Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Deciding to Move Forward

At any given moment we have the ability to say, this is not how our story is going to go. Things are always getting better or getting worse, there is no such thing as stagnant. The part you need to know is that getting better is a decision, getting worse is the absence of decision.

In recovery, Step 3 tells us that "we made a decision to turn our life and our will over to the care of God". The biblical comparison for that is :

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.  ROMANS 12:1 NIV

It is a decision to work be better rather than getting worse. We make a decision to trust God for the plan and with the outcome. He had our steps planned before we ever took a breath. He had plans for us for a hope and a future :  

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

So in reflecting, in moving forward, what decisions are you ready and willing to make? 

A Grateful Believer in Jesus Christ, 

Johnna Hurt

Monday, December 14, 2015

Authenticity



For the last several years, my goals for each year have been summed up in one word. 

In 2015, my focus was “children”, I wanted to work on being a better parent, by better I mean more engaged.

In 2014, it was “intentional". I wanted to work on making intentional decisions in my life. Growing up, I wasn’t always taught that, more so I learned by reactions of those around me. The year of “intentional” grew me so much as a person and I was able to develop goals in a lot of areas of my life 

In 2013, the word was “growth”, I wanted to continue with the work that was began in me in 2012 with focus on “Recovery”.

I love that the good Lord sees fit to help me out in simple focus areas. It has amazed me since this journey back to my intended path. Life has been complicated and it tends to make me think too much so simple focus makes mountains movable.

I am finally sure of 2016, and the area of focus I'm called to. It is “authenticity”. 

This is a huge one for me. Growing up in dysfunction, I survived by being who I needed to be. I am sure my authentic self was deeply hidden by the time I was 4 years old when told my teacher I had a twin sister who lived with dad. (This was a completely fictional story I made up to justify why my dad was gone and why I felt so alone, yay therapy, but whatever).

Back to the point, I know as a Christian I was made with a purpose, sewn together in my mother’s womb by a God who knew my name since before the beginning of the earth.
           
 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.~ Psalms 139:13

This world tried hard to change me and dictate me and remove me from my purpose and bury the real me underneath the desire to be loved and the fear of being seen. At least the fear of the real me being seen because anyone that knows me, knows I will work my way to the center of attention every time! Maybe I have a gift when it comes to teaching to a large group of people but whatever that looks like, it is time for it to be a reflection of my authentic self, the one the world tried to shame into hiding. 

So I have fallen in love with author and shame researcher Brene Brown. If you don’t know her work, you should know her work. It has been through this work that I have learned the importance of authenticity. I think some of my shame comes from the fact I know, that not everyone, knows the same me and that is just ridiculous. I will take it one step farther (for the sake of authenticity of course) and tell you that if you haven’t seen me in the last year, you just don’t know what I look like. I am terrified of a picture that hasn’t been cropped and filtered making it to social media. I have never been this large even when 9 months pregnant (and I have birthed 5 children). Okay, I know someone relates to that! Workout clothes and shoes are on my Christmas list, I will be working out and making that area of my life “authentic”. I don’t want to pretend to look happy with myself in a picture, I want to be happy.

One more specific area for those still following. I don’t want to be nice to the lady at the grocery store or kind to a client at work just to come home and be short with my kids. They deserve the best of me, not the less of me. I hate being out in public with them all bubbly and smiling to others to come home and be fussy and sad in their presence. I grew up with all that and it just isn’t going to happen here. They are my first priority, not my last and they deserve to know it.

So, authenticity it is for 2016. Ironically this is probably one of the most authentic posts I have written. Have you thought of an area you can surrender this year? Just one small focus handed over to one Sovereign God can accomplish so much!

A Grateful Believer in Jesus Christ,
Johnna