Tag Archives: anxiety

Love and be loved=Success

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Trying to follow Jesus on this Earth proves not to be a task which entails comfort or instant gratification. Quite the opposite. It is a long journey, a process, of strengthening and endurance. It is filled with opportunities to make high quality decisions based on faith in who God is, or to reveal your unbelief and then be built up in that place by His power to be able to move forward with a firmer foundation. There are many times when you step out in a direction and the point of that journey wasn’t at all why you began- but something deeper. Our constant misunderstanding of what God is up to- is the very reason we are called not to lean on our understanding- but instead to TRUST. It is TRUE what the Word says- His ways are ALWAYS higher than our ways- and yet we seek to understand with our finite minds this incredible INFINITE God. Our lack of understanding doesn’t have to stand in our way- if we let go and lay down our need to understand, and we can only do that as we begin to enjoy and rest in the fullness of His great love for us, to move in the broad place of freedom and hope and joy and protection that is only found in intimate relationship with this With-US God whom we can know and love and not have to understand.

Recently I have been learning about how when the devil tempted Jesus- he tried to get Jesus to forget He was loved by the Father. I am coming to see, in my own life, every temptation I face- there is a moment of amnesia about the great love the Father has lavished upon me- I am found lacking in my own strength, my own wisdom, hope- there is actually nothing but lack when I take God out of my equation. If I choose to make decisions in fear and hopelessness and the urgency found in both of those states- I will never be making quality, forward moving, destructive-cycle breaking decisions. Instead, most likely, I will making destructive, pain-birthing, selfish decisions that will not only delay my becoming but could also hurt others.

So what is the disconnect? How can someone be moving fully in the love and liberty of being loved by God in one moment- and in another be in such despair that you can’t find one reason any of this life stuff is worth it? I believe the truth lies in the fact that our enemy comes to steal, kill, or destroy everything that God wants to give us. Our attack will always be directly aimed at what God is doing. The first lie you have to believe is that you are on your own- and in most cases in my experience this comes subtly from a person in your life and their message sounds like wisdom- except that they do not include God in their expectation of who they think you should be. If we begin to mediate on a message of perceived failure in ourselves that was communicated from someone who only values and see success as far as they can see on this earth- and you have been busy investing in the Kingdom of God- in eternal riches- you will begin to see yourself as foolish- a loser, a failure- this is often the first lie I believe when I begin to forget who God says I am.

Truly that is the hope of the enemy- to take our God-given IN CHRIST identity.Our enemy knows that when we take Jesus out of the equation we will find it near impossible to love ourselves. You see Jesus taught us that there are only two commandments we must follow- to love the Lord with all of ourselves- and then to love others as we love ourselves. HMMMM- how many do you know that love themselves, treat themselves with the value and worth that God says they possess? The core hope of any attack from the enemy is to get us to hate ourselves, whether we realize it and can articulate it or not- our actions, beliefs, interactions, and perspectives will show this. If we hate ourselves- we deny ourselves from being able to receive the full measure of God’s goodness and love towards us- and then we are depleted in our love tank- it is impossible to love others.

So let me share something that was absolutely solidified in my life this week. Here is what doesn’t matter- other’s opinions of you. The essence of who you are is NOT defined by the amount of dollars in your bank account. The outcome of your life will not be how big your house was, what car your drove ( or if you even had a car). You aren’t defined by how right you were all the time or if your proverbial ducks were always in a row. The summation of our lives in the end is- did you learn to love? Did you freely receive and freely give love? That is all we are called to do. When we are loving, regardless of our circumstance, we are in the absolute will of God for our lives. Loving others, sowing into their lives, believing in them, praying for them, celebrating with them, supporting them, is investing in a eternal portfolio and the return on investment is greater than anything we can imagine. Choosing to follow Jesus- to seek out His will for your life- to rest in Him and not trust in the sweat of your own brow- is never foolish.  Even when you don’t land where you thought He was calling you- you are always going to land in Him- and that is success.

I AM HERE TO TELL YOU TODAY- don’t quit because the direction has changed. Don’t buy the lie that you are foolish because God has a surprise for you. Don’t judge your worth by the approval or disapproval of others. Get in close to your Father- rest in Him, and ask Him to remind you who He says you are. Ask Him to show you any lie you are coming into agreement with. Ask Him to help you in your unbelief. HE IS YOUR PORTION-and He is more than enough! Lay down your need to understand and be positioned to receive His love- and then organically allow it to overflow out of you onto others. Just be loved and love- (which is what happens when we seek FIRST the Kingdom of God) and all things will be added unto you!

Secure/Rescue

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A while ago I was reading something and on the page was the word ‘secure,’ but my eyes saw the word RESCUE- however it didn’t fit within the context of the sentence, so I re-read it and comprehended that I saw a different word than was actually printed on the page. I asked the Lord if that was Him- and indeed, He had a message for me- that I now have been working through and working out and living- and just now- a moment ago- He nudged me to share this with you.

Rescue- Secure- The same letters make up these two words with very different meanings, and yet, strongly linked!

