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Freedom from a Facade

Today’s Reflection

PURSUING WHOLENESS HAS LED ME TO freedom from a façade. I’m not pretending to have it all together anymore. Seeking wholeness has trained me to live in very authentic, organic, consistent ways. I live with integrity and can be my true self; I’m not hiding from anybody. I’ve discovered that God’s love for me is not dependent upon my productivity or my positivity. Because I am close to Jesus, I can be vulnerable, and my vulnerability might help others on their spiritual journey. There is no substitute for closeness with Jesus on this soul reset journey. He is the first thing, the last thing, and everything in between!

—Junius B. Dotson
Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

What steps can you take to experience a soul reset and live out your most authentic life? What do you need to lay down or take up to live lightly and freely with Jesus? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
—Matthew 11:28b-30 (The Message)

Prayer for the Week

“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” —Psalm 63:1 (NRSV) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill September 8, 2019, 5:50 am

    Again, a bit of conviction by the Holy Spirit, regarding my silence this past Wednesday night at the first small group study. Twice already this morning. The word of the day from gratefulness.org which I awakened to this morning…”It takes courage to break through the masks we have co-constructed and speak from the truth of our hearts.” That would be three nudges, or are they knocks upside my head – from the Holy Spirit. Father – keep nudging me, shoving me, pushing me outside of my comfort zone, my introverted self, to be authentic – which can lead to others’ authenticity. This is my story – which You have written for me. May I tell it and the goodness and mercy which You have provided throughout.
    Grateful for Suzanne – who knew the memorial service yesterday would be hard for me – and she sat with me, with her arm around me as I cried throughout. Again, God’s grace – supplying me with support. She listens, as I tell her this is the 8th calling hours/funeral service since February. How crazy is that? That’s not normal. I said – eight is enough, and we chuckled.
    I was grateful to spend time with my god daughter last evening. She is playing for her school’s tennis team and I have been to several matches. So far she and her doubles partner have not lost. But they have a tough match this coming Tuesday. So, she asked me to come hit with her last night, to help her with her serve. It was just what I needed, to be outside on a beautiful evening, spending time with her.
    Prayers for the concerns of this group, for those we have not heard from in quite a while. Father – hold each one of them…Rusty and K, Marcy, Betsy. Also for Connie and Andrea – it seems longer than usual for them as well.

  • Jill September 8, 2019, 6:07 am

    Well, did it again…hit that submit button a bit too quick.
    From Psalm 62 – this morning – likely something I have already referenced, but it struck me anew – “On God rests my deliverance” (v.7). Previously in verse 3 – it begins “How long”? Yes, Father, how long will I have to attend these funerals, how long must I see those near and dear to me hurting? How long? Yes – He knows. And on Him rests my deliverance…in His perfect timing. He is working here, and I must be patient and vigilant. Yes, I know my Redeemer lives…and is holding me.

  • robert moeller September 8, 2019, 6:36 am

    A great lesson, very true. In many things I am very open, in some situations I have paid dearly for it. God knows all, that’s a real blessing. Much easier to talk to God many times than to people. That is a blessing as well.

    Still healing from my oral surgery. The site of the surgery is fine, I’m a little sore in the surrounding area or where it was hard to get in to work. Anneliese is recovering from her PM treatment. Meesook has surgery tomorrow. TomE
    is recovering from his surgery. Will learn more about how my church family is doing very shortly.

    Hope there is communion today, will have the last food, figs, in today’s Taste and See series.

    Will celebrate my son’s birthday today.

    Blessings and prayers for you all.

  • robert moeller September 8, 2019, 6:42 am

    8 in a month is surely more than enough, on the other hand I’m sure there are more than 8 people being born as well. My uncle told us at his aunt’s our great-aunt’s funeral, “dying is part of life.” That has stayed with me since I heard it.

    Would also love to hear from the dear folks you mentioned Jill.

    Peace be with you.

  • Julie September 8, 2019, 8:50 am

    I am very much an introvert and find it very difficult to share freely. I relinguish only the most superficial details and never share my inner feelings or thoughts. I have learned from early childhood that no one cares about my feelings and that by revealing vulnerabilities results in attacks. I attended meetings of a local Adult Children of Alcoholics many years ago and would sometimes open my heart then, but then everyone else had similar stories which made sharing easier.
    Prayers for Jill and her battered soul. I am dating myself as I also understand the reference (I enjoyed that show and mourn the age of television wholesomeness). Be kind to yourself, share when you feel ready and realize that your soul has been dealt many blows and sometimes we need time to reflect inwardly and regroup before allowing others in.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may both heal well and quickly. Happy birthday to Erich and may today’s celebration be enjoyed by all.
    Prayers also fo thos we haven’t heard from I, too, miss their thoughtful comments. We gain so much from each others perspectives.
    Prayers for Mary. I pray her Sunday was full of worship and time with family and friends.
    Prayers for BJ and may she gain much from the UR Devotionals.
    I, too, find the words from Psalm 62 reassuring, that God assures us of deliverance. Ultimately we will be delivered to his kingdom though on this earth we may hurt and mourn.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you UR family

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 8, 2019, 10:04 am

    Thanks Julie!
    Attended a friend’s mother funeral wake tonight after church. Our choir rendered two songs. Very grateful for a friend who stayed near my place to go back together with. Was quite late already. Thank God my parents were not around to be worried about me.

    Blessings!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 8, 2019, 10:53 pm

      Need to be always ready to help others last minute especially in church. Like to be prepared for the tasks entrusted to me cause I like to give my best. Recently, God has taught me to rely on Him instead

      Thank you God!

  • April September 8, 2019, 7:12 pm

    What do you need to lay down or take up to live lightly and freely with Jesus?
    My September devotions is about leaves and relates to this question as it relates the falling of leaves to letting go and realizing that the leaves do fall. While some might relate this to the circle of life, and I am holding you Jill in my prayers as you have attended 8 funerals in such a short time, it could be letting go (letting the leaves drop) of anger, resentment, fear, judgment, etc. I am working on judgment…especially related to someone for not helping with a big project. Then I remember to recognize that maybe they are doing their best…hummmm….well, with that idea, I decided to alter my actions one day. I decided that I had done my best for several days and needed a break…so I just sat in my favorite chair and read a book. I did not do any work on the project. The next day, I did not do work on the project either, more reading. Then I heard a new idea….an offer to help with measurable actions…I could hardly refrain from shouting Praise the Lord!! I am still trying to comprehend what this all means, but for now, I am sleeping well and saying thank you Lord!!
    This situation also relates to a question earlier in the week about whether you have ever felt you had to do it all at church. When we were first married, the church asked us to be on the nomination committee. We said yes and then learned that among the positions we were to nominate people for was the youth group leaders. We asked and asked without a positive response so we took it back to the nominating committee for help. We were told, if you can’t find anyone to do the job, do it yourself. Oh my…not what we were expecting…but okay, we did our best for the year….when we finished the year, we resigned and never volunteered for the nominating committee again. I did volunteer to help with Sunday school music because I knew there were others that would help, and that was a positive experience. My husband never took another job. We are now in another church and are learning that if you can’t do it yourself, don’t rely on others, most likely they are not available either. The positions we can do around our schedule (baking cookies and delivering to the church to be frozen for the correct date) or donating food for the lunch bag program are the ones that we are happy to do.
    I am pondering if I am selfish or okay when I consider the question: What do you need to lay down or take up to live lightly and freely with Jesus? How can I balance this with “rock” and “rest” and “deliverance” of Psalm 62…..
    Holding our UR in my prayers, hugs to all, Blessings…

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