Get up, Sister!

Get up! Sister…

We need you to rise and take hold of who you are in Christ. We need you! We need your voice; we need your words, we need your personality. We need your hands and feet to proclaim Jesus. We need you to realize who you are in Christ. You are not a mistake, a joke, a failure. You were purposed to be a solution in our world. Your life and the events that have happened were not so you could roll around in ashes, NO, you were created to overcome the ashes for beauty.

You have not been through it all in vain, you have been through it all and have remained. You are still intact not with a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and sound judgment. You are not defeated, Get up! Sister

Rise and take hold of what God has put before you. Do not back down now! You are not weak-willed you have been trained and sustained so that you can stand with confidence. You chose to endure when no one saw; you chose Jesus when everything in you wanted to jump ship. You chose the good portion, and it will not be taken away from you, just like Mary at Bethany. At the feet of Jesus trusting and believing, listening and learning. Instead of busyness, you chose Him.

You filled your lanterns with oil, trimming the wick so the flame would not go out. Yes, maybe at times the flame has waned, but it has never gone out. Get up! Sister. There is still more oil to store. There is a wick that needs trimming so the flame can burn bright once again.

Get up! Sister and read your Bible out-loud when the enemy whispers His lies. Fight him with the word of God and he will flee. There is no other way!

Get up! Sister and dismiss the voices of others who do not have any oil for this time. Dismiss the Martha’s who are bitter because they chose to be busy when Jesus was inviting them to sit and learn. We need you, girl! We need you standing full of confidence in Jesus with us; there is plenty of room, we saved you a seat. Take it!

Get up! Sister and find your identity in Christ for yourself. Fill your vessels with oil, the word of God. We need you, we are waiting for you to rise up.

Your First Ingredient is Brokenness

broken woman

We must be broken in order to be made whole.

A Sociologist named Brene Brown said, “We are ‘those people.’” The truth is… most people in our world are one paycheck, one divorce, one addiction, one mental health diagnosis, one serious illness, one hurt, or one bad choice from becoming “those people”— the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our children play with, the ones we don’t want living next door, the ones we know deep down need our love and God’s love more than anyone, but we can’t approach “those people.”

Our minds are so sensitive to the quiet voices telling us to keep up appearances, keep ourselves busy if we don’t think about it; it’s not really there, it will eventually get better.

Our generation has become artists of illusion, masters at covering pain, self-medicators, slaves to their finances, and lost in loneliness even when we are surrounded by those we love. All because we can’t seem to realize that the only solution for being broken is… brokenness.

We can never truly be whole until we’ve been broken. Those in this world that can make the most significant difference have not only risen to the top but have also fallen to the bottom.

Jesus makes the broken whole again. He takes the overlooked, the undervalued, the left out, the written off, the damaged and devastated, and then He does what only He can do.

I know this may not sound like it makes much sense, but brokenness is the first ingredient in a miraculous transformation. I am living breathing proof of that. The fact that I am alive, sober, full of peace and joy, and madly in love with Jesus Christ is all the proof I need. But in order for God to build me up and bring me this far, I first had to be broken down. Through loss, pain, anger, doubt, and tears I was not only broken…I was shattered, fractured and in pieces.

It was in that darkness that Christ’s light shone the brightest — illuminating each piece, gracefully fitting them together to form a new creation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Not only that but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence.” Colossians 1:20-23 (The Message)

The best part of all, the part I still can’t believe most days, is that time after time God chooses to use the broken things. The ones that when asked how they have made such a miraculous transformation, they can only point to Him. That is why I am thankful for every tear, every heartache, every circumstance that broke me.

Woman-praising-in-sunshine-ss_159078203-e1425484730774

“If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made

Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use

It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside”

Broken Things – Matthew West

Faith Over Fear

Fear is something we all feel, no matter how big our faith is. Fear is fickle and funny; it creeps in all too often in our fragile hearts. I find myself asking over and over what am I going to choose? Am I going to decide to let my fear overtake my faith in God or, am I going to resolve myself in God’s truth and walk forward and trust Him? These are questions we all face as believers, and to tell you the truth they are hard, but not impossible.

Photo by Bas Masseus on Pexels.com

I found myself staring late last night at my bible app. when I clicked on Luke 8:25 and read this verse there was the question that had been gnawing at my soul all day. A question of my faith, was I going to trust in my living hope; Jesus Christ or was I going to trust in my fleeting feelings?


25 He said to them, ” Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, ” Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and water, and they obey him?”
Luke 8:25 ESV

Where is your faith? That is a question that God asks me continually. I like what is behind that question most of all, ” And they were afraid!!! I am not sure what that does for your heart, but what it does for mine is give me courage! A hope that I can be completely scared out of my ever-loving mind, and still have faith! I can even be amazed at what and how God is working and be terrified all at the same time! What this tells me is I can be in the middle of my fickle fears, and still choose faith! I might feel fear, but I can choose to resolve myself to courage.

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

courage

nouncour·​age | \ ˈkər-ij  , ˈkə-rij\

Definition of courage

mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

In Matthew 14:27 Jesus says something to the disciples in their fear. ” Take courage; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Jesus knew that the disciples were shaking and quaking in that boat! Jesus spoke to the fear, confirmed His identity, and instructed them in their fear. That is what we have to do; we have to seek God’s wisdom and speak His truth. Jesus will confirm and affirm who we are in Him and finally give us instructions to carry out. We get so caught up the fact that we feel fear, but from what I have read in scripture from Genesis to Revelation, all I see in people is fear in many different forms. What separates the faith-filled from the frightened is courage. No matter how bad it looked, the heroes of faith believed God and GOD BLESSED IT! We can look at their stance; the common thread is they took comfort, hope, and a knowing that at the core of God is love and that He purposed them to do the thing that was asking.

