Certainty in the midst of uncertainty

So many people have shared with me that they see strength, certainty and self-confidence in me, especially when in the midst of troubled times. I think I laugh every single time I hear that. I am glad that I can come off as someone who “has it all together” as it comes in handy in my professional life. I am more than happy to share with everyone that I am quite uncertain all the time! I question my decisions, my motives and my abilities every day! I do not necessarily dwell on them. If I have been looking to the Holy Spirit for guidance, I can rest on that. If I have been moving in my flesh, then I need to seek forgiveness and then let it go. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

When I was younger, I had a false sense of confidence that I portrayed in order to hide my vulnerable side. I would put on a very tough exterior in order to keep people out and to keep from having to face my wounds. Today, I have a certainty that I wish for all, a foundation that has literally changed my life. I am confident in the fact that I am a child of God and that He is working such amazing miracles in my life each and every day. This is NOT an exaggeration.

Since I have come to know Jesus, He has brought me to places within me that I locked away long ago. There are so many experiences in my short time here on earth, that have damaged me deeply and have brought me such shame. As I have learned to allow Him access to these places, He has shown me just how much He loves me and has brought such healing. This is a testament to the power our Lord has, this is something I can stand on in moments of uncertainty.

As my path takes me into new and uncharted areas, I am most definitely terrified, uncertain and stepping out in pure faith. This does not necessarily make it easier to do, but I do know that no matter what, my God is on my side. I mean, how can I question the Creator of the very ground I stand on? He has shown me that He loves me, He has met me in my hour of need every time. He has taken care of my emotional, spiritual and physical needs beyond what I could have ever imagined.

I am a child of God. I am here for a reason, He has a purpose for this life. I have found that I can trust Him and that is what allows me to step out in places unknown, despite the anxieties that try to keep me from doing so. My spirit longs to be used by our Living God and that is something I have to remind my flesh of often. I have to make an effort to rest in Him and to know that He is God. He is for me. Who can be against me when He is by my side? These words ring so true in my heart.

I know I have a long journey ahead of me and have so much more to learn. I know that I am not even close to having a clue! The thing is, that I don’t have to. I am learning that I don’t always need to know the long term plan, I just need to know that this is where God has me going right now. There are people in my life right now that are there for a reason. Maybe I am to learn from them, maybe they are learning from me, maybe it goes both ways. All I can do and want to do, is to seek His face in all I do. I want to know that no matter how far off I am, He is right there. No matter how many times I fall, He is there to pick me up. No matter how insignificant I feel, He knows me and cares more for me than I could even begin to understand. That is a certainty that I can stand on, even when I don’t feel it in the moment.

I am so thankful that Jesus has been breaking down my false self-confidence and has been replacing it with the knowledge that He will always equip me for any journey He asks me to embark upon. The key is to wait on Him and to allow Him to lead the way. I cannot forge ahead on my own just as I cannot procrastinate in my insecurities. I must seek our Lord in all things and let Him show me the steps I need to take, that is when the miracles happen. Take it before the cross and you will be amazed at the outcome!

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Stress

Stress creeps in and steals away the joys that were possible.

Lord, please fill me in this place so that the stress will be lessened. Let me look to You in these moments, help me to remember Your promises. I long for You in this place and know that only You can fulfill me truest desires.

The emptiness we feel is real. Our hearts are calling out for what is missing, a true relationship with the Living God.

I need to refocus. How easily my point of view turns back to self. When I look to me, all falls apart. When I try to control, I lose all control and I begin to spiral. You are my rock, my shield, my salvation and my Lord.

I bow before You. I know that You are most wise and I trust You in all things.

Remind me of the cross and all that You have done for each of us. Your ungrateful children. When will we learn?

You are so patient and so kind. I long to have just a fraction of Your grace and mercy.

My emotions can be useful but they can also blind me. I give them to You. I choose to no longer fight them but to feel them, acknowledge them and give them over to You.

Shine Your mighty light into this weary soul and help me see the truth in all things. Let my perspective be from Your eyes and Your heart. The struggles of this world mean nothing next to You. The stressors fade when You are with me. My focus determines my response and my focus needs to be on You.

Show me Your plan, show me my purpose and let me see me the way You do.

I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.

Why should I share?

These past few months have been flying by! Work, family, fun, lots of fun. Often I have found myself contemplating various ideas and thinking that I should come on here to share with all of you, and then I talk myself out of it. I begin to think that maybe it’s not important to share that particular idea.

