Tag Archives: becoming

Still standing, firmly rooted

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So my kids have been sick for a little over a month with one well week, in which I worked and worked and worked to catch up on all that fell behind when I was care giving full time. Thinking I would get to the end of that week, and what felt like a marathon, would be over. Then that evening, they started with being sick again- and even last night-another night with no sleep, high fevers, administering medication and breathing treatments. (My 3 yr old had never even taken antibiotics before this October and now he has been on two rounds with a total of three ear infections! THIS IS CRAZY!)

And as my exhausted body laid in my bed listening to the symphony of coughing, I was tempted to ask God why? Why when it would be so easy to keep His children from suffering, is this whole world filled with injustice and sickness and and and????. Then I remembered that a friend of mine recently heard from God about how much time He has to spend with us reassuring us of all that we already know. When we go through storms we often choose to question the TRUTH we have already experienced and that cycle keeps us stuck at that level. By questioning what we have already learned, we miss the opportunity to be ungraded into a new understanding of who He is to us, for us, though us, and with us. (It is SO important to be linked with others who seek Him because we all only hear in part and see in part and we ALL NEED EACH OTHER!) So I decided to pray instead- ‘God I know you ARE faithful, I know You are good! I believe You are protecting my family from more than I could ever understand and I want to thank You for that. God I ask that You would teach me more about You through this unique set of circumstances. Amen.’ And with that I was able to rest a while with peace until I was needed again.

Did my circumstance change? No! But my heart did. I chose not to question all that I know is true- but to position myself to learn MORE! Would my circumstances eventually pass and life return to normal? Yes- I get that this is temporary. However living with the passive mindset of “This too shall pass,” isn’t going to get me anywhere. How I navigate through each unique set of circumstances MATTERS. And as I type that, I feel its important to say that I am not  talking about denial, and faking that I’m okay no matter how long and /or hard it is. Here is the truth- I’m exhausted and kind of sad that this is all happening at Christmas because it’s not the “fantasy” Christmas time experience I had been dreaming of for this year. Another truth is, someone asked me if I needed anything today and my reply was simply, ‘hope’- even though you and I both know I have an eternal hope that is the anchor to my soul-I honestly felt like I could use a fresh dose.

I get tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, and sad-it’s true. But I am choosing to take those emotions to the Lord and ask Him to show me His provision for me right into my very weaknesses or depleted areas. AND HE IS FAITHFUL! Navigating well doesn’t mean it won’t be hard- it means as I share with Him what’s hard about it- He can teach me more about who He is for me in my weaknesses- and if I learn more about Him through any part of life and can share it with even just ONE PERSON- it has been worked together for good and I have not “suffered” in vain.

One other key I find to ALWAYS be fruitful is to give thanks. When I’m exhausted or undone- I choose to give thanks for all that IS good- and not allow a moment in time to define my whole life- I move up and forward- not down and backwards. This too shall pass and when it does I want to come on the other side stronger and more aware of who He is in me and through me and for me and with me. So I am saying yes to being honest about where I am, no to complaining. Yes to giving thanks, and no to questioning what I already have learned is TRUTH. When storms rage- I will choose to stand on what I know is true- not question it. THEN I WILL BE FOUND STANDING, FIRMLY ROOTED in Him when all of it does pass. AND THAT MATTERS! HE WILL GET THE GLORY! HE WILL BE MADE KNOWN! THAT IS WHY I LIVE!

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!

Step out of control and into love.

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I heard this from the Father’s heart recently and I was re-reading it today to find new strength and encouragement. I then felt deeply led to share it with all of you. He is calling us up and out; way beyond our own strengths, abilities, and even imaginations. WE NEED EACH OTHER! I pray these words bring life and clarity in your voyage with Him!

Love,

Jenna

 

You are so beautiful! You are so loved. SO valued and cherished. I can see all that is right about you! I want to tell you of all of your strengths and teach you how to strengthen them. You were not created to be good at everything. Others can fill in the gaps. I specifically designed my Body to need one another. It is all about love- all about relationships. You are currently still learning how to ask for help. It is a process- but all that self-sufficiency that was instilled in you is slowly draining out of your self-proclaimed identity. 
 
Where you are headed, you are going to need help. As you step out with Me further- there will be much void in the places you have filled up until now- and those holes are not meant to stretch you too thin- they are meant for you to delegate, to trust, to lean on others. The holes that you aren’t designed to fill- there are specific others who are- this will teach you more about loving without being in control. It’s not going to go your way- that isn’t what is important- it is going to go My way.

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.

