I recently had the opportunity to share at our Good Friday service about what the Love of the Cross means to me and how it has affected my life. Below is what I shared.
When I think of the cross, I think of God’s love for us. The love of the cross involves God giving things only He could give and paying a price none of us could understand. I love my children beyond anything that words can explain. I would give my life for them. It is not likely that I would willingly give them as a ransom for others. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” When I think of the love of the cross I think of the nature of what the Father gave and why He gave it. I can’t even imagine what that must of been like to give His son for our ransom.
When I think of God’s love, I think about His love in my life. God so loved me that He gave His Son so that I could have everlasting life, now, and in the future. That understanding changes my whole perspective and it impacts the way I think and feel about myself and others. For me, it is about a relationship. The love of the Father put Jesus on the cross so that my ability to freely relate to the Father could be restored. Because of my restored relationship with the Father, I stand here today, loved beyond measure and understanding, a completely different person than I once was. I have found where my value and worth come from. I am a daughter of God. Without Him, my significance would be limited, but with Him, I am more than enough. Because of Jesus, no matter what I go through, I know the Father is there and will see me through. And since Father God loves me with an unconditional and unwavering love, who am I to not love and value myself and others? His love has taught me what true love is and what it means to be valued. His loving kindness moves me to want to grow, to be transformed, and to become more like Jesus. The love of the Father as exhibited in the cross, makes me want to love others the way He loves me, and to help other people understand their value and worth before God.
I started seeing my life as a timeline through the Lords eyes…
I think we all know that God is sovereign and that he knows the beginning to the end. However, I don’t think we always personalize it to our own lives and in each season of our life. I always knew that God knows it all and has a plan for my life. What I failed to see is how he has crafted the seasons and flow and path of my life as well. Like mile markers along the road or pages in a novel, my life has been laid out before me. Sometimes when I read a book, I like to jump around in the chapters. Go back and reread a section, jump forward to see how the story ends, I have often lived my life like this. Dwelling on the past, and worrying or fantasying about the future. I used to spend too much time looking forward or looking back. It caused me to miss many of the now moments that will never come again. Recently, I have come to have a new understanding of living in the now, trusting God with my future, and handing him my past. I am still in this process of letting God lead my life and walking in step with him. In the past, I have mostly either dragged my feet or ran ahead. Walking in step with him for me is like a dance, learning the steps, letting God lead, stepping in time with him and the music. This is a journey of revelation for me. I am not always the best follower in dancing and in life. You can just ask my hubby. But I am getting better day by day, and on some days, focusing on getting better moment by moment.
I used to spend too much time looking forward or looking back…
This particular revelation of the journey and seeing my life like a time line started in December 2013. I had been in a season of rest and the Lord said to prepare myself for the upcoming year. Then in January 2014, I felt the Lord asking me if I was ready. I didn’t answer, but the Lord continued. Soon I am going to ask you to take a leap of faith, and when I say jump, you really need to jump. I had heard similar things from the Lord before, so I began to prepare my heart. Going into that year, I had many things on my heart that I was trying to sort through and figure out. I was reading the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and desperately wanted to see my faith increase. I was desperate for a move of God. I told the Lord that I would jump when he asked me to, but I asked him to make it evident that it was Him. I read about all the miraculous things that happened for Mark in his prayer walks and wanted more of that kind of “appointed times” for myself. Around that same time, I was serving as a youth group leader in senior high at my church. That year, they were planning on going to Haiti. In one of my last posts I shared about that journey. Going to Haiti was one of the points on my timeline for 2014. The point when I said yes I would go and then the point when I actually went. Another point on the timeline is when I went with a group of friends to see Dutch Sheets in Washington DC. It was an amazing night, and by happenstance, Dutch agreed to pray impartation over us (he rarely prays for people one on one these days). Upon leaving the church where he was speaking, I realized that it was one of Mark Batterson’s churches that I had just read about it his book. Wow. What a coincidence. But, no, not a coincidence, but an appointed time on my timeline from the Lord. This was the first moment that my eyes were beginning to open to the fact that I was walking on a path that God had laid before me since the foundations of time. Now I know you must be thinking, you had not realized that before? Well the answer is, I knew it in my head, but had not felt the significance in my heart. I was beginning to feel the significance. Also that year I went to Morning Star to a woman’s conference. I stood there on that property and read about their history. The Morning Star property use to belong to the PTL club from the eighties. I had watched the PTL club when I was twelve and first becoming hungry for more of God and now here I stood at the age of forty on the very property of the people I watched when I was twelve. It was another meeting of the moments on my timeline. Once again, I was feeling the significance in my heart for how God has laid out my path. At this point, I started to watch for the mile markers on my path.
