Intentional: Accepting What God Offers

autumn-pathway

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ll never forget the day.

I was sitting with a friend at a Quizno’s. She always had a way of speaking truth, even hard truth, with gentleness. And she had the gift of prophecy.

“You have a gaping wound in your heart, Jeanne.”

Nine eye-opening words.

With those words, God opened my spiritual eyes to see the wound and its cause.

Rejection.

Skiing In the storm

 

It was as if her words unlocked memories, gave me understanding as to why I did the things I did. Scenes flashed across the screen of my mind.

Things I’d done . . .

Behaviors I’d made into habits . . .

Beliefs I’d held about myself . . . all because of my fear of being rejected.

I couldn’t get home fast enough to begin journaling all God was showing me.

These words launched me on the lifelong path toward the healing of this wound.

Hand Fenced Off copy

 

I had mastered the art of living in fear, in shame. As if somehow, my being myself as a girl was a shameful thing.

As if living in fear was the only way I could truly live.

This road to healing has been long. I’ve tripped and fallen and failed. I’m learning how to get up, how to live in truth.

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Part of being able to live intentional is not living from a place of loss, of fear about who or what might be taken from us. Rather, we need to live in a place of trusting God.

And honestly? This has been a process. I thought I was living in that place when my friend spoke those words to me. I see now, I was living in partial truth.

I knew and believed God loved me, but I didn’t truly trust Him with my heart-hurts. I didn’t trust Him enough to bring healing, restoration in my heart. I didn’t think there was a way He could. My gaping wound was just a part of who I was.

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To live intentional, I need to choose to trust God with my heart, with my people, with my life. Until I can do this, I’m letting fear have the final word in my decisions. I’m allowing fear to dictate my actions.

And shame? Those cruel words spoken, cruel things done to me as a girl . . . yeah, they carved out a huge gap in my heart and filled it with shame. Because I felt ashamed of who I was, I fashioned for myself a mask that obscured the essence of who I was.

wintry-road

 

But this I’m learning, when shame is the filter through which I make my decisions, I’ll never choose the life-giving path God desires for me. I’ll choose what feels safe, invisible, acceptable.

Have I done some wrong things? Most definitely. Does God hold those decisions over my head, His condemnation raining down on me?

Definitely not.

winding-leafy-walk

 

God is big enough to forgive my—our—mistakes. Even the huge ones. 

He offers the grace we need to move forward. The question is, will I—will we—accept it? Until we can, we are unable to live an intentional life, a life yielded to Him rather than to fear or shame.

When we accept God’s forgiveness, we live in a place of humility. We begin to understand how much He loves us.

aspen-lined-path

 

It’s from this place that we can take steps toward living an intentional life.

I’ll always thank God for the day my friend spoke those nine words to me. They put me on a life-changing, heart-healing path.

What about you? How do you choose to live a life that is not dictated by fear? What are your thoughts about living above the place of shame?

Click to Tweet: We need to live in a place of trusting God.

Today I’m linking up with Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup.

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18 thoughts on “Intentional: Accepting What God Offers

  1. Great post, Jeanne.

    There are things I fear…and just this weekend, I felt an awful sense of shame in not being able to prevent fell deeds. I survived; others did not, and I will never be free of that.

    And it’s OK, thanks to Mel Gibson.

    Do you remember the last scene in “The Passion of The Christ”, Jesus rises, and you can see through the holes in His hands.

    The scars are a part of us. They’re supposed to be.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/01/your-dying-spouse-265-what-we-value.html

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    • Andrew, I know God has walked with you as you process those fell deeds. I also know He’s begun a healing in you that will probably not be finished until you meet Him face-to-face. I had forgotten that scene in The Passion of the Christ. It’s powerful. And you’re right. I didn’t mean to minimize the scars we wear from life. They are a part of us, and God uses them to minister to others. Often without us knowing. Thank you for bringing that up.

      Praying for you, friend!

