When you let God choose your word for the year, hold onto your chair with both hands because you’re about to be taken for the wildest ride of your life. Dorothy and Toto could not have imagined the whirlwind caused by one single, solitary word.
Who knew a simple word like authentic could wreak such havoc? It has taken seven months of being tossed to and fro by wave after wave of mayhem to strip away many of my counterfeit layers. I’m sure I’ve not reached my core, but I’m a whole lot closer than I was. It’s not been easy, but it’s been good!
According to Dr. Brene’ Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
So far, here’s what I’ve learned by trial and error about being AUTHENTIC:
- It’s hard.
- It takes poking around and digging through your own heart to ever find it.
- It lies buried beneath all your phony baloney.
- It creates the springboard for true, genuine, AUTHENTIC freedom.
- It scares some people.
- Next to Jesus, it’s the best ingredient in relationships.
- Any suffering endured because of it is worth the pain.
- You can’t love others properly until it causes you to genuinely love yourself.
Every month this year has gifted me with a new struggle. You may have been given similar packages to open right alongside me. If you were, don’t give up. What the world sees as a hellish year for you can transform into one that allows you to storm the gates of hell with a brand-new sense of purpose and confidence in how God made you! Your courage amidst your struggles places God’s power on display! Authentic peace in the chaos proves your faith is genuine.
If you are like me, those who know you well believe you couldn’t endure the kind of struggles you’ve been through without some supernatural help. When we exchange our plans and strength for God’s, and give Him the glory for our victories, others will want what we have. They see that God really is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, and He can do it for them!
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7, NIV)
When circumstances in our lives heat up, impurities rise to the surface. You can count on that! That’s when those who’ve become authentic allow Jesus to step in to painstakingly skim off the counterfeit muck floating in the top of their pots. (He will do that for you every single day if you will just hand Him the spoon.) Then, what’s left behind will be a whole potful of mighty fragrant and flavorful ingredients. I’m praying that all of your friends and family get a whiff of your aromatic, authentic cuisine and instinctively want a taste of the good life.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:8-10, NIV)
Ready to be authentic? Hold on tightly to your chair, precious one. It’s going to be a wild ride!