I knew when you when you were in the womb…
I started seeing my life as a timeline through the Lords eyes. When I was in my mother’s womb, when I was four and full of wonder, when I was twelve and watching the PTL club, when I was twenty-five and a mother of three in the middle of depression, when I turned thirty and had a life changing encounter with Jesus. When I was forty at Morning Star. And even right now as I write this very blog post. I began to be changed forever. I had revelation as God began to speak. “See…. I knew. I knew when you when you were in the womb. I knew when you were twelve that you would be standing at Morning Star when you were forty. I knew when you were four and wanting grand adventures, that you would begin to go on mission trips in 2014. I knew what I was doing.” I began to trust the Lord whole heartily. I began to feel how important I am to him and how much my Father God loves me. It took my obedience to him, to a whole new level. I had asked him to make it evident to me that it was him when he asked me to jump, and he had. So when he asked me to “jump” and take a leap of faith I was ready to say yes. When the jump meant changing lanes in my life from real estate to ministry, I said yes, even though it was confusing and a hard decision, but I trusted him, because I knew that he knew best. Since 2014, I have had many encounters with the mile makers in my life. I have had many confirmations of God’s promises over me. I have changed lanes from a career in real estate to becoming a life coach and prayer minister in a remarkable time frame. Only God could have opened those doors. Only God could have laid this before me since the beginnings of time. I am still learning about my path and God’s sameness. The same yesterday, today and forever. I am still learning about his sovereignty.
God is not a respecter of persons…
At my current mile marker, I know I still have a lot to learn. This chapter of my novel has been full of learning. It has been exciting, refining, hard and sad at times, but full of adventure. I have been to Haiti, England, and Cameroon. I have been to the deep places in my heart where it was painful to go. I have had moments of pure unadulterated joy and freedom. Looking at my story so far, I realize just how much God has used all things to make me who I am today, the good choices, as well as the bad ones. It has made me realize I am worthy and free because I am his child. It has made me realize I am never alone because he is always there for me and has always been there with me. It has made me realize that I am loved because my Father God loves me unconditionally. It also makes me extremely excited about where I am now and where I am going in the future. This journey has taught me to rest and have peace. And on the days where I can’t find peace and rest, it reminds me of who I am and where my help comes from. It truly has been a revelation because these things are now in my heart. God is not a respecter of persons, so if you are missing the moments by focusing too much on the future or the past, ask God for revelation of your journey and who you are. If you are feeling unloved, insecure, afraid, alone, misunderstood, unworthy, depressed, anxious or just plain tired and exhausted, ask God for the revelation of how much you mean to him and how loved you are. Your life has significance. Your life is important. YOU are important. YOU are loved. YOU are not alone. God has all of your answers, he will be there for you, simply ask and listen.
Be Blessed My Friends,
There are always seasons in life. Some we understand and some we do not. As I sit here tonight, I am thinking back on the last year. It has brought a lot of changes as did the year before. I am looking forward to this brand new year, though I really have no idea of what it will hold. I am full of excitement, anticipation and some trepidation. My last few years have brought many changes and quiet a few adventures. In two years I went from not traveling at all (literally only out of my time zone once) to traveling to three countries and two continents. I have semi launched my three oldest children into the world. I have laid down my job as a real estate agent and been certified as a life coach and trained as a Restoring the Foundations prayer minister. I have reached a new place in my prayer life and God has transformed my heart, which has been the biggest adventure of all. This blog has been neglected in the last few months, however I hope to change that in the upcoming year. I will write as God leads but I am committed to being more disciplined in my posting as well as writing a book. As we go into a new year, I want to share about my past adventures and the new adventures along the way. I appreciate each of you that are a part of my life , as well as each of you who read my blog. I hope 2015 was a good year for you, though for many, I know it was a long and hard season. I lost two great friends this year. Both of them were incredible people. Both of them were lost to cancer. I am still trying to process all that I feel over losing them. And though they are celebrating in heaven, this world is sadder and dimmer without them. They will be missed by all of us, but by their families most of all. As I said at the start of this post, some seasons we understand and some we do not. Only God himself has all the answers and I am glad that I do not need the answers to know that He is God. So as this year comes to a close I pray you have memories to take with you, hope for a new season and for a new year. I pray you have peace, joy and comfort. I pray that you have these things in the good seasons and in the hard seasons. But most of all I pray that you come to know the Lord better, to walk closer with Him, and reach new levels in life in 2016.
Be blessed my friends,
This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is the poem I talked about in my last post “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson. I love this poem, it is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Be Blessed