This past Monday Richard and I took Rebekah to visit two colleges in Charleston SC. The scenery alone would make anyone want to go there. The people are friendly, the food is good and the beaches are beautiful. Rebekah was already sold before we even finished the campus tour at College of Charleston. She has such a magnetic personality and she craves community and that is what she saw all around her. While we were there Richard wanted to hit some good food places and so shrimp and grits were a priority along with a good crab cake. We ate in this cute little place called the Hominy Grill before we left. The service was incredible and the strawberry jam was to die for. I am a clean eater most all the time but I decided to step out and eat the special of the day. It was a pork belly sandwich with a fried egg and some magical sauce poured all over it in between two huge pieces of homemade bread. I took the first bite and I think my knees got weak. It was so delicious and I just ooh'd and ahh'd over and over. After the 2 or 3 bite I just took the bread off and begin enjoying it that much more because all the (extra carbs) fluff was getting in the way of the middle.
As I reflect on that yummy sandwich this morning I also looked at a particular verse in Isaiah just like a sandwich. Not that the outside is fluff but the meat is such a beautiful truth that should be written on our hearts and constantly reflected on.
Isaiah 43:18/19 "Remember not the former things not consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a NEW thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it."
As women we tend to let our thoughts dictate our feelings and our feelings lead us into this perception of reality whether real or not to us we act as if it's real. We keep our thoughts locked in on what should have, could have happened and then we get stuck there and we can't see past what is surrounding us. I want us to look beyond our circumstances this morning and really begin to see what's going on. The beginning of this verse says:
"Remember NOT". which implies we often keep our minds on something that has past. It also says "nor consider the things old". To consider something or someone literally means to gaze on steadily...WOW! I am so guilty of this. I will see a picture of myself and if I see only my weight it's over & I am suddenly stuck there in my thoughts. I feel defeated and I will stop at nothing to retake the picture or to delete if from ever being seen. I have "un" tagged myself from many of photos on social media. I have also gazed upon a dream so long that any no's that came my way sent me into a deeper stare with what I thought was someone attacking my dream and never understood it was all my pride. It's where and who we lock our eyes with that sends our hearts and feet to follow. The next part of this verse got me and I have read it tons before this week. "I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" Two things jumped out at me doing and springs. The word doing simply implies an ongoing process. Which means I may get stuck staring at pride or envy or my weight or the lack of discipline in an area but Gods radiance and glory will draw me back in and set my heart in the direction of redemption and His holiness. The sunsets on the beach this past Monday literally took my breath away. I said how can anyone not see God in this. But I often have missed the beauty of Gods glory because of where my eyes were. This verse encourages me to know that God doesn't want me to stay where I am. He is doing something NEW daily in me and around me to pull me into a deeper intimacy with Him. The word springs means "rises up out of". As I looked at this verse and understood that this NEW thing that is rising up has to rise up out of something right? So I began to look within my life and the areas that still lead me into defeat and other areas that I have found victory in and why. For years I wouldn't put on a bathing suit, for years I would binge until I was sick. I took diet pills, I purged, I hated looking in the mirror and I hated my body more than anything. What a place of darkness. It would be easy to remember and look back to those defeating days that often left me with such anger & pain within my heart. BUT out of ashes rises beauty. I look in the mirror now and see myself as yes overweight but it no longer drives my emotions because Gods word says I am beautiful. I have not binged in years because I realized that stuffing oreos in my mouth didn't fix my issues. I have found my completion and my worth in my Creator alone. My dream no longer drives my existence because I chose to just follow God and leave the results to Him. You see sin and places of defeat in our lives will keep us in this place of memory lane until we choose to remember NO more. You can't undo an image but you can replace the words that follow in your head with the truth of Gods word. Today be encouraged to write continuous truth on your heart because that is the very tool of fighting the enemy. He will tempt you with old ways, he will remind you of who you once were, he will tell you that no one loves you, he will tell you that you are fat and so much more BUT the truth is that the enemy's loudest roar can't trump even a whisper of our God. You are beautiful. You are chosen. You are a world changer. You are forgiven. You are redeemed. You are set FREE. You are loved. You are His. Fix your eyes on a God who makes ALL things NEW today and then believe it.