This might seem random, but God laid this on my heart to share, so I'm stepping away from the chores and boxes to share it.
I have this friend, Janice. She is awesome. She is an outgoing, hilarious, encouraging, amazing lady. In so many ways, she is the opposite of me. And I adore every one of her opposites. She will cry at the drop of a hat. She will hug you and shed more than a few tears with you about the latest Hallmark commercial. She is sweet, empathetic, and compulsively motherly. She is one of those people you can't help but love. Seriously, everyone she meets is immediately enamored with her. She sets people at ease. She makes you feel like you simply must tell your life story, because surely she will understand! And she does! She can just go there and be there with anyone, and I love, love, love that about her.
I've gotten to watch her life unfold through some awful tragedies in the past few years. I've seen her go down to the depths, and I've seen God set her feet upon a spacious place. (This is one of the things Janice has said to me many times.) I have gotten to bear witness to God bringing her full circle in her life, loss, and story. It is SO ridiculously exciting to me to get to see her minister out of her brokenness and struggle. God really did raise her up and heal her!
Most recently, as she was ministering to others through a "Be Restored" conference, God swooped into a broken piece of her heart with His healing hand and and gave her true, miraculous healing and freedom from a wound she'd tried to bandage for some time. Our God is AWESOME! I know she went into the weekend expecting to address and minister out of one certain thing, but God knew what she needed most, and He provided it. I love when He does that. As I'm looking at Janice's life from the outside, I can see that God is doing a revolutionary work in her heart right now. He's digging deep, turning over tables, and setting up shop in all the darkest places.
I went through a similar season in my life a few years ago, and I'm sure (and hopeful) that I will again. The tough thing about those seasons of being gutted, and having your innermost imbued with freedom is KEEPING the freedom. Man, the more we move away from those moments, the more we doubt our experiences, allow shame and guilt to rent a room again, and start to forget the truth. I am praying every day that my sweet friend will NOT forget.
With that in mind...
The truest things about me are what God says about me. (I Cor 4:3-4).
In Christ I am a child of God, born of God. (John 1:12-13)
In Christ I am being saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)
In Christ I am free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
In Christ I am an heir of God, joint heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17)
In Christ I am a saint. (Romans 8:27)
In Christ I am accepted. (Romans 15:7)
In Christ I am a possessor of the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16)
In Christ I am a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
In Christ I am the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In Christ I am blessed with every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3)
In Christ I am adopted as God's child. (Ephesians 1:5)
In Christ I am God's workmanship created for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
In Christ I am a member of God's household. (Ephesians 2:19)
In Christ I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
In Christ I am holy and blameless and beyond reproach. (Colossians 1:22)
In Christ I am complete (perfect). (Colossians 2:10)
In Christ I am alive and forgiven of all my transgressions. (Colossians 2:13)
In Christ I am a member of a royal priesthood. (I Peter 2:9)
In Christ I am a partaker of God's divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4)
In Christ I am given eternal life today. (I John 5:11-13)
In Christ I am released from my sins. (Revelation 1:5)
Renewing my mind brings about transformation.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove that the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Janice, I love you and thank God for the "oppositeness" of you in my life. I pray that you continue to live out your days in complete freedom, recognizing the beautiful gift you are to all who cross your path. Many, many people love you. I am more than a little excited to watch the birth of your ministry in counseling and God's healing work in your life. Your story sits heavy on my heart. I don't know many people who have had to endure all that you have, and I truly believe your endurance is perfecting your faith, and giving you a glorious story that will point many toward the hope of our God. I am thankful to know that you won't waste your story!
Everyone else, if you don't know Janice, you should. You'll be blessed by her. I guarantee it.
I have lots to say about lots of my wonderful friends, but God really pressed it on my heart to share this about Janice today. I'm assuming He knows why! :)