered the opportunity to “turn around,” to make an 180 degree flip in the opposite direction. Let who He is so overwhelm you that the response could only be your own personal Glorious Unbecoming. “If any man is in Christ, He is a new creation. Old things have passed away (died) and all things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s the result of repentance right there.

Deep repentance requires deep knee bending. Shallow repentance yields the same shallow results. Are you fully in, committed to the deep work of becoming Gloriously Undone? She was. The reason I ask this very personal question is for years, I lived at surface level repentance thinking I was doing much deeper work than I actually was. It wasn’t until I was thrust into my own wilderness, was I capable of allowing Him to do the deep work of dismantling my lifetime history of horror. So there she is accepting His offer, the one that only He was capable of making to her, repentance. Let the Glorious Unbecoming of her deliverance begin.

Next stop would be dignity, or rather her lack of dignity. OUCH! She was one hot mess of unholiness, and before her stood “I who speak to you am He.” In great gospel fashion, He offers her the clean slate of 1 John 1:9, “If anyone confesses his sin, He is faithful and just to forgive Him of sin and cleanse Him from all unrighteousness.” This is the fertile field in which He plants His dignity seeds of identity deep into our souls.

In the Glorious Unbecoming, “What exactly does that mean?” you may ask. Let’s break it down into the simplest of terms. We are, like she was, His masterpiece. The Apostle Paul says it this way, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).  That means our purpose was established in eternity past. That’s where her problem lay, the same place ours does. She had been severely marred, twisted, broken, basically rendered incapable of any of those good works for which she was created.

She needed the Master’s overhaul. He was there to perform that work in her. Since she was His creation it was He who made the call as to who she was. I’m sure somewhere in that conversation, He filled her in securely anchoring her to Himself. Whispering to her the new name He had for her. Seeing her in His strength, the source of her new identity.

How do I surmise that to be true? Let’s look at how it all rolled out historically with another one of His masterpieces, Gideon. You’ll find him conveniently cowering on a threshing room floor in Judges 6:12. He was a hider, a fearful one. Driven to that place in a moment of panic from the onslaught of the enemy. Yet, the Angel of the Lord grabs hold of him that day and in that moment gave Him his dignity, his calling, His purpose with these words, “The Lord is with you, VALIANT WARRIOR!” Wait, what?

In a signature move of the Master that day, just like at the well, just like in our own lives, He assigned Gideon his identity. With that new name, He aligns and assigns His masterpiece to its purpose. In the gift that only He is free to bestow on us, as the Master Creator, He calls the future into the present. In his own Glorious Unbecoming Gideon arose that day from that threshing room floor armed with his new identity as Valiant Warrior. The rest is history. From that day on, He operated from that identity base, just like the woman at the well, just like we can.

With our dignity restored, we are free to fulfill our designated calling (Click to Tweet).

Where did she find her dignity? Where do we find ours? Those are great questions that I’ve been asked. They are ones I’ve asked myself. The answer is at the Master’s feet. We have the benefit of His word in addition to the Holy Spirit. In our own intimate Glorious Unbecoming, we can write from the pages of scripture who HE SAYS we are, daily, deeply.

I can’t stress the importance of assimilating that, Christ Sisters and Brothers! The reframing of our dignity happens when we bend our knees fully to receive His name for us. Listen, for in that name lies our destiny. Deuteronomy 6 says this about how intimately we are to know the law, “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads, write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” How much more our identities bestowed on us from the Creator Himself?

Dignity intact we are free to begin the process of fulfilling our destiny. This is the Master’s call on our life.

Just as in any great masterpiece no two are exactly alike, nor are our callings. As our Creator, He gives us those. We are free, in a healthy way, to begin fulfilling the good works of Ephesians 2:10 that He has prepared for us.

He shared it with Simon Peter this way in Luke 22:31  – Listen Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded all of you. He’s gonna break you down good, pulverize you, but don’t worry, I have a name for you. You are going to be the rock on which I build my church. Your faith is not going to fail because I have prayed for you. Because of Me, you will fight this battle knowing that you’ve already won it. I want you to fight that way, because it is true. Stand in your dignity. When it is over, here’s your call. I want you to take that pulverized, broken story and turn around and use it to strengthen the Sisters and Brothers behind you. Bedrock, that is your name. Let the broken pile on top of you. That’s my church.That’s your destiny.

