Friday, March 20, 2015

Guest Blogger, Winter Lawson; How to lay aside our perfections and start being real with God



I am so honored and blessed that Amy has asked me to blog here! 

A little about who I am...I'm a wife of almost 15 years, a mom to two great kids, and a follower of Jesus who doesn't get it right as often as I would like, but I do always trust in His grace and love over my life. I blog over at mecoffeeandjesus.wordpress.com, I have recently renewed my commitment to blog more often and I'm still getting into the swing of things. 

I want more than anything to serve Jesus and live out his plan for my life and part of that right now is being the mom and wife he called me to be while being with Him. Studying His word is a huge part of that journey and documenting my thoughts in my blog is another part. I have found this desire to move beyond the pages of my journal to a sharable format to keep me accountable. See if I'm not studying and living in Him I have nothing to blog about, if I'm doing what I've been called to do I find inspiration through Him.


I was in the car driving home the other night when a song came on the radio, an old song I've heard hundreds of times but something about it this time struck me. It was Does Anybody Hear Her by Casting Crowns this song about a girl seeking and craving salvation struck me in a different way. It made me think how I am like this girl, yes I know Jesus and I'm not seeking new salvation, but yet I still feel like her especially with these lyrics... two years further into the journey yet three more steps behind, standing under the shadow of the steeple does anybody see her, does anybody hear her-insert me here.


I watch myself and other women become lost in the shadows of doing it all, being it all. We create this monster of have it together, keep it together, everyone is watching and I can't slip, I can't let my real life struggles show. I know recently there has been lots of talk about realness and being authentic and I love that; yet do we do it? Do I? Or am I the girl hiding in the shadows trying to keep all my ugly covered?


Even when I'm not intending to keep it hidden and covered, I do. Several years ago I was shown how I do it in a loving way. This woman who spoke these words, I'm sure had no idea how they would stick with me. She said, "until I got to really talk with you and know you, I thought you had it all together, had it all figured out and were just shy of perfect." 

I laughed, I mean really laughed, my first thought was wow I had no idea I had the wool pulled over her eyes! Yet I paused and thought, well until I got real with this group of ladies why would they think differently? Facebook and my smiles, while crying on the inside, did wonders to give that distorted view of my life.  I don't often willingly share my heart, maybe pieces, but not with more then one or two. 

 How often do you say fine when someone asks how are you? I don't mean you should spill it all to the deli guy at Wal-mart, but you can save the realness for over coffee with someone that knows you better then I'll take a pound of turkey. How about sharing prayer requests with your bible study group and not “oh my great uncle is traveling will you pray for him.” I mean instead of running to the bathroom to wipe those tears and fix your lipstick at work you be open to your work friend.


I do these things, I'm sure you do these things, but what if instead we shared over coffee that it's been a tough week maybe a check bounced, or your toddler refuses to potty in the toilet, (you know the toddler that needs to go to preschool in 4 months), or your husband has worked late every night and you really just want to take a shower, not just a shower, but a shower ALL by yourself!


What if when your group of ladies asked for prayer requests you actually say my brother is lost, he has been an addict, a thief, been to jail and you really haven't spoken to him in years at this point. That you worry and pray for him daily and your tired, won't they join in praying for him as well?


What if we invited a friend over for a visit regardless of the dishes in the sink, the junk mail on the table or the dirty laundry in the bathroom.


By creating this perfection judgmental contest with women-real or imagined, we risk losing authentic friends and prayer warriors. I know you are sitting there reading this thinking, girl you are crazy it gives me nightmares to think about getting this real, well me too sweet sister. I have the biggest fear of not being liked, when Satan wants to attack me that is how it is done...he whispers they are talking about you, they aren't going to like you if you don't do __________. But can I remind you girls of an amazing truth?! Jesus finds you perfect in your brokenness, He finds you enough without lipstick, un-showered and with .39 cents in your checkbook. He sees you in the shadows and he wants you to come out because His light shines bright through you. I bet you already knew these truths but if your like me you need reminded daily.


Like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, when he heard “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul heard these words spoken after having visions of heaven, he stayed silent not wanting to boast about seeing these amazing things and people thinking it was of his doing. So in order for Paul to stay humble God placed a thorn in his side. Paul begged for it to be removed three times but each time he heard “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness”. Paul goes on in verses 9b-10 that he is now glad to boast about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That is why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak then I am strong.


So I boast today not of me or of my doing, but of what the Lord is doing. He's taking an insecure woman who is a desperate people pleaser and making her a women of God, a girl running after Jesus and who only desperately wants you to see his grace and his beauty over her life. Because after all “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

**You can follow Winter and her "getting real with God" at www.mecoffeeandjesus@wordpress.com