The Day I Died

1 06 2013

I have a grave – and a tombstone. It was a long, slow, painful death; but I finally laid down and died!

The process began with a counseling session with my pastor’s wife, Barbara. She is a sweet, compassionate and gracious woman. She’s also very courageous, wading into the mire of people’s lives dressed in the Armor of God and armed with the Sword of the Spirit.

I would tell her about some mistreatment or other that I was experiencing. She would commiserate with me for a few minutes, but then with pursed lips, she would slightly shake her head and say those words I hated to hear, “What do you think the Lord is trying to teach you in this?”

It was like having a needle “scritch” across a record!

“No, you don’t understand. This is what they did, this is how they are treating me.” I felt hopeless, confused, like I was sinking.

“Tami, is God in control?”

“Yes.”

“Then, while He did not cause this to happen, He allowed it. If He allowed it, there must be something in it for you to learn, don’t you think?”

Ugh! I hated those conversations. In the end, I would see the truth of what she was saying and have to agree that there was indeed something in me that needed to be changed.

Another phrase she often stated was this: “But it’s not about you; it’s about Jesus.”

This always came on the heels of a confession that I had not received validation from people for whatever it was I thought I was called to do: teach, write, sing, etc.

For instance, I wanted to sing a solo with our worship team. After all, I have a great heart for worship…it’s what I live for. No one else saw my “potential,” though. As a result, I was passed over time and again. That really hurt. I wanted to hear that I was right, they were wrong…then I wanted her to “fix” the problem.

“Is worship about you? Will Jesus be glorified – or will you? What are you really after here?” She asked these questions warmly, her eyes probed the depths of my own.

Barb is great at getting to the heart of the issue. The Lord has given her an incredible gift of discernment and tons of wisdom to go with it.

I finally had to be honest with myself and admit that I wanted to use worship to gain approval and acceptance from others. Ouch! That smarted.

Once I saw my true motive, she would encourage me to talk to Jesus about what was uncovered, give me a chance to repent, and ask the Lord to give me a pure heart.

We went through this process countless times, and about numerous topics.

“We have to learn to die to ourselves. That’s what the Lord is after. Until we are dead to our sin, we cannot be alive in Christ. Life does not revolve around us. We don’t want to promote ourselves. After all, who can we save? If at the end of life, these people know how wonderful we are, but don’t know Jesus, what will happen to them?”

She has a great way of putting things into perspective.

Dead. Hmm. Mentally, I just couldn’t get there…

…so I went into my back yard…

and dug a grave.

Not a big one, but one big enough and deep enough

to bury a photo of myself.

Then I made a tombstone and set it on top.

Now I have a grave. I can mentally see myself as “dead.”

This is not a move I recommend for the faint-hearted.

Jesus was obviously pleased with my desire to live fully for Him, for after that I began to be passed over, ignored, and overlooked almost daily.

It hurt – but then, dying hurts.

Then glorious things began to come my way. He began to use me in prominent ways. He could because my goal was no longer to promote me, but to make His name known.

Sometimes my stinky old flesh rises up from the grave. I can tell when the “old me” is up running around, though. People are repelled. I’m obnoxiously obvious by the rotted stench of my pride.

The process is repeated: confess, repent, revisit the grave, ask for help to make my life about Jesus and not about me.

Being dead has its benefits:

I don’t have to take things personally anymore – it’s not about me.

I can serve without caring if anyone notices – it’s not about me.

I can tell others how much Jesus means to me – He gets the glory

I don’t have to “do more” or “try harder” – what can a dead person do to improve themselves?

Approval comes from the Lord alone. He is the One I seek to please.  (Galatians 1:10 – Do I now persuade men? Or do I seek to please men, or God? For if I still pleased men, I could not be a bondservant of Christ.”)

FREEDOM! The freedom to become the person Jesus created me to be.

The day I “died” was the best day of my life!

Advertisements

Actions

Information

40 responses

17 08 2015
isaiah41v10

Ok, I have a photo of myself in my handbag. I was going to throw it away yesterday, but kept it, not really knowing why. Now I do. I need to bury my pride and ambition, my desire to be praised and admired, my hankering for others to serve me and for life to revolve around myself. Thank you for your honesty. God bless. 🙂 (Off to the garden now for my funeral).

17 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

A strong word of caution. Make sure you *really* want this! It is a slow, painful process, this kind of death. You’ll become invisible. I won’t lie. This was extremely painful.

If you decide you do want to die to self and later find yourself in need of a ‘hospice companion’, you can e-mail me privately. 🙂 batransformed1@yahoo.com

12 06 2013
12 06 2013
TeachX3

“For instance, I wanted to sing a solo with our worship team. After all, I have a great heart for worship…it’s what I live for. No one else saw my “potential,” though. As a result, I was passed over time and again. That really hurt. I wanted to hear that I was right, they were wrong…then I wanted her to “fix” the problem.

“Is worship about you? Will Jesus be glorified – or will you? What are you really after here?” She asked these questions warmly, her eyes probed the depths of my own.

Barb is great at getting to the heart of the issue. The Lord has given her an incredible gift of discernment and tons of wisdom to go with it.

I finally had to be honest with myself and admit that I wanted to use worship to gain approval and acceptance from others. Ouch! That smarted.”

OMGosh, I just gazed into a mirror. I could of written this entire post, but I do not have your gift, so, I could not have. I’m sure you know what I mean. Point is, this post mirrors my heart… and I thank God for your gift, to be able to express as you do!

SO luv you sis!