Wow! That, sisters, is how we war to fulfill our destiny. We are free to fight knowing that victory has been secured by the Master. Fight that way for your own Glorious Unbecoming. This is how the woman at the well did it that day, with her deliverance, she picked up her new identity and ran towards her destiny. She was no longer broken, she was now whole in a million pieces! Wearing her new name of Victorious, she ran right back into the throngs of her oppressors proclaiming her deliverance, offering them theirs. Funny how He works like that. Not long after He followed down with his disciples and spent days working with her to sow and reap His harvest.

This, Sisters, was her own Glorious Unbecoming. Are you ready for yours? Again, I ask if we are committed to letting Him do the deep, down-to-our-core work. If so, are you positioned correctly? Are you surrounded by the “right others” who offer you love, grace and space? If not, why are you stalled in judgment, shame and blame? Find your tribe and let the healing begin. Check out Leslie’s groups. Let this be the year you learn so much, you find your deliverance, claim your new name and begin the good work of using your broken story to strengthen the sisters behind you. Let’s continue the dialogue in the comments below.

29 Comments

  1. Jessica on January 11, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Wonderful post. Thank you for your wise words. I can so easily see the wonderful work that God can do in someone else’s life but can never apply it to my own. I don’t know why I have such a hard time believing it for me. I desire to know Him in my own heart and tell others of the work He has done for me. Not just believe because of the work in someone else’s life.

    • Lynn on January 11, 2017 at 10:53 am

      My experience: we must learn who He is with our mind before we can experience & believe Him with our heart. People in the Bible met Him in person. We must meet Him through the reading of His word, the Bible. We aren’t called to worship or pray to an unknown God. We can have a reason to believe. The Bible is His letter to us and we must be diligent to seek to learn about Him – His character, ways, love – within its pages. Reading & memorizing His words will impact your life by transforming your mind and heart. The Bible isn’t like any other book, it is His living word and it is powerful.

      • Dawn on January 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm

        Yes, Lynn, yes! So powerful is His word. Living. Breathing life into us. Memorize it. Use it to war with. Let it wash over you in sweet abandon drawing you to Him.
        The Holy Spirit speaks to us. I am learning to listen carefully for His quiet leading and direction. I have a goal this year to abandon my obsessing and controlling flesh for a Spirit led life. It’s a crazy ride, but I am living deeper in Him than I ever have in some of the riskiest places I’ve ever been. Funny, I’ve never felt safer!

    • Dawn on January 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for the gift of your transparency. I wonder if you could ask yourself what transformational work would you like to see accomplished through Christ in your life?
      Think about it. Ask Him for it. Most importantly invite Jesus in to begin the process. Listen for His voice through His word, the Bible. Talk to Him about it and begin yielding to the process.
      It is His heart for you, and it so sounds like your heart is for Him as well.

  2. Content on January 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Lots to think about here. I will need to read both parts again. Thank you and you’re a great writer.

    A couple of years ago, before I really realized what I was about to step into, I heard God telling me to start to “dream”. So, I did a little and have been sorting through things that I like, taking into consideration the way God has made me (gifts, personality, passions, etc.) and what I could do for work – what my dream job would be and also throwing aside ideas that I know for sure aren’t who God made to be. And He has been reminding me of that as I listen to a series on Detours by Tony Evans (based on the story of Joseph). I am sort of excited about the future (while also scared enough to bawl like a baby at many times about the fact that it might look very different than what I want it to).

    Looking forward to re-reading these two posts in some quieter moments and have a friend who I think would benefit greatly from this, as well.

    • Dawn on January 12, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Yes, Content, yes! Also cannot stress the importance here of the right “others” surrounding you. They will speak truth about your gifts, your talents, and most importantly your weaknesses if you are that close. That is a true gift.
      Dream the dreams, cast the visions at His feet. Conspire and dream w Him. He is safe to trust, impossible to fully comprehend, yet unable to harm you in His love for you.
      Most importantly , He is the One who dreamed those very dreams for us first long ago in eternity past!