I truly believe in my heart no matter how mature you are in Christ, fear will always be there, not to hinder us but to build our faith in Him. Fear is only bad if we let it overtake and overcome us. We can choose courage over fear through Christ. If you are like me and your struggle with fear these verses will give you the courage to do the thing God has purposed you for. If you are in Christ all things are possible!

We are more than conquers in Christ Jesus Romans 8:37

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Father we thank you, for your son, Jesus Christ. We thank you that we are free from fear through Jesus. Holy Spirit, enable and empower us to conquer our fears through courage. Father, tear down any strongholds of fear in us. Lord, we pray 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. We acknowledge that fear is a weapon, but we know that you Lord are more excellent than he who is in this world. We take heart in Jesus our Savior and commit to believing Him at any costs! Help us to resolve ourselves in your word so that you can fill us up with hope once again. Strengthen and fortify the breaches in our faith. Help our unbelief, Lord! In Jesus mighty name Amen.

The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible
Copyright © 2012 by Crossway.
All rights reserved.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.

ESV Text Edition: 2016

Wild Rose

pexels-photo-537053.jpeg

Last Saturday while moving a section of fence on our property I noticed that there was this wild rose bush. We have tried to kill the thing numerous amount of times. Just because it was growing in an inconvenient spot, the spot is right at the corner post of our fencing. What kind of fencing you ask well it is electric fencing for horses. You see the issue? It would eventually grow so big that it would ground out the current and render the fence useless.

So, as we removed the corner post and I saw this one small thorny green branch and thought, How in the world could you take all that uprooting and hacking and not die? Figuring that I would come out the next day and find it dead as a doornail.  That is not what I found to my surprise I found the wild rose bush doing just fine. As I looked at it again, I said: “Well, if you made it through THAT! Then grow little rose bush! In my books that one little stem deserved to grow!

As I stared down at this little thorny stem, I heard Jesus say to my heart, ” Kinda like you!” I giggled back and said in my heart ” I guess so, Lord.”  I looked back down and realized this little green, prickly, stem was a whole lot like me. Since Saturday I have been thinking about what Jesus said to me. I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. So I decided to look up all I could find about a wild rose bush. I mean who could blame me if Jesus is comparing me to it, I want to know the good, bad and the ugly!

I learned that a wild rose bush only blooms one time a year, those blooms typically only have five petals. The flowers are simple but stunning. Just like those rose bushes, we flourish in season. I love that these roses only have five petals, the number five represents grace in Hebrew.  It is the grace of God we bloom at all.

I also learned that these rose bushes are where we get all roses from. They are a completely original, you and I are original; there will never be another human like us.

1 Corinthians 12:25-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

In Verse 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individual members, you are original. Even though wild rose bushes can vary from white to pink, there are a million different hues, and each one is unique. We are all different, we have had different situations to create pigment in us. Those situations and circumstance are used to develop our personalities, they are what gives us our shade of color.

A wild rose doesn’t control its color or where it is placed, all the rose does is grow and wait to bloom.

I found out through my research that wild roses thrive on neglect and are exceptionally hardy, they can grow in poor soil, wet soil, good soil. How many times do people, jobs, friends neglect us but we have come to the understanding that even in the worse case scenarios our God never forsakes us. This makes us emotionally hardy to handle relationships, circumstances, loss and gain, sickness and health. I look at this beginning of a wild rose bush and realize that it is in rocky soil has been cut and abused. It has taken all that, and the little stem keeps coming back waiting to bloom. It has a purpose, it has roots deep down in the rocky soil.  Just like this wild shrub we are all planted in different lands, pastures, in dry places, in soaking wet areas, in urban and rural locations. We might not even like the places we are, but we are still there no matter how many times someone has taken a swipe and widdled us down to a nub. We always come back knowing that one day we will bloom and complete our purpose. In His timing and for His glory.

Amos 9:15 

I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God.

You and I are planted purposefully and will not be uprooted out of the land that God has set us in. We don’t have to understand everything to remain. Once a wild rose bush is allowed to reach it’s full potential and blooms it not only is uniquely beautiful, but it leaves something vital behind, rose hips. These rose hips carry over into the winter months providing food for the birds.

Matthew 6:26 ESV

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Psalm 50:11 ESV
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.

Every single bird, hill, and field is His. He knows exactly the time to allow us to bloom so that we can feed those around us. That our lives in full bloom leave necessary provisions for others to come and feed off of while in a winter season. A beautiful picture painted by God himself, that while we are growing. While God is sending the rain, sun, the wind.  Every single branch, stem, leaf, every bud we are strategically positioned to open and display His glorious grace. This grace was intended to give life to a searching heart, and a hungry soul that see’s the grace of God in the wild rose bush. In a God who purposed such a beautiful bloom to provide food for another soul.

Not for a second does the Father not see how many times we have been cut down, trampled, misused, abused, forgotten, weed-ridden, planted in poor soil, and neglected we have grown through it all, by the grace of God. We have grit and tenacity that only comes from the Holy Spirit.  I see now why Jesus said we were like wild rose bushes, growing in a pasture in a fence row, in poor conditions, in poor soil. We are hardy and exceptionally resilient.

No matter what comes, I am determined to bloom where I am planted so that my blooms will one day feed a hungry little bird searching for food. I want to be the vessel that God uses for that task. I am reminded more than ever when I am weak, I am strong. My current sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory in Christ Jesus that one day my face will behold.

Romans 8:18 ESV

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.