Friday, June 26, 2015

Remaining Anonymous

I walked the sunny pavement. Slowly, one footstep and then another. 

I just had a baby; my body was healing. 

And the people around me moved fast--moved to the beat of the loud music. Moved to keep up with the frantic pace of their life. 

But I had to walk slowly. 

Sometimes stitches keep your heart quieter. Sometimes Jesus slows you down to listen to His still, small voice amid the clutter and chaos of life. 

He slowed me down. And I could hear Him more clearly again. 

I needed some comfortable t-shirts. When I brought my drab findings to the boy behind the counter of the Bass store, he asked me for my first name. 




I paused. "I'd rather not," I said. And then I quipped, "I prefer to remain anonymous." 

His head jerked up, surprised. "That's ok," he spoke laughing, "I would like to live by myself in the woods." 

Sometimes anonymity is appealing. In a world where "the individual" has become all important and everyone is their own superstar. 

I wished to remain anonymous. 

And I walked down the crowded walkway again and all the sights and the delicious smells and the perfumed bodies with the sleek, smooth hair swirled around me. 

And the men in their designer clothes and their pointy shoes and the children in their Gap and Hannah-Andersen motifs. 



I saw my own image in the tinted window -- a bedraggled specimen of sleep-deprivation and baggy maternity leftovers -- the only clothes that I could fit in. 

My youthful glory-departed, my mind briefly drifted to contemplating how many stretch marks adorned my belly and when was the last time I took a shower, anyway? 

I sincerely wished to remain anonymous. 

And the world around us screams in our ears that we need to be someone, that we need to stand up for ourselves, that we need to climb the social ladder, that we need more friends, more likes, more recognition. 

That our hair, that our bodies need to be "just so," that we're not worth anything if we can't squeeze into a size 4. 

We become so caught up in the world and its twisted thinking, that we lose sight of what is really important--

Seek first the kingdom of God . . . 

Because the man, the woman who seeks His kingdom first will not be caught up in worrying about  their image. 

Their focus will be higher, their mind set on heavenly things; they'll be prepared to suffer persecution and hardship and deprivation for His sake. 

It's hard to set the things of this world aside, to take our narrow focus off of "me" and set it upon Jesus. 

It's a daily struggle for me. Because who wants to forever "remain anonymous," to shrink smaller so that Christ can shine more brightly in our bodies? 

We want to shine -- but He wants us to reflect His light, not just propel our own little spark. 

Sometimes He has to bring us low to teach us this truth -- His glory, not ours -- whether through pain or illness or through a difficult or overwhelming situation. 

"The world is too much with us," said the poet, and God is weaning our hearts from the self-love that grips this earthy terrain and hangs on too tightly to its pleasures and promises.

He's humbling our hearts for something better--

The day when we will wake and be made in His likeness, a reflection not of ourselves, but of His overwhelming, all-beautiful grace. 



You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysSo Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology ThursdaysChildren Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayEvery Day JesusCount My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridaySaturday Soiree Blog PartyTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific TuesdayRaRaLinkup
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Photo Credits:
1.MikeKalasnik / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)  

2.Collin Key / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)  

37 comments:

  1. I love this! Heart-piercing truth ... I think I should re-read this every day. Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome, Alicia! I'm glad that you enjoyed this! :-)

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  2. I like this post. I am not sure I agree with you about remaining anonymous...I am not sure that I believe that is what God really wants. I certainly do agree with your assessment of the mall and how we judge each other.

