Monday, August 19, 2013

Letter to Me

Recently I was challenged to write a letter to my younger self to aid in the healing of my past.  It's sometimes hard to think of "what if's" & "if onlys" of life without allowing it to get me down, but then God reminds me that it doesn't matter what my past has been - I live in the present & His promises for my future are so much greater than anything that has happened in my past.  So He laid it on my heart to share my letter to the "old me" in an effort to be as transparent as I can possibly be.  You never know who has had the same or similar struggles & they too, can learn from your past.  So here goes...

Dear Younger Self,

I know how you have spent countless hours contemplating the wrong decisions of your life, but please know that even in the midst of every bad decision, God was right there with you.  He was patiently waiting for you to hit rock bottom so that you would turn to Him for strenght, comfort, forgiveness, & support.  He was waiting to turn your mess into a message & the tests of your past into the testimony of your future.

Younger Self, do not lose sight of your favorite verse in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11 - God has huge plans for your future, plans for goodness & prosperity & not harm.  He had these plans for you long before you were formed in your mother's womb.  He creates each of us to spread His love & message - and you are no different.

I know that at times you still struggle with resentment & guilt over some of your own decisions & the decisions of those who caused you to experience things that a young child should never experience, but do not let resentment & guilt overtake your heart & mind.  Keep your eyes focused on Jesus & He will make all things right & new.  Please never lose sight of His love for you & He will make your paths clear & straight.

Humble yourself before Him, confess your wrongdoings & focus on His truth.  Better days are yet to come & they will be as fulfilling as you allow them to be.  May your days be filled with the love & peace of our Lord & Savior.

With Love,
Your Older, Wiser, Renewed Self

Thursday, July 18, 2013

God in a Box

This is something that has plagued my mind recently - why do we put God in a box? When did we (as in "us" - human beings) decide that we have the authority to say that someone cannot break the chains of addiction or that a "terminal" illness cannot be cured or that a person plagued by depression/anxiety will never know freedom and so on and so forth? If I know what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, then I know that the same God who raised the dead, made the blind see, healed the lame, cast out demons, parted the Red Sea and many, many more miracles is the same God we worship and serve today. There's no "that was then" God, "this is now" God. He clearly tells us in Malachi 3:6 "I the Lord do not change."

I have been guilty of this very thing in my life - thinking that things would never get better when life throws me a curve ball or judging someone for their shortcomings and believing that they would "never amount to anything." How hypocritical of me that I would judge someone in that way. Who am I to judge anyone when I, myself, sin every day?

It is my belief that we do not believe in these things because we do not have the physical being of Jesus here performing miracles before our very eyes.  To read about the miracles that He performed so many years ago is one thing, but to see it for ourselves...well, that's just totally different.  But why? Just because Jesus is now in Heaven and is not physically here on earth anymore, does not mean that God cannot and does not perform miracles every day. 

So this is where faith comes into play.  He tell us that if we have faith in our communication with Him, then we will receive - Matthew 21:22 says "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."  It's pretty much that simple! Just ask for it, have faith and watch what He does.  It may not be exactly the way you planned it, but trust that He will deliver on His promises. 

I propose that we (including myself) stop thinking the worst about life and start believing that He will work everything out for our good (Romans 8:28).  If we just believe and trust in Him, all our anxieties, fears, doubts and concerns about our present and future will be removed.  Let's quit putting Him in a box and start knowing without a shadow of a doubt that He can and will provide the very best for us in all situations.

Happy Thursday (aka Friday Eve, as I like to call it)!

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I'm Baaack...:)'s been 3 years since my last post! Kind of hard to believe it's been that long, but at the same time, not really all that hard to believe.  My life has been full of ups & downs, hills & valleys over the last 3 years.  I will not go into the details of every good or bad, but I will say that I now know God has used every good time in my life to reveal His blessings to me & every hard/troublesome time to learn to depend on Him - every situation has made me who I am at this very moment.

I will take a moment to recap just a few life-changing highlights over the last 3 years:
  • Started attending church again.  I grew up in church, but fell away from going for many years.  I have now found a church home where I feel accepted, loved & right at home "just as I am."  This is a place that truly accepts people right where they are, regardless of their circumstances or their past, just as Jesus does.  I am beyond blessed to have found the River.
  • Lost my first grandparent (my grandfather on my mom's side) last October 2012.  I have been so fortunate to have all of my grandparents up until this point in my life.  Not many people can say that at age 32 they still had all of their grandparents living.  It is my belief that when my Papa passed away, he became one of my guardian angels.  Since he passed away, my life has taken a turn towards seeking the Lord's will whole-heartedly - I do not consider this a coincidence.
  • I lost my precious little Ginger dog.  She was the first dog that I considered to be mine alone.  I always had dogs growing up, but my mom usually ended up taking care of those guys.  Anyway, I got Ginger when I was in my early 20's & had to put her down last fall due to complications with an enlarged heart.  I do still have 2 fur babies in my life, Ernie & Sadie, who keep me laughing...most days.
  • I have lost many whom I considered friends, but have gained many whom have enriched my life significantly.  Most recently, this guy:
    This is Brandon & to say he is a blessing, is an understatement.  In the short amount of time that we have known each other, we have connected in a way I have never connected with someone before.  He laughs with me, holds me when I cry, goes to church with me, prays with & for me, supports every dream/goal I have, encourages me, cooks for me....seriously, this list could get out of control so I will just say this - he is amazing in more ways than I can name on paper or this blog.  And the fact that he loves me despite my somewhat ugly past, shows that he loves with a selfless, Christ-like heart.  He makes me happy :)
  • My relationship with my earthly father, as well as my Heavenly Father is being restored & renewed.  I just don't have sufficient words to say about this, so I will just say "thank you, Jesus!"
These are just a few things that have been happening in my life over the last 3 years.  I am not writing this blog because my life is super exciting & I think everyone wants to know about me.  Mostly I will be writing about the way God is working in my life & for my own journaling purposes as well.  In my life, I have all to often bottled up my feelings & emotions, and to ensure complete healing & transparency, it is necessary for me to get it all out.  So in order to be transparent, there may be things I blog about that you do not agree with or they offend you.  If you do not agree, that is OK - I am learning that not everyone sees things the way I do & it doesn't mean my way or their way is right or wrong, it just means we're different & that's just fine by me.  If I offend you, I apologize now - but I will not apologize for writing about what the Bible teaches or what God is doing in my life.  These are things that I am very passionate about & I lived my life too long trying to twist what the Bible says to suit the way I was living - but that was the old me.

This is all I have for today.  I have enjoyed catching you all up!

Happy Independence Day! Let's not get caught up in the cookouts, fireworks, etc. & forget the real reason we celebrate America on the 4th!

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27