The Key.


A rendering of Queen Esther

Where to start this morning…Which way to go….there are so many things I could say ! It is TRUE, my story has been the key to unlocking so many of yours ! I stand amazed at the way God works, even now. Your individual stories touch me, and keep my heart soft. Your words of love and encouragement open my eyes to the fact that God is indeed restoring my lost years. Not just the years of my youth, but the years spent believing lies about myself. So…I will start here today. I am still asking the Lord to show me the truth about myself. Who am I ? What do you want from me ? What character am I in your story ? These questions roll through my mind.

We got up early, and made it to the first service this past Sunday. It was not a great morning in our house, there were bad hair days, dirty fingernails, and wayward dogs. Use your imagination, there might have been some yelling. It didn’t matter, we were going ! And I am so glad that we did. As I stood,  arms raised in worship of the one who is presently saving me, a gentleman came over and spoke to my husband and I. He said that as he looked over at me that God had said, ” Queen Esther ” , he said that my willingness to be vulnerable and truthful about my life would save generations. Thomas and I were both crying. We thanked him for coming over, and then I thanked God for giving me a glimpse of Who I am. When I posted my story I had a vision of freeing my daughters, and my granddaughter…but God has spoken of other women, and their daughters…generations,outside of my immediate family. Amazing. Queen Esther was an orphan, and I have been as well. At first Esther did not want to intercede on behalf of her people to the king, she was afraid. In Esther 4:14 Mordecai ( Esther’s Uncle ) gives her this advice…If you keep silent now, relief and deliverance will rise for your people from some other place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows ? Perhaps you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this !  Esther took her time, she fasted, and gained favor with God, and when the time was right, she shared her story, and unlocked freedom for the Jews.  I believe that is true for all of us. Don’t keep silent to save your foolish pride, tell your story, become the heroine, unlock your future with your past. God has handed you the key.

All parts of the whole.

Months ago I was part of planning a women’s retreat. I was happy to be asked to help, so I said yes, even though, I didn’t really feel like I had anything to offer. As it turned out my hob was purchasing stones from a craft store, and writing words on them. Not just words…names. Names that our Father calls us by, even though we may not recognize them. I see it as ….leaning into your name. For most of us, it takes practice. Back to the story. I bought the stones, not really feeling that inspired. But, as I started to pray for help, it came. My help came in the form of some very special names for these stones. I started to realize the power in , simply asking. I noticed one of the stones was shaped like a heart. THIS inspired me. The Lord said…wholehearted, thats what this rock will say. I thought it was remarkable. I was actually envious of the woman who would choose this rock, the woman that would have her Father look upon her, and call her name WHOLEHEARTED.

The night before the retreat the ladies and I gathered for an intimate time of sharing. We decided to pull our stones early, and pray for each other. I told them about the heart shaped one, and how my excitement was building to see the woman that would choose it. We all close our eyes ( at least I did), and prayed. These ladies , each so special, with open hearts, and ears…silently picked my rock for me. wholehearted.  I was wrecked, and tried in my own power to figure out all that it meant. There was some healing that took place inside me that weekend, but God is always working in the big picture, and I usually, am not. Just when I thought I had it figured out…..I listened to a beautiful talk the other day on my lunch break. In my car. With tears streaming down my face, he revealed more.

The talk was given by a lady named Brene Brown. She is a researcher, and a storyteller. She spent six years gathering data, and stories about Connection. Interestingly enough ,all of the stories of connection had a whole to do with shame, and heartbreak. It became evident that there were two groups of people, the ones with valid connections, and the ones who were always seeking connection, but never quite finding what they were looking for. The only difference she could find after examining her data over and over….the ones with true connections believed that they were WORTH loving, and knowing, the others simply….did not. She typed up this data, and she put it in a folder. On the front of the folder she wrote…Wholehearted. Do you see why I was crying over my chick-fil-a that day ? HE brought it back around, when I had not thought of my name in months, there it was. Revelation.

I have been moaning, lamenting really, my lack of connection. I don’t want to come to a Bible study, and look at all the other people’s connections. I want to be invited to coffee, to a group of girls’ night out. I was being very picky. What the Lord revealed to me was that I hide who I am, therefore making it impossible for women to make a real connection with me. What ? Me ? Have you read my blog Lord ? He said yes, it doesn’t count. It makes you feel transparent, but it’s not enough. Angie- you have to have enough courage to be vulnerable. I am working on it.

He already calls me, wholehearted. And he knows me better than anyone else. I accept that I will spend the rest of my life living up to the name. I have been blessed with a few women who are courageous enough to be vulnerable with me. Those women amaze me, consistently. I am learning to tell the story of who I am, not on this blog, but in real life.