As I sought the Lord, He began to show me how when I feel insecure- I run to what I think will rescue me- and inversely- when I perceive the need to be rescued- I run to what makes me “feel” secure. As I have been asking Him to highlight this to me- some of these cycles are constructive and pleasing to Him, and some are not.

One day I was feeling really low about some truly hard bumps I was hitting and I found the urge to run to something I normally would turn to to make me “feel” secure- and the Lord highlighted this destructive cycle to me, and I had the thought, ” I could deny my flesh right now and run to Jesus and start to break this cycle.” Unfortunately that day- I chose to continue in my quest to satisfy my desperate need for security- a quick fix, if you will.

Shortly after, as I was spending time in His presence, He showed me this. He also began to show me the negative effects these cycles have had on my life and how far reaching the outcomes are when we choose anything other than Him for our security. How when we buy into false comfort or security in one area of our life- it slowly seeps in undetected to all the other facets of who we are. With this wisdom before me, I repented and asked Him to help me break the cycles that keep me temporarily satisfied and quickly depleted- when I could be filled to overflowing with no lack. I asked Him to come alongside of me and help me in becoming a woman who would settle for nothing less than His best for me- and to be willing to wait upon, yearn for, and rest in Him alone.

Am I still struggling? Sure. Am I making progress? You betchya! Me and Jesus are celebrating this new season of breaking through yuck that I have just been accepting for a long time.

So, I am sharing this with you and I wonder what are you settling for? Is there anything in your life you are leaning on for security that is really sinking sand? Is there anything you expect to rescue you which could leave you stranded? He alone is our source and if we place our trust and faith in anything apart from Him- we will be disappointed. But God- our Almighty God- is faithful and we can trust with Him as our foundation we are firmly placed.

Hebrews 6:13-20The Message (MSG)

God Gave His Word
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

What’s new? I’m a mom of two!

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Wow! I have learned so much in just the last 14 days of being a mother to two children. I have learned how much of a waste it is to worry about things which are not in our control. I would spend all of this time thinking about my older son, and how to not let him feel left out or feel this or that- but you know what? HE LOVES BEING A BIG BROTHER! He is so satisfied in helping and being needed, it is so beautiful to watch. Truly, as Jesus taught, all of that worrying did not add a single moment to my life. God loves my son and took care of him. It is not in my control. I wonder today- what are you worrying about? Can you try handing that worry and need to be in control over to the One who knows all things and works them all together for good?

I have learned how beautiful God’s timing is, no matter how much the waiting hurts. I WAS HURTING- every second of every day for about 20 weeks straight- near the end, it was close to impossible to wake up and face the day knowing how much pain I would be enduring. But here is what happened- one of my very best friends on the planet- who was also pregnant with her second child- and we prayed to be pregnant together- had her baby on the same day at the same hospital. I could not have imagined God would give us such a beautiful gift. So wonderful, so beautiful, and something none of us will ever forget. I am now thankful for the waiting! I wonder today, what waiting are you in that might be painful? Will you choose to trust God to make something beautiful at just the right time?

And even now, as though this season isn’t new enough, my family is adding a new layer of adventure ( it’s just who we are called to be- never boring around here.) So as I face this new layer, I have to face some giants. In my own strength and power- a giant would be terrifying- and for a moment I stood paralyzed by fear- thinking I would be going backwards, and downwards, and allowed anxiety filled, fear-filled thoughts to run through my mind. Oh but Jesus! Jesus loves me! And He has reminded me of how far I have come, how far my family has come, and how we are moving forward and not backwards.  I am learning that even when something appears to look like a giant you have slain before- the battle was long,hard, and left you weary and wounded- YOU LEARNED FROM THE BATTLE! You know what to do. It won’t be the same- because YOU ARE NOT THE SAME! It is ok to face battles you have won before because you have the strategy to be VICTORIOUS! I wonder today, what giant are you being called to face, perhaps again, that is trying to intimidate you with fear or anxiety? Can you trust in the One who has given you victory before? Can you rest in knowing that in Him you will OVERCOME?

I am also starting to see just how small my measure of belief is. Sometimes I feel like I really trust God and I really believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE- but the truth is- I mostly believe that for all of you. When it comes to me, I still really struggle believing for the big, impossible-looking miracles to happen. Isn’t that crazy? Jesus has always shown up and shown off on my behalf and yet I still struggle. In this season, I have been blessed with a far greater experience than I could have ever imagined- so many people shared with me that this is what they saw coming for me- but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how precious the goodness of God towards me would be to enjoy. SO much better than I even hoped for. And then I saw a miracle in someone else’s life that the Lord has been saying He wants to do for me also, and I could believe for it more once I saw that it happened for someone else. BUT FRIENDS- faith is believing in what we cannot see. It is trusting in God and believing and thanking Him way before we experience it. So now my prayer is, and I am wondering if you would like to join in with me, “Lord, help me in my unbelief.”

