A survival guide to Christmas for singles and those who love them. Part 2

11990630_10156175457880004_5643878672051919213_nNow that we’ve established the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be challenging ones when you’re single lets talk about what that means.

First, there are a few assumptions I make as I write: 1. I know and understand that these four weeks are difficult for many people, not only those who are not married. 2. I understand that not every person who is single has had the same experiences as I am speaking from my own story and that of those who have shared his or her story with me.  3. The difficulty of singleness is not a male or female issue, it crosses genders.   4. I write not to exclude or ignore another’s pain, story or struggle. I know many of the emotions, thoughts and feelings experienced during these four weeks are common across demographics. If you relate to an experience or emotion, let it encourage you, feel seen in your own story and then respond in the way that you know how, from the context of your own life.

With that settled…

A Story:  Saturday night I came home to my empty house. I love my home. It is cozy, has just enough space. It affords me the opportunity to decorate, host and nest which are all very important. I feel safe at home.

This night, I took one step inside and my home felt empty. It greeted me with a rush of emotion and thought with tidal wave force.

I am alone.

I had just come off time with family and friends. I was also feeling all the warm and fuzzy things one can feel as snow is falling and Christmas is in the air. But, something hit. I knew it. I could feel it.

“you are alone!”

“you are invisible”

“you don’t belong to anyone”

And the hits just kept on coming. I searched the corners of my mind to get out. I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew I was seen. I knew that I did and do belong to others. But on this night, as the waves of lies, unmet expectations, and delayed hope crashed against my mind and heart, those were very difficult truths to hold onto .

I sat down and looked through Facebook to see if I could kick myself out of the onslaught, only to be greeted with pictures of friends and their new babies, friends and their husbands, friends and their families, and my angst grew. I love and celebrate these things in the lives of others, but this night, the enemy was using whatever he could to slap me around and get me to walk away from what was true. I put my computer aside.

Like the mature 41 year old that I am, I ran through a list of things I could do to get out of the feelings:

  1. Eat (there’s nothing in the house, I haven’t been to the grocery store in days)
  2. Call a friend (they are out of town and you may not want them to see you in your present condition)
  3. Call an acquaintance to make them a friend (I don’t have the engery)
  4. Do something spiritual (can’t concentrate, and right now I’m irritated with you God)
  5. Join Tinder, Match, EHarmony, Plenty of Fish, JDate, Farmers Only and find someone who will see me… maybe meet them for a drink… maybe they will kiss me… maybe then I won’t feel alone… REALITY CHECK, maybe Cari Jenkins, you need to think about something else
  6. Watch a movie (feel someone else’s loneliness so I don’t have to)
  7. Feel sorry for yourself, pout, think of sad things, build a case for how bad your life is, get mad (Ugh! This is going no where)

After running through more options than I care to list, I sat there, in my leather chair, and said aloud, “Lord, I don’t like that I want to be married. I don’t like doing this alone. I don’t like that I’m sad about this.” I took a deep breath, chose to shut my computer down, put on my favorite Christmas Album and pull out the decorations.

As I put up the decorations I proceeded to feel all the feelings.

I prayed as I hung garland. I was teary as I put out the manger scene. I said with a whisper only God and I could hear, “Please don’t let me do this alone again next year.” I wrote words of truth on the chalk board of my front stoop. And, I turned toward God in the midst of my story. I chose not to hide from the story, but to feel it. To engage all the emotion, to be naked with it before God and myself and be unashamed.

There is no shame in being single and there is no shame in wanting to be married.

I chose my perspective. I chose to feel. I chose to be with Jesus in the midst. I chose to believe. Because – I am never a victim to circumstance.

I posted a photo of my newly decorated home, mostly because I needed to remember what was true, and said,

I rarely choose my circumstance, but I always get to choose my perspective. 

Moments like this are not unfamiliar. They are familiar whether married or single. They surprise us, catch us off guard and altogether too often invite us into making agreements with that which is not true.

