Thursday, February 28, 2013

Though I Walk Through The Valley

Psalm 23:4
Amplified Bible (AMP)
4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
As I read this verse today, I saw it in a different light.  What is it to walk in the valley of the shadow of death?  I felt as if I have follwed that path this past year.  It was deep and it was sunless at times and I had to depend on God to give me light for just the step I was on the darkness was so thick.  Death of dreams, death of a life that was, death of the girl that I was, death of all the sin that held so tightly to my life....deep and pressing valleys that seemed to offer no way out.
Yet I have found that in those darkest moments of despair and all the things that entangled me, I actually had to let go of them, leave them there in that valley in order to hold on to the One who wanted to hold me and guide me out.  Little by little, step by step.  And as He has moved me through the deepest of valleys and waters, they have washed so much of the old away.  He is creating a new thing.  The places that He leads actually are the places at times, we need to leave the things that hinder us and as we come out the other side, we enter into His goodness and into the life He chooses for us.
So if you are walking through that valley, hold on.  Do not fear.  Do not dread.  The darkness that now surrounds you will eventually give forth to the light and what you see will be amazing. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joy Comes In The Morning

The last week of my life has been one that has amazed me, humbled me and taught me that God,and all His promises, are true.  And if one is true, they all are.  And the hope that gives me sends my spirit soaring.  God is a just God.  His mercies are new each morning.  God loves those He corrects, but it will not last forever.  There is joy in the morning.  God's timing is perfect.  God's ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  All things are possible with God.  So as I sit here, looking around at what He has done, and only He could have done it, I am strengthed, I am encouraged, I'm just pretty much giddy at this point, to quote my sweet friend Aubrey ;)

God is faithful.  He can be trusted.  He says so, but I know so.  Because I have walked it.  I have seen His goodness in the land of the living Psalm 27:13-14

13 I know that I will live to see the Lord's goodness in this present life. 14 Trust in the Lord, do not despair (look around in horror).  Trust in the Lord. 

The definition to despair is mine.  Why? Because I looked it up.  I wanted to know what described what I felt.  To look around in horror.  How many times in this year have I done that?  Complete and utter devastation.  Nothing alive.  Just death.  And then He moved.  And He spoke.  And He soothed.  And he corrected.  And He taught.  And He equiped. And He encouraged.  And He placed. And He created.....and is still creating, new from everything that died. 

That dream, that seed that got buried and died....created a new life.  A beautiful thing that is beginning to peak up through the hard, rough ground.  And it is strong and alive and I can't wait to see what beauty He is creating from this shattered dream that I thought was all but lost. 

When He calls you, follow.  Don't stop.  Never quit.  Eyes on Him.  He will never disapoint you.

Psalm 37:25
New International Version (NIV)
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

You Are God Alone

I cannot fix this.  There is no amount of writing, searching, asking, speaking, worrying….there is nothing I can do in my own strength to fix this.  This is not my battle to fight.  What I can do is believe in the promises of Christ, be hopeful, be joyful, be thankful, be prayerful… still.  When I am still, He can move.  When I pray, He will act.  When I hope for things not seen, I increase my faith.  When I am thankful for exactly what I have, His grace is sufficient.  When I am joyful, others see Him and I can serve them with a cheerful heart.  Be still, and know that I am God.  Pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks.  My grace is sufficient.  Faith is things hoped for, that are yet unseen.  Hope is believing that God will do all He promised, because God can’t lie.  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, do not rely on what you THINK you know. God has a plan.  God has a purpose.  It is NOT to harm you.  He loves you.  He will give you a hope and a future. 

So what Lord, what do I do in this stillness?  I’m surrounded.  I can’t go forward, I can’t go back.  I can’t turn to the left or the right.  Love God with all your heart.  When you love Him, you seek Him.  Obey His words.  Why?  Because in my obedience I can depend on my works to get me some place? No.  Obedience is for your PROTECTION.  Love others as yourself.  Love.  It is an action that can even be done when standing still.  Love when it hurts.  Love until it hurts.  Love when it seems like all hope is lost.  Love to your own loss.  Love through tears.  Love through pain.  Love through devastation.  Love through selfishness.  Love through the complete dying of yourself to the One who made you. 

In this love we see Christ.  In this love we plant seeds.  In this love revelations are revealed.  In this love hearts are won back to their Savior.  In this love hearts are won to a Savior.  In this love wounds are healed, chains are broken and captives are set free.  In this love, we are free to love without bounds,  without fear of rejection, hurt or humiliation.  In this love, we are made perfect in the One who makes us perfect by His love.  Not by our works, lest any man should boast, but by God’s grace and mercy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Road Less Traveled...

As I sat today wondering choice, one decision...could impact so many.  One choice, cause so much devestation and break hearts and rip lives apart and make one wonder at times if God is truly there.  The pain that overshadowed me felt almost too much to bear.

In that moment He reminded choice, one the same circumstance, yet in a different direction, running to Him instead of from Him, has brought healing and wholeness and renewed faith and even brought people to know Him. 

