Tag Archives: disappointment

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!

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Misplaced Keys

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Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of “keys” to life He has specifically given me over the course of my life. Some things I carry with me always- and use almost involuntarily- like breathing. Others, I utilized for a season, and once that storm passed, I sort of misplaced or forgot about.

I have been sensing the notion for where we are headed as a whole, this whole entire world, I am going to need ALL of the keys He has placed in my hands. It has been so sweet and beautiful how He is taking me to find each misplaced key I have set down along the way.

Some keys that are life to me include:

– Holding each thought captive and making it obedient to the Lord.

      – To do what I have been created to do, the bring forth my unique reelection of Jesus on the earth, I cannot afford to think whatever thought agrees with my emotion. I can only afford to agree with the TRUTH found in God’s Word. Every other thought cycle causes me to spiral down- but when I think on what is TRUE- I lift my eyes up to see TRUTH Himself- and get lost (or found if you will) again in what He says is possible and who He says I am. 

-Gratitude

   -We enter into His presence with Thanksgiving. When I am not being intentional about gratitude- I often find my natural mind leads me to disappointment. When I fix my eyes on what is right and declare it- it seems that I gain momentum in finding right things. The opposite is also true. Long story short- someone always has it better, and someone always has it worse- when I could be praying or blessing others- why would I waste my time thinking about myself and all that I WISH was different? NO GOOD FRUIT COMES FROM ANY THOUGHTS THAT ARE NOT ROOTED IN GRATITUDE!

-Praise before the answer

  -David would lament before God in the psalms from verses 1-7 (just for example), and then in verse 8, he would be greatly praising the name of God! I asked the Lord once, where the transition was, because I had yet to be able to experience such a dramatic shift. The Lord revealed to me, that David knew God was faithful, and so after he poured His burdens out, before he saw the miracle, he would praise the One who now held the power to do the seemingly impossible. Now, I praise before I see God show off- because I know Him, and  I know He is faithful and trustworthy and will bring about something even better than I am hoping for!

-Saying Yes Lord.

  -This is by far the hardest key of life for me- because it causes me to die to my flesh constantly. But I have resolved that the kind of life I want to live, and legacy I want to leave, is simply being a woman who says yes to God. This hurts, but the fruit from every time I have surrendered my will to His, has been enormous- so much bigger than just me. His ways are always higher- and I long to walk in step with His spirit.

-Being Passionately Patient

  -From our perspective it seems as though God always has us waiting. But what I’ve noticed about all this waiting- is that in the waiting is the preparation. Interestingly, when I await a promise of God to be fulfilled the stuff that is buried deep in my heart when things are going my way, suddenly erupts when I have to wait. I come face to face with the yuck in there, and as it surfaces, I have a decision to make: will I allow Him to cause it to come out and refine me, or will I stuff it back down because I will decide it will be too arduous of a process and now is not the time? Well, if I am in the waiting- I guess now is the time! I am so thankful for the seasons of preparation that have come from the waiting- for if not for these times, I would  constantly be in over my head and set up to fail- oh but He loves me too much to do that to me. He loves me through the refining process, and I seem to reflect Him a little more each time! THAT IS GOOD!

-Not trying to figure out what it will look, feel, or be like.

  -I have wasted SOOOOOOO much time trying to predict the future. When something happens, I begin to project what may happen next and how that will affect this, and then this should be next and blah blah blah. However, NOTHING EVER GOES THAT WAY! Life has a myriad of variables that can be unleashed in any given moment. Who am I to think I could know what is going to happen? I have resolved ( and especially again recently) to take each moment as it comes. Living life in the moment IS SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL! I find peace and I find Jesus easier as I do not trip over my own idea of what SHOULD BE happening by what time table. I am not talking about not making goals, having dreams, and accomplishments- but surrendering those to Him, with an open hand and being flexible if He has a different way to get there. I am simply saying, I choose not to add my own agenda to what He has asked me to do or said He is going to do with, in, and through me. 

These are just a few keys to life for me- that He has specifically given me to be able to become who He has created me to be and do what He created me to do. He gives us keys to be able to unlock, open, or lock and shut doors. We need every single key He has given us to be able to stay the road He has specifically called each of us to journey. Do you have any keys to life? Any misplaced keys? I’d love to glean from what He has shown you too!

 

Matthew 16:19Living Bible (TLB)

19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”

2 Corinthians 10:5The Voice (VOICE)

We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one trueGod. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.

Psalm 100:4The Message (MSG)

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

 

 

Delayed for the BIG STORY!

