What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to simply be?
When I am asked to describe myself, I often reply that I am PWLawyerMom - I am a pastor's wife ("PW"), lawyer, and mom of three amazing kids. PWLawyerMom is an accurate description of my roles in society, but this is not who I am. I've been so consumed with "doing", that I have forgotten what it means to "be". This blog explores my journey as I find the freedom to simply be.
Still, God, you are our Father. We’re the clay and you’re our potter: All of us are what you made us. Isaiah 64:8 (MSG)
Chameleons are magnificent creatures. When a chameleon senses danger, a chameleon can change its skin color to blend in with its surroundings. For example, when a chameleon is surrounded by green leaves, it turns a green color that perfectly blends with the surroundings. This camouflage is necessary to protect them and keep them safe.
For years, I was a chameleon. In my heart, I sensed a constant danger – I feared that if anyone knew the real me, the me that no one else knew, they would not love me. I feared that people only loved me for who I was to them at the time - my friends loved me for my laughter and outgoing personality, my teachers loved me for my discipline and intellectual curiosity, my family loved me because I was eager to please and compliant.
For me, the greatest danger I faced was the danger of rejection. To avoid this danger, I camouflaged myself by adapting to the situation that I was in. At work, I was disciplined and hardworking. With friends, I was fun loving and entertaining. With people that were hurting, I was compassionate.
I was not intentionally deceiving others. Like a chameleon, the many colors that I changed between were a part of who I was. However, I was constantly changing colors to blend in so that I would be safe, accepted, valued and loved. Because I was so busy changing colors, I failed to be the color that God created me to be. I failed to be me.
God created me to be me. God created you to be you. When we embrace that God loves us as we are, we no longer have to live in fear – we are free to be. Isaiah 68:4 says that we are the clay and God is our potter. We are what God made us. Jeremiah 1:5a (MSG) says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.“
If I am so busy becoming who everyone else wants me to be, I fail to be the person God created me to be. God has holy plans for you, and God has holy plans for me. However, in order to fulfill those plans, I need to be the person God created me to be.
We are God’s workmanship – uniquely and beautifully made. You do not need to live in fear because you are loved, just as you are. You are free to be you and I am free to be me – we are free to be the beautiful creations that God desires for us to be.
Jesus, When I feel the need to blend in and be accepted, remind me that You love me just as I am. Remind me that I have a purpose, and that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Thank You for molding me into the person that You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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October 25, 2017by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: DevotionThen Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” Ruth 1:8-13 NIV Naomi is a woman that is filled with loss and grief. She has l…
October 26, 2017by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: DevotionSo the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” Ruth 1:19-21 NIV When Naomi returned to Bethlehem, people were surprised to see her because she had been away so long. When people greeted her by name, Naomi replied that they should not call her Naomi. Instead, she told them to call her Mara because God had made her life very bitter. She had once been full, but now she was empty. Naomi’s pain was raw and her emotions were deep. In that moment, Naomi no longer knew who she was. She knew that she had once been Naomi – a woman blessed with a family. Now, she…
October 24, 2017by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: DevotionIn the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. Ruth 1:1-5 MSG When I was a child, I loved to read. One of my favorite activities was to visit the library and check out the maximum number of books allowed. I loved books because books could take me anywhere. Stories allowed me to escape the limits of my current life and travel to f…