Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Refined. Not Defined.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about our house, our pasts and where we are today.

And then after being around some grown people who have not been able to get past what their past is and have firmly rooted their identity in it - even going as far as justifying behaviors of today beause of their past - I came to a conclusion:

We can either choose to be DEFINED by our past and let it dictate our identity and behaviors.

Or we can choose to be REFINED by our past, invite God into our present and choose to leverage our refined selves for His glory.
And here in this house - we are all choosing to be refined by what WAS and leverage it for what CAN BE.

See - here - in this camp - there's LOTS of history. I don't have to share my kids' stories (which aren't mine to share) for you to know they have overcome some stuff. Some hard, HARD stuff.

This girl here - our strong leader Meron - she is choosing refinement instead of a definition by her past.

An orphan spirit? Not around here people. We have worked VERY VERY HARD to defeat it - to crumble it - to break it down and toss it to the side.

Because that is NOT who she is.

And then there's our strong, silent prayer warrior - Mebski Love.

Orphan? Not any more folks. She is choosing to be refined. Go ahead... ask her about what she is focusing on in her life. She is leveraging who God made her to be for His glory.

So don't come around her with an attitude of "I get it - your behavior is because you were such and such..." - because that simply isn't who she is. Mebrate has overcome a lot in her life - more than most. But that's just it... she OVERCAME it.

And we don't accept that in this house anyways. We love and cherish and respect our pasts - but they are NOT what we are today - we are present, we are His and we wanna reflect that.

Mebbie does it with the best of them!

And then there is this little dude. Z-Dogg. He has tackled more things head on than most humans will in a lifetime. And he's only two and a half.

And while he can't grasp it yet or put it in words - he has two incredible models that he looks up to every single day and it's his goal to follow them in life. Their choice of refining instead of defining will ultimately weigh in to his choice - and our prayer is he goes that exact same route.

Because he is not all of the million things you could say he is because of his rough start.

Nope... he is Zechariah - redeemed child of God built to do good work to bring Him glory.

I pray that over him almost daily. My silent prayer is that our prayers align so tightly with God's will that they will quickly and repeatedly come to fruition.

But it doesn't stop there... not around here.

This leader - this incredible model of love and patience and caring - she has a past too. Because we all do.

What do you think she is choosing? Why do yo think it's so easy for her kids to choose to be refined and not defined?

Yep - you got it.

Because their mommy - who they adore and want to be exactly like - has chosen to boldly say - "Any junk from my past - that is NOT who I am today. It may have refined me - but it surely won't define me."

And she does it beautifully and with grace and humility. And I am already seeing it being impressed upon her tribe of goofballs...

And well - that leaves me. Probably the chief of all sinners - chief of all messy pasts.

Disregardng God for 30+ years, allowing past to dictate just about every action I made... but then...


A new identity was found - and I believed it. And as I look back now - I simply refuse to allow my past to define me. Nope. Not now. Not ever.

I'll take the refining that it did and pray that God can leverage who I am now for His kingdom, for His people, for His work. And for HIS glory.

Camp Hoffman - I know our dinner table discussion was deeper than usual tonight - and I know we'll fail, we'll fall and we'll be tempted to blame things in the rear-view mirror.

But I have faith in us as a team... that we are going to show the world that pasts are just that... PAST.

And we don't live there.

Instead - we live here - as a bunch of refined, redeemed misfits just trying to shine His light...


Paula said...

I love this post and it was exactly what I needed to hear right now.

Tymm said...

Thanks Paula and I am glad it was something that resonated with you - we should all choose REFINING!! :)