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    1. I'm glad that you stopped by! :-) I used the phrase "remaining anonymous" as a connection between my response to the cashier in the Bass store and our identity as Christians not as our own little "someone," but rather as our identity being bound up in Jesus (as a poetical metaphor). . . when we gain Christ we "lose" ourselves--the person that we once were is swallowed up in our new identity as a child of the Heavenly Father. This doesn't mean that we don't have our own individual personalities, characteristics, gifts, abilities, etc. What I'm really talking about here, and trying to convey, is that our heart's cry-- when we are truly one with Him, is that as John the Baptist said, we would "decrease," and that He would "increase." Less of "me," and more of Him. Less of "me" shining--not drawing attention to myself, but rather, through my words, actions, etc, seeking to draw others to see Him in and through me. I want to decrease that He would become more--more visible to others, more evident in my life. Our lives are "hid with Christ in God, and we are not our own, but bought with a price. Our true identity is not in ourselves, but in Him as He works His all-transforming power in and through us-- and that is real beauty and worth--when it is bound up in Him. I hope that that explains what I was trying to convey a little better. :-)

      Love and peace to you . . . :-)

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  3. I just finished reading not one but two articles on our identity in Christ and then found this little beauty on UNITE. You think God's trying to tell me something or is this just a hot topic right now? ;)

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    1. MB, I'm so thankful that the Lord used this post; God bless you! :-)

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  4. Rebekah, I know you are God's beautiful creation, and you are becoming more and more like Jesus from the inside out! Blessings of great JOY on your amazing journey with Jesus!!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa; you are an encouragement to me. The Lord bless you ! :-)

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  5. This line "We want to shine -- but He wants us to reflect His light, not just propel our own little spark."--I love. All too often I run around trying to 'propel' my own little spark. Thank you for this beautiful reminder to just let Jesus reflect and glow out of my life and to step out of the way for the expert to do his job!

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    1. You're welcome! It is something that the Lord has been teaching me, too! May He use us both to bring glory to Him! God bless you! :-)

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  6. Here from Wedded Wednesday...3, 5, and 6.

    I like to be anonymous as well. God'

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/06/your-dying-spouse-21-tomorrow-will-come.html

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Andrew; God bless you!

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  7. So true. So hard. But so beautiful if we really let God have his way in our lives. Thanks, neighbor. Blessings to you!

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    1. Mari-Anna, what you said is so true--He truly does make something beautiful out of our lives when our life is surrendered to Him.

      Blessings to you, also; I'm glad that you stopped by. :-)

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  9. Hi Rebekah!!!

    Stopping by from Women with Intention :) What a beautiful post! Wow...I agree with another comment that stated this should be re-read everyday. It's a great reminder to set our minds on things above and not on things of this earth as you stated so well. I have been meditating on this very passage of scripture (Colossians 3:2) the past couple of days and this post helped me to visually think it through as you mentioned the things we tend to care about versus the things we should be caring about...Christ shining more brightly in our bodies! Well done Rebekah!!!

    Blessings!
    ~Tia @SuitstoSpitUp



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    1. Thank you, Tia; your words are so encouraging. The world, the devil, and our own hearts try to complete with the things that really matter--the things of Him that are enduring and eternal. Everything else "sparkles" for a moment, but true, lasting beauty comes from the joy of a life hid with Christ--the joy of Him, Himself.

      Blessings to you, also; have a wonderful week :-).

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  10. I'm willing to bet that every woman (and man!) has wished to remain anonymous at some point in her life. But God, He wants to know us...each and every one of us. By stepping out and speaking up, we can reflect the love of God. We should do so, though, with a humble and gentle attitude.

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    1. Laura it is definitely Jesus working in and through us that enables us to speak and to share the love of Christ. When our lives are "hid with Christ in God", He will work through us to His glory (and then the "me" will not be in the way to cloud others' view of Him).

      I'm glad that you stopped by, Laura; the Lord bless you :-).

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  11. These are beautiful words, thank you. What I love (aside from the point about our identity in Christ) is how perfectly you portrayed your situation in the mall. I have been there. I have thought those thoughts and looked the way you described. Found you on #MomsMorningCoffee today, Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Nicole; God bless you!

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  12. Thank you for the encouragement, Rebekah. "I must decrease that He may increase." May we be willing to consider all loss which does not point to Christ. (Your neighbor today at Women With Intention.)

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    1. You're welcome, Abi; that verse is so humbling, and yet so freeing at the same time; the Lord bless you!

