January 19, 2015

In searching for an Authentic Life and Who You Really Are, Don't Forget That You Were Once Darkness


Oh, but we like to forget, don't we? It's not that we mean to, it's just that presenting only Light seems easier... better... like a complete story.

We are all searching... stretching and growing and becoming who He intended for us to be!  We want to know who we really are... we want to have confidence in our calling and live an authentic life.  

We want to --or at least we want to want to!

We talked about it last week here... about how we are called to put down our Masks and be who God created and gifted us to be! We have talked about how we need to stop comparing and competing... how you don't have to wait to hit your 40's to walk in freedom and care more about the big things, and less about all the little things!

But in all our searching... in all our laying things down, let us not forget this:
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."  (Ephesians 5:8)

We were once darkness... before we saw the Light - we were darkness.

I am a lover of Light!  As an artist, a photographer, a believer in Christ - I LOVE the Light! I love how it comes in and shifts... how it just takes a little light to cut through a world of darkness.  I love how in any given landscape, situation, or circumstance, Light floods in and changes our perspective!



Nothing has changed, but everything changes.


And Oh how we love that! We love a dramatic turn around... a powerful testimony... a story of redemption and transformation!  We love that stuff... it's what greatness is made of!

And yet...

And yet, when it comes to our own testimony... our own redemption, our own stories of darkness, predawn... or our lives, not even before Christ, but of our lives last week, when darkness surrounded us... oh - those stories go mostly untold. 

We forget... We want to be authentic, but we also want to look like we have always been in the Light, --like we are always abiding where shadows never fall. 

Oh friend... I am preaching to myself here. For I know how much we love to tell redemption stories after they are all wrapped up and tied with a bloodstained bow.  But we live our every day lives in the midst of the stories we are writing, and play acting our way through it does nothing to shine the light.  

The only thing it does is save face.  But in all this earth, where we are to pull down heaven and shine the Light... we don't need to save face, we need saving grace - and how will they know, if we don't always just point to Him?


While going through my Bible study, one of the questions that stood out to me was to ask God how we can declare His praises to show the world that He has called us out of darkness, into His wonderful (wonder-filled) light (1Pet2:9).

As I was praying about this the other day... praying into Identity and where we find it and how to live out an authentic life, this is the answer that I heard from the heart of the Father...
"Testify with words, both written and in conversation, but also with actions --in how you love and live every day!
Don't try to act like you're always in the Light
--like you've never known darkness.  
Perfectionism has never glorified Me!"

Bam. (Drops the mic.)

Yes. That. 

That, right there, can be a life changing statement!  

God called me to lay down perfectionism quite awhile ago and for the most part, sans losing hours to Pinterest, I have followed Him in not listening to that nagging, mocking, voice of comparison and judging.  Perfectionism will run you ragged and you will never measure up.  It's a cycle of madness and oh my word, there is such freedom in letting it go!

Instead, let's be willing to be brave and be real and share our real life stories, as they are being written.

We don't need to know how it all wraps up, when we know the One who knows the whole story is wrapping us close in His loving arms!

No, let's not wait until everything is airbrushed and photoshopped and 'print-ready'... that's never the real story, anyway! And those stories of perfection?  They isolate... they make others feel less than, and as the Lord pointed out, Perfectionism has never glorified Him! 

It glorifies us.  Perfectionism makes US look good, and while He is not opposed to that, He wants the Glory... He is the hero of every story!

So instead of faking perfection, He prefers it when we say we were once darkness. Twenty years ago, yes... but if I'm honest, I was once darkness last week too... 

I miss the mark. I let doubt or anger or jealousy creep in.

I stumble. 



But, I am now light in the Lord and when I stumble, I stumble into Grace... 

Stumble with me, won't you?



Linking up with these lovely ladies:

The Community over at Unforced Rhythms...

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

26 comments :

  1. Beautiful words, Karrilee! I love the first picture and quote - "Nothing has changed - but everything changes." Oh how true this is...Out of the darkness and into the Light...thank you for sharing!

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    1. Is that not such a powerful truth... that when Light shines and hope comes in, everything changes - even before anything changes! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  2. Yes. We are in light though we stumble. My favorite verse - well, one of them, how can you have just one? - is Heb 4:16 "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Even when we stumble, we can approach God with confidence. I am recovering from perfectionism, too, and am astounded by God's grace every day.

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    1. Ah yes - I am well versed in not being able to pick a favorite!!! Love that verse in Hebrews! So thankful that you stopped by today! Shine On!

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  3. My favorite line: "we don't need to save face, we need saving grace" I love it, love it!

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    1. Amen! It is as simple as that, isn't it? Lord, help us to remember!

