Who Am I?

Who Am I?

One of the very first times I remember questioning my identity was when I was only five years old. My childhood best friend and I lived in the same neighborhood. We played every day together. And, of course, our families went to the same church. Around Christmastime, like many others, our church had a Christmas program planned, and they needed a little girl to play a role in the performance. I can still remember the way my heart hurt when I found out they didn’t choose me and had chosen my friend for the role. But the hurt I felt was not from them choosing my friend; the hurt was because all I could hear in that moment was that they didn’t choose me. True or not, at just five years old, I thought very clearly: The reason they must not have chosen me is because I’m chubby and not cute like her. While I don’t feel the same pain and hurt today, as a mom to my own little girl now, replaying that memory is still heartbreaking to me.

I can’t help but think about my daughter. I never want her to doubt her identity or her value, but because she’s human, I know she’ll ask that question throughout her life. My prayer now is not that she would never ask the question, but that she will always know Who to ask.

A Little Pro Tip

No matter who you are, how you see yourself, or where you’ve come from, there’s about a 99.99% chance you’ve asked this question before. Make no mistake, this is a loaded question. Some of us ask ourselves, some of us ask the people around us, some of us ask people we don’t even know on social media and, in desperate times, some of us do all the above.

The question “Who am I?” doesn’t always sound like those three little words. It comes in all kinds of packages: thoughts, thought patterns, feelings of doubt, and often anxiety. “Who am I?” often looks like comparing gifts, talents, abilities, looks, calling, or story. It can mean comparing your family, how you were raised, or even your perspective of yourself to that of someone else. Whether we realize it or not, we ask the question “Who am I?” many times throughout our lives and in many different seasons. Some of us, when we might be walking through an especially difficult season, even ask ourselves this question multiple times each day. As a culture and a people, I believe we’re crying out for the answer to this question more than we ever have before.

So, you might be thinking, I ask myself this all the time. I want to begin our journey together by reminding you that asking questions, even this one, is not bad! But asking this question to the wrong person could be detrimental.

I used to believe discovering who we are was something we figured out when we were young, but I realized with every new season, I was rediscovering who I am again and again. Throughout my life, I’ve watched others far beyond me in years some cases, never truly know who they are at all. As women, we go through many seasons that cause us to re-ask the question “Who am I?” Not to mention the pressure of social media and its access to people and women across the world, which has made count- less women feel less valuable, less original, less worthy, and less captivating.

This three-word question can quickly feel over- whelming and all-consuming when we don’t have an answer. In some seasons, many of us become so crippled by the lack of an answer that it completely transforms the way we think, feel, and act.

One of the most life-changing moments for me came from asking God this question at 22 years old. I was living out a dream of being a professional backup dancer, traveling the world, experiencing different places, and making memories. But this dream wasn’t as perfect as I imagined it would be. I was incredibly confused and lacked peace, not to mention I was also in a relationship that was causing that confusion. Throughout that season of life and through a relationship that lasted four years, you could definitely say I was asking the right question to the wrong person. And, because I was asking the right question to the wrong person, I remained confused and anxious.

So, I want to give you a little pro-tip, straight from my hard-won reality to your heart! Whether you’re 15, 55, or 95 and reading this right now, you will never discover who you truly are by asking more questions about who you are.

Discovering your true identity, your God-given DNA, and your personality — what makes you and shakes you — will only happen by discovering more about the One who made you. Whether you’re reading this and believing in God or doubting every part of Him, I can promise you that He is the way to the contentment and peace with yourself that you’re searching for.

Our Truest Self and Deepest Purpose

At 22 years old, I decided I was done living in the in-between. I wanted to live in the fullness that Jesus came to give me and died to lavish upon me, so I ended the relationship, quit my dream job, moved to a new city, made new friends, and began believing for God’s very best for my life. To that point in my life, those were the hardest decisions I had ever made, but now I can tell you that they led to the best seasons of my life.

Completely starting over caused me to ask the question, “God, who am I?” At least this time, I was asking the right person! I had held on so tightly to the things I was doing and the people I was doing them with that, without them, I truly didn’t know who I was.

One day, as I sat in my apartment in Nashville, God reminded me of a video my mom had sent me months earlier. In the video, I was about three years old, standing in the playroom of my home. I grabbed the karaoke mic and said with great confidence, “I love Jesus.” In that moment, God was gently reminding me that the most important title I would ever have is simply being “His,” a daughter.