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Often times when I am in a waiting season of sorts- I find hope and encouragement in the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. (John 11:38-44)
Many years ago, the Lord showed me how Mary and Martha were close friends of Jesus and yet while their brother was dying and they sent word for Jesus to come heal him, Jesus didn’t make it in time and their brother died. Can you imagine how confused, upset, and disappointed they were with Him? They KNEW He was the healer and yet He chose not to heal. They waited and believed and the outcome wasn’t what they were hoping for. He was not on time by their standards.
I can just see the looks on their faces, wearing their hearts on their sleeves in mourning, and saying upon His return, “YOU ARE TOO LATE- You might as well just go and keep healing the ones there is still time and hope for. It’s no use for You to be here with us now.”
But Jesus, who always kept His eyes on the Father and did what He saw the Father doing, wasn’t too late in any respect. He was right on time. He didn’t respond to their urgency, but solely responded to the Father’s will. God had a better outcome then what the sisters were believing for. You see, they already KNEW He was the healer, but they got a deeper revelation. As Jesus walked into an atmosphere that was overcome with the stench of death and decay- He spoke and LIFE WAS RESURRECTED! They all became eye witnesses that this Jesus was more than a prophet and healer- He was the Resurrection and the Life!

I have always kind of just stopped there in my amazement in how the waiting, and seemingly disappointing outcome, can sometimes lead us to a deeper understanding about the infinite facets of who God is, and how getting to know Him more is worth anything. However, recently, He has been expanding this revelation of HOW GOOD GOD IS, and HOW HIS TIMING AND PLANS are for such a greater purpose than our small story.

John 12:9-11The Voice (VOICE)

9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.

John 12:17-19The Message (MSG)

17-19 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”

CHECK IT OUT! If Jesus would have answered the simple request of his dear friends Mary and Martha- and had come right away and healed their brother- they would have been saved heartache, grieving, and suffering. BUT ALSO- many would not have left their teachings and come to know Jesus. There would not have been a stampede after Jesus due to the testimony of their unanswered prayer being answered in a way MUCH bigger than they could have ever imagined!

Can we always understand why we are being asked to wait? Why the answer is so opposite of what we have prayed, believed, and hoped in? NO! Does it hurt? YES! But are we resolved that God is always good and I am ALWAYS loved?

Jesus not healing Lazarus had to cause his heart to ache also- He never delights in seeing any of His children suffer. But our Father is a good God and He sees the BIG STORY! And as we follow Him, He allows us to join in and become part of the answer for others who are yet to come into the Kingdom.

Mary,Martha, and Lazarus got to witness first hand the resurrecting power of God on Earth! Then the overflow of that great miracle, brought many to know and believe in Jesus. If the delay in my answer will be that big- I am going to choose to lay my need to understand down, and lift my hands in Praise to the One who gives me the honor of being part of His BIG Story! Will you join me? 

2 Corinthians 4:17GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

17 Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine.

Been stuck…but trying again.

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Hello Friends! In the face of accusation, I was believing I had nothing worth while to bring and further more that my life wasn’t worthy of being shared and if I’m not even received well by those who have known me the longest, then perhaps I should just be quiet.

But do you know what the Lord showed me? He showed me how Jesus wasn’t even received by those who had known Him the longest. In His own hometown, He could not be free to be His truest self because the familiarity of “knowing” Him kept the people from seeing the real Him. WOW!

The Lord also showed me how Hannah was tormented by someone in her world and it would often reduce her to tears and keep her from eating. Rejection and accusation hurt- but they only get to define us if we come into agreement the message which is trying to convince us that we are less than the Lord says we are.

Thankfully, I serve a greater authority than any other man- I serve Jesus. Jesus gets to define who I am. Although it is difficult- any time I begin to ponder on what these other people have spoken over me (which has silenced my voice for over a month as I have struggled deeply to discern what was true) I have to release them to the Lord and pray that His blessings, His love, and His kindness would be upon them. And then I ask Him to speak to me, yet again, of who He says I am.

One particular night, after an extremely troubling encounter full of accusation which brought deep sadness and heaviness to my heart, I asked the Lord to speak over me all night long who I am to Him. The first thing I heard were the words to this song:

You’re My Beloved, You’re My Bride, To Sing over You is My Delight, Come Away with Me My Love.

I sing over you my song of peace,Cast all your care down at my feet ,Come and find your rest in me

I’ll breathe my life inside of you, I’ll bear you up on eagle’s wings, And hide you in the shadow of my strength

I’ll take you to my quiet waters ,I’ll restore your soul, Come rest in me and be made whole.

