I have these ‘notes’ to myself posted above my desk. I stare at them every time I sit down. They have been posted thru out my journey as ‘Anchor’ phrases, representing deeper work done with several counselors. As I sat here today and stared, they took on a new meaning as my context is ever changing.
My goal all along has been ‘to know that I know’ that I am seen by God. He sees me, He knows me, even when no one else does. What I am actually saying is: My goal is to experience Jesus in pain. I am the remnant. I AM THE ONE breaking the cycle. What does this mean? The one’s who break the cycle are often alone because they are not afraid of loss. They experience great pain in their lifetime because they stand for truth, justice and righteousness. They go against the crowd and popular belief, especially within religious systems. I am not afraid of this pain. Sometimes being the remnant and the cycle breaker means saying good-bye to loved ones. It requires you to know you are worthy and COMPLETELY known and loved by God. It means living in the knowledge that perfect love casts out fear – so I don’t need to fear being alone. I don’t need to fear confrontation, a job change, a pandemic, a change of address, a personal loss, nor the loss of a dream.
Being the remnant means I continue to forge ahead, creating new vision, pathways and behaviors. It means I reflect on the old and practice the new. It means I reach out, expose myself to community and receive their loving kindness rather than hiding and pushing away. Being the one to break the cycle means I am bold in the truth and I am strong. Ferociously strong… it means I trust God so much I allow Him to have complete control even though it is not what I would have chosen. It means I can release what I’m gripping and give it to Him.
Being the remnant means I am burning the mistakes of my ancestors and blazing new trails for my descendants. I am practicing new pathways in this very moment that will be inherited by them. They will be impacted by the choices I make today. Do I choose love, grace and kindness? Or, fear, control and self-contempt? Remnants understand that love is the highest goal (1 Corinthians 14:1a) and love comes at a price:
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter in- law against her mother – in -law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you are clinging to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” -Matthew 10: 34-39
Remnants are the ones who forge ahead after catastrophe – in this world our catastrophe seems to be abuse hiding in plain sight among our religious leaders, churches becoming the most dangerous place for women and children, pornography killing the souls of thousands of men, women and marriages – a slow poison that leaks into the home, all abuse and violence that rages behind closed doors. The list can go on, however there are those of us who dig and claw our way out of the rubble in those catastrophes and we follow light. Somehow, the truth stayed protected and we run toward Jesus with our tear stained faces, our torn clothes, our battered and wounded bodies and we collapse into His arms. The Psalmist said it best; “From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me. My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows. But the Lord is good; he has cut me FREE from the ropes of the UNGODLY.” – Psalm 129:2-4
You see, the more time the remnants spend in the presence of Jesus the more they realize the darkness cannot have anything to do with the light. “How can light live with darkness?” -2 Corinthians 6:14
I am the one breaking the cycle. I am her. She is me. It forces me to step into many layers of grief, to face the scary and unknown. As I set my face with determination, I think ahead to the future and to what the fruit of my labor will provide because I chose to believe when I plant in tears I will harvest with shouts of joy! (Psalm 126: 5) I believe songs of joy and victory will be sung in the camp of the godly. (Psalm 118:15)
As I fight for my healing, I can declare a CREED – what do I want my camp to look like, feel like and sound like?
My Camp’s Creed:
In this camp we do NOT withhold goodness from one another.
We believe in revival thru family.
“I see you – you matter”
“you are cherished”
“I delight in your glory”
“I missed you”
“I love to spend time with you”
“I see your goodness”
“I can help you succeed”
In this camp we speak LIFE. We honor the man, woman and child that God originally designed us to be. We are becoming, made in His image.
We have unveiled faces beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed from glory to glory.
In this camp…
We remain confident of this: we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. We believe there is a garden in the ashes and beauty in the mess.
In this camp…
We will be humble, gentle, patient, and we bear with one another in love.
It is okay to make mistakes – leads to new learning and growth.
We do not yell, hit, kick, scream, slam doors, storm out, call names or blame.
We ask for what we need and what we want.
We take ownership for our mistakes.
We connect before we correct.
We believe in truth and grace.
Moving forward as the remnant can be lonely at times…
Are you looking down a long, dark tunnel at this time too my friend?
Or, do you feel your coming out the other side and all the people you had before are no longer standing with you?
What losses have you endured in your fight for justice?
What does it mean for you to be the remnant?
It is not for the faint of heart. Keep fighting sister…
You are not alone.