BestLife - Best Me

Let your light shine

I’ve heard that phrase my whole life. I’ve sung it, recited it, and never fully grasped what I was saying. That is, until last night!

I had the most amazing experience with my 14 year old. 

I had the most amazing experience with my 14 year old. We have a family member in a tough situation and my boy asked if we could pray for him. Of course I agreed! After dinner we stood face to face and held hands. He asked why we need to pray together, now he’s asked this before and I always just replied that the Bible says where two or more gather in my name, there I am. He questioned why?

I seriously thought about it. He was asking a good question, one I’d asked many times, and I wanted to answer him the best I could.

Have you read The Shack? I love the part of the book where all of the people that have passed over are on the hill waiting for Jesus and the main character to come as they are going to celebrate. There is one person though, that is so excited they can’t stand it. They are described as having light all around them and when they get excited it really shines bright. In that moment standing in my kitchen holding my boys hand, I understood this passage in an exciting new way.

Each of us is a light, but when we come together our light is brighter so it’s more like a beacon!

With a thankful heart I looked way up at my little boy and said, “Each of us is a light, but when we come together our light is brighter so it’s more like a beacon or lighthouse!” God’s word is a light unto my feet, he lights the way in the darkness and in the unknown. We came together, each of us bringing our light, and together we were brighter – like a beacon. Can you imagine what that looks like when as a body of Christ we come together and pray!!! OHHH that must be so beautiful.

My teen thought about this and then asked: When we come together like this we become a Bat Signal?

My teeanager contemplated what I’d said and then he lit up! “What you’re telling me then is, when we come together like this we become a Bat Signal?” YES!!!! Yes, I just loved that! 

The beauty in the images and the love for what I’ve learned has me sitting here with tears running down my cheek. God is Love and joy and beauty and grace. And light. God is light.

Let your light shine!

My prayer for you (If you wish, imagine you are holding hands with me as I pray with you):

Oh Lord Jesus, I am so thankful for your light in my life! For the times you were there to light the way and I didn’t realize it and for times I was aware. Thank you for creating me to be who I am and for encouraging me along the way. I know I stumble sometimes and I know I have more to learn, but I am thankful I’m not who I used to be. I’m thankful. Thank you for being there for me, thank you for guiding me, thank you for never giving up on me. I ask you now to come into my heart, let me hear what you want for me, but I need you to be loud Lord as I’m stubborn and don’t always hear the whispers. Thank you Father for this amazing planet full of resources to nourish our bodies and souls. For the sunshine, for the water, for the snow that melts and the sun that heats. Thank you for our breath and for our heart beat. Thank you for our creativity, music, love, laughter, joy and for the storms. It’s in the storms I learn and in the warmth of your love I flourish. I join hands with this person reading this now and ask, Holy Spirit please grab their hearts and fill it with light and love and grace. Guide them to where they need to be to take that next step. Please light their path in a might way and lead them out of darkness. We need you Lord, we need you. Please light our way and fill our hearts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In the name of Jesus, Amen

There is a little more from The Shack that I want to share before I sign off:

Wow #1 -.”When all you see is your pain, you lose sight of me.”

  • Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Yes, I have experienced great pain. Pain I couldn’t see through. Anguish that almost destroyed me. Yes, I do understand devastation. And yes, I do believe everything I just wrote. I believe it with all my heart. I know it to be true. When I quit focusing on the hurt and started imagining I was balling it up and handing it up to God’s might hand, like a little child handing a broken toy up to a loving parent to fix, that is when my life started getting better. I began to release the hurt, not quickly, in fact it took a couple of years of doing this before I realized how much of a difference it was making! At first, it was a dump truck sized ball of hurt that I was handing up!

WOW #2 – “You were created to be loved! If pain is left unresolved, it will keep you in this spot and you will forget what you were created for!”

  • 1 John 4:8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Pain and grief can cause feelings of isolation, darkness, emptiness and hollowness. None of these feelings are what God wants to happen and to share with you. It’s like planting a beautiful rose bush in an amazing greenhouse and watering it and pouring love into it every day, but not allowing the sun in or the lights on. If we hold onto the pain, regret, shame, or guilt that keeps us in the dark – it blocks the light. It’s not that the light went away, it is just being eclipsed by the pain you are holding onto.

