Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who I Am is Whose I Am

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7

Sweet friends,

The Lord has taken my heart on quite the journey this past week and I am so excited to tell y'all about it. As I shared with you in my previous post, my heart was deeply struggling with the reality of losing my hair last week. Oh, how anxious, afraid and insecure I was. Dr. O'Shaugnessy had predicted that I would lose my hair last Thursday (1/26), however as I was getting ready for church last Sunday morning (1/22), my hair started to fall out. Not in chunks as I had expected, but just gradually as I brushed it. It was as if the Lord was easing me into it. I burst into tears as it first started coming out, I just cried out to my Heavenly Dad, "Lord, I know that your ways are not my ways, and I hate that I have to lose my treasured hair, but I am so tired of being sad about my hair. I hate that I care so much about it. I know that my beauty is in you alone, so help me to feel it. Please give me a peace that transcends all understanding and guard my heart and mind in Jesus (Philippians 4:7)." Y'all I was on my knees in sadness and desperation, and the good Lord met me right where I was and answered my prayer in abundance. For the next 3 days, little by little my hair fell out. Each time I brushed it, I was scared, but I wasn't sad and I didn't cry. I was peaceful. By Wednesday night of last week (1/25), about half of my hair had fallen out and I knew it was time for Matt and I to shave it. So sweet Matt, who had watched YouTube videos all day about how to shave a woman's head, got everything ready. In more love and tenderness than I can possibly explain, Matt prayed over me and my hair; that I would know that I am a daughter of the King, beautifully and wonderfully made for His purposes. So, as my precious husband cut off my remaining hair and shaved my head, we prayed over 3 verses:
  • "I praise you Lord because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:14)
  • "All Beautiful you are my darling, there is no flaw in you" (Song of Songs 4:7)
  • "The King is enthralled with your beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord" (Psalm 45:11).
Oh, what sweet reminders of true beauty. As I looked in the mirror for the first time as a baldy, before I could even react, Matt assured me I had never looked more beautiful, he wrapped me in his sweet arms and made me feel more loved than perhaps ever before. So although I didn't quite feel more beautiful than ever, our sweet Lord used Matt to remind me that I am beautiful, without a flaw, and the King of the universe is enthralled with my beauty. Not because of my hair or my outward appearance, but because I am His precious daughter.

Even as the daughter of the King, it was still so hard to look in the mirror without my wig and not hear the enemy's lies that I was ugly and unlovable. Oh, how thankful I am that God knew that the only antidote to these lies is the Truth. This past weekend He blessed me with the opportunity to go to our church's women's retreat at a beautiful ranch in east Texas with some of my closest girl friends. It was so much fun and physically, I felt so great! It just refreshed me as God knew EXACTLY the Truth that my heart needed to be reminded of! The quickest way to bondage is by believing a lie. The quickest way to freedom is to tell the truth: "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Throughout the weekend we were challenged to find our identity in Christ alone. That we as women, tend to put on so many 'masks' trying to be someone we are not. We allow our roles, responsibilities, and recognition of others define us. As one author states, "We cover up who God made us to be. We invent a new self that every body will admire but nobody will know." I have struggled my entire life with trying to wear the masks of "Being Perfect;" "Being all things to all people;" and "being consumed by my appearance." Even though I have found tremendous freedom in all of these through my relationship with Christ, they are still daily struggles for me. I often believe the lie that if I'm not perfect or pretty, then people won't like me. Lately, I have believed the lie a thousand times over that when I'm bald, I won't be loved or accepted. Oh, but how I was sweetly reminded that my value, my worth is in Christ Alone! We were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) to reflect Him and who we are in Christ is more than enough. We are so passionately loved and significant that Christ died for us. As I've heard it so perfectly said, "Is what your living for worth Christ dying for? When I think about it that way, it makes me want to live for so much more! Oh the plans God has for us (Jeremiah 29:11) are so good. I love that when Christ died on the cross, your name and my name were engraved on the palms of his hands! (Isaiah 49:16) Now that's romatantic love:) If we really stop to think about the depths of Christ's sacrifice for us, how could we not be overwhelemed by how much He loves us? I love that God calls His people, His Beloved. It's as though Jesus is just crying out to us, "BE LOVED!" Let me love you, just as you are, just who I created you to be. It still blows me away that God knows every single thing about us, and passionately loves us. Isn't that every person's desire, to be fully known, fully accepted and fully loved. Now, If we would only let ourselves just Be Loved then it would completely change our hearts and our lives. I am learning every day to accept Christ's crazy love for me, as the imperfect, baldy that I am:) How thankful I am that He is not finished with me yet! At the end of my retreat, they asked us to reflect on everything we are in Christ. Here is my list: In Christ, I am...
  • Loved
  • Beautiful
  • Adored
  • Whole
  • Secure
  • Accepted
  • Forgiven
  • Humbled
  • Encouraged
  • Full
  • Refreshed
  • Redeemed
  • Complete
  • Not lacking anything
  • Without fear
  • Free to be me
  • Not a slave to sin
  • Made in the image of God
  • His work of art
  • His messenger
  • Joyful
  • Peaceful
  • His Beloved

Oh friends, my heart is so refreshed when I think on who I am in Christ. Today, when I looked in the mirror, I wasn't appalled by my bald head but instead it just reminded me to think about my identity in Christ. I encourage you to take time to remind yourself of who you are in Christ. To take off the masks that rob us of the joy of being who we were created to be. I pray that you will see how adored and significant you truly are. I am so thankful that God continues to remind me of my worth in Him alone.

Today, January 31st, I was supposed to have my 2nd round of chemotherapy. However, it was postponed until next Tuesday because my white blood cell count is too low, which means that my body hasn't fully rebounded from my last treatment and is not able to fight off infection right now. So, if I were to have received chemotherapy today, Dr. O'Shaugnessy said that I would have been really sick for the next 3 weeks, which would have been terrible! I was so bummed though when she told us, "Not today" because I feel really healthy and my heart is in such a great place with the Lord. I wasn't anxious at all this morning, I was ready; or so I thought I was. I just hate that my sweet Mom and Dad drove all the way from Colorado to take care of me, and now they have to go home and my mom is flying back here next Monday. And it means that all of my following chemotherapy treatments are also bumped a week, so my wonderful sisters and friends that had made arrangements to come here for a specific treatment now have to reschedule their flights and other arrangements. Oh, the people pleasing nature in me feels so terrible that this is such an inconvenience. I just thought, God why? Today would have been great, it was in my 'plan.' But the Lord gently reminded me that His timing is perfect and that He is in complete control, and just as He reminded me this week to find my identity in Him alone, today he called me to Trust Him completely. "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 Please pray that I would completely trust God's perfect timing and that my white blood cells would be replenished this week. Friends, we just love you. We are so thankful to have you in our life to walk this journey with. I will be praying this week that each of you realizes how unbelievably loved you are by the King of the Universe and that you would claim your true identity as His sons and daughters. It's not Who you are, it's WHOSE you are! Have a wonderful week!

Joyfully in HIM~


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