What does a three-year-old have to offer? What important thing can a three-year-old achieve? Not much. And that was the point. He didn’t want me to achieve anything, be anything, or do anything for Him. He didn’t care how much Scripture I had memorized, how many followers I had on social media, how many people approved or disapproved of the relationship I was in, or how successful I was by my or anyone else’s standards. God just wanted me to know whose I was — I was His. And when we know we are His, we discover our truest self and our deepest purpose.

Now, let me be clear — I’m not asking you to quit your job, move to a new town, or completely start your life over. But I do want to ask if there’s something, anything, holding you back from being who you truly are. I know that can be a bit of an overwhelming question, so it’s okay if you don’t know right now…

Although my story involved moving and starting over in many areas of life, I can tell you that it wasn’t all about those external changes. The physical changes were a tangible result of letting go and letting Jesus show me who He is and who I am because of Him.

You’re In A Beautiful Place

Maybe you’re in a new season of life, and you feel like you’re back at the starting line. Maybe you just moved to college, or maybe your kids just left the house and you’re rediscovering life as an empty nester. Maybe you just got married or maybe you’re pregnant, and your body is changing like crazy. Maybe you’re a grandma now, or maybe life threw you a curveball you didn’t see coming, and you don’t even know what to call the season you’re in. If I could put my hand over your forehead right now, the way my dad always would, and speak peace over your mind and rest over your heart, that’s exactly what I would do.

The truth is, though you may not feel like it now, you’re in a beautiful place. You’ve got a really good Friend ready to walk with you, ready to work with you, ready to show you who He is and who you are because of Him. Whether it’s for the first time or whether it’s for the hundredth time, it’s never a bad idea to ask your Father, to ask Jesus, to remind you who you are.

Taken from Daughter: Becoming Who You Already Are by Laney Rene

Laney Rene is a wife, mom, and founder of The One He Loves, a ministry which exists so every woman can be refreshed, encouraged, and reminded of Jesus’ loving-kindness toward them. She’s the author of the new book, Daughter: Becoming Who You Already Are. Laney is known for sharing the goodness of Jesus in a way that is not just inviting but also captivating. After walking through a painful season and into a redemption story only Jesus could come up with, Laney couldn’t keep the good news to herself. Today, as a worship artist, author, and speaker, Laney continues to find creative ways to share the heart of Jesus with everyone she can!

Faith In Jesus Name

Faith In Jesus Name

Message from Team LO: We are so excited about today’s post from our favorite, Laney Rene! This feature is from LO sister’s exclusive workshop, The Everyday Girl Guide! Download the app today to be a part of this study, mentorship from your favs, and global community! 

Now let’s learn from Laney today!

Recently I was driving down the road with a friend talking about life. We had just had coffee so our energy was high and the word count was far from a few. She was sharing with me some things she had been walking through, asking God for and believing she would see a breakthrough in. One of the things we started talking about was healing. My friend started to sharing some of things with me that she was asking God for healing in. The different things varied from relational healing, to physical healing. This conversation led to us talking about faith and the importance of it.

While we were talking, I felt like I heard something that I’ve never really thought about. You could say I had a revelation.

So often when we talk about faith or read things in the bible like “Your faith has made you well”, we hear it as a measure of faith, but what I heard is that faith is not about “how much” or “how little”, rather it’s “where” we put our faith. Let me explain.

In Matthew 17 we see an epileptic boy brought to the disciples by his father, but the disciples could not heal him. When Jesus hears of this from the desperate father He responds with, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? Jesus has the boy brought to Him and the child was cured that very hour.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. – Matthew 17:20

WHOOP!! There. It. Is.

Jesus made it clear to us that it’s not about “how much” faith we have. Jesus clearly said, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move! Nothing will be impossible for you.” Yes, Jesus does give us a measure, but if you’ve ever seen a mustard seed before you will understand the point He was making. Mustard seeds are tiny!!!

Meaning it doesn’t take a great “amount” of faith to move a mountain. So if it’s not about an amount… what point was Jesus making?

Notice Jesus asked them “How long must I be with you?” And then a little later when the disciples asked Him why they could not perform the miracle, He answered starting with “because of your unbelief”. Jesus was addressing “where” they put their faith. He was asking, “how long must I be with you until you believe in me”, for Jesus knew that they could do nothing without Him.

