“Why can’t we have a pretty tree?” my youngest asked me, a little disgusted, as I unwrapped the old ornaments.
“We do have a pretty tree,” I answered.
“It’s not like the Griswald’s tree. (Names have been changed here, obviously!) They have two trees. One is all silver and gold and the other one only has angel decorations. We should do themed trees like them,” my daughter insisted.
“We do have a themed tree. The theme is our family. Our life. Our story,” I’d replied.
Pulling out these old ornaments today, this memory made me smile.
We do this in our walk with our Savior, don’t we? We think we need to clean things up. Get a theme. Sanitize things. Make them pretty.
In the beginning of our relationship with Jesus, we’re happy to receive salvation through Grace. But as we get a little farther in our journey, we think it’s all up to us. If we want God to stay close and to bless us, we have to clean our lives up and make them look pretty. Some of us can become slaves to this performance mindset.
And it’s here that we miss the point. The freedom that Christ died to give us.
Gal 4:31, 5:1 (TLV)
So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman. For freedom, Messiah set us free—so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again.
Christ has already freed us to live life yoked to Him and His ways. Not to be slaves to our performance and our ability to make things look pretty.
We forget, our Savior works from the inside out. He doesn’t pay so much attention to the way we look on the outside. He knows that will come as our hearts are changed.
What I’ve come to know is that He already knows each of us- fully. He already loves each of us-deeply. And He already holds each of us-closely.
The truth is that we are not the ones who make things beautiful. He is. If we surrender our story to Him, He will make our story beautiful in its time (Ecc 3:11).
Our job is to do the surrendering. To accept the freedom of belonging to Him and having our identity in Him. His Promise is to make everything beautiful in its time. No. It is not instantaneous. It takes time. But we can trust that His timing is perfect.
If I’m looking for God everywhere, I can find Him even in this memory. My beautiful child was unhappy with the mess. But a few years later, this child now loves the ornaments from her parents’ childhood and from her own childhood.
She has a different perspective. She’s come to see things differently. And this again points us to our walk with Him. He’ll change the way we see things when we change the way we think about Him. Let go and consent to His process. He makes all things new (Rev 21:5).
Even your messy story.
If you’re having trouble giving up surrendering that performance mindset, please visit my website. I’m a certified Christian Life Coach and it’s my mission to help women find the freedom and fullness God has for them.