How does God raise, restore and release us?
Once upon a time, there was a little girl in the closet. This closet was her favorite place to escape the chaos and violence going on around her. Yet, it was a lonely and dark place. She was hidden and unseen.
Yet God saw her.
From a young age, Jesus began to woo her out of that closet into His brilliant light and loving embrace, so He could show the world His glory.
This was my story. And in many ways, I believe it could be yours as well. Many, if not all of us, have our own closets of sorts made up of negative core beliefs, trauma, disappointments, pain, and shame that we may not even be fully aware of until the Lord shows us.
I love the rhythm of transformation as we follow Jesus. God continues to raise us up from any dark valley we ever have found ourselves in and builds us up. He restores us so He can release us into a greater fullness of who He created us to be and into our destiny.
God has such a passion to see each of us healed, healthy and holy!
As a paraphrase, I love how The Passion Translation expresses Romans 18:18-19.
“I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters!”
As we practice abiding in Christ, anxiety and striving fade away only to be replaced by love, joy, and peace in His presence.
But how do we do this? How do we proactively care for our own emotional and spiritual health? How can we care for the garden of our lives in such a way that we are thriving?
Over the next few months, I am going to share five of the many stepping stones that have helped me to step into the greater overflow of God’s purposes and dreams for me.
STEPPING STONE 1: GROW IN SELF-AWARENESS
“Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant
The questions we ask ourselves matter. Asking the Lord to reveal what is in our own hearts is crucial because only God fully knows.
Being self-aware doesn’t come naturally for many people. It is a skill that must be learned, practiced, and developed. Becoming self-aware makes it possible for us to make positive changes, make better choices, and understand ourselves. It can also help us improve our relationships, get in touch with our emotions, and respond to situations in healthy ways.
Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself daily. Ask the Lord to help you answer them.
At the beginning of each day:
What attribute do I want to grow in today? (for example patience or generosity)
What is one thing I really want to accomplish today?
At the end of each day:
What went well today?
What did not go well – what could I do differently going forward?
What did I learn today?
What are 3 things I am grateful for?
If you had a concerning incident, you can ask yourself:
Why did I react that way?
How do I feel about that?
Why do I feel this way? Does it remind me of a past experience? If so, what experience? Converse with the Lord if something comes to mind.