To survive the Christmas season, it is important…even imperative, to feel what we feel, to sit with ourselves and Jesus, holding our unanswered prayers, our places of impossibility and our felt hopelessness connecting with the longing within. It is equally important to speak of these feelings and experiences, getting naked before my intimate circles of friends and those who might just understand, and be unashamed.

It is then that we, you and I, get to invite others to hold our stories too. We get to step out of the lonely and step into belonging. We step out of our unbelief and into belief. We hold the simultaneous joy and sorrow of the moment, diminishing neither, nor exalting one above the other and in essence, be human.

We turn our surviving into thriving when we engage our stories with honesty, grace and patience. When we invite others in to our stories and recognize that Jesus, our long expected Savior truly did come to set us free, we live fully.

So today, when tempted to allow your circumstance to dictate your behavior and when ignoring the emotion or thoughts you have that feel unpleasant, take your emotion, whatever it is, and feel it, speak it, and pray it. Sit with it, with Jesus, and experience His love, His kindness, His good, His grace, His tears, His felt absence or His felt presence.  When we choose to feel and engage as we are, we move towards Him. For our longings are always His invitation to relationship. And, when we turn to Jesus and come to him, he meets us, where we are and gives us freedom.

Come Thou Long Expectant Jesus

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

 

I love Valentine’s Day: A confession from a 39 year old single woman

Pink-HeartI woke up today to a text from a friend wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day! I am single, 39, have dated very little, have only had a significant relationship on Valentine’s day once, not of course including the many Valentine’s of my early childhood… (you know who you are). I have a desire to be married, at times I struggle with feelings of loneliness and have waves of feeling invisible. I would love to have someone give me flowers, write me poems (okay maybe not write me poems… but maybe), dress up like adult babies and shoot me with arrows in the shape of hearts; but these are not currently a part of my story. At times I grieve their absence, but I do not grieve them today. For this day, Valentine’s Day, is not a day of receiving, it is a day of giving.

Love is a tricky topic. It is our deepest longing. And, I’d be lying if I told you I feel strong in my singleness every day. Many days I am content with life as is, some days are filled with such extreme loneliness that I can hardly see the good, some days I celebrate the fact that I’m single and then there are days I want to post on some social media outlet, “Hey you all, want to set me up?!” And then, thankfully, I choose to back myself down off that train. 

Valentine’s Day for many, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving or even the Fourth of July can harken such feelings of unmet desire it can be very difficult to get through the day without at least one emotional breakdown. Many shut down on these days all together because of their own pain, longings and struggles. The day being celebrated may be a day to remember someone who played a roll in your life, to celebrate an event, to remember the people around you, to look out… these are all good things. Holidays and celebrations are outward facing events, which often surface inward lack, struggle or desire. But when we, when I, focus only on the inward pain, I miss the point all together. 

Like so many things we make important days about us. I catch myself doing it often. I’ll be at an event where I’m to celebrate someone and their life step and all I can see is my own lack or how I’ve not met the mark or not made it quite as far as I would have liked and I pity myself. When I do so, I forget a key element of relationship found in Romans 8. Paul when writing about love and relationship, begins with a command: rejoice with those who rejoice. He then moves on to mourn with those who mourn. Both commands are externally focused commands. They are commands of empathy, choosing to enter into someone’s story, pain, joy, struggle and excitement with them, feeling it with them, not because it’s your pain too or even your happiness, but because you love that person. 

When I pity myself on Valentine’s day, Christmas, Mother’s day, or when I’m at a wedding, baby shower or perhaps at an event where someone is being celebrated publicly for something for which I want to be recognized, I am missing the point and I am not loving. Self pity is a form of victimhood and I am unwilling to be a participant. This may sound harsh and in no way am I discounting the fact that there is pain involved in deep longings that are unmet, but when I focus on self alone I am not loving. 

