Our Voices Matter to Our Creator

“There is NO ONE alive who is YOUER than YOU!” So true, isn’t it?

God created each of us as His unique creation, even down to the tiniest details. We weren’t created on an assembly line. Each of us is a masterpiece of the Master Designer.

It may be hard to believe we are personally valuable to God, but we are. Every part about us is important to Him and created for His purpose. Including our voices, those deepest emotions of our inner souls. That one-of-a-kind way we express ourselves. How we feel in our heart of hearts. What are we passionate about? What are our dreams? What do we feel committed to? What makes us cry? What gives us hope? What revives our strength? What depletes us?

Painful experiences we’ve been through can crush our voices and make us feel like it doesn’t matter how we feel or what we think or say. We may become afraid of the consequences of speaking up. Afraid we will be hurt, rejected, or slandered again.

Sometimes I still ignore my inner voice, the true me God has created. She can get buried inside of me until I remember again how precious I am to God, how much He loves me, and how He wants me to be myself. To believe I am special to Him and to recognize the true feelings, gifts, and rights He has given me. To say and do what He has placed in my heart, not to say or do what others want me to or to run and hide in my shell.

Have you ever in your heart felt strongly about something but you kept silent? Have you ever tried to fill the expectations others have for you? Perhaps out of fear, to avoid conflict, or to make them feel better? Have you ever hid behind a smiling mask because you’re afraid if you expose your brokenness, you won’t be accepted? Then you’re not alone.

It can be hard not to beat ourselves up for not speaking up when it’s important. For not being authentic like God calls us to be.

It’s a comfort to know that God’s love is unfailing. He cares about us, even when we hide the unique person He created us to be. He is love Himself and will never hold our failures against us. He longs to heal all the hurts inside that hold us back from expressing the true voice He has planted within us. That voice that was created in His image and needs to come out to His glory. May He give us the grace and strength to do so!

“Who I am does not change who God is;
yet my knowing who I am, in God, changes me.
It changes me from a false identity to a true one,
from a life of slavery to one of freedom.”
Jennifer Camp

“To know what you prefer
instead of humbly saying Amen to what
the world tells you you ought to prefer,
is to have kept your soul alive.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance,
you feel a loss of energy, loss of power,
a sense of spiritual deadness.”
Shakti Gawain

Remind Me Who I Am
by Jason Gray

“When my heart is like a stone,
And I’m running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I can’t receive Your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough
Remind me who I am
If I’m Your beloved
Can You help me believe it
Tell me, once again
Who I am to you, who I am to You, whoa
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to you, that I belong to You
To You…”

 

Winter: In Nature and In Our Souls

A winter blizzard walloped us with 13+ inches of snow on the 14th. This was in addition to 12+ inches we already received this month. Then on the 18th, another 6+ inches. Will spring ever come?

I admit I’m as winter weary as this donkey…


I try to focus on the beauty in it though. Such unique patterns, both in the snow and in frost on the windows. No one but our powerful God can do that!

I’m also awed by the untrodden pureness of the snow, and sometimes it stirs up a longing desire:

“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
Psalm 51:7

In the freezing temperatures of this prolonged winter, God reminded me of His tender care over the birds. It’s amazing how He has equipped them. They fluff their feathers to trap heat. This slows their metabolism so they can conserve energy necessary to survive.

And just think, God counts us even more valuable than them! (Matthew 10:29-31)

On the morning after the blizzard, I was looking out our office window at all the snow. My heart sighed. Then a house finch flew in and perched on our dwarf globe evergreen. Even though he couldn’t see me through our tinted windows, it seemed he looked directly at me like he was saying, “Don’t lose heart. Spring will come.” Thank You, God, for the hope You breathed into my weary soul!

His mate perched on the nest box like she wasn’t ready to give up either. They had started building a nest in it, but it filled up with snow. That snow has melted, so hopefully they will build again.

As in the winter in nature, so also God has a purpose in the winters we experience in our spiritual lives. When one of life’s storms rips away someone or something we treasure and devastates our hearts and lives, we may feel forsaken by God.

When C.S. Lewis lost his wife, he slipped into depression. He wondered where God was in his suffering and grief. In one of his publications, A Grief Observed, he described what it was like. “But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is in vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside.”

That can be what it feels like, can’t it? But God taught him a valuable lesson because of this winter of the soul. “My idea of God is a not divine idea. It has to be shattered from time to time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence?”

We so easily trust in our own strength, and our perceptions about God can be far less than who He really is. When He does His work in us to bring us to the right place, it truly is a mark of His loving presence, even if we can’t “feel” it.

The winters of the soul strengthen our relationship with God. In nature, trees are dormant. They appear dead, but below the frozen ground, their roots are stretching and strengthening, actually fortifying the well-being of the tree. In the same way, we need to be rooted more firmly in Jesus. Our souls may feel dead and barren, but God is growing our roots stronger.

I have to admit after I wrote this, I feel better about winter. 🙂 But I still long for spring and all its new life! It’s coming!

“For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
and do not return there
without saturating the earth
and making it germinate and sprout,
and providing seed to sow
and food to eat,
so My word that comes from My mouth
will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.

Isaiah 55:10-11
If I go east, He is not there,
and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him.
When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him;
when He turns south, I cannot find Him.
Yet He knows the way I have taken;
when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.

Job 23:8-10
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord,
you must continue to follow him.
Let your roots grow down into him,
and let your lives be built on him.
Then your faith will grow strong
in the truth you were taught,
and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Colossians 2:6-7

“Seasons”
by Hillsong Worship

“Like the frost on a rose
Winter comes for us all
Oh how nature acquaints us
With the nature of patience
Like a seed in the snow
I’ve been buried to grow
For Your promise is loyal
From seed to sequoia…”