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  2. Jeanne,
    Romans 8:1 has become a “go to” verse for me….Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (emphasis mine). None, zip, zilch. This has been a hard on for me to wrap my mind around. Christ did what He did because he wanted me to live in freedom, not fear. I am learning, albeit slowly, to take Him up on His offer. Thank you for an honest and real post!
    Blessings on your journey,
    Bev xx

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    • Bev, Romans 8:1 has been monumental in helping me let go of the condemnation I heaped on myself. Once I realized that God doesn’t condemn . . . that condemnation comes from the enemy? That’s when it became a little easier to let go of my failings. I love your words. Christ did what He did so we could live in freedom, not fear. Good truth there. 🙂 Thank you for adding to this conversation!

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  3. What an insightful, faithful friend, Jeanne. And an insightful post. I still struggle a lot with fear of rejection and with shame, but God is layer by layer healing me. Sometimes I beat myself up for not being further on the path of healing, for slipping back into shame and fear so easily. But God often reminds me of Romans 8:1 that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He offers me much more grace than I do myself. I tell myself that if He doesn’t condemn me, why should I condemn myself? I’m still a work in progress… Thank you for this encouragement to live in the place of trusting God. As always, I love your photos, too! Love and hugs!

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    • Trudy, I’m finding the struggle with rejection and shame is a gradual overcoming. The feeling of rejection still surprises me sometimes . . . often in a most unexpected moment. I’m discovering that as God works His healing in our thoughts and hearts, rejection’s hold isn’t as strangling. I’m glad you can see God’s healing work in you!

      Yes, Romans 8:1 is a powerful, hopeful verse, isn’t it? I’m so glad there’s room in God’s heart for us works in progress. Thank you for sharing so honestly here! Hugs, friend!

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  4. I love how just a few words from your friend were able to lead you into a deeper level of healing. So true that there are layers to it- we think we’re there and then realise there is more work to do. I agree it is important to be intentional about holding to God’s truth and accepting his grace and forgiveness. I love the photos you shared here too.

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    • Lesley, I am forever amazed at how unexpectedly God works sometimes. I love that He can use a few words to open our eyes to things we’ve never seen before. May we both hold tightly to God’s truth as He works healing in our hearts and minds! I’m always glad when you stop by!

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  5. This is raw, vulnerable and beautiful. I know this place of rejection you speak about. I think it is easier to check out and not let anything in than to face the our fears and shame. God is a redeeming God and loves nothing more than to draw us close to Him and tell us how much He loves us. Thank you for sharing your journey and process of healing. Love you friend!

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    • Such truth in your words, Mary. It’s only in dealing with our fears that we are able to be freed of them. And the best way to deal with them is to bring them to our Redeeming Father. I’m so thankful that He does draw us close to Him, that He reminds us just how great His love for us is.

      Thank you for adding your wisdom to the conversation, my friend!

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  6. Beautiful, Jeanne. The only thing that keeps me from wallowing in shame is … believing God. That’s it. I thank the Lord for my godly foundation …. I’ve been a splattered mess at times, but that foundation, knowing truth, keeps me from living there. I love you, friend. xoxo

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    • Yes, Shelli. It’s that believing in God that helps us. As we take His truths and let them weave into the essence of who we are, we can let go of shame, right? Knowing truth is KEY. Thank you for your sweet words, friend!

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  7. All so true. It can be hard to really understand God’s grace in this world, especially when we might see others around us who seem to have lived pure lives! But God uses all for good, and I know He is using you too, to show the redeeming power of His grace!

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    • Yes, Lynn, learning to accept and live in God’s grace is hard. The funny thing is, we’ve all done things we regret. God’s grace is bigger than all of our poor choices and regrets. I’m so glad He uses everything in our lives for His good. Thank you for your kind words my friend.

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  8. This is such a great post Jeanne! I love your process of healing the deep places of your heart, its so beautiful. My process is similar. I had to take a look at what lies the enemy was telling me, thus I was believing to be true about myself. Once I figured those out it was a process of replacing these lies with the truths of who I am in Christ. What is true of him is true of me. It was then a process of moving these truths from my head, to settle at home in my heart. Once there, I began to live out of these truths, which was a much healthier, happier and peaceful place; an intentional life.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts!! Be blessed
    -Nik

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    • Nik, it’s so nice to “meet” you! I love your words here and how you determined who you are in Christ. When we begin to live that way it makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I loved reading about your process. Thanks for sharing it!

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