Redeemed: Getting Past Your Past
Whatever your past holds, you are redeemable. If your past has a grip on your self-confidence and self-image, it’s time to loosen the foothold and be set free.
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Stacy Emerson, a pastor’s wife and mother of three, knows what it feels like to be freed from the grip of a false self-image and find freedom in who she is, regardless of anything in her past. Growing up in church, marrying a Godly man and raising children to know who they are in Christ doesn't mean her own self-image struggle hasn't been real.
If so many women cling to a false self-image, do we even know what a true self-image is? Like the previous post The Struggle is Real says, being a confident woman takes work… especially while all kinds of things are going on around us sending subliminal (or not-so-hidden) messages of all kinds. So how do we separate the truth from the lies?
Stacy says, “How we feel about ourselves, regardless of our past, is not meant to be measured by our feelings, emotions or even circumstances, but on HIS WORD ALONE.”
If you could believe the truths that your Creator has for you and truly believe that, how much would that change the course of your day? The course of your life?”
Affirm yourself with the Word of God. This is the only written truth that tells us who we are as women (and people in general). Other things we may read (that aren’t the Word or based on the Word), will only tell you to feel guilty about your past… you’re not beautiful unless you look a certain way… you aren’t forgiven, or redeemable... These are lies.
Stacy asks, “So could you, would you, read these affirmations a few times to yourself as you look into the mirror? The question is, do you choose to believe they’re true?”
- You are blessed and highly favored, a daughter of the Most High King.
- You are fearfully and wonderfully, created in His image, for His workmanship.
- God’s power works best in my weakness.
- The fruit I Produce brings great joy to my Father in Heaven.
- Because I place my hope in the Lord, my strength is renewed.
- Because I obey Jesus, I remain in His love.
- God is my refuge and strength…always ready to help me in times of trouble.
- God is able to do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within me.
- You can’t do it alone. As Christians, we were never meant to be without community.
“If you are struggling to see yourself as worthy, then my sister, you need to call on one of your sisters in Christ,” Stacy says. “If you don’t have one, pray for God to send you one or go out and find one. Take her by the hand and tell her to pray with you, to affirm you, to speak the power of the truth of the Word of God over you, and then don’t stop meeting with her or a group of women that truly will propel you forward.”
God created us for COMMUNITY not for isolation. Sisters in the faith, if you aren’t struggling with this right now, I challenge you, who are you pouring into? Whose worth are you increasing?”
“… and we fear because we will not nourish ourselves in our faith. How can anyone who is identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear?” - Oswald Chambers
“Confidence is built in our relationship with the Lord when there is nothing between us and Him. (Is there sin in your life you haven’t confessed? Is there someone you need to forgive regardless if they forgive you back?) We have to strip ourselves of our flesh day by day,” Stacy says.
“For some of us, minute by minute or hour by hour until we allow the movement of the Holy Spirit to overtake our actions, our words and our choices. It is then and only then that confidence is built by the leading of the Holy Spirit, not by any work we have done.”
A verse Stacy says she clings to when she doesn’t feel confident (and one she had to memorize) is 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The battle of believing we are redeemed is, for the most part, within our minds. So often we are told, “Take your thoughts captive.” Don’t people know how hard that is? Especially as women… Our minds can race in 3,000 directions after one thought. How do we captivate that many derailing trains at once?
Stacy's advice for doing this is simple: "Activity breeds confidence. Do something! Call someone!"
I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Psalm 121:1-2
"It seems as though it is impossible to change our minds and get thoughts out of our own heads sometimes, so we have to consciously make a decision to act in faith. Get up, arise, call on the name of Jesus and claim in ridiculous faith that 'if the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead is living in YOU, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.'” (Romans 8:11)
Ladies, be encouraged by the words of your Creator.
You have not gone too astray. You are forgivable.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:8-12
You are made in His image.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27