For a couple of weeks now the album Blackout by Steffany Gretzinger has been playing on repeat. It’s been one of those in season albums for me as every song on this album has had some sort of meaning and ministered to me.

And just today, as I was putting together an Ikea nightstand that’s been sitting in the box for about two months just waiting until I had time, I was listening to the album mentioned above and her song Blackout was just another Aha moment for me – hence today’s blog post.

This is the song’s description from her website:

Blackout heralds the message that even when circumstances bend towards chaos, light that shines from the inside out cannot be dimmed. 1

The last few months have been hard as I have journeyed through dealing with a person who was out to do me reputational harm. He likes to focus his energy on doing everything he can to harass me, including using passive aggressive behaviours, bullying tactics and name calling.  And because I believe God has called me to take a stand and to endure in this volunteer position, I am staying the course and will continue to do so. (No, not in an abusive way!)

Staying the course has taught and reminded me of many things. It has taught me to be patient and to continue to cultivate a deep reliance on God. When someone falsely says something about you, I think our natural tendency is to want to fight back, to want justice – Now! But I’ve remained remarkably calm during these last few months- that’s a God thing! In addition to that, I have asked the Lord to reveal to me any areas that my heart needs to change and any lessons I need to learn during this season. I don’t want this opportunity wasted if I can grow in and through it, especially as God continues to call me to deeper refining and deeper levels of trust.

I’ve been reminded once again that God is my righteousness and His righteousness cannot be taken away.  The throne room is always open to those longing to connect with God. I can’t tell you how many times I have leaned into that sacred space and asked God to be my victor and to expose those things that are not in accordance with His will. The Psalms have been particularly meaningful in this season. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), and time and time again we find him calling out to God for justice and waiting for God to act.

Staying the course has taught me in an even greater measure that my confidence to lead and do what’s right is not dependent on what another person thinks of me – it’s part of stewarding the call. At the very end of his letter to the Colossians, Paul also sends a message directly to Archippus. Paul says to him, “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” (Co 4:17)

I wonder if Archippus was dealing with other leaders who were trying to cause him harm? We’re not told what is happening, but whatever it was, it warranted a reminder from Paul for Archippus to stay the course and complete the ministry that had been entrusted to him.

During this season it has been critical for me to remember that we fight not against flesh and blood – this is a crucial perspective if you want to continue to show up in life and lead with integrity. Behaviours may be evil (we can judge fruit), but every single person is God’s workmanship that God is seeking to draw unto himself and to transform from the inside out.

I absolutely love who we are in Christ and that Christ in us cannot be taken away or dimmed! How amazing is that?! So the next time you have to show up in the midst of the hard, ask God to continue to shine in and through you.

“You can’t turn out a light shining from the inside.”

-Steffany Gretzinger

If this post speaks to you today, take some time to remind yourself of the things that Jesus has given you – new mercy, His peace, His abiding presence in you, a hope, a future, etc., that cannot be taken away. Let your heart, mind, and spirit be strengthened by His truth about you and the things He’s given you, which no one can take away!

Reverend Carmen

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