Gold

“Instead of bronze, I will bring you GOLD” Isaiah 60:17

This blog post is the unfiltered, mostly unedited (because I’m tired) story of how God has repeatedly brought me Gold, Gold, and more Gold this summer.


In May, I had a lot of plans. I wouldn’t have admitted it, but I had my entire life booked and scheduled down to the last detail. I stacked expectation upon expectation, and I wasn’t going to budge.

But, as He usually does with what we white-knuckle-grip, Jesus came through with a sledge hammer. God literally cornered me into a U-turn. All of the sudden, I found myself boarding a last-minute flight from Medford, Oregon back home to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The flight was three months premature; it knocked all the wind out of me; it drained my pride, my energy, and my confidence to the last drop. As the plane drifted effortlessly over Tulsa’s tiny skyline and I cried for the literal thousandth time, I felt an unrelenting joy and assurance as Papa, grinning ear to ear, spoke to me, “I won.

Sometimes what feels like utter failure is actually your biggest, best-yet, bravest victory. 

In the weeks to come, Papa patiently, meticulously wove tiny joys into my day, teaching me and guiding my every step. He taught me that service doesn’t always look glorious (the best kind never does), and it sure as heck is never about me. He also gave me warrior friends to come home to, perfectly-timed books, the oh-so-sweet Gospel of Mark, and a mom and dad who listen better than anyone else on the planet. Gold. It truly is our Father’s good, better, greatest pleasure to give us the kingdom! (And sometimes the kingdom looks funnier and simpler and more joyful than we expected!)

But even though I was knee-deep in golden gifts, I have to be honest, I felt more submerged in doubt and fear than before. I couldn’t get my confidence back and I was scared, you guys. The reality is that I was job-less, back home three months too early, I felt like a failure, and I had no way of discerning if I had made the right decision or not.

Sometimes it takes time to get on God’s wavelength, and sometimes, it takes time to partner with what God’s already doing. But don’t worry, “God is so good at being God, you can fail your way to your destiny and still win.” Don’t forget to remember that God is the one in control.

Listen close. Any time you take the Big Risk and follow God’s voice, the devil is going to do all in his power to muffle that Voice and call you a bad listener. The devil’s job is to tell you lies about yourself. The Lies won’t ever stop. Just make sure you don’t partner with them.

So, after a string of gracious miracles, Papa God plopped me on another plane. I’m serious. After a few years of seriously following Jesus, I’m beginning to understand that if God will fly you across the country to get your attention, He’ll fly you across the world to reestablish your hope, too. God is good, He’s better than you think.

Following spontaneous plane ride #2, I got to spend almost two weeks in Estonia. If you know me, you know that’s funny. It’s God’s and my best inside joke. For two weeks, Papa bent down, got on my level, wrapped me in His arms, and restored my hope, my confidence, and my strength. Gold. I wouldn’t trade a whole summer for those gentle, joyful weeks, and I know Papa God wouldn’t either. I’ve never felt so reassured by God, but now I get it. God is confident in Himself to accomplish what He started. He trusts Himself, and He trusts me.

Since being home, God has blessed every single lesson onto Good Soil. I’m remembering it all and writing it on my fleshy, little heart. God’s love is psycho. It knows no bounds. He’ll ordain just about anything (like 33,000 frequent flyer miles that you didn’t actually earn) just to remind you of how good He is. God has carefully provided for me in every (seriously. every.) area of need. Most importantly, He’s let me know more of Himself. It’s true what Jesus said, “eternal life is to Know YOU, the one true God” (John 17:3). Knowing Jesus is the fast track to abundant life, and Truth is a person.

I used to be terrified of God having His way in my life, now I know it just leads to more friendship and intimacy with Him!

I’m living out the Romans 8:28 (all things work for good for those who love Him) life, but it’s not because of anything I’ve done. I had the brief gusto to listen and just barely enough in my bank account to buy a few tickets. That’s all it takes. A willing heart, a genuine hunger, and some grit. Abba will do the rest. He has pursued me relentlessly, blessed me abundantly, and taught me patiently. He’s rerouted me completely and I wouldn’t change a thing!

