Day 575: The “New” New

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Remember that time that I sorta went off the healthy eating reservation and struggled with food, and subsequently my weight, for several months…

Okay, for seven months…

And then when I finally snapped to about a week ago when I did a four-day Daniel Fast (which has turned into a twenty-one day Daniel Fast), I realized…

Wow. I gained quite a bit of weight during those seven months of struggle.

Cue: Time to get down on myself. Time to beat myself up. Time to question God’s plan. Time to cope by eating more. Time to reprimand myself for sinning. Time to cower before God’s punishment.

Only… this time that didn’t happen. Cause ya know why?

Cause I am new.

Yes, I know. New… once again.

I was new a year ago when I first started the covenant, and I coasted off of that newness for 365 days. Until I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that I could be both the old me and the new me.

Fail.

But now, I am a “new” new.

I have learned even more about God and His plans and His thinking and His ways.

His ways aren’t my ways.
My ways aren’t His ways.

I know now that after this 21 days that there will be another 21 days and another 21 days and another.

And I know now that after those 21 days, that this lifestyle of eating will continue until I transfer my residency from Earth to Heaven.

Because I have realized that God wants to heal me… not for just a year, but for a lifetime.

God, I want a permanent healing. Not just a year. Not just five years. I want to be fresh and “new” new forever. You see, these seven months I’ve been just holding on. Holding on to you. I’ve been depending on You, God; knowing that you are everything I need. Keep loving me, God, with all you’ve got— that’s what I’ve been depending on. Psalm 33:20,22 And now I keep holding on, but I feel like now I’ve let you pull me off of the cliff and that we are, once again, walking together. Help me stay waking with You, God. Amen.

Day 512: Guard On Duty

me and the hubs - nashville

{Me and the hubs in Nashville being
touristy after my first
Summer
NAMM show for Chord Dice!}

When I was single, I became pretty darn independent. I mean, I paid my own bills, bought my own fast car, traveled around on my own, rented very nice apartments. I mean… I was doing just fine. And then I met my husband, and I fell in love, and I married him.

Wait… all of a sudden I wasn’t the one calling all the shots anymore.

Yeahhhhhhhh, that’s tough for an independent woman who is married to an independent man. I remember thinking (for years) “He is just SO protective! I can take care of myself but he doesn’t believe in me.” Of course, the longer that we’ve been married I realized that my analysis was a smidge off. Yes, he is protective, but it’s not because he doesn’t believe in me. It’s not because he wants to rule over me. It’s because he loves me and wants to protect me.

The longer that I’ve understood that, the more enjoyable it is to be guarded and protected by my husband. It’s… nice to be able to put some of those cares on him that I carried by myself before. It’s nice to be able to go to him when I am scared or unsure of things. It’s nice for him to step out, a bit like a knight in shining armor, and protect me. But before I realized all of that I fought against his protectiveness because I thought that it would restrain me and make me into something I’m not. I thought it would make me weaker. I thought it would take away my individualism.

But it’s been the exact opposite.

And God is like that… He just wants to protect me because He loves me. And the more that I realize that, the more that I release to Him, the more I am protected, guarded, taken care of. And then more I love my life and find comfort in peace. The more I can, like the Proverbs 31 woman, laugh at the future.

POSITIVITY: I am guarded.

I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

PRAYER:

God, it is so refreshing to know that you are in control. That you have all kinds of crazy power… power that I can’t even fathom. And it’s so cool to know that with all of that crazy awesome power you are taking care of my life.

Today it was so neat to remember and to rest in the knowledge that You have me under your wing. That when the craziness of life and the uncertainty hits… that you are there guiding everything along. It makes it so much easier for me to “die to this life” and just snuggle up and allow my soul to remain hidden with Christ in You.

Thank you for my comfort. thank you for my love. thank you for my protection.

Amen.

