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Shaped by Grace

My love for books started before I could even read. Around 3 years of age, I remember the writing on one of my PJ’s that read: I Am: Adorable, Beautiful, Courageous… and so on, with each word starting with the letters of the alphabet. My Mother would read it to me and I memorized it and would read it to everyone, as if I could actually read the words. The books I’ve read throughout the years started to shape my thinking, my values and my outlook on life.

Grace started to shape me as a Daughter in ways that I cannot explain. Life bombards us with information 24/7, information that has the potential to shape who we are and how we react. Determining who you are is one of the most powerful realizations in your journey of life.

Every lady is beautiful and unique as the bible says that we “are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and we are “born for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

But are we shaped by the Word of God or the words of the world? Whose voice speaks the loudest in our lives and is that voice aligned with God’s Word?

Women are powerful and we hold the potential to make or break any situation. This world is fallen yet Jesus came to “bring us Life and Life in abundance” (John 10:10).

In Genesis 2:18 the Hebrew word EZER is used to describe God’s creation of Life in a Woman, a ‘helper’. The word EZER intrigued me, so with a little investigation I realized that it appears 21 times in the Old Testament. First it is used to describe Eve, then to describe nations that are called to ‘help’ Israel, but it is most often used to describe the role of God. I was reminded of the Holy Spirit within each Gracious Daughter of God, the helper, Who we carry within during great times and through the difficult times. One thing is for sure, He is always there to shape us into the purpose that we were created for. The helper is strong and powerful, the helper is a protector and support structure in times of need. I love that Eve is described as the EZER. But it’s not because she could carry the world on her shoulders and be a Super wife, Super mum, Super friend or Super daughter. The Holy Spirit within shapes us as we lean into Jesus as the burden bearer, Who gives us what we need as we need it.

Women wear many hats and we face many challenges in life, however there is no stopping a woman who knows and believes who God says she is. A women shaped by Grace unleashes the EZER within and she changes the atmosphere wherever she goes. Resting in His finished work frees her from the ‘Superwoman’ desire and gives her the opportunity to trust that Jesus has her back, front and center.

Know where you come from and appreciate how you got there, however be ready too for the days ahead as God is in the business of makeovers and reinventions. I think that celebrities and musicians mimic God’s lead when they change their appearance and persona. But the real makeover comes from Jesus when He shapes us by His Grace, from the inside out. No matter how dark or gloomy our history, God is always willing to give us a new beginning. My biggest challenge in life, lead me to Jesus and Jesus was all I had. My family and friends loved me but no man could fix what was broken. As I drew closer to Jesus, the only One Who could restore what was broken, I began to be shaped by His Grace in ways that cannot be explained. The 100 fold blessings are tangible and I stand in awe of His goodness and LIFE in abundance.

I pray that each of you encounter Jesus in a personal and supernatural way as He shapes the EZER within you. I challenge you to write down who GOD says YOU are, keep that safe and when the voices of this world try to challenge your purpose and identity, refocus and be SHAPED by GRACE.

Some of my favorite books that have shaped me over the years include:

The World Atlas: Some might call that a weird favorite book choice and it’s definitely not on any ‘must read’ book list. However this book showed me the world beyond. It instilled a desire to travel to these amazing places and it shaped my love for different people who come from different places.

My Mum’s recipe books: My Mother is the best cook that I know and she always created the most delicious meals. I always enjoyed the creativity that comes with baking and cooking. These books and her love for cooking shaped my love for food.

Inside Indenture by Ashwin Desai & Goola Vahed: This book illustrates the story of my history as a South African Indian and it shaped my appreciation and understanding of my culture and history.

I write what I like by Steve Biko: My Dad says that knowledge is something that no-one can steal. Education was important to my Dad, he did not finish school as he needed to find a job to help his family survive. This book by Steve Biko shaped my understanding of the person of colour that I am in the history of the beautiful country of South Africa that I live in.

I converted to Christianity in 2011 and the first book I read was Destined to Reign by Ps Joseph Prince. I count myself as blessed, to have been shaped by this book as a new believer. I have always had a strong identity, possibly rooted in the knowledge gained from books, but Grace started to shape me with the Wisdom of God. The Wisdom gained from the bible made me want to read more about Jesus.

Be Supernaturally Blessed by Grace

Dhanashree

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