There’s a hundred more stories of God being wildly faithful in these past few months. He stops at nothing to get us woven into His love. The best, most joyful things He’s done, though, is turn my shame into dust and tell me how proud He is of me. I’m covered in the Blood of the Lamb and my DNA has Saint written all over it. I get to be new. I get to join in the Tremendous Love Story!

I hope you feel encouraged. I’m telling you this story for a couple reasons. First, you should know that it’s okay to crash and burn. I do that a lot. It’s okay to not be okay, too. In fact, God encourages honesty in brokenness. Second, God’s faithfulness isn’t isolated to me. He wants nothing more than for you to see His Hand on your life! Squint a little and be patient, you’ll see it, I promise! Last, we are so covered in Love that it’s silly. I think I know better now what Paul meant when he said nothing could separate us from the Tremendous Love. Neither height nor depth, nor failure, nor fear, nor lie, no, NOTHING, can separate us from this Love which is and always will be creating victory in us, Abba’s kiddos.

 

Absurd Grace + Wild Freedom

I want to talk about freedom and grace. Both are vital to following Christ. I heard someone say this once: you belong, and then you believe, and then you behave. Freedom and grace are about belonging. Both are a part of the foundation of Love that God would split the heavens to give us. Inhale. Exhale. Let’s talk about the two things that usher us into being sons and daughters in the Kingdom of God.


Freedom and Grace. Do you ever see one apart from the other? Freedom is what happens when we begin to understand that grace is a field, not a tightrope. God never asked us to perform an impossible balancing act of holiness, direction, and poise. But He does invite us to know His Son whose extravagant love is the door to abundant life (John 10:9-10). Freedom is what happens when we begin to understand that God isn’t keeping score, He’s on his hands and knees in the dirt with us, lifting our eyes up to see the field of grace in which we live. Following Jesus isn’t supposed to look like holding your breath and bracing for impact. We weren’t created to fear failure and expect punishment. We weren’t created to shield our fragile frames with accomplishments and good deeds. We were created to run wild into a grace that is so good it’s backwards. This grace is fatal to our pride because it says that God gets the final say, and He’s already said yes. This grace is dangerous because it opens the door to a never-before-created identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). This grace is wild because it gives permission to God’s children to live guilt-free and fear-free. Grace is risky, but it’s also the soil of freedom.

Grace says God thinks differently about our lives than we do. He doesn’t look at our successes and failures the way we do. What we foolishly weigh and measure is actually seen through the eyes of acceptance and pride. What we’re ashamed of is simply clay, still soaking with process. God can work with it. There’s nothing in all creation that can’t be healed and molded with Love. There’s nothing that God can’t turn to good. Even better, what makes us cringe about ourselves, actually makes God explode with compassion. He’s better than you think. He’s a good Father. Once, He split the heavens open just to tell His Kid how proud He was (Matthew 3:17). Turns out, God is on our side before we even do anything for Him. He’s already seated us in heaven (Ephesians 2:6). God knows how the story ends with you. He’s not worried or in a hurry. He’s confident in Himself and He’s confident in you. He has no problem taking time to adore you and be pleased with you. He gives you the Kingdom joyfully (Luke 12:32), and He’s in no hurry to watch as you become more and more like His Son.

I used to think God withdrew from me when I got messy, now I know He leans in. He doesn’t hate the mess; He doesn’t recoil when we make mistakes; He doesn’t pick and choose what He likes about us. He likes it all. There’s nothing we can do to surprise God, therefore nothing we can do to disappoint Him. “God is never disillusioned by you; God never had any illusions about you in the first place” (W.P. Young) That’s grace. It’s the movement of God towards us, not away from us. It’s God’s deliberate, joyfully made decision to make an eternal covenant with us, bones and mess and all.