In Acts chapter 3, we see a man healed who had been lame from birth. He was carried to the temple where he normally would beg for money. When Peter and John approached him, he reached out his hand expecting that they would give him money, but Peter said to him, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”. Immediately the man stood to his feet. Walking, leaping and praising God, the man entered the temple with them.

All the people saw the man walking and praising God. They stood in awe and amazement because they knew it was the man who was lame who had been begging at the gate of the temple. I love Peters response after he sees that everyone is so amazed, He says,

Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.  But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.  And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comesthrough Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Notice the people marveled at the miracle that had happened, but Peter brought them back to the who it was all about – Jesus. Jesus is the one who made the man who had been lame from the womb completely healed. Jesus’ name is the one who brought the man to his feet! Jesus IS our faith! He is our reason to believe and the only one by which we are healed and set free! Also, notice that Peter makes it clear that it was not by their own power or godliness that they made the man walk! He knew it was not in his own strength and not of himself. Peter knew that it was all Jesus.

So, what part did Peter and John play in all of this? And what part can you and I play in our own walk of faith? Just believe. Believe in the name of Jesus and the one who was sent for your faith to be started and totally completed.

Hebrew 12:2 says, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”

So where do we find our faith? “Looking unto Jesus”. Jesus is the one who makes your faith complete. Trying to muster up enough faith for your miracle can feel like an exhausting endless cycle of striving and earning, but when you look unto Jesus you can recognize that your faith is already complete, lacking nothing.

Laney Rene (most recently known as Mrs. Pickens!) is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.  

Follow Laney on Instagram @heylaneyrene

Drop Your Water Pot

Drop Your Water Pot

Message from Team LO: We are so excited about today’s post from our favorite, Laney Rene! Laney has written an exclusive study on the book of Ruth, launching TODAY in LO Fam! We are giving away your first month free (limited time only!) so join today and be a part of this new study, mentorship from your favs, and global community! 

Have you ever heard the story of the woman at the well? You might have, but I’ll give a little summary just in case.

The story goes like this…

Jesus left Judea to go to Galilee after hearing what the Pharisees were saying about Him baptizing more people than John.

On His way to Judea, He had to go through Samaria.

Jesus was tired from His journey, so He sat by a well.

While He was there a woman from Samaria came to draw water from that well.

Jesus asked the woman for a drink, but when He did the woman couldn’t understand why a Jew would ask her (a Samaritan) for a drink of water.

Because “traditionally” the Jews wanted nothing to do with the Samaritans.

So she said to Him, “Why would a Jewish man ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?”

In reply, Jesus said to her, “If only you knew the gift of God and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would’ve asked Him for a drink and He would’ve given you living water.”

The woman, seeing that Jesus had nothing to draw water with, goes on to tell Him the well is very deep. “So where do you get this living water?” she asked.

Jesus said to her, “Anyone who drinks this water will thirst again, but anyone who drinks of the water I give him will never thirst again.

The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

After this, the women said to Jesus, “Give me this water that I may never thirst again and have to come back here to draw water.”

Jesus, in reply, said, “Go get your husband and bring him back here”, already knowing that she didn’t have a husband, but that she had 5! And, the man she was currently living with was not her husband.

The woman then said to Jesus, “You must be a prophet! So tell me this… Why do our fathers worship God here on this nearby mountain, but your people teach that Jerusalem is the place where we must worship. Which is right?”

Jesus responded to her question saying, “Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you won’t worship the Father on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart. Your people don’t really know the One they worship. We Jews worship out of our experience, for it’s from the Jews that salvation is made available. From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and He longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”

Then the woman said, “This is all so confusing… but I do know that the Anointed One is coming—the true Messiah. And when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to her, “You don’t have to wait any longer, the Anointed One is here speaking with you—I am the One you’re looking for.”

“At that moment the disciples returned and were stunned to see Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman. Yet none of them dared to ask him why or what they were discussing. All at once, the woman dropped her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done! He could be the Anointed One we’ve been waiting for.” Hearing this, the people came streaming out of the village to go see Jesus.”

