LOVED, therefore CHOSEN
Recently I traveled to N.C. to participate in the Proverbs 31 conference, “She Speaks.” On Saturday evening after a particularly moving testimony and presentation by Renee Swope, all women were asked to write down any doubts or fears that needed to be released in order to know and serve Him more fully. We were instructed to take the doubt and fear and lay it at the foot of the cross and replace it with a scripture verse of promise that had been left at the cross for us to pick up.
Here is an excerpt from a blog post by Renee that better describes the scene for you. “Hundreds of cards with eleven different promises were created and placed at the foot of the cross on Saturday night. We anointed them with prayer and watched, knowing that as women came forward to lay down their doubts they would pick up God’s personal promise and His new name for them. It was beautiful!!!!
The next day I heard that many women didn’t know that there was a word “shadowed” on the card behind their verse. The news spread that there was more. It was SO powerful to see women look beyond the first promise to see the second one in a shadow behind it.”
At the conclusion of Renee’s post referenced above she requested that those of us who attended “She Speaks” write to share the promise we picked up at the foot of the cross, the shadowed word behind it and how the verse spoke to our hearts or what it meant to us.
The following is the verse that I received.
“. . . for you are a chosen (women). You are a royal priest, a holy (daughter). God’s very own possession. As a result you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9
I have to admit that the first time I read my verse my thought was something like this, “Oh, well, that’s nice.“ But as so often happens with God, when I read the verse again in my quiet time, several of His perfect truths from this verse began to penetrate my heart.
The first words that reached in and touched my heart were, “you can show others the goodness of God.” Since the adoption of my son I have been struggling with what I guess would best be described as an ‘identity’ crisis. I have been a working professional woman for most of my adult life, and now I find myself in the position of having a child to raise. And albeit a true blessing from God that I find myself once again in the role of Mommy, I do admit that this role has been a challenge for me.
I have been feeling God calling to me and asking me to join Him in a very active role in raising my son. I have sensed the Spirit asking me to give up my job, take my son out of daycare and spend these very important first years of his life teaching him about the love of God.
For me, this has seemed like an impossible task. First, the issue of finances and how can we make ends meet if I am not working? “Trust me!” Seemed to be His reply. Second, my doubt, fear and insecurity as I complained, “Lord, I am so inadequate. How can I, with all of my sin and failings, teach my son about Your love?” But through this verse, God once again spoke to me and reminded me that I can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, show my son the goodness of God.
In my wrestling within myself over this calling, or ministry if you will, I have realized that I also have been fighting the sin of anger. I have been angry about many things. I have been angry because I was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease in 2006. I don’t want this disease and I know that the disease steals my energy, causes aches and pain, and often impairs my ability to cope with things in a calm and rational manner. I have struggled with anger because I have felt that I am being asked to give up a part of who I am to take on the full-time Mommy role. But most of all I have felt anger because I feel so inadequate to take on the challenge that God has placed before me. I know how to succeed in business, however I am less convinced about my mothering skills, at least if I am to do the job with any amount of success. Yet God’s promise says that He has “called me out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
And finally, as I looked at my promise from scripture I realized that the shadow word is “CHOSEN.” Any time a person becomes a parent, God has chosen to match two individuals in this unique relationship. But I think that in an adoption situation the truth in that statement is even more profound. God CHOSE me to be my son’s mother! Flaws and all! I am God’s royal priest, His holy daughter. I am His possession, and so is my son. God is calling me to this highly honorable mission field and He can and will equip me to carry out my duties.
It is with this assurance that I am free from doubt, fear and insecurity. It is now that I can embrace this mission field and teach my son to know God, and to love and trust in Him.
“Dear Lord, Your love is amazing! Your word brings life and truth. I give myself to you and to this new area of ministry. I place my son in your hands and ask that you strengthen me for the journey ahead. Please bless me with wisdom, compassion, strength, and grace to display the love of Jesus in everyday life. Help me to make you real in my son’s life. Not some far away, living up in the clouds God, but a very real and personal God who loves to give good gifts to His children. I wholeheartedly seek you and ask you to become greater in my life. I seek more of you and less of me. I thank you for answering righteous prayer. In Jesus name, Amen.”