"it is the way in which pain can be embraced, now out of a desire to suffer, but in the knowledge that something new will be born in the pain."
these words are an outlet of praise for the grace that christ has saturated upon my own journey of pain. they are my praises for the tender ways that christ has been revealing the truth of my identity, especially over the past three years. it seems as though the older i get, the more at rest i grow with the woman god has created me to be. as i transition from my early twenties into my late twenties, it becomes slightly easier to truly live in the here and the now (though i still have a long way to travel). and it becomes more satisfying to embrace the light of my identity as a daughter of jesus, rather than living as a slave to the temptations of this world.
there are more days now, where i express sighs of contentment with the woman that i am. in my early days of living as a disciple of jesus i was bombarded with insecurities. there was always this repetitious tune playing deceitful lyrics in my head. over and over i would hear, "you're not smart enough. you're not pretty enough. you're not spiritual enough. you're not skinny enough. you're not enough." what begs the praises of my lips is that what i hear most commonly today is, "i am the beloved. i am the bride of christ. my name means strength and honor. i am redeemed." no longer do i feel the temptation to prove myself to the world.
henri nouwen also writes of sharing our belovedness in his book 'life of the beloved' in this way;
"when we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness."
so much truth is packed into these words. when we accept the invitation to the banqueting table where we feast upon love and truth, we deeply long to invite others as well. this is the very reason why i do youth ministry. there is this insatiable longing within my soul to walk alongside youth as they dare to discover the true men and women of god they were created to be.