You are not junk…
The permission to be who God created us to be is not something that comes passively. It actually requires a deep wrestling that stirs up so many things that it has nowhere else to go other than out into the world. We sometimes get tangled up in this idea that we are metals that have impurities in them. Those impurities can only be purged if they are beaten or burned or hammered out. But you are not junk!
This purge perspective is so hostile. It creates incredible pain and conflict within us when we forcibly try to remove things. What if, instead, we view ourselves as generous compassionate beings. We are willing to lighten others’ loads by carrying what they’re unable or unwilling to. And oppressive systems would have us believe that we are fragile, incapable souls. These systems manipulate us and convince us that our greatest strengths only lead to death, destruction, and hopelessness. They would have you believe you are are the impurities that the world says need to be refined out of us.
But God says quite the opposite. God says, “Those are the pieces of me that I put within you.” So no matter what you’ve been taught about creation, know that you were never created to reproduce chaos.
You are not junk, and chaos does not come from God. If the very breath of God is within you from the very creation of man and woman, then our identity as a child of God doesn’t change. Sometimes it doesn’t feel as close to home. Sometimes it feels very distant and foreign. Nonetheless, the breath of God is constant. The presence of the Lord is constant. It is not something that needs to be refined and teased out of us. Our awareness of Him is something that needs to be cultivated. It’s something that we can explore by being curious, hungry, and open. We access it by seeing where it shows up, rather than forcefully beating out the heavy, awkward things. You are not junk!
Perhaps those things that feel so awkward are our greatest gifts, and the reason that they feel awkward is because the world has not recognized them.
The world doesn’t see God within them, but that’s a world issue, not our issue as individuals. So as always, I would encourage you to go back to the feet of Jesus. Sit with Him and say, “I feel like the world is squeezing these out of me, what would you have me do with these gifts?” What would you have me do with this passion, with this creativity, with this feeling of injustice that rises up when I see a certain thing happen, what would you have me do with those?
Allow Him to cultivate what He knows is good. He is the ultimate gardener. He is the ultimate caretaker. God wishes to teach us how to cultivate and care for ourselves so that we can then care for and cultivate that same love in others.
Angela J Herrington, MA, LSCC is a Life and Leadership Coach for Christian Women at AngelaJHerrington.com , founder of Broken Beautiful BOLD online women’s ministry, and Christian feminist activator at WildSacredHoly.com.
Angela is a spunky Gen Xer who creates sacred spaces for vulnerable exploration. Her specialty is helping Christian women untangle themselves from limiting beliefs, toxic religious culture, and all the ways the enemy tries to keep them small. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela and her unique online ministry were featured in Lyz Lenz’s 2019 book God Land: Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. She also has been published in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines.
Angela is also a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches hundreds of thousands of women in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, and two blogs. She is Director of Communications for Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy, a women-led organization dedicated to engaging, empowering, and equipping women to lead in the church.
Angela is also a wife, mom to 6, and proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.