when i knew my name.

So I know it’s been a while since my last post, like two months. There’s no judgement here though, right?

Anyway, besides the fact I’ve literally been non-existent on social media for about a month, and my blog site for two months, God has been doing some amazing things. Like people, God is so freaking good. Too good to put into words.

Why I’ve probably been so non-existent on my blog site is because I’ve honestly had no idea what to even write about because so many things have happened, but I’ve felt so led to share this one specific thing that’s been on my heart lately. Something that God has shown me, and received so much glory for. Like, can I get an amen up in here?

So I honestly have no idea where to start, but I’ll start here. Since coming back to Liberty for this semester, something has just felt different. When I mean something has felt different, I mean I’ve felt different.

When I look at myself, I don’t recognize myself. When I talk, I don’t recognize my own words. When I think about myself, I don’t even know who I’m thinking about. Honestly, I don’t even know who I am anymore. You see the thing is, I don’t know who I am anymore, because I’ve realized who He is. While at first you may have thought, and you may still think, Aleks, are you sure you’re okay? Are you sure you know what you’re saying? Yes, I’m absolutely sure I know what I’m saying, and I’m more than okay. I’m doing great.

But even realizing who I am, in light of who He is, I’ve still wondered, what changed? And you see, I’m not all exactly sure about what changed, except for one thing. I decided to let Christ take the pen and write my story. I decided to let the story of my life be written by the One who spoke life into its very existence, with grace guiding every stroke of His pen.

Because here’s the thing, all of my life, shame has written my story. It has dictated every word, making sure each stroke was guided by pain and heartache. Shame wrote my story telling me I was worth nothing, that I wasn’t worth a good story. Interwoven onto each page, shame told the story of a girl who was too afraid to live life, too afraid to be who she was created to be, too afraid to be free. Shame’s plot to my story was that I wasn’t worth a good story. With each page there would be opportunities of greatness for my character, but she would never take them. She would be given it all, but she would turn it all away, because she wasn’t worth it. Shame told me who my name was, victim.

For so many years of my life, shame robbed me of my joy, and of myself. It told me where to go, how to live life, who I was, and most importantly, who I could and would never be, because I wasn’t worth it.

This summer though, I decided to rob a bank. I decided to rob the bank of shame, and take the pen that wrote the story of my life.

When I broke in, the bank’s alarms sounded. The police were called. But I got the pen, and made a fast dash to my freedom. Man, did it feel good to finally hold the pen in my hands again. And though the pen felt good in my hands, it felt better in His. After all, He created pen, and me. So once I got the pen, I gave it to Him, because He can and will write the best story of my life. A story all the greatest fantasies could only dream to be. Whoever thought robbing a bank could be a good thing?

Ever since the pen was given back into the hands of the One who created it, my story has completely changed. No longer was the plot about what the character would never be able to do, instead, the plot became all that the character would become in life through her redemption by the One whose blood spilled so her story would be given a new plot. A plot meant for her good, and not for her destruction.

See, here’s the thing. Shame told me who I was in my past, what I did in my past, and how my past would always be my future. But here’s the loophole I found, the past can only tell you the story of the past. The past said that the future would never be bright for me, because, well, look at my past. The thing is though, the past doesn’t know the future, it only knows the past, so it can only say that what will happen is what already happened. See, the past’s greatest fear is that you will walk into the future, that you will live, because the past has only seen you for what you were or have done. And so, this summer I chose to confront my past’s greatest fear; me walking into the future.

This summer I realized though, what happened in the past was hard and filled with pain, and I can’t discount what happened. I can’t change the previous chapters of my life when they’ve already been closed. What happened was hard, heart-aching, and pain-filled, but I get to choose what I will do with my past and how it will affect me. I get to choose how my story will be written, and who will write it. You see, I can’t change the past, I can’t change what I did, or what happened, but I can decide how my future will be. I can decide to let my past continue to write the story of my life, or I can decide to let Christ write the future. The same goes for you. You can’t change what happened in your past, or what you did, but you can choose how it will affect you, and what you will do with the past. You can let the author of creation write your story, taking the past and making it something of the past.

