A community of women who desire to do life intimately with Jesus and boldly in our communities. We hunger to know Jesus’ true character and walk with Him through every season of life. If you are desiring the same thing, stay awhile - we have a feeling you’re going to like it here.
Now Walk it Out
CHECK OUT OUR LEGACY MERCH STORE!
SHOP NOW! →
We're Live Salted!
Jesus redeemed my pain and exchanged it for the joy of knowing Him, being known by Him, being fully forgiven, deeply loved, and sealed for eternity.
Girl, before we begin, I need to ask you to scoot in a little closer so I can tell you what God has been doing in my life. Because here’s the thing, if I don’t tell you a little bit about me, then I’m afraid this series might seem too textbook. I’d way rather get on the same page from the get-go, friend to friend level. I can bet that we’ve probably been through some similar things, or felt similar feelings. I wish that I could sit across from you at your favorite coffee shop on campus or around the city and just listen to you, and hear what Jesus is doing in your life and how in love with Him you are. Or how you’re kind of hurting right now if you’re being honest. I wish I could do that, I really do. So what I’m going to do is tell you a little bit about me, with the hope that you might connect with me through reading this series and (maaaaybe) reach out and tell me a little bit about you.
Here we go.
I’m 30. Ok, a couple weeks to 31, but at this moment, I’m 30 and I’m a round-down kinda gal when it comes to certain things. Funny fact, I still get carded, and most people guess that I’m between 22-26. Very likely they’re being sweet. Here’s hoping that keeps up till I’m like 50, guys. Kidding, kind of. But anyway.
The reason I’m telling you that funny bit about my age is because these last 13 years of my life haven’t been easy and I think it would be totally understandable if I looked like an angry, rugged mountain lady or something. I should look like I’ve been through a lot more life. People are always surprised when they hear my story. But, when Jesus captured my heart and claimed it for Himself, He did this thing. He made it look like I hadn’t been down the roads I’ve been down.
He eased my pain and calmed my sea of shame so that instead of looking like what I’ve been through, I look a lot more like joy, peace and confidence.
Sure I’ve been to depression. I’ve been to date rape. I’ve been to suicide attempt. I’ve been to sickness. I’ve been to surgery and losing my intestines. I’ve been to ileostomy bag on my stomach for the rest of my life. But girl. I don’t look like depression. I don’t look like Crohn’s Disease. I don’t look like a rape victim. I don’t look like a suicide attempt. I don’t look like failed dreams. I don’t look like where I’ve been.
I don’t look like where I’ve been because I now fully understand the meaning of the phrase, God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.
Jesus redeemed the pain of where I’ve been and exchanged it for the joy of knowing Him, being known by Him, being fully forgiven, deeply loved, and sealed for eternity.
Now, the following sentence is meant to be read in a deep southern accent, I picture myself as a wise old lady on her front porch rocking chair dishing out some major Jesus truth with a side of pecan pie, so read in that accent, just entertain me for a sec: I just ain’t got no time for wallowing in seas of shame and mountains of pain – in where I’ve been – for too long when I know what I’ve been saved from when I know where I’m going. And for that, I hope we can all take a praise break. If you’re in public, t-rex arm praise break. I see you, girl. I feel that!
In the last couple of years since I gave my life to Christ, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s impossible for me to respond to what He’s done for me with anything short of complete, full, wholehearted devotion. It’s impossible for me to not be moved by His reckless love.
I think we all feel, deep down inside, the churning and yearning of the Holy Spirit beckoning us to live in the security that He has gained for us. We know that we aren’t called to live worldly lives, we’re called to live knowing that we’re not of this world, that this place is temporary. That our citizenship is not here but in Heaven. We crave complete devotion to Him, but it’s hard to know what that looks like.
So what are we supposed to do? What does it look like to be fully devoted, to go after Jesus with our entire lives, to live in this world but not of it? To put all of our chips in the middle of the table and then crawl up and lay our very selves down on top of those chips and say “I’m all in?”
When I get into the Word of God and start asking what it looks like to follow Jesus, the answer is not just a few minor tweaks to our current worldly lives, it’s a lot more radical, girl. Do you agree? Most of us are comfortable saying “God is #1! He’s my first priority!” But, from what the Bible says, I just don’t see how it’s possible to simultaneously lead a completely comfortable life and be a wholehearted follower of Jesus. Because…
Jesus doesn’t just want to be our #1, He wants to BE our lives.
Check it out:
“And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.” – Colossians 1:18 (ESV)
In Colossians 1:18 (ESV), the word preeminent is used to describe the place that Jesus has in our lives. As I studied, the Lord brought me back to Philippians 1:21 that says “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Preeminent doesn’t just mean “first priority,” it means He is everything, life itself. He surpasses all priorities (even #1) and is our life. We see this all over the Bible. Jesus doesn’t just harbor power, He is power. He doesn’t just offer rest, He is rest. Jesus doesn’t just give peace, He is peace. Jesus doesn’t merely allow life, He is life.
To live is Christ.
And if we’re being honest, it makes total sense. Christ is our lives because our old selves have died so that our new lives are now in Christ (Colossians 3:3-4). To live, certainly, is Christ! And to die in Him, most surely, is gain. In Christ, we have been redeemed.
Living outside of our comfort zones is what following Jesus is all about. That doesn’t mean that you need to sell everything and move to Africa. That’s not what I’m saying, and that’s certainly not what everyone is called to do. What it does mean is that we are called to hear the voice of God in our own lives so that we can respond with obedience to what He’s personally asking of us. The beautiful thing is that He’s asking something unique from each of us.
I have a sneaky feeling that Jesus has stolen your heart, as He has mine. I also have a feeling that you want to know more and more about Him, and more and more about what it means to follow Him. And I also can imagine that you’ve been through some things, that you’ve had your heart broken a time or two. But what I know for sure is that if you’re seeking Him with your whole heart, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). And girl, He’s doing a work in you just like He’s doing in me: He’s making it so that you don’t look like where you’ve been. He’s redeeming what is broken. He’s breathing life back into your lungs, renewing your smile, placing His glow in your heart, so you wake up and know, this is living.
This four-part series is titled “This Is Living” because when we release the things of this world that we are trying to find fulfillment in and decide to place our lives into the hands of the Father, then we can truly come to life. We once were lost and now we’re found. Life becomes so much more about Him than it is about us. When we come alive in Him we can truly say, this is living.
Other posts in this series:
Our Hub Contributors are women who share their passion and perspective with us by writing articles for our HUB. We love opening up our platform to create space to hear other voices and let our audience be discipled by a variety of people. If you are interested in writing for the HUB, please send us an email at email@example.com.
At Live Salted, we’re a family, and one of the best ways we’re able to communicate with our family is through our emails. We would love for you to be a part of our growing community, so sign up here for ministry updates, words of encouragement, and some mic-dropping truth bombs.