The Sunflower

sunflowerMy favorite flower is the sunflower. There is something about this flower that has always drawn me to it. The brightness of the large yellow petals opened wide, never fails to bring a smile to my face. Its daily movement always keeping its eye on the sun, soaking in every ray. I did some research on the sunflower and what I found was quite compelling. The head of the sunflower is actually several hundred flowers together, all growing individually and from where each sunflower will originate. The yellow petals are protective leaves that cover the center head while it’s growing. The sunflower tracks the suns position overnight and will reset to its original position of east and wait for morning. There is a relationship between the sun and the sunflower. It is a powerful and life giving relationship.

I can see myself in this image of the sunflower. The power of the sun is the power of the Son. We are tiny seeds in the arms of our precious Father. When we fix our gaze on the King, we grow strong, tall and bloom into a beautiful daughter of the King. There is power in being a child of the King. There is power and life in a relationship with the Father. It is a choice. Allowing the power of Jesus in our lives is a choice to believe in the truth of who He is. The choice to believe in His goodness. The choice to believe in His limitless and unwavering love. If I am being honest, I KNOW these things and BELIEVE these things to be true . . . for others . . . but I don’t always believe them to be true for myself . . . and I don’t think I’m alone in my feelings. The power of our thoughts creates a barrier between who we are and who we were created to be. It creates a barrier in the relationship between us and our Father. It puts unintended limitations on what our Father is able to do and wants to do in our lives. It creates an agreement that there are things our Father cannot handle that we need to hold on to. It creates an agreement that says our Father is too busy with others who are more important or of more value to Him.

I began walking with the Lord when I was 18. I believed in God, went to church, married a wonderful Godly man and would participate in occasional bible studies. On the outside looking in, I was doing all the right things. I would have described myself as a good Christian walking through life checking the boxes. I was walking blind to the agreements I was bound by. I wasn’t the smartest person. I couldn’t quote much from the bible. I didn’t have anything to offer anyone. I was just a school teacher. I was just a mom. I wasn’t very pretty. I didn’t deserve any love or special attention from God . . . especially since I was an “oops” number three child of my parents.  I was living in a smaller story not realizing there was a larger story available. I needed to break the agreements, break the lies, to give me access to the larger story. To give me access to my Father. To give me access to the power of Jesus. To allow me to start a deep and intimate relationship as a daughter of the King. I had been living unaware of the power struggle between my thoughts and the truth of who I am in the eyes of my Father. When I, under the authority and power of Jesus, broke every agreement and every lie I was believing, the barriers were broken. I was flooded with a love more powerful than I can express. Being loved by my husband and children is amazing. Being loved my Father is powerful. Experiencing the power of Jesus and His love brought me to a place where I can say with confidence: I am beautiful. I am smart. I have something to offer. I am loved. There is a relationship between my Father and me. It is a powerful and life giving relationship . . . but it’s not always easy.

Walking in intimacy with my Father and the knowledge of the power of Jesus in my life, does not equate to a life without pain or struggles. The power of Jesus in my life is the knowledge that I have a Father actively working in my life and fighting for my heart. The power of Jesus allows me to live out of my heart rather than out of my flesh. The power of Jesus allows me to see my identity in who I am as a favorite daughter of God rather than in my circumstances. This goes back to the power of our thoughts and our relationship with our Father. When our eyes lose sight of our Father and we get caught up in the toxic life of busyness, it opens the door for the enemy to come in and whisper those little agreements and lies we just broke. We sit back and wait for the other shoe to drop and begin to doubt the goodness of our Father. While we would all love to lie and say this has never happened to us, the reality is it has and it will happen again. We are human. We are flawed. We live in a fallen world. Believing in the power of Jesus is recognizing there is an enemy who is alive and active and does not want you to see the power of God used in your life. To experience the power of Jesus we daily have to release control and lift our hands to our Father. We have to make a choice to nurture our relationship with our Father and spend time alone with Him. Talk to Him and listen for His voice. His words are true and they are powerful. Like a sunflower keeping its eyes on the sun to absorb its power, so we need to keep our eyes on the Son for His power. There is power in His name alone. There is power in His love. There is power in our choice.
Psalm 147:5-6 The Message

God’s the one who rebuilds Jerusalem, who regathers Israel’s scattered exiles. He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does. God puts the fallen on their feet again and pushes the wicked into the ditch.

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