WOW #3 – “Don’t ever think that what my son chose to do didn’t cost both of us dearly. Love leaves a mark. I never left him and I never left you.”

  • John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Can you imagine a love so great as to knowingly give such a sacrifice? Jesus went to the cross willingly. He could have stopped it at any time. He’d already been beaten beyond belief. He was hurting from the pain of the ripped open flesh, he was hurting from the betrayal, and I believe he was hurting from the burden that he carried. He knew he had to go through with it to save you, to save me. He knew a love so great that he was willing to die for it, for you! “Even if you can’t see it, you ARE in the center of our love and purpose. And out of all the galaxy, how beautiful it is, it’s nothing compared to how we see you.”

  • Psalm 139:14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

I’m using the New Living Translation for this blog post because I felt the wording was easier to understand for what I’m trying to say. This passage from the King James is

  • I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

They both say the same thing; I will praise you God for making me so intricately, wondrously and with intention. Think about it! Your eyes see without you having to think about it! Your lungs breathe and your heart beats! Your kidneys flush out toxins, your ears hear, your brain processes billions of things without you ever even knowing it!! How spectacularly made are you?! Amazing. Absolutely amazing! Then add the intricacies of personality and gifts. Can you sing, write, act, paint, draw, work with wood, build things, create things, mentor others? Are you fantastic with kids? Animals? Elderly? Oh my goodness, you are so amazing! On purpose. Everything we experience in life adds to our databank of knowledge. We learn from it and store it away. If we hold onto it instead of treating it like a book to be read and put away, if we constantly hold it in our hands, then how can we pick up another book?

WOW #4 – “Religion? Religion is way too much work. I don’t want slaves, I want friends. Friends to share life with!”

  • John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
  • Proverbs 17:17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Our creator is loving, is Love in fact! The moment that statement rang true in my life was so dumb founding for me! I had always thought of God as this vengeful, angry deity that was out to punish. I was so wrong. I acted out of fear or a rebellion to spite fear. Then a friend shared her love of God with me. I told her I just didn’t see God that way. I was a new mom at the time and my friend asked me how I felt when I held my beautiful baby daughter for the very first time? My eyes filled with love and tears slid down my cheeks. Oh how I loved that baby! My sweet friend put her hand on my shoulder and said, with barely more than a whisper, ‘you are God’s child and are loved that much and more!” In that moment I saw myself as the newborn babe held close to God’s heart and my walls crumbled. Old habits die hard is the saying and for good reason! It didn’t happen immediately, but I learned to turn to Him out of and for love instead of fear. The older I get the more I realize he wants the best for us and often we are our own stumbling blocks.
The last verse I want to share is:

  • John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Jesus is sharing that He is the Shepard and wants his sheep to know his voice. He wants to have a relationship with you and, just like a friend or good parent, He wants to pour love and encouragement into you and see you grow and come alive with joy and fulfillment!

He loves you for exactly who you are. He knows you, every atom, every cell, every thought, every hurt, every tear, every gift, every laugh, every love and every success. He knows. He loves you as you. He sees your light in the darkness and reaches out. Step out of the much my freind. Your light sparkles and dances in your own unique pattern and hue! No one on this planet will ever match your specific light, ever. It is unique to you. Just like your fingerprint is unique to only you. ** You are a one of a kind masterpiece and the creator is so very proud of you. So am I! You are still here so I will share what I have learned are my keys to living a better life;

Love easy
Forgive quickly
Learn daily
Be quick to apologize
Be thankful in all things

That’s what makes my life more fulfilling 🙂

** I am referencing the part of the book where the beings are said to each be their own beautiful color of light and that it was vibrant all around them. The book said that one character that was super excited, could be seen from a great distance as his light shot high into the air! I love the way the writer paints this picture! It is so much better in the book! The movie was good, but the book was awesome. In my opinion 🙂 It’s a well written story meant to make you think outside the box. 

I LOVE this book! Although I enjoyed the movie too, this book literally changed my life. ~ Tammey

Taken from Amazon: “Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever. 

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!”

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