Confession 80: Are You Ready To Be An Esther Generation?

Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to join these ladies for the IF: Gathering. We took an evening off from our busy lives, stayed the night together at a local hotel, and were able to stream the speakers live. There is so much I can say about the event- more than I can put into words on a single blog post. I said from the beginning, however, that if I was ever able to find the following spoken word, this is what I would choose to share. It is just THAT good! The words- they stole me heart- took my breath away.

I just have one question for you: Are you ready to be an Esther Generation?

I am.

~ Jillian

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Esther Generation 
by Ann Voskamp and Amena Brown Owen

They say you should travel light

But most of our lives we carry it all on our backs

These days it isn’t our arms that stay weighed down

It’s our minds

We wake up in a panic
It’s our thoughts that hyperventilate for fear
Of making mistakes.

For fear of failing or succeeding
Or fear that we’ll never move past our past
That we’ll be exactly who they said we’d be
That we’ll never be more than what was done to us
That we will continue to be taken advantage of
That we should accept shame as a companion to carry with us
That we should let the lies befriend us

The lies
started in a garden
Spoken slyly by a slithering serpent with his syrupy sweet: “Did God really say?”

And we’ve be doubting ever since

Allowing an unwelcome guest to make himself at home in our lives, minds, gardens
Keep us bound with slithering fear
that we are damaged goods

Never going to be good enough
Not enough brains, not enough brawn
Not enough guts to take anything on.

But there is no time for being soft or weak
That at all times we have to be tough
That we’ll never be perfect that
We’ll never be worth it
That we’ll never be enough

And sometimes we feel God calling us, nudging us
Trying to show us
but somehow we stay trapped

Behind walls of unbelief and unforgiveness
Our arm’s a weary rope caught in a vicious tension
Tug of war between our fear and our calling

Between worry and peace
Comfort and inconvenience
Comparing ourselves to each other
While battling low self esteem

Do we do what’s practical?
Or follow our dreams?
Do we take care of ourselves?
Or meet others people’s needs?

Should we fight?
Should we please?
Should we hide from who we are to put other people at ease?

And then the lies begin to echo and amplify
Loser
Time abuser
Mess producer

Who needs you?

She’s so much better
Just look at her
You actually thought that was a good idea?

Open your mouth and they’ll laugh long enough that you’ll shut your mouth
You aren’t smart enough
You aren’t good enough
You aren’t sharp enough

Who do you think you are?
Fear is our chain and it’s rattling us hard
It’s the poison that deadens our hearts

Fear of failing
Fear of flailing
Fear of the arrows
Fear of the way named narrow
Fear of the shear rock in front of you that begs you sweat and climb

Climb out of that drug dead comforting pit they call status quo
And break right up through the earth and into the life you were born for

In the now of your life while there is still time and hunger in your veins
Turn around and shake off that snake
Because it’s head’s been crushed, no pulverized
So let go of the lie.

Sometimes we imagine that God’s voice is a disappointed hard lined teacher
Who is waiting to whack our knuckles with a ruler for any imperfections

But that isn’t God’s voice at all
That isn’t Gods heart at all

He speaks tenderly
He doesn’t need to raise His voice
He speaks as if He’s right next to us

Because He’s right next to us

Because He goes before us

Because His spirit lives inside us

He starts with love
And not because He is a hopeless romantic
But mostly because

He is ALL LOVE and HOPE and SECOND CHANCES

Let go of the fanged lie and bind the wound with dressings of Truth that will heal your bloodied soul

Take that sharp edge of His Word and hack that snake creeping up the back your neck

The words

The only life hack that will hack off the lie of the snake and make your life whole

We fear that the place we think God’s love will run out or dry up
We fear that place where we think God’s love will run out, dry up, fall of the edge

And we’ll be left dangling beyond its reach

We fear that somewhere God’s love ends
But His love never runs out

His steadfast love surpasses suburbia
Canvases from skyscrapers to street corners from porch to stoop

His love is looking for you.

Who would you be?
What would you do?

If you weren’t afraid

Could be that you’ve always wanted to come up through the ground
in some desolate place that needed a tree

To bear some fruit for someone with their tongue stuck to the dry roof of their parched mouth

To be a limb that held some baby abandoned

To be a limb that someone could used to swing over the fence and free

We were made from dust
A bit of earth kissed by heaven
made to be groundbreakers
And peacemakers
And freedom shakers

So you can take your glossy Vogue covers and use them for washing windows

Because we’ve always thought the most beautiful women have dirt under their fingernails

And could shake a bit of the very earth out of their warn and pioneering shoes

And lets redefine comfort zone because wherever He takes you
You are with the comforter
Wherever He calls you
You are always in his comfort zone

So live all your present moments in His presence
To keep company with Christ
To get in on the best

There’s a whole Esther generation right here and now and it is us.

Who come broken
Who are done being defeated by fear and worry and stress
Because it advertises the unreliability of God

Who want hard and Holy things because we want more than hallow lives
A life more than self focus and cell phones
More than iPhones, iTunes and iLove

Who want a life of loving the least, the lonely, and the lost
There is a whole Esther generation rising right here and now and it is us

Who are done with easy
Who know that being like Christ and caring for the poor in body and soul
Means more than just caring about easing our consciences
It means living real sacrifice

There is a whole Esther generation rising right here and now and it is us
Who say now is the time for the faith brave

To sky dive and fly
To remember that we don’t have to strive to be anyone
To stop taking issue with what God made

To accept that our perfect God makes no mistakes
There’s a whole Esther generation rising right here and now and it is us
To take the weight we carry on our backs

And offer it back to the savior who already carried the weight of the world on his shoulders
Who surrender
Who lay out alabaster hopes and dreams at the feet of our Savior

There is a whole Esther generation rising right here and now and it is us
Who will no longer look for peace in opinions
But to find our solid ground in the truth

There are many tomorrows to face
But today, lets open our hearts and our wounds and our stories
To the great story teller
That our lives may be chiseled by His pen

That we may

BELIEVE

and LOVE

and PRAY

and FIGHT

and REST

and LIVE!

 

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