I recently had a discussion with one of my coaching clients who was feeling inadequate about her ability to lead in life; she felt unqualified as a wife, Mom, and friend. She felt that God couldn’t use her due to her past life of unhealthy decisions and choices. She felt broken. She felt worthless.
The more she talked, her mouth echoed her heart. The more she talked, the more excited I became because I knew what was about to happen. I was aware of the good news coming her way. She was about to gain a strategy that would provide her freedom and peace.
After working through her issues, barriers and bullies in her head, I showed her how her self-talk wasn’t reality. I shared with her my two-step process to find out the truth and then how to use the truth to reprogram the approach that would allow her to be in a posture of strength and confidence.
As I sat with my friend, I explained the following truths. These truths helped her formulate a strategy to disarm the bombs of life that kept her from stepping into her calling and true self…
We all play broken: If we wait until we are perfect to execute on our dreams in life then we can expect to watch life from the stands and/or bench. I’ve seen the most amazing athletes overcome physical challenges: Tiger Woods fighting back to win the 2019 Masters Tournament after an eleven-year drought barely being able to walk, Kobe Bryant playing with broken fingers and thrashed ankles, Olympic athletes performing with the Flu after 4 years of training.
One of my favorite broken stories is the Apostle Paul who went from being a persecutor of Christians and a bully to getting disrupted by God’s love and eventually ends up being used as one of the most influential of all time for God’s glory. It would have been easy for Paul to continually look over his shoulder and define himself by his previous actions and behavior. He could have easily held his past track record for being a disqualifier for how God wanted to use him. Paul saw himself one way; God saw the potential in who Paul was becoming.
But what about when it comes to wounds and tragedies that define your identity? What if you had traumatic experiences in your past? What if the decisions you made are just too big that you can’t erase them from your memory?
These wounds and traumas don’t have to define you.
If you allow wounds and past hurt to run your thinking they become your new behaviors and actions. If you aren’t careful, these wounds can become a false identity. Even worse, the hamster wheel of finding your identity in your wounds and pain can become a false idol; you obsess on healing and playing the victim rather than stepping into your true identity.
What keeps you locked in this self-imprisonment of shame and self-condemnation? Well, you don’t know what you would accomplish in life if you escaped.
Most people stay inside their mental prison cell even though the gate has been unlocked and wide open for them to leave, they’re more fearful of the unknown of what lies ahead.
Listen, friend, wounds have happened. You’ll get burned again by people, career, or family. That’s part of life. You’ve made mistakes. All of this adds up to “your past” that’s ok. This is what makes my next point the most important….
You are a new creation:
I sat with my friend and shared this truth and reality: As we look at Pauls example, it reveals that God cares more about who you are becoming and less about where you’ve been.
God isn’t in the fixing business; He’s in the restoring business.
The good news is that Jesus offers you, through accepting his love and gift of grace, freedom from self. His grace is what sets you free from the past and you no longer need to carry those thoughts and mental baggage around. That can happen right now. The game can change in your heart and head now. How soon do you want freedom?
As a child of God you are under His protection, His providence, His blessing. Knowing this and living this can have a profound impact on your health and identity moving forward.
Remember, God’s vehicle for your life doesn’t come with a rearview mirror. He’s more excited about where you are headed than where you’ve been. His forgiveness wipes out all shame and guilt.
God is in the business of making all things new and that starts with your heart.
Your entire life He has been knocking and pursuing your heart even when you thought things were all about you. While you slept He waited up in the living room all night and prayed for you. While you navigate all the massive decisions in life, He waited for you to include Him in the conversation. While you looked to run your business and career He wanted to do it together. He designed you to do community with Him.
We embark on career and business while asking God to bless us but we make Him a silent partner. He wants to do life with us and not to be brought off the shelf only in time of need.
As I wrapped up with my friend I helped her understand the realities of these truths and the impact they can make in life: We all play broken and we are all new creations in Christ. These two truths will catapult you into escaping the prison of self-doubt, self-sabotage and launch you into freedom in Christ.
It is no longer you that lives but Christ in you.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Listen to Paul’s actual words: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” Philippians 3:7-16
“5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
My friend, as you read this, I hope it provides a strategy for purposeful living. We all play broken but we are all made new.
What can you let go of what’s been holding you back? Do you believe you truly are a new creation? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
BTW, This newest piece is called “All things new”. I painted this Easter Lilly to remind us that He is always making all things new. As Spring flowers bloom and show God’s glory may it be a reminder to us of his love through the sacrifice of his Son. Click here to learn more about this piece.