I've noticed over the past year, this blog is becoming less about my life under construction, and much more about me under construction. God has slowly been working on revealing my identity.
Just over a year ago, God taught both Josiah and I powerful lessons on how He wanted us to communicate and what our roles were in our marriage. We wrote a whole series on it last November called Marriage Renovations.
Then, God did the unthinkable and asked me to be more purposefully feminine, partially by changing my entire wardrobe. You can read about that here. I'm still a little salty about that one. It was smack dab in the middle of hoodie season!! I'm adjusting...slowly.
In recent months, God has exposed me to some people, particularly some women, who are powerful prayer warriors.
When they pray, you can tell they aren't just speaking casually with God or speaking for the benefit of the people in the room; they have a powerful connection with Him. They are speaking TO Him...and He is speaking THROUGH them.
I want that. I want to connect with God like that! But somehow, I can't quite connect....
However, God has also been revealing to me that my spiritual disconnect is probably directly related to my lack of one-on-one time with Him. I read my Bible every day (or just about every day) and I pray, but it's hardly without distraction. It normally looks something like this:
But if Jesus is supposed to be our example, then his prayer time looked like this:
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Jesus OFTEN WITHDREW to LONELY PLACES and PRAYED.
I try to make excuses about my prayer life because of my "season" and the little people who wake up really early and follow me around. But let's face it: if Jesus can get away from the throngs of thousands who followed him and hung on his every word, I can probably find a few minutes away from my six. Just saying.
Last Sunday night I had an opportunity to be alone and just pray. Just me and God and a good bit of silence.
I poured my heart out to Him. I told Him I wanted to know Him more. I told Him I wanted a more intimate relationship with Him.
Then, I told Him I was going to be quiet and wait. I was going to just shut up and listen for a while.
And God spoke.
He said, "How are you supposed to get to know Me more when you won't even acknowledge who YOU are? Who I made you to be?"
Touche, God. Touche.
So, I thought about that. Who am I?
Called. Child of God. Daughter of the One True King. Adopted. Loved. Conqueror.
But that's what He calls every Christian. I wanted God to tell me who He wanted ME to be. Who does God say Alissa is?
Then, I was reminded of a conversation earlier in the week where a friend told me God was calling her to be more like her name. In the Bible, she said, God was very specific about names. He knows our names. He has always known them.
So, I thought about my name.
Alissa is derived from Alice. Alice means "noble." I've known that forever. It isn't a surprise, and didn't mean much to me...at the time.
Until I decided to look up my middle name: Shea. Then, a picture started forming.
Depending upon the source you look at, Shea means "majestic" or "stately."
Noble: having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.
Majestic: having or showing impressive beauty or dignity
Stately: having a dignified, unhurried, and grand manner; majestic in manner or appearance
Uh oh, I thought. This sounds scary.
As I looked into the synonyms for each of these descriptions, certain words stood out to me:
Noble: righteous, virtuous, good, honorable, moral, ethical...
Majestic: dignified, distinguished, august, statuesque...
Stately: regal, slow-moving, measured, deliberate...
These words painted a beautiful picture for me. A picture of a princess...one who has been groomed to assume the king's power.
She is humble, but powerful; righteous, yet merciful; dignified, but kind.
She is me...well, the me I want to be: the me God wants me to be.
She is clothed in strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come
Up until now, I've considered myself to be far more the court jester than royalty. I bumble and fumble and apologize all the time.
I disqualify myself, forgetting that He who sent me is IN me, and He is more than qualified.
My name is a derivative of Alice. If you have seen the more recent Alice in Wonderland, she spends much of the movie being the wrong Alice. Or not hardly Alice. Or almost Alice. She has to discover who Alice is before she can go on to slay the jabberwocky.
She has to know who she is before she can go on to fulfill her purpose.
I've been praying for God to tell me what He wants me to do, but I couldn't get there.
I lost my muchness.
I was the wrong Alissa. And then not hardly Alissa. And now...I'm almost Alissa.
I won't be many of these wonderful things overnight, and I'm sure I'll fail quite often. I pray those of you witnessing the transition will offer me both accountability and grace.
It's a frightening endeavor, but most things worth accomplishing are.
Who has God called YOU to be? He knows you; He knows your name. You are not an accident, and you have a purpose, but you might need to figure out who you are before you move on to what you should do.