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I’m not Hidden

There I stood in a crowded room; people passed by, as I begin to blend into the background. I tried to join in on conversations, but my words could not convey what was going on inside. Did anyone notice me? Does anyone realize the hurt and pain inside? I feel trapped as if there is nowhere to run. Is there not anyone who can rescue me?

If the above scenario sounds familiar, then you will relate to what I’m about to tell you.gods presence2

For the last two years, I’ve been battling in some dark places. I’ve had many different battles throughout my life – broken home, failing marriage, and losses of various kinds, but this battle was something else. This battle was from some place else. The battle was raging in my mind.

You see, suddenly I found myself trapped by old lies that were resurfacing. In my inner strength, I found it getting harder and harder to fight.

It didn’t take me long to realize I could not fight this battle on my own (Shoot, no!) I had to turn to a truth that was deeper than the surface turmoil that was consuming me. It was there in the dark places that I would remember who my God is..

He consumes me with his love.

As I look back on this now, I remember the nights were the worst. The only thing that would comfort me, while staring in the darkness throughout the night drenched in fear, was the sound of music playing from my K-Love station (They didn’t have the Air One station yet;). I would also sit on my closet floor cradling my Bible and reading scripture like the one below:

“If I say, “‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, ‘” even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for the darkness is as light with You.” Psalm 139: 11-12

Even as I sat there in that dark place, this verse made my heart leap. Think about it…God sees me in my darkness. The times when I feel the most alone, He is there. He suddenly becomes my enough.

He loves me
He is for me
I am chosen
He won’t leave me
He sees me
I am made complete in Him

He releases the grip of the strongholds that want to weigh me down.

My biggest stronghold is fear. I am tempted in my own devices to be afraid of the unknown. I wrote about this in a blog post called Limited Visibility, but It’s like the feeling I get when I am driving in fog. It can be paralyzing not see and know what is three ft. ahead. During that dark time in my life, I was determined not to let fear keep me trapped and stuck, and I know there are many things that can cause people to be stuck…  loneliness, pride, rejection, fear, and sin. I was determined not to let my fear be bigger than my God.

He causes my heart to long for truth, when all I feel is utter despair.

In my darkest times, I felt comforted as the consuming lies were replaced with the healing touch of God’s presence; however, even in those moments there were times I didn’t (feel) the presence of God, I had to cling to the truth that He was there. This truth can be found in His word, music, encouragement of a friend, sitting in solitude (Did you know you don’t always have to have something to say? Sitting quietly in His presence is an awesome place to be).

He takes me to a higher place.

I feel like the darkness had been lifted. I am coming into a renewed revelation of who God is in my life. The truth that God is enough, even when I feel I’m at my worst. He is not looking down on me thinking “Man, how come this girl hasn’t got her mess together yet?” He sees a woman who deals with the wounds of brokenness, and a woman who clings to the truth in the messy details of her life. All the while, believing that she is a work in progress and has been made new by the blood of Christ.

He sees you, too, my sister:)

Where are you? Don’t worry your God knows. He loves you so much He sent His Son to rescue you. And, the great news is He loves you just as you are. There is no shame in needing Him every second of the day. He is in the midst:)

Jesus, I need you!

Linked up with Chasingcommunity

Don’t Stop Short of Your Victory

Last week kicked off my son’s flag football season, and as I was sitting watching his out-of-shape-ten-year-old legs run as fast as he could, I started to notice something. Every time a teammate threw the football to him; he would stop and wait and anticipate that someone was waiting to snag the flag from his body. I’m telling you even if no one was within a hundred yards of him..he stopped and waited. Because of what he thought was the inevitable, he let the fear freeze him in his tracks; instead of running to reach the goal.

Frustration Ahead

As I thought about this scene a few days later, I couldn’t help but think….. How often do I stop short of reaching my goals, sitting there just waiting for the defeat that I think is sure to come.

For me, this might look like stopping short of receiving my blessing or breakthrough. An example would be my desire to lose 10 or 15 pounds. My thought process would be. “Well, I tried to eat healthily and exercise for a week and not 1 pound has moved from my body.” And guess what? I quit and stop there in my tracks.

Who knows, I could have been one glorious step away from having that long awaited desire fulfilled.

You see, It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of weariness of the same old mundane mess. Daring not to step out in faith because the routine seems all too familiar.

The Israelites are a perfect example. They were wondering around in the desert eating the same old food each day while walking to what seemed like nowhere. The routine was getting old:

“Now, when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. The people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the Lord, the fire was quenched.” Numbers 11:1-2

It had only been three days from the Exodus from Egypt. I mean they were tired, thirsty, and sick of eating the manna every day.

They were giving up too soon. Stopping short of the victory that was ahead of them. How often do we find ourselves right there in the same mindset of the Wilderness Wonderers?

