Barbie Doll Christian

I am not a Barbie Doll Christian. In other words, I am not a “plastic” (as someone I know describes it) fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of Christian. I am an emotional, passionate, upside down, sometimes backwards, insanely intense Christian woman. Yet, my deepest desire is to reflect my Savior.

You might be wondering what this has to do with this week’s Verse-by-Verse Reflection link-up. Actually, it has everything to do with it. For the past two weeks, I have diligently sought God to lead me through a wow-you-kind of analysis on Paul’s appeal to the Thessalonians:

Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (HCSB 1 Thess. 5:16-18)
Instead of a getting, a Holy Spirit inspired, poignant and thought provoking summary—I had a meltdown. Because of this, I was tempted not to write a post regarding this passage. After all, my meltdown was in stark contrast to Paul’s exhortation. In fact, I felt embarrassed, somewhat humiliated, foolish, and as I so publicly announced on FB “at the end of my rope.”
Interestingly, one reason Paul wrote to the Thessalonians was to encourage them during a time of immense persecution and suffering. Paul did not offer the Thessalonians empty words, he wrote from experience. In 2 Corinthians 4:8, Paul writes, “We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed” (HCSB).
Truth is; the trials and circumstances I am dealing with right now have me feeling the “pressure”; I am “perplexed,” confused, bewildered, dumbfounded; I am “persecuted” and misunderstood, as well as “struck down.” Truth is; these trials seem to be never ending. In fact, my meltdown was due more to the longevity than the trial itself. Truth is; it is really hard to believe God has a purpose in the midst of ongoing hardship. BUT he does.
...we also rejoice in our affliction, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. (HCSB Rom. 5:3-4)
Instead of rejoicing and giving thanks, I felt like Paul who felt so “completely overwhelmed—beyond [his] strength—so that [he] even despaired of life” (HCSB 2 Cor. 1:8-9). To be honest, I am thankful Paul gives us a glimpse into his own “meltdown.” Paul shows us his humanity.
Something happens when we “come to the end of our rope.” Paul recognized it. I recognized it as I buried my face in my already snotty tissue. We surrender.
Paul believed affliction leads us to surrender our own strength, our own will, our own devices and scheming, and our dependence on self, to a deep abiding “trust in God who raises the dead” (HCSB 2 Cor. 1:9). This trust is an acknowledgement that our current circumstances are part of “…God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (HCSB 1 Thess. 6:18).
God does not send evil to accomplish His purpose in our lives, but He does not always remove our affliction or suffering. Rather, our suffering forces us to look beyond the circumstances and ourselves to God’s sovereignty over every facet of our life. Suffering drives us into deeper prayer. Prayer changes our perspective; thereby, freeing us to rejoice in all things.
You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that you have the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (HCSB 1Pet. 3:15)
 Meltdown or not, cool, calm and collected—or not, what really matters is a life surrendered to Christ Jesus. And if you are like me, it’s ok to have a good cry—a meltdown, once in a while…it’s the purest, most honest acknowledgement of our need for Christ. After all is said and done Just Turn the Page for “..His mercies never end. They are new every morning” (HCSB Lam. 3:22-23).
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Just Turn The Page: Barbie Doll Christian

Friday, June 27, 2014

Barbie Doll Christian

I am not a Barbie Doll Christian. In other words, I am not a “plastic” (as someone I know describes it) fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of Christian. I am an emotional, passionate, upside down, sometimes backwards, insanely intense Christian woman. Yet, my deepest desire is to reflect my Savior.