I know I basically just had you read a whole chapter of the Bible and this is a blog post, but I had to have you read all of it to get to what I believe Jesus has been putting on my heart to share. Lately I’ve been noticing how much traditions can affect our lives. Whether we realize it or not, we all have traditions. Some traditions are amazing, life giving and remind us where we came from or can be sweet things we do with family. Other traditions can be out of obligation, because that’s what “everyone” does or because we think that’s what everyone should do.

By definition, a tradition is “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious act or social custom).”

I’m sure we can all think of some good traditions we’ve inherited and that have been passed down by family, but have you ever wondered why you actually do some of the things you do? Is it possible that some of the traditions we have actually take away from relationships with others, rather than add to them?

Often times in the Bible we see Jesus forsake human traditions and customs for the sake of relationship and to reach the heart of a person.

Let’s use the woman at the well as an example. This woman probably woke up that day just like any other day and did what she normally would do by going to draw water from the well. She was doing what she would traditionally do. Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t seem to live many days doing the exact same thing.

Jesus came into the world by breaking one of the most common and socially acceptable things there is by the way He was born.

When was the last time you heard of someone being born of a virgin? …probably the same time I did, being Jesus.

He began His life by breaking a tradition and, since then, He hasn’t stopped.

Things that are expected and “traditionally” done, could often make us miss the whole point or the person for that matter.

At the well, Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman. Tradition would’ve told Jesus to stay clear of this woman, maybe to even find a different well to go to, but, as we can see, tradition didn’t seem to make Jesus’s decisions. Jesus did the opposite of what was often “socially acceptable”.

Catching the woman off guard, we saw her defenses go up. Trying to get what she needed and leave per usual, she probably was thinking “Now why is this guy talking to me? Doesn’t he know I’m a Samaritan and he’s a Jew… we’re not supposed to talk to each other.”

But Jesus didn’t care about being socially acceptable, or keeping the law of tradition, Jesus wanted to give her true life.

Notice Jesus knew everything about her and still was only concerned about one thing… that she would never thirst again. He wanted to give her everlasting life.

He wasn’t focused on the “do’s and don’ts”, or the “rights and wrongs” of traditions.

He wasn’t concerned about the right place or the right time.

For He said, “Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you won’t worship the Father on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart.”

And here’s my favorite part of the story!… “All at once, the woman dropped her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done! He could be the anointed one we’ve been waiting for.”

Notice… the woman left her water pot at the well.

When the woman encountered Jesus she completely forgot what she came for because her need was already met.

No one told the woman to go tell everyone she knew. No, the living water was springing up just like Jesus had told her it would and naturally she couldn’t help but share the good news.

One encounter with Jesus led to the Gospel being spread to many. She couldn’t help but tell others about the man she had met.

She was seen.

She was loved.

She was naturally leading people back to the well.

Jesus often leads us to break the laws of human tradition.

It’s the unexpected and the things in between.

It wasn’t Judea or Galilee, it was Samaria. It was the stop in between the two destinations.

It was the place that wasn’t a part of the “plan”.

It was the encounter that wasn’t socially acceptable.

It was the human interaction and face to face moment.

It was Jesus, just Jesus, meeting a woman right where she was.

I wonder how many traditions we have that we just consider “normal” that actually hinder us from having life-changing encounters with people, or maybe even our own face-to-face, life-changing encounter with Jesus.

Something tells me Jesus didn’t have a schedule. Or if He did, He must’ve always been late to everything.

Jesus never seemed to be in a hurry.

He always had time for what to us “millennials” would probably be inconvenient.

But just because Jesus might not have had a very tight schedule, it definitely didn’t mean that He didn’t have purpose or that He wasn’t very important.

Busy-ness can often hinder us from true relationship. It’s good to have a little room for the inconvenient and non-traditional.

Jesus always had room, and I think we can learn something from Him 😉

Laney Rene (most recently known as Mrs. Pickens!) is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.  

Check out Laney’s brand new study, available on LO Fam!

Follow Laney on Instagram @heylaneyrene

Love. Relationship. Redemption.

Love. Relationship. Redemption.

I am SO excited to announce that I have teamed up with Live Original to create an exclusive study for their online community, LO Fam! The study is all about love, relationships, and redemption and I couldn’t be more hopeful to share about all that God has taught me about Himself through my relationship. Doors are open this week for you to join so I hope to see you there!