I love Valentine’s Day, not because I have a Valentine. I do not love Valentine’s Day because I have a lot of loving people in my life, though I do. I do not love Valentine’s Day because of what I get out of it. I love Valentine’s Day because it is a love free for all. I get to speak words of good and kindness to others and be as cheesy as I’d like. I love Valentine’s Day because I love watching other’s rejoicing. I love Valentine’s Day because I love watching men and women scurry for a last minute something or other to pick up to give a token of love, kindness or remembrance. I love Valentine’s Day because it’s premise is love, yes it’s twisted, slightly over dramatic and materialistic, but in its purist form, this day is about looking out and giving of yourself for the good of others. 

Would I one day like to have a Valentine for which I can buy ugly red socks,  make a homemade card or send a singing telegram? Most certainly, but on this day, I choose to lay aside my want, my lack, my unmet desire to rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn and love with lavish unhindered words and actions every person I think of and run into. Will you join me? Will you step back, take a look at your expectations for this day and then choose to love outwardly? There is no guaranty, but, if you choose to love well every person you come in contact with today, you might be surprised by days end just how loved you feel. 

 

 

Why eating lunch was the most encouraging act of my day

placematI went to Chipolte for lunch today. This is not new. But, today my order consisted of something unfamiliar. I ordered tofu. Let’s be honest, the fact that I ordered tofu is not blog worthy and quite frankly I feel a little funny starting off with content few would consider Facebook status worthy. But, my lunch order is an indication of something larger, something deeper and something much more significant.

Just over 6 months ago a mentor challenged me with an idea. After having asked when I felt anxiety last and hearing my answer he replied to me with the following words of truth, “Cari! You are not a victim. To anything. Ever. You are not a victim to your past. You are not a victim to your present. You are not a victim to anyone’s thought of you and you are not a victim to your circumstances. You are an overcomer. As a child of God you have authority to overcome. Children are victims, adults are overcomes and it is time you become an adult in all areas of your faith.” I had been called out. I had been called to leave my childish ways and to step into the truth and live out of the truth of an identity which, too often feels too good to be true.

I am an overcomer.

I got off the phone, feeling as though truth had just punched me in the stomach and simultaneously held me. I immediately knew two areas in my life where I had lived as a victim. Anger grew towards my accuser. That same anger lessened as I took a step into my authority as a child of God. I was, I am, a daughter of a good King. I am a member of a royal priesthood. I am a person belonging to God. These words penetrated my heart and the barrier that I had built around it over years of being held captive by the enemy of light and life.

With authority I said aloud, “NO MORE! I’m finished!!! You no longer win.” Words continued to pour out as if I were speaking to the perpetrator of a crime, a great enemy who had held me captive over years of time.

Who was this perpetrator? Who was this great enemy?

Sadly, this powerful being, was no more than an inanimate object. An object which I believed I had no power over and from which I believed, I’d never be free.

I had made myself a victim to food and to the way I was brought up around it. I had also made myself a victim to a belief that I was not capable of being an athlete. My victimhood was evidenced in my life as I was filled with excuses, blame and hiding.  We’ve all been there. The words I can’t, I’ll never, there’s no way, I wasn’t taught, but I was taught this, but this happened to me, but this is how I was treated, but… if only… I never… and the like were common words in my personal vocabulary. And, I was finished.

In the weeks and months following, I lived more fully into my identity as a daughter of a good King. I continued to live as an overcomer. I was no longer a victim to food. I was no longer a victim to a belief that I could not do this or that. Over time, my body, which once held proof of victimhood, was showing signs of a new belief.

Yes, it is said, our sins will find us out. The converse is also true. Our faithfulness will find us out. My body is evidence of this truth.

Back to tofu.

Today, I ate tofu, in a salad, because I wanted to eat tofu. The woman taking my order didn’t know, the people around me had no idea, but they were witness to a miracle, brought on by a change of belief. The old has gone and the new has come and my lunch was evidence of the fact.