The freedom we receive when we understand grace, that we are not just chosen but genuinely accepted, is unparalleled. Our freedom can only be made real when we drop the chains and facades of guilt and fear; when we understand that Christ is never self-conscious, and therefore totally comfortable welcoming a ragamuffin into His presence. Freedom begins when we loosen that white-knuckle grip we have on the lies we believe about ourselves. “God knows you for who you truly are and grieves for the distance between that truth and what you believe about yourself” (W.P. Young). Freedom is simply agreeing with God about our identities. He made us in His image for His glory. Freedom knows that God’s character is unchanging, so we don’t have to waste time being uncertain of how He feels about us. Before the beginning, there wasn’t just God. There was The Trinity. Each a piece of God, giving and taking Love. And it is in that image of Love in which we were made. A love that doesn’t just run out. We are secure in Love and accepted in Grace. Freedom happens when you dare to believe it. It’ll be scary, because freedom after slavery always feels uncomfortable. But we’re brave. So walk into it. I triple dog dare you.

 

Blue Collar Love

Part of following Jesus is “doing the laundry” of Love. Blue collar love implies sweat, dirt, and blood. Sometimes blue collar love can be as anticlimactic as an exhale. Releasing forgiveness, murdering your preferences, discarding pride, standing in the gap of someone else’s faults and bearing the weight: all of these are a mere exhale, one that most of us hold in ourselves until the carbon eats us from the inside. But blue collar love is a post refrain, as easy as laying into a soft garden to sleep, as simple as letting your head sink below the lapping water. It won’t always be glamorous or noteworthy or inspirational; but it will always be an exhale; always a Promise, that when you let the air out, you will then be invited to breathe in new Love, that which makes and molds you into your truest you. Blue collar love is humming during the night shift, letting a person go, unclenching your fists from that white knuckle grip on pain that you have had for years. Blue collar love is holding hands, washing feet, and breathing His last. Blue collar love is as simple as dying.

Though it sounds dull enough to be unfulfilling, there is a growing rumor of Good News. Perhaps no one will see your love but Him who coined the Love Story in the first place. Perhaps it will take until eternity for Him to happily remind you of what you did that looked so much like Him. He’ll place His hand on your heart and, at last, all of you will be known and welcomed in. In that moment, every moment you chose Love over yourself, every time you exhaled, will begin to sing. The sweat, dirt, and blood will turn to rose gold. Every hill you chose to die on will be affirming the truth.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You are just like My Son.”

Life

Our friend Paul said, “it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). The life, death, and life again of Jesus gave Paul relentless permission to lay down his own, old life. Look again. Paul was so resurrected by Jesus, that he was able to fully and entirely release his old life, surrender his preferences, and be utterly consumed by the Love of Jesus. All I can think of is how grateful Paul must have been to relinquish that old life. When Paul met Jesus, he was confident that he was a new man. When Paul met Jesus, he experienced forgiveness and love so unconditional, that his only response was to leave his old life and never turn back. Paul never felt the need to resurrect what Jesus had forgiven. Out with the old, and in with the new.

Jesus gives us full permission to never carry our old self with us again. When we show up with all our baggage, Jesus gives us permission to toss it out. The shame, the fear, the sin, the mistakes… those don’t have to come with us into our walk with Jesus. Instead, Jesus forgives us, restores us, heals us, and invites us to rest. (Matthew 11:28) If it sounds too good to be true, then you’re headed in the right direction. If it’s offensive to your inner pharisee, good. Grace is scandalous and hope is wild.

I think Jesus is all about freedom. I think He wells up with joy when we get free from bondage. I think life in Jesus is meant to be less of a power struggle and more of a sigh of relief. I’m serious. When you choose Jesus, He gives you permission to leave the old behind. That’s why He calls us new. (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus is on our team. I forget that sometimes. I tend to think I’m trying to earn a place with Him, but He’s been at the altar for a long time, and He’s grinning. 

Take up your cross daily. Jesus says that a lot. I used to read that and get really nervous, not wanting to suffer too much; not wanting to give up too much. But then Jesus showed me something beautiful and insane. When Jesus talks about the Cross, He compares it to Love. When anyone in scripture talks about the Cross, they call it a full manifestation of Papa God’s Love (1 John 4:10, Romans 5:8). So when Jesus beckons me to carry my cross, He’s beckoning me to carry nothing but unconditional Love. For myself, for my neighbors, for Him. Will that Love be blue collar and sacrificial? Absolutely. But that’s what makes it deep.

