A Great Loss

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons by smkybear


This week another young person I knew chose to end her life. We had lost touch recently and the conversation we shared last rang in my ears. We ended the conversation with the familiar words…we need to get together soon. This has been happening far too often and anger bubbles over within me. The knowledge that someone was deceived into believing this was the only choice they had brings discouragement like nothing else can.

My heart hurts for her, for her family and friends and for the loss of what could’ve been. This hits me hard because the memory of being in that same place is so vivid. I remember sitting in the hot tub with the razor and feeling an urge so powerful to leave. The voice I heard said, “They’d all be better off if you were gone.” Not long before my cousin had taken his life and seeing the aftermath of his choice is the only thing that kept me from believing the lie. I chose instead to call my aunt and remind myself why this was the wrong choice. My aunt didn’t know why I called, but it was enough to help me overcome and make the choice to stay. This choice was repeated many times over the next few years.

This memory brings questions of why… why couldn’t my young friend see this wasn’t the wise thing to do…why was she deceived into believing the lie…it goes on and on. These questions will not be answered; that is part of the heartbreak when someone makes this final choice.

If time travel were possible, I would travel back in time and share the story of God’s healing in my life. God’s love entered my life and took away the deception plaguing me for years. It was as if, God took my hand in that moment and gave me the ability to hold on one more day and then one more, one more and so on. It did not happen overnight, but today I have complete freedom from thoughts of suicide.

So today my prayer is this message will get out there, people will learn the truth and be set free and satan will be unable to steal any more lives. God gave us the answer in Jesus we simply have to choose to believe it!

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound,”

Jesus words…

Luke 4:18 “”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,”

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2014. 2 Comments

You Get What You Give

 

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons by  Caelie_Frampton

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons by Caelie_Frampton

There is a struggle overtaking me recently. It’s the struggle to help support others while creating and shifting in my own journey. A vision of walking a tightrope while a man eating lion circles below waiting for me to lose my balance is what I see.

It isn’t that I don’t want to help people, I do. I want to help everyone. There are many talented writers out there creating awesome, needed content. There are others stepping into ministries sure to have an impact in our community. How do you help them all? My struggle is further compounded by starting several new ventures simultaneously while endeavoring to dig our family out of debt.

The harder I try to stay plugged in, the more defeat settles in. Is it possible to help everyone? How do you choose? Someone will always be disappointed. Add to the fray, the fear those I’ve disappointed, won’t be there when I need support. It’s enough to drive a person to run and hide.

Okay, take a deep breath…focus. It is not my responsibility to save the world and support every person out there.

Several people who’ve worked closely with me say I resist rest. This is difficult to accept because I see others out there seemingly doing it all. They comment on every blog, on nearly every facebook post with heartfelt, real comments and still manage to create their own beautiful work, give back to the community, and take care of their home and family. This brings more condemnation.

With all of this turmoil broiling within, I hear the still, small voice… “Come be with me, and I will give you rest.” What does the “rest” God talks about mean?

This week God supplied a tool to help me set the foundation to move forward without exhausting myself. One of my mentors, Jenny Price, has offered me support by means of a mastermind group. Mastermind with Jenny is a six month process which begins with three goals you choose to work toward. It gives you a support group of like-minded people interested in changing their lives to keep you accountable as you move toward yours.

This process helped my daughter and I increase our business income significantly. It really works!

So this time, my first goal is going to be rest!

If you are struggling with a goal or goals and want support, contact Jenny Price at jenny@everydaylifeline.com for further information to decide if this may be for you. There is power in accountability!

Stay tuned as I chronicle my journey into rest

Hebrews 4

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

This entry was posted on February 26, 2014. 2 Comments

You May Say I’m A dreamer

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons by MrJamesAckerley

The song Imagine written by John Lennon invokes emotions deep within me. You see for all of my life, I’ve been a dreamer. I’ve dreamed there was something more out there, something fulfilling, something greater. After years of trying to make my dreams come true, I surrendered to the author of my dreams.

The memory is vivid. Kneeling by my bed, broken and feeling abandoned, I finally uttered the words the one who planted those dreams in my heart longed to hear. “Please take my dreams. If they aren’t what you created me for take them and show me what you’ve got.” Many of you may have heard this part of my story before, but the journey didn’t begin there. Surrender didn’t come until lies planted deep within my mind years before had been revealed and replaced with the truth.

For years the struggle between wanting to live big and wanting to die had wrecked me. Something deep within me cried out for help and it came. God led me on a journey to healing by taking me to the source where many of the lies I believed had been planted. He walked with me to those places of deep pain, revealed the lie and brought the truth. This process destroyed several strong-holds the enemy had been using to keep me stuck. They kept me stuck in destructive patterns, stuck without hope, and unable to trust God.