Day 511: Caught… Chocolate Handed

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My Sunday School teacher, James Tippit, said on Sunday, “Some suffering is actually our down payment for something glorious.”

I loved that truth… because now every time something “bad” happens it can make me think… “Oh, I wonder what awesomeness is going to come out of this?”

Sorta like yesterday… when my son (again, my oldest from Day 506 and Day 509) had his first “sneak eating” moment.

Now, I know that a 5-year-old sneak eating is a little different from a 34 year old woman sneaking eating, but all the same, it hurt my heart.

I was reading some books with my 3-year-old and my oldest came shuffling in sniffling. My husband was behind him and said that Pico needed to tell me something. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he confessed, “I ate some chocolate.” (Of course, little did he know but it was blazingly obvious because it was smeared all around his mouth!) Well, apparently, while I had been out of the room, he got a bowl and poured some mini-chocolate chips into a bowl and ate them. And then was trying to wash out the bowl to put back in the cabinet when he got caught red chocolate-handed.

Torn between punishing him for being devious and being gentle with him because of the situation, I went with the latter. I thought to myself, “Oh wow… if I don’t handle this correctly, he could become even more of a sneak eater in the future.” So, I held him in my arms, talked to him about how if he’s hungry or craving something that he can tell me. Told him it’s not wrong to be hungry. Told him that food is a great thing – a way for our bodies to get energy. Told him it’s not wrong to eat chocolate. Told him that I don’t ever want him to feel like he needs to be sneaky about eating food. Told him to ask me if he wanted something.

And then… he saw one of his Lego Club magazines, hopped out of my lap happy as a lark, and all was well in his soul! Ha!

The whole situation made my heart a little sad because oh-how-well I know that spirit that makes a person sneak-eat.

Well, last night after I caught up on the past two days of posts, I took a peak at what today’s positivity and verse were to be and was just… struck… by the perfectness of it all.

POSITIVITY: I am understood.

Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16

Yesterday as my son came to me, I understood his weakness… because I’ve. been. there. Just as Jesus understands mine… because He’s. been. there. And just as my heart hurt for my Pico, so does God’s when I struggle. Which is why when I come to him, He gives me mercy… just as I was able to do for Pico. And just as Pico can come to me when he is hungry or has a craving so that I can help him… so God provides help when I need it most. And it’s all because HE UNDERSTANDS!

I mean… how rad was all of that?!?!?! I wanted so badly to write it all last night but I was exhausted! Needless to say, I was actually happy when the alarm went off this morning because I knew I had something great to write about!

I am understood. By the God of All Creation and The Universe… I am understood.

PRAYER:

Wow God… the way you orchestrate every little moment of our lives is so beautiful. I mean, there I was sitting thinking of how sad it was that he had done that and you were thinking, “Oh I can’t wait until tonight when she sees all of this come together.” It is just so cool.

And ya know, thanks God. For all the ways that you could have saved us… but you sent us your son in the form of a person who would feel, first hand, the pull of temptation. That you could feel the pull when we feel it. That you could know the battle between choosing righteousness or sin. That you could understand me… in my testings. You are so amazing.

Thank you for the blessing of You in my life. Thank you for giving me Your eyes to see the world. Thank you for the path of transformation that you are taking me down.

I love you, God!

Amen!

Day 510: Welcoming Party

sister in law

I remember hearing these horror stories as a kid about how people always hated in their mother-in-law… I mean, at least, in the movies they always did. Now that I think about it I don’t really remember hearing about it from any real people.

Either way, I was pleasantly surprised when my in-laws turned out to be easy-going, supportive, and fun.

And I think, again, like I said on Day 503: An Ode To My Mother-In-Law, they have been so awesome to just welcome me into the family as a daughter… not as a stranger, or as the girl their son married, but as a daughter.

