Friday, January 30, 2015

Anger and Humility

Anger is a powerful emotion. It can overtake you, make you lose control, say things you might never normally say. Anger can cause regret. However, I have recently learned that anger can bring clarity. Anger can trigger responses from people that show you who they really are. 

I have grown much closer to God these past two months. He has revealed to me many things about myself I wish were not so- how selfish I can be, how much pride I have, how judgmental my thoughts are. Last night in James 4 I read these powerful words:

"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?" But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." ~James 4:4-8

It is a struggle to not want the things of this world. Friendship with the world can make you feel so good, so happy, so accepted. However, the things of the world are temporary and fleeting. They might offer quick fixes and momentary pleasure, but they will not satisfy. 

As I spend time with God everyday, He is teaching me that while I am on this earth I will struggle. I will make mistakes. I will get angry. I will say things that I shouldn't have. However, I am learning that through my wrong choices He can bring good. He can bring clarity. I am far from perfect, but He gives more grace. As I submit to God and resist the devil and all his lies, I am being refined and renewed day by day. His grace does that- it makes me new. 

Everyday I want to pursue God and fix my eyes on Him more than I did the day before. He alone sustains and restores and uses all things for my good and His glory. I am His. It is not my own doing-I am nothing. It is all about God. It is what I was created for. I am not here to find joy or completeness. I am already complete. I already have joy. Why? Because I have God! He is forever faithful, full of compassionate love and unending grace-even when I don't deserve it-especially when I don't deserve it. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just Passing Through...

Sundays are bittersweet. Sundays used to be filled from start to finish with my former love. Starting with church in the morning and ending with "no don't go yet...I don't want to...but I have too." It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it-like I said bitter. 

The sweetness comes from still having my church family to worship my completely faithful, always trustworthy, steadfast loving God. After leaving church today, I was hit with loneliness and longing for days past. I was thinking how broken this world broken mankind all can seem hopeless. 

Yes, Adam and Eve started this mess, but God didn't abandon us. He provides us with a Savior. He rescues us, but only if we want to be rescued. He doesn't force Himself on us. He gives us a choice- to accept or reject Him. There is no in-between. all these things are running through my head-loneliness, longing, brokenness-I know that I am not without hope. Hope is not a warm, fuzzy concept. Hope is a person-Jesus. He died for you and for me, for all mankind, to save us from our sins. Then these words came through my speakers: 

The power of God is living within us
We will not be afraid
The constant battles rage all around us
Your promise still remains
Your promise still remains

In the end love will fill the earth raising death to life
In the end we will see the kingdom come
In the end all the darkness will be bursting into light
We will live with you forever in the end

We do not weep as those who are hopeless
This world is not our home
For Christ has died by now He is risen
Our God has overcome

Our God has saved us
Our God has raised us
This is the Gospel

In The End-Chris Tomlin 

Yes, God once again knows what I need exactly when I need it. Though I weep, I am not hopeless. The power of God is living within me. God has overcome and this world is not my home. Those who know the risen Savior are just passing through. Eternal life with God awaits! He is our living Hope! Just thinking about this brings a smile to my face despite the longings and loneliness and brokenness. In the end, we will live with Him FOREVER!! 

Here is the video if you want to listen to this song: 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I sit here tonight with tears in my eyes. That is nothing new...the overwhelming sadness and hurt hit me at different times of the day, particularly when the school day ends until my eyes close and my mind shuts down for a few hours. 

Recently I've blogged about surrendering to God's will and resting in His peace and sovereignty, but right now that doesn't stop the tears from running down my cheeks. Despite his betrayal I can't help still missing him. Oh yes I pray, I cling to the precious Word of God and still the tears come. 

There is a reason God tells us in Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart. for everything you do flows from it." Wise words. Words to live by. 

I am God's creation. I am His daughter. I am redeemed. He made me who I am- with my strengths and my weaknesses, my personality, my quirks and my heart. I have a big heart. I love with all my heart. When I decide to enter into a relationship with someone-even a friendship-I am committed. I give 100%. It can be a blessing and a curse. It's a balancing act and lessons are learned the hard way. 