But for today, friend, as I was praying about what I wanted to write about for this blog, Jesus put you on my heart. That may sound funny because you may think “you don’t even know my name”, but I believe that’s why Jesus put you on my heart. I felt like He wanted me to remind you today that He knows your name. Yes, it’s that simple and yet we still often forget. The creator of the world, who is also the creator of your heart, knows your name.

In fact, He LOVES your name. He loves getting to hear your name and He loves getting to say it.  He calls you by name.

The reason I think I feel so strongly to remind you of that, is because Jesus has been reminding me of that lately. I’ve been in a place where I’ve desperately needed to hear Him say my name.   Some of you might know already, but I’m engaged and getting married on Dec 15th to Clayton Ray Pickens (insert heart eyes emoji). Although I prayed for my husband as long as I can remember, I truly couldn’t have ever prayed for all the little things about Clayton that drew me to him. I’ve never known someone to love so deeply. His heart is tender and soft before Jesus like I’ve never seen before. I could go on and on about Him, but that leads me back to what I really want to share today.

My relationship with Clayton brings me so much JOY, but Clayton is not my happiness. My relationship with Clayton brings me so much PEACE, but Clayton is not my peace. My relationship with Clayton brings me so much LIFE, but Clayton is not my life. My relationship with Clayton brings me so much CONFIDENCE, but Clayton is not my confidence.

If you don’t already know where I’m going with this, you may be thinking you hope he never reads this blog… and if so it might surprise you that I sent it to him, he read it, and he loved it!   Let me explain why he loved it…

Just like Clayton isn’t my joy, peace, life, and confidence… I’m not his joy, peace, life, and confidence either! Although our relationship is full of all of those things, we both have realized that it’s not US. It must be something and someone greater. It must be supernatural. It must be our first love, Jesus, in one another drawing us to Himself. One of the greatest things I’ve discovered in the last year is that love is consistent no matter where it’s found, if it’s true love.  The world will try to give love many different definitions and attributes, but God defined love once and for all.

Love can never be redefined.

The point I want to make is that Clayton could never fully satisfy me on his own. If I put all of my hope in Clayton’s love for me, although I know it is true, I recognize that he is human. There is a greater love that lives in Clayton. His name is Jesus, and He is the only one who can truly satisfy my soul. I love spending time with Clayton, but what makes spending time with Clayton so sweet is when we both spend time with our Jesus. Our first love. I love hearing Clayton say my name, but I NEED to hear my Father say my name. I need to hear His voice and lean back into His arms. This not only satisfies my soul, but I believe it makes me a better fiancé, and soon to be wife. If I tried to love Clayton out of my own strength and idea of love, I would fail every time.  But is it God’s love and strength that makes loving Clayton effortless.

What I’ve found and seen is that God is the source and the key to a love that isn’t of this world.  God’s design for love and relationship is so much better than this world will ever tell us it is. Love is Jesus, and when two people allow Jesus to satisfy their every need, they will experience a satisfying relationship. The world will tell you it’s physical attraction that drives a relationship and to make sure your partner is satisfying all your needs. But as your friend I want to tell you that no person could ever or will ever satisfy all your needs. No person was or is meant to do that.

There was a season of my life when I was in a relationship that I didn’t have peace about, that I discovered this to be true. No matter how hard I tried to create peace, it didn’t work. No matter how much I tried to satisfy, or be satisfied by the relationship, it didn’t work. But the minute I let go and let Jesus satisfy my heart’s desires everything changed. The fruit of His spirit became my new definition of love and my resting place.

When I let go, I thought I was losing everything. But I soon discovered that in letting go, I was gaining everything. His love completely redeemed my understanding of love and relationship. I never knew it could be this good.  I never knew “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control” like this before. Everything became new and every thought had been redeemed.

I want to encourage you friend to listen to Him say your name. Let His voice remind you who you are and whose you are. There is no greater relational status than being loved by Jesus. He is the one we need and the only one that can show us what real love is. Let Him love you today and find yourself wrapped up in His faithfulness! Hear Him say your name and woo you to Himself.  I promise you He’s willing and He’s waiting to be everything You need Him to be.

Laney Redmon is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.

Check out Laney’s brand new study, available on LO Fam!

