Defining Who You Are

From my study: Becoming Me Through Him…

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Maybe the key to becoming me, becoming you, is to face the labels instead of fighting them.

Face our weaknesses, faults, sins and past.

As I studied the story of Rahab, I was bothered to see that Rahab is still called a prostitute in Hebrews. How is that fair if she had changed her ways? Why does it seem that she cannot shake this title? Shouldn’t God want her story to be about how her life is new? I don’t want to keep calling her a prostitute. She moved on from that life, can’t we focus on her good choices instead of her bad ones?

Then I realized that the power in Rahab’s story is not about how she had changed her life, but in the fact that God redeemed her story.

Ladies, your past is still part of your story, labels and all.

God doesn’t want us to deny our labels, He wants to redeem them.

Let God redeem your past, let God redeem your labels.

Whether it’s abuse or sin that defines our past, it does not have to define our future.

When God redeems our past and our labels…we put the shame behind us.

You are a new creation in Christ. Through Him…you become the woman He wants you to be. We no longer have to live under the shame of the mistakes we’ve made, the sins we’ve committed or the abuse we’ve endured. Shame causes us to fear that we are unworthy of love and belonging. But when we let God redeem our past, we can own our story and live free of shame.

Yes, I hear you and I understand, owning our story can be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Shame is debilitating. It keeps us isolated and alone, completely missing out on the life God has for us.

Rahab shows us that though some of the labels may remain, God redeems our stories. She tenaciously reached out in faith, trusted this God whom she had heard about and He valiantly saves her and her family. Spoiler alert…she is later named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ!

Yes, you have sinned, but that sin does not have to define you as a person.
You may have been abused, but that abuse does not have to define you or haunt your thoughts, God is our Healer and Redeemer.

Shame grows in secrecy and judgment. It’s like mold. It likes the stale darkness. We pretty the outside but when the layers are peeled back we find a wounded little girl that’s been huddled in a corner, afraid that we’ll find out her secrets and believing that the fresh paint job could fool us.

The word inspire means to breathe, to take in air and life. Shame doesn’t want us to take fresh air, it wants us closed up and stagnant. Shame wants us to become a breeding ground of un-forgiveness, a petri dish of bitterness.

It’s time to let God ‘inspire’ us. It’s time to bring fresh air in, it’s time to own our story and let the Father redeem it. The power of shame is broken over our lives when we let God redeem our story instead of letting the past and the labels define us. Stop hiding.

Owning our stories and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we can ever do.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You cannot fully love others until you love yourself, until you love the woman that God loves, labels and all. Redemption says that we are worthy of love and belonging, first Him loving you, then you loving you. Choosing right now to love yourself, not in a few weeks when you lose the weight or stay sober or when you get yourself cleaned up, but right now-today.

My prayer for all of us…
Lord, help us to see ourselves in the light of your love and forgiveness. Father let us glimpse the beauty that you want for our lives, teach us to love ourselves. Show us how to belong to the family of God and take our place as your precious, valued and worthy daughter.

You Were Not Created To Be Perfect, You Were Created To Be His

Excerpt from our online study: Becoming Me Through Him

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I spent a lot of years wanting to look like I had it all together with the perfect little life.

Wife and mom…bible study, worship leader….I was hiding from my past by being good.

The enemy loves perfectionism because it halts our healing. A woman who struggles with shame will often use perfectionism to conceal her pain. It’s a giant wall that we hide behind, thinking it’s keeping us safe but it’s really just keeping us captive.

Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfectly, look perfectly and act perfectly, we can avoid the pain of shame and no one will know that behind that pretty church face is a scared little girl who desperately wants approval.

In the church world perfectionism can take on a few different looks:

  • The church lady who “lives at” the church taking care of everything from the office to the nursery and leading Bible study.
  • The Bible “know it all.”
  • The beautifully dressed woman with the perfectly manicured nails and smooth hair and the kids who look like they star in a Macy’s commercial.
  • The house, neat as a pin, in fact the pins even have their own special drawer…nothing is ever out of place.
  • The good wife or mom who leaves all other women feeling “less than” in her presence.
  • And I’m sure you can think of more…

Please don’t feel beat up if this is you, we are just peeling back another layer of lies…with the goal of getting free and finding out who He created us to be.

There is nothing wrong with a clean house or nice clothes, but if we are living this way because it gives us a sense of security or we want to impress others, then it is perfectionism. The question is, what drives or motivates us? What is behind our actions? Do we feel better about ourselves when we “perform” well?

“Acting” like a Christian makes you an actor. Living an honest, imperfect relationship with the Lord makes you real. When perfectionism is our game, we never really feel worthy of love because we know that we’re being fake.

We are all imperfect. But, when we see that TODAY He loves us and He believes we are worthy of love…we start to accept ourselves and we can live authentic lives and let Him redeem the broken parts.

The desire for perfection is another sign of brokenness. We think that being “perfect” will bring us comfort and happiness but nothing could be farther from the truth. It sets us up for failure, promising something that it can never give us: love and belonging.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” NIV

Now read it in the Message translation:
Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Religion has a way of pushing us to perform. Jesus did not come to bring us more religion, in fact he exposed religion for the lie that it was…

Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Jesus exposed perfectionism and called it wicked. He knew that it will only keep us from a relationship with the Father. Jesus came to show us a better way, He came to teach us about relationship not religion.

Religion is man’s best way to figure out how to perform better for God. Relationship is about family.

Having it all together on the outside while inside we’re striving for love, is empty and lonely. Let’s put perfectionism behind us ladies. We can’t be “good enough” to deserve God’s unconditional love. Unconditional =no conditions, no performance, no earning it.

I pray that the heavy weight of perfectionism is lifted off of you. Stop struggling to “get it all right” and start living. You were not created to be perfect, you were created to be His. Relationship first. Rest in Him. Let Him show you the ‘unforced rhythms of grace.’

You are loved.

It’s Time To Stop Wishing That Life Had Been Different



We run from our stories, but never allude them. We think that “becoming a new creation in Christ” means denying the abuse or sins that have defined us. We miss the point. God making all things new does not mean that they never were.

The beauty of our stories is the power of God’s grace to redeem our broken past. He takes the pieces, He makes a life. No two of us match, we are unique, each moment of our lives scored precisely the way He allowed it.

We are a beautiful mosaic today of every crackled shard, fit together, soldered with love to let the light shine through and dance.

Shame tries to cripple us, but God makes our lives new, He redeems our past and the power of shame is broken. We are no longer that person. We breathe Him in and let His life fill us.

We don’t pretend that the past didn’t happen, we celebrate that He’s redeemed it. He shines through and the crumbled mess bursts with His glory.

It’s time to stop wishing that life had been different, it wasn’t. But today is a new day and the sun rises again to splash brilliant light if we let it. The artist is waiting for you to pull back the curtain.


It’s time to unashamedly wake up to the woman God’s created us to be.


We’re one week in to our study, “Becoming Me Through Him” on Facebook. Feel free to join us. Take your time and go through the material (click on the files tab) at your own pace, join the discussion if you want or not.

Join here: Becoming Me Through Him

You are also welcome to print and use our files for your own Praise and Coffee groups. Start one in your local coffee shop.
Coffee with girlfriends, sharing life. Connecting, encouraging and inspiring.

Matthew 18:20
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”


becoming me redeem stories

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