I still remember my first Christmas as I was opening gifts and my in-laws had gotten me this awesome red bag. My sister-in-law (in the pic above) was quick to tell the back story about that bag: they had been shopping and her mom picked up the red bag and said, “Do you like this?” and my sister-in-law said yes (assuming that her mom was going to buy it for her… she’s the only girl) and then her mom said, “Okay good, I think I’ll get it for January.” My sister-in-law said her mouth dropped as she realized that she would now have to SHARE with a SISTER!!! Haha!

But you know, that’s just what Christ has done for me. I’m not a descendant of Abraham. I’m not “supposed” to be part of the family, but He came for us ALL… and He makes me welcome into His family. I can approach God, because of Jesus, as if I am his very own precious only daughter and He will welcome me as if I am such.

Think of that… it’s as if I tried to walk into the White House right now to visit the president. I’d be taken DOWNNNNNN.

Imagine that same scene with instead with God… He would see me at the door, those powerful warrior angels of his would be ready to keep out this human. this sinner. this gentile.

And then God… would look over to His Son, Jesus, who would give Him a quick nod and then God… GOD… would motion for me to enter. He would tell me to sit… heck, He might even get up and embrace me. As if I were family.

Oh my heavens… I’ll be honest. I love the world that God has created here. I love that we are working on the Kingdom of God right here and right now, but THAT greeting… THAT family reunion… THAT welcoming… well, that is something to look forward to.

POSITIVITY: I am welcome.

I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18

PRAYER:

God, oh my Father. I see myself as such a misfit so often, but you have deemed me worthy through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus… worthy to be called FAMILY. Worthy to be with you. Worthy to be welcomed.

It just reminds me that I am given so much… here on earth as well as in heaven.

Today God I just want to remember that I am not displaced. I am just where I need to be. I am here, on earth, but I am your welcome daughter. Able to come to you at any moment because of what Jesus has done for me. Thank you for granting me an audience so. very. often. over such trivial matters as temptation of cookies.

Thank you for making me so very welcome in your family.

Amen.

Day 508: More Than Saved

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You know when we Christians hear the phrase ” I am saved” we so often just think immediately of someone that believes that Jesus is Lord in their heart, said it out loud with their mouth, and so now they are saved (Romans 10:9).

POSITIVITY: I am saved.

Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5

Ya know… Jesus has saved us if we believe in Him. But Jesus has saved us from so. much. more.

He has saved us from a life of sadness. of hopelessness. of powerlessness.

He sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us towards a full life, an abundant life, a life with hope and a future. He gave us strength and wisdom when we ask.

It reminds me of a few of the stories (and sadly, there are only a few) from when slaves were officially freed in America and there were some “masters” that gave their former slaves food, land, and money to get started on their own. Not only were those slaves “saved” from being a slave but they were also “saved” from starting life out on their own with absolutely no help and only a bunch of animosity from the whites as most slaves were. But this is what Christ has done for us… he has saved us from oppression of the worst kind and has provided us with the tools to life a wonderful and complete life.

PRAYER:

Lord God… I cannot fathom what it means to really be a physical slave. Honestly, I hope that I never fully understand that truth because I know how difficult it has been to be a slave to my own sin… to be a slave to temptation… a slave to the devil’s wiles. It has been a slavery that has wrapped my soul in pain and sorrow.

But today I remember that it shouldn’t be that way any more. Today I remember that you have saved me. That you have given me life… real life… full life… abundant life. A life that is FREE from the pull of food. A life that is free from the devil and pain and sorrow and worry.

Thank you Lord Jesus that you saved me from eternity in emptiness… in separation from You and all that is Good. But thank you God that You also sent Jesus to show me how to fully live. You are my abundance!

Amen!

Day 505: Incapable Capability

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I really don’t have words this morning.

This is the eighth draft I have started for this post. I’ve changed the positivity verse three times, but I just can’t seem to get anything to work for me this morning.

Ironically enough, look at what I ended up with for the positivity verse…

POSITIVITY: I am capable.

