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.

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“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

It Took a Broken Foot to Run For God

My pastor recently gave a message describing how Jesus is our Good Shepherd. Being different than a hired keeper who might run away in the face of danger, the flock belonged to the shepherd who would stay and defend them. He had a genuine loving concern for what belonged to him. Jesus is that loving protector and caretaker for His flock. Jesus, the good shepherd’s purpose, is to give life and protect from destruction.  And although this next imagery may make those of us animal lovers shudder, it helps to confirm that sometimes love is shown in ways we don’t always like.  A shepherd would often break the leg(s) of his sheep to prevent them from running off into danger.  He would then carry that sheep over his shoulders down the path each day until its injuries healed.  While being held, the sheep grew to love and rely on the shepherd like never before.

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Oddly enough, I believe Jesus did this very thing to me.

Five years.   I had been living in this small town in Western Kentucky for five years and had yet to make any meaningful relationships.  I not only avoided bonding with the people; I also lacked a REAL one on one relationship with God.  I was, what I like to call, a “baby Christian” who had a history of anger and atheism, with little to no guidance and the life choices to prove it.  I had always been very independent and didn’t really care about having friends because I didn’t trust people.

Feeling convicted about not being a part of a church family, my husband and I began visiting some in the area and knew we had been led to the one we now call home.  After just a few weeks of attending, the Lord brought several women into my life that completely changed my heart.  My relationship with them grew stronger and stronger as I began to experience what can come from real love and encouragement.

One Sunday morning, one of those women invited me to a Run for God class. I wish I could illustrate the facial expression I made. You see, my words say one thing, but my face speaks from the heart. I laughed and said, “The only time I run is if something is chasing me.” With persistence from my friend and growing pant size, I conceded.  The way I understood it was that it was basically a couch to 5K training program with a devotional.   Little did I know that God was putting something into motion that would altogether transform my life.

I showed up for class each Saturday morning, bright and early (also outside of my character).  With each devotional and time spent running with God, it finally clicked. I can run because I am doing it for God.  I can make real friends because I am doing it for GodWhat would happen if I did everything in life, FOR GOD?

Ten weeks into the class, we all registered for a 5K in our town that promoted to suicide awareness.  As my first race ever, I had zero expectations for my outcome.  I just wanted to finish.  As they were calling out awards for age groups, they called my name as the third place winner.  It took me by surprise, but it didn’t take long for my pride and competitiveness to kick into overdrive.  I was already plotting the demise of the two women who beat me for first and second place.  Just as the Lord revealed what life could be like when you do it all for Him, He let me know very quickly what can happen when you begin to do it for yourself.

The very next day, I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my foot.  I would not be able to complete the 5K for our Run for God group.  Even though I was discouraged, I continued to go to class.  While others ran, I sat.  I sat and encouraged them as they struggled13237875_10208110454498173_1769253948085201728_n through the long runs. I SAT and read the Word.  I SAT and prayed.  I SAT, growing closer to God every day.

While still in what I called “the dreaded boot,” I sat and cheered as all of my new friends ran past me to complete their race.  My heart was full.   God had set me on a different track.  A race towards Him and onto the path He had planned for me.

We quickly started a second class, and I was asked to help instruct.  Still unable to run, I knew God meant for me to focus on the “God” portion of Run for God. To show others that training to run successfully mirrors training ourselves to walk successfully with Christ.  It takes work, commitment, sacrifice, discipline, and occasionally a boot.

Learning to put God first and dedicate all I do to Him, the ability to stand before a group and teach due to the confidence I gained through the Spirit, the forever friendships that I have made, are just a glimpse into how God transformed me…. all through a broken foot.

John 10:11-18

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

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First Steps

In The Beginning…

First I want to help prepare your heart for what is on mine through a quick simple but pure prayer. Here is my prayer….

Heavenly Father we rejoice in today as it is a new day.  Help our hearts and minds to be fully aware of our surroundings as we go through our day today.  Help us to remove all negative chatter in our heads that could cloud a message from you today.  If it is the first time ever hearing your word through my post Lord,  may it be a Blessing to them.  I pray it offers to them a place of peace in their own story or a hope to fill the emptiness that may be robbing their joy.  Heavenly Father open your gates in a mighty way through using my story to relate to theirs and bridge it to yours. I pray for healing, restoration and courage to be overwhelming to the souls embarking on this journey with me.  In Jesus name, Amen! 

Where do I begin today? This is a typical thought a woman asks herself on a daily basis. Literally!  Well I do anyway.  As a woman we are made to multitask.  From balancing the single life, wife”ing”, mom”ing, boss”ing”…. our jobs consist of cooking, cleaning, driving, working, appointments, school schedules, friend sleepovers, grocery shopping, among so many other jobs, should I go on? 

