Week 8

This Week’s Truth to Treasure: I Am Not Yet Perfect

PART 1:  Introduction & Reading Assignment

Tension… is good?!

Can I just say this week’s chapter totally changed my understanding of this!  And my expectation of what embracing my identity in Christ should look like!

Reading Assignment:  Read chapter eight in Jerry Bridges’ book “Who Am I”  pages 87-95.

Be sure to read with a pen in hand (colored if possible! ;0)  and underline the things that stand out to you – this will be a huge help as you seek to further process and discuss this chapter with others.

 

PART 2:  Creative Processing…!!!  

RECOMMENDED MATERIALS:  Art Journal, a couple sheets of colored paper (at least one rather plain without a busy or bright design so you can write on it), pen, glue or glue sticks

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Take one sheet of colored or paper with a pretty print on it and turn it over.

2.  Either draw a vase on the back side of this about 5 inches tall by three inches wide or if you’d rather not draw google “vase drawing image” and select one you like, print it out, put packing tape on both sides (you’re making a stencil and this makes it thicker, if you don’t have tape you don’t have to do this, but I found it helpful), place this stencil on the back side of your pretty paper and draw an outline of it.

3.  Cut out your vase.

4.  Then on the back side of your vase (the white side that no one will see) draw a bunch of cracks and in each section write down your weaknesses, your wounds, the hard things that have happened to you in your life, the things that have brought brokenness into your life.  Talk with the Lord about each of these asking Him to reveal to you how He is at work bringing beauty out of each.

5.  Now tear along the cracks – BUT be sure to place each piece face up on your plain piece of paper after you tear each piece, don’t wait until the end to figure out how it will all go together, otherwise you will end up with one of the most difficult puzzles you’ve ever put together!

6.  Arrange the pieces in the shape of a vase leaving space between pieces so you can write.

7.  Glue those pieces down.

8.  Now take our a pen and write in the cracks whatever the Lord says to you regarding how He is at work bringing beauty out of your brokenness – He may bring to mind Bible verses, phrases of truth, whatever He leads you to write that encourages your heart.

9. (optional) Cut out the completed new vase and glue it onto a different colored background.  Spend time thanking the Lord for how He’s encouraged your heart during this time!

OPTIONAL:  Take a picture of your page and share it via Instagram and/or facebook using the hash tag #WhoAmIartjournalingcourse

 

PART 3:  Identify Your Application & Live It Out! :0)

Before I ever started reading Jerry Bridges’ book I figured I had this final truth down pat. Trust me, I know I am not yet perfect!  Especially as the more I keep growing in my relationship with the Lord the more I’m seeing even more how much I truly do fall short in so many ways every single day.  But the kicker, the main point I get from reading this chapter is I need to hold onto this truth while also holding on to all the rest of the truths of my identity – hence the tension Jerry opens his chapter discussing.

Now I’ve always thought of tension as a bad thing ~ as a struggle and one I’d like to work through as quickly as possible so there will be relief, but after reading his chapter I realized it really is a positive thing to be experiencing this tension!  The only people who don’t are those who have no clue there’s anything else!

And the beautiful thing is in the midst of our struggle people have the opportunity to see the Lord at work bringing beauty out of our brokenness.  Oh the peace that’s been coming as I’m truly realizing and embracing this truth.  My imperfections aren’t something I need to hide, that embarrass God, but something that keeps reminding me and everyone around me how much I desperately need Him.

As it says in  2 Corinthians 4:7

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing glory comes from the Father and not from us…”

If I try to look like I have it all together, people might think it’s all about me, as if “I’m so nice,” “I’m so good.”  But just because I’m on Navigator staff doesn’t mean I have it all together!  I don’t!  Remember, God chooses the weak!  1 Corinthians 1:27

Now in the video I just shared three applications that have been making a big difference in my life.  What would the Lord have you do in response to these truths?  Pray through this in His presence and then write down on your application page what He brings to mind.

