Wednesday, March 16, 2016

We Are Kingdom People

We don't always feel like our true identity. Our past, our present, our struggles, and our uncertainties can leave us estranged from our authentic selves. However, we must never forget the importance of knowing who we really are. Because who we really are is not what's happened to us or the circumstances we find ourselves in. Who we are is not what we have or don't have. It's not what other people say or believe about us. It isn't even necessarily what we think or believe about ourselves. 

Who we are is found in Christ alone.

Read this over. Write this down. Print this up.

Speak it out loud. 
Live it out loud. 
Let it sink in real deep. 

Just don't ever forget the people we really are.

We are light people. We are salt people. We are occupy people. We are grace and truth people. We are hope people. We are mercy people.

We are love people. We are joy people. We are peace, patience, and kindness people. We are goodness people. We are faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control people.

We are cross people. We are redemption people. We are resurrection people. We are Easter people. Conquered death people. Abundant life people. 

We are new creation people. We are sons and daughters people. Wonderfully and fearfully made people. We are His beloved people.

We are holy people. Wisdom and discernment people. Justice and courage people. Walk humbly with your God people.

We are prayer people. Doers of the word people. The called according to His purpose people. Worshipers in Spirit and truth people. 

We are prophetic people. We are revelation people. We are visionary people. Creative and innovative people.

We are breakthrough people. Transformation people. Overcomer people. And we've got the victory people. 

We are spread the Gospel people. Share the good news people. Heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free people. Beauty from ashes people. 

We are blessing people. We are strength and power people. Thanksgiving, praise, and honor people.

We are on Earth as it is in Heaven people. Nothing is impossible to those who believe people. Declare a thing and it will be established people. Obedience is better than sacrifice people. 

We are I AM people. Father of lights, Son of God, and Holy Spirit people. 

We are supernatural people. Greater works people. Walk on water people. Drive out the darkness people. Come up higher people. 

We are King of Glory people. Lamb of God people. Bread of life people. Living waters people. We're light of the world people. Hope of glory people.

We are Jesus people. We live and move and have our being in Him people. We can do all things through Christ people. We are because He is people.

I could go on and on, but you get the message. 

And it's absolutely true. 

So let us always remember. Let us lovingly remind one another.

In the sweetness of life; in the hardship of life; in the dailiness of lifeIn the narrow places and the wide open spaces. When all is well and when all is not. 

This is who we really are. 

We are Kingdom people.

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Scars and Stories

It was Bob Dylan who wrote and sang, "Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain." Live enough and you'll find out just how true this is. 

Life is full of contrasts. All of us experience both good and bad times. We all go through ups and downs and have mountain and valley seasons. And we all, to some degree, have scars and stories to go with them. 

Our scars are often rooted in deep pain and hardship, but beautiful things can be birthed from them when God is involved in the healing process. And we shouldn't be dismissive of this. 

If we throw out people's scars, we're throwing out people's stories, and we're discarding parts of them and their lives. We can't only be interested in the neat, pretty parts while dismissing the messy, difficult ones. We can't just skip over the heartaches and disappointments. God certainly doesn't.

We might not realize just how much He actually works in and through the scars and stories of people - including our own.

Behind every scar there's a story. And behind every story there's a valuable life.

I have learned not to be dismissive of this because it's often holy ground. I'm not implying the pain, suffering, or injustice behind the scars were all necessarily a part of God's plan. Rather, I'm trying to point out there are often hidden gems waiting to be discovered in spite of them. Meaning there is something of great value within these places only He can know and wants to help us find. 

What we see through the filter of pain and shadows, He sees through the eyes of love and light. He looks past what seems broken, tarnished, lost, or hopeless and sees the most precious thing of all - a human soul. 

He doesn't trivialize our wounds or treats them casually. Quite the contrary. He cares about them because He cares about us. He embraces them because He embraces us. In His deep kindness and compassion, He shows up and meets us where we are. 

Jesus is intimately familiar with scars and stories. This is why we can trust Him with ours. 

He eternally carries the scars of His crucifixion; not as an ongoing source of pain, but as an ever-present reminder of what was accomplished through them.

Those are the scars that once flowed with hallowed blood. Agony, death, and sorrow are a part of the story of Christ, but so are peace, life, and joy. Without them, all of them, there would be no grace or mercy; there'd be no hope for change. His scars are central to our faith. They tell the ultimate story of love and redemption. They are the proof. They're the scars that heal and they speak for themselves. 

Knowing Jesus endured such tremendous suffering on our behalf, knowing His scars were for us, has a way of putting things into a different perspective. Because He was a man of sorrows, familiar with pain and suffering, He can understand ours too. And because He is our Redeemer, He can help us find redemptive value in our scars and suffering as well. 

I don't always understand why things happen. I'll be the first to say I don't have all the answers to the questions. In fact, the deep adversities, griefs, hardships, and traumas many of us endure leave me without words sometimes. But I do believe He wants to help us transform our personal pain into something more beautiful and meaningful.  

Thr truth is, healing is most often a process we have to walk out but it's a sacred one no less. And while it might not always look like what we expect, we can trust He knows how to help us traverse the painful, difficult places in our lives. He knows who and what we need to navigate this path.

I've come to realize as we discover those hidden gems, we'll also discover more about ourselves and how much we matter to Him. And in time, we can start to see the divine beauty within our scars. They become a profound reminder of what we've been through and overcome. They become the proof of our story and not the sting of our story. 

Eventually, we'll be able to share our experiences with others. We'll be the evidence of beauty rising from the ashes. We'll be a bright holy spark shining His light through the guts and the glory of our scars and stories. We'll be a true voice of understanding and encouragement to those who are struggling with theirs. We'll be hands and hearts of compassion lifting people with the love of Jesus.  
And, more than anything, we will truly come to understand that because of His scars and His story; we all have hope for our own.

- Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2016

photo source: Tumblr