And I was lost, yet again, in His love. My soul needed restoring, and I was weak and hurt and vulnerable, and the only place I could feel safe was in the shadow of His strength. I needed so desperately to know I was His and that He STILL delights in me, even though others express utter disgust with me. Do you see how powerful it is to bring your wounded places to the heart of the One who can heal them? Do you see how differently I may feel about the ones who are currently accusing, rejecting, and hurting me if I couldn’t turn to Jesus and ask them to bless, love, and heal them also?

Friends, my mind wants to take control- my thinker wants to defend myself, to lash back and PROVE that I am not any of the things they are saying I am- but what did Jesus do when He was being attacked- He shook the dust off of His feet and kept moving. He blessed and loved and kept His eyes fixed on the Father, staying in His will. He was not delayed, distracted, or defeated by any who did not receive Him, He simply kept focusing on the ones who did.

Although, my heart is still hurting, I am receiving this season of conflict as an opportunity to upgrade my response and to become more like Jesus. And I would love to encourage you today, that if you are being misunderstood, or accusation is being hurled in your direction, or if you are sharing in any of the sufferings of Jesus, accept the opportunity for upgrade. Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is the Author and Perfecter of your faith, and release those who are hurting you to the Lord believing HIs goodness and kindness will minister to their wounded places which are ultimately trying to wound you also. He is always the way!

Do we protect our wounds?

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I was chatting with a friend the other day about how many people I run into who want to “face their giants” or start “unpacking their baggage” and yet even though commitment is made, when the time draws near, they run as fast as they can in the other direction.

I personally have been working through stuff since my early 20’s. When we are kids, and stuff happens, we draw conclusions about each memory and how it defines us. The problem is when you are a child, you have a child’s mind. Often times, the conclusions we have drawn and attached to our identity are incorrect, and yet we walk into adulthood with a skewed perspective and a wounded heart and spirit.

Then, most unfortunately, we continue to live out of this wounded perspective and wound others with our words, selfishness, and actions that are all in the name of protecting our wounds.

Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. He came to set the captives free and heal the wounded. But most of us declare with our actions that we don’t want what He offers. We declare, even though I am wounded, I know how to be this way. I am afraid of the healing process because it would be unfamiliar to be free.

My friend described it like this to me: A woman broke her hand off, but was so afraid of what the surgery might do to her, that she just covered it up, and started doing everything with her other hand. And although it completely limited her ability and caused her much pain, she knew what it felt like to have a wounded hand, and she knew how to operate around it, and she just assumed this was how her life turned out.

SO MANY OF US ARE WALKING AROUND WITH COVERED UP WOUNDS. We have learned how to operate around that wound and have just accepted that this is the way it is going to be! PLEASE STOP! You DO NOT have to have a limited experience of life. There is hope for healing.

Speaking from personal experience, when I was in my early 20’s a close friend asked me, “You have a lot of baggage, and the question is, are you going to unload it now and enjoy life at a higher capacity, or are you going to carry it around with you and let it hold you back and drag you down for the rest of your life?” When it was phrased like that, I knew the choice was obvious, “Let’s face this stuff!”

My experience of healing is perpetual. Hard life stuff flies at us ALL of the time. We are constantly needing to process painful things with the perspective of love. I CANNOT PROCESS with the perspective of love when I am deeply wounded. Like it or not, my main job becomes protecting my wound at any cost. I hurt others when I am wounded.

So, I am writing this today in an attempt to love you. When I am set free, I am free to love, honor, and value others right where they are at in their process. Healing is a process, it is constant, and it is worth it. Every step of the healing process produces eternal fruit that will become a blessing to everyone you encounter. It is so much bigger than you, and you so desperately need to let go of the identity of your woundedness, and say yes to the journey of becoming whole. The Lord will not leave you, you do not need to be afraid, it may not be as hard or arduous as you are imagining.

A great place to begin is just asking the Lord, “What wound in my heart am I afraid to face?” Ask Him if it is time to get some help, maybe a counselor, coach, or close friend who walks tightly with Jesus. Ask Him to help you, to give you courage, to give you strength.

Please choose today to stop adjusting to being wounded, and to start facing the hurt places and receive healing and freedom.

God is FOR YOU! He is WITH YOU! NOTHING is too hard for HIM! and YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Lord Jesus, we need you now more than ever before. Come, draw near, and illuminate our hurting places that we have attached  identity to. Lord, help us to catch a glimpse of what it can be like to live in wholeness, to allow you to heal our brokenness. Lord, I ask that you supernaturally give us courage to take one small step towards healing today. When we want to run away, teach us how to turn back to you and stay the course which you are calling us to. We admit that we need you, and we are terrified of what we may find, and yet I hear you whisper that we do not need to be afraid because what you have for us is better than anything we can imagine. Lord, I choose you, not any other identity, today! I love you Jesus, and it is in your name we pray! Amen!