Same circumstance.  Two people.  Two Roads.  One running to Him, one running away from Him.I don't have many words today.  Just the knowledge deep down in my heart that He's there.  He hears.  He sees the tears, feels our hurts and will bring beauty out of these ashes of a life that was.  Giving a hope and a promise of a better life to come.  I'm praying that for me.  I'm praying that for you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You Are Loved

Let me share something with you today Beloved.  It's something I desperately needed to hear and just maybe you need to hear it as well.  You are beautiful.  Your are a treasure.  YOU are PERFECT just the way you are!  And He loves you so very much.  And He hasn't left you....He's there.  I want to share my most favorite verses with you.  The Amplified translation gives such a beautiful explanation of it.  Happy Valentine's Day. 
Hebrews 13:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I told God the other day, "Lord, I want to be reckless for you".  Yeah.....and the things He has asked me of late have pushed me quite far out of my comfort zone.  So in the midst of this great storm ragining around me, I really started thinking of how much He is reckless in His love and pusuit of me.  He is quite reckless in what He is willing to do to get my attention, pull me close to Himself, show me how much He loves me and mold me into the girl He has called me to be.  And it is PAINFUL.  But you know, He is not all that concerned about my brief discomfort.  His recklesness in my life, when I submit and humble myself under His hand, is nothing short of amazing. 

How does He bring one child to the brink of utter destruction, just close enough so that her will is broken enough to draw her to Himself, but not destroy her? And in doing this all the while He knows, this will be the catalyst to draw another child to Him....that swirling thought will not leave my head.  Because that's how He works.  Through our pain and brokeness, others see, not a perfect person, but a flawed one, that God can show His strength through. 

And as I sit here, all these promises He keeps whispering to my heart....and I can't even begin to see the way......I want to be reckless for Him...I want to be the hands and feet that run or even crawl to get to that person who may be thinking that there is no hope.  Because if He can take me and my big messes and bring such beauty out of it, there is hope.  Hope for all of us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hold Fast...

It's been one of those weeks.  The kind where everything gets pulled out from under you.  Again.  And I have been wondering just where He is in all this, becuase if I had no clue before, lets just say that right now, standing upright is about as much as I'm willing to move.  And yet, I have to push forward.  There is no stopping.  This journey to a place I do not know has got to continue.  I can't stay.  Can't settle.  This is not the place He has for me.

As I have been reading, searching, crying out to Him for any sort of relief, there are some words that jump out at me and give me pause.  NEVER, ALL.......promises.  All encompasing words that are hard to wrap my mind around.  Never in God's economy means it ain't happenin.  Period.  All means not one speck of anything is left out.  Never.  All.

I'm gonna go preschool for just a minute because we need to get this.  You and me.  It needs to stick.  He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.  When that hurt is pushing so hard into you that taking the next breath seems too much to bear....He is not leaving you.  When everyone else in the world seems to be walking away and you wonder just how much more of Lonely Street you can take....He is not forsaking you.   ALL these things He is using.  All for your good, His glory, His purpose, His timing, His Kingdom and His love for you and me.  Never will He put more on us that we can take, walk out, leave us alone, abandon us, forsake us, let us go, stop loving us, fail us, betray us, condem us, go back on His Word or lie.  Never. 

Doesn't matter how it looks.  Doesn't matter how it feels.  Keep going.  Do not stop.  Do not settle.  Do not turn back.  Because God goes before us.  And if our God is for us, then who can be against us?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

When Words Aren't Enough

My beautiful children are on my heart tonight.  As I look back over the years I see so many things that I could have done differently, that I could have done better.  Yet these amazing human beings came out of what was at times, hard circumstances.  I wanted better for them, more than what I had.  Truly, they have had a far better childhood than I did.  But their life has not been without heartache and tragedy.  And tonight I'm thinking that perhaps it's ok.  You see it's not about the absence of trials, it's how we deal with them.  Who do we turn to?

In this past year I have come to a very real and life changing understanding.  The older they are, the more they watch you.  And let me say, it is not enought to TELL your children what you believe.  God expects us to LIVE it.  And so do they.  That has become something God has shown me over the last few months.  They see how I react, see how I handle things, listen to my words and then they form life changing opinions....about themselves, about God, about His Word and about me. 

To see the fruition of what God asked me to do in my childrens lives has been one of the most precious gifts He has ever given me.  You can give advice, you can tell them right and wrong, and they can argue and say no way!!  But then the day comes.....and you see it.  HIM in their decisons, HIM in their words HIM in their choices.  And I am humbled.  And I am grateful.  And I am so blessed that God is so loving that He can take me and my hot mess self and use all my failures to mold some AMAZING young adults.  Tonight I am thankful.  Tonight my heart is full.  Thank You Lord for these beautiful children.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Going To A Land I Do Not Know...