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  13. I feel as if I am teetering on the edge of this. I think God wants me to do something and I have resisted, for years, now it is rearing it's head again, screaming at me. I would be more comfortable remaining still and quiet. But as I speak up I will not be me anymore, I will be part of an anonymous group of anonymous others, letting God speak through me. For me it will be painful to do, but I need to let God's light shine. Thanks for the nudge.

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    1. Nikki, I'm so glad that this post was an encouragement . . . may our God give you the grace to do whatever it is He is calling you to; you are in my prayers . . . have a very blessed week.

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    2. Rebekah, I am trying to link your article in a post that I am writing, I can find your post from Women With Intention Wednesday, but when I copy and paste the link the article doesn't show up. When I go to "Home" on your blog the latest article is written on June 25th, how can this be? I want people to see your article, but the link doesn't work for me, perhaps you still have the category as a draft? Will still link to you but I will check back later to see if it works. Thanks again for the post, stepping up to do what I think I am being led to do. xo

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    3. Nikki, I am so encouraged that you want to share this post! It was actually a post that I wrote awhile ago and shared again this week on the link-ups that I participate in, because I've been taking a short break from writing while I work on another project. I re-published it; you should be able to go to the home page now and share it from there. :-) God bless you, Nikki; I'm grateful that this post was encouraging. :-)

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  14. Hi Rebekah,

    Beautifully written. It is such a fine walk to stay the course God wants for us, isn't it? He calls us wonderful and uniquely created for the gifts He has given us, so anonymity is not what He calls us to. However, when we become too concerned with the things of this world and the measuring up against other women, I truly believe He brings us through seasons of pulling back, quieting ourselves, and living in a more anonymous way so that we can re-align ourselves with who we are in Him. This post actually reminded me of my writing life. For years I have written for areas where not much attention was put on my name and definitely not a picture of myself nor any of this social media platform building! So, for the longest time I battled myself. I wanted to remain anonymous but share the love and hope found in Jesus. I wanted to encourage others ... but anonymously. God wrangled with me and wouldn't let me be at peace. He kept impressing upon me that in order to share Him, I must step out and be me to the world in whatever way that looked. So, in essence, it was that battle. Walking His path, keeping my eyes firmly on Him, stepping out of my anonymity, and worrying less about the approval of man.
    So glad I found you on Hope in Every Season!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. Yes, Lori, that is exactly it--letting go of the "me" that is detached from my identity in Him--the selfish, self-seeking, self-loving "me," to embrace all that He has called me to be in Him and through His power and grace. Your words brought to my mind a stanza of a hymn written by George Matheson--

      "O Cross that liftest up my head
      I dare not ask to fly from thee;
      I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
      And from the ground there blossoms red
      Life that shall endless be."

      Truly, for us as followers of Christ, what was gain to us we count as lost for the all surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord . . .

      The Lord bless you, Lori :-).

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  15. Hello. I'm visiting from Fellowship Fridays, #22, 23.

    I embrace the things that cut to the quick of my heart. I long to hear the Truth of The Word rather than tickling messages. I love to be encouraged by such words written as this post. Thank you for the edification you shared here today.

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    1. You're welcome, Cynthia! I'm glad that you stopped by; God bless you!

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  16. Rebekah....This really stood out to me: "Because the man, the woman who seeks His kingdom first will not be caught up in worrying about their image." How true! Where we put our focus is where will put our full attention. WHy wouldn't we put our focus on our Savior all the time? Thank you for this reminder and for sharing at WJIM's Monday's Musings. Blessings.

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    1. You're welcome, Naomi; God bless you, also!

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  17. The first thing that jumped out at me is this line, "Sometimes stitches keep your heart quieter." I have such an image of that in my mind - I wish I could take that image and paint it precisely. The image is stitches on the heart, healing. I am generally a quiet person, but even more quiet in the midst of healing.
    Thanks for your great post.

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    1. You're welcome, Aimee; the Lord bless you! :-)

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  18. Your posts always have such a poetic feel. I enjoy them so much! Thanks for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I'll be featuring you tomorrow!

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    1. Thank you for that encouragement, Jenny; I am so blessed to be featured. :-)

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