Coffee with Rachel

Today, Rachel Bauers shares a little about the freedom found in Romans 8. Her favorite drink is a Caramel Macchiato. 

I remember being given the assignment in ninth grade of choosing which page of scripture I would tear from the Bible if I was stranded on a desert island. Of the over 1000 pages of scripture, I chose the passage of Romans 8. The hope and security Romans 8 offers me has deepened in my heart since ninth grade, and it stills holds true for me as a senior in college.

The Lord has used this passage to show me more clearly the way God views me. From a young age, I was zealous to get others' approval and smiles, whether it was from my parents, teachers, friends, or myself. But this year, the Lord has brought me to a place where I feel completely naked before Him-totally stripped of people’s good opinion and from a good opinion of myself. But, it has been through Romans 8 that Jesus has been graciously revealing to me that my identity before Him is not based in how condemned I may feel, how indebted I am to others, or how afraid and weak my heart feels on a given day. His opinion of me is rooted in the fact that I am “in Christ Jesus.” Knowing that His view of me is the only view that matters has brought freedom and rest to my heart. The Spirit has been showing me that this is the only opinion I should have of myself. I can believe these truths of my identity: That I have the life-giving Spirit making a home inside my soul; that I am no longer a foster child, but I am the beloved daughter of my Heavenly Father. This has changed the way I see myself as a woman, a daughter, a student, a single, and a friend. I am learning that this is my only true identity. Knowing that I am “found in Him” despite my every failing to perform to the standards of my given social roles has freed me to find security in the arms of Jesus where before I would have run away in fear of my “condemnation” or “letting people down”.

The hope of my identity in Christ has given me security as I look into a future that can look bleak and frightening to me at times. I am realizing that my being found in Christ and having a God who is for me allows me to handle anything that comes my way in my life. Trusting Him when he says: “…not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” is the only thing that makes me able to say, “I’m okay.” His love is the only thing that gives me courage to face an uncertain future. When Paul says “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” I can confidently reply with the question: “Who is to condemn?” Because God does not condemn me, it is not necessary for me to approve of myself or get the approval I want from authority figures or peers. The promise of Romans 8 is two-fold: In one hand, it gives me the confidence of a sure status before God and sense of “okayness” with myself and then in the other hand, it offers security for a frightening future. Romans 8 gives me the certainty and the truth I so desperately need as a woman. And since life can feel like a desert island at times, Romans 8 is the key to unlocking the hope and security I need to face the day.

A little about Rachel: 
Rachel is currently a senior at Old Dominion University studying English with an concentration in Professional Writing. Her favorite pasttimes include watching BBC shows, editing her brother’s seminary papers, and antiquing with her mom. Though she has several cleaning jobs, she will also be interning at the Food Bank over the summer helping with writing projects. Rachel has been attending Redeemer Church since she was a crazy, unregenerate, curly-haired one-year old. She lives with her parents in Chesapeake and eagerly awaits graduation day.