  3. Content on January 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Oh, and I *love* Leslie’s comments on Hosea and Gomer and boundaries.

    What a very clear representation that boundaries are loving (when letting God be the one who shows you what boundary to draw and when). Also, to me, this is another representation that it is the Spirit of God who speaks to us individually as we each go through our own circumstances. If we are seeking and surrendered to Him, He will show us the right way to love.

  4. Aleea on January 11, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    . . . .That’s so beautiful, —thank you Dawn. I also love the encouragement, —wonderful. “Why are you stalled in judgment, shame and blame?” . . .I guess because I simply can’t fully believe. The healing comes because you believe. All I can do is pray: Lord I believe, help all my unbelief. —I can’t change the shape of the evidence, —or the facts. Reality is a very hard road. . . . .But what really matters, it seems, is the faith and conviction with which you believe. . . I see people from all faiths healed by that. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. —Amazingly, that seems the truth. —Amazingly, believing, seems the cure. It is so clear that fear is the glue that keeps us frozen —and faith the great solvent, but that requires we really believe. —I have spent too long with the facts which I thought would increase my faith but the facts were not what I thought. They were far weaker than I could have imagined. . . .Morning after morning it kept coming and so did more of what I hoped was common sense. . . . .When you can truly believe in something and are capable of believing in something with all your heart, you are going to heal. . . .It’s true not because it’s beyond doubt, but because you believe it to be true. You can make it true. I always think reality is objective but maybe, truly, your reality is what you believe in. . . .The world is a very confusing place, good is usually not rewarded. The strong prey on the weak, the rich on the poor. . . .Sometimes, the scariest thing is to trust God to fight the battles I can no longer fight. —Lord God, I can’t fight the battle against the evidence, it is like a forty-foot wave after wave. . . . .The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows, that’s where I am stuck. People say to me: “There is no evidence great enough to prevent doubt. If you base your belief on evidence, sooner or later you will sink!” I simply don’t understand that. . . . Believe everything and anything? . . .And yet, reasonableness is a matter of degree. Beliefs can be very reasonable (France exists), fairly reasonable (quarks exist), not unreasonable (there’s intelligent life on other planets) or downright unreasonable (fairies exist). There’s a scale of reasonableness with very reasonable beliefs near the top and deeply unreasonable ones towards the bottom. And, a belief can be very high up the scale, yet still be open to doubt. —And, even when a belief is lower down, we can still acknowledge the remote possibility it might be true. . . .But I don’t know if that remote possibility is enough for healing, and yet, it looked like Jesus thought so: Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. . . .So healing should be possible even with almost no faith, maybe even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing.

  5. Wendy on January 11, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I did find my safe place and a loving tribe. As I began reading scripture just for myself and seeking the face of God because I wanted to know Him intimately I found love. He was gentle to me and patient as I began to reveal to Him and to myself the parts of my heart I felt were un becoming. He began healing me and touching my wounds and reminding me He died to to give me a victorious life. Day by day I came to understand He understands everything that I need and forgives me for everything I have done. Then I woke up one day and realized He had totaly forgiven me and in His eyes I was absolutely glorious. I stay close to Him and allow Him to tell me who I am every day. Thank you Dawn your words they are very inspiring and very needed.

  6. saffer.k@gmail.com on January 12, 2017 at 4:08 am

    This is very deep thinking. Its as if my eyes are being open to the incorrect truths (aka lies) I have believed since I can remember, resulting in an inferiority complex that haunts me daily despite accomplishments and abilities i know God has put in me. I am blessed in ways beyond my ability to articulate, yet I am drawn to thoughts of shame, guilt, inferiority, timidity, not-good-enough thinking. It’s like a sticky goo that I try to get off of me, but it just sticks the more and more I try.
    I do want 2017 to be my Glorious Unbecoming. O God–I pray that is of Your will.

    • Dawn on January 12, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Yes, Saffer, yes. It is my prayer that scales drop off all of our eyes so that we can see just how He values each of us … oh so beyond measure.
      As we renew our Minds and “strip the script” of our original identity in our head of it’s power, we are free to renew our minds, as He requires us to do, w His view of us.