After college I walked away from God (see previous posts) and decided I was going to do things my way. I was going to get my happily ever after. My way was many lessons learned the hard way-for 3 years (I guess I'm also a little stubborn-one of my weaknesses). When I turned back to God I was determined to wait on Him. I guarded my heart. So when I believed God's fingerprints were all over this relationship, how did I end up here? 

I don't know. Plain and simple. I might not know. That is where the trusting, the surrendering and the sovereignty of God comes back around. God knows. His timing, His plans, His steadfast love restoring this broken heart and sustaining me day to day even when the tears are rolling down my cheeks. 

Did I mention that God knows what we need when we need it? This popped up on my Facebook feed last night. God knows, dear friends, God knows! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

True Surrender

Since my life seemed to explode, God has been teaching me about true surrender. True surrender involves many things and none of them are easy...or are they? Since we are humans no it isn't but when we truly let go and give the reigns to God it can be. God has been showing me that true surrender means: 

1- submitting to God's authority by acknowledging His right to reign and rule in my life each day and deliberately submitting to His lordship and the Holy Spirit living inside of me. 

2- Having submitted to His authority and right to reign and rule, living confidently in the knowledge that every event in my life is known by Him and He is not surprised by anything. He knows His plans for me and they are far better than I could ever dream or imagine. 

3-Since His plans for me are far superior to mine, I need to trust Him with every detail of my life. To do this I need to be spending time everyday in His word and in prayer. God made us in His image and He is molding us each day to reflect Him.

4-As I grow closer and closer to God, the desires of my heart change and become the desires of His heart. We were made to glorify God. If we are truly surrendering daily, His desires become our desires and His will our will. 

I just finished reading Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Wow! What amazing faith and amazing passion these men of God (and their wives) had for the will of God. They wanted to please God and follow Him no matter what. People thought they were crazy. Their desire to serve God and follow His will was their first priority. There are so many more things I could say about this book, but I cannot do it justice. You will not be disappointed if you read it. There were some quotes in Epilogue 2 by Elisabeth Elliot that stood out to me that speak of true surrender to God and submission to His authority. 

But we know that it was no accident. God performs all things according to the counsel of His own will. 

Their story (referring to the Auca Indians who murdered the five men), at the time of the death of the men, later when I lived with the Indians themselves, and during all the years since as I have recounted it and reflected on it in the light of my own subsequent experience, has pointed to one thing: God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to. 

God is the God of human history and He is at work continuously, mysteriously, accomplishing His eternal purposes in us, through us, for us and in spite of us. 

Cause and effect are in God's hands. Is it not the part of faith simply to let them rest there? God is God. I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand that He act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice. It is the same spirit that taunted, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." There is unbelief, there is even rebellion, in the attitude that says, "God has no right to do this to five men unless..." 

For us widows the question as to why the men who had trusted God to be both shield and defender should be allowed to be speared to death was not one that could be smoothly or finally answered in 1956, nor yet silenced in 1996. God did not answer Job's questions either. Job was living in a mystery-the mystery of the sovereign purpose of God-and the questions that rose out of the depths of that mystery were answered only by a deeper mystery, that of God Himself. The Lord answered Job out of the tempest: 

Who is this whose ignorant words cloud my design in darkness? Brace yourself and stand up like a man; I will ask the questions and you shall answer. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tell me, if you know and understand. Who settled its dimensions?
 (Job 38:1-4 NEB)

Job stood the test. He recognized who God is. He "melted." But he then became the intercessor for his friends, and God restored to him more than he had ever had to begin with. 

It takes faith to hold on to that in the face of the great burden of experience, which seems to prove otherwise. What God means by happiness and goodness is a far higher thing than we can conceive. 

A healthier faith seeks a reference point outside all human experience, the Polestar which marks the course of all human events, not forgetting that impenetrable mystery of the interplay of God's will and mans. 

It is God and nothing less than God, for the work is God's and the call is God's and everything is summoned by Him and to His purposes, the whole scene, the whole mess, the whole package-our bravery and our cowardice, our love and our selfishness, our strengths and our weaknesses. The God who could take a murderer like Moses and an adulterer like David and a traitor like Peter and make them strong servants of His is a God who can also redeem savage Indians, using as the instruments of His peace a conglomeration of sinners who sometimes look like heroes and sometimes like villains, for "we are no better than pots of earthenware to contain this treasure (the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ) and this proves that such transcendent power does not come from us, but is God's alone." (2 Corinthians 4:7 NEB)

The One who laid the earth's foundations and settled its dimensions knows where the lines are drawn. He gives all the light we need for trust and for obedience. 

