living life unhindered

Journey To Betel

Posted on Updated on

Hi friends I know it’s been a while. God has me on an interesting journey this year. I just got back this week from my second mission trip of the year. A team of us went to Betel ministries in England. Before this year, I had never been on a mission trip or thought much about going on one. Now I am amazed by what a mission trip holds for all involved and would recommend everyone to go on at least one trip.

On both trips this year, the first one to Haiti and the second one to Betel, I tried hard not to have any expectations and to let God lead my every step. Even if I had an expectation it wouldn’t have mattered. Nothing could have prepared me for either trip. On both trips I have been stretched out of my comfort zone and like a rubber band I will never completely snap back to where I once was. I am forever changed…. For the better.

Betel is an amazing ministry. They help the homeless with addictions get back on their feet and to find The Lord. I got the opportunity to stay in the women’s house with my team and many ladies that are part of the program. There were 21 of us all together. Let me say that community living by itself, changes you. Sharing rooms, bathrooms and being on a strict schedule is a sanctification process all of its own. Then serving, working and praying along side of those in need, both humbles you and changes you.

The women at Betel are broken but so beautiful and in love with The Lord. These women, who have been through terrible things, have such soft hearts and an incredible love for Jesus. I was left feeling humble and ungrateful. These women are quick to serve, quick to honor and quick to share their story with 100% transparency. Every morning they do praise and worship and the presence of God was heavy. It made me think of the scripture that God is close to the broken hearted. As in Haiti, I was left with indescribable feelings and emotions. I made friends that I hope to see again. I was left wanting to be more for God. Just like in Haiti, I left feeling that I came home with more than I gave. Servitude in the Kingdom is a beautiful thing. When we set out to serve each other, we all come out better on the other side. I hope to see more of that here in my own country and in my own church.

So today I am grateful for everything God is doing in my life and for the journey he has me on. I am grateful for the friends I have made this year. I think of them and pray for them often. I am thankful that God cares enough for me to not leave me as I am, put to keep changing me daily. I look forward to more trips in the future and am grateful The Lord walks with me hand in hand on this journey. I want to thank each of you out there for reading my blog and special thanks to the people in my life who are on this journey with me. Only in heaven will you truly know how much you mean to me. Be blessed my friends.

Advertisements

Identity Crisis: My One True Self

Posted on Updated on

Hello friends. I am continuing on with the identity series today with my own personal story. First, I want to say that this has been and still is my personal journey. I am by no means completely where God wants me, but I have come a long way.

I think we all at some point in time ask ourselves, who am I, why am I even here on this earth? Who is it that I want to be? I do think some people in life come up with great answers, however I believe that most of us really just don’t know. Far too often we learn to define ourselves through our surroundings, things we have, or own, and I think many of us define ourselves through what we think others, think of us. In reality none of these things have anything to do with who we truly are. I have found in my life it has been hard to discover who I really am, and even when I do, I don’t always like what I find. Thankfully, that is where God comes in. We don’t have to stay who we currently are, God has given us the power to change.

Now I could truly start at the beginning of my story, you know I was born and grew up in the country, blah, blah, blah, but the only thing I will say about that is, when I was young we moved a lot. I was always the new kid, and being an introvert, I always had a hard time making new friends. I grew up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. I have lots of wonderful memories of hiking, cutting wood and our own Christmas trees and living a country lifestyle that comes along with growing up in a small rural town. When I was fourteen my family moved to Fredericksburg and we have been here even since. Being the new kid in high school and having a heavy southern accent had lots repercussions, but I survived and am better for it. I share this little part of my childhood to say this, I already had formed a bad self-image before I ever hit adulthood, as most of us do. But what I really want to talk about is, how by the time I was in my twenties, I had no idea who I was, or who God created me to be. I was totally lost. I had tried to put everything into my life that I thought would make me happy and I wasn’t.

I was raised in a Christian home, was saved when I was six , and had Jesus as my friend for as long as I remember. I have always talked to Jesus as, just that, my friend. My parents loved me, took care of me, and I was a smart girl. But no matter what happened along the way, I still had a bad self-image, and did not know who I was. As a teenager I had an idea of what I wanted my life to look like. I dreamed of the future and made plans for my future self. When I was young I rarely lived in the moment. I was always dreaming about the future and how great it would be. I had lots of ideas of what my life would look like. Now that is not necessarily bad, but I was building up an expectation and image in my head. I wasn’t praying about what God had for me, I was coming up with ideas on my own. Then I set out to make them all happen. A husband, a career, children, a home, even down to the pets that I wanted.

– don’t hide behind a façade. I had become very good
at fooling myself  and  everyone around me, only
letting people see what I wanted them to see.
I realized that I was not close to anyone.