Taking up your cross means taking up Love, which, by the way, is the only weight we were created to bear. Taking up your cross means choosing unconditional love even when your circumstances are making the air in your lungs thin. It means unconditionally loving yourself, because we cannot give away what we do not possess. It means unconditionally loving, accepting, forgiving everyone. Every one. Unconditional Love means receiving His unconditional pursuit of us. It means going under the knife and choosing Him, even when it’s nerve wracking. Take up your cross. Carry Love. You were made for it.

The children of Abba are hard-wired to carry True Love, and they don’t ever have to bring their past into their new life. So, I pray you take up your cross daily, choosing to receive Papa God’s Love; choosing to Love Him back, to Love yourself, and to Love everybody. I hope you lose your life. Every bit of it. I hope you feel safe to toss away the things that used to cause you shame. I hope you lose what you wanted to control. I hope you lose everything that isn’t saturated in Jesus.

I have a pretty good feeling that, when you do, you’ll find that the heart that’s beating in your chest isn’t yours, it’s His, and all the rest will be grace, and joy, and peace.

 

 

 

 

What’s So Scary About That?

Today, God said a couple things to me that freed me.

Following Jesus means being freed from death, despair, and impending doom. It’s simple. When Jesus talked about the identity of His followers, He used words like abundant(john 10:10), joyful (john 15:11), and free (john 8:32). Those verses don’t talk about our circumstances. But they do talk about our identities. Jesus reminded me that following Him means I don’t have to be defined by my circumstances anymore. I can be so wrapped up in Him that my world could crash down, but my identity won’t. The storm outside me doesn’t have to create a storm inside me. Jesus has given me an identity, and He has given me permission to settle for nothing less than abundance, joy,  and freedom.

Jesus didn’t ask you to put so much pressure on yourself. The more pressure you put on yourself, the less Jesus gets to be the savior. Not to mention, it’s exhausting to strive to save something that’s already been saved. Take the pressure off. Take the burdens off. Jesus told us His yoke is easy, not back breaking. He said following Him would look a lot like rest (Matthew 11:28). When you put pressure on yourself, you end up punishing yourself when you fail to fulfill your own requirements. But punishment, something deeply intertwined with fear, doesn’t coexist with love (1 John 4:18). When the pressure is on us, Jesus doesn’t get to be the hero, His blood means nothing, and the sweet promises of God get put on hold. And how awful would it be if, after everything Jesus did, salvation was dependent on us? That wouldn’t be salvation. So take the pressure off yourself. Let His glory take care of everything.

The trenches aren’t as scary as you think. I have been living in the trenches this past year. What I mean by “the trenches” is the hard stuff. The valley and not the mountaintop. I think I have dwelt among anxiety, spiritual warfare, loneliness, and doubt more this past year than in my entire life combined. But God said something to me about my fears and about the trenches that made me laugh: “What’s so scary about that?” My Jesus literally said that about what I’ve been referring to as torment, death, and captivity. Now, I know that initially sounds insensitive. But we know Jesus isn’t insensitive so what was He really doing? He was robbing the grave. HAHA! Our Father has been robbing the grave for a long time now, and He just did it again. What I declared dead in my life, Jesus simply told me wasn’t scary to Him. And I learned something really cool: if God’s not afraid of it, I don’t have to be either. Jesus stripped the power from my fear. Jesus freed me from bondage. Jesus restored my hope. When I agree with Jesus and not my fears, I get to experience more of that abundant life that He promised me. So I look my pain, fear, lies in the eye and I say “what’s so scary about that?” Try it, it’s pretty freeing.

Finally, God reminded me that for love to be unconditional, it has to be blue collar, willing to get it’s hands dirty, unashamed, and unafraid. That’s who my Jesus is. He loves me and you unconditionally. He says there is nothing that can separate the fullness of His love from us. In a way, we’re stuck with God’s love (romans 8:39). It’s not going anywhere. Jesus isn’t going anywhere. No matter how long and hard I fight my worthiness, no matter how many times I choose the lie over the truth, no matter how much I push Him back. He’s Immanuel. God with us. God with us. He’s not ashamed of us or what we have done, so we’re not shameful. He’s not angry with us. He’s not eternally disappointed. He’s not stoic. He’s loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, gentle, consistent, patient, and good. Unconditional love has declared that you are good. He made a Love investment and He’s holding out to the end where there will be a wedding banquet that will fill the heavens with reunion, deep joy, untamed celebration, and wild love. Unconditional love is my best friend. It’s for me, and it gets to come from me too, and it’s an invitation I no longer want to ignore.