Follow Laney on Instagram @LaneyRedmon

Our Engagement: Her Story

Our Engagement: Her Story

Ever since Clayton and I started dating, I had always imagined this moment of “sharing the story”.  The story of how we met, the story of how we fell in love, and all the little healing, redeeming, freeing, eye opening, peaceful, joy-filled moments in between.  There are so many things about Clayton and our relationship that I can’t wait to write about.  Our relationship has become the easiest thing for me to talk about, because it is one of the greatest ways I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in my life.  I’m SO excited to write about all the things in the last ten months, but today I’m going to narrow it down to the story of our engagement day!

On June 28th (my birthday) and also the day I was getting engaged, (but didn’t know it) I woke up to a house decorated with streamers, cake, my favorite coffee mug on the counter, balloons everywhere, and flowers on the back porch that Clayton had dropped off on his way to work.  That morning I sat with my friends in our living room while we talked and dreamed about the future.  We talked about what we thought our weddings would be like, where they would be, how many kids we hope to have one day and what it will be like to push strollers and be “mom friends” one day.   As we talked and dreamed I thought that would be a good time to just go ahead and ask the question… “Will y’all be my bridesmaids??!”  Without any ring on my finger and honestly no idea when that would be, I was confident and fully at peace that I had met my husband.  In fact, I was positive I had met my husband about 3 weeks after Clayton and I started dating.

*God detail* On January 25, 2017, in my heart I heard God say that He was bringing me my bridesmaids. At the time, this did not makes sense. I didn’t have a boyfriend, nor anyone I could see on the horizon, but these words and His promise brought such peace. Nothing on the outside looked like I needed bridesmaids anytime soon, considering I was single as a Pringle!  But God was preparing ahead of time what He had for me, just like He does for ALL of us. I had absolutely NO IDEA Clayton was going to propose on my birthday when I asked the girls to stand by me! What a sweet gift to be reminded of what He said over two years ago, before there was any evidence of the promise. God brought the best friends and bridesmaids I could have ever prayed for and I’m so thankful and honored to have them stand by me on our special day.

So, after I asked the girls to be my bridesmaids (and they said YES, praises!) I asked them if they knew when Clayton was thinking about proposing.  My friend Sarah said, “well I asked him about a week ago and he said for sure by Christmas”…. All the while, they KNEW he was planning to propose that night! The rest of the day I was in a dream world and couldn’t get over the fact that he was going to propose before Christmas!!!! I couldn’t stop talking about it…  I kept saying, “YALL, I can’t believe before Christmas!”

I was in shock and so excited!

That night Clayton had asked if he could take me to dinner for “my birthday”. When he picked me up he was playing the song “Big Big Plans” by Chris Lane. Right when I sat down the song said, “I’m gonna ask her to marry me”. I’m pretty sure in the span of one second I thought, “he planned it, he definitely didn’t plan it”, and I told myself not to get my hopes up that he was going to propose.

Clayton had me convinced that it was going to be awhile before he was able to do that.  And although I’m excited to marry him as soon as possible, I would wait for forever if I needed to.

So, we go to dinner, and he honestly seemed perfectly normal… until I asked him why my mom stopped sharing her location with me!

He immediately tried to get me to open gifts and then again in a matter of one second I thought… “What if she’s here because he’s going to propose… Yeah right, he doesn’t have the money for that right now, remember?…  Laney, it’s going to be a while… chill.”

After dinner we got in the car and he asked if he could give me one more gift.

Then I remembered what request I had made months ago when I knew Clayton was the person I wanted to spend my life with. *God detail*

I asked God for my birthday to have Clayton propose. This may sound funny, but there was nothing I wanted more, and I knew there was no one else who could make that happen.

My heart started to race a bit with excitement, but I tried to calm it down again with a big “don’t even let yourself go there Laney”…

We got back to the house and before I got out of the car, Clayton asked me to take my shoes off.  When he said that, I immediately remembered what God had spoken to me June 4, 2018… “Take your shoes off and feel the new ground.  You have no shoes to fill.”

1 John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” 

From the first day that I met Clayton, he has loved me with a love that has taken away all my fear.  He has made me feel safe and completely secure.  Daily he has reminded me of who I am, and never made me feel like I need to be anything that I am not.

I used to think that the love I felt from God would be a different love than what I could receive from another person, but Clayton has shown me that God IS love and there is no love outside of Him.

