{re}fresh

Month: May, 2014

When We Forget Who We Really Are

by Dawn Aldrich

 My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king. Psalm 45:1a

011

015They charge through the back door wearing their toothy smiles and holding out their arms, ready for great big hugs from this Grams. For a moment, while I inhale their youth, I catch a glimpse of their father – a slight resemblance – in the shape of her face and in his silly, boyish smile. How marvelous!

Wriggling out of my arms they dive into the toy box and Sister quickly emerges with a noble theme. She proudly dons a princess crown, happily announcing her royal presence throughout the kingdom. Suddenly, Brother yanks the sparkling royalty from her head. Arms flail, tears flow, and the little prince and princess misplace their own identities.

There are times we misplace our identities, too. Maybe someone yanks our rightful place out from under us or someone steals our innocence and then walks away. Sometimes though, we’re our own worst enemy – adopting those labels others slap on our backs – until we forget who we are and whose we are.

We need reminding that we are sons and daughters of the King in need of a great rescue.

The King rescues his children

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:5

Throwing colored paper, stickers, and magic markers on the table, Mother and I rescue the moment by transforming the dining room into the Royal Crown Factory. Their eyes fix on my hands as I trace and cut out two pointy, cut-out paper crowns. Busy hands and active imaginations quickly transform these plain shapes into sparkling creations. Smiles reappear across their little royal faces as they once again crown themselves prince and princess.

Restoring our identity as sons and daughters of [God] the King takes more effort than simply donning a cut-out paper crown. But, when we allow God healing access to our hearts, he restores completely.

The King restores our hearts

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… Isaiah 61:1b

So, how do we tap into God’s restorative power? I love how author, Madeleine L’Engle puts it in Walking On Water, “…there is a time in which to be, simply be, that time in which God quietly tell us who we are and who he wants us to be. It is then God can take our emptiness and fill it up with what he wants.”

When we quietly empty ourselves, surrender everything at God’s throne, that’s where He restores. That’s where God whispers our true identity into our souls and we remember our place as His prince and princess – heirs of His Kingdom.

As we know God’s full, heart restoration we experience freedom in the release of our true identity in Christ.

The King releases our true identity

…to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1b

Are we ready for a great rescue, today? Instead of groping at our heart wounds, let’s lay them down and let God transform them – transform us – into all He intended us to be. Let’s find some time where we can get honest with God, weep and throw our temper tantrums then, settle down and listen for His heart whisper.

As we daily surrender ourselves to God, maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of our Father in our faces as He restores us and we experience life in our true, Kingdom identity as God’s prince and princess.

(To learn more about Dawn, please visit our contributors page).

Advertisements

The Empty Suitcase

by Dawn Aldrich

 Sharing stories gives voice to the silent ones locked deep within another soul. When we step aside and let the Holy Spirit use our words to unlock those stories, we bring God’s encouragement, healing, vision, and transformation that can change a life, a family, a community, the world. 

My friend, Lynne, has a story to tell: 

Somehow I did not expect God to touch my heart so deeply “at just another Easter service,” but  he did.

When Pastor Wes spoke of the empty tomb, I expected to hear that old familiar story. But, God surprised me. Oh, the story never changes, but my perspective transformed on Easter Sunday. In the reading of Jesus’ resurrection story, Pastor Wes pointed out that the stone was rolled away to let us see Jesus was gone, but also to let us in to see the real miracle.  Yes, Jesus’ body was gone (raised from the dead) leaving the tomb obviously empty, but continuing, he reminded us that all sin was gone.  Sin did not hold Jesus in the grave.  Halleluiah!  And because of His sacrifice all of our sins are not only forgiven, but gone.  The tomb is open.  All sin is gone.

I know you are asking…so what does this have to do with the title, The Empty Suitcase?  Well, I realized that I have been carrying around a suitcase packed full of my sins.  Over the years it has gotten heavier and heavier and heavier.

baggage

Oh, certainly I have sought and received God’s forgiveness, but then I repacked my suitcase with those same sins; all covered by the blood of Jesus and ready for my trip to heaven.   I thought they were all secure in the suitcase, but it was as if they were seeping out to remind me of my failures.  Making me feel unworthy of God’s love or anyone’s acceptance.

Then God said, “Open up the suitcase, Lynne.”  And in my mind I did just that and guess what I found? It was empty!

suitcase

The true reality of forgiven sin took my breath away.  My sins are gone.  No more.  So why do I allow them to tear me apart with guilt and shame?  After pondering this revelation, I closed that suitcase and kicked it to the cellar.  I have no use for it anymore.  Once forgiven, my sin and yours disappears – gone.  Will I remember my sins?  Oh yes, but rather than feeling guilt and shame,  my heart is filled with love and thanksgiving to my Lord Jesus Christ for his great grace and sacrifice.

I hope you are not carrying around a heavy, sin-packed,  seeping suitcase.  I pray that you know the fullness of forgiven sin and the reality of the empty tomb {and an empty suitcase}.

Blessings,

Lynne

About Lynne Bowen: Lynne is a generous friend, devoted mother, grandmother and  follower of Christ living in New England. She loves teaching young and old alike about God’s saving graces. She enjoys playing piano and solving jigsaw puzzles.

%d bloggers like this: