In recent weeks I have been pondering a word that the Lord deposited into my heart during a recent chapel service. And that word was, “you are free to become in Christ.” In sharing the word that day, I shared with those present that we are free to become who God has purposed for us to be, and that in Christ we can become that person.
Since sharing that word that day, I have come to realize that it was also meant for me. A word from God that was meant to encourage others was also meant to strengthen and encourage my own heart and to prepare me for a season I was about to enter. So, I decided to blog about it and share it with those of you who take time to read my blog. I want you to know up front that writing is not a primary gift, and often grammar is difficult for me. (I’m working on it!) Nevertheless, I want to write because I want to process. And this writing is especially for my female friends who, like myself, are on a journey of discovery.
Who am I? And what is my purpose? What is God calling me to do? And what has he gifted me with? God, are these dreams I have in my heart from you or….? These are questions that from time to time I have asked myself. Have you? Do you have dreams, passions or ideas that will sometimes grip your heart and you find yourself saying, God please? Or at other times saying, oh Lord, please no!
Free to become in Christ gives us permission to ask the questions. And questions are good! I also think as we ask the questions we invite the Lord to show us his handiwork and his desire for us. This has often happened for me step by step, opportunity by opportunity, conversation by conversation, revelation upon revelation, and year by year. I believe that God is still creating me, or perhaps some might say recreating…
I say creating in an ongoing sense because I am convinced that workmanship takes time, especially good workmanship. The scripture says, “he who began a good work in you will see it through to completion.” So, it seems to me (and you are free to weigh in!) that there is a starting point and a completion point for every work of God in our lives, including the continued formation of who we are. And though hard at times, I must accept that this working of craftsmanship is to be a life-long process. But – there is freedom to become. And enveloped in that freedom is the gift of “becoming new.” Of allowing the old Carmen to die in order that she might live, and that she might live as Christ is forming her to be. Though this is a process, I want to say upfront that I do NOT have all the answers…I’m on a journey of discovery.
In recent years I have felt extremely blessed to be in an environment where I have felt affirmed, accepted and challenged to “become.” And part of my journey this last few years has been spent engaged in intentional study of God’s word. This will be a lifelong journey for me, and this type of study is something I have discovered feeds my soul and is something I totally enjoy! But for a moment, actually for longer than a moment, I am going to pause and do some internal work, or if you will, some self-examination. Why? Because there are some things I wish to explore about the ways that God has created me. And I am aware that in turning inward it could be argued that I am taking my eyes off God because it’s an inward focus. But I’m going to focus there for a season, and I’m doing that through various personality profile types of tests (tools can be helpful!) and through the readings of scripture and various other books. And I would suggest that if I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”, then to spend a season of learning about what that means could actually help me to understand something of God and his handiwork. In fact, as I was processing with some of my girlfriends tonight, I posed this question: Can I learn something about the Creator by examining his creation?
So my friends, I want to encourage you that you too are free to become in Christ. You are free to be changed. You are free to examine the creation of the creator – and that means you!
Carmen, through teaching, speaking, pastoring, blogging, and podcasting, invests in others so they can lead and live better. She is the founder of LEAD Women Ministries, ordained with the PAOC, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal Church, holds an MA in Leadership & Management, and she can often be found collaborating with other leaders or organizations on projects where there are outcomes to grow people’s confidence, competence, and character.