Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Image Engraved

       It’s been a year since I posted my first devotional at the Internet Cafe.  I had never really considered myself a writer, though I knew I had always loved using words.  Layers of lies that I believed about myself hid away parts of God’s story in me.  As His truth has come, more of who He made me to be has been uncovered.

       I was made to write.   The sheer love of it brings pure delight to my soul.  He has not only given me a desire of my heart.  He engraved the desire into my heart to give to me.

     I see a revelation through an old inkwell that sits on my writing desk.  It was my Great Grandmother, Nannie’s.  It’s made of crystal with a ornate silver lid.   When I received it, years of tarnish marred it’s beauty.  

     I pulled out the silver polish and began to strip away the layers, one by one.  It took several coats to remove it all.   As each one was wiped away, I began to see the patterned design in the silver begin to emerge.  Eventually as the tarnish was stripped away I saw a  beautifully scripted monogram.  The engraving identified my Nannie’s personal possession. 

       I am like that inkwell.

      I have something engraved on me.  So do you.  We are the image bearers of the Most High God.  He has taken His hand and not only formed us, but engraved onto us something unique, something that presents a picture of His life in us.   We have been given gifts and talents, pictures of God that tell a story of His love. 

      The climate of life’s circumstances have tarnished us, to the point that sometimes we don’t know what it is that is placed on us.  Who are we to Him?  Daughters of God, yes, His Beloved, yes, but what is it that He has engraved on us that bears His image?  It’s the most amazing thing when I really consider it.  I am made with my own monogram of God. 

      He knew that as I entered into love it would all be unveiled.  I wouldn’t have to search for it, it would emerge.  

      He pursues me with His relentless love.  He takes me down paths of removing the tarnish of lies that hold me captive.  He reveals to me that it’s not my work that defines me, nor is it my sins.  It is He who gives me value.  It is He who defines who I am.  He made me to love me.  As I embrace His thoughts towards me as my own, I enter into love at it’s finest.

      Love can only be entered into if I am a receptor.  I can never earn it.  Nothing I do will ever be enough to pay back what He offers to me.   Part of receiving it is embracing it as my own.  That means giving myself love, a much harder thing to do.

     I have lived too long under the shroud of not loving myself.  When I refuse to give myself the love He offers, I cancel out His truths offered to me.  I’ve come to the realization that insecurities are places where I am not believing the truth of what He says about me.  

     I see my own reflection, poorly, as if looking in a mirror and seeing my flaws.  But when I see what He sees I live as one who is loved, by Him, by myself.   Layers of the tarnish are washed away and I begin to see that monogram of Him on my life unveil.

     Love removes the tarnish that life’s circumstances have brought.  He takes my ashes and exchanges them for beauty.  Love reveals His story  etched on my life.

       We are the image bearers of the Most High God.  He has engraved His name on our hearts.  We belong to Him.  We are loved.  Nothing can change that.  

     Now the question is,  what will we do with ourselves?  Will we dare to see, believe and tell ourselves what He sees?  

      And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 

II Corinthians 3:18

    This is also posted at the Internet Cafe:

©copyrighted 2009 Julie L. Todd


LisaShaw said... Reply to comment

Amen! Amen! Amen!

His hand is engraved upon my LIFE and all that I am and am able to do is by His grace, mercy and power.

Praise the Lord and thank you for sharing this.

Amy said... Reply to comment


It brings such joy to my heart to read the magnificent ways the Lord is revealing Himself to you.

Keep letting His love, His light flow through your life...You are a beautiful reflection of Him!

Love you!

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

"I have lived too long under the shroud of not loving myself. When I refuse to give myself the love He offers, I cancel out His truths offered to me."

Me, too. This was such a great reminder for me today. Because I'm not feeling especially lovable today.

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

There is something in your words that are echoes of the words in my own heart. Each post of yours that I right causes something to resonate within my heart, "Yes!" and it is as if even without too many words, I understand what you mean. Words are not even needed. It is as if I "know" what you mean. I've always loved inkwells... and quills... and writing. Like you, I realize now that I was born to write, though I never considered myself one in my growing up years. It is only on this blog that I began going "public" with my words... and then only to be a voice, God's messenger, for the readers that come my way. I know, that is also your main motivation.

Van said... Reply to comment

Yes! Profound thoughts that are so easily forgotten in this world.

ktwalden said... Reply to comment

Julie, your words have painted another beautiful picture in my mind...this one of my Heavenly Father's love. He gave you the gift of writing and I am so glad you have allowed Him to use you to bless others. The inkwell analogy is precious and as a "Daughter of God" I am humbled by the thought of His great "monogram" on my life.

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Julie, Amen and Amen! This is the story of all our lives. Tarnished by sin and His love removing all that junk so that what He has engraved upon our hearts and lives can be seen by others.

I love you, my friend. I'm so glad the Lord has our paths walking together.

Have a blessed weekend.

Daniel said... Reply to comment

When I think of the print God has left on my life I want to jump for joy.

It is interesting how we sometimes get so busy with our lives that we almost forget that He should be our all.

There are moments in life where others try to marginalize the beauty that God has engraved us with.

His love is so amazing and we should always be truly aware of the love we are marked with.

Lady Lynn's Boutique said... Reply to comment

Beautiful post! It always amazes me how God leads me each day. Early this morning I came across your blog and what a magnificent way to be reminded of His love for us. I will live my life today smiling, caring and loving a bit more thanks to your words that have touched me today.

Laura said... Reply to comment

This is so beautiful, Julie. I could feel His hand on me as I read. You take me closer.

Love you,