  7. Dawn on January 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Ahhh, Wendy! You are such an encouragement to my heart. You are a brave soul to upend your life to chase after Him to the degree you have.
    It’s in a Ps 42:1 soul panting, unquenchable thirst, gotta get to Him at any cost way. I KNOW that just tickles Him pink!
    Keep chasing, keep driving into Him. There becomes a sweet rhythm as we learn to walk intimately w Him in the kind of love He designed for us to experience.
    War on to healing, dear Christ Sister!

  8. Wendy on January 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

    My heart was changed the most when I came to the understanding I had fought the war in my own power. Realizing, like the woman at the well, He knew the truth about everything I had done. That He was the only one who could touch all of my wounds, all of the lies and pain from my past. He was the only one who could fill my heart with living water, compassion, understanding and love as He told me all I ever did. He was not like the others and the voices of condemnation in my head. He is my Saviour, He is the lover of my soul. His plans for me, every single one of them are good. Not one day does He waste. He leads me on the straight path towards hope and healing each and every day. My flesh does not always feel this. The past can come up to haunt me and try to discourage me. These are the days I choose to go against my flesh and dig deeper into His word and remind myself who He has told me that I am. Some days I cry I can’t read and prayer is hard to do. However, I just cry out for Him to help me to guide me and to show me the truth. I try to find something to thank Him for even in the darkest moments. Just choosing to seek Him with each and every day no matter what I feel, and asking Him to show me the truth, has made such a huge difference in my life. The word of God washes over us and is so powerful. Most of us have allowed the lies and deception of hurtful people to be louder in our heads then God’s word. I was allowing my own self condemnation to be louder in my head than His word. The great treasure is knowing there is nothing you can do ,however, you can do all things through His power! Every feeling every fear He wants to be a part of in my life. I never have to hide anything from Him. He loves me and knows me fully. He can tell me everything I ever did and love me at the same time.
    I put my energy into the right war now. I war to stand in the armor of God and keep my eyes focused on Him. I choose to only allow Him to tell me what my name is and today I am totally forgiven and free.

    • Nancy on January 12, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      “I put my energy into the right war, now.” Wow.

      “I CHOOSE to ONLY allow HIM to tell me what my name is” Lovely.

      We DO have a choice. The Lord always gives us a choice- that was such a HUGE part of me placing my faith in Christ to begin with. He never pushed, never crossed the line. Totally respectful. He wooed me, yes, but He was and continues to be a perfect gentleman who always gives us the choice.

      We are not victims. In Him, we are made NEW.

      Thank you Wendy.

  9. Nancy on January 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Aleea,

    Jesus said, “I am the Truth”.

    The amazing thing is, whatever we choose to do with that, He will respect!

    How awesome is that …!

    • Dawn on January 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      I often call Him the Consumate Gentleman.

      • Aleea on January 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

        Dawn, I am not sure you can resist God’s call, but I don’t know that. “All that the Father gives me will come to me. . . And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise them up on the last day. . . . .”No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. . . .Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.” “No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” . . . .Maybe I am wrong but I see that taught everywhere in early Christianity <AD 500. . . .God's call is like a summons and it means all the more for the glory of God to save women irresistibly. God has to do it or believe me, it will not get done. All our resistance can't defeat the pull of God. That idea comes with the Germany piety movement of the 18th century and thereafter. Early Christians believed God has to do every last thing when saving people. God has to regenerate their hearts and cause them to repent. —Why? Because they are totally dead and totally blind in their sins. Go out to the cemetery and cry out for people to “come forth.” No one will come. Why? They are dead as per Ephesians two; Colossians two and like fifty plus other verses. —Dead and blind. . . .—Anyways, as always, I could easily be wrong, the Bible is very, very hard to interpret. The plain sense does not always make sense. . . . .But this is one of the hard-and-fast ironies of the Christianity: views that at one time were the majority opinion, or at least that were widely seen as completely acceptable, eventually came to be left behind; and as theology moved forward to become increasingly nuanced and sophisticated, these earlier majority opinions came to be condemned as heresies.

    • Aleea on January 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Hello Nancy,

      That is awesome!!! I love that too. . .that He respects my choice, —wonderful.