Lastly, I am learning how to take it one day at a time. I am learning how to truly rest in each beautiful, messy, lovely, hard, joyful, and painful moment of each day. Take it for what it is, experience it, be present in it, live it. I am seeing more of Jesus when I slow down and really enter into the moments of my own life. Maybe that sounds strange- but I’ve been on the go and in a hurry most of my days thus far. There is something spectacular about choosing to really show up and be in the moments we have so graciously been given. I am learning  that a lot of the rushing and busyness I was involved with previously was a way of avoiding or denying what was happening that I didn’t want to face. Can I share, it takes courage to be present, and that courage can only come from God. I’m wondering today what place in your life are you rushing through so you can deny or avoid the truth of that situation? Can you trust Him who is, and was, and is to come to be there, to heal, to restore, to redeem? He is Faithful!

Oh, how each of our lives makes a difference. You may not believe you make a difference to anyone- but I assure you- YOU MATTER. This little 14 day old life has so dramatically changed my life and heightened my experience on Earth so far. Your life is changing someone’s world. Will you take the journey with me to continue to learn, continue to be teachable, continue to humble ourselves, so that we can become more and more and more like Jesus? Will you commit with me to learning how to enjoy the moments and get to be and have and do all that He created us for? This life- my life- your life- every single person on this whole planet’s life- is a gift- is significant- and is worth living. Jesus- have your way!

Rest = Trust

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In this recent season of my life, I have had to rest more than I believe I ever have in the entire 28 years I have been on this earth. This pregnancy has been much harder on me physically and emotionally than I could have imagined, being as though my first pregnancy was a dream! Here is the cool thing, as I entered into this pregnancy, I asked the Lord to spend the duration of it preparing me and equipping me for the next season of my life. Soon I will be a mom of two, and I have no idea what that will look like or feel like- and unchartered territories can always be kind of intimidating. Also, the last time I had a baby, was one of the hardest season’s of my life and I am asking Him to shape me, mold me, prepare me, and equip me so that together we can overcome and I will not go back into that dark place. And the result of those requests- rest.

This resting stuff has been an interesting evolution. At first, I was resting and had to work less. That involved an onslaught of negative thoughts and beliefs that rose to the surface. I had NO CLUE that at my core, I thought my worth came from my work. The harder I worked, the more I was worth. However, the current problem was, I couldn’t physically work- so did that mean I was worthless? That is what I felt like. I felt like a disappointment, a burden, a loser, a let down. OUCH! Why was this such a big deal- I mean I could rationally tell you that I HAD to rest, my body would not let me do anything else, however my spirit believed that meant I was not earning my keep and this was effecting my identity. WOW! Thank You Jesus for purging this wrong thinking from my spirit before all I am able to do for a season is rest, feed a baby, be a mom, rest, feed a baby, be a mom, and not “EARN” any money, respect, accolades, or significance. I have discovered through this process that my worth and my value are full simply because I AM HIS, and none of my identity or worth is contingent upon how much I can make happen. THERE IS SO MUCH RELIEF AND JOY IN THIS TRUTH! He has shown me that working hard, making money, enjoying success are all wonderful and beautiful things- given that they are not a sign to us of how important we are- what we are worth- or what we deserve- but enjoyed out of a place that knows if it was all gone- I WOULD STILL MATTER! I think this is one thing the Apostle Paul touched on when he said, 

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.

 
As a result of this first lesson, the Lord has asked me to continue to research rest. I believe what I am uncovering is that resting in God is a place of total trust. I can only rest in Him if I have no other agenda than His. So long as I have my own plans, my own dreams, my own way that I want to go, and I try to somehow fit God into my plans, there will always be this struggle. But if I keep everything with an open hand and loudly declare, “With or without this, Lord, I HAVE ALL THAT I NEED IN YOU,” I can rest no matter what the outcome. In relationships, if I am resting in God, I will be able to release others from unnecessary expectations and allow them to be in process with the Lord, loving them at whatever stage they are in. In work, I can relax when I make more and when I make less, knowing that it all comes from Him, and ultimately it is NOT UP TO ME to provide for my daily bread. I simply go where He tells me to, and enjoy doing the things I was created to do, and watch Him cause that to make provision. These are just a few examples of the fruit of the shift in perspective that truly resting in the Lord gives.
 
I believe this is the only way we can,

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

Also, I believe that if we trust Him we can truly keep first things first, such as;

Matthew 6:33(NLT)33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Which will help us to;

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take.

I really desire to learn how to live from a place of rest. Making all of my decisions out of that place, working from that place, worshipping from that place, relating to others from that place, mothering from that place- really LIVING EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE POSITIONED FROM RESTING IN GOD!

To me, living this way is the truest form of trust. I want to trust Him more. I am asking for more faith, more trust, becoming more and more like Him. This is just the beginning- and I will share with you as I uncover more. Will you join me in seeking Him for wisdom of a small step to take out of worry, anxiety, being overwhelmed, overstretched and into peace, joy, and love? That’s where I want to be found- resting in Him- in His Holiness, His Completeness, where lack does not exist!