I heard James Bryan Smith say the words "you are sacred and significant" in a sermon a few weeks ago. Isn't that a beautiful thought? I am sacred and significant. He emphasized how fundamental our thoughts are to our transformation.
I stood on the back of our farm not long after I had listened to that sermon from James and I was feeling inadequate, not capable, less than. I looked down and there were three four leaf clovers. And there was the abundant life. Not that finding three four leaf clovers means things are always going to go my way, only wonderful things will happen; prosperity for life. That's not the abundant life he wants to offer me. He is offering an abundance of himself. Nothing else compares to that... no amount of earning someone's good opinion or receiving their praise. As I was out back on the farm crying because I felt worthless and lacking, I was standing in an abundance of him.
Wow, I must be sacred and significant.
The other day, I watched a Taiwanese Drama. Yeah, so now not only do I watch Korean Dramas, but I've added Taiwanese and Japanese Dramas. Anyway. A man who was a lifestyle coach was helping a woman transform. I won't ruin it by telling you that in the end they fall in love since you are all going to watch this Taiwanese Drama, I'm sure. And he told her the first step in change was changing how she perceived herself. He stood her in front of a mirror and he had her look at herself and see herself as the beautiful woman she really is. He said these words for her to embrace: "I am at my prime. I have the charm of a mature woman and the freshness of a girl. I am very beautiful. But I didn't realize it before.
I am sacred and significant. But I didn't realize it before.
Since I love to learn about health and wellness and improving my own health, I joined an anti-inflammation challenge with a holistic lifestyle coach/organic chef. In that challenge this week, I listened to this conversation of my coach interviewing a doctor about health and wellness, quantum physics, and neurology. You know, super smart people stuff. How thoughts release a feeling and then the body releases chemicals and neural pathways are formed. To change those neural pathways, the thoughts need to change. And I thought, how can I apply this knowledge as a Christ follower? The kids and I are memorizing Colossians 3:1-17 and it immediately comes to my mind that Paul is saying to seek the things that are above when I've been raised with Christ. In my Bible in the notes it says, "The truth of life in Christ must be lived out in the routines and rhythms of life."
The truth is I am sacred and significant.
So, yesterday I was talking with my spiritual director. I was telling her about the super smart people stuff and she said, "It makes me think of Colossians 3." I said, "You are freaking me out right now because that is what I thought." And then she shared with me how she is reading a book on the exact same topic.
I can't make this up. I mean, I could. I have a pretty good imagination. But I didn't. I didn't make it up.
And James Bryan Smith, the guy in the Taiwanese Drama, the super smart people, my spiritual director, and Paul are all talking about the same thing.
It frustrates me that I still wrestle with people pleasing and not valuing myself. It's in every fiber of my being. Deep. Down. There. It's also really easy for me to start beating myself up that I still struggle only adding to my sense of worthlessness. I'm complicated and having emotions is a lot of work. But something my spiritual director wrote me in an email sticks with me. She wrote, "Your responses to him over time become your growth." How full of grace! I am on the path of growth. And now I have the affirmation of how important my thoughts are to my transformation.
Being transformed by the renewing of my mind.
He loves me and over and over he is telling me the same message, layer upon layer. I am sacred and significant. Believe it. Think it. Embrace it. Live it.