Thursday, May 26, 2011

Being Authentic

On our way home from church this Sunday, I turned to Darin and said "I think Pastor Larry was in our bedroom last night". I did not mean this in a creepy way, but while listening to Pastor Larry's sermon that morning our conversation from the night before kept popping into my head. The message was titled Authenticity and by the end of it I had tears streaming down my face.

Late Saturday night, Darin and I had one of those "talks", you know the kind I'm talking about. They are usually not very fun, but they are necessary. Anyways, at one point I was telling Darin how sick I was of people telling me how lucky I am to be moving to South Africa and how they wish they could be going and how blessed we are to have this opportunity. I told him that if anyone else said any of these comments to me, I just might punch them. I didn't feel lucky right then,  I wished someone else was moving instead of me and at the time I didn't feel very blessed. I felt sad, scared, trapped, anxious and a whole lot of other things.

Now, I'm not going to pretend that I'm not still having some of those feelings, but after listening to Pastor Larry on Sunday it's like something changed in me. See, when Darin and I were talking I felt like I was being totally authentic. I mean, I tend to be a pessimistic person. I suffer from depression. I am moody and anxious and I struggle with insecurity. "This is who I am!" I felt like yelling at people. "Quit telling me how I should be feeling and just accept that this is where I'm at!". Pastor Larry said a lot of things about authenticity on Sunday, but when he said this, it was like he was directing it right to me.

"From God's perspective authenticity means that we are truly who He has said we are. Authenticity is not a matter of being true to my heart, being true to myself, it is being true to who God has said that I am, who God has made me to be. True authenticity turns out not to be about me, my happiness, my fulfillment, it turns out not to be about me looking at the king and saying "Yes, but it is my life", but rather it turns out to be about the King, about His Kingdom, about giving myself away to become who God has authentically made me to be."

(And no, I did not memorize this during the sermon, but I pulled it out of the message text here and there is a lot more good stuff in there, so check it out!)

So, I am trying to remember who God says that I am and who He made me to be.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given ME a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Ephesians 2:10 For I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that I should walk in them.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

And those are just a few of the things that are real and authentic about me. There will still be tears and I am sure I'll still struggle with fear and anxiety both here and once we move, yet I am striving to put my confidence and hope in Him!

5 comments:

pjvs said...

Who are you? You are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing-chosen-precious,holy-blameless-adopted as His daughter through Jesus Christ-grace filled-redeemed through His blood-forgiven-lavished with wisdom and understanding-marked with the Holy Spirit-God's possession. Are we authentic-in His sight a resounding YES and AMEN. Jill Briscoe once said "The Holy Spirit is God's engagement ring to us." That is how connected we are to Him. Be who you are in Christ-His dearly loved child. And even if we never DO one thing for Him all of the above is still true. It's all about Him and we get to be part of His calling on our lives. I wish I were half as open and honest (authentic) as you are. I am proud of who you are in Jesus. He will hold on to you no matter what or where. Rest in His grace, love and peace. Sleep sound in Jesus. Love to you Mom Then my Corrie Ten Boom quote "It is not do, but done. It is not try, but trust. He gives the very best to those-Who leave the rest to HIM. Take it from an old saint in glory.

retha said...

How much does those people know about South Africa who are telling you such things.

Nothing to do with your topic. Saw a post yesterday of someone showing a table scape that was suppose to depict SA. Seems the theme on the table was lilies. You know there are many more thorn trees than lilly patches.

Thorn trees reminds me of being ruthlessly honest infront of GOD, and that I see what you are doing.

The Feys said...

Retha, I don't want my fear and anxiety to reflect poorly on South Africa or my feelings for the country. I'd be feeling this way no matter where we were going. I love South Africa and the people there. I agree there are a lot more thorns, but there is a beauty in the thorns!
Hope you are feeling stronger each day!

Anonymous said...

jonna .. you are so honest with your feelings. i love to hear you talk to yourself and work through things with God.. HE can handle it. He wants you to find him to be trustworthy and true. Keep searching and striving and he will keep revealing and guiding. love you so.. laurie

Sarah said...

Matt and I talk about this on occasion because in the back of our mind we still want to move back to South Africa. When I'm honest with myself the thought of it terrifies me! The thought of leaving friends, our church, family again gets me all tied up in knots.

I think what inspires me about you and Darin is not that this is going to be a beautiful, amazing-all-the-time experience, but that you're doing it. I think a lot of us are just bored with our life and instead of being bold and stepping (or maybe being dragged) out in faith even when we don't want to (even one little bit). We just sit back while others truly live and we say we want to do it... but do we really? Reminds me of the book by Donald Miller: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

And you can punch me anytime, especially now that your ring is fixed. And I've also decided that Matt and I really need to start praying about this whole South Africa thing again...