Trust


35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41


So there’s this story in the gospel narrative where Jesus and His disciples are crossing the sea in a boat and a storm begins. It’s so wild that water begins to flood into their boat. Let’s talk about that storm. The storm was so aggressive that seasoned fishermen, men well acquainted with the wild, unpredictable nature of the sea, were convinced they were going to die. And something I’ve been learning is that if fishermen think a boat is sinking, it’s definitely sinking.

But Jesus is asleep in the sinking boat.

I’m not sure why I think this is funny. The disciples weren’t amused though. In the face of impending doom, the disciples shake Jesus awake and ask bitterly, “do you not care that we are perishing?” 

One part of their question sticks out to me: Do you not care?

Can you imagine wild-eyed disciples, terrified for their lives, screaming indignantly at Jesus, wondering desperately if He even cares? Right about now I am picturing myself. I tend to shake my fists at Jesus a lot, attempting to remind Him that the waves of life are causing my boat to sink, and, honestly, I ask Him if He even cares about me, too.

Back to the raging sea, I have something to point out. Up to this point in Mark’s gospel, Jesus hasn’t calmed any seas yet. The disciples don’t know Him as someone who can make winds and waves obey. So when Jesus so pointedly asks “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” It’s not because He’s expecting the disciples to know that He could calm a storm. He knew they were still learning the miracles up His sleeve. When Jesus calls out their lack of faith, He’s not calling out their lack of faith in His miracle-working ability; He’s calling out their lack of faith in His care for them. In summary, the disciples ask “do you even care?” and Jesus responds, “have you really not been convinced of my Love yet?” Jesus isn’t asking us to have His repertoire of miracles memorized, He just wants us to know His character. He wants us to have our eyes set on His compassion, His mercy, His grace, and His love so much so, that when the boat does indeed sink, we are  still confidant in our Savior’s gentle care for us.

Jesus intertwines faith with knowing Him deep. He invites us to know Him. He beckons us into relationship with Him. The phenomenon of faith, utter trust, and reckless abandon, happens when we know and remember who Jesus has proven Himself to be. And He has proven Himself to be the Good Shepherd. We can look at all the miracles He performed and be impressed, but it’s the why behind those miracles that will change the way we sleep in a storm. Why did Jesus cleanse lepers, restore sight to the blind, and heal the sick? Because He had compassion on them, and He wanted them to have a chance at a life in community, free of being identified as dirty, useless, and broken. Why did He forgive adulterous women and covetous tax collectors?  Because He loved them deeply and wanted their lives to be changed by the free gift of grace. He wants you to know those types of things about Him. He wants you to know how trustworthy He is and how deeply He cares for you. He is intimately aware of your ships and the way they sink, He just wants you to know He’s with you in the storm and He won’t let you perish.

Jesus has invited us into utter trust in Him, and based on His character, I don’t think He would do that if He were not absurdly confident in Himself to care after us with upmost dedication, love, and tenderness.

Beauty.

“A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that He finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in Him, she is enough.” -John Eldredge


I used to hate my body. I’m serious. Any curve or trace of fat sent me spiraling. I was rigidly uncomfortable in my own body, intimately aware of my weight, how I looked from every angle, and what every flaw in me was. At a young age, I learned that eating less made me feel better. So I did. For eight years. I stripped my calorie intake, stared into mirrors with all frustration, and trained myself in the art of thinking skinny. I learned how to poise myself on the edge of a chair so my legs would look tiny. I overtrained and overworked my body. And food, the very thing meant to sustain me, literally repulsed me. It felt like nothing to me though. I didn’t mind that I was destroying my body, because I wanted to be in control, and I wanted to look a certain way. I was bending and breaking under the pressure to be in control, to be perfect, to be beautiful. What a life, huh? Truth is, I was hurting myself. I wasn’t loving myself, my heart or my body, and, in turn, I was hurting the people around me. My manipulation of food bred comparison, and invited others to feel manipulated and give into their own body image issues. That’s what self-hate does, it invites everyone else to the pity party; misery loves company, right? My fear of food and hatred of my own body made the atmosphere around me unsafe. The people who loved me deepest were watching me flounder. When I partnered with lies about myself and about beauty, I was casting love away, inviting shame, and breeding death.


