I have always collected words, phrases, thoughts, etc. It is something I have always done. In middle school, I spent recess periods seated at the entrance of the playground on a huge concrete rock poured over a book. Words have always been important. In high school, words took on a distorted meaning. I could get negative viewpoint from anything you said. “You look good today”… translated to “You’ve never looked good before”. I wrote poems that were silent vigils to who I thought I was :ugly and evil.
I turned thirty on Monday. On Sunday, I went to church and a video-game cafe. On Monday, I started my birthday with a bio-psycho-social assessment at 9 am. I spent the day on social media and half-working on freelance editing projects. On Tuesday, I went to “Moving In the Spirit” class. On Wednesday, I went to Sexual Assault Trauma Art therapy group. These are the places I collected words from this week.
On Sunday, I collected this from the sermon:
“The name God gives you is Beloved. It’s permanent…If the sun is shining, if it’s raining, we are His Beloved.”
On Monday, I got this as a Facebook message from a former coworker who now goes to my church:
” Declare favor to flood you, joy to ambush you, the love of the father to cradle you and overflow from inside out May you have a blessed birthday and I believe this year you will see the joy of the lord like never before. that the word says the joy of the lord is our strength and this is your year to see that afresh and life changing manifestation of that scripture alive in your life in every area. Many blessings. xoxo enjoy your birthday”
On Tuesday, at the church office in church people class about the Holy Spirit I collected words and much more. I cannot pick out a phrase that resonated because I’d probably have to photocopy my whole notebook. However, I picked up the story of Stephen. I didn’t know that Stephen was like the leader of the meals on wheels program in acts. He wasn’t anybody special but God poured out his spirit and gave access to everyone to miraculous power. He wasn’t super educated or super-smart. He wasn’t a pastor or an evangelist. Yet somehow he was walking around performing signs and wonders.
Someone on Tuesday also told me to declare three times every morning and every night that I am healed. She told me to talk to myself because I am healed. It’s not my circumstances that need changing. It’s my eyes that need to be open to see it. It’s me that needs to believe I’m healed.
On Wednesday , in a group where we have all shared our deeply intimate sexual assault stories I collected this:
” Today is a day that I’ve never lived before”. I cannot continue to approach today like it’s yesterday. No I need a new, fresh experience.
Someone also read a poem over me called wild geese by Mary Oliver . Although the poem says ” Announcing your place in the family of things” I heard about my place in the family of God and about my mission on this earth. I used to think when I used Luke 4: 18 that I was pulling it out of its context. I’m actually not. Yes it was a prophecy that applied to Jesus but I’ve been adopted into the family of God and its now my mission too.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
I sit here at this computer and my heart is full. My life is probably a testament to Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing can separate me. I’m beloved. I cannot give it back. I’m His.