What does being Chosen mean for me? There are three moments in my life that stand out for me as I consider this question. Three key times when I felt wholeheartedly Chosen for something different.
The first time was when I was child. My dad took me to see Star Wars and it resonated with me, made me see movies and storytelling in a whole new way. I don’t remember anything detailed from that experience but I had stars in my eyes leaving that movie and have not forgotten that feeling.
The second time was when I was 17 years old. I had just learned that being a Christian was not about religion but about a personal walk/relationship with God. I had known God and had attended church all my life, but at that point I distinctly remember choosing to love Him with all my heart. I had no idea at the time what that decision implied but I remember being in love with God and wanting Him above all else.
The third time that stands out was after ending an eight-year relationship with someone I was convinced I would spend my life with and turned out it was just a channel God used to get me back in His arms with fervor. I was so devastated and ashamed of how much I had invested on the wrong guy.… NOT knowing how I would heal from this, I gave God the only thought that made sense to me at the time. I spoke the first and only ultimatum I’ve ever given God, kill me or make me stronger. Again, didn’t have any idea what path this would bring but I knew I was giving God my whole, damaged heart once again at 28, and deciding to trust Him with all the brokenness within me. Yes, for me, surrendering my heart to God happens more than once and it means something different every time.
Accepting God’s call on your life, being Chosen, means there is one or more struggles you are meant to overcome. I see fictional characters like Lara Croft, Tris Prior, Tally from Uglies, Tessa from Makai Queen, Grey Alexander from Jupiter Winds, Leia from Star Wars, Aunt Claire from Bloodline, Gabi from Bergren’s River of Time Series, Sadie from The Tethered World and Semara from The Neumarian Chronicles by Ciara Knight……. and I want to be like THEM! They are strong, fearless, beautiful, empowered young characters and despite being take from their comfort zones, they find they have the courage needed for their unpredictable journey. However, they each had one or more life-changing struggles to overcome before they reached victory and breakthrough…..and sometimes that journey led them completely away from what they were expecting to do. Yes, they are fictional characters but I relate to their stories, I’m motivated by their stories, and I learn from their stories.
There are two struggles I’m currently experiencing in being Chosen and even though I’m learning through faith how to trust God in a deeper way, there are days I feel like screaming in my discouragement (this is totally acceptable in case you were wondering, God values when we’re real with Him). One is figuring out what my purpose is for 2017 and beyond. I’m 38 years old, Waiting to publish my first book, Waiting to meet my husband (I’m NOT dating and the men in my life are my dad, two brothers and my nephew…..greatest men I know), and Waiting for several prayers to be answered in powerful ways for me and my family. Waiting does not mean being bored and restless, although there are days like that. It means understanding that God is working tirelessly on something special for my life and I have to trust Him BEFORE I see it happening. There is healing, learning, growing, and transforming power going on while the Waiting is in motion. The Waiting time also gives me a season of drawing closer to God in my desperation, it leads to a closeness to the Almighty that would not have been possible otherwise. Never easy, but necessary for me in what it means to be Chosen. This is an entry from my prayer journal that was revealed to me in the Waiting season….
I’m speeding away in a car with the window open. I’m skinny, my hair is long and flying everywhere, but I can’t see any of that in my determination to get away. I’m speeding past cars, but only a few are around me. Jesus is riding a motorcycle to the left of me—off road—speeding to catch up with me. Every time He gets close I yell for Him to “get away” or “leave me alone!” I’m not worth loving, not worth the trouble, not worthy of Him. However, He’s relentless and refuses to back off. He loves me too much to let me go.
Behind Jesus are all the breakthroughs, promises, calling, and blessings that belong to me, but I’m going in the wrong direction and can’t see them or I’m too trapped in myself to turn back. In the front passenger seat is a nasty, murky, hot puddle with bubbles….it’s Fear and it mocks me and taunts me. I don’t look at it during this pursuit, but I accept its lies. In the backseat are my Addictions, Loneliness, Insecurities, and Inadequacies….even some Regrets and Unforgiveness I thought for sure I had let go of. They are also mocking me and taunting me, making sure I feel unworthy of Jesus and our relationship even as He continues to gain on me. Something in the road finally stops me and I have to come to a screeching halt. The car skids out slightly and then stops crooked in the road.
