Today I pulled out a stack of journals where I’ve scrawled the many questions, thoughts, prayers and revelations I’ve had in the past eight years or so. They are voluminous. There are a lot of words involved as I sort through and attempt to verbally illustrate the pictures in my head of what is happening in my heart and life and relationships.
Looking back through the pages was interesting, embarrassing, encouraging, discouraging. I realize how short my memory can be when I read back, maybe just a year or two, at what had me upside-down or gripped with fear or pain of some kind. Now passed, resolved… Put right side up again. I’m discouraged to see that I’m still struggling with some of the same challenges I had way back then. It’s interesting to see what I held as a value back then that is no longer a priority to me.
Some of the things I found in those pages still feel profound to me. So I thought I would share them here.
RE-WORDS - February 2018 - July 2023
I love words. It’s evident in the sheer volume of them that I use! I have particularly enjoyed some of the RE-words. Here are a few that I like.
Science has discovered the "neuroplasticity" of the mind. They've come to understand that the brain has the created ability to reorganize its structure, it's functions, or connections after injuries or trauma have done damage.
The Bible has said that our minds can be “renewed”… That we can be re-minded.
I want to be RE-MINDED in the way that the Bible is talking about. To reorganize my structures and functions and connections after suffering the dramas and traumas of life that have bred into me damaged and unhealthy way of perceiving, thinking and behaving.
RE-MIND me God, of who I am. RE-MIND me God of who You are. Let Your power create a new structure, new connections and new functions that serve me well.
To keep my peace, I need to recollect the promises God has made that are the basis of my hope and peace. They get scattered about in the heaps and mounds of my thoughts and my ways and my own will and wants. I need to re-collect them and gather them up so I can re-member them.
This one made me think about how we refer to parts of our body as “members”. (In my slightly twisted mind, I see humorously dismembered limbs strewn about with a Monty Python comedic flare.)
When I recognize that I have lost hold of truth, peace, what-have-you, I need to re-member Truth and rejoin it onto me. Unto me.
Many an old hymn sing about being redeemed by Jesus.
To deem something is to assign or note the value or worth of it.
Since we were born the world around us tells us in many ways that we aren’t quite enough… skinny enough, rich enough, smart enough, hard working enough. Unacceptable.
Or, we get attention or value for things that are shallow or not at the heart of WHO we are. Like being externally beautiful or a stellar athlete. Both are noteworthy, but what happens when the beauty fades or the athlete retires? The true value of the person was mislabeled.
When we are RE-DEEMED, when we put our belief in God and come under the covering of what Jesus died for on the cross we have the old labels of our worth and value removed. “Not acceptable ” is replaced with “Totally accepted”, “Worthless” is replaced with “Full of value”.
God RE-DEEMS us. He RE-establishes our value as He sees it.
When I am running low on what I need to do life well, I need to be restored. I need the provisions necessary to suit up and show up at my best to face the challenges life throws at me.
Taking the space and time to get proper nourishment and rest, physically, mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually is essential for restoration. …to be re-stored.
Life is messy and dirty. Our minds and souls get thrashed about and pretty muddied up with a nasty coat of guilt and shame and regret.
As believers in Jesus, we are no longer covered with all that, but have been re-covered instead with grace-a-shiny by the cleansing of his sacrifice on the cross. I want to stay in a state of recovery.
We start out in this world all springy and rubbery with our fresh baby skin. Along the way we get scuffed up a bit, scarred inside and out, burned by people and life. Our innocence wears off and is replaced with maturity and experience and all the cynicism and skepticism that can come along with it.
We become “adulterated”.
It’s a beautiful thing to know that we are loved by a God who is totally into do-overs and new starts, second, third and fourth chances. By his grace, we can become un-adulterated. Our joy can become renewed… and our glee and curiosity, and childlike trust, and wonder and awe.
I’ll take it.
I’ll take it all day long.