Honor and Rebellion

Urban definitions for a rebel: Someone who does not conform to popular trends; A person who questions established rules; Someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action, Not swayed by what others think; A true rebel stands up for what they believe is right, not against what’s right. Somewhere between exiting the womb and stomping through the world, I became a rebel at heart. I have not always, however, used this character trait in healthy ways. I remember in my early 20s audibly voicing to God my intention of abandoning my faith and the belief He loves me. I quickly stumbled down a road of deep loneliness and despair. For many years I grappled with the lie that sin is free, fun, and no harm to others. Eventually by grace, God carried me to a place of better understanding who He is and who I am to Him. Twenty years later, I often wonder if those innate parts of me that lead me to think deeply and question often could have run toward better goals, and not such damaging ones. For years I considered my renegade spirit a bad thing. In my head there were two options: get rid of it, or bow down to it. Seeing it as a mistaken part of my chemical make-up, I questioned it as a gift from God. How could this part of fierce DNA have worked with the sweetness of my Christ-centered soul? Could those feisty parts of my character actually produce goodness? Is there a way to rebel without sin? Enter the image of Christ— powerfully intense, impassioned and righteous...

Echoes of Eden, and the Case of Perfectionism

  Sometimes I find myself partnering with perfectionism to restore my belief that I am strong, independent, and loved. When I complete a task with every detail in place, it makes me feel fully competent. This feeling of competency saddles up next to my personal worth and I take it as an indication of how well I’m riding in this life. However, other times, perfectionism looms overhead like a black cloud. As it funnels closer and closer, I hear the words “not good enough” and my thoughts darken. My mind translates whatever task I failed to achieve as an overwhelming lack of worth, esteem, respect, and confidence. These feelings initiate an emotional storm where my sense of self gets washed away. Our world longs for perfection. Our obsession with beauty and youth is one small reaction to that longing. I seek perfect experiences in many areas of my life: my relationship with God, safety, provision, health, children, family, love, and the list goes on. But I don’t believe God ever intended the longing for perfection, or these echoes of Eden, to fall into the either category of pride or self-loathing. When I get caught in between these two harsh realities, I remind myself that God’s garden was perfect. Ezekiel 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.   I become aware that perfection on earth falls flat as it is measured against the...