To what have you made yourself a victim? From what do you need to be set free? Take a moment. Get out your journal. Go for a walk. Yell at the top of your lungs. Sit in silence and tears. Allow the Spirit to reveal to you that under which you’ve placed yourself. To what belief, occurrence, idea, word, abuse, or shame have you placed yourself as victim? Confess this, and ask the God who is good, who is your Father, to reveal to you, your identity as HIS.

As you allow the power of your truest identity, as a child of God, an overcomer, a member of a royal bloodline, to fall on you and seep into your very core; pay close attention. You too may find yourself eating tofu in 6 or so months.

 

Lord save the narcissist

mememe1I had just finished my swim and was collecting my things to put them away, as I overheard a man distraught on the the phone. “What? She’s leaving me? I can’t believe she is leaving me? What am I to do? How can I rescue this?” Pain flowed from his words. He was so disconnected from the world around him that he seemingly didn’t notice he was in a public space. He hung his head allowing it to fall into his hands. The heaviness of his emotion was far too heavy for his head to hold on it’s own.

I walked into the sauna, leaving the man and his broken heart just outside. I sat and breathed out longing for the man to know peace. I watched him out of the corner of my eye and wondered what the whole story held. As my mind wondered a woman walked into the sauna. Her face was heavy, her eyes glassed over and a grey cloud hung over her as if she were Eeyore. She breathed out a breath of composure. Her pain too was palpable. We caught eyes at one moment. I smiled. She mustered up a half-grin and quickly diverted her eyes. She stayed in the sauna until the emotion came too close to the surface. She quickly made her exit.

As I watched the man on the phone and the woman with her nearly exposed tears I heard yet another person. This person would breathe in deeply, lay his head back and then exhale as if he were trying to breathe out darkness. His breathing told a story of its own. I was struck as the pain of life surrounded me visibly on the faces of three strangers.

On this particular day I felt at home amongst the brokenhearted.

I was reminded of the fact that we each have a story. The person in the car in front of you, the mom with the screaming child at the grocery store, the barista who gets your order wrong… twice, the CEO, the cleaning crew, each person carries with him or her the heavy realities of their personal story.

All too often we engage those around us through the lens of how does this person impact my life. Do they inconvenience me? Do they make my life less comfortable? Do their actions evoke feelings of discomfort? We then make judgements based upon how our own lives are impacted by the other. This judgement is an act of thoughtless narcissim and entitlement.

Yes, that is what I said. (One more time, this judgement is an act of thoughtless narcissism and entitlement.)

As I sat in the sauna that day, my heart was heavy, twisted with the pains and vulnerabilities of my own story. I too needed the grace of others. I wondered if my own pain helped give me eyes to see the pain of others? I wonder, today, if one of the graces of the redemption process is found in a deepened ability to see beyond self, to loose the narcissistic edge and grow a compassionate spirit towards those with whom my life intersects (on any level)?

It is all too easy to live life with me at the center. It takes the grace of God to give me eyes to see those around me. My prayer today for myself and subsequently you, is that we be transformed into men and women who practice the art of loving the stranger. That you and I would be driven by a desire to breathe life into the lives of others through our words and actions. I pray too that we would have eyes to see, hearts that respond with compassion and  just enough gumption and obedience to do something in response.

God, please save the narcissist, in me, in those who call themselves your children, so that we can love well the world around us.

 

The fulfillment of a wish and hope

IMG_7557I am a person of misplaced hope. Daily I hope for things to turn out a certain way. I hope for the fulfillment of desires. I hope for circumstances to change. I hope for other’s circumstances to change. I hope for felt comfort and experienced satisfaction.

I am often left wanting and disappointed.

When this happens how do I view God? Does He change because my hope was not met in the particular way I desired? Too often I tie the fulfillment of a wish or a desire to hope in God. I beg and plead with God for something, even something that most would consider good and the begging and pleading seemingly leads to nothing. “Lord, where are you? Why have you abandoned me?” is too often the response of my heart when this happens.

