trying to justify my existence {Made to Crave Online Study- Chapters 5 & 6}

July 28, 2013

Hi y'all! I am so delighted that several of you are joining StephanieCrystal  & I on this adventure of reading through the "Made to Crave" book. {If you haven't already purchased the book but would still like to - please feel free to join us at any point - even if it is just for a week or two!}

This week we are discussing chapters five and six of the book. Chapter five (Made for More) and chapter six (Growing closer to God) both had lots of great points and thoughts in them.

After spending time with chapter five I looked at some of the reflection questions that I have found online. One of the questions truly leaped off the page at me. It asked: "When I introduce myself to someone, how do I define myself?". Pause. Sigh. Frown. For so many years I have introduced myself as "Rebecca" and quickly followed up the answer to "what do you do?" with lots of answers of teaching, graduate school, etc. In these past 12 months I have learned the painful truth that many people do not have an answer that can be given in five seconds flat. Many people strive to define themselves by their career, their marriage, or their children but in reality our ultimate definition can not come from any of these things. How would one define themselves by their career in five seconds flat? How would a teacher, a social worker, a doctor, a lawyer, etc. be able to adequately share the experiences and the things that have happened in an eight-hour workday? What about a wife who stays at home and has spent all day baking, cleaning, shopping, and helping her husband? And the mother who has changed diaper after diaper with no one watching? Or what about those (like me) whose life is filled with doctors appointments and difficult moments due to illness? 

A month ago, when I was at Kristen's wedding I ran into a former student a few minutes before the service was supposed to start. (You may remember that I was asked to be in the service by reading scripture.) To be honest I was extremely tired and shaky and was desperately praying to the Lord that I wouldn't faint as I read scripture as I walked to take my place. As I left the throngs of people in the sanctuary to walk around the hallway that would lead me via a back entrance to the podium up front I truthfully was near tears of frustration. I could feel my body starting to shut down because it had been such a busy (FUN filled) couple of days. I knew I had pushed myself to hard and was extremely frustrated with the illness issues that I was struggling with. In the middle of all of this I didn't realize that a former student (whom I hadn't talked to in years) was walking beside me. He said "hello" and then proceeded to walk with me. He kindly asked how I was doing and how life was. After a few minutes of giving general answers to his questions he asked if I was still teaching to which I replied, "I am not sure if you heard but I have cancer". He was taken back at my abruptness and to be honest so was I. As he stuttered to ask if I was OK, I quickly assured him that I was going to be OK, gave a quick spiel about the Lymes, Cancer, and M.E. and followed up with saying something to the affect of, "anyways... that is why I am not teaching". He told me he was so sorry and would be praying for me and we parted ways, me walking more slowly to my destination. As I walked I heard strands of the special music, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" drifting out from the sanctuary and I had tears for a far different reason than I had had a few minutes ago. I had tried to justify my existence through something other than finding my delight in my creator. Other than who I am in Christ. Other than who I am through His work on the cross.

We can not be defined by the titles that we have accepted as "normal" in are world. We can not be the titles that define who we are. OR where we are going. OR what we hope to someday have in the future (a spouse, a lovely career, a healing from an illness, a child, a house, or a (fill in the blank)) As the title of the chapter says we are "made for more". 

You are made for more.

If you are defining yourself by your work, illness, career,  blog, profession, marriage, children, your contribution to society, weight, the dress size you are, the marathon that you just ran, etc. I highly encourage you this week to think through the following definitions of who you truly are. I love these following truths and hope that you do to!

*I am a forgiven child of God. (Romans 3:24)
I am a set-free child of God. (Romans 8:1-2)
I am accepted child of God.(I Corinthians 1:2)
I am a holy child of God. (I Corinthians 1:30)
I am a made-new child of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am a loved child of God. (Ephesians 1:4)
I am a close child of God. (Ephesians 2:13)
I am a confident child of God. (Ephesians 3:12)
I am a victorious child of God. (Romans 8:37)*

For this coming week I am planning on working on memorizing these truths and hope that you will join me. What about y'all? What are things that you have learned through these two chapters? If you are a blogger please feel free to link with us below and share your thoughts and if you don't have a blog please leave a comment in the comment section. I am so confident that we can all grow and learn together in this process! 

P.S.- If you haven't already clicked around the "freebies" page of the Made to Crave website I highly encourage you to spend a few minutes there! 

* Wording and info taken from Scripture &  "Made to Crave Participant's Guide: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God"  By Lysa TerKeurst

Here is the reading schedule for the rest of the study for those of you that would like to join us :
August 5- Week 5
Chapter 7- I’m Not Defined by the Numbers & Chapter 8- Making Peace with the Realities of my Body
August 12- Week 6
Chapter 9- But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry& Chapter 10- This Isn’t Fair!
August 19- Week 7
Chapter 11- Stinkin’, Rotten, Horrible, No Good Day & Chapter 12- The Curse of the Skinny Jeans
August 26- Week 8
Chapter 13- Overindulgence & Chapter 14- Emotional Emptiness
September 2- Week 9
Chapter 15- The Demon in the Chips Poster & Chapter 16- Why Diets Don’t Work
September 9- Week 10
Chapter 17- The Very Next Choice We Make& Chapter 18- Things Lost, Better Things Gained
September 16- Week 11
Chapter 19- Live as an Overcomer & Summary/Conclusion