      . . .I so wish Jesus would have wrote down His own words, Himself. Jesus came all the way from heaven to earth and I so wish the Lord God would have made all ancient extant Bible manuscripts indestructible, unalterable and self-translating —vs. scholars constantly, I mean constantly! disagreeing over context and the meaning of words, phrases, chapters, paragraphs. In the past, I have been so, so frustrated by that. —Why Lord???. . . textual variants, interpolations, redactions, textual alterations. . . . There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament. —That’s a lot of differences and that’s even before the “meaning” comes into play. —I assume the why is because God deals with each of us as individual persons but it sure looks like a mess that only humans would be capable of making. Anyways, that is why we have a personal relationship with Him. We simply can’t get all the answers from the Bible.

      . . . I don’t know why God set it up that way but He just did. . . . I was at a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, in Lower Austria in August last year, that abbey was founded in 1089 and that monastery’s scriptorium was a major site for the production of Bible manuscripts all across Europe (—something I am always interested in!) Countless manuscripts. Anyways, here is the point: many scribes did not even care how they spelled the words they used, sometimes you’ll be reading a manuscript and you have the same word within a few lines and the word will be spelled three different ways! They might have meant very different things. How can you tell? I think only by reading each of them very carefully and seeing what each of them has to say—not by pretending that they all are saying the same thing. If you Google: “It’s All about Variants: A Variant-Conscious Approach to New Testament” and “Going for the Bigger Picture” and “Eldon Epp” you will see what I mean. Eldon Epp is a professor and Textual Critic. Epp is NOT trying to critize the Bible in any way, he loves the Bible. He is just trying to understand what it originally said and more importantly meant. I don’t know why they have to call themselves “textual critics” because it sounds bad right out of the gate. Anyways, it is not as easy as just reading it. . . .Different authors have different points of view. One can’t just say, “I believe in the Bible.” In Matthew, Jesus declares, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” In Mark, he says,“Whoever is not against us is for us.” Did Jesus say both things? Could He mean both things? How can both be true at once? There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament. For me, the search for truth takes me where the evidence leads me, even if, at first, I didn’t want to go there.

      . . . But beyond all that, I know, for me, Jesus is the best in love experience ever. I do know that and have totally felt that before. I have felt it so strongly. I have no evidence of what is going on but I’ll never get over that. It doesn’t happen that often but when it does, the pull on my heart and joy is unbelievable, —usually happens when I am praying. That’s why I like praying the best. Bible study, for me, it is not a faith builder. The problem is that I have put so much of the Bible into my head that I can’t stop the questions. —And I don’t even try to pull my heart to “safety” with Jesus. I don’t use boundaries with Him. I just put my heart out there and if He breaks it, He breaks it. I either love deeply or I regret deeply. I don’t do middle ground with boundaries. I want to know what is really, really, real when it comes to Jesus. ―I was reading Martin Luther the other day: “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.” . . . .ha, ha, ha, ha. . . .that guy was crazy!!! . . . . —Who tells people things like that??? I guess what he was saying is that if you love Christ everything is self-correcting. We can never replace the authority of *knowing* Jesus Christ personally and directly. When churches, et.al. interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, they become just travel agents handing out brochures to places they have never even visited! —Oh, if Christianity were only about finding a group of people to live life with who shared openly their search for God and allowed anyone regardless of what they found to seek too, —regardless of what they found.

  10. Nancy on January 12, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Dawn,

    “The reframing of our dignity happens when we bend our knee fully to receive His name for us.”

    Listening, receiving, being open. This is the essence of being a women.

    Just yesterday a dear sister warned me to be careful not to shut my heart down too completely.

    There’s a fine line between guarding my heart, so that I can safely stay completely open to Christ, and hardening my heart so I don’t get hurt ( which may protect me from harm but also shuts me down from hearing my Shephard).

    Somehow though, Dawn, I don’t feel as though I have to ” figure out” that fine line. The process of bending my knee fully to Him, and receiving His name for me, will sort it out.

    • Ruth on January 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Nancy,
      Your point about the difference between guarding your heart and hardening your heart is SO TRUE. And it’s runs parallel with staying humble/teachable or turning embittered and vengeful.