12 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

I ever marvel that my struggle is not unique to me. Funny how when we keep our issues “in the dark,” they grow – like a dust bunny under the bed – until it is huge in our minds. The minute we bring it into the light, it loses its power over us.

Thanks for reblogging this. I appreciate that very much! 🙂

\o/

8 06 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

So much truth. That was also Lucifer’s problem. Look at where it got him? It seems to rub off on all of us. I so desperately need a Barb in my life!

8 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

She is truly our gift from the Lord! You’ll hear a lot about her as I write in the weeks to come (Lord willing). She was instrumental in teaching me how to hear the Lord’s voice, and to discern truth. Through her patient counseling, the Lord healed a lot of brokenness. How I praise His goodness.

\o/

8 06 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Many will rise up and call her blessed What a great legacy. I pray for many more like her, hopefully one will be planted in my area too. 🙂

9 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Who knows, maybe you’re the one??? 🙂
\o/

4 06 2013
knittingbassist

Great post! I’m really enjoying your blog. Thanks for following Knitting Bassist – I’ve just started a second blog “Surrendering my heart” about rediscovering my faith after marrying a non Christian husband and having kids. I’d really love it if you had a look x

4 06 2013
knittingbassist

Argh still getting to grips with wordpress, I think this is the link: http://wp.me/3BmMJ

4 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Go get ’em! May you be given a great harvest for your kingdom work!!!! 🙂

\o/
Praise Jesus!

4 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Left you a comment about your rubbish. 😉

Can’t wait to see what the Lord’s going to do through your blog!
\o/

3 06 2013
Lugarandcompany.wordpress.com

“What can a dead person do to improve themselves?” Great line and sooooo true. We can never do it in our own strength and come out with a God trophy. It’s Him or nothing…

3 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

I agree. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
\o/
Praise Jesus!

2 06 2013
ddclaywriter

Dead huh? Can I have your blog awards then?
dead in our sins but now alive in Christ; and it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me. Tough lessons to learn and tough to get there and stay there.
I just noticed you are a trailblazer member. I just joined yesterday.

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yes, you can have my awards!

Trailblazer – I guess it’s time to decide what I’m going to be when I grow up. I’m pretty clueless. Have you begun the first month’s homework yet? There’s a new Christian brainstorming group in the forum, too. If you’re interested, let me know. I’ll point you to it. batransformed1@yahoo.com

Talk to you soon. 🙂
\o/

2 06 2013
ddclaywriter

Yes I am interested Christian brainstorming.
I am a little embarrassed to say that I joined yesterday and last night I finished the homework.
I was a little surprised that was all there was.
Let me know about the forum. I will have to learn my way around it and like my blogging I will be limited during the week and I will catch up on the weekends.

3 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Here’s Katherine Harms’ Facebook message: I have opened a topic “Blog to Business with a Christian Worldview” in the forums under “Mastermind groups.” That seemed like a good place to share ideas and experience. Feel welcome.

Have you joined the Trailblazers private Facebook page? If not, ask Jarani to send you an invite to it. All the newbies are introducing themselves.

3 06 2013
ddclaywriter

I just got welcomed in there a few minutes ago.

2 06 2013
Mary

Tami, thank you for sharing this powerful post. My spiritual mother used to tell me, “You’re not dead enough yet!.” ((Ouch!!!))
(1 Cor. 15:31) “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I DIE DAILY.”
Keep sharing! Blessings!!!

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Welcome! Rarely a day goes by that I don’t find another part of me that needs to die. I’m so glad Jesus is really really patient.

Blessings to you as well. 🙂
\o/

3 06 2013
Mary

Ditto!!!! He IS faithful, and I’m so glad that He is!!!

3 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂
\o/
Praise Him!

2 06 2013
vonhonnauldt

The death struggles of “the flesh” are not pleasant.

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

You know it!
\o/

2 06 2013
labhrashealy

Thank you Tami for writing and sharing this. It’s hard staying dead but alive in Christ.I am encouraged, for I had been quite low over the last few weeks. Thank you.

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Glad to give a leg up by encouraging. I need a bit of that myself. It’s been a tough few weeks around here. Hang in there. It won’t last forever! I think I’ll spend the rest of the day imagining what I’ll be doing a hundred years from now!

Have a blessed Lord’s Day! 🙂

\o/

2 06 2013
heavenlyraindrops

Wonderful, needed lessons you shared here, ‘lessonsbyheart’ ~ thanks!

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your kind comment!

\o/

1 06 2013
Men of One Accord

Hand me another nail, just one more part of my sinful flesh to be nailed to the cross. Boy that sounds like a country song with steel guitar if I ever heard one! Thank-you for coming by Men of One Accord and you loving comments too, God Bless, James

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Sounds good. I’m hoping to write some songs later this year. I’ll keep that one in mind. 😉

Have a blessed day rejoicing in the Lord. 🙂

\o/

1 06 2013
Larry Who

I’m mostly dead now, but I still have some areas which spring to life from time to time. Thank God, my wife has just the right needle to puncture them. Thanks for the great message.

1 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Spouses are good for that, aren’t they?

\o/

1 06 2013
greenlightlady

Tami, once again we’re reminded that his yoke is easy. The bondage of self-absorbing pride is not. Excellent post!

Blessings ~ Wendy

1 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Wendy! 🙂

\o/

1 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Loved this! Thank you for posting this! I reblogged it to my blog! Have a great day!

1 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Toni
Have an awesome weekend!
\o/

1 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Reblogged this on thinkinaboutjesus.

1 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂
\o/

Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: