Raise awareness. End Stigma. Point to Hope.
I have always been a daughter.
My introduction into this world was not without its entanglements.
I was born entangled:
Webbed to momma and poppa and all dem,
Even those I never knew.
There was evidence of this entanglement:
The shape of my nose, the set of my eyes, the cadence of my laughter and sin.
Then through "foolishness" I was essentially severed from my natural entanglements:
Still was the shape of my nose, the set of my eyes, the cadence of my laughter
And on my fingers-dust-the remains of sin.
I was still a daughter, a sister and a friend-
Yet, I was more.
There was still momma, poppa and dem.
I had been reborn:
Webbed to a new lineage.
I had become entangled with God and all His children.
In me were new affections,
And a patient expectation of dust forever removed.
I was no longer a girl born,
I was a girl born again.
And I wanted to grow.
I wanted to bloom just like Jesus did:
In wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man-
Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control wrinkling His earthly form.
I am a girl born again,
And as such, this desire to be as He is, is kingdom come.
And His kingdom does not disappoint.
Planted in Him His seed will sprout and become a tree,
Bearing much, much fruit in its season.
Beholding the Truth
Use our Be-Held Devotional Bible Study Guide (available for download below) to closely attend to the following Scriptures, which guide us into an understanding of who we were, who we have become, who we are becoming and the means of our becoming.
The Natural Entanglements (Who We Were)
Fighting the Lies
We are who God says we are. And in the beginning our perfect God placed His hands in the soil of the earth He spoke into existence and formed us in His image. (Genesis 1:26 - 27). He made us and it is He who has determined our identity. We are His image bearers. That is, we are those fashioned to inhabit His spiritual personality.
But, sin entered the picture and divorced us from the knowledge of our purpose, the desire to pursue our purpose and the means to inhabit it. We wandered with a trace of breath in our lungs, wondering why all of it? (Genesis 3). But, God came in the person of Jesus Christ to deliver us from waste and certain death. And now, in Him we are a new creation. The old has passed and behold all things are new. (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are no longer divorced from the knowledge of our purpose-our eyes have been opened and ears pierced. We are no longer panting after death, but seeking His righteousness. We are no longer without a means to inhabit our purpose-we have be washed in the blood of Jesus and filled with His Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:3 - 14).
But, Beloved, we must fight to live in light of who we have been made and empowered to be. This world is not our home and is hostile to the work of God in and through us. Gather the women you care about to watch and discuss the content of the video below, "Fighting the Lies Our Culture Tells Us about Our Identity" by The Gospel Coalition. Use the discussion questions below the video to guide your engagement in community.
1. What are some of the lies culture tells us about our identity?
2. How have the opinions of others shaped your perception of who you are?
3. How have your feelings shaped your perception of who you are?
4. How have the images that populate the world shaped your perception of who you are?
5. Do you feel equipped to distinguish between the pressures of culture and the upward call of God?
6. What role does Bible meditation and study play in the battle to maintain an accurate understanding of our identity?
7. How can you spend more time in the "mirror' of Scripture? What gets in the way (material and immaterial factors)? What structures (material and immaterial) can you put in place to make this a priority?
8. What role does Christ-centered community play in this battle?
All of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, bears witness to who He is. We come to Scripture and we, through diligence made effective by the power of the Holy Spirit, come to learn of Him, who made us to be as He is. It is in beholding Him that we come to grasp the why of our existence. We cannot know who we are, except by first beholding who He is. Watch this sermon and teaching by Jackie Hill Perry, "The Truth About Ourselves", as she emphasizes the importance of our upward gaze:
Resources for You and Your Church
Get access to the mental health awareness guide for your church here.
This guide includes the following:
EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Be-Held Health Lead
Jeanette Bailey is a believer in Jesus Christ, who believes that health, wellness, healing and wholeness is obtainable with a Christ-centered and evidence based medically sound approach. Her life's mission is to help individuals, families and communities
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together. She is thrilled at the call to extend the Be-Held Community to include Be-Held Peace of Mind: a monthly publication providing Christ-centered mental health resources that raise awareness about mental health issues, end stigma around mental illness and point persons to hope in Jesus Christ.