*God detail* A couple of weeks before I met Clayton, I was driving down the road and I remember saying to God that I basically didn’t feel like we had room in our relationship for anyone else.  I was so thankful and so content with where I was at in life. I had found such peace and joy in my relationship with Jesus. As I was driving, I remember hearing God so sweetly say that I didn’t need to worry about being divided, because the love that my husband would love me with one day, would be the SAME love that He loved me with.

This is why I believe I had SO much peace with Clayton. The love that I receive from Clayton every day, is the same love that I have known from the time I was a little girl. Love is love through and through, never changing, always the same. Love is consistent with Who love has always been. This is why Clayton has always felt like home. I have never felt divided, but just LOVED even more.

Ok, so once we got out of the car, I noticed the whole back porch was lit up with beautiful lights… flowers… LOTS of flowers… and a pitcher of water.  Clayton asked me to sit down, and then he handed me a letter.

By this point you’d really think I would’ve gotten the hint that he was about to pop that little question, but the only thing that was popping in my mind was the “possibility” of that.  I honestly was telling myself, “what a sweet birthday gift this is for him to wash my feet”.

*God detail*  I had actually forgotten this detail.  Then a couple of friends reminded me that I had said I wanted my guy to wash my feet whenever he proposed… not even knowing who it would be at the time.

As Clayton began to wash my feet, I began to read the letter that he had written.  The letter started with how excited and anxious he had been for that night.  Then I read, “I hope as you sit here, this washing of your feet represents accurately, the stance and position I try to take in our life together.”  I think this is where I looked up, and for the first time began to really notice how many flowers there were! Although Clayton hasn’t stopped spoiling me from the beginning, I did have the thought, “Clayton wouldn’t buy this many flowers and do all of this twice… I actually think he’s about to propose!” As I continued reading, he continued to wash my feet. Oddly enough, when most people would probably cry, this realization of what was (possibly) about to happen made me laugh!!! And I’m not talking about a little giggle…. I BURST into laughter!!! I felt like joy was bubbling from the very bottom of my stomach.  The realization of a dream fulfilled and lifelong prayer was becoming something tangible and I couldn’t contain what I was feeling.

He then handed me another letter that read, “Lane, the ways of Jesus are not always the first instincts of my mind.  My thought was to commit to a field of work, not a person… And He brought me to you. He carried me in all my flaws and failures. Even this is a clearer picture of His love… on September 10, 2018 I met my wife.”

And this my friends is where I got the big C-L-U-E.  *Clayton, on my back porch, with the engagement ring* (okay if you’ve never played the game “clue” you might not get that).

But short and simple, I finally realized and let myself think that he was about to propose.

When I looked up from reading the second letter, Clayton got on one knee and said those 4 little words “Will you marry me?”  To which I of course said a big absolute “YES!”… as I continued to laugh!

Like I think most young girls or women do, I had dreamed of this day all my life… who it would be, when it would be, and how it would be.

To be honest, I even imagined it being a little scary! But from one girl to another, or maybe one girl to another boy, let me tell you… this day was MORE and better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined and the furthest thing from scary. Saying “yes” to Clayton was one of the easiest decisions I had ever made, because I was confident I had let go of control of my life 3 years ago and fully put my trust in what Jesus has for me.

I could have never imagined a man as amazing as Clayton or the peace that far surpassed my understanding when I said “yes”. I’ve never been more at peace and excited for the future in my entire life. Although there are still many things that are unknown of the future, my soul is at rest in the arms of my savior. I’ve put my life fully in His hands and He continues to blow me away.

There was a time when this story seemed too good to be true.  I wanted to believe that THIS was what God had for me, but nothing in my life looked like this was possible. My heart had been broken, and I couldn’t even recognize who I was anymore. BUT God. But, His goodness. But, His faithfulness. It is beyond what you can imagine and it’s often beyond what you pray.

Ephesians 3:20 (tpt) says, “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this.  He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”

Friend, let me tell you and please believe me… God knows what you want and what you need better than you do. He has your very very best in mind.  His heart is ALWAYS for you.

Trust Him. Let go… and trust Him.

He is faithful to bring your heart’s desire in His perfect timing. You will not be disappointed.

Your friend, and sis,


Ps: Clayton is sharing His heart and His side of the story on the blog on Monday and I promise you, YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!  Xoxo

Laney Redmon is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.

Check out Laney’s brand new song, Speak Your Name, available now!

Follow Laney on Instagram @LaneyRedmon

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