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

You see, I wasn’t able to write a post because I was being nit picky about my wording, about my anecdotes, etc. But really… we don’t need a bunch of “my words” today… all we need is that truth right there.

I am capable.

I can do everything.

I have been given strength.

PRAYER:

God, it’s funny… this morning as I write and pray to you, I feel so terribly incapable. But I am just reminded it is because I am so incapable… without You. And, oh God, how often I attempt to function without you. And how often I fail epically because I attempt life without you.

But now… now I remember God that You make me capable. You make me able to do things that seem unimaginable. Sometimes that’s eating right, loving the unlovable, healing over deep hurts… but when I use YOUR strength… I am suddenly able.

Today, God, help me to tap into that strength. Remind me over and over again that I am capable with You. That I can do anything and everything with You. That I am strong with You. Help me to triumph today over sin and sadness!

You alone are God. You alone fulfill. You alone are strength and hope.

May I focus on You. alone.

Amen.

Day 490: Positivity And Prayers

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I realized over this past weekend that I have been more down on myself than encouraging. We are our worst critics, right?

Well, after reading a few more chapters of Made To Crave, I realized two things that have been severely lacking in my journey:

Prayers.
Positivity.

See- even there I could say it like this:

Well, after reading a few more chapters of Made To Crave, I realized two things that have been severely lacking in my journey I want to incorporate more into my journey:

Prayers!
Positivity!

See, even that little turn of words was a big deal!

So, I’m going on a 30-day “infusion”! (see? Instead of a 30-day cleanse, I’m focusing on the positive and calling it an infusion!) I’m going to be infusing my life with prayer and positivity and you guys get to come along with me!

Today, I’m going to be borrowing a sentence from Lysa’s book as my “positive” phrase:

I am made for more!

Whenever I am tempted by something less than what He would have for me, I am going to remind myself, “I am made for something MORE!”

And prayers. Gonna start praying more. And since I’m a stay at home mom, my life seems to revolve around the kitchen, so today if I am tempted for some non-covenant food then I am going to leave the kitchen and then pray when the food-distraction is out of sight! Refocus on Him and then get back to business.

I’m so excited about this new turn. I hope that today you too can put on a garment of praise and hope and life with me!

Here is my prayer this afternoon:

Make me self-controlled and alert. My enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Help me resist him and stand firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9

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Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie

So, lately I’ve been really wanting to pull myself and my family further away from processed foods… I know, I know. That is just so trendy right now. I mean, who doesn’t want to pull their family away from processed foods?

But gosh- soooooo much easier said than done. Especially for someone who is not much of an accomplished cook in the first place, and then double that for someone whose minimal cooking skills revolve around a bunch of “Cream of _______” dishes. Plus, I’m not much of a hippie type… I mean, I like roughing it out in the country, but only if there is a Walmart within driving distance to get the stuff I need. So, this whole “do it all yourself” thing is gonna be a big switch for me.

In an effort to make this endeavor something I don’t burn myself out on too quickly, I have decided to start very small and thought I’d begin with homemade granola bars. I found a recipe on Pinterest that sounded doable and so I modified it a bit and then tried it a few weeks ago. Delish. My processed-addicted 5 year old son loved them. So, I made them again a couple of days ago and bam… nailed it again.

{Look… aren’t they pretty? And this is pre-baked!}

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I packed those beautiful granola bars all nicely in my best piece of tupperware and stored them in the fridge and smiled at myself each time my son requested one and I could far more easily say “Yes, you may have one of these pretty-good-for-you homemade granola bars!”

Until… yesterday.

I got so hungry at lunch time. Weird, right? What a concept. But it was the kind of hunger that caught me a bit off guard; it sorta came out of nowhere. And I didn’t really have a plan for what to eat nor a lot of easy options… so, I ate… a granola bar.

And I sorta sigh and shake my head at myself as I write that.

But… what’s wrong with a granola bar, January?

Nothing.