I'm standing here.  One very tiny girl in one very large valley looking at a mountain that I cannot explain or describe.  I cannot turn to the left or the right.  And honestly, there is no way I'm turning back.  So here I stand.  And it's big.  And it looks impossible and for the life of me I cannot imagine what purpose He has in bringing me to this.  Has all this not been hard enough?  Have I made a wrong turn that brought me to THIS?!?!  Did I get the direction wrong cause Lord, You KNOW how hard directions are for me.....and I get silence.  And I want to cry.....ok I have already started crying about it....and I'm fearful.  I do not understand.  And so here I am.  Looking.  Waiting.  Knowing I have to go forward. 

Move forward into a land I know nothing about.  No direction, no confirmation.  Just. Don't. Panic.  And keep doing the last thing He told me to, even though that seems like the stupidest thing in the world right now.  Yes, I said stupid.  Dumb, forget it, what are you thinking?!?!!  Hello?!?!....all those things keeps running through my my dream looks more and more impossible and that mountain looks steeper than anything I have ever come against, still, He is with me.  Even if I can't feel Him.  Even when it is so dark I can't see anything, He's here. 

I trust You Lord.  It's my choice.  I don't feel.  It isn't easy and it's taking every ounce of faith I have to keep this bubble of hope alive.  But I can't let go of the notion that my God is a BIG God and ALL things are possible with Him.  And if He can love someone so desperately, the way I know He does, then I have to trust that even though this hurts, He's doing it out of love for me, love for them and for our good.

So Im looking at this mountain just about the way I looked at that bridge last weekend.  My eyes were wide with fear when I came around the corner and saw it at a distance.  You HAVE GOT to be kidding!!  No way!!  But the closer I came to i,t the less daunting it seemed and before I knew it I was on top of it and on my way the finish the end of a very long journey.  And I wasn't sorry for that hill.  It didn't scare me anymore.  I faced it.  I made it.  And I'll make it over this mountain too.  One step at a time.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Do You Know What You're Getting Yourself Into?

I heard this song on Friday.  And it spoke so desperately to my heart.  Did I know what I was getting into on this journey of mine?  Ummm...that would be a rather LARGE No!! Would I have had the understanding, the knowledge, to see past the right now to get to the end result?  Absolutely not.  Why did I say ok?  Because at that point, I would have done anything God said to have Him lessen the pain.  Did He? No.  It got worse, but His strength in me grew stronger.  And these mountains, He is teaching me how to not only face them, but overcome them, instead of walking them, over and over and over......When I said yes, He made a covenant with me.  And as much as He expects me to be obedient and hold up my end, He has a part too!  God is faithful!  He isn't just saying ok, go out there and get this done, see ya' at the pearly gates!!  NO!!  He's saying obey Me, follow my direction, call to Me, seek Me, and when you do this I WILL BE FOUND (Jeremiah 29:13).  It's not a secret.  Not a mystery.  Not a maybe or perhaps I will, but I WILL. What else does He say??

I will NEVER leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
I know the plans I have for you (Jeremiah 29:11)
The Lord goes before you (Deut. 31:8)
I WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living (Psalm 27:13)
I WILL fight for you (Exodus 14:14)
NOTHING can seperate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:39)

Promise after promise.  I'm not thinking I have ever seen anything in the Bible saying MAYBE concerning the promises of God.  So did I know what I was getting into? No.  But let me tell you what I am right in the middle of.....the hardest most amazing journey of my life....with God and ALL His promises right by my side.  His Strength, His salvation, His deliverance, His Shield, His fortress, His grace, His mercy, His protection, His faithfulness....and more than I can even begin to type....but mostly HIS LOVE.  And it's His love for ME and for YOU that sent Him on His journey to the cross....that's what we are getting into when He calls us.  A love so great that it suffered death and hell to make sure we would never be apart from Him.  If He loves that much, how can we ever doubt anything but His best? Even on the hard days, even when it hurts, even when we don't understand...His love NEVER fails. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes....

I'm a runner.  I smile when I say that.  It was something I always wanted to do, to be and I never dreamed that this....THIS...would be my reality.  Yet here I am.  About to run my very first long race.  Over 9 miles....first step to a half  As I looked at myself in the mirror this morning, I really studied that girl staring back at me.  That beautiful creature with the clearest eyes and the most amazing form.  I am overwhelmed because I know the journey it took to bring her to this day, this place, this most sought after achievement.  I know the tears, the failures, the refusing to quit even though she wanted to run and hide.  The hurt, the struggle, the pain....all gave way to this most desperate longing. 

This journey in the physical has been mirrored by my journey in the spiritual.  To look at who I was, how far He has brought me and the most amazing changes He has done in me.  To see the image that stares back at me today, I would have never believed the things He would do, how He would use my deepest wounds to create the loveliest of streams in a very dry desert.

And as I run in the physical tomorrow pressing forward and leaving so much behind me....God reminds me of how very closely it mirrors this race I am running in my life.  To keep pressing on, to not quit....because when I am running beside someone and I see that look of wanting so desperately to stop, I remind them, yes you can do not stop....and I say it for them as much as I say it for myself, on the inside. 

The last mile is the hardest.....don't quit.  The finish line is much closer than it appears.