Monday, December 26, 2016

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE ME

About a week ago, someone told me I was their inspiration.

Her name is Elisabeth and she is a high school student.

She said that my writing inspired her to start her own blog.

When she told me this, I got that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

I knew that I helped her get one step closer to her dreams and influenced her to follow her passion.

Then, I began to think of the people who did the same for me.

As a matter of fact, I am writing this post in order to continue passing on the appreciation to those who helped me along the way.

That is because I know I wouldn't be where I am now without the people who influenced me.

Before I begin, I want you to do this.

I want you to look back over your life and remember the people who made the greatest positive impact on you.

You know, the teachers, the coaches, the friends, that came into your life and changed it for the better.

The ones who believed in you and helped you become the best version of yourself. 

The people who saw your potential and pushed you out of your comfort zone.

Ok, now that you have a few on your mind, think of how they each influenced you to be the person you are today.

How did their direction lead you to where you are in life at this moment?

I bet you are feeling pretty thankful for those influential people right about now, aren't you?

Well, I know when I looked back and remembered the ones who helped me most, I felt very blessed.

So, I decided to say thanks.

This post is an open letter to the people who inspired my life up to this point.

I have only been on this earth for 21 years, but I can confidently say that I've had many great influencers along the way.

Hopefully those people are reading this right now.

Anyway, if you are one of them then you are either a professor, pastor, counselor, or leader that truly molded me into who I am today.

You challenged me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of.

As you know, I am not the most 'take charge' type of person.

Usually, you had to give me a little push that I wouldn't have volunteered for.

If you were a professor you may have encouraged my participation in class or critiqued my work, only to expand my knowledge further.

Maybe you told stories of your life that inspired me to work hard and never stop learning.

If you were a worship leader influencing me, you may have pushed me to step out and lead songs alone, even if I didn't feel "ready".

You saw that I could do it and you gave me a chance to lead, even though you were perfectly capable of leading it yourself.

These experiences shaped me and challenged me to believe in my gifts, simply because you believed in them.

Some of of you even asked me to play piano AND sing at the same time...shortly after you realized that I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't very good at that.

Needless to say, I am still working on it but I'll just stick with the singing for now.

Point is, you let me try it on stage even though it was a risk.

Even if I messed up, I learned from it and I improved because of it.

You gave me a chance, despite my lack of qualifications and you allowed me to give it a shot.

That is true leadership.

Or maybe you are a counselor that listened to me and helped me through some of the hardest times of my life, or a pastor that spoke into my situation.

You may have opened up your home to let me stay with you, expecting nothing in return.

Or you allowed me to interact with your family and enter into your story, before even knowing me personally.

Whatever the case may be, your sacrifice meant everything to me and I will never forget how much you blessed me during the seasons our paths crossed.

But you know what? There is one thing that makes each of you similar, and that is you all have a heart for Jesus and strive to be more like Him everyday.

This is what I look up to the most.

It is your faith that compels you to do these selfless acts for others, even when it doesn't make sense to the world.

In all reality, your time, money, effort, and space are at stake when you do these things.

No one is forcing you to go above and beyond, so why do you do it?

No one made you give me piano lessons, or told you to let me sing a song at church, or spend an extra 20 minutes to talk to me about how I'm doing.

That wasn't in the job description or even the volunteer description for that matter.

But you did it anyway because a force inside of you lead your life, despite outside influences.

And that force is the love of Jesus.

It pours out of you and you do things that involve dying to yourself, in order to lift up others.

That is the most incredible type of leadership and you have no idea how much it has inspired me.

Thank you for letting Jesus lead your life, so that you could lead me and others like me with wisdom, passion, and humility.

God sees your sacrifice and your reward is waiting in heaven.

As I said before, I've only lived for 21 years but I hope that I can be like you when I grow up.

I guess now that I've entered the "real world", I've grown in appreciation for you and the more struggles I face, the more I see how much you gave up for the people around you.

Currently, I am packing up boxes to move to North Carolina.

In a couple of weeks, I will be interning with Elevation Church for copywriting/project management, in addition to leading worship on the weekends.

These opportunities were definitely God ordained and it is a long story to explain how I reached this point.

I'll save you from the long details and just say that after all of the auditioning, job interviews, and rejection, I was able to reflect on my life and remember what you taught me.

When I was on the stage auditioning, I remembered to focus on worshipping, so that everything else would fade away, like you said.

When I was interviewing, I thought of your business class and remembered to value myself.