Jesus calmly stops his bike and approaches me with purpose. I’m angry and crying. My Beloved is here, can I handle this? His approach is gentle yet firm, he is not the least put out by reaction. “Don’t you realize what I’ve been through to hold onto these things?” I ask Him referring to my passengers that have been burdening me for miles. Jesus has reached my open window and is unfazed by my anguish. The passengers are shaken by His presence, but they also want to defend themselves. Jesus silences them with a small gesture, his eyes never leaving mine. They each cower in their positions and immediately release their hold from me. I’m no longer angry and sit there quietly in disbelief. He gently leans into the window and puts his forehead to mine; both His hands rest softly on my face pulling me closer so I can draw love and strength from Him.
“Please let them go and come with me. They don’t belong to you and they’re terrified of who you really are. Everything behind me belongs to you. Everything I have is yours.” At this point my eyes are closed and I’m slightly weeping as He continues to draw me near. I’m not looking at what’s behind Him, but I can FEEL the freedom and the life He’s referring to. How can such beauty and love be mine for the taking? He speaks once more but my heart has already decided. “Please trust me. Come with me and let me love you.” I can no longer speak, but the tension and determination that consumed my body now leaves as I take a deep breath. I’m not even aware of how this happens, but Jesus has removed me from this destructive car and is holding me carefully as he walks away. I simply cling to him, there’s nothing else for me to do and suddenly I have new fervor to bask in him.
Since his motorcycle is no longer useful he waits for our new transportation….the glow of the new life is still in the background, but right now it’s just us and that’s all I want. A hummer pulls up slowly and Jesus positions himself in the driver’s seat with me comfortably in his lap. My head and one of my hands are cradled against his chest. He pauses for a moment to pour more love and healing into our connection as I rest in him. Soon after, he drives on the off road again saying something about taking the road less traveled and that I’m finally going home. Later its shown to me that Jesus knew my heart all along, that this rescue was to show me how much he loved me.
The other struggle I’m currently experiencing is a stronghold I’ve had for years, but lately
seems to have reached a new level of self-destructiveness for me. I pull my hair out. It’s some kind of nervous habit, it has increased the last couple of years, and it has gotten out of control. It’s torn, uneven, damaged, grayed, and it has caused me to feel ugly and ashamed when looking in the mirror. I’m fighting myself NOT to pull on it even as I write this, but as uncomfortable as I am sharing about this very personal journey God has me on, if it can help someone else going through similar feelings, then I consider this a blessing.
I’ve wanted long hair since I was a little girl and my hair finally goes past my shoulders and a little down my back, but the front and sides are totally pulled out. Even though this is a current struggle, I believe that my hair and the breakthrough I’ve been waiting on for my hair is part of what it takes to being Chosen. EVERY struggle leads to healing when it comes to living Chosen and no matter how much I have suffered with hair pulling, I believe God is working through me to bring restoration. Here is another entry from my prayer journal for my hair…..
