it’s #styleforjustice week on the blog, friends! I leave Friday and I thought I’d finally let you into these words I penned the days that followed my invitation to join this amazing dream of a trip. …
Have you ever in your life been so humbled that you cried for 3 days? Hi, my name is Wynne Elder and this happened to me.
My prayer for humility has been a constant prayer the past two years. I know I struggle with pride, and so my prayer for humility has been persistent. Patrick, our pastor, did a series on humility over the Christmas season and it’s been something I’ve gone back to again and again the past few weeks. In my notes, I wrote down “we will grow in humility more when we know more of who we are in Jesus“. To know more of who we are in Jesus, we have to understand who we are in Christ. This is something I too, have struggled with. Putting my identity in things other than who I am as a daughter of Christ. In seasons I’ve placed my identity in what I do: photographer, student, non profit fundraiser, blogger, mama. and at times I put my identity in what I’m passionate about: africa, noonday, adoption, missions. Sometimes I place my identity in how I feel about myself: alone, not good enough, bad friend/mother/wife.
It’s been a constant prayer to find my identity in HIM alone. I knew that it would have to be Jesus that changed the way I think about myself. I know that God works everything together for good, and sadly it was a really harsh conversation I had recently with someone I love very dearly that woke me up to the reality of who I am in Christ. When someone questions who you are, you have the choice: to believe what that person says to or about you, OR chose to believe what Jesus thinks of me and who He says I am. In that moment, I had a miraculous change of heart and mind from the Spirit. Suddenly my eyes were opened, and I began to see WHO I am in Christ. Patrick said, “humility is understanding who you are! it comes from a transformed identity”.
Fast forward to my weekend at the Noonday conference. I was humbled again. It’s like I can’t figure out my own sin to confess it and recieve forgiveness and move on…but here comes the pride thing again. I’ve been a part of Noonday since the very beginning – it’s been a huge part of my story, and who I am [my identity if you will]. Through Noonday I’ve fundraised an adoption, traveled to meet our artisans with our founder, Jessica, as well as be there for the most amazing week of Jessica + Joe’s life as they met and brought home their son from Rwanda, Jack. I’ve sat in workshops and homes with our artisans in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda. I’ve met some amazing women that have become like my sisters, and now that my babies are home – it’s given me purpose. It’s given me a reason to get out of my yoga pants and go to a friend’s house to tell these stories.
It’s been so easy for me to almost flippantly say, “oh yes, I took that photograph”, or “Yea, I was there when that happened”. Almost like I deserved or was entitled to that expierence? Like I was somehow better because of these expierences. [I hope yall know how hard this is to admit, I am not proud of it]. That all changed Friday night at the ambassador conference [in January]. Jessica + Jalia stood before us and for at least 1.5 hours, shared their stories. All of what God has done in and through them the past few years. This amazing company they have built and the countless people all over the world who have LIFE now because of it. I sat there, compltely humbled. I don’t know how else to say it – my eyes were opened, and all of a sudden I saw my story in their story. but I saw it not as something I had done, or something that made me important because of it, but I saw Gods hand in it ALL! I was overwhelmed by the fact that He has allowed me the opportunity to be a part of the story. HOW? WHY? These were the questions that were going through my head as I tried to sleep that night.
I went to bed in awe of this story God was allowing me to be a part of. A story that was + is way bigger than I could have ever dreamed. It was pretty fitting Jennie Allen + Jen Hatmaker were speaking to our crew on Saturday morning. Two other passion filled, justice fighting, christ following, adoptive mamas [Not to mention two of my favorite teachers + writers in our generation]. I was, once again, filled with gratitude. I was AWAKEN to who He created me to be, to the plan He has for my life, and I was pumped up to get back to reality + really get after it again. What I did not expect was what happened next….