By the time I was twenty five, many of those things had happened for me. I was married. We had three kids, a house, and we even owned a business. We worked hard. We were young and I wanted to prove that we had a great life. I REALLY wanted a great life. But I was depressed, lost and unhappy. At the time, I was a stay at home mom, and sometimes I thought that maybe giving up so much to stay home was why I was unhappy. We had financial problems, maybe that was it. My husband and I had been married for almost four years and the “in love wild days were gone”, maybe that was why. We had other problems and struggles too, but what I came to realize was, I was not free. I was letting everything around me determine how I felt about me and who I was. I had filled my life with my own image. I was so busy living my life and hiding behind a facade, that I was scared to leave it behind. I was too busy trying to be comfortable and trying to impress the world, that I did not stop to look at and listen to God. I didn’t look at the one who could show me who he wanted me to be. Too busy, to look at my maker, who has called us to him and given us a purpose. Somewhere along the way, I had lost myself. Lost my self through sin, hurt, betrayal, and rejection. Then trying to find my way, I left my true self behind and taken on a false identity, my façade, to keep me safe. I filled my life with things. A house, a car, pets, homeschooling, church duties, hobbies, and even my friends and family. Now all of these things can be wonderful. These things to have, and the people to share our lives with. But if we are defining ourselves through these things and even through our loved ones, we are just trying to create an image. Maybe we are just finding a place to hide. Hiding in a facade we have created. This is where I was, and I was looking at a stranger, someone I didn’t even know, someone I didn’t even like. I wanted that to change. And now I had one question. Where do I go from here?

So the point that I am making is that I had set myself up to fail by creating my own image of what my life and I should look like. I had created an ungodly expectation.

I want to leave you with this thought. How many things have you done or put into your life by trying to create an image of what you think happiness and success look like?

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Identity Crisis: Lies from the Enemy

Posted on Updated on

I’m continuing the identity series today with a post about how the enemy uses our lack of knowledge of who we are to spin a web of lies that ensnares us.

-The enemy wants us to believe a lie. He does not want you to come into the revelation of who you are and who God created you to be.

We are born into sin, and the devil starts lying to us the first chance he gets. He fills our minds with lies, about who we are, why we were created, and where we are going. He tells us we are ugly, unwanted, a mistake, incapable of chance, unworthy, and that we will never succeed at anything. He asks us questions like, who do you think you are? Why would anyone want you? What makes you think you are important? He plays on our emotions to make these lies seem true. We become focused on ourselves and begin to believe the lies he weaves. We believe it is what others see and think too. Then when someone or something lines up with the lies it makes it even more real and easier to believe.

For many of us, even if we were raised as Christians, we were never told the truth. We were not told who we are, who God created us to be, and who he is in us. For those who were raised in the world, and even many Christians, the enemy’s lies have taken hold. When we do hear God’s voice, it sounds muffled, distant, and foreign. Like strangers in a foreign land, we have come to understand the native language more easily than Gods language. We do not understand what God is trying to say. Yes we are saved and not of this world, but we have lived here so long that the language has become familiar, even comfortable. Because we live in the world, and are used to listening to the world, it is easier to believe in the lie than the truth. The enemy loves this. Sometimes, what God tell us seems so foreign, that we reject it. We reject the very life he is trying to give us. The truth that he speaks to us, we do not understand. It goes in and we say what? That isn’t what I have been told all my life, can it possibly be true? So we go on believing the lies and negative words spoken over us and about us.

However, with enough truth spoken, with prayer, and renewing our minds, we can see that the very life he is trying to give us is right there. We just have to reach out, open the door and walk through. We just have to believe. We have to start recognizing the lies and declare the truth instead of the lie. The more we put in God’s truth, the easier it becomes to believe his truth and see the lies of the enemy and of the world. We will go into more of how to do this as this series continues. But for now I would encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to start speaking to you and revealing lies that you have come to believe. Until next time, be blessed my friends.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Identity Crisis

Posted on Updated on

I have wanted to start a series on identity for some time now. It is something that is dear to my heart and call as a Christian. My true heart is to see people set free, healed and aligned in the Kingdom where they belong. To do that, we need to know who we are in Christ. In this series I will address three areas. In the first area I will present the problem. The second area will be my own personal story. The third area will be tools and solutions. I hope this series will minister to you and encourage you.

I think we suffer as Christians because we suffer with identity crisis, both as individuals and as the Body of Christ. We don’t receive God’s full love or walk in our God given authority because we fail to ask God who we are and what he wants us to be. If we truly grasp that we are here on this earth to first and foremost be loved and for God’s glory, then we would stop trying so hard to earn God’s love and approval. Instead, we would be seeking His face to ask who we are and what he wants our walk to look like. We would stop comparing ourselves to others and start comparing ourselves to the changes in our lives from glory to glory and comparing ourselves to the person God wants us to be.