High Places

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Habakkuk 3:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

So what I am reflecting on today, is that when I depend on the Lord to be my strength, I will not be paralyzed by terrible things, but able to make spiritual progress. AND that in the kingdom of God, a “High” place, is a place of trouble, suffering, or responsibility? When I asked why, He showed me how loaded with opportunity those places are. The choices we make in the midst of suffering or trouble are the very defining moments that can propel us forward into our destinies, and get us Unstuck. Are you willing to go to “high” places? Are you willing to trust in the Lord’s strength to be able to make progress instead of pushing forward in only what your strength allows or just continue to stand still? Whew, so much to contemplate this day!

He does not disappoint!

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I have a desire in my heart. I get spoken to by someone who does not know this desire that the Lord wants to bring this forth. Faith is stirred up. Then I see the Lord doing a few things, boom, boom, boom. Confirmation. Hope is swelling. Then, WOW, this MUST be God because x,y, and z are all seeming to fall into place. I give testimony as to how God is moving, and BAM the momentum is halted and consequently I am left wondering why I ever allowed hope to take over the contentment I had with what I had.

Has this ever happened to you? You felt stirred up and excited about something the Lord began speaking to you about, only to be left wondering why He didn’t just leave you alone? I have to ask myself is what I was experiencing previously really contentment? Or was is complacency? Am I being honest with myself if what I thought I was content with was void of hope for a brighter future? Is it really being content or settling because I got tired of being disappointed? And if I was so tired of being disappointed- how did I get there? How did I arrive at the corner of “You have enough to be thankful for,” and “You probably can’t handle anymore than what you have to do already,” at such a young age.

I had to get real with the Lord and ask Him what was the purpose of allowing me to experience this cycle once again. He began to  remind me that my goal for the year is to move forward. I am moving forward by replacing destructive cycles with constructive cycles. This particular cycle is very destructive. This is the cycle that causes me to lose hope. When the enemy can steal our hope, our faith tends to diminish, and Hebrews 11:6 teaches us that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. This is a VERY IMPORTANT LESSON TO LEARN!

I am beginning to see what the major problem is, when God speaks to me, I start trying to figure out how what He said could become possible. Now let me tell you He only spoke to the desire of my heart, but didn’t say as to how He was going to bring that forth. Yet in my desperate attempt to be in some sort of control I begin grasping onto anything I can find to see how this could work. When those theories I have crafted fall short, remember this is NOT what God had said, is when devastation and/or a deep disappointment collide with my once soaring hope and hope plummets out of the sky and lies on the ground slowly dying.

Here is how I can mature. I can mature by staying the course He has spoken to me about. I can mature by not running with vain imaginations and becoming fixed on how I think “it” will work out. I can mature by NOT putting my faith in circumstances, results, or outcomes. My God does not disappoint. He never leaves me and He always works everything together for my good. If that is not what I am experiencing, I am learning that means I am the one with a huge misunderstanding. I am learning that when He speaks to stir up my faith and remind me of the desires of my hearts, the one which maybe my little heart got weary in the waiting but He still cares about and still wants to bless me with, I can listen to what He has to say and not add to it a deadline. I can choose not be in a rush for that desire to manifest in my life. I can trust that if He is the one reminding me of something I tried to forget about because in my weariness I deemed it “impossible” that I do not need to take the reins and then try to make it happen. The One who reminded me, will take care of the details. I was reminded this week that my only focus needs to be, “Seek first the Kingdom of God….and all things will be added unto you.”

I have chosen this week that I can stop compartmentalizing contentment and hope. Somehow, as a coping tool or maybe a self-declared limit, I had determined I needed to choose one of the following, 1) being thankful for what I have or 2) hoping for more. But as a conclusion to the ride I have been on this week, I have determined something new. I am choosing to enjoy what I have on the way to where I am going. Already there is an elevated joy and peace. The limits are off and the manipulation of my future has lessened. There is expectancy for God to be God and joy in the waiting because I already have so much to enjoy. What an awesome God we serve. He loves me enough to undo every knot that is binding me when I was not aware I was being bound. He has yet again set me free. He is so worthy of praise.

Dream BIG- don’t settle, and enjoy the journey. This life we have is a gift to be fully enjoyed, not a deadline or rush just to arrive, and where are we hoping to arrive? I just want to see Jesus, and share Jesus, and love love love….and I already have everything I need to live in that reality-everything He chooses to bless me with beyond that is a surprise and I give thanks!