Devo #2: With everything *I* am?

DEVO #2:

They didn’t even know what the others had written. Can you believe it? I didn’t tell any of these women what to write, but the topics God put on their hearts flow perfectly together! I just love how He works even in little things like that. You’ll see what I mean as we go on, but today you’ll get a glimpse of it in Greta’s devotional flowing perfectly out of Beka’s questions. Last time we were challenged to think about who we are and how that fits into living as a woman of God. Greta’s devotional challenges us to realize that who He created us to be, as you and me – not someone else, is exactly the person we need to be to bring Him glory.

~Tiffany

Greta Johnson:

Greta was my answer to prayer. Sixteen months ago I moved semi-permanently to Rochester, NY for a job offer, where I found myself suffocating with loneliness. I began to ask God for a new friend. Shortly thereafter, I received a facebook message from a “Greta Johnson” who said our pastor had suggested she email me since we were both in grad school at Naz. Even though she already had plenty of friends in Rochester, she made time to get together with me for coffee. Pretty soon I was eagerly looking forward to our regular coffee chats. I have loved getting to know Greta over the last year and a half. She is an amazingly balanced woman, who can be serious or crazy, strong while leaning on others, and who loves devotedly. From sharing life and wisdom with teen girls through Bible studies and shopping sprees, to preparing for her wedding in July of this year, to working fulltime as a speech therapist, to spending time enjoying her family, she has somehow made time to write a blog for me, just like she originally made time to be a friend when I felt alone. I’m so glad you get to see a piece of this woman of God whose heart is at rest, confident in who she is in Christ.

Greta’s Profile:

Favorite color: Pink/black, red/black, green/black, purple/black…underlying favorite=black =)
Favorite food: I really love fruit of any kind!
Describe yourself/life in 3 words: Jesus, family, Nate
What you want to do with your life: Live, love, laugh, and do it all with purpose.
One interesting fact about you: I’m getting married in July!!!
Most dangerous thing you’ve ever done: Try to fly while skiing…well maybe not a purposeful movement, and it ended in three fractured vertebra, but hey…it WAS dangerous!
Favorite quote: “Happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.”~ Unknown

Favorite Bible verse: “Be still and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10
What is one secret to living life as a woman of God in today’s world? Keep your purity. Wait for the man of God that is perfect and do not become disheartened if you have to wait… God’s plans are perfect and it makes EVERYTHING better in the long run!

“With everything   *I*   am?” by Greta Johnson

So I am sure most everyone has had one of those moments where you are in a worship service, singing along, happy go lucky, and then something all of a sudden slaps you across the face…  Well, as I sat in a worship service a few weeks ago, I was suddenly struck with the beginning of something beautiful happening inside of me.  Now, at the moment, did I feel like it was something beautiful?  Ha NO.  Here is how it all went down…

I am currently engaged and as a part of moving towards marriage, my fiancé and I are in pre-marital counseling.  It is a time where we learn and grow together by figuring out strengths, weaknesses, how to function together, and get the advice/oversight from hilarious and amazing elders in our church.  Some of the homework focused on how we view ourselves individually and in turn how it affects others.  I was challenged when the idea of making “comparisons” surfaced.  I struggled with an eating “disturbance,” if you will, for quite some time.  I was partially driven by the way I looked, noticing what others had–that I wanted, and continually striving for something that was not mine to have.  It took some time to fully see the impact it had on my self-image and my view on what God thinks of me.

When that issue came “into the light,” I struggled through a recovery process and God has brought me to a place of contentment.  I clung to Psalm 139 for a long time and God slowly altered my view to see who He has created each and everyone to be physically and why others have certain things and I….do not!  After that chapter of my life was over, I felt pretty secure in my belief that I was over comparing myself.  Well, as it turns out, I am not!

With a little more age and experience, there simply came a different avenue for comparisons.  My elder brought up the idea of not feeling adequate in my own spiritual life.  Not that I am jealous for the gifts God has given others, but I often find myself in a place where I just feel disappointed because I am not doing enough, praying enough, reading enough, worshiping enough…you name it.  Satan will use anything to meddle in our minds and make us feel useless.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I feel deeply that God has given me a heart to see things changed, vision imparted and passion for God ignited, but how can I do that?  Being me?  Don’t I need to be something greater?  How can I be effective just being who I am?—By grace

Back to the service— I was worshipping away and He brought all of these things flooding into my mind.  During the five-minute song (Hillsong United, Second Chance), God showed me five new truths (well old truths, but spoken in a new way):

1)      “You called my name, reached out Your hand….”  Wait… I found myself desiring so much and wanting to see things changed for Jesus, but who called who here?  I did not call myself nor did I reach out MY hand to…myself?!   So often we rely on our own abilities and feel like we have to be perfect, able and “put together” to make a change.  He has called me.  He has set purposes before me.  He is the giver of grace when I am weak and seemingly unable.

2)      “…and I was redeemed the moment You entered my life” I am NOT strong enough or equipped enough on my own, but with You, I can trust in your fulfillment each step of the way…and no, I guess I don’t need to know the whole process ahead of time.  One-step at a time will suffice.

3)     “Restore my life as I REST in you” So maybe my striving doesn’t get me anywhere?  Obviously we all still need to work on things in our lives and pray that God will teach us new things, but striving to have what others have without really asking God?  Not going to work.  He wants us to ask, even plead, but rest in knowing He has it in control.

4)     “So with everything I am…” Does He really only want everything I am? Yes. All I can give is everything I have.

5)     “The hope for change the second chance. On You I throw my life, casting all my fears aside.  How could greater love than this ever possibly exist?”    Living my life in fear of falling in other’s shadows or never being quite enough is living the lie that we earn salvation.  Our salvation and relationship with Jesus does not come through works, but by the grace He has so freely given.

Be confident.  God has made you for a specified destiny, and only you, with His power, can fulfill that destiny.  When you are tempted to look to the side, look up instead.

 

~*~*~*~

To continue on to Devo #3 (by Connie Foster), click here!

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