And that was my life of striving for beauty and worth. I was off the mark though. Turns out, what I thought was a conversation on body image, was actually a lesson in loving myself. What I thought was a conversation on beauty, was actually a lesson in identity. God is good at going deeper. He sees past the behavior, past the eloquent wording, past the discrepancies and distractions, into the needs of His daughters.

So what was I needing? When I was so deeply dissatisfied with my body, what was my soul craving? The sweet song of humanity is that we need love. When I was hating my small frame, what I was actually craving was Jesus’s sweet, unchanging love. I realized that I, along with so many of my sisters, felt damaged by the unpredictable waves of life. I’d faced rejection that made no sense to me. The burden of swaying affections that came and went surrounded me. Uncertainty of what would happen to my heart next made me take all control into my fearful, white-knuckle grip. In all of my striving, I was hungry for Jesus’ steadfast love. I was longing for love to come in and decide to stay. I thought rejection had power over me, so I fled from it and battled it, failing to understand the banner of commitment over me. Jesus knew who I was when He wed me, and He’s not going anywhere. And to this need for steadfast love, God, with kind eyes peering all the way into mine says, I have no intention of leaving you. I will never leave you or forsake you. I’m in this. You’re my girl. You’re her, and you’re worth it.

What else was I needing? If Jesus’ love was behind me, what was I missing? I was missing love from myself. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Inside of the greatest commandments, Jesus urges us to love ourselves. Our ability to love others will only go so far as we are able to love ourselves. Our ability to receive Papa’s love and love ourselves determines our ability to love others. Jesus says, “As the Father loves me, so I have loved you.” Do you see what’s happening there? Jesus isn’t just saying that He loves us with the same affection and gravity of love as God loves Him. He’s also saying that His love for us is entirely rooted in His acceptance of God’s Love. In order for Jesus to turn and love us, He had to be rooted in His own belovedness first. I wasn’t doing that. I was actually against loving myself. Shaming my own body, withholding food, and speaking negatively over myself was rivaling the rest of love in my life. I couldn’t receive love in full or give it away in full until I could utter the words, “I love you, Nina.” And through my terrifying journey into loving myself, Jesus, putting his hands on my shoulders and smiling says, I am proud of you for loving yourself well. I’ll be here every step of the way to teach you how to drench yourself in love worthy of a royal daughter.  

What else was I needing? To understand beauty the way God created it. Beauty on my terms has far too much to do with physical. On Abba’s terms, He’s looking into the heart He created. He’s disregarding culture entirely and pursuing the depth of beauty that He planted in me when He breathed life into my lungs. He’s revealing to me that beauty is rooted in the creator. My beauty is reminiscent of my Father. My heart, my soul, my head to my toes, are image-bearers of Him. Beauty on God’s terms is free of what the world wants. Beauty on God’s term stops being a pawn in a cruel game of chess and starts being an absurdly free expression of indwelling Love. Jesus alive in me is the root of my beauty. To my misunderstanding of beauty, Abba shows me exactly what He thinks of me. You’re just like my beloved Son. You’re a totally unique expression of my Love. I did an amazing job creating you. 


So there’s my story and what I learned after I chose freedom. Again, freedom is always a choice, and healing is sometimes blue collar. What I’ve learned after time with Abba is that He doesn’t leave His children in pain. He doesn’t rest until we know the truth. He’s determined. He’s a good Dad. I learned that it doesn’t matter how deep into sin you are because Christ already died. Sin died with Him. What’s holding you back isn’t living. It has no real power. When Jesus was resurrected, so were you. The only thing staying in the grave is sin. YOU have power. You can partner with misery, which will always be safe; or you can say yes to freedom, which you were created for.