As predicted, my reading plan started in Genesis. The beginning of time. So I spent a good half-hour hanging out with Adam and Eve and sipping on an Americano with a bit of milk and one pump of Flan (?? the new flavor at Starbucks??).
Something stood out that benefited me a lot. Naturally I thought I would share it with you, in hopes it would also benefit you.
The story I'll refer to is from Genesis chapter 3 and for the sake of time I'll just give you my take on the situation, but please read it yourself when you get a chance. It's a good one.
So you may remember the story... Adam and Eve give in to the temptation of the enemy and do the only thing the Lord has instructed them not to do, then their whole world changes and they end up hiding from God.
The backstory is that these two had an awesome relationship with each other, and an incredible relationship with God. It says that God walked in the garden with them. It also says that Adam and Eve were naked and were unashamed. So cool.
Well fast-forward now to chapter 3 when they blow it and end up hiding from God. God calls for them and Adam says, "I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked." v10
Then God says, "Who told you that you were naked?'
That's the line that got me.
Who told you that?
Because here's the thing.... they were always naked. It wasn't new for them to be naked in the presence of God. The only new thing was that the voice of the enemy had convinced them that their nakedness was something to be ashamed of, and so they hid.
Made me think of my own life. How many times have I believed the enemy's voice on a situation, when God was actually saying something totally different?
I'll use something light and silly to communicate my point...
I have a nose... its a nice nose but its not petite like the girls in the magazines... don't get me wrong, its not a honker either, but still.... not long ago I looked at my nose and made a decision that because it wasn't like the noses that I saw on the faces of models around me.... its must be bad.... something to be ashamed of. But I realized this morning that my nose has not changed... yes it looks different than some of these other noses I have been envying... but that was never meant to bring me down.... my God looks at my nose with adoration... that nose is the nose of my grandmother... and maybe my great-great-great-great Grandpa had this same nose.... and even if Vogue doesn't want to feature my nostrils in one of their next ads, that doesn't need to bring about insecurity in me. So I asked myself "Jess, Who told you that your nose was the wrong shape?" and my answer was that my culture's definition of beauty had spoken it over me. So then I have to wonder why I would rather trust my culture with its definitions that are constantly changing, rather than trusting my God who is unchanging.
He made this nose, He loves this nose, and I can enjoy my nose because of it. All I have to do is reject the other voice and believe what I know God has spoken. What a relief.
So now lets take this idea to a deeper, bigger, and more intimate place, if that's alright with you.
"Who told you that?" is what God asked Adam and Eve in the garden that day, and I believe it is the same question Heaven is asking us now. All of us are believing things about our lives, circumstances, relationships, jobs, bodies, personalities, families, futures and everything else that relates to who we are as people. These beliefs are either rooted in lies from the same enemy we see in Genesis who was out to destroy Adam and Eve, or they are life-giving truths that have their source in God Himself.
So friends please ask with me...
Who told you that?
Who told you that this situation is beyond fixing?
Who told you that you are failing?
Who told you that you are an idiot for choosing this man who ended up treating you so terribly?
Who told you that its only going to get worse from here?
Who told you it is ALWAYS going to be like this?
Who told you that you can't accomplish this dream?
Who told you that you can't get the degree?
Who told you that you are too fat?
Who told you that you are a bad friend?
Who told you that you aren't as successful as the others?
Who told you that you are never going to get pregnant?
Who told you that she is making more of a mark on this world than you are?
Who told you that a new car, or a new house, or a new job would be the answer to your happiness?
Who told you that you are failing as a mother?
Who told you that you would never get married?
Who told you that you married the wrong person?
Who told you that you are insignificant, unimportant, unwanted, and a burden to others?
WHO TOLD YOU THAT?
Only the God who created you, knows you inside and out, loves you like crazy, and has a unique and wonderful story for your life, has the authority to tell you how it REALLY is. Only He has clear perspective about your situation. Even if outwardly things look grim, only God has the inside scoop on what is actually going down in the unseen places, and He promises in Romans chapter 8 that He is working ALL things out for your good. Even if it all looks like a complete disaster, we will still look to God, because only He can come in and say,
"Yes little one, you're right it IS a complete disaster today, but don't lose hope, this is the perfect opportunity for Me to come in and glorify Myself in how I pick up all the shattered pieces and write a glorious ending for your story that is BETTER than you could ever ask for or imagine, because I love you. "
All that to say... I have a cute nose.
So do you.
I have a great God. So do you.
There is hope for my life. And yours.
No matter how broken they are.
So let's trust in His voice.
I'm enjoying the California sun while reminiscing about our days in the Michigan snow.
Here are some sweet photos from a walk with Shaun that I loved!
Shaun is my favorite. And snow. And pink. So you can imagine how happy this walk made me feel.
I just remembered these were taken on Christmas too!
No wonder they give me butterflies.
((Christmas is my favorite too.))