Sunday, November 15, 2009

Clearing Away the Clutter

On February 4, 1974 Patricia Hearst, heiress to the Hearst fortune, was kidnapped by the terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army. The country was astonished when videotaping of her holding a machine gun in the midst of a bank robbery surfaced on national news. It was uncharacteristic of her to have such erratic behavior. Those who knew her well came to the conclusion that she must have been brainwashed. Once she was set free, it took her months to grasp her freedom.

It's taken me years to get here. It's proof of His relentless love that pursues to make all things new. The more He reveals to me, the more I see.

I was brainwashed by a hodgepodge of beliefs I’ve allowed to collect in my mind. It’s come through many different avenues in life. As a result, I have lived under the auspice of a false identity.

Little by little the clutter in my mind is being cleared away, revealing the true identity that has been hidden within.

In my Grandmother's house was an attic filled to overflowing with artifacts and trash, evidence of life lived. When it came time to prepare the house for new occupants the attic had to be cleaned. We all dreaded it. There was over 80 years of stuff stored up there. We knew it would take us hours, even days to clear it all away.

We donned our masks and braved the steep steps into the dark to begin the daunting task. We had no idea what we would find. At times we would come across a treasure. It told us something about the person it belonged to. But the bulk of what dwelt in that attic was trash. Things that should have been thrown away years before, were hidden away in the dark, taking up space.

So it has been with me. Papa God has been cleaning out the nooks and crannies of my mind. He's been removing the debris that has cluttered it, keeping me from living in the truth. In the process, the treasures of who I really am are coming into the light. I'm learning to love what He loves. I'm learning to love ME.

The more I discover the more I realize. It is imperative that I know what He thinks about me. It's crucial that I live in the new identity which He has restored to me. It is, after all, who I was always made to be.

I've allowed life around me to define my identity. It is not His way. It never will be. For you see I was crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Christ now lives in me. My identity is Christ in Julie Todd.

He's always known me. He wants me to know too. He pursues me until I see. My sins do not define me, nor do life's circumstances. My behavior is not an indicator of who I am. It is my reaction to the world around me instead of my response to a God who loves me.

David invited God in Psalm 139: to search him and know if there was any hurtful way in him, to lead him in the way everlasting. As I pondered the Hebrew translation I realized something. David invited God to look inside him and reveal those things that have been damaging. He wanted to be guided to the everlasting way. It is the way that has been from the beginning.

I want to live like that. I want to live in who I was meant to be, before I entered a world covered in sin.

He's clearing away the clutter. Who I have believed myself to be is not who I am.

I'm finally beginning to see.

On my worst day, I am the righteousness of Christ. It just doesn't get any better than that.

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference. Romans 3:22

©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd

My friend, Tiffany from Tea With Tiffany, has me as a guest blogger today. Pop on over and visit Tiff. She's a dear friend of my heart. Let her know I sent you!


Daveda said... Reply to comment

Amen Julie!! The only way to true freedom is to know and walk in our new identity. My last couple of posts have been about this very thing.

I love what you said about your actions not defining who you are. They are your response to the world around you, rather than to a God who loves you!! Right on, sister!

What are you reading? I am reading "What right do i have." By John Sheesby...very good :)

Bretta said... Reply to comment

Great post, Julie. I am slowly learning this. I pray God reveals fully to me who I am in Him and helps me to grasp it. Love you!

Karen said... Reply to comment

Amen...your final sentence sums it up nicely..."It just doesn't get any better than that."

I loved this part..."My sins do not define me, nor do life's circumstances. My behavior is not an indicator of who I am. It is my reaction to the world around me instead of my response to a God who loves me."...

Debbie said... Reply to comment

Clearing away the clutter in our lives; wow. Yes, we are new creatures in Christ. The old is gone but we still must battle with our flesh this side of eternity. That's why it's so important as to what we allow to fill our minds.

I so remember the saga of the Patty Hearts kidnapping. I too was amazed at the newspaper photos of her participating in bank robberies. Her life has changed in so many ways since those years, but those photos were so shocking at the time.

Thank you for your very insightful post.


Beloved of God said... Reply to comment

Just want to say that I follow your blog, and the last post before this one.. God really needed to hammer those words home to me. So each day I'd check and see the same post. Like God wanted me to read it again and again. There was a breakthrough this weekend, and today I come here only to see your new post about the clutter being cleared away.

You may never realize how extensively God is using you and your faithful words to help others who read your blog. But I just wanted to encourage you that he does! Bless you and all he is doing in you!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

I so get this!

christy rose said... Reply to comment

This post was so good! I love the revelation of our identity is only found in the Truth of recognizing our identity lies in Christ in Christy Rose. "On my worst day, I am the righteousness of Christ. It doesn't get any better than that."
I have an award for you! Please stop by and pick it up when you get a chance.

Amy said... Reply to comment

What AWESOME truth!!

This post makes me want to shout praises to God for His ability to clean out the clutter and replace it with His beautiful treasures.

He is AMAZING, Isn't He?!!

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

I love the ending. And I love reading your name in Christ.

Great imagery as always. Powerful truths.

Write on!

Love your heartbeat, it's in line with His.

Hugs and love from snowy Colorado,

Barbie said... Reply to comment

I am visiting from Tea with Tiffany! Glad I found you. Your story and inspiring. I've walked with the Lord now for over 20 years and I still cannot grasp how high, how wide, how deep and how long His love is towards me. I am on the journey.....Blessings!

Jacquelyn said... Reply to comment

Dear Julie, thanks so much or visiting my blog. I had tears in my eyes as I read your profile. Someone has said that in our new identity in Christ, God can only see us through the lens of the cross. I love what you said, "my sins do not define me"...thank you so much for sharing with such transparency!

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Dear Julie

This is again, as always, so well thought out and so well written. The connection you made to the clutter in your grandfather's attic and your own heart brought the truth home...

It is good to have connections between the external and what is happening inside of us.

I can relate. I am in a season of de-accumulating, and de-cluttering, my life. It is a downward path to greatness... what it means to be truly great in the kingdom. A letting go of things that I once considered important.

Loved your post...


deyoder said... Reply to comment

Good stuff, Ms. Julie! I hate that I missed you a few Sundays ago, I would have loved to have caught up! I left a post on Heather's facebook page this morning and saw your link! I'm so excited I found you! Send my love to your beautiful family!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Oh, friend, I have found such a treasure in you. Clutter, yes. I have to do a little spring cleaning from time to time. Funny how i can never seem to keep it clean. One day, though, the work will be completed. Until then, I'm revving up the duster.

Love you, lady!

Daveda said... Reply to comment

Hi, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you will join me over at Grace Talk With Daveda in Touched By The Fathers love. Please come on over and check it out!

Being Loved By Him, With You,

Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said... Reply to comment

He's been doing the same with me friend. I love how He works these things in our hearts, as daughters (and sons) to Christ and points us to these revelations in others we know we are not alone in this big ol world. We're not the only ones who go through these things.

Imperfect. Sinful. Loved. Cherished. He knows the mean of my saying "Love them because I can." Oh how I strive towards that heart.