No matter how many Bible verses I knew or how much I wanted to, belief eluded me because the lies were hidden deep in my sub-conscious. They were impenetrable to my efforts. People would say things like, “you just have to have faith”, or “God loves you.” This left me feeling more condemned. The little voice in my head kept telling me there was something wrong with me if I couldn’t believe.

Once the lies were removed growth became possible. The idea of God loving me didn’t seem so impossible anymore. This was the foundation God used to begin the process of true freedom in my life.

If you find a gap between what you believe and what you know or if you struggle to believe at all, I urge you to ask God to show you where to start. God says in Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Ask God to help you believe what you struggle to.

I would further recommend if you live in the Stuart, Florida area that you attend A Day of Transformation on Saturday, March 15th, 2014. This event is being hosted by my friend Stacie Buck and features other speakers to help you move toward truth. You can get details and register at http://www.diamondshapers.com/events/

Stacie and I have traveled similar paths toward healing. She uses her own journey of healing and self discovery as a teaching tool to help others identify the lies buried deep within holding them back from experiencing God’s best for their lives. She has written a book and a devotional which is being published next month; it contains valuable information regarding identifying the lies so you can receive truth.

If you can relate to the above experience on any level, I highly recommend you attend. This event could help you turn the corner and begin of a new life!

Further, I am offering a free ticket to the event and a copy of Stacie’s devotional Transformed: Scriptures for renewing the mind to one lucky winner. All you have to do, is share your struggle here as a comment on my blog and share it on your facebook page to be entered in a drawing to win. The drawing will take place on February 21, 2014, the day the early registration discount ends. Don’t miss your chance to win. If you’ve already registered, wouldn’t it be great to win a free ticket so you could bring a friend!

This entry was posted on February 12, 2014. 2 Comments

Misunderstood?

Photo Courtesy of Flickr by Waiting for the Word

Most of my life, there’s been a desire to be understood. There are memories seared in my mind of others misunderstanding me. When I look back, I realize the majority of the stress in my life has been caused by the struggle to be understood by others.

God has been dealing with me on this very subject recently. My desire to walk out His plan for my life has caused many to question me on many levels. Praying for God to reveal His plan and give me clarity has made this turmoil more prominent within me.

This morning during my study, my eyes landed on Luke 1:26-38. This passage shows Gabriel’s visit to Mary, the mother of Jesus. He visited her to tell her she would be the mother of the Messiah. This is a blessing many women had prayed to receive and she was the one to receive it.

Have you ever thought about what this blessing brought with it?

Mary would spend the rest of her life being misunderstood by the people in her life. She would be an outcast in many ways because of the questions surrounding this pregnancy. With great blessing and favor there was much responsibility.

Reading this brought clarity. If I want to do something great for God, I must be willing to be misunderstood by everyone except God. It was then the phrase “take up your cross daily and follow me” took on a whole new meaning.

How many times do we strike out to do what God has laid on our heart only to become discouraged when others don’t understand?

We must be willing to live for the “Audience of One” as Misty Edwards says. Jesus is the only person’s opinion that matters in the end.

If we want to do something great for the Kingdom it will cost us, but we will gain so much more than we lose in the end. The key is to remember our reward is very often not seen in this lifetime.

This morning God gave me a new level of clarity and a desire to press on until the end.

Are you ready to move forward with God regardless of the cost? What is your cross?

Please share so I can pray with you.

This entry was posted on December 18, 2013. 3 Comments

Does God Want Persistence?

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons


Many times we bring our requests to God only to give up when we don’t see an immediate result. How many times have we given up just short of having our request granted?

In our society, immediate gratification is prevalent. We don’t like having to wait for anything. We can treat God like He’s our personal genie and needs to give us whatever we ask.

Our society is also driven by shame, especially in the Christian community. We decide we are not worthy to ask God to meet our needs, because we’ve be told this is selfish. We are told this life is about suffering and God has much more serious things to be concerned about. So we give up asking, but in our soul we start to secretly resent the God who is withholding from us. It may be unknown to us, but eventually what is growing in our hearts comes out in our actions and words.

God wants us to ask Him to meet our needs. We must acknowledge Him first, but He cares deeply about what affects us.

This morning I came across Mark 10:46-52. Jesus was returning to Jerusalem with His disciples and a large crowd. Bartimaeus was a blind beggar and when he realized Jesus was in the crowd, he began to shout out for his healing.

In verse 48, it says “Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Bartimaeus identified who Jesus was. He knew Jesus was the Messiah, and he knew this was his opportunity to be healed. He refused to give up. The scripture doesn’t indicate that Jesus acknowledged him in the least until he refused to listen to those around him.

