Oh friends. It is a joy to welcome Elisa Pulliam to the blog this week. The timing couldn't be better. If there's any book you need to start your new year, it is this one. Elisa has written "Meet the New You." It is a 21-day plan for embracing fresh attitudes and focused habits. She gives you a sneak peek at her message, right here on the blog today. Welcome Elisa to the blog...
Looking Beyond the Surface to Find the Life-Redeeming Truth
By Elisa Pulliam
How many times do you catch yourself looking across a room at someone else, longing for what they appear to have? We compare ourselves to a perception of reality, whether it’s a desire to be thin-boned instead of big-boned, a fashionista instead of fashion disaster, poised and articulate instead of stumbling through our words. We want those well behaved children instead of the ones climbing up the walls behind us. We’d like their square-footage, perfect for hosting fab parties, instead of the coziness of our own humble abode.
But what if we stopped to think about what else goes along with their “appearances.”
Maybe there’s a broken heart tucked under that frail skeleton or a health crisis wrapped in designer clothes. Maybe those well behaved kiddos are God’s mercy, because the rest of her life is in chaos. Maybe that lovely, palatial house is evidence of a husband who is hardly ever at the dinner table.
There’s always more to the story — but to find it, we need to get beyond our own insecurities.
Being the new girl in town has made this habit of comparison even more pronounced as I seek to find my place in my neighborhood and church, the kiddo’s school and even in the local hair salon (boy, could I tell you stories about the hair salons around these parts). Oh yes, my insecurities threaten to overtake all the years of heart-work God has accomplished in me as I default to the “old me” habit of measuring my worth and my life against what I perceive. Maybe that’s why God had me write Meet the New You in the last year and impressed upon my heart words that I would have to return to again and again in this season of transition:
Chosen. Holy. Dearly Loved. Called. Qualified. Accepted. One of Kind.
These words ring through my mind and heart, at least when I choose to drown out the noise of this world and heed the voice of God speaking to me by the power of the Holy Spirit. Only then can I embrace who I am in His sight and all that He has accomplished in me through the grace-giving, life-redeeming, blood-shed-on-the-cross work of Jesus. Oh yes, He made me new at the point of my salvation in college, but that wasn’t the beginning and end of real life change. Over the last decade, God has drawn out the parts tucked away — the parts I thought I could hide from Him — rescuing me from a life of unforgiveness, bitterness, guilt, shame, and insecurity.
By God’s grace, and with the help of counseling, the Lord healed me from the inside out as I discovered how to hand over to Him my past and begin to walk in the present in light of the truth. Yes, I was sinned against and committed my own sin — but I was also forgiven by God and called to forgive too.
There are two parts to the story, much like how there are two parts to what we perceive others have . . . or don’t have.
Friend, when we’re saved-by-grace through Jesus’ work on the cross, we get to live according to life-redeeming truths and not the lie-stained labels the enemy likes to put upon us. We’re not defined by what we’ve done or where we come from, what we have or don’t have. Our worth is not found in how we’re living today.
Our identity in Christ, as it is proclaimed in the Word, is the antidote to this battle of insecurity that plagues us.
But you are the ones chosen by God . . . chosen to be a holy people. . . 1 Peter 2:9-10 MSG
For we know . . . sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 NIV
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do . . . 1 Peter 1:15
. . . giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 11:12
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
My friend, we need to be cognizant of what we’re saying to our souls so that God’s truth becomes the foundation on which we live.
We need to embrace God’s Word as though it has the final say — because it should — in any and every situation, whether we’re the new girl in town or showing up as the old timer. Whether we long to be ten pounds lighter or have resigned that those pounds are hiding in our big bones. Whether we wish our kiddos would behave just a tad bit more civilized or have decided that running around with joy is a perfectly fine thing to do.
It’s inevitable — we’re going to look across that room and compare. But how about we commit to taking those thoughts captive and making them obedient to the TRUTH, Christ himself, as we seek to live out our identity in as holy, precious, beloved children of God?
We use our powerful God-tools [the Word] for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 MSG
If you’d like to get to move through the process of yielding your heart to God, grab a copy of Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes & Focused Habits for Real Life Change and begin a journey of embracing fresh new attitudes and focused habits that lead to real life change.
Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She is the author of Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change, a book designed to help women get unstuck as they encounter God personally and put into action biblical truths and life coaching principles relevant for their life today. Elisa is the founder of moretobe.com, serves as the Executive Director of kingdomhearts.us, and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. However, she considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.
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