      You ladies are so wise and tenderhearted.💖

  11. Wonuola on January 12, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    This is so empowering! So well timed for me too! Reassuring of Christ’s love to walk in the full liberty He has obtained for us! …not allowing culture or any earthly expectation to hold one captive in any wsy, including thoughts and ideas that have no roots in the Wird. Thanks for sharing scripture grounded truth that sets free indeed!

  12. Nancy on January 13, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Aleea,

    Do you have Godly women in your life? Who can pray with you, pray over you- Who can battle along side you?

    God rewards vulnerability. Reaching out to ‘right’ others asking for help (getting together regularly to pray for one another, for example) is an ‘action’ way of seeking the heart of God.

    • Nancy on January 13, 2017 at 9:19 am

      ‘Rewards vulnerability’ maybe better to say ‘Responds to vulnerability’

    • Nancy on January 13, 2017 at 11:26 am

      ….God blesses vulnerability.

      🙂

    • Aleea on January 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Nancy,
      I do and I also have my counselor and we always pray, every session and I really believe that it is the best thing we do. The best thing. We pray much before we start, when we are at an impasse (often), when I become defensive. Prayer is completely other. I like your idea of more vulnerability (reaching out). I do have that with my prayer group.

      . . .This is what I assume and try to do to go deeper with Christ: down, down, and even lower down! Grace is just like water it flows down to the lowest spot. I assume if God finds us empty, His glory and power will flow. I try to take the posture that I have nothing but what I receive, so I wait for God, generally. But I forget so often to just be silent before God and let Him bless me. I am often just praying for others and myself and asking Him questions.

      —And back on vulnerability, I really believe that if I do not let myself be seen, I cannot see. I can only see myself via others. . . .I understand that vulnerability is strength, not a weakness. It is like vulnerability => humility => courage. From there, courage allows us to let go of shame, —I hope. —The person we are meant to be, not the person that needs to be right. This seems the road to confidence and self worth. —Oh Nancy, I usually understand the theory, —that never seem too much of the problem. . . All love begins with the love within, God’s love, not love from the outside. Love is the strongest power there is because I only accept your mistakes and flaws to the degree that I accept my own. In love, there is no need to choose between self and others, because self is others. I think that is how part of it works. When I can see my own self, angry and hurting others, within every villain, then I can love them. When I can see my own desperate struggle for belonging in the eyes of every enemy, then I can love. . . .And we often throw away real people searching for the “perfect” person the same way that we throw ourselves away searching for our “perfect” self. It is only because we seek love as if it lives outside of God that we miss it, again and again.

  13. Ruth on January 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Leslie, God bless you as you care for your dad! I’m praying for you. I know that must be a little stressful especially given your childhood history. Are you an only child?
    Do you have any sibs or cousins or aunts/uncles to help?
    Your comments on Hosea and Gomer were great!

    Dawn, your articles have have wonderful!! They’re so motivated and uplifting to the downtrodden!🙂

    • Ruth on January 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Sorry for my typos

  14. Esther on January 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    WOW! His timing is Perfect, always. In the process of my own Glorious Unbecoming (I put that on with encouragement and a smile), and as I read thru Part 1 and Part 2 and the blogs there was so much poured into my situation giving me understanding of my very own weaknesses, expectations, entanglements, and the list goes on that have trapped me. BUT, oh what a Savior I have in Jesus… am so thankful for the wise loving words poured into this blog. Leslie, Dawn, all those who have and are sharing…. THANK YOU! God bless you. I arrive broken at the well, but oh what strength as I walk ahead in faith in His Strength and Plan for my life. Tearfully and gratefully submitted… your Sister-In-Christ.

  15. Libby on January 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Dawn, you are a wonderful writer!!!, and have been used tremendously in this post!! You have taken me into the deepest places of my broken heart. Each reply has been a healing balm, and I have to thank you, each one of you, for sharing your hearts on this blog site. Deep is where I like to go with God, but, it’s not much fun going alone. I get the sense that there is so much healing taking place in all of you and I am so very thankful for the encouragement I get from reading your reply’s, to be open to hear who He say’s that I am and to walk by faith. A gift I receive.

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