I posted a while back that it has become necessary for me to work weekends at Cracker Barrel for a little while to help our family recover from last year's drought. The location I work at is a bit of a drive for me, but that has actually turned into a benefit for me because for over half of the drive I am able to listen to WBGL which is a Contemporary Christian radio station here in the MidWest. Often times, in fact more often than not, music will speak to my heart more than a sermon. I know that might sound terrible, but for me it is the truth. There is something about the music that just breaks through my defenses. There have been several songs that have spoken to me lately.
Probably 5-6 weeks ago now I was listening to Christian music on the radio and when I turned the car off the lyrics to the song were, "Hello my name is child of the one true king. I've been saved. I've been changed. I have been set free." Then I went in to work. I did not realize that the whole time I was working in the back of my mind I had that song going through my head. Then at the end of my shift I was rolling silverware (the last thing you do before going home when you are a server at Cracker Barrel) I realized that song was going through my head. It interrupted some thoughts I had been having. One of my weak points is that I will hold onto and remember my own mistakes. Then dwell on them. I had been thinking about mistakes I had made during that shift and desperately trying to meet the new management standards (management had changed a few weeks before) but I was still learning what those were. The combination of my being hard on myself and still learning new management's style and expectations were not doing good things to my thinking. Well, this song interrupted my destructive thought pattern. It was like a light bulb went on and my internal dialogue said, "Wait a minute Charity, you are a child of the one true king!!! So it does not matter whether or not you are a good server, it does not matter if you are as good of a wife as you want to be, it does not matter whether you as good of a mother as you want to be. It does not matter if you meet anyone else's expectations. It does not matter if you meet your own expectations. None of that changes who you are because those things don't define you. What you do does not define who you are. The Lord defines who you are and he says that YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING." All of sudden relief from my destructive thought pattern right there. Something in me relaxed and I finished the job and went home. On the drive home guess what song came on the radio-- you guessed it Hello My Name Is by Matthew West.
Other lyrics spoke to me during the drive home. "Hello my name is defeat, I know you recognize me just when you think you can win I'll drag you right back down again 'til you've lost all belief" That has certainly been a pattern in my life for the last 10-11 years. When I would start to experience victory something either circumstance, thought, or person would come along and I would be knocked back down to that place of defeat once again. Then the lyrics that followed "These are the voices. These are the lies and I have believed them for the very last time" Hope came at that point for me. See just because I have let that pattern continue in my life for a decade does not mean I have to let that pattern continue. I can decide to stop listening to these voices inside my head. I can choose to stop believing lies. Now I have made a resolution to stop believing them. Changing a thought pattern that has been allowed to continue for this long will not be easy, but I am not doing this alone. The Lord is the one who will change my heart and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he wants my identity to be in HIM. My main job is to get out of the way and let HIM do the work in me.
Then the lyrics "I am no longer defined by all the wreckage behind. The one who makes all things new has proven its true just take a look at my life." I realized that I need to repent for letting the wreckage that is in the past define me now. The years of my husband's seizures, the financial devastation, the grief and broken heart I have carried for so long have left their fair share of wreckage. However, the Lord is in the business of making all things new. My holding onto that baggage has kept HIM from making something new and beautiful out of it. So I have had to let go, repent, and once again get out of the way to allow the Lord to continue to work on me and on my family. We are after all HIS masterpiece. If you look at the road our family has traveled so far you can see that the Lord does make things new. My husband is walking proof of that.
Then the lyrics that say "What love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called his children." That is how the Lord will work the necessary changes in me is as I allow HIM to lavish his love on me. So I can become all that HE wants me to be. I am after all A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING.
You know as I have been letting go of the drive to excel, please others, and my perfectionistic tendencies I have found I am actually performing better than when I tried so hard. I find that ironic. It seems funny to my how the Lord so often works that way.
The process of having our identity fully in Christ is a process that will continue until the day we go to heaven to spend eternity with our Lord. So I want to make sure I am always surrendering my heart, soul, mind, and strength to my Heavenly Father. So I challenge you today to examine your life. In what ways do you need to surrender yourself to the Lord? What ways are you holding onto destructive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors? I encourage you to surrender these things to HIM and to allow HIM to lavish HIS love on you. Then cooperate as HE makes your life into masterpiece.