Journal Entry ~ 12/07/17

7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. - John 15:7-8

We’ve all struggled at one time or another with who we are ~ identity issues plague us in adolescence and young adulthood, but many of us still struggle even in mid and late adulthood. What defines you? What is your purpose in life?  What are you supposed to be doing with your life?  Who are you supposed to be? How do you want to be remembered?  Earlier this year, I had to write a personal mission statement for my graduate studies. It was an challenging, but quite an eye opening assignment that revealed so much to me through deep reflection about how I define myself. I strongly recommend it to anyone, but especially for those who struggle with who they are. Praise God that I am attending a Christian university and am encouraged to freely express my identity in Christ because that’s where I landed. 

When considering our identity, who we believe God is impacts the way we respond to opportunities, responsibilities, and the temptations of life. If you think about it, the Bible is really one big identity story.  It reveals everything we need to know about who God is. It tells us that He is Creator and King over all, it shows us His mighty power, it reveals His wisdom, His justice, and His authority. It also show us His grace and His mercy toward us is endless, it reveals His faithfulness, and it tells us of His pursuing love for us. The Bible reveals God to us as our rock, our our refuge, our comforter, and our strength....and so much more.  

The Bible also reveals our identity, too - it shows us that we are a creation of the great Creator, and it shows how very broken we are. We were created by God and for God, but our corrupt hearts and this broken world have convinced us that we are self-sufficient and have no need or room for God in our lives. Sin is what makes us think we can handle all this on our own, sin makes us think we’re wise or competent, sin makes us forget we need a gracious, loving God to rescue us. The Bible lovingly confronts us with this truth. It reminds us we are not righteous in our own power by holding a mirror up to reflect our foolishness. 

The beauty of the Bible is that it does not just leave us in our sinfulness. It does not shame us in our guilt, but reminds us we were never meant to walk this road alone. He is with us. But He wants so much more for us than our temporary happiness, He wants to grow us to me more like Him ~ more forgiving, more loving, more gracious, more giving, more patient, more compassionate, more understanding. Those all describe the kind of fruits God is referring to in this passage, and they all describe the kind of person I want to be. I am
working toward abiding in Him more and more, and allowing Him to abide in me because I want the people in my life know that I am one of His disciples. I have no doubt the trial in this diagnosis is for that purpose. God is tenderizing my heart and knocking down prideful strongholds in the time I’ve been given to spend in His Word. So incredibly thankful for it all. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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