Women Helping Women Conference: a Personal Reflection from Christie

 “Women Helping Women” 2013

And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” –Luke 1:38

The Lord has me weak in the knees once again, and I can only pray I remain in this position. A few weekends ago I was reminded of His tender affection and loving-kindness toward me. While I know that we as a church are his bride in a very corporate sense, I am also reminded of that three year old little girl who hijacked the stage at a Shirley McClain concert and proclaimed boldly in song “Jesus loves me”. Yes, ME! Individually, simply, me. That weekend I remembered that His affections are very real and intimately connected directly to me. I think of the hymn writer’s words that said “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word…” and I cannot help but sob at the profound reality of His personal presence with my soul that day, that moment when Jesus met me in my pit of despair and drew me out into the arms of forgiveness, grace and hope.  There have been a lifetime of moments that were tailored perfectly for me that I, Christie, would yet again only begin to grasp His infinite grace that bends low daily to… me.

…There was me, a toenail.

The women’s retreat was similarly specific for me. God specifically spoke to me. Among each member of His corporate body there was me, a toenail. Let me tell you, He spoke an exclusive message to that toenail all the while He was knitting each of us together as one body with one purpose to go home with. He tailored each message at this conference for each woman, each fabric of our individual convictions and callings that we might all together fit to better display His gospel and warm the hearts of this cold world we reside in. I marvel at his concern for me… and I am honored to be even a tiny speck in his heroic plan to save his people.

I AM SINNER, HEAR ME ROAR!

My truest conviction leaving Schaumburg that weekend was that if Paul could say, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief”, then the gospel message demands I not only proclaim Christ as the remedy for the destruction due to sin in this world, but I should also be willing to become more transparent in my admission of sin in my life. So hear me when I say… I am sinner, hear me roar!

“Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb…”

Yeah, right. Common! Do we LOVE to proclaim it? I mean really…  Elyse Fitzpatrick said something like this…. “We confess just enough that we sound a little bit more holy”.  Correct me if I am wrong, but when we confess sin, we should seem a bit more… sinful, right?  Instead, we have this amazing ability to actually sound more spiritual after confessing sin to a room full of people. I know it’s true, because I can do it too.

Christians, do we want to proclaim “Redemption!?” Then we need to admit sin. Admit sin and do it like we mean it! Because where sin abounds, Grace much more abounds! Don’t we believe that?? When I confess, if I don’t cringe at the thought of my reputation being damaged, then I am a phony. I am not advocating that we share all of our “dirty laundry” in any small group setting, or elsewhere… but for crying out loud, let’s admit we got some!

Christ is being dulled down in my fight for my own reputation.

I have been far too busy attempting to maintain my reputation as super mom, or “Batwife”, etc… you name her, I have tried to be “her”. Until the conference, I hadn’t even realized that my true hero, Christ, is being dulled down in my fight for my own reputation. I should be concerned for His glory not my own.

…Because the goal wasn’t perfection, it was Jesus.

Pastor Matt spoke of adequacy recently. I desire to simply be adequate and resist the temptation to be “the hero”. As one result of the conference, I am on a mission to grow in the “expression of my confession” and learn to admit my brokenness, so that He might look as big as He is standing in the pile of my rubble, because really, He is all that is good in me.  For my children, I pray that they DON’T see “super mom” when they look at me. Rather, I pray they see a mother literally falling every step of the way: wounded, broken and sometimes crushed… Yet, she gets up each time, more slowly near the end, only by the gracious hand of the living God, and she limps and aches, and man, does she cry!  Because.  It.  Hurts.  Alas! She makes it! Bruised and bloody, missing limbs and without a medal of honor, or excellence.  She has no victory dance.  But when she crosses over, she looks to her children and says, “Victory in Jesus, my savior forever! He sought me and bought me with His redeeming love”. Oh, she will cling to her prize, which is Jesus! May they see that the goal wasn’t perfection, it was Him!

And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” –Luke 1:38

 

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