All of this was not simply theology to me. As God was teaching me these concepts I knew that it was also a calling to die, I just was not quite sure how it would happen. But it did. For me it was a gradual thing. I do not have time to share the whole process, but I will share one story of one part of me that died.
One morning I went to put on my mascara and God said, “Don’t wear makeup for today.” OK…why?
No answer. So I didn’t put my mascara on and I went to work.
I went through the whole day with people asking me if I was tired or sick. I asked God, “Why would you humiliate me like this!?” To which He replied, “I’m not humiliating you, I am healing you.” And then the next day he told me not to wear makeup again. And again the next day.
Being born and raised in Atlanta, I always thought a woman should wear make-up and jewelry. This was central to self-care and to being a beautiful woman in my culture. God was teaching me that true beauty resides in the heart. He was inviting me into vulnerability with others as well. And though at first I felt shame, soon I began to feel confident in the fact that my skin was simply breathing naturally and I was not covering anything up physically. I looked like who I was.
Finally I stopped wearing make-up altogether and people started telling me I looked beautiful…younger! Years later my daughter said to me, “Mama, I remember when you used to wear all that make-up and I told her about how God healed my self-image by damaging it first. I feel free. This is a silly example of dying to something not of any moral value but which made a huge difference of freedom in my life. I was obeying God in this little thing which HE felt was important for me to let go of.
The question to surrender each little thing will likely come as a gentle still small voice, “Will you lay this thing down?” He might not ask you to die to make-up, but He might.
In addition to dying to make-up, I also ended up dying to:
My job, my position, my reputation, my self-reliance, my reason, my logic, my supermom-ness, my arrogance, my pride of life, my fear of man, my sarcasm, my deceitfulness, my riches, my wealth, my income, my forgiveness, my fear, my suspicion, my rebellion, my lying, my manipulation of others, my desire to be accepted, my relationships that would not withstand my obedience to Christ, my need to leave a personal legacy, my books, my diplomas, my career, my interests, my artist identity, my expectations of others, my songwriting dreams, my passions, my intellect, my competitiveness, my jealousy, my hatred, my racism, my favoritism, my appearance, my status, my sin, my my my…the list goes on, believe it or not, the whole nasty list of my selfish motivations and behaviors that had to be surrendered.
Turns out this good girl needed repentance more than I thought.
How about you? What needs to die for you to be truly free. You may not even know the answer to this question, but He does.
He is very interested in your freedom because He loves you. He died for it. And yet, we suffer as though giving ourselves up to Him is a sacrifice?! He is the one who made the sacrifice. What we get to do is leave our worthless junk in and ready ourselves to receive His gifts and His glory and find out who we were really meant to be! It’s actually better. More alive. More life giving. More joyful. More satisfying. More fulfilling.
What does He give you? It’s more than you could ever ask or imagine, according to HIs promises, not mine! (Ephesians 3:20-21, Psalm 84:11)
I now only live for one thing. Christ in me, the hope of glory.
This is a song about Baptism. It is a song about what baptism is about…that is, dying and being reborn to new life in Yeshua. The water is your grave. The new you rises from the waters of self-sacrifice to be filled by the Spirit and you are fresh and innocent, set apart as holy unto the Lord. It is a permanent mikvah (cleansing).
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? Death is put to death. There’s only life instead.”
“Jesus, You come alive in me. And I come alive in you.”
-Lyrics, Living Dead
The Album, SOIL, was written from the parable of Mark chapter 4 in the Bible which describes our hearts as the soil in which the Word is planted. Some hearts are full of rocks (fears and trauma), thorns (love of money, worries and cares of this world, desire for other things), and some are so dry you cannot even get the seed to penetrate the soil. It is stolen by the enemy. So the invitation is to allow God to open, empty, and soften our hearts again and return to a position of trusting reliance with Him by repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus.
At Beloved Creative Studio, we celebrate the love of God and loving God through writing, art, and music! Our family tries to serve others with the gospel of Jesus Christ, in love, generosity, hospitality, word and action. We also consider as our family all of those who confess Jesus as savior and the only way to the Father- those who live loved and led by God. Because Jesus died and His blood covered the ransom for me from sin, I can be who I was created to be. I am free from sin’s grip and free to obey God from a heart of love. I run in the path of His commands with lots of room for joy and hope for the future. Beloved was a name given to me by Him as a name under which to do creative projects, and He invited me to take on His name for His fame.
Our music is not copyrighted but licensed under creative commons license, which means we’d love for you to share and play our music if it builds up the body of Christ. We only ask that you would not sample without permission or take credit for the writing and that you would freely give what you have received (don’t make money off of these songs without permission).