This is none the greater when praying for a loved one who is suffering from illness. We beg and plead and go before Jesus and believe that He can heal, and it feels as though He does nothing as the loved one continues to suffer or eventually their body gives way to death. “Lord, where are you?”

I have misplaced hope. I have placed hope not in the character of God or the promise of Jesus, but instead, I place hope in the fulfillment of a wish. When I tie the character and goodness of God to the fulfillment of a wish, I have misplaced my hope and will be disappointed and will question whether God is ultimately good. But, when I stand in all circumstances and firmly say, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand,” I have placed my hope in truth that will not waiver or disappoint.

Hope is the deep internal knowing that all will be made right and hope can only truly and securely rest in Jesus, for He is the hope of the world.

I pray today that you will know hope. I pray that I will know hope. I pray that we will live out of a place of hope, knowing that Jesus, who is the way, truth and life, will be our way out, the truth to which we cling and the very essence of life within us, even though we experience death on earth. May Jesus be your hope and stay.

The first word of Advent

IMG_0458Hope: its the first word of Advent.

I don’t know about you, but somehow these dark days of December seem to ache for hope. This evening it was dark by 5. The sky was filling with stars and there were sill many hours left to the day.

I have felt a seemingly premature dark these past days. In moments, I have felt the heaviness of a life without hope. This absence of hope has left me aching. This aching points me to the first candle of Advent.

The light comes and lights the candle of hope.

This week, my prayer is that we will feel the absence of hope, so that we ache for the true and fulfilling hope of Christ.

O Come thou long expectant Savior! Bring your hope into the darkness and let it give strength to the brokenhearted, the forgotten, the lonely, those in the midst of struggle and those who have long forgotten your name.

May your hope grow as we move step by step closer to being greeted by your light.

The face of freedom

IMG_0766This morning I was doing my work out with the girls. Gracie, one of the college students has an incredible gift of leading workouts and motivating us beyond our norm. (We call her Denise when she leads us!) She is a ballerina and completely embodies her (given) name.

Today as we were doing a plie tears filled my eyes. Though no one noticed, I became very overwhelmed. I actually get teary now simply thinking about it. The overwhelmed feelings came on me, as I had no idea from where the tears came. I frantically searched through the rolodex of triggers and experiences in my mind to see if I could discover the source of the tears. Memories, words and pictures passed through my mind as if one were watching a reel to reel film of my life in fast motion. As each memory passed, they left no mark. Not one. I had no idea from where these tears originated.

Then I whispered to Jesus, “help me! why am I crying?” At that moment an emotion filled me. It was so profound that I had to breathe in deep so I could take it all in.

The tears were a result of grief.

As I worked out and witnessed this young woman so free and flexible and light, I knew a deep and profound grief. The grief was not brought on by Gracie, no, the grief was brought on by my own choice.

Years and years ago I made an agreement with a lie that formed me. I gave this lie a tremendous amount of power and the lie actually kept me from so much good. As a child I always wanted to be a dancer. But no, I wouldn’t allow myself to dance. I wanted to be an athlete. But no, I wouldn’t allow myself to compete, let alone try out. In high school I so badly wanted to be a cheerleader. But, I would not allow myself to audition.  There are countless other experiences I neglected to give myself, as I was held captive to a lie. A lie that truly formed me.

These lies tempted me as though they were true and just like Adam and Eve, I took the metaphorical apple and ate it. In doing so, I made an agreement with the lie that I was fat. I made an agreement that I was ugly. I made an agreement that I couldn’t do anything positive with my body. I made an agreement that my value came from those places and for years and years…… and years those lies were an over arching guiding force for me. And today, as I worked out, I felt the loss of good. I felt the loss of life. I felt the loss of skills I wish I’d had. I felt the loss of experience and freedom.  And that loss caused me, in a moment of experiencing the good I had missed out on for all those years, to cry.

The grief was different than shame. Shame overwhelms and keeps one hidden and stuck, but grief, grief acknowledges loss and actually is a feeling that indicates the end of something. So in the same breath, I grieved the loss of so much life and good, because of an agreement with a lie, AND I also rejoiced as I know that lie is now gone. It no longer has any hold over me. Freedom washed over me just as the sweat from my workout.