 

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY…!

By now you may have noticed that rather than camping out in eight different topics, there really has been a lot of overlap and integration between each chapter.  As you look back at the different journal pages you created do any themes emerge?

Or like me praying through the ACTS acronym at night, have there been any application ideas that the Lord keeps giving you?

As this course draws to a close, I suggest you take a bit of extra time and go back and review each of your drawings as well as your applications through the past eight weeks.  You know how with weight loss programs they often have people take before and after pictures?  It really can be a great encouragement to take time to consider in what way is your life different after having gone through these past eight weeks focusing on your identity in Christ?

If you have time, creating a summary page can really help you remember the key thing the Lord has been teaching you through this!

But there’s an even greater benefit than what you get from looking backwards – and that’s how this can motivate you to keep moving forward. And help provide insight for the next step(s) the Lord has for you to take in your journey.  You see, embracing our identity in Christ is a lifetime journey.

As Jerry Bridges emphasizes, it is so key we learn to preach the gospel to ourselves daily – and remembering who we truly are in Christ is a key part of this!  So what can help you continue to remember these truths on a daily basis?

I have found passing on what I’ve learned, sharing it with someone, can be a great way to keep remembering and learning and embracing these truths on an increasingly deeper level. During the past three months I have practically been living, sleeping, eating, breathing these truths as I’ve been doing them with nearly everyone I meet with.  And considering one usually gets out of something what one puts into it, I am so excited as I keep growing in response!  Each time I read and art journal these chapters I’ve been getting something different out of them and previous lessons become even more entrenched into my thinking and my heart!  Like a diamond, there are many facets to each aspect of our identity in Christ.

So don’t let this be the end of your journey!

It’s not hard at all to duplicate what we’ve done here in your one on ones with people you meet with.  You don’t even need the videos!

When I meet with someone to do this one on one, we pray, then read through the chapter together underlining with a colored pencil what stands out to us (it usually takes about 15 minutes to read the chapter aloud together), then we go over to a table and create a page representing the key thing that stood out to us.  Finally, we share our pages and applications and pray together. This usually takes an hour and a half, though I have done it creating a quick, simple page in an hour.

photo-30

So one final application could be to ask the Lord to bless you with the opportunity to pass on to someone else what we’ve been doing here.

Another idea is to go back through your art journaling pages and write up a summary for each page explaining why you created it the way you did – can this ever help to solidify and pull together what the Lord’s been teaching you.

Or the Lord may give you a completely different idea for what your next step should be!  Please do feel free to share your final thoughts in the comment section below!  And may we all continue to keep growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, embracing with all of our hearts and daily living out who we truly are in Christ for His glory!

Your sister in Christ,

deb

 

p.s.  Below are links to two other online art journaling courses you can work through as a follow up to this course:

For example, shame can be key in preventing our identity being embraced at the heart level, so I created another online art journaling course that goes through Dr. Curt Thompson’s book The Soul of Shame.  This course can be accessed at www.inherentlyworthy.com.

I have also found it incredibly helpful to go through the book of Genesis, growing my understanding of how God created us in the first place and considering how that became messed up – especially how this has broken our sexuality, which is also a key part of our identity.  A six week course that launches you into addressing this can be accessed at www.solidroots.org. Please note:  There is a closed portion to this course that is password protected.  If you are on staff with The Navigators you can contact Andrew Ledwith at Navigator headquarters for access to that additional content.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Beverly Harris
    Mar 28, 2019 @ 00:05:25

    Thanks for, “Quit defining myself by my best moments.” I saw my own character flaws at work today; your lesson and praying for us was a blessing!

    Reply

    • Debbie Entsminger
      Mar 28, 2019 @ 15:39:48

      Beverly! What joy it’s been hearing how the Lord continues to be at work in your life as you’ve pressed on to work through this! May His hand of blessing be on you as you keep seeking to live out what you’ve taken in!

      Reply

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