Unless… you’re doing a Daniel Fast that restricts several of the ingredients in the granola bar.
Unless… you’ve made a covenant with God not to eat sugar for five years and there are m&ms and mini chocolate chips in them.
Unless… you’re not eating A granola bar but MANY granola bars.

Yep, that’s right… I didn’t just eat one granola bar to ward off my hunger. I ate five granola bars to ward off my hunger.

And then at dinner I had the nerve to feel so proud of myself for not eating the BBQ pulled pork I cooked for my visiting brother. And proud again as I just ate enough and felt so satisfied. Well, YEAH, I felt just so satisfied with my little meal… I’d eaten enough oats and peanut butter in those bars to last me a week!

{Sigh.}

This morning, however, I sit here and cross my arms (cause despite it being late April it’s a little chilly) and think… Well, what lesson did I learn from it? A couple, actually.

Reminder One: This is a journey, January. By now you should have learned that this whole process of healing and renewal is not going to happen on your timeframe. Calm down. Learn lessons. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Reminder Two: Have pre-prepared, easy to make/warm up lunches for days like these. Like, yesterday was a “I need to nuke it” kind of lunch day. Not even my avocado and tomato salad would have been right for me (despite it’s deliciousness) because it took a whopping five minutes of “work” to make it. So, this week, I’m going to prepare five freezer meals for myself along with a list of Daniel Fast-friendly lunches to glance at when my brain is kaput.

Reminder Three: It’s not about WHAT food you’re eating if you eat TOO MUCH. (One of these days that’s actually going to sink in!)

Reminder Four: God’s love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new EVERY MORNING. (Lamentations 3:22-23) And He will give me wisdom to come out of this. He has healing in his wings that all I have to do is reach out and touch. He knocks down strongholds. He reaches down with his strong arm to save. God. is. good. Even my granola bar gorging can be worked out for His Good Plan.

Yep. I feel better now!

Day 464: Out Of Options

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Vegan.
Vegetarian.
Paleo.
Raw.
Fruitarian.

There are just tons of options out there. These are more “lifestyles” of eating rather than diet programs (e.g. WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig, etc). I went vegetarian last year but that was simply because it was essentially what a Daniel Fast was which is what I was going for… well, actually… a Daniel Fast is really vegan (here’s a list) but since I was going to do it for a year instead of for just three weeks, I decided to keep in dairy… and fish… and eggs. So yeah. Apparently, I made up my own Daniel Fast.

Well, since my recent redoing of the whole covenant process back when I was at the MomsAway retreat (and just in case you don’t have a mental catalog running of all of my posts, it was back on Day 444: So. Worth. It.), I have been praying (well, honestly, only been praying a little) about what to do with my overall “diet”. And I don’t mean diet as in… an eating plan to make one lose weight, but I mean… my diet as in, what will I eat? Will I eat meat? bread? dairy? processed? fish? eggs? pasta? rice?

Seriously, there are a gazillion options.

And I wasn’t sure which one to go with. I mean, I already feel a little guilty just having to CHOOSE a dietary plan when massive chunks of the world have a dietary plan of, oh, you know… rice. But, I’m not even going to start to dip into issues with food-guilt, so let’s just work with the situation that I’m given here.

What it mainly boils down to is that when I did pray about it or think about it, I just kept hearing the words: go back to the beginning. Pretty sure that it’s “me” hearing “me” say that, but considering that I have been asking Him for wisdom about what to do with all this He could have just made “me” tell “me” what to do.

Well, back at “the beginning” there was the Daniel Fast, so I decided to do a Daniel Fast-Diet from now until the time I go on a trip with my fam for my brother’s birthday weekend in mid-May. I call it a Daniel Fast-Diet because I’m not really fasting in the sense that I’m praying over something that grieves me like Daniel did. I suppose I would call it Vegan, but for some reason I can get on board so much more easily with a “Daniel Fast” than I can with something called Vegan! Ha!

