Have you felt like you were walking through hell? I have. I’m Kari, and this is a new series I’m calling Girl on Fire. Enjoy.
For the last couple of months, I wondered when change was going to happen, again. Questions sparked:
“Where’s the inevitable change that those wise people talk about?”
“When’s the time I’ll be challenged, again?”
“I want to be used for bigger things, if that’s God's will.”
Another routine day came along, and I thought I was finally establishing who I was and where I was at, but then… there it was: that change.
I was thrown into a fire that brought a mentality change and a physical change… The quirky questions I asked before turned into a different set of questions:
“Who am I?”
“Why am I going through this?”
“When and How am I going to get through this?”
You see, I’ve been the good girl my whole life! I follow rules (for the most part), pay attention, work hard, help others, say please and thank you, stay quiet, pray, said I trusted God, and so on. I tried to be an “ideal” Christian. So, why the heck did I, Kari, get put into this fire? I just asked God for some change, a little *pizzazz*.
I’ve gone through my fair share of smaller fires, but never one like this. Oh, I prayed to God as to how I get out of this one. At first, I felt as if He weren’t there with me when I questioned myself and everyone/everything around me. Then a huge wave of everything that I don’t like in my life dawned on me all at once, and I was miserable and depressed. I didn’t want to see anyone and didn’t want anyone to see me. This fire was hot. I felt like I was walking through hell, because I felt like no one was there for me, that God wasn’t there for me. This was not the change I expected.
I prayed so hard, I felt like I was going to go blind because of how long my eyes were closed. I thought I would physically and literally run out of tears because of how much I cried. I gave up. I completely just gave up. That’s when I realized it’s not trying to be an “ideal” Christian. It’s about being a weak, flawed Christian. God is revealing so much to me right now. All the questions I started to ask myself in the beginning are now being answered.
“Who Am I?”
I’m a weak, flawed Christian.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
God’s words have been marinating in my heart and my mind for a while. I’ve been praying for God to reveal Himself to me in these times. Just so, He reminds me of Paul when he dealt with a thorn in his flesh, and asked God to remove it, but God allowed it stay. Paul took this inconvenience and glorified God through it! His infirmities, reproaches, distresses, and persecutions humbled him; Paul knew that when he was weak, then he was strong. That is what I needed to be reminded of. I’m weak; I’m not perfect, and this proved it. I need God’s strength to get through situations, not my own. That is what we all need to be reminded of.
This fire I’m going through is unfortunate, but it was needed. This is my thorn that I want taken out, but is needed for me to realize that none of this is about me and what I expected from God, it’s about how good God is. As soon as I started to change my mind set, I felt peace, but it’s something I need to work on more.
Another thing God is reminding me of is that my identity is in Him, not anything else. Not in my mistakes, not in my successes, but in Him. This was hard for me, because I worked hard for my successes, and I wanted people to see how much I’ve worked for the things I’ve accomplished, but a sucker-punch to the throat had to come.
A couple of passages popped into my head while thinking about this:
1 John 3:2: Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
2 Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.*
* I underlined those phrases for emphasis.
To summarize, all of these scriptures have one thing in common, which is that I’m supposed to be a messenger of the power of Christ, and that He uses people to show His abilities and His love. My identity isn’t what I have done or what I do, it’s in Christ. He edifies us to make us more like Jesus through His word, which made me realize that I don’t need God to change my circumstances, but for God to change me. This time around, though, it just took that change in circumstances and everything I know to make me realize that it was I who needed the change.
I want to make this clear to all:
Yes, I mess up. You may catch me doing something “Non-Christian”, something human, or something stupid, but that’s why God sent Jesus. God knew that WE humans would (and will) ALL fall short, and that no sin is bigger than another. We just wouldn’t live up to God’s standards. I admit I sin all the time, and that’s why I was praying about writing this mini blog series, so I can share with people what God is reminding me of. I want people to know that when you mess up, just direct or redirect your eyes, heart, and mind on Jesus, and you can be reassured that He’s got you.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Regardless of what we do, what we think, or who we think we are or aren’t, we are loved! ♥
NEXT POST: “WHY AM I GOING THROUGH THIS?”