Jan 2, 2017

Take up your cross...

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I have this problem.

I tend to take things personally. I tend to only see my view. My hurt. My wound.

Jesus is tackling this problem head on with me.

I am reading a book right now by Ann Voskamp called the Broken Way.

She mentions drawing a small cross on her wrist to remind her of Jesus.

This resonated with me.

Over Christmas, I drew a cross on my wrist every single day.

I needed it to remind me to clothe myself in Christ. In humility. In forgiveness. In grace.

The holidays can put us in stressful situations. Difficult people. Stressful moments.

I knew this going in.

So, I needed a reminder to not be so sensitive. To not take things to heart that were never meant to take to heart.

Over Christmas break, I asked my daughter to draw the small cross on my wrist.

She went and grabbed a HUGE black box marker. [insert eye roll right here]

She drew the biggest cross you have ever seen. It looked like a tattoo. A gaudy one at that. Nothing discreet about this cross.

I giggled because it was very symbolic to where my heart really needed to be. A small cross just would not do. I needed a big fat in-my-face reminder of Jesus and His humility.

Every time I wanted to roll my eyes, or whisper something under my breath, or think not-so-good thoughts, I looked at that cross on my wrist.

It was a reminder of what Jesus did for me. He was beaten, and bloodied, and spat upon, and laughed at and mocked....

He knew pain.

He knew rejection.

He knew hurt.


He knew forgiveness.

He knew grace.

He knew love.

Why is it so hard to put on humility in the face of hurt?

The cross reminds me that it is possible.

In fact it is what will burn the flesh right off. When I show love and humility when I would rather harbor bitterness, or pride...

I am showing Jesus that I belong to Him. My heart is His and not this worlds.

I will not fall into Satan's trap...

I will swim in the blood of His Grace. Redemption. Forgiveness. Love.

Breaking the chains that bind my heart to the world...and setting it free to love without conditions or rules.

I want to love like Jesus. Even those that I do not feel loved by. Or even liked by.

The cross on my wrist screams: LOVE THEM ANYWAY. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.

Tears filled my eyes when the gaudy cross finally faded from my wrist. Just shadows of black were left in the deep lines of my wrist.

Why does this have to be so hard? Why is loving so hard? Why is humbling myself so difficult?

Why do I have to draw a 6 inch cross on my wrist to remember to love??

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24

Jesus knew it would be hard.

We have to be intentional about this.

It will not just happen.

Our flesh will not let it.

But, if our spirits are willing, He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ever imagine with this pain.

Today, I choose to love. To forgive. To clothe myself in humility.

Tomorrow, I choose it again .

And again the next day.

What will you choose?

looking for my marker,


jill