Before beginning this post, I said a prayer, paused for a moment and ate a Dove chocolate. The little note on the inside of the wrapper read, “Things have to fall apart in order for them to fall together.” Sure, it's a bit cheesy, cliché, and understated (which is usually true of all messages found attached to chocolate), but nevertheless it spoke to what I learned in the newest Walking With Purpose study, Fearless and Free; sometimes we have to let things fall apart in order to see how they fall together.
Usually we, as women, don't like to do this. We don't like to see things fall apart. Most of us try to avoid this and instead, expend massive amounts of energy holding everything together for as long as we can. And when it finally falls apart, we usually pretend that it has not.
I'm just as guilty of this as the next woman. When I stepped into Fearless and Free (FAF), I was standing in what felt like an absolute ocean of hurt. Meanwhile, I claimed that I was fine.
When I stepped out of FAF, I stepped into counseling. Why? Because I had let things fall apart. I had acknowledged my pain. And letting things fall apart was the greatest gift I could give to myself. Letting things fall apart made me vulnerable. It made me realize that I am not the Savior and it made me recognize my need for our Savior.
But, Lisa was wise in her writing of FAF. She does not force women to immediately jump into this place of “falling apart.” Instead, she begins with what she titles “The Wakening.” She begins by reminding women who they are in Christ; that they are beloved daughters of God.
The goal of this first part of FAF is to wake up to who we really are and what we are worth. It is to know that we are chosen.
While I think the wrestling, the “falling apart” may seem scarier, I think that for a lot of women, this knowing our identity and worth in Christ is actually harder. It was for me and here's why:
We are vulnerable when we're in pain. The enemy knows this, and so he whispers lies about our identity, causing us to question whether we are truly God's beloved daughters. His absolute favorite lies are those that our tied to our identity, because he knows that if he can mess with us here, he is messing with us at the core of who are.
Forgetting your belovedness is harder than falling apart because this identity is foundational.
And when you forget that you are the beloved, your falling apart can be detrimental. You can't wrestle. You can't become a warrior. You can't live fearless and free.
This wakening is essential.
I know this to be true because when I began FAF in this ocean of pain which I was attempting to numb, I had forgotten that I was the beloved. I didn't believe it. Without even being aware of it, through my pain, the enemy had taken me out at the knees by taking away the core of my heart.
You see, as women, we often base our identity on exterior circumstances rather than interior truths. We hear our identity better from other people than we do from God within the silence of our hearts. And above all, I think that most of us base our identities on a feeling.
Which is why my FAF small group spent nearly fifteen minutes on this question: How do we feel like the beloved when we don't feel like the beloved?
I'm honestly still not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with faith.
It's similar to the age-old, how can I believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist if I can't actually see Him question.
We must embrace an I-believe-Lord-help-my-unbelief-mentality.
Despite our lack of feeling, we must have faith in the reality that we are God's beloved. That He has chosen us.
God has promised us all of this. He has promised us that He has claimed us as His own and that He will fight for us and that He uses everything for our good. And, to sit in our belovedness is to sit in “confident expectation” of the fulfillment of this promise.
Confident expectation. Only someone who believes that they are the beloved can truly sit in confident expectation. It is a full surrender to God in all of His goodness even in the falling apart.
Lucky for us, we see this modeled over and over again in Scripture.
Take a look at Noah. God said to him, “Hey, build an ark for your family and a bunch of animals and I will make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights.” That's it. That's all he told Noah. Implied in that was the promise that Noah and his family would get to come out of the ark at some point. But then we hear, “And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days.” That's a bit more than 40.
But Noah waited in confident expectation. He trusted in his belovedness enough to know that God would fulfill His promise. And God did. We learn in the very next verse that, “God remembered Noah.” God always remembers His people. Despite the falling apart, God remembers His people.
In the Bible we discover that in order for God's promise to be fulfilled, we must depend entirely on God and trust in His way. And then, we must simply embrace Him and all that He does, accepting the arrival of His promise as a gift.
This is what the Wakening is all about. It is about discovering (or rediscovering) our beloved identity and then trusting God and His way as things fall apart, knowing that the falling together will arrive as a pure gift.
I pray that you would allow yourself to fall apart believing always that God remembers you.
P.S. To hear more about Fearless and Free and “The Wakening,” please join me on Instagram Live this Thursday at 10 AM EST!