You might be wondering what this has to do with this week’s Verse-by-Verse Reflection link-up. Actually, it has everything to do with it. For the past two weeks, I have diligently sought God to lead me through a wow-you-kind of analysis on Paul’s appeal to the Thessalonians:

Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (HCSB 1 Thess. 5:16-18)
Instead of a getting, a Holy Spirit inspired, poignant and thought provoking summary—I had a meltdown. Because of this, I was tempted not to write a post regarding this passage. After all, my meltdown was in stark contrast to Paul’s exhortation. In fact, I felt embarrassed, somewhat humiliated, foolish, and as I so publicly announced on FB “at the end of my rope.”
Interestingly, one reason Paul wrote to the Thessalonians was to encourage them during a time of immense persecution and suffering. Paul did not offer the Thessalonians empty words, he wrote from experience. In 2 Corinthians 4:8, Paul writes, “We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed” (HCSB).
Truth is; the trials and circumstances I am dealing with right now have me feeling the “pressure”; I am “perplexed,” confused, bewildered, dumbfounded; I am “persecuted” and misunderstood, as well as “struck down.” Truth is; these trials seem to be never ending. In fact, my meltdown was due more to the longevity than the trial itself. Truth is; it is really hard to believe God has a purpose in the midst of ongoing hardship. BUT he does.
...we also rejoice in our affliction, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. (HCSB Rom. 5:3-4)
Instead of rejoicing and giving thanks, I felt like Paul who felt so “completely overwhelmed—beyond [his] strength—so that [he] even despaired of life” (HCSB 2 Cor. 1:8-9). To be honest, I am thankful Paul gives us a glimpse into his own “meltdown.” Paul shows us his humanity.
Something happens when we “come to the end of our rope.” Paul recognized it. I recognized it as I buried my face in my already snotty tissue. We surrender.
Paul believed affliction leads us to surrender our own strength, our own will, our own devices and scheming, and our dependence on self, to a deep abiding “trust in God who raises the dead” (HCSB 2 Cor. 1:9). This trust is an acknowledgement that our current circumstances are part of “…God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (HCSB 1 Thess. 6:18).
God does not send evil to accomplish His purpose in our lives, but He does not always remove our affliction or suffering. Rather, our suffering forces us to look beyond the circumstances and ourselves to God’s sovereignty over every facet of our life. Suffering drives us into deeper prayer. Prayer changes our perspective; thereby, freeing us to rejoice in all things.
You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that you have the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (HCSB 1Pet. 3:15)
 Meltdown or not, cool, calm and collected—or not, what really matters is a life surrendered to Christ Jesus. And if you are like me, it’s ok to have a good cry—a meltdown, once in a while…it’s the purest, most honest acknowledgement of our need for Christ. After all is said and done Just Turn the Page for “..His mercies never end. They are new every morning” (HCSB Lam. 3:22-23).
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5 Comments:

At June 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM , Blogger Buife D. Nomeh said...

Hi Sam,
I cannot really, fully, tell you how glad I am that you overcame the temptation and got to write this post.

I'm always amazed when I'm facing a storm and I wanna hold it in...you know, I trust that God is in control...and God is all like, 'shed the tears, show Me your pain.'

It doesn't mean that having a meltdown and burying your face in your tissue, or pillow case (like I do) is showing contempt for the trial and God, for allowing it; but it goes to show God that we really have nowhere else to go; we really do not know how to rejoice; but, we are so willing to learn and would have Him teach us.

Thanks again dear. The Lord's mighty right hand hold you as your end-of-the-rope-experience passes by.

 
At June 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Meltdown or not, you're on the right track! Thanks for sharing this post. It really brought light to my situation too. God Bless!

 
At July 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Chris Malkemes said...

Where are you, my girl. Your voice needs to be heard.

 
At July 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM , Blogger Samantha Coon said...

Michelle and Buife,

First, I apologize for taking so long to reply. It really was not intentional. Life keeps throwing me curveballs and I have a little trouble keeping up. But I am back, and I want to thank you for your comments and encouragement. I look forward to reading your posts, as well as future link-ups.

Many Blessings,
Samantha

 
At July 23, 2014 at 4:34 PM , Blogger Samantha Coon said...

Chris,

God answers prayers in unbelievable ways. You would have never known I was struggling with whether or not my voice mattered. You listened. Your message brought tears to my eyes, and the encouragement to push past all my fears, doubts, and insecurities. Thank you!

May God richly bless you!
Samantha

 

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