We all began somewhere! Genesis 1 explains the beginning of time.  It’s one of my favorite books to study because the magnitude of wonder.  I can read it over and over again. It just fascinates me to know how the Heavens and Earth was created.  How God created Man and then Woman.  How he breathed Life into it.  How just a word from God was spoken and “POOF” there it was in all his Glory, the Sun, Moon and Stars. Just look outside at all the wonder around you.  I’m in aw of it everyday. Do you see what I see? 

Humble Beginnings….

Just like the beginning of the Earth and it’s being, so is the story of our own lives.  To be a part of a story that started with adversity from the very beginning, it humbles me. My mother was married at 16 years old.  She married a friend who was so kind to her. He Loved her so.  I know she married him to leave her life back home. So she didn’t marry him for Love. That was her first big mistake.  She and my grandmother were just alike. Beautiful, charming, full of life, exciting, spontaneous, energetic, the life of any party, literary.  Shortly after marrying the first man, she divorced him. On to the next one. With him, she had two sons. Throughout that marriage, she was not able to stay faithful. It ended and then she got mixed up with my father. Then I came along. In three years my mother had three kids just that quick. Three kids and no way of being able to take care of them adequately.  She was always unsatisfied in her life still searching and seeking the wrong things and getting mixed up with the wrong kind of people.  I won’t share much more of her testimony because of two reasons, it’s hers to tell, and unfortunately for her,  she is no longer here on Earth to say it.  She left this place 12 years ago at the age of 48.  So very young.  Without God in her life she ran it ragged. Her body just couldn’t keep up with her wild spirit.  I lost her long before that though.

My Beginning….. 

At the age of 13 years old I became the property of the Bluegrass State! I was originally from Elgin, IL.  I ended up in Kentucky when I was 9 years old.  After my mother had me, she went on to have my sister with another man and then I had a younger brother whom also had another man as his father. So I’m part of a 5 sibling group and 3 of the 5 have different fathers. My mother ended up meeting and marrying number 3 after all her children were born and his mother lived in Kentucky.  Hence the how I got here.  Long story short that marriage lasted 6-7 years before he decided he had enough. I couldn’t blame him one bit.  So all this time I’m being raised by a person who is faithless and as lost as a kid in the kitchen looking for the dishwasher. All you mommas know what I’m talking about! 

It was unfortunate for her because she too had the same wild beginnings I did except my grandfather an army Veteran was too stubborn to let my grandmother go.  I also think back then too that marriages tolerated much more than they do today.  My grandparents were married for 41 years before he passed away from his injuries serving in World War II.  

His passing was a blow to my mother’s spirit that just fueled the devils schemes.  She spiraled our if control and made so many bad choices that they all caught up with her. She left my brothers on their fathers doorstep and never looked back. She moved to another state with a new husband and 2 young girls. Alcohol and medications were not a good fit for her. I believe she had some mental health issues that she, like many others do, medicate themselves with substances that mess with their heads even more negatively.  

I ended up in court one morning in front of a judge pleading in a letter that I wanted to stay with my ex-step-grandmother.  Say that several times fast.  I was at an age where the abuse and neglect had me pleading for change.  The judge granted that my sister and I could stay with her until my mother got her life in order. That order never came. She gave up her rights in court a few weeks later and then left the state.  From that day forward I was to find my place, my identity as a child marked with bruises and battered was over.  But who was I now!

It happened on my 13th Birthday the last day I was to be in my mother’s guardianship.  I was exhausted from sitting in the dispatchers office until the early morning hours trying to decide for myself and my sister do I tell them that I want to go to my ex-step grandmother’s house before we go to a foster home. The dispatcher knew I had her in my mind but prior to that time my mother was being detained and in one last shot at her abusing me she placed her hands around my neck and was choking me telling me I better not call her. It took 3 officers to get her off of me.  So can you imagine a broken young adolescent girl abused in front of police how I must have felt?  

Someone out there reading this has a similar story of the beginning of their childhood like mine.  Beyond just the abuse that I sustained from my mother’s hand,  I also had been molested by a neighbor at the negligence of my mother’s. So I’m 13, puberty, witnessed all the men my mother had encountered,  molested, beaten, broken spirited and barley holding my head above water believing I had no worth.  