The lessons are endless.

Without you, I don't know where I'd be.

All I know is that each of you helped me along in separate stages and now, here I am.

The best word I can use to describe how I feel at this point is, blessed.

And I pray that God will continue to bless you as well for the way you blessed me.

I'm not sure how many times I've said thanks in this letter, but I'll say it again, thanks.

Truly, I can't say it enough.

Ultimately, I know I have a lot more to learn but I will never forget what I learned from you.

"Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:6-10 ESV)

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.(Proverbs 11:4 ESV)

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children..." (Ephesians 4:11-14 ESV)



























So now it's your turn. It's time for you to reach out to the people who changed your life for the better and give them some appreciation. Let's spread the encouragement and remember the leaders who helped us get to where we are today and just say thanks. They deserve it. Challenge accepted?


Always love,

D A R C Y 








Thursday, December 15, 2016

REIDENTIFIED

I am not good enough.

I am a failure.

I am trapped.

I am not reaching my goals.

I am below the standard.

I am never going to achieve my dreams.

I am not producing enough content.

I am not performing well enough.

I am slacking.

I am less than what I should be.

I am falling behind.

I am letting people down.

I am a disappointment.

I am not great at anything.

I am incapable.

I am indecisive.

I am stuck here forever.

I am wasting my time.

I am embarrassing myself.

I am not talented enough.

I am needy.

I am weak

I am too emotional.

I am a bad friend.

I am too much to handle.

I am destined for mediocrity.

I am aiming too high.

I am not living up to God's standard for me.



These are the lies that the enemy tries to make me believe everyday.

They are the thoughts that creep into my mind when I'm doubting.

Some days I believe them.

Other days I block them out.

I've found that the best way to block them is to proclaim the opposite.

In my mind, I consistently have to picture every lie being slashed through and deleted when they appear.

Most of all, I remember that my true identity isn't who the enemy tells me I am.

It is who Jesus tells me I am.

In fact, my identity is found in Christ alone.

Everyday I can choose who I want to believe.

I have the power, because of Christ, to walk in the freedom of knowing who I really belong to.

This world will shout out lies, left and right.

The enemy will whisper doubts in my ear.

Still, I can choose.

When I wake up in the morning, I can reidentify myself with Christ.

That is why I gave this blog a new name.

This humble little corner of the internet is now called "reidentified".

My hope is that this website will be an open community.

A place where we can all be reminded of who we really are.

Everything you read or see here will be centered around doing just that.

It will be a documented journey of each of us finding ourselves in Christ.

Not just once, but every single day we must remember who we are.

It is the key to handling anxiety, fear, insecurity, doubt...and so on.

Anxiety is something I struggle with daily but I can only control when I hold my thoughts captive.

Honestly, the negative thoughts are simply untrue and irrational, especially in the light of Jesus.

He tells me the opposite.

He says I am enough because He is with me.

He says I can do all things through Him.

He says I am exactly where He wants me.

He says I can lean on Him and not worry about the future.

The list goes on and on.

The only difference is that I must identify myself with Him, rather than myself.

This life isn't about me, it's about Him.

If I truly stand on that, then I have nothing to be anxious about.

In my weakness, He is strong.

So what do you say?

Would you like to join me in daily reidentifying yourself with Christ?

I know I personally need to be reminded everyday because it is so easy to get distracted with the things that don't really matter in this life.

What really matters is that we know who we really are, and live in our calling.

Knowing our identity is not just a single destination.

It requires daily awareness and acknowledgment.

Let's put the lies behind us and start walking forward in truth.

Anxiety is taking over our world because we are all worried about being the best we can be or feeling like we are failing.

But guess what??

We are already exactly who and where we are supposed to be.

Now, we just have to choose to live in it and embrace it.

Jesus.

He has finished it already, we are just living in the fullness of what He did for us on the cross.

Now we can walk in peace and love.

The world has already been overcome.

Our identity has been found.

Let's discover it together.

Let's deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus.

Let's be reidentified in Christ, everyday.

"Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 16: 24-25)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)  -Jesus

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV) -Jesus

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12 ESV) - Jesus







Plus, you have to admit the name is pretty awesome.

reidentified

reidentified

reidentified

See, it looks cool, right?!

Now, try saying it out loud in different accents!

Ok I'm taking this a little too far.

See ya next time...

r e i d e n t i f i e d

reidentified

Ok.

Done, for real.



Always love,

D A R C Y