I think since we don’t know who we are in Christ it leaves a whole lot of room for other false beliefs about ourselves to be formed. We listen to our culture and society. We listen to people around us. We listen to the enemy. Since we don’t know who we are, we will believe almost anything we are told about ourselves. That needs to change. That has to change.

It is not who we are that matters, but whose we are. We belong to Christ and he paid a price for us. Who are we to not honor that price and walk in the ways he has called us? Who are we to not walk in our true identity in Christ?

Think about this. God created the whole universe and still knows every hair on your head. He made the oceans, the mountains and he made me. I think that is one reason I love the ocean and the mountains. They are so big , and I am so small, yet God knows the hairs on my head. Amazing. I think he made everything so big, to remind us how important we are to him. He loves us beyond what we could ever imagine. He has plans for us. So I think that is the first thing we need to grab onto. We are important to our heavenly Father and he has plans for us. How different would our lives be, if we truly walked in who we are called to be? Something to think about. Be blessed my friends.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.

Freedom Fighters

Posted on Updated on

This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is a poem I have wanted to write for a few months. After working on it now for awhile, here it is. Be blessed my friends.

Freedom Fighters

We will no longer be enslaved
The chains must fall
Bound no more
To an unfinished call

Warriors standing anchored
On God’s holy ground
Never giving up
Until the lost are all found

Setting the captives free
Willing to pay the price
Fighting for the Kingdom
An ultimate sacrifice

Laying down our lives
Racing after the King
We pray for the supernatural
We believe in the unseen.

Pulling down every stronghold
With an enemy to defeat
A war to be won
A task to complete.

We wrestle in battle
Beyond what eyes can see
We wear Gods armor
And our enemy must flee

As bond servants of Christ
We will stand strong
Unrelenting, unwavering,
To the Kingdom we belong

Filled with His power
Battles fought and won
We will keep marching
Until the battles are done

United together
Freedom Fighters fight
Shining into the darkness
His undying light.

© Leah Jacobsen

Ephesians 6:11-17 (NKJV)

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Trust Me to Deliver You to Your Promised Destination

Posted on

I just wanted to share this awesome word from Garris Elkins and the Elijah List. Be blessed my friends.

 
Garris Elkins: “Trust Me to Deliver You to Your Promised Destination”

Tracks in the Desert
Recently, some of you have felt like a fully loaded locomotive moving at top speed with train cars lined up behind you as far as the eye can see. There has been tremendous momentum developed in your life in this past season.
Through unforeseen events, all of a sudden, you are now seeing the end of the train tracks ahead of you. You might be seeing the end of a season of life, but have no idea what is coming next. You might be seeing the end of a ministry or the end of a cherished relationship fast approaching. The end of what is known can have a paralyzing effect.
The visible rails of this current season are coming to an end and there appears to be nothing ahead but unknown and untested desert sand. It is too late to put on the natural brakes. There is not enough time. You are thinking that in just a few moments your life, as you know it, will derail and crash into the soft sand of an undefined future. The speed of this perceived crash is taking your breath away.

“I Will Make A Way…”
As I processed these words the Lord spoke a word of hope and promise:
“I will make a way in this fast, approaching desert where no way seems possible. I will not allow what I have set in motion in your life to end in disaster. I have laid tracks under the sand of your developing future that are not yet visible to the natural eye. These tracks will rise up and catch the wheels of your life and deliver you across this undefined desert place. (Photo by Robert Bartow The Sword and Stone via elijahshopper.com)
“I have been this way before with many others just like you. I know what I am doing. Trust Me to deliver you to your promised destination. Instead of crying out in fear at the end of these tracks, you will cry out in joy for what I have done.
“Between now and the end of these known tracks let the remaining moments reveal the true colors of your faith, developing you and maturing you so that you are not deficient in any way for the coming new season. Your act of faith is to believe in the substance of tracks not yet seen.”
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.” Isaiah 43:19

Restoration

Posted on Updated on

This week’s Poetry Tuesday is a new poem, by yours truly, that came out of the thought that we need our foundation built on Jesus. He is the rock and a firm foundation. He made us with purpose and can fix all things in our lives and restore us to who He intended us to be from the foundations of the earth. Be blessed my friends.

Restoration

Take us back to the beginning
Take us back to the foundation of you
Before the beginning of time
Where we were brand new

Take us back to the beginning
Before we were torn in two
Before things were broken
Take us back to the foundation of you

Take me back to the beginning God
Take me to the place of being new
Take me back to the beginning
Take me back to the foundation of you

c Leah Jacobsen