See, no major event happened that made the lightbulb go off, and everything just clicked. I just finally decided to stop listening to my past, and open my eyes. I had my eyes closed for so much of life, letting the past dictate me in every step of my life, but one day, I finally decided to open up my eyes. I decided to stop listening to the voice of my past and shame, and say no. That’s why everything is different this year.

I realized who I am in light of who He is. And there is power in that.

So this year, I’m finally living life. I’m finally loving who I am. I’m finally awake and have vision for the future because I know who is writing my future.

I finally know my name. I know who I am, and whose I am. I am His. For I am in Christ, and so, I have His holy name. The name that is above every other. Jesus. (Acts 4:12)

And please don’t get a wrong idea in your minds. Yes, I have been saved for about three years now. Never once in those three years since I decided to follow Him did I realize I truly wasn’t saved, and truly began to follow Him. No. He has been my Lord since I gave my life to Him three years ago, but I was still a prisoner to my thoughts. The prison doors were opened, but I stayed in the cell. I knew the freedom that He offered, but I still struggled to claim it as mine. But, this summer I walked out of the cell.

That is why this year is different. I know my name.

You see, I learned that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

That is the life I am after. A life lived to its fullest. But the fullest life is only found in Him, and He so graciously offers us this full life to live in. The major plot though, is whether we accept it. You see, you may look at John 10:10, and be like, um, Aleks, do you realize what it says in the first part of the verse? Do you realize that it says the devil can steal and kill and destroy? The answer to your question is yes. Yes, I do realize what it says. But I also realize the one word that changes the power that the devil says, and places the power rightfully into the hands of the one who can only righteously hold power. The thief can “only.” Only is the word that changes this whole verse. The thief can only steal, kill, and destroy, and that is the end that besets him daily. Christ has come so that that we may have life, and have it to the full. The thief can’t offer life, and neither can he take away the life given to us through Christ.

You see, I lived, and we live believing the lie the thief tells us. The lie that we are not good enough for the end of the story, and that the good ending we hear about isn’t truly for us. BUT, if we are in Christ we know the end of the story, and trust me it’s a good one. It’s where He reigns, the only righteous judge, in truth and righteousness. And we ARE worth the end of that story, because just think about it. If we were worthy enough for Him to die for us, we are more than worthy to call that amazing end where He reigns and death is defeated as part of our story. We get to call that the end of our story.

But it’s time to take care of some business with the thief. We must rob the thief of his very own power. We must put him in his place and remind him how the ending to his story goes. This summer, that is what I did. I realized I was worth the end of my story that Christ has given me through this new life, and I know Satan’s story’s end. In the end, he loses, and I win; so, I chose to live in the freedom of knowing the great end to my story, also knowing the end that besets him. That is where my freedom came from. When I knew my name, because I knew to whom I belonged and am in.

And going back to the beginning of my post. I don’t know who I am because I’m just beginning to realize who I am, and who I am truly meant to be. And as I begin to realize who I am, I fall more in love with who I am, and I fall in even more love with Him. I fall more in love with Him because I see all that He has to offer me and I can’t help but be in awe of all that He has done for me, just so He could call me His. As this year goes on, I am going to continue walking into my identity that Christ has given me, because it is mine to claim. And I want the story of my life to be one that goes down in the books. I want my story to be one that Hell constantly fears hearing about. I want the devil to know my name, and know it well. That is the story I am embarking on to live.

With all that to say, I leave you with a question. What story are you living? Is your story shaking the ground in Hell, or is Hell constantly on the prowl to hurt your story, and has it already hurt it enough? If so, I challenge you to rob the bank of shame, and take back the pen to your life. It will change your life. For your freedom in Christ depends upon it.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

 

well, I’m outtie.

-Aleks Bennett

 

 

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