Solid Reality: Living with Christ

Photo by Natalie Florizone, solid_reality_blog on Instagram

Photo by Natalie Florizone, solid_reality_blog on Instagram

Excerpts from a talk to the Search retreat participants in October 2018

By Natalie Florizone

@solid_reality_blog on Instagram

Living with Christ is living with a radically different perspective in mind and heart. To the point that it affects everything you do. Your witness should be your very life. Not necessarily specifically Christian actions that scream “I’m a good person who believes in God!” The reality of Christianity is that it can sometimes be pretty subtle. It will be shown most in the way you interact with others and your surroundings, your life goals, and your priorities which are all formed by what you believe and focus on.

You probably wonder what is so different about living the Christian life? And why is it worth it?

The reason why we don’t always see its importance and effectiveness in our lives is because we tend to look at life and religion as two separate things. I knew as a kid that God loved me and that this was supposed to make me happy to be Christian, but I didn’t understand how knowing He loved me was supposed to change anything. What I wasn’t understanding about Him was that he didn’t just love me, He believed in me when I didn’t believe I had anything to give, He had a purpose for me when I didn’t think I could be more useless, He thought of me when I thought I was unimportant.

Coming to these realizations was what really changed me, what really made His love mean something life-changing. This is how we can see God working in our lives, the reality of His love is that it is so practical and involved that we tend to miss it entirely. We dumb it down to “oh Jesus loves me,” but we don’t realize He REALLY DOES. And He wants to tell us throughout our lives. His truth can plug-in were the pain is, where the lies are, and change how we look at life itself.

What if the reality of Christian living is that it goes beyond “fitting into” our life, beyond volunteering and doing nice things. What if it is inseparable from everything we do? What if it’s not a nice garnish on the side, what if it’s more like salt, mixing into every part of our life and bringing it to its full potential. Making it all come ALIVE!

….. In high school I had this dangerous mentality that I was a victim of my own inability to change, my own lack of success or motivation. It was only after a 90-month Faith Formation Program called St. Therese that I learned what strength God had given me and what dignity I actually had in the face of perceived failures. Since being back in Saskatoon for the past three months I have seen the difference this new mentality has made in my life and my choices. I don’t back down from challenges, and I spend far more time being at peace. The reason I know this is true is because I am not cured magically, I still struggle. The thing that amazes me and PROVES the beauty of this life to me, is that I act differently in situations that I would have let break me a year ago. I am free to go beyond fear and self deprecation into victory and love.

I just want you to take a minute to think about these real possibilities:

What if you were able to live giving freely of your talents and gifts without the fear of not having enough for yourself?

What if you could respect yourself as you are, and not feel incompetent and ungifted. Simply knowing you ARE gifted?

What if you didn’t have to be afraid of failure or have a fear of missing out. Especially regarding your future?

What if you could live bravely through life and watch challenge after challenge turn into victory?

These mindsets, this life changing belief in freedom, ARE THE ACTUAL REALITY of Christianity and Christian living. And they are for you to live out. Jesus is there to live them out with you. He will teach you how.

…. The only reason I am able to stand here and talk to you guys about how Jesus has made a difference in my day-to-day life is because of his strength and his gift he gives which is freedom. Freedom from fear and the fear of being judged or unloved. The fear that I don’t have anything to give or any ability to have an impact on others. Living in the freedom Jesus offers does not erase all the fear but allows me to live beyond the fear. It allows me to know that I am not simply here invisible, unimpactful, floating through life. Rather, I am a soul, a person with gifts from Him, and my mission is to share them out of love.

When you are loved by the Father, the God of love, you can do anything. He made you great and will make you great. Don’t underestimate his power. So please, don’t make your self doubt stronger than God’s support of you.

What are you going to live by? Fear or love and Jesus? That is true Christian witness to live fully in the reality of the freedom He offers.

Who doesn’t want to be free? To proclaim love and freedom, is to proclaim Christ.

I may not know you personally, but knowing what I know about your Creator, I know what you were created for. You were created for love and freedom in every part of your life. You were created to live with Christ. He doesn’t breathe life into anyone just randomly: He chose you and named you and gave you a purpose.

What is the reality of Christian living then? It is to experience the effects of His Love. Let the TRUTH about your existence and purpose come from him. Let that pour into your daily living, and then tell others where this true freedom is found.


(Editor’s note: Follow Natalie on Instagram @solid_reality_blog: “You were NOT made for anxiety. Choose Peace, Trust, Love, and Joy. These are your natural state. Grounded in the Reality: Life is worth it.”)