New Creations

Updated: Nov 16

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. As Christ-followers, we tend to use this verse frequently to remind us of the truth and offer encouragement. It is a great verse and I feel like it can lose some of its significance when we do not take the time to reflect on what it really means. But, if you have encountered a true transformation through Jesus or have seen someone else be completely transformed, it really makes that verse come alive. The resurrection power of Christ has redeemed and restored, bringing the dead things back to life. 


As I reflect on the past six to seven years of being in ministry at Wings of Refuge, there are many moments to choose from that highlight lives being transformed. There is one story in particular that makes my heart beam with pride, so I would like to share it with you. Almost two years ago, we had a woman come to our home with pretty much nothing but the clothes on her back. She had experienced a lifetime of abuse and exploitation which led to a path of decades of substance abuse issues. Upon coming to our home, she had been a few months sober and expressed a willingness to work on her healing and growth. She had heard about God and had never known that she could have a relationship with Him. She immediately began soaking up everything she was being taught and asked great questions along the way. Only after a couple months of being in our home, I had the privilege of leading her in accepting Jesus as her Savior. That alone was such a sweet moment of redemption and it doesn’t stop there.


She continued to learn many useful tools to help her be successful in life and how Jesus has transformed her into His masterpiece. She soon made the huge step of water baptism and outwardly proclaimed Jesus as her only answer. She learned the many ways God can speak to His children and began having dreams from God. She would come down in the morning, share the dream and we would spend time exploring what it may have meant. She also began having encounters with God on the back deck. God was speaking to her very clearly and her heart was in a posture to receive what He was saying.


As the months went on, she would come to me with different topics that she wanted to learn more about. Some of these topics included how to counteract lies with truth, learning about the Torah and all the laws of the Old Testament, doing a series about father wounds, and learning about angels. We have had so much fun exploring these different topics and learning something new every day. Her hunger for knowledge and understanding is so inspiring and also keeps me on my toes. I love using these opportunities to teach and to learn from her. Her faith and trust in God is unwavering. She is confident of who He is and who she is in Him...something that most of us tend to struggle with on a daily basis.


Just recently, I received a message from her stating that she felt that we needed to take communion as a group since one of our devotional readings was about that topic. I was so impressed with her recognition of the importance of communion and her desire to take the initiative to lead it. A couple days later, we met to review how to prepare and lead communion. She came prepared with what she wanted to say about each element (bread and juice) and what significance they hold in her life. Later that day, she led her peers and staff in taking communion as a group! It was such a “resurrection power of the cross” moment! Someone who at one point in her life felt like there was no purpose or hope for her, encountered Jesus and was now leading others in remembering the most important act of love from our Savior. The transformation He has done in her life is very evident, and she chose to lead others and show that there is hope beyond what our earthly eyes can see. Through the power of the cross, what was broken can be restored and what was dead can be brought back to life!


So, what exactly does it look like to be a new creation? Well for this woman, it looks like having all her needs met, an apartment of her own, freedom from addiction, freedom from depression, restored familial relationships, a community of people who love her, knowing her true identity in Christ, and hope and possibilities for a future of living her life with Jesus by her side. I recently heard a song on the radio that reminds me so much of her story. The chorus of “Rise Up” by Cain goes like this…

“Come on and rise up, take a break, you’re alive now

Can’t you hear the voice of Jesus calling us

Out from the grave like Lazarus

You’re brand new, the power of death couldn’t hold you

Can’t you hear the voice of Jesus calling us

Out from the grave like Lazarus

Rise up, rise up, rise up,

Out from the grave like Lazarus”


What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned around for good and His glory. The power of death cannot hold her in the grave anymore. She is a brand new creation and is walking in the fulfillment of her destiny. She has encountered the One who has saved her soul and given her new life. The great thing about all this is that it isn’t just her story...it’s our story. The same type of transformation and freedom has been given to each of us. May we hear the voice of Jesus calling us, rise up, and grab ahold of everything we have already been given. We are a new creation full of life, purpose, and destiny to be used by Him for His glory and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. 


Blessings,

Brandi Schleisman

Spiritual Director






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