Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Ring the Bell for Your Freedom! A Guest Post by Jennifer White #Peace4Chicks
Did you see the movie, The Help? A maid named Abilene teaches the young girl she's hired to raise who she is. She tells her, "you is kind, you is smart, and you is important." The little girl repeats it back to her. The scene captured my heart. Abilene spoke words every girl wants to hear. She poured truth into a child whose mother could not.
In a later scene, Abilene sweeps the chastised girl up, sets her down away from the commotion. Then she reinforces the truth before the mother's words and actions have a chance to take root. The young fictional character had a chance to overcome the lies she was experiencing.
I got that same chance when a Christian counselor walked me through a list of lies people believe about themselves. I was living as if over 75% of them were true. She introduced me to the power of speaking God’s words. She prayed the truths of scriptures out loud with me. She helped me apply them. She recommended I pray the prayers written in Prayers that Avail Much by Germaine Copeland. I also participated in Beth Moore's Bible studies. Thanks to Beth for not only teaching the Bible but also modeling a life based on Truth through her writing. She taught Isaiah 32:17,"And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever (NLT)."
DING DING DING! The bell for my freedom had rung.
I had suffered from a lack of peace, an unquiet mind, and wavering confidence for over 30 years. I had discovered my answer. Righteousness was the prescription and I was going to take it! I needed to remember that I was given Christ’s righteousness at the point that I trusted Him as my Savior! (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.) As I studied His Word, I began to witness God's character and feel safe with Him. The truth of His love for me helped me to relax. I began to make decisions for myself and my marriage that agreed with God. The voices of the many people I was trying to appease no longer weighted the scales. Believing the Bible became easier than believing people's opinions and rules.
One of the Truths I started practicing was 2 Timothy 1:7. As I recognized my fears, I reminded myself that God’s Spirit lived in me and was filling me with His power, His love, and His soundness of mind. I felt fear. But I chose to practice my position regardless of the fear that people would judge me, criticize me, or not like me.
During this time of transformation, my husband and I began to build a home in another state. I HATED the idea. I was scared of losing friends, being away from aging parents, and being isolated. One day I finally surrendered. I told God, “I can’t submit to him, but I can to submit to You. And if this Your plan for my life, I will go.” I accepted God’s sovereignty. I believed He could and would work all things out for my good.
Later, I read the passage where Jesus sends His disciples to take a man's donkey. The disciples asked, what if the owner asks why we are taking His donkey. Jesus replied, "Tell him my master has need of it." Jesus had eternal perspective. He could see the big picture. With that verse, His Spirit assured me that He had need of this house we were building. That day I cast my fears (my cares) to God whom I had learned trust.
I still had days where my feelings struggled for first place. I grumbled about how this wasn’t my idea and much more. But God whispered a quiet truth that I’ll never forget: “Jennifer, you get excited about what I’ve done. Why don’t you get excited about what I’m going to do?” These reassuring words confirmed to me He had a plan. He was asking me to have faith in a future I couldn’t see. I have begun to expect God to do more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). After six years, I have a few answers regarding why He needed this home. I enjoy living here so much more than I anticipated. Peace is now a word I would use to describe my life. Confidence and quietness are taking over my inward conversations. My marriage is peaceful and exciting. He sent me an Abilene to teach me the truth about Who He is and who I am because of Him. His Truth overcame the lies initiated by the enemy of my soul.
More about the author...
Jennifer White is wife to David and step-mother to Lance and Deanna. She directs the marketing for New Leaf Publishing Group, a Christian book publisher located in Northwest Arkansas. She blogs at jenniferowhite.com where she shares inspiration to lean into God. She is in the process of co-writing one of a series of books on prayer for wives.