According to Webster, the definition for empowered is:
tr.v. em·pow·ered, em·pow·er·ing, em·pow·ers
1. To invest with power, especially legal power or official authority. See Synonyms at authorize.
2. To equip or supply with an ability; enable: “Computers … empower students to become intellectual explorers” (Edward B. Fiske).
Have you ever been in a blackout situation with a toddler? I remember a time a few years back while here in Florida, we were bracing for yet another storm. It was during our “rainy season” so I was completely caught-up in the drill.
Car windows rolled-up…Check.
Garage door closed…Check.
On this particular day, I had allowed my older kids to watch a bit of tv while I washed the dishes. It only took a second for my brain to connect the dots before it occurred….I heard the thunder and not a second later silence followed by shrieks of terror.
The car windows were indeed secured.
The house was not flooding because the garage door was shut tight.
The computer had not been electrified.
But the tv…my kids source of entertainment for the moment had been zapped by the power outage (temporary power outage mind you).
You would have thought Elmo had died. Yes…it indeed was that bad friends.
You and I both know that our tv would return eventually, once the electricity supply had been corrected…but try explaining that to a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old. To them, life as they knew it had ended and thus, they wanted to make my life end for the next 42.5 minutes until the power returned.
Yet, there have been many times in my life I think I can make it through life just fine and completely forget my power source. I forget that “apart from Him, I can do nothing” (John 15:5). It’s in these times that God ever-so gently seems to get my attention by a storm that usually lands me in the dark momentarily, until I find the right Connection in Him again.
Ever been there?
The past 3 years have been incredibly stormy for me…
Battling brain cancer
Losing my job
Walking away from our house
Somewhere in that time frame I started wondering if things were going to change. It seemed as if every road I tried ended-up in another dead-end. It wasn’t necessarily that I was plugged-in to the wrong power source, but it was the fact that I wasn’t ready to let this God, this enabling power to really make the needed changes in my life. Call it trust issues if you will, but there is no worse place to be – connected to God but fail to trust His promises to be of any real value to your life.
But…that’s where I was…
Things have since changed and I have been able to humbly bring my entire heart before God and trust in Him in a way I truly never thought possible. No longer do I feel like I’m dangling from the power socket…but fully engaged and making changes I know He has called me to make.
One of these changes I am actively engaging in is my battle to get healthy. Ever since my remission began, I’ve been in this awkward state of balancing between wondering if I’m really ok and living my second chance. With three kids now, it just seemed easy enough grabbing the “ready-made” shakes I would drink during my treatment…for some reason, these weight-loss shakes stayed down (believe me…I saw these little cans as my lifeline most days). Because my weight had dropped so fast, the team simply wanted something, anything staying down. I went off of this after my surprise pregnancy, but soon after Matthew’s birth, I found myself back in the same grind. One shake for breakfast. One shake for lunch.
Somewhere I quit enjoying my food.
Somewhere I accepted the fact that it was ok to let a little can of mixed-up chemicals control 2 out of every 3 precious meal times.
Somewhere I gave-up my right to think for myself.
Somewhere I settled into being a halfway hanging socket…seeing God there, but not even trusting Him enough to believe He has given me the power to control what I eat.
Truthfully, I had no clue what I was even doing until a few days ago when my oldest son asked why I still drank the same shakes I did while I was sick. He looked concerned. He has seen his mom go through hell and back and his mom was keeping the reminder of that pain in her hands for 2 meals out of the day.
Yes…it hit me hard too.
When we trust God enough to allow Him to make the needed changes in our life, it indeed empowers us. Though the initial power surge may feel uncomfortable, it makes us realize how truly powerful our God is. The best part is…He has given us the power to understand that too.
I know I’ve shared it before, but I don’t care – I’m sharing it again (it’s my passage for 2014…so you will be seeing it consistently this year!…)
Bethany, I will make My home in your heart as you trust in Me. Your roots will grow down into My love and keep you strong. And Bethany, you have the power to understand, as all My people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep My love is. May you experience My love, though it is too great to understand fully. Then Bethany you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Me. (Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT)
Did you catch the power words there? Our God is not going to simply hold our hand and say, “Now look what I can do!” Oh no…if that’s the god you are connected to, you may want to give the passage above another quick read. The God I’ve been reading about and putting my trust in goes beyond simply showing His power through love…He chooses to display His power in us and through us. You can’t be hanging loosely into the power outlet to receive that type of charge!
– My goal is to eat 3 healthy meals a day…not in a can!
– I want to get in 10,000 steps a day (more playing with my kids the better! They make me go!!)
– Water is my drink of choice (this is not new for me…but my kids have really taken on this new challenge and LOVE their “water cups” that we refill throughout the day).
My first day eating all 3 meals was today. Granted, they were small meals…but wow…what a sense of freedom! Oh…so this is what it means to really live! Hello second chance!
Our adventure begins! Plug into the real, true Abba God and His promises. Make changes He presents to you. Trust Him. Be empowered and live a life worth living.