Intimacy- Open to Me- Into-me-see

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A few years ago- the Lord began to ask me if I would open to Him. I could tell this was a call to allow Him deeper into my heart- and I wasn’t so sure that is what I wanted out of our relationship. I was pretty happy to love Jesus and to know He loved me. I was pretty happy for our relationship to not cost me much but to have some benefit in my life. I was pretty content just knowing we were good. But He was asking for more. When He asked me to open to Him- I saw a vision of my whole body being opened down the middle, exposing my innermost parts- my heart. Totally exposed, totally opened, nothing able to hide……

My dear friend is a potter and she described to me how what I was seeing was similar to what the potter does when working with the clay. First they work the clay in their hands, softening it, warming it up to respond to their touch, preparing it to be stretched, shaped, and molded into their organic vision for that particular lump of clay. The next thing is the throw it on the wheel and center it. After being centered, they begin to open the clay up by putting fingers right down in the middle of the lump. It’s the opening process that allows for something beautiful, unique, the vision of the potter to become known to others. The process is so delicate she tells me, that sometimes when she is working, she can’t even breathe, she keeps her eyes fixed on what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what needs to be stretched so gently to encourage the original design to become the outcome of what just a little while ago was a shapeless, purposeless, lump of clay.

My heart began opening to the idea of being opened more to the Lord. I felt loved that He wanted to shape my life. I felt ‘seen’ that He wanted to form purpose for my life and that He was going to personally decide what needed to stay, go, or be added to ensure that His original plan- design- His vision would be what I actually get to become. However, can I tell you that there was a massive part of my heart that knew this was going to be painful. costly, and a long process- possibly life long? Can I share with you that I felt so drawn to know the deeper places of His heart- but I was afraid of what would be revealed as He excavated the recesses of mine?

I knew that saying “yes” to His invitation to really be His- with all that I have, would change everything. I could hear the deepest places of who I am crying out yes- but fear was telling me to hold back- to wait- to just be happy with what I currently had. So I began asking Him- “How do I open to you?” And do you know how loving our God is? This process wasn’t as big and scary as I was making the decision out to be, it is step- by- step. As I said yes- He would dig a little into the parts of me I was trying desperately to hide- out of shame or fear of being exposed. Then, as He gently revealed it needed to go- the decision was always mine- I would say “Take it- I want to look more like You.” Then the next thing would be something He wanted to add- and the choice would be mine. I would say, “Ok Lord, I’ve never done that before, and it seems scary, but will You help me?” Then, sometimes He says that something is good but it needs to change a little to be a more excellent portion for my life and the ones I’m called to minister to. By now, I’ve been in this process for a while that I can recognize the feel of the pull to open and I mostly yield quickly because I’ve learned a common thread- the process is FOR ME- it’s because He loves me that He does not desire to allow anything to be part of my journey that is destructive or will lead me astray if left unattained to. WOW- what a kind King. 

I am not saying that the process is any easier than it was when I first began opening to Him. I am not saying that I often understand why something isn’t allowed in my life or why the timing is the way it is, in fact, I rarely understand- I obey by faith. I am saying that the common thread through the entire “opening” journey I’ve been on has been love. Most often, as I listen and open, I can look back and see how much protection I’ve been given- how much I have been saved from before it even became an issue. I can see how much I’ve been stretched and how much I can believe for because of how faithful He has been- and I know that He never changes.

I began to look up the word “open” in the scriptures and I found something interesting. Open and Commit are interchangeable. They are both like rolling away the stone from the tomb. Wow- isn’t that what happens when we say yes to, commit our lives to Jesus? He takes us from the grave of our life- He opens it up and resurrects us to new life with Him? And also, isn’t the point of every attack in our lives to cause us to close up- to hide- to run from intimacy? What if you and I decided to have a new resolve? What would happen in our relationships with others and with the Lord if we chose to commit- to stay committed- stay opened up- even when we do not understand what is happening or why it is happening?

The enemy loves to get us to doubt the goodness of God- His faithfulness- and His love for us. When we don’t believe any longer that we are being loved- we retreat and begin to self-protect and take a defensive stance. But if I have said yes to being opened up- to being seen- known- and clay in the Potter’s hands- then my response to life cannot be closing up. I am going to continue to commit- to open to the Potter- and allow Him to use every thing that flies at me to shape me, mold me, and create His unique shape and purpose for my life. Will you also commit and open to the touch of the Potter? Will you say yes to intimacy with Him? Will you let Him “into-me-see”?

Although it is terrifying to take that first step, and maybe even the next 500 are rather shaky, Who you get to know and who you get to become is worth doing it afraid. He said you were worth it as He journeyed to the cross- and from that extravagant sacrifice and offering, you can rest assured that anything He is calling you to is more than worth the cost!

Jump all in- say yes- and then say yes again! You WILL NOT regret it!