When I realized I was grieving, my tears turned from grief to joy in an instant. I shall weep no more! I shall grieve no more. For I am no longer managed by the power of this lie, no! I am new.  The old has truly gone! It’s gone!

When I decided to come to Spain to co-lead this program I felt deep within me that God was inviting me to come to Spain to experience and walk in freedom. I felt an invitation to live into the healing, restoration and truth that He has given me in the past few months. And today, at this very moment, I know that freedom. I know it deep within me and it causes tears to come even as I type.

Truth always sets us free.

Lies always bind us up.

For years and years I was owned. But I am owned no more. The reality of Christ and his good and his truth rests on my chest that was once so full of anxiety, shame and fear. I am free and my face and body show it! My face once heavy with shame, now shines with light and freedom and beauty.

Freedom is not an allusive idea or concept. It is real and it is for each of us.

Each of us, at one point or another, were given an invitation to believe a lie. Each of us were tempted to believe that this lie was truth for us. And many of us, stared the lie straight in the eye and shook hands with it. As our hands held the hands of deception, its lies filled our bones and  laid heavy upon us, sapping our life, as a leech in still water.

I don’t know what that lie is for you. For some it might be that they aren’t valued because they could never be enough. Others were abused and believe the only time they have value is when their bodies are being used. Others may not have measured up to their father’s standard of manhood or their mother’s concept of beauty. And still, others may feel their only source of value comes through external beauty. Maybe you were abandoned by a loved one. Maybe you were never chosen for a team. Maybe people mocked you in a certain area or constantly told you you would amount to no good.

Again, I don’t know what lie has formed you, but today, I ask that you take a moment and ask Jesus, the very author of truth, to reveal to you where you have made an agreement with a lie. As the lie surfaces, stare at the lie, look it up and down and remove your hand from the handshake of agreement, and turn your back it. Do not look back. Walk forward. Walk away from that which kills, steals and destroys and walk towards life. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” face him, listen to his words of invitation and run, don’t walk, don’t skip, don’t waste another moment of life!!! Run to Jesus and you will find life, life that is abundant and full.

I’d love to talk with or pray with any of you about this. Please feel free to email me or leave a comment and I will fight with you for truth.

Now take a moment and read words that are true. Allow them to wash over you like a hot shower on a cold day:

The Word Says in Jesus Christ…
I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)
I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)
I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)
I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)
I am included (Ephesians 1:13)
I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)
I am salt and light of the earth (Matfthew 5:13-14)
I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)
I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
I have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)
God has expressed His kindness to me (Ephesians 2:7)
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)
I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)
I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)
I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19)
I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)
I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)
God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)
I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)
I can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christ’s love is (Ephesians 3:18)
I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)
I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)
I have been called (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)
I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)
I can mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15)
I can be certain of God’s truths and the lifestyle which He has called me to (Ephesians 4:17)
I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Ephesians 4:21-32)
I can be kind and compassionate to others (Ephesians 4:32)
I can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)
I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)
I can understand what God’s will is (Ephesians 5:17)
I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20)
I don’t have to always have my own agenda (Ephesians 5:21)
I can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)
I can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)
I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)
I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)
I can stand firm in the day of evil (Ephesians 6:13)
I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)
I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
I am growing (Colossians 2:7)
I am His disciple (John 13:15)
I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)
I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)
I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)
I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)
I am promised a full life (John 10:10)
I am victorious (I John 5:4)
My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Philippians 4:7)
I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)
I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)
I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)
I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am safe (I John 5:18)
I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)
I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)
I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)
I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)
I am overcoming (I John 4:4)
I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)
I am protected (John 10:28)
I am born again (I Peter 1:23)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)
I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)
I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Now that is what I call truth! May these truths dwell in your hearts, may their reality fill you up and may they be the words that define you.

Be blessed!