Through feeling so incredibly alone from a physical person I was introduced to God shortly after this nightmare was coming to an end.  I started looking at life in a new light. Even though I had see the world for what it is without God, I always saw a silver lining of Grace and Mercy. I had always felt with all the opportunities that I faced where I shouldn’t be here but I still am as a higher force than man could ever explain. I knew in my soul that there was a God before I actually knew of him.  I have my ex-step grandmother to Thank for the introduction to him. For her prayers and influence in my life.  She is no longer here with us but I know she is looking down with a big smile. 

You see in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, you can read about the beginning of time. As you read along you will soon read further into how the world became what it is today. How sin just took over the hearts of men and women.  How they turned from God and how they caused self-inflicted blows to their own stories by choosing Evil over Goodness.  

Let me hope that in this first of many posts you find this encouraging and not depressing in any way.  I’m encouraged every day by my humble beginnings. I may not know exactly what to do looking forward in my life, how I can raise my children to be God fearing instead of fleeting because I can sometimes get a little self righteous due to my knowledge of the word, which can back fire. I’m human in every sense of the word.  I fail every day to say and do something I should in the Glory of the Lord. The Power I have that others can as well is the Gospel of Jesus Christ who died so that I can live again.  I die to myself everyday waking up to a new day. I have more gratefulness than I did the day before because I know our life is a vapor.  I’ll go more in depth with that later.  

So I want you to go with me on this journey to do understanding your identity Through Christ Jesus.  The Bible App has reading plans. Come along with me while we read together Bible in a Year.  I’m having to go back and read due to a stroke I suffered last February.  If you have had a stroke and are reading this My Heart Burns for you! I get it! You are doing great! Keep up the recovery! You got this! 

In the meantime end this time with your own prayer to God.  You are Blessed. Know you are Blessed! Show Gratefulness!  Most importantly be Thankful to God for his provisions and his Sufficient Grace! 

Cassie

Introductions Are In Order

I am so thankful to begin this new year as a part of this ministry.  Before I jump right in though, I think some introductions are in order.  I am a true believer in the fact that, for you to understand and get a deeper look into the heart of a message, you need a pretty good picture of where that person has been and what God has rescued them from.   A visibly transformed life can have a major impact on the world around you.

Ten years ago, if you would have asked someone to describe me, I’m afraid they would’ve used adjectives like angry, lost, empty, aggressive, broken, self-destructive… I’ll stop there, I’m sure you get the picture.

After moving around for a good part of my childhood as a military brat, we finally settled in Western Kentucky where most of our family was.  Within our home, there was no prayer, no Bible reading, no foundation of faith.  I don’t blame my parents.  They were both very young and did the best they could while dealing with their own childhood trauma.

To spend as much time as I could with my grandmother, I began going to church with her every Sunday.  The bond that I had with that very special lady is something I could never describe in written words.  We were inseparable.  I remember sitting beside her each Sunday, in amazement, as she gracefully played the piano during worship. She loved me like I had never felt love before and made me feel deserving of that love.  Around the time I would be starting middle school, something terrible happened.  My grandmother was life-flighted to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis because her heart was failing.  I can remember my aunt picking my sister and me up from school and taking us to the movies to keep us distracted. Fortunately, she was blessed with the opportunity for a transplant, and it seemed like everything was going to be ok.  She lived for eleven years after the transplant.  The last two years of her life were the two years of my life that the devil used to catapult me into a lifetime worth of anger and emptiness.  The medication she had to take to keep her body from rejecting the new heart destroyed her kidneys.  She began dialysis several times a week but was withering away.  I watched her light and life slowly fade as she suffered every second until the end.  The questions, fueled by anger, started flowing.  Why her?  She went to church! She played music in church! She loved the God that was supposed to love her back! She was too young! Could there really be this all-loving God? No, there couldn’t, He wouldn’t do this.

That anger combined with a life that was in a constant state of chaos due to a lack of involvement, lack of faith, substance addiction, abuse, and family members who were out of control…I was left to let the anger, sadness, and loneliness open the door for the devil to make himself at home.   I began trying to fill that brokenness and emptiness with every terrible thing this world has to offer; partying, attention from anyone willing to give it, and more and more anger.

When I was 21, I became pregnant.  Of course, we had to get married because that’s what a good southern woman does to save face.  But this wasn’t all bad.  I started to feel a little peace and happiness.  I thought I loved the man I was marrying, we were going to have a child, I was doing great in college and could still finish so everything was fine.   The day I had to say goodbye forever to that baby, I felt myself break.  I can remember it vividly.  Any anger that had been buried came erupting to the surface.  That was it! There definitely is no God, and if there was, He could care less about any of us! That is what I told myself for years.  I was an anthropology major in school, so there was no shortage of professors who were quick to reinforce that thought with scientific facts and figures.  And boy was I ready to argue with anyone who dared to try and convince me that there was a loving God and that “He had a plan”, and that “there was a reason for everything”.  I was educated, had an aggressive personality and was motivated by so much anger that the devil had a field day with me.   I did what I could to try and convince everyone around me to give up on all those silly stories and rules created by men to control society.   The only person I know I successfully pulled away was my own mother.

