Lights, Camera & Action

Hello, my dear friends! Can you believe it is already December?! I looked at my planner today and saw “December 5th” and my heart sank a bit. I looked ahead and saw written for each day all the tasks I wish to accomplish, exams, and papers to be turned in and then this rush of panic came on saying ohnoitsdecemberandihaventstartedchristmasshopping. Yup, just like that, one jumbled line, zero pauses or breathes taken. Get. It. Together. Nicole. So, I proceeded to do what most of us do when we have a ton to do, I got right to it….pshhh, well no. I got into my fuzzy robe, threw on my baggy sweatpants, crawled into bed, piled myself with fuzzy blankies and scrolled through my Instagram. Good adult choice, Nicole. But as I was scrolling through my feed, a message from Steven Furtnick, whom I talked about in my last post, popped up. It was a short video clip of a sermon he did and I decided to listen, eagerly anticipating some truth bomb to just blow my mind and boy did I get it.

            “Our scenes are not our story.”

I couldn’t shake this one simple sentence out of my mind. I pondered it and spent my whole drive to school processing through what that means and what God wanted me to take from that. I don’t know about you but my brain can start racing a million miles per hour in just a short drive. I hope that this touches you as it touched me this morning.

I’m not sure about you, but I have no shortage of not-so-proud moments in my life; times I fall short of my own expectations, times I hurt those around me, times the things that come out of my mouth are far from life-giving words, and on and on it goes. I have found that for me it’s hard to let go of these “scenes” in my life. The enemy loves to remind me of those things by which I wish I was able to yell “cut” and have a redo moment, a fresh start, for that scene to not be seen by the general public. Do you feel that way too, my sisters in Christ?

I have found that those ugly scenes, although far from my favorite, are my valleys, my low moments, which in turn have led to endurance, growth, and wisdom. As hard as it is, we have to be grateful for these valley scenes because they are our growing scenes. Can I get an amen? In James 1:2-4 we are reminded to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Don’t get me wrong, when these scenes happen in my life I’m usually not jumping for joy in that particular moment about what is happening. Nope. Not at all. I have to consciously remind myself that this trial is in front of me for a reason, there is a reason for this scene.

So, how do we prepare for these scenes when they come? I was reading my bible earlier this week, and this simple verse from Psalms stuck out to me. It reads, “You give him blessings forever, you cheer him with joy in your presence. For the king relies on the Lord; through the faithful love of the Most High he is not shaken.” (Psalm 21:6-7) Now although this seems elementary, I’m going to define the term rely here for you. It means to depend on with full trust or confidence, and to be dependent on.

I don’t know about you my dear friend, but I am a fan of independence. I like doing my own thing, my own way, when I want to do it. But this is not where this scripture points us. If we don’t want to be shaken by these tough scenes in our life, we need to RELY fully on the Most High. Not with just the areas that we will allow Him but with our full being, every aspect of our life. This is where we will find abundant blessings, when we are walking hand in hand with our creator where just our presence brings Him joy.

We are sinful by nature and our Father knows this; not only does He know this but he lavishes us with a grace so astounding that He sees those yucky scenes and still loves us the same! That baffles me, the amount of patience and love He has for me seems so unreal. In 1 John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” So although we have these yuck scenes, the truth is this: those scenes are not our story.

   My dear friends, there is more to my story, there is more to your story then those scenes. I am a daughter of Christ, a fiancé, a friend, a student, a unique person with special gifts and talents, an entrepreneur, a believer, a dreamer, a lover of all people (most days), and well loved by my heavenly Father. Now, that, that’s my story. God is writing my story each and every day while flooding the pages with splatters of grace everywhere.

Now, not only did God fill my heart to write all of this, but he challenged me with this simple truth too. How easy is it for us to quickly judge someone else based off of a bad scene? I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m guilty. That cashier at the store who was super unfriendly and attitude-y with me… yup, she’s mean. Or that mom losing her cool with her kids at the store… she’s not doing so hot. That guy riding the butt of my car, what a little….yup, you get the picture.

But…..what if that was me? Would I want to be judged off of that scene? Isn’t there much more to me than that scene? ABSOLUTELY! So why are we so quick to judge? I want to leave you with that thought today my friends, let us reflect on how we can be more grace-filled not only in handling our own hard to watch scenes but with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around us as well. Lord, let us be overflowing in your grace so that I may see my life scenes and the scenes of those around me through a Christ –like lens. Amen.

“Our scenes are not our story.”

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