“Foundations” is the next word!, I excitedly told Micah. God had been speaking. After giving us “perspective change” and “hurt to hiding to hidden to healed” and beginning to unveil both of those concepts in our lives over the course of several months I began to hear “foundations.” I was seeing it in scripture, hearing it in prayer and even hearing other believers use the word in prayer and conversation. I kept waiting for the unveiling…Was this about the church, having a strong foundation – not being shaken? Was it about God taking us to the foundation of some adventure? Was it about God bringing revelation to our doctrinal foundations? I waited and wished for more explanation. The word seemed to float in and out of our lives and eventually I stopped grasping at it.
And then it happened. EARTH-QUAKE. Ok, not an actual earth-quake but the life-events equivalent. And no – you don’t need a telling peer into the details. Suffice it to say, family trauma, family drama, career changes, house changes, lots of uncertainties and unanswered questions. You don’t need to hear my stories to understand – I’m sure if you’re a human being living on planet earth you can relate…
Then came the word again, “foundations.” I’ve only just begun to realize that this is all a part of the journey that He told me he was taking me on “from hurt to hiding to hidden to healed.” I think “perspective change” was like reading the back cover of a book. (I like to think of the journey in terms of a book.) And now we’re really getting in to the work of the voyage. Foundations.
Foundation work can be messy. But it is crucial that we have a firm foundation. What’s yours?
I found myself thinking about how much of my life has been about trying really hard to earn approval. It’s not a foreign subject around here. We all probably have that one thing that we boil the struggle down to.
When I was ten years old I ran track with my dad coaching me. We were at track and field day and the children’s races were all over. There was one race left. The 800 meter. Somehow I just knew that I could run that race and it would make my dad proud of me. I told my parents I wanted to run. I lined up and not only was I the only child but I was also the only girl among half a dozen men. The race started and I ran with all my speed. As we rounded the first lap I delighted in seeing that I was ahead of most of the men. I knew nothing of endurance. I knew nothing of pacing myself.
This continued to be a theme throughout my life. Come out fast and strong – determined with big dreams. Conquer the day. Conquer the cleaning. Conquer the cooking. Conquer the schedule. Conquer motherhood. But the standards I set for myself escaped my grasp and I lagged behind exhausted and conquered.
And then He came for me with a word. Foundations. It truly is the beginning of the journey. The amazing, beautiful thing about God is that we can be far into our walk with Him and yet very early on in our journey. He can teach us so many wonderful truths about Himself and His kingdom and then take us all the way back to the beginning and tie it all together in a way that captures our hearts and reassures us of His goodness and tells us that what He is speaking now, is the same thing He has been speaking all along…
One morning during worship I was very overwhelmed with the perfection of God and the feeling that I could never deserve the mercy and grace and provision Jesus has brought to me. I wanted to try really hard. I wanted to worship better, share His love better, be a better person. What could I do? As I stood there overwhelmed I heard in the sweetest most loving voice these words in my spirit: “You fall short.” How can I express the freedom that flooded my soul? It was not defeat. It was not a voice of condemnation. It was the voice of the one who paid a debt I could not and He did it Because He Loves Me! There was absolutely nothing I could do or needed to do to earn it. If I’m trying to do this in my own power, I will always fall short.
When the shaking comes to your life, you can be sure that your foundation will be revealed. When it came to my life, I could put it into exact words.
“Earn approval. Fear of being a disappointment.”
God went to work on my foundations. I know now in the deepest part of me that God loves me and I don’t have to work to earn it. He loved me before the foundation of the world.
Do you know that’s true about God’s heart toward you? Do you really know it? More than you know anything else?
Ephesians 1:4-5 Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!)
He loved me AND He chose me! And it gave Him great pleasure to do this?! Here is some good news: You don’t have to wait for a shaking to ask God to take a look at your foundation. All you have to do is ask and be willing to go on this journey with Him. What does the struggle boil down to for you? What is your foundation? Is it earning approval? Is it fear of being alone? Is it the feeling that no one will ever fight for you? Is it that you don’t deserve to receive all that God wants for you?
God longs to come and build your life, your relationships, your desires, your every motive on the foundation that He Loves You! This has to be the foundation.
The challenge is receiving this truth on a daily basis. How quickly we slip back into old habits. I spent a large portion of my life trying to be good enough and absolutely exhausting myself in the process. I must guard my heart against that now.
Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
I didn’t win the race that day – but I did finish it. They gave me a ribbon for competing and, honestly, it makes me kind of sad when I look at it. It’s a reminder of a little girl who somewhere along the way believed a foundational lie that she would never be enough. A lie that sent her into hiding. Hiding in driven-ness, hiding in perceived perfection, hiding in books and other people’s stories. But God came for me there – in every place that I hid. He shook the faulty foundations and began to pour on a new foundation: I am loved unconditionally by God, creator of the universe, my Father. Jesus and His love for me is the foundation. This is the beginning of the journey that takes us from hurt to hiding to hidden to healed. Really, it’s hurt and hiding to hidden and healed.
Where do you hide? You know it’s not the hiding that’s the core issue – it’s the foundational lie you believe that sends you into hiding. That’s where God wants to come. Invite Him. Take some time in His word, in sound teaching, and let Him show you how loved you are.
Today I am learning that there is only one race that matters and there is no first place. The moment I start worrying where I place is the moment I take my eyes off of Him and I fall short. When the prize is with you the whole way, you’ve already won.