Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines. Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria and eat from your own gardens there.  Jeremiah 31:3-5

The themes of God’s story for mankind involve creation and the Fall, but also redemption and restoration.  Loss and  heartache are not supposed to be the final word.  All of us has settled there for a time though ~ believing that was our destiny.  God calls us to higher things, to the fight for joy, to the fight for faith in order to realize redemption in all the places the locusts have eaten.

I’ve seen him redeem major pieces of my story.  When I was four, I had a red pair of play-eyeglasses. I would put them on and declare that I could read any book.  I couldn’t read a thing!  I would tell stories by the hour, pretending that it was the glasses that provided the magic. Since I was the child of traditional and reserved parents, this was thought to be a little too radical.  I remember one of them teasing me about the red glasses and I interpreted it as rejection.  I threw the glasses away and pulled in the reigns to my free spirit.  I morphed into someone more mainstream.

For the next four decades, I played it safe and painted my internal world beige so that I could blend in with my surroundings.  Once in a while, in a weak moment, my free spirit would peek out but the risk of rejection was ever in front of me.  I was my own policeman, squashing the impulses of the best parts of me. This ritual killing of myself almost destroyed me.  Daughters of Promise was birthed in my own re-birth.

I had a dream a few years ago that was prophetic.  I was taking a walk by myself and left the main road to enjoy carving my own path.  Just beyond a stone wall was a large open field.  All of a sudden I came upon an open grave.  Inside were the full remains of a dead man.  I gasped and asked Jesus, “Who is this?”  He said, “My child.” I said, “It’s too late for him, isn’t it.”  He said, “Now, what am I teaching you? What are you to do when you enter a place full of dead men’s bones?”  I said, “Speak the Gospel to the bones and let You breathe over them.” “Right,” He said.  Daughters of Promise is the way God made it possible for me to speak to the bones, to any who may be technically alive but still dead inside.

What are your red glasses?  Where have you traded your gifting and authentic self for some re-fashioned version?  God waits to show you the child He created.  He waits to reveal, validate, and empower you to be HIS daughter first, to show you who you really are.  Believe it.  Stand up tall, be confident, start walking in the gifting God ordained to give you from before the foundation of the world.

You know who You made.  Make sure I do, Father.  Amen

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