To the hair on my head:
Please forgive me….I have been hung up on thinking wrong thoughts, feeling helpless and having doubts that were lies from the enemy. I took it out on you and it has become a stronghold, it has gone too far, it has made me desperate, it is something I’m determined to overcome and heal from. I have pulled you out, mangled you, tore you apart, shredded you while sleeping and awake, destroyed you, and mistreated you. No amount of nice haircuts or hair products have restored you and just looking at you in the mirror has made me distraught, ashamed, discouraged, and heartbroken. Since I was a child I have always desired long, healthy, glowing, and easy to manage hair. Since I was a teenager I have been pulling you out and praying you would come back to life, praying for a miracle to save you and restore you! This year (2015) I have mistreated you the worst and I am DEEPLY sorry for all of it! You and I have been through a lot, but I have wronged you with my stronghold and I have allowed my incredibly anointed hands to mistreat you in the worst way. You are so soft and comforting to touch and the next thing I know I have ripped you from my head! I feel so ugly and ashamed, but then I can’t stop and I have to call on God to help me! I have worn gloves to bed, worn hair clips to bed, sat on my hands, and used hair repair products. Nothing has worked. Please forgive me, that is my plea. I am writing this out and giving it to God’s throne. This does not excuse my destructive behavior, but I believe it’s a step in the right direction. I want to set things right between us, to have a healthy and glorified relationship with you. You are a gift from God to me and I am grateful to you. I want you to be free, to grow, to be glorious, never having knots or frizz, and to always be one of many beautiful parts of me. You are part of my temple, part of my holiness, part of my everlasting beauty. I want to grow old with you and honor you. I want to fill you with life. Thank you for your forgiveness, you bless me! *Dedicated the song, Please Forgive Me by Bryan Adams to my hair….chorus only*
I’m NOT anything like those fictional characters I mentioned earlier, but that’s great because I am EXACTLY who God wants me to be, which is better! I’m real, I’m Chosen, I’m Christ strengthened, I’m holy, and as I’m encouraged, I love to encourage others! I’m learning that no matter what I see in the mirror (dry skin, pulled hair, gray hair, or hairs on my chin), I’m still beautiful. I’m learning that Christ sees nothing but amazing and glorious beauty when He looks upon me. I’m learning that I’m worthy no matter what my struggles and circumstances are because He says I’m worthy. I’m learning to choose fearlessness no matter what seemingly impossible dreams are before me. I’m learning to trust Him in the Waiting. I’m learning to hand over every doubt and regret I have into His capable Hands, to let Him use them for His purposes. I’m learning to stop overthinking things I have no control over and simply allow Him to love me. I didn’t choose this life, this destiny, or the calling before me. HE chose ME, my part is to trust Him and be obedient to that call.
MANY times these last ten years, during my most heartbreaking moments, I have questioned Him on choosing me. My anger, my fears, my frustrations…..how can I POSSIBLY manage to heal and be this person He says I am??? He makes it clear to me over and over; I am on His strength and He will do all the hard work to equip me as needed, His love is enough. HE will make a way where there is NO WAY! I don’t have to know all the answers, I don’t have to understand what the plan for my life is right away, I don’t have to have everything figured out, I can even make mistakes and I’m allowed to have off days when I don’t feel like doing anything. He talks me down from the ledge every time, holds me, fills me with His peace, romances me, makes me laugh (mostly through remembering a funny movie line), and assures me that I’m safe with Him. There’s NOTHING I can to ever make Him stop loving me, there’s NOTHING I can do that will void out or cancel the purpose He has for my life, there’s NOTHING the enemy can throw at me that will steal what God has in store for me. And on days where I don’t think I can take another step forward, He’s right there carrying me and meeting me in that sadness to rescue me once more (makes me think of Falcor from Neverending Story, where Atreyu is about to drown in the swamp and the wolf wants to eat him, and at the last possible moment, Falcor sweeps down and gets Atreyu out of that mud and certain death, HUGE RELIEF…..only Christ is a billion times better of a rescue).
That’s what #LivingChosen means to me….it’s a struggle of a journey that leads to healing, overcoming, and total breakthrough. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, uncomfortable and soothing. It’s learning to grow, heal, and trust God in the easy moments and in the tough ones. It’s going forward even when you’re exhausted because this is where God has led you and you won’t give up. It’s knowing I’m healed, beautiful, loved and living a purpose-filled life even as I wait. That’s what living Chosen means to me and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Christ is worth every bit of it and I stand with Him through it all! Like Tabitha always states, I am Chosen. I am Powerful. I am Loved. I am Never Alone. Thanks for reading my testimony, God bless you
You can get more inspiration from Kara by following her on Pinterest. And here's a music video to "All I Need To Be" By Fireflight.
Thanks so much for reading about Kara's journey to #LiveChosen. I hope that you will check out all of the #LiveChosen stories coming this month. Be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY too!