Who I Am

Usually when I share with people “who I am” I will start with the standard explanation that I am a wife and a mother, and talk about my work, and where I live etc., and you’ll probably notice that you do the same. However, this information really just gives someone time to get a sense of who I am underneath all of that. The truth is that the roles I play in my life such as mother, wife, employee, student, church-goer, daughter, sister etc. are things that I do, but they are not who I am.

Who I am at my core is actually a soul that God created and gifted me. The one I breathed in when I took my first breath after birth, and the one that will leave my body when I take my last breath out. Larry Crabb – a renowned psychologist and writer explains that “We must define ourselves by who Christ is in us, and how we can reveal Christ through us”, and just last week, one of my mentors, Clem McGrath, reminded me that “I am God individualised.” These are different ways of explaining that we are a part of God sent to live on earth for a short time.

This means that to identify who we are we need to draw closer to God and understand who He is. As we do this God reflects back to us the parts of him that He has chosen to show off in us. Perhaps He has gifted you creatively, or with empathy, or with intelligence, or wit. These things make you unique, and no one else has the same combination of giftings as you. You are a piece of God, and like a diamond with many sides you have been made to shine uniquely for Him.

So I want you to imagine that your soul is like the sun. It’s always there, always present. Some days it seems obvious and it glows like God’s glory, and then other days it is covered over by a cloudy sky. But regardless, clear sky or cloudy, it is always there, just as God created it.

Now I want to ask you: What are the clouds in your sky?

What blocks your soul from shining at it’s full potential?

Over our lifetime we tend to gather clouds through our trauma and experiences, but we can ask God to help us clear each and every cloud to reveal the glory of our soul. This is what it means in Matthew 5:14 to be “the light of the world” – to reveal your truest God-given nature to the people around you, such that they have no doubt that you are a daughter of God; created to reveal his glory to the world.

This is where we can use tools such as life coaching and counselling to help that light shine. Life Coaching basically uses exercises to help you grow your awareness of each aspect – the soul or the clouds. During a session you might be focussed on tapping in to your soul – what makes you glow? To come alive? To feel soaked in God’s pleasure? At other times you might be focussed on the clouds – what things have happened in your life that cloud your soul, and how can you release them and let your soul shine through?

My hope is that you will understand that you are a unique soul who is one with God, but that the clouds of life can get in the way. You can change that by learning to empower your soul, or clear the clouds. Either way, God’s glory will be able to shine more brightly from you during your life on earth.

Andrea x

What I’m Reading…

The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle

Okay, so I’ve actually ‘read’ this book before. I say that, but I don’t think I got past the first couple of sections. It kind of blew my mind, and then I wasn’t sure how to move forward from that point.

I’d bought the book way back when I was living on my own after the breakdown of a bad relationship. I was like a self-help seeking missile that year. I read so many books, articles, and online courses, trying to find truth that resonated with my situation. When I came across ‘The Power of Now’, and Tolle asserted on the first page that he had little use for the past, it kind of freaked me out. How would I define myself if not by my past? I read a few more sections in, but quickly realised that although I recognised many of his words as truth, I wasn’t ready to leap off the cliff just yet.

Fast forward a few years, and this is one book that has consistently made the cut as I’ve moved house 8 times in the past 11 years. Finally, this year was the first time I had felt ready to open it and start again.

This book has not disappointed me. It is so frank, and unapologetically challenging, that I cannot help but sit and ponder at the points where Tolle suggests I should. Normally I ignore such edicts and just push on, but here I am savouring each section like a fine wine. Pushing it round my mind, and rolling it over section by section to find every last flavour it offers up.

This time I’ve made it all the way up to ‘The Inner Body’ before coming to a halt. Something about the previous chapter ‘The State of Presence’ has rattled my cage, and I’m working with God to iron it out. I feel like I’m standing on the edge of the cliff again. I’m aware of the life that Tolle offers up, but my ego is terrified of the ramifications. What would life be like? How will I relate to people if I operate from a fully awakened presence? Why is this so terrifying?!

I take these questions to God one-by-one, and He has been gracious with me. He has given me a vision to work with, and I use that arena to present my questions, and sit quietly with them. I am content to sit with a feeling of open space in my chest and allow the Holy Spirit to move at will and bring forth what needs to be uplifted in this process. I find with time, and silence, and openness that eventually the parts of my ego that are hurting come forth and dissolve in the grace of God.

Grief

I wrote this poem while on Silent Retreat. I have often felt an incredible weight of grief upon my chest since I was saved, and my pastor had explained to me that it may be the gift of mercy. That we may at times feel what it is that God feels for His people as he calls us to act. 

On this particular day I felt the weight of grief, and I put pen to paper to capture it…

Grief

Like waves lapping at my chest when I’ve gone out just far enough.

Tippy-toes clinging to the sand below as waves sway me back and forward. Threatening to pull me off centre.

Forward, and I might drown. Lost to the world forever.

Back, and I might retreat in fear. Back to the comfort of the shore.

Like a spinning top…Carefully balanced…My God has set me in motion. Spinning me gently from head to toe like a ballerina in a box. Ready to spring in to action, but then gently I turn to His music.

For I am God’s secret weapon. Beautifully poised, gently balanced, ready to therapeutically pounce.

Perhaps I venture out too far? All or nothing. Just one step back from oblivion would plant my feet in darkness deep, and anchor me to His cause.

I’m here to find the lost. To fish in the deep for men and women. I’m here to bring them Home. His grief reminds me so.