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  4. "we don't need to save face, we need saving grace" ... AMEN, Karrilee. I, too, am learning how important it is to share ourselves in our imperfect state. A friend of mine calls it the ministry of "me, too" ... that when we are willing to show our messy selves, it helps others feel better about their own realities as well. No one wants to be the "weird" one. Glad you are linking with us at Kelly's place.

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    1. Well - some of us (ahem) actually have learned to embrace being the 'weird one' - ;) I think it comes with the title Writer and Artist (and Freed!) I am loving the community over at Kelly's place!

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  5. Perfectionism never glorifies Him...WOW! That is so true. Like the verse in Isaiah on your last image says.. Walk as children of light. I like the fact that it says to "walk in it" I think it implies that we won't always choose light,sometimes we will stumble or even choose to walk in darkness even after we are saved. Lots to think about. Thanks for sharing Karrilee!

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    1. Amen Tobi... we are invited to... called to, really - Walk in the Light - but we still have a choice in the matter! So thankful for Light that shines in darkness and for Grace that pulls us (back) out! I am always blessed when you hang out in my little corner of the web!

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  6. It seems to me that every year God reveals in me some new corner of that old darkness waiting to be cleaned out, lit up. It's a journey - isn't it, and a messy one at best. Thanks for your honesty here and for linking up this week. I love that your word this year is "Wonder."

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    1. It's so true, Kelly! We are all in process... and darkness is all around us. It often tends to seep in while we are unaware! Praise God for the cleaning out and the lighting up! I am so looking forward to finding Wonder... and maybe spreading a bit of it too!

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  7. "we don't need to save face, we need saving grace" <-- yes. This.

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    1. Amen! So what you are saying is that if I did one of those plug in's that say "Tweet This" - this would be what it would be pointing to? ;) Amen, my friend! It's such a simple truth!

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  8. "No, let's not wait until everything is airbrushed and photoshopped and 'print-ready'... that's never the real story, anyway! And those stories of perfection? They isolate... they make others feel less than, and as the Lord pointed out, Perfectionism has never glorified Him!"

    Exactly! Yesterday our pastor shared a bit from his past. It was uncomfortable. It wasn't the happy-perfect we sometimes expect from our pastors. But it was real. And there was encouragement in knowing that even our pastor struggles, as all humans do.

    Sometimes we need someone who is a bit farther ahead in the struggle to come alongside us to show us the way. And if we never let our past darkness be known, we can't encourage those who are trying to break out now.

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    1. Lynnae, I remember when our former Pastor shared from the pulpit about his not so distant struggle with depression... it was so encouraging for so many who were suffering in silence. When we are bold and risk being honest, bridges are built, healing begins, and community grows! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. Oh friend! I'm a lover of the light too. That statement above truly does change everything doesn't it? Love that Ephesians verse too. Out of the darkness light does emerge. My friend Renee lost her first husband Ben in the Haiti earthquake. Friday Renee and her husband Jon welcomed their son Gabriel "bringer of Good News!" Yes!!

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    1. I just saw that, Tara! I loved the post you wrote about them last week and this is such a testimony (and how much do we LOVE the name?) Thanks so much for stopping by, friend! We are overdue for a Vox session! We'll try to fix that this week!

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  10. Did you HAVE to remind me that I'm not as light and shiny as I'd like to think I am most of the time ;)? I'm stumbling into his grace on a constant basis with you, my friend!

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    1. LOL! Um... you're welcome? ;) I love it... and oh how you shine, my friend... but it's Him in you! Stumbling into Grace right alongside you!

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  11. It's those shadows that make the light so stunning. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Oh yes and Amen! The Shadows make all the difference... for they let the Light shine all the brighter!

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  12. Loved this verse, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." (Ephesians 5:8) Amen! Let's walk in the light. We are his. So encouraged by you sweet Karrilee! Go girl!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kelly! It's always a pleasure to have you stop by!

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  13. I'm not sure where to begin with how much goodness in this post! Your thoughts align with my word "shine" and now I have some more verses to add to my "shine" verses for this year. But what really sticks out is your call to be authentic. Can I just say that God has been calling a lot of "come to Jesus" meetings with Him recently. He flat out is calling me out and asking the very same thing of me. More will be coming on that topic in the future because God knows that my mask is not only hiding my true self but my light for Him is not able to shine as a result. Your words blessed me and I just love you girl!

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    1. I love this so much, my friend! So thankful that this message resonates... welcome to stepping ever more into the Light!!! (I wrote last week, and linked it above, about laying down our Masks! I hope you read that one as well!) Blessings... I can't wait to see how you Shine this year - ever more brightly and unhindered!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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