Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The more I learn about the butterfly, the more captivated I become. I love the picture it paints. I love the story it tells. It speaks to a deep place in my soul.
When it’s time for a caterpillar to shed it’s final skin it finds an isolated place where it can metamorphose. The outer skin of the pupa then hardens forming a chrysalis which protects and hides it while it transforms.
When I moved to this small rural town almost three years ago now I came sporting my credentials. I had just finished teaching a 12 week class on the book “Captivating” at a former church. I had seen a gifting that I had not known was inside me. It exhilarated me. I was chomping at the bit to be used for God. Truth be told I was chomping at the bit to be of value.
His words came to me clearly one day. “Stop promoting yourself. I will promote you if I want you to be used.” It became clear He was up to something.
Relationships that I thought would take off didn’t. Ministry opportunities that I volunteered for were filled by others. I’d been here before. I knew it was an “invitation of God”. I knew He was calling me away to the stillness, where the gentle whispers could become loud in my ears. For the busyness of ministry often drowned out that still small voice.
These last 2 years have been filled with something I never saw coming. God began to teach me how to find my value in Him alone. He began to change me from the inside out. He invited me to live as one who is loved. He guided me into loving myself as He loves me.
This week He pulled back the curtains and revealed more of the masterpiece He’s been sculpting with my heart. Given an unexpected invitation to speak at a women’s tea exposed the work of His hands.
Instead of jumping at the opportunity, I tried to run. It was the opposite of what I had done before.
He wouldn’t let me run. It was His door opened for me. So I went, I spoke.
As I sat down in my seat after speaking I realized something. I’ve changed. The desire to promote myself has vanished. I no longer need to speak to have value. I have no desire to seek to have a ministry or a gifting. I have found my place in His heart. I am absolutely and completely content living as one who is loved.
I stand amazed as I look at where I once was and where I now stand. A woman who for a time found great value in striving, performance, busyness, and knowledge no longer has a desire for those things. The heart of the father has won my heart... I have been transformed.
Our reality is we are fused with Christ. God cannot tell where one life ends and the other begins. When we get that, really get that, there will be no need to find value anywhere else.
The God of the universe chose to tabernacle in us. Would that we could see the value He places on us. That He would choose to dwell within us. It’s astounding when you consider it.
He wants you to know and live in your reality, so He comes. He invites you to enter into the metamorphose of the life of Christ which dwells within. In the shelter of grace He will love away your insecurities and teach you how to love yourself. For He's known you for a long time. He's loved you forever.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. John 15: 9
©copyrighted:2009 Julie L. Todd