Faithful, Generous Deliverer!

Very often, this walk of faith is more about what we do in the times we don’t “feel” like a real Christian. When life is hard and the waves begin to pull us under, when our own doubts and insecurities keep us from walking in the victory Christ has won for us, when the stresses of our lives keep us from spending quality time with God. But, whether we feel it or not, God is still there and He is still worthy of our praise. i want to share how God made this truth clear to me recently.

i struggle with insecurity. i have moments where i feel so insignificant, unwanted, useless, and worthless that i fall apart, sometimes for days at a time. That is what happened to me last week. It came up at the most unexpected time: at the end of a very wonderful day with very wonderful people. We laughed, we shared what God was doing in our lives, we prayed for each other, and just had genuine, wonderful fellowship. As i’m walking to the car to leave at the end of the night, something clicks inside me. The conversations happening around me suddenly sounded like “Go away, Jennifer. You’re not needed here anymore. You fulfilled your purpose today. You were funny and made us laugh, but when it comes to anything else, you’re not needed.” And that’s how i left. i got home and crumbled to pieces. because i believed the lies, because i thought doubts like this had been left behind, because i thought i was “over it.”

But Satan reminded me that i am not over it, that i struggle to believe that i mean something to those around me. This time he didn’t use the lie that people don’t love me (though he has before); instead, he hit me deeper: People don’t need me. i love to be needed, okay? i love to be useful, even if people don’t tell me that. If i can see that i am helping and doing something that helps, i am fulfilled. So Satan was telling me that everything i do and am in life could be done – was being done – better by someone else. i was just there but of no use. Others did it better. i had nothing that made me necessary to people.

In the middle of all of this, however, i heard God’s voice. He was there, y’all! He carried me through that valley. Satan was pounding these lies at me but God was there, whispering that He loved and needed me. Psalm 13 really resonated with me about this.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long will i store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?
Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, i will sleep in death. My enemy will say, ‘I have triumphed over him,’ and my foes will rejoice because i am shaken.
But i have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. i will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously.

Psalm 13 (HCSB)

David was in despair here, he was really pleading to God, begging for deliverance. And that was me last week. i was begging God to remind me of His truths, to remind me that these things were not true, demanding to know why this was still a struggle for me. But, thank God for spiritual growth in times of plenty and peace. Because what i learned during those times is what carried me through this. After the initial breakdown, i started to remember what i’d learned personally and what i had watched friends learn: even when i don’t feel like it, God is still worthy of praise. Repeat this as often as you need to until it sticks.

“Will you forget me forever?” That was David’s question. He was feeling hopeless and desperate, wondering if God would ever hear his prayer. But look at the end! David praised God for 3 things; he praised Him for His faithful love, His deliverance (even though he hadn’t been delivered from his current situation yet), and His generosity. i pray for a heart like David, to be this worshipful of God.

But, getting back to the spiritual growth. In the past, i would have been stuck at “why do i feel like this? why, why, why?” But i was able to pray and hold on to Christ even though i still felt the lies pounding me. They hadn’t stopped, and it was already Monday. i found myself slipping all day long, feeling the sorrow come back. But even if i had nothing more to say than “Help me, God”, it kept me going. He was faithful! And even if i never told anyone what i was struggling with and they never reassured me these lies weren’t true, God delivered me! i saw only one set of footprints behind me in all of this. But friend, they weren’t mine. Christ carried me.

And He was generous. He gave me one more thing. He gave me something that makes my heart sing: a gray day. i know, what an oxymoron, right? But i’m a West Texan. Overcast skies and foggy days are bliss! And without even asking Him for it directly, God gave me the perfect day. This was the final step to shake off the funk i had been in. God had already been faithful and delivered me, but He was also generous. And while the day itself isn’t what healed me, i saw God’s love in that, and that was a balm to my heart. i saw that He cares about these things, He is generous and longs to bestow these things upon us. He is such a good, good God.

Because He can use all things for good if we just let Him, i don’t look back over last week as awful and painful. i see His faithfulness, deliverance, and generosity. yes, there was pain, but it fades to nothing compared to His goodness. These qualities of His – and more! – can be found everywhere in our lives, even in the dark times. It’s up to us whether we are willing to look for them, whether we are willing to praise Him in the storm, to seek His light in the dark.

Who am i?

and if not i, then who?

Hi, and welcome to my blog, “it is not i.” This blog idea has been on my heart for a while and it’s been online for a while. i’ve just never shared it with anyone or really did anything with it. My first draft of this introduction was a lot more about presentation and flair, and considering how that worked out for me, i decided to rewrite it. Writing has always been something i have been interested in, but time and time again i’m struck by just how much work it can be and that it doesn’t always flow naturally. i let myself become overwhelmed or intimidated and hold myself back, thinking no one wants to read what i write anyway. so i’ll just write and not worry about that anymore. whether i have one reader or twenty, i can share what i learn from the Word, i can share what i’m struggling with and how God helps me through it, and i can share how Christ is a part of my life. Because He is the one this is ultimately about anyway; it is not i.

The title comes from my favorite Bible verse, Galatians 2:20. i guess you could say it’s kind of like my mantra when it comes to my faith. Ever since i got baptized in June of 2015, this verse has been the one that’s always stuck with me, that i memorized without even trying, that reminds of who i am and what i’m living for. and it perfectly sums up life here on earth for a believer and follower of Christ; we might still be living here in this world, but Christ is living in us now. It is no longer just us or only about us. We’ve been transformed and renewed!

i’m striving to live my life according to the phrase “it is not i” by giving up my own selfish wants and desires and learning to commit to God’s will for my life. i must decrease and He must increase, right? It is a constant battle within my life because the human part of me still wants selfish things, still wants her own way. But, over the years i have seen again and again that God’s way really is best. i can plan until i’m blue in the face, but i will never come close to designing my life in as wonderful and fulfilling a way as God is doing. His way might not be as easy as i would prefer, but it’s more amazing and rewarding than anything my imagination can dream up.

Personally, i’m an avid book lover and coffee drinker, a caffeinated bibliophile if you will. (i might also share book reviews from time to time.) My favorite authors will always change as will the types of books i’m reading. i’m trying to be more intentional about what i read and consume, but it, too, is a struggle when entertainment often outweighs spiritual value.

As i write posts, more of my personality and struggles will come through the words, but i also hope that God will shine through brightest of all. i am still here, but it’s Him that i’m really trying to show to you. His might, His power, His glory, and His name. That’s what this blog is really about. It’s about Him and what He reveals to me in life, in His word, in people, within myself. There’s always something more to learn, we will never understand the fullness of God and all that He is, but we can try our best.

Thank you for joining me here and feel free to reach out to me for anything. i’d love to chat about your own walk with God or just get to know a fellow believer. Bear with me as i learn how to navigate this website, learn how to format posts, and figure out my style. i am sure things will change along the way…hopefully for the better.

For i have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer i who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 NKJV