Amen, right? 
All italicized portions taken from Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois. Copyright 1996. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bombs Away

Earlier this week I felt like bombs were dropping all around me. Every time I took a step there was another explosion. As I sit here now I realize this was God answering my prayer. My prayer of reconciliation with the man I had spent the last year of my life loving. The man I thought I would serve God with, marry and raise a family with-my happily ever after. That answered prayer shattered me and destroyed my hope of a renewed relationship. Suffice to say, God revealed deception-lies, cheating and red flags I had glossed over earlier. God was protecting me. His fingerprints were working for my good even though it hurt and still does. 

Even though this all took me by surprise it didn't take God by surprise. Through devotional resources that God knew I would need and the Word of God (which I always need), I was reminded that God is sovereign, that He is trustworthy and that He is in complete control. What seems like chaos to us doesn't rattle God. He is not rattled, He never abandons, He never lies. What He offers is His steadfast love and faithfulness and so much more. 

I found myself praying these words today:

Because You (God) know, I can breathe. 
Because You know, I can face each moment.
Because You know, I can have peace. 
Because You know, I can wait.
Because You know, I can have rest. 
Because You know, I have hope. 
Because You know, I don't have to know.

When the "what-ifs" and the "if-onlys" invade, when the devil whispers lies and tries to play on my insecurities, when the emotions and pain and hurt rise up, I know God knows why this happened. I may never know and that's okay. He knows. He always knew and He will always know. He is my rock. He is my resting place. He is always by my side and His plans are for my good according to His will and to bring Him glory. 

God is wise. God is loving. God is faithful. God is trustworthy. God is powerful. 

I know He will sustain me and restore me. He will bring healing. His steadfast love endures and his mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's Been Awhile!

It has been over a year since I last wrote. This time last year God had brought into my life an amazing man. I had an even more amazing 2014 with him. He was the answer to my prayers and he gave me more joy and happiness than I thought possible. We were in love. God had answered my prayers and my years of waiting seemed to be over. 

However, my world turned upside down at the end of November when our relationship was put on hold while he figured things out. I was devastated and threw myself into my teaching to help the days drag by. What I should have done was thrown myself into God's open arms. 

In the middle of December God brought a sweet friend to mind and despite distance we were able to Face Time. God used her to reinforce what I was already thinking-that I had made this man an idol in my life and was putting him before God. I was relying on him for everything. I believe it was part of what pushed him away and has kept him away. 

God has been teaching me that the wonderful gifts he gives us can so easily become idols if we don't keep Him first in our lives. What does that mean-keeping him first? First, spending time with Him each day, reading His Word and praying. I had let my devotion to God drift away. I wasn't spending any time with Him. Second, instead of bringing everything to God I dumped everything on this man-who was always very patient and understanding with me. 

Since finding out our relationship was over at the end of December, I have been a big mess. I still love this man. He won my heart and made me believe in love again. He was a humongous blessing from God. I do not have any regrets about our relationship and all the wonderful times we had. I pray that God's will be done in our lives and (I cannot lie) that if he is part of God's will that God will bring him back into my life in His perfect timing. My God does big things so why not ask for big things, right?

God has showered His mercy and grace on me this week. He has shown me through His word how faithful He is even when I am not. He has calmed my anxious heart and given me a peace I did not know was possible. This does not mean I don't hurt anymore or that I don't wish things were different right now, but I know God works all things out for His children's good. God has the right to rule and reign in my life and sometimes the places He brings us to hurt, but He has promised to bring us through them, through the valley. He promises that we will never walk alone. 

My resolution for 2015 is to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and to spend quality time with Him everyday. I won't stop dreaming, but I know Who to bring my dreams and desires to. With God all things are possible. He tells us to ask. He tells us to seek Him. I have found this week that when we seek Him, we will most definitely find Him. 

This song has been on my playlist this week and has been an encouragement to me. I hope it is to you as well.