Many times we have people around us telling us to give up and we don’t see God appearing to acknowledge us. It is in those times we are being tested to see if we will trust God regardless of what we see or hear.

God expects us to be persistent to receive from Him. We need to keep seeking until we get an answer.

In Bartimaeus’ case, Jesus stopped and called him out when He saw his persistence. He asked him what he wanted and granted his request. Jesus told him his faith had made him well.

If Bartimaeus had listened to the crowd and given up, he wouldn’t have received his healing that day.

What have you been asking God for? Are you listening to the crowd?

It’s Ok To Ask For Help; Jesus Did!

Here’s a post I published some time ago. God has been reminding me again that asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness. Enjoy; hope it resonates with you today!

 

Most of us have been taught through our life’s experiences that we have to be self-sufficient. This is one of the biggest lies in the enemy’s arsenal. If he can keep us isolated and  in fear of reaching out to others he gains more power over our thoughts. The more power he gains over our thoughts the more control he can maintain in our lives.

As a child, I often felt that I had no one to depend on but me. Recently, as I began to write my story, it became apparent to me that there were many people placed in my life who had helped me along the way. When I began to look at things from a new perspective it became apparent that I had never really been alone, but had chosen to feel that way. It was so much easier to focus on all the evidence that proved me right about feeling like it was all up to me, rather than focus on all the good people in my life who had helped me along the way.

A few years ago, my husband and I were in a situation where we had no choice, but to depend on others. This was one of the most uncomfortable places I have ever been in my life, but also the place that produced the most growth in my life. In the beginning, I despised our circumstances and thought that God had abandoned us. I couldn’t wait until the day our circumstances changed and we could give back everything we owed to everyone who was helping us. Slowly, God began to show me that He was teaching me an important lesson; that we are supposed to learn how to trust others and ask for help. Asking for help is not showing weakness, but great strength. When we become willing to make ourselves vulnerable to others we begin to truly live. Becoming vulnerable makes us powerful, because that’s when we learn to allow others to bring their strengths into our life.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading in Mark and came across the passage where Jesus asked the disciples to watch and pray with Him. It dawned on me that here was Jesus, the Son of God, asking for the help of His followers. What a revelation! God showed us how He wanted us to live our lives through Christ’s example, and in this instance, Jesus was asking for help. This is so profound, because most of us think we have to put up that brave front and stand strong, but we can’t be strong unless we allow others into our lives to help us. If Jesus, the Son of God, can ask for help, why can’t we?

We were not created to walk this road alone, but to stay connected with those around us and learn from each other so that together we can step into the greatness we were created for. We might just be surprised at what we can accomplish when we work together and remain open to receiving from others.

Who can you ask for help from today?

5 Things God Taught Me When I Admitted I Was Broken

photo courtesy of flickr creative commons by quotes everlasting

2010 was a major turning point in my life. It was the year I gave up trying to change myself and gave God the reigns. I can see it so clearly, kneeling by my bed with tears streaming down my face and a heavy pain in my chest crying out to God. “Okay You can have my mess, see what You can do with it!” Little did I know, it was merely the beginning of my journey of surrender.

In the beginning, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I didn’t have a sudden revelation of God’s Plan, didn’t see a burning bush or hear a booming voice tell me what to do next, just silence. The silence lasted for the next few months until a small voice told me to go to Celebrate Recovery. It was painful to go and be vulnerable to a group of women. “Women God, but I’ve always gotten along better with men?” It didn’t make sense to me, but God is still showing me things He taught me during that time.

He taught me to trust Him and not people.

He taught me listening is important.

He taught me to realize I didn’t know as much as I thought.

He taught me we are all the same, but different.

He taught me the beginning is surrender to His will, not mine.

He began to show me when I become vulnerable to others He can use me in unimaginable ways. We don’t need to trust people, because God will take care of us, but He gives us people we can share with. It’s not our job to protect ourselves, and when we try we will fail every time.

He began to show me listening to others is a gift for them and me. I’ve learned more about God by listening to the pain of others. It wasn’t just me who was suffering in this life.

He began to show me how little I knew about Him, others and myself. He humbled me and gave me the ability to become a student again.

He began to show me we are all in this together and while we have all suffered differently we have all suffered. We are all on the same playing field with God. He meets each one of us where we are and helps us in the way we need it. No one is any better than anyone else. We are all sinners saved by grace if we choose to receive it.

He began to show me how to surrender. This has been the hardest lesson to learn and I am still struggling to master this one. We fight surrender and once we finally let go and stop struggling we always wonder what took us so long.

This was the beginning and as I look back and see how far I’ve come with God, it gives me hope and faith for the future. He is always there.

Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

What has God taught you? Where are you struggling to surrender?