Anyway, I started the Daniel Fast on Tuesday and already I feel so. much. better. Just one day in and I’d already felt leaner and just, well, better. I know that this is just another step in the journey… coming full circle (again) to realize that food is here to make my machine (my body) run efficiently. I am reminded again of this verse:

You say, “I am allowed to [eat] anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to [eat] anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

And it just seems like whenever I’m eating Daniel Fast-ish that I feel… like it’s beneficial. I feel like it’s good for me. And I feel like it shows me so quickly how much I’m eating of bread and pasta and rice and and and… all those “extras”. So, it’s just cool that, without reading a bunch of reports or counting my calories or whatever, I can know what is beneficial for my body. Anyway, I have a feeling that being a vegan (I think that’s what it is) for just under a month will show me a lot. about me. about food. and hopefully a lot a lot about God!

{My son straight up STOLE my breakfast smoothie!}

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Day 460: Name Change

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Yesterday, a dear friend of mine got married.

It was a beautiful celebration.

I even cried. And let me tell you… I nev.er. cry at weddings. Like, it just doesn’t happen. But, she had music from Pride and Prejudice for the bridesmaids so I was already a little sappy-minded, and then when they opened the doors for her, and I saw her there just beaming with her gorgeous smile… well, I lost it. I was so incredibly happy that she had found her match that I just started to bawl… joyful bawling, but well… way too much sniffling to become a polite southern woman (not that I’ve ever been “a polite southern woman” despite my mother’s excellent training in such matters).

So, I took a few grainy iPhone pics and posted one of them on my new instagram which is connected to facebook. So, I went in and tagged her in the pic.

And then… next thing I know… her name is changed.

Like, she was no longer Ashley Hepsted. She was suddenly Ashley Amron.

I was like… whoooaaaaa. that was quick. I mean, I know she got married and everything, but before Facebook I had time to let the new name settle in for a while before I actually SAW it in black and white print. But nooooooo, now I have to come to grips with my friend being a married woman all of a sudden!?!?! So. totally. weird. (Like, in a totally awesome cool kind of weird way.) Cause, it’s not like just because her last name changed all of a sudden she was just an entirely different person! She’s still the same Ashley that she was before she walked down that aisle, right? Right?!?!

Well…… it sorta hit me.

When a woman gets married, her identity truly and actually changes. Like, we get new social security cards. new driver’s license. new email addresses. new monogrammed towels (okay, maybe that’s pushing it). We start out marriage changing little bits of ourselves. And although on a basic level, we are still the same person… we are taking on a new identity. One that is fused to us through love.

That’s just like our switch when we covenant ourselves to Jesus. Because of Love, we have a new identity. We are still the same basic person, but that new identity is starting to change little bits of ourselves.

And it happens just. like. that.

This new identity that we grab on to… it takes effect as quickly as a name change on Facebook.

And it changes… everything.

So, while I’ve got you here… a few years ago I was in a bible study called Me, Myself, and Lies. (Awe.some. study if you are looking for something) and she had a list of verses that helped with truthfully labeling yourself… or, in this case, correctly stating your identity. I typed them out and reworded them into the first person.

Read a couple (or all) of them out loud. Allow the Word of God to remind you who you are now.

I am…

  • New: I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Cherished: He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
  • Strong: God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Chosen: I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
  • Complete: In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  • Loved: If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me. And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
  • Unfinished: I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  • Free: Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
  • Pardoned: So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
  • Capable: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • Saved: Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
  • A Masterpiece: I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  • Welcome: Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
  • Understood: Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Guarded: I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  • Valuable: God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Loved: See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Family: But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
  • Included: So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
  • Selected: I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • Holy: Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  • Changed: I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  • His Heir: And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
  • His Friend: He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
  • Delightful: For the Lord my God is living among me. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in me with gladness. With his love, he will calm all my fears. He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
  • Bold: Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12