Funny thing – I’m beginning to learn more and more that when I persevere and get where God has purposed me to be; it ends of being everything I wanted along. I’ve seen this happen in my life time and time again.

My friends, listen we have a High Priest who synthesizes with our weakness (Heb 4). He knew we couldn’t live this life on our own. Praise God! We don’t have to live apart from His power. We get to run our race with endurance.

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Phil. 3:12

 

Linked up with Chasingcommunity

Nothing Is Wasted

Last week, I poured my heart out in an emotional live video. (If you aren’t joining me on my A Woman’s Faith, I would love to have you join. The link is in the sidebar in the sidebar on the home page:)

As I kinda ran through a quick journey of my life, I realized that life seems so hard at times.

Why does it seem like there is so much pain in people’s lives- cancer, finances, divorce, lack of work, loss of homes, depression, national disasters….the list goes on and on? The one thing I find that gives me comfort in any hardship is the realization of knowing I’m not alone.

 

 

Hebrew 4 says I have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who sympathizes with my weaknesses. He not only sympathizes, He lived it. Jesus relates to pain and suffering, and He was even tempted, yet He did not sin. This idea brings me such peace and security. Also, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose”.

This doesn’t mean everything will work the way I want it to, but it does tell us that it will work out for the good.

Ok, what does this all mean? I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what this life may hand me I can stand behind the truth that Jesus is with me, and I can hold on to the truth that everything in my life can be used for the purpose of making me more and more in Christ’s likeness. Also, I might add, without all the hardship and pain in life I would not have seen my need for Jesus, and that would have been tragic.

You see, I’ve seen God’s hand print on my whole life. And get this…. God didn’t promise to deliver us from all our circumstances; in fact, He told us we would have tribulation. He did, however, promise to be with us.

Nothing is Wasted: You are…..

W- anted, A- adopted, S-aved, T-reasured, E-steemed, D-elivered

 

When I am not so Loving..

It is a typical day like any other day; my thoughts are lining up, and I’m feeling pretty good. Then, I see him. He is walking down the street. I don’t know him from Adam (whatever that means:). But instantly my-lined-up thoughts take to turn – a detour. Suddenly, I am quick to make assumptions and judge this person I’ve never even met.

However, I didn’t end there. With one heated hurtful comment. The poison dripped from my mouth. My heart instantly sank into a deep pit.

Why was I so quick to judge?

Was it because he looked different than me? Maybe my assumptions brought me to believe he was from a different background? Maybe it was his size. Or, just maybe….it was because he reminded me of my very own insecurities.

Sometimes our ignorant, judgemental, non-deserving views of someone else say more about what’s going on inside of ourselves. Think about it!

You see, lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the book of John where “Love one another” rings over and over.

Who am I called to love: neighbor, people who look different than me, those who think differently than me, the needy, the broken, brothers and sisters in Christ, my husband and my children.., etc.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 NLT

 My heart sank that day because deep in my gut I knew the truth of God’s word. I was also a bad witness to my son, who was in the back seat and heard my words.

I was convicted instantly. And what is the purpose of conviction? The purpose is to cause a change of direction. Turning around and heading the other way. Which means I have a choice. I can continue on my destructive path, or I can seek the heart and eyes of Christ and choose to see people as He does?

I don’t know who the boy was walking down the street that day, but I do know his face will be etched into my memory for awhile. My heart’s desire is to walk close to Jesus that I began to resemble Him in my flawed, non-perfect way. I fail. I fall. I get back up with grace and forgiveness as my anchor. And I’m able to press on.

If you are like me and your instant response isn’t always to love, join me in seeking forgiveness and choosing to align our hearts with Jesus. On any particular day, I am sure we will get plenty of chances.

Grace With Skin On


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He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young. Is 40: 1

Processing seems to be the theme of my life at the moment. With a whole lot of transitions happening the last few years, I’ve found myself in a place of thought. I am glad I am a work in process. I am ok with that because that means my God is not through with me yet.
Rejection is hard. There I said it. I let the words roll off of my lips. Or, it is maybe the feeling of rejection. Maybe, the feelings are all a lie. But for a brief moment, they felt like the truth.
That is what I felt the day my mom was stepping on an airplane to go live back East with her family.
Suddenly, I was no longer a 47 year old woman standing there in the middle of the cold airport, but I was a 6 year old little girl standing in a dark alley gripping her mom’s hand, while she placed all she could fit in a few suitcases to be shoved in the back of a car. In one quick moment, I was leaving behind grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my dad. (I’ll talk more on this in another post)
Forty years has passed since that night in the dark alley; now my mom was loading on an airplane to head back to what she calls home.
Processing…
Where does my identity originate? It’s often the hurt and pain of circumstances that want to stick a label smack on my forehead.
Unloved. Alone. Not Worthy. Orphan
I had a choice in those brief moments while I was standing in the airport. I could stay stuck, or I could believe God had a plan and a purpose for my life. He knew this day would come. Because nothing I went through or currently was going through was outside of my Heavenly Father’s grip or sight (I’m kinda relating to Joseph right now, who ended up in Egypt).

