Jo Saxton’s story is about “discovering the depths and height and breadth of God’s redeeming, transforming love.”
When Jesus sends us out, a key place He sends us to is the life we already have. Are you available for God to use your story in the lives of others?
In her new book The Dream of You, Jo Saxton shows you how to be sent in your own life.
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Life at home with a new name
In my house there is a mirror and a little table near my front door. That’s where we often put our keys. The idea behind it is that I briefly check myself in the mirror, pick up my keys, and go out into the world to get on with the day. It doesn’t always work that way.
Some days I get a little … preoccupied with myself in the mirror. There are days when I am especially pleased with how together I’m looking. I look fantastic! Then there are days I’m not as impressed with what I’ve thrown together. There are other days that, frankly, I look ridiculous, so I burst out laughing. When I’m distracted, I forget that I’m actually going somewhere and need to get my keys. Other days I can’t even find my keys, and it’s certain that I’m not going anywhere until I find them.
It’s important to take a good long look in the mirror, as it were, to see who you really are, to see what’s out of place, what needs rearranging. But let’s remember the end goal is not purely that we like what we see in the mirror. It’s easy to become preoccupied, wondering if we’re enough or too much. It’s as though we stand in front of the mirror wondering, Do my spiritual gifts look big in this? Do I need some spiritual Spanx to rein me in?
Don’t get me wrong. There are times we need the long look in the mirror; we need to see what God sees and invite Him to work on our identity. It’s redeeming, transformative, and empowering. It’s simply that God still has more for us.
A healthy identity opens our life to abundant purpose. As God has redeemed the broken pieces of my life, I find there is more room for all that He brings. There is greater capacity to go where He sends me, to respond to His call.
There is less of me — of my self-absorption and self-protection — and there is more room for others. There’s less energy spent striving and proving and more room for dreaming. When I’m not investing my energy in what I think I should be according to the standards of others, I am free to run into all that I actually am. I can unwrap the gifts God has given me and do it without shame or anxiety. I can deploy my skills and gifts and passions in His service without wondering if I am okay. I am okay; I’m His child. I’m free to learn and fail and grow. Yes, I’m a work in progress, but I’m making progress. It shows in less of me and more of Him.
I used to be afraid of it, but now I am discovering the depths and height and breadth of God’s redeeming, transforming love. I want Him to redeem every fiber of my body, mind, and soul, as well as every second of my life. I want that kind of redemption for me and for the world around me. That’s why I have chosen to be a lifelong learner, a disciple of Jesus, rather than wear myself out trying to achieve goals shaped by a broken past or by popular culture. Instead of being a perfectionist, I’ll be a follower of the One who really changed the world for eternity.
We are inspired when we read about Simon being given the name Peter and, along with his new name, being commissioned and called in a new way. How could anyone read that account and not be uplifted and inspired? But now you and I have our own stories of redemption, transformation, and calling. We’re being transformed from the inside out, and it is changing our lives.
We’ve got security, peace, and wholeness. It’s what others are searching for and the kind of good news that’s too good to keep to ourselves. It’s time to be bold.
You have purpose: you can play your part in bringing the kingdom of heaven to the scorched places of your family, your community, your workplace, your city, and your world. It’s time to act.
When I’m not investing my energy in what I think I should be according to the standards of others, I am free to run into all that I actually am.
You have permission to live into your purpose. You were commissioned to do this a long time ago (see Matthew 28:18–20). But have you got directions for your purpose, and have you got your keys?
Share your journey with others
Think about who might benefit from hearing how God has changed you already, and how He continues to work in your life. When Jesus sends us out, a key place He sends us to is the life we already have. Look around you and notice where you are and whom you are with. Is there someone close at hand with whom you can share what God is doing in your life?
As part of my work, I spend a lot of time on planes. There have been plenty of opportunities to listen and talk to, even pray with, fellow passengers. We start with stories, sometimes very personal stories, but not always. Everyone has a story, and most people want to share theirs. I know that once we’re buckled in and off the ground, it’s time to put down my book, unplug the headphones, and be available.
Are you available for God to use your story in the lives of others? Pray for opportunities to share your journey with people. Pray that you will recognize them when they come your way, and for the boldness to share when opportunities appear.
Ask God to point out the people He has sent to you, the ones you should pray for and share with. Ask God for the peace to be yourself, to be open to others and to speak what God has given you to say (see Luke 10).
In her new book The Dream of You — released today! — Jo Saxton shares her personal story and asks “Is this the life you were meant to live?” Order a copy through Amazon here to get started on your journey.
Jo Saxton is a popular leadership trainer, international speaker, and author who is passionate about seeing Jesus transform lives across the globe. She has been featured at IF: Gathering, Catalyst, Thrive, and Propel conferences. Jo also chairs the board of an international discipleship organization, known as 3D Movements, serves on the advisory board for Today’s Christian Woman, and co-hosts the LeadStories podcast. Jo and her husband, Chris, live in the Minneapolis area with their two daughters.
Adapted from The Dream of You by Jo Saxton; Foreword by Ann Voskamp Copyright © 2018 by Jo Saxton. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.