{The Vision}
I looked out to see sheets of green dipping into valleys where early morning shadows hovered the moist earth, only to build up again into curved slopes where wind curled and crashed over top. From my mind’s eye, the hills stretched up, each touching the horizon in sequence, continuing into an infinitely wide-open space. Eyes closed, I’d take off running towards the skyline, tension in my arms and the wind at my back.

{The Backstory}
I spent most of my childhood, until age 13, on a single street in rural North Carolina. Summers were my favorite. I’d wake up early, pick out mismatched clothes from my beloved pickled oak cabinet, and hurry out in search of the morning. A pasture bordered one side of our house. The rusty barbed wire fence, overgrown with prairie grass, separated us from a few cattle, occasionally grazing. The pasture, though small, would not only become a backdrop for some of the first conversations I’d have with God, it would appear as a still frame on a reel of memories, long after my family moved away.
God knew that certain events in my life would crush me.
He knew that I’d believe things about myself that weren’t true. He knew that I would compare myself to others. Was I enough? Was I too much?

He knew that I would strive to please, and how heavy this self-made mantle would become…with anxiety, panic, and exhaustion.

He knew that I would make decisions, albeit with good intentions, in order to gain control.

He knew that others would betray me, and how many sleepless nights I’d have as a result. He knew that I would have a hard time trusting again.

He knew that grace would take years upon years to grasp.

Circumstances have a way of training us, don’t they? Did you know that when horses become “saddled,” understanding what humans expect of them, they are considered “broken?” Yes. Broken.

Jess Connolly explains, “I see broken women believing that the only role for them is quiet service and the only pace is nonstop. They exhaust themselves as they serve out of obligation, not worship. I see women believing that it’s brash and wrong to seek the wisdom of God, waiting on others to intercede and teach them the Word, rather than seeking the kingdom first themselves…this shiny, make-believe life we are chasing perpetuates the myth that everyone else’s perception of us is ultimately our reality.” *{emphasis mine}

Today, God has allowed me to look back at the things that have passed, so that I can see the new things that are being declared. Yet, they are being shown to me in light of the vision that I’ve had for over 20 years. In every heart-wrenching memory, there it is again…the wide-open space of green that beckons me to run unbridled and free. Oh, how God has been patient and persistent with my heart.

Sister. Mama. Friend. Declare this with me today…

I am the daughter that He upholds…the chosen one that He delights in. He has put His Spirit upon me…not the heavy mantle of expectation. He is bringing forth justice on my behalf. He does so quietly and gently. When I am weak, as a dimly burning wick, He doesn’t stifle me. He stays and faithfully brings forth a flame of righteousness for His name. He perseveres until He finishes the work.

For HE is the one that has stretched out the green earth and called my attention to it.

He has given me breath to run forward, with His spirit to sustain me. HE is the LORD – the one who has called me for a righteous purpose. He takes me by the hand, and doesn’t take His eyes off of me. He tells me that I’ll be a light for others, helping open the eyes of the blind. I’ll bring prisoners out of the dungeon of lies, and those sitting in darkness.

He doesn’t share glory with another, so I must not believe anything or anyone else except for Him.

“Indeed, the former things have passed, now He blazes new things!”
{Isaiah 42 AMP – paraphrased}

Pray –
Jesus…you are ever faithful, and I am overwhelmed with gladness and joy!
Wake up your daughters today, so that we may experience your delight over us. Stir up a holy passion and zeal for your name as we sit in silence with you today, God.