You know what? Grace lived out in the daily life is beautiful and hard all at the same time. Grace is causing me to open my heart-felt wounds and allow my Lord to come in and heal them.

Grace is allowing me to love and forgive those who have wronged me, even when the first response is to scream like a six year old little, girl and say,” This is not right!”
I get to live a life chosen, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven.
I was able to step back and calm that hurt little girl and let her know that everything in its time is working out. God had/has a plan all along.
I had a hard time writing this because I wanted to wrap it in a perfect, neat bow. However, life is messy sometimes. The process isn’t always perfect and pretty. Comfort comes from knowing that there is growth, healing, and a purpose…. Nothing is wasted.
Thank you, Jesus!

Come Thirsty

I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Psalms 143:6


I haven’t really known the genuine true thirst for natural drinking water, but I have known what it feels like to long and crave the refreshing thirst quenching presence of the Holy Spirit. You know the place you get when there is nowhere else to go? 

Our Father is always present when we depend upon Him and seek Him to fill us; however there are times when we let other things  have the control…bitterness, flesh, fear, sin, temptation.

  When you and I walk around empty,  it’s easy for these things to begin to take over and fill the void. We search for hope in things that cannot bring us hope. We try to drown out the pain and fear by things that cannot make us complete; instead they disappoint.

But! (I love that word:)
God is near. He is near even when He seems to be far away.  He wants to fill you to the point of overflowing. In fact, Jesus said those who drink from Him will never thirst again. Don’t settle for a few drops; seek to be overwhelmed by His presence. Let His presence refresh, renew, revive, and restore.
Good news!
Before Jesus left this earth, He said He would send a helper. The Holy Spirit would come to guide us and be a witness to us in all truth (John 16:13). So……If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have power of God residing in you-God power! Transforming power! You have been brought near by the power of the living God.
Open up your heart and receive Him. He is the only one who can do the work. There is not a self-help book around that can come close to the transforming power of God.
Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness , for they will be filled.” Matt. 5:6
~ Thank you, Lord, that You know me by name. Thank you for loving me as I am, not as I should be.~
Linked of with Live Free Thursdsay

I Will Follow…again and again

There I sat in my car on the side of the road with loud horns blaring. Through blurry vision, my eyes tried to determine if the traffic light was red or green.

What was I thinking… a married mother of two hanging out this late at night trying to drive home after a night of clubbing?

Why was I not content with my life any longer? The nagging feeling that there was a greater purpose for my life would not go away.

Jesus was calling. And I needed fixin’

Recently, I have been reading Suzanne Eller’s book, Come with Me. And boy, my mind has been going places it hasn’t been in a long time. She challenged me to view myself as the thirteenth disciple. Me? My thoughts instantly went back to the woman sitting on the side of the road.

How could He want me?

Very few of us see ourselves the way God does. For too many years I saw myself as a girl raised in brokenness who had little to offer, even after I became a woman. God called me away from that identity. He saw me differently. He saw a woman who loved him. He saw a woman who desired to be a good mom. He saw things inside of me that I couldn’t envision.
Suzanne Eller, Come With Me

 He did want me! Yes, Indeed!

As I thought about it, I was no different than the dudes that He had already called. I, too, needed a new identity. I needed to learn to release all that I was holding on to and follow Him. I needed to remember that He could take ordinary people and do extraordinary things. I needed to walk with faith as I pushed out into deeper waters with Him.

And guess what?

My need to accept the invitation to follow Him is still a daily decision I get to make. I easily get twisted up and distracted. I forget. However, walking with my feet knee deep in the muck and mire of life, I get to claim my rightful place as a disciple of Jesus. I get position myself with Him at the table declaring I am…..

                       Established. Renewed.Whole.Victorious.Worthy

I say, “Yes!” again to leaving my broken past; my should haves, and my could haves all behind.

Many years have come and gone since I was sitting on the side of the road. Man! What a great work He has done in my life and that of my family. Sister, I have a long way to go. I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface on seeing what my God can do with a life sold out for Him.

Come With Me is igniting a renewed spark in me. Believe me, you will not be disappointed if you read this book.

Will you say, Yes?!!!

***I will be giving a copy of the book away to one random person who leaves a comment on my Facebook group page. Pop on over and join me!

 Link ups:  Live Free Thursdsay3-D Lessons for Life