Where do I begin…

I think you can’t really measure easy because each persons standard of easy is different. I may live near the beach and have sun almost every day. But I also have to search my soul for all the dark places Jesus is asking me to give to him, and then actually surrender them to the cross. I’m having to retrain my brain and my habits. I’m redefining my identity, removing the labels the world has placed upon me, as well as replacing the labels, lies and masks I’ve given to myself. Then taking all those and transforming them to a biblical based identity. So when someone says oh but you live in Hawaii it must be such an easy life. On one hand yes it is. On the other I’m being stretched in ways I never even knew were possible.

One of the things God has revealed to me is there was lies I was believing in my testimony. I thought I’d dealt with the big things in my life, which I have. I’ve found an insane amount of freedom from the “big dark sins” I was going to take to the grave. But in that freedom I took on an identity that wasn’t mine to take on. In class we took all the labels (including ones that could have been good but were defining our identity instead of Jesus) lies, and masks and nailed them to the cross then washed our hands with water and anointed ourselves with oil. I’d done something similar to this before. There is something so powerful about symbolically doing this, as it’s a physical action that you’re going to battle to declare that Satan no longer has any power over those labels, lies or masks. This time was just as freeing.

After nailing and anointing, I returned to my spot in the room and began to bask in the presence of Jesus. I felt like the Lord invited me to dance. I was a princess on her coronation day, dancing with her proud king and father. In this sweet moment I felt like the Lord said to me.

“My Beloved Natalie,

Today you’re finally stepping out in true grace. My daughter you’re becoming who I designed you to be. I dance in delight with you. You are new. This is your coronation my princess. Stepping into true freedom you no longer need to hide yourself from me. I’m not afraid of the lies, and temptations or sin. You’re my daughter.

There is so much power in my name. You have authority.”

I think the best gift this week has given me in learning about identity is that I feel like I can come as I am in all my brokenness to Jesus, my friend. I can have a conversation with him. I no longer need to hide myself from him. He already knows me, so there is really no point. I feel like this entire DTS is so God can rid me of my old identity and revive me into who I am really supposed to me. As I talked about before maybe not on here but on an instagram post instead. But God gave me a word picture of Him painting a canvas in front of me. Showing me all of who I am. Already he’s painted significant things on that canvas.

These are the “labels” God has given to me already, even before Identity week. My first colour on the canvas was yellow, and it stands for Fathered, this is the most significant of all. The next one was Green and it stands for Leader, the third one was Pink and it stands for Loved.  I got another one this week too.  I got the colour Gold and it stands for Free. I think the Gold comes from the idea of the Japanese art form of taking broken pottery and mending it with gold. Kintsukuroi is what it’s called. Basically when you have a broken piece of pottery you then repair the cracks with Gold. That’s what Jesus did on the cross for me. I love that I get to see Him visually pain who I am to Him.

Another one of the biggest things that stood out to me other than the previously mentioned was that until we know our worth in Christ we’ll not be able to walk out in fullness all that God has in store for us. Our culture is so fixated on who people tell us we are. We’re all looking for an identity, it’s a fundamental part of being human. But If we’re looking for confirmation from other people especially if they aren’t speaking biblical truth and life over you then you will have a distorted identity and that can damage our ability to communicate, because we are speaking out opinions based on labels that actually don’t apply to ourselves.

As you can see I’ve been learning so much and it’s like information overload. So living in Hawaii is fantastic, I’m actually so blown away that I live here. I can’t put it into words. But It’s also been the most stretching time, going through spiritual brain surgery and heart surgery. But it’s the kind of growth you just long for, and I’m so thankful for that.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Romans 5: 3-4

If you’ve made it through till now. Thank you for taking the time to read a piece of my heart. I feel like it’s a post that’s been all over the place, but so is my brain these days. I love you all, and thank you again for being a part of this crazy journey.