My marriage was anything but happy.  How could it be?  We were so young, and I was so volatile.  We each turned to different ways to numb the pain.  Two years after the loss of our first child, we were both preparing to graduate college and had big plans for our future.  But God had a different plan.  I became pregnant with Chloe.   It was a shock because due to health issues, I wasn’t expected to be able to have any more children.  When that child was born, I felt myself begin to heal.  Just as I felt myself break when I said goodbye to my first child, I felt myself, LOVE.  Really love.  I knew then that she was sent to me for a reason and that there had to be “something” or “someone” out there because this kind of love could not be explained with science.  But I had no understanding or faith to fall back on.  I was the poster child for someone who was “lost”.

I struggled for years after Chloe was born.  Her father and I couldn’t seem to get through past hurts, and our marriage was so unstable that we divorced when she was one.  I was a single mother moving from place to place and job to job.  I know now that I was moving every year because I was running.  Running from my sadness and emptiness.  But no distance ever made a difference.  I was still angry and lost.  Along the way, everywhere I went; I met and got to know bold Christian men and women that tried their best to lead me to Jesus.  Each planting seeds.   I would always disregard them though.  Until one person, someone I had grown to love, all but forced me to go to church.  I started attending on Sundays.  I enjoyed the singing and meeting new people but would zone out and not pay attention to much else.  But one day was different, I woke up feeling different.  I went into the church, sat in my pew by myself as usual and listened, really listened.  I didn’t feel alone.  I had been so ashamed of myself for so long, thinking that even if there was a God, “How could He love me now? Look at what I’ve done, what I’ve said!”  That day, I heard and felt that He does love me because Jesus loves me! He suffered and died for me! ME! Not just the righteous people that have never fallen.  Me!  I could feel Him right there with me as I fell apart.  Almost like He had His arm around me as I finally let go of all that anger, shame and guilt and gave it to Him.

On August 8, 2009, at the age of 28, I was baptized.  And I’ve never been the same.   The devil didn’t and still doesn’t make it easy, but now “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

I saved the happiest part of my testimony for the end.

The sorrow I felt for convincing my mother there was no God was unbearable.  I prayed for years for God to allow me to bring my mother to know Jesus. On Mother’s Day of14910490_10209443515783872_6246060035715518067_n 2017, my mom gave her life to Jesus and was baptized.  Now we worship Him together!

You see, that is what we are created to do.  To be transformed through God’s Grace and to live it out each day to be a living testimony to those around us.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me down a path that helps those as lost as I once was.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“ ‘The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ ” “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 21,24

Hearing the Heart

woman standing on green grass

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I think the worst downfall for me is a transition. I mean really how much of us like drastic changes? I know for me I fight with all that I have and the funny thing is I always end up loving the difference. That is where I am currently, right smack dab in the middle of hard change. ( I am sighing at this moment whispering. It is, what it is.) One of my commentaries said: ” Sighing is just groan for home, a cry for redemption.”

Psalm 38:9 ESV

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

 

Even my subtle sigh is heard, nothing missed by the sovereign ears of God. There is great comfort in that for us today. That we would be understood by the creator of life, acknowledged by the lifter of our head’s. It seems when I am tossed around in the waves my heart goes directly to the Psalms, such practical and heartfelt cries to the Lord.  That He not only hears my physical cries, but even more, He actually listens and knows the ache of the heart like a melody.

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Psalm 139:3-4 TPT ( Passion Translation)

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.

 

I am reminded to give Him the invitation to search my heart throughout my life. Not just while the ache is the loudest, but when the ache is dull. Continually search and know my heart, Lord.

Psalm 139:23 TPT (Passion Translation)

God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

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I invite you today, maybe if you are in the middle of rough transition and your heart is just aching. I merely want to remind you we are all on a journey. A journey with God through this life into the next. A mission is often long and challenging, but it is worth every step. Don’t give up now! Just because you are on the beginning of a new path doesn’t mean that He is not with you. The route could be dark with a blanket of dense fog appearing, but what gives illumination is the beautiful unfolding of His word. It will cast light on the next step. Hang in there, keep praying, keeping reading your Bible, most of all keep worshiping through the transition there is power in His presence.

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Psalm 119:130 ESV

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

 

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This simple truth sets an aching heart upright and redirects us right back into the loving gaze of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Psalm 46:10 ESV

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”