Today I am on here to remind myself and all of you that we need to share. Sharing our struggles, triumphs and questions helps us all grow. I love to be reminded that I am not alone in my wanderings. To let all of you know that you are not alone has always been my wish.

To be open and honest with our imperfections. To allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other. To accept and love each other in the midst of it all. These are my hopes for us.

I don’t want to get on here to vent and bash my life. I want to embrace this life, dig deep and grow. I want to share my wrongs and how God has healed this wounded soul. I want to take ownership and I want you all to be here with me in it. I want to hear from all of you and learn from your experiences. I want my perspective to continue to grow. I want us all to be open, honest and true in front of one another. How frightening and how liberating it can be.

This culture I live in tells me to be strong, put on a happy face, judge those that are different and cover the not so pretty parts of me. I don’t want to anymore.

Today I choose to be happy with who I am at this very moment. I choose to stop and just be comfortable in my own skin. Today I choose to love what God created in me. When I tell myself that I am not good enough, I am essentially telling God that He made a mistake. When I tear myself apart for not measuring up to some standard I have set, I am telling God that I am the one in control.

God gave me this life. Jesus died so that I can have a relationship with Him. Right now is when I am looking to God and telling Him that I give up. I give up the illusion of control that keeps me captive. Isn’t that the kicker? That when we get down to it, I am the only one allowing myself to be held captive. I am the one listening to the lies whispered in the background, I am the one not bringing these uncertainties before the Holy One that I know can deliver me. I keep myself tucked away in the dark, afraid to step out in the light.

Today I encourage you all to take that leap of faith. Step out into the Glorious Light that Jesus provides. Our Lord will never force anything on us, even if He knows just how beautiful that outcome will be. It is up to each of us to decide to let the garbage go and walk out of our self created cells. We are not imprisoned by some unseeing force that holds us captive. We allow it to happen when we live in the shame that has already been paid for by Jesus.

Have faith my friends. Don’t allow the shame to keep you from the freedom that is so much closer that you realize. Bring all your pain, sorrow, shame and guilt before the Great Healer and you will be blown away by the work He is aching to do in you.

Love you all and pray that we all give up the things that keep us back so that we would live fuller lives.

Endurance

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Funny, I have just finished listening to an audio book and, subsequently, started a new one. The former ended in reminding us readers that we are to carry our cross DAILY and to endure the sufferings for they bring God glory if we allow it. The latter began on this same subject. Suffering, enduring and living in Christ’s name. Allowing all we go through to bring Him glory.

I found my thoughts drifting in two directions….first I was thinking, do I really suffer for Christ? I am a spoiled American girl. Sure, I have struggled in various ways, I have endured spiritual, physical and emotional pain. I have wondered how to make ends meet. Do these count? How am I bringing Him glory in these things?

My second train of thought was that no matter what country we live in, not matter how our culture is, Jesus tells us to live differently. That definitely applies to me. I often think how difficult it is for believers in other parts of this vast world. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my tongue cut out of my mouth for speaking God’s truth. This is not something that should make me discount my life. I am called to live differently too. I am called to go against the grain and love, share and support when society tells me to hate, hoard and abandon. I am to make a difference in the place God has set me in.

Lastly, I endured a weekend that was quite difficult in both an emotional and a spiritual way. At the end of Sunday night I was asking Jesus to just take me away. I no longer wanted to endure the trial I was in. I wanted Him to take it away. Why? Why do I have to be in this? That was my question.

Today, a friend told me to read a section of a book she reads each morning and I realized that I am suffering for Christ. I am enduring difficult times and different attacks for His glory. I have seen how He has been working and will continue to do so if I can keep my side of the bargain, look to Him for peace and give Him the glory.

The section read:

BE PREPARED TO SUFFER FOR ME, in my Name. All suffering has meaning in MY kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me. Bearing your circumstances bravely – even thanking Me for them- is one of the highest forms of praise. This sacrifice of thanksgiving rings golden-toned bells of Joy throughout heavenly realms. On earth also, your patient suffering sends out ripples of good tidings in ever-widening circles…

So today I see that this is what He means for me to endure and I am NOT to compare it to what others are enduring. I am important. I play a vital role in God’s kingdom and am making a difference in ways I am meant to. I am loved and happily endure the stressors of this life for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I will not be discouraged today. I will continue to live in His light and accept the peace only He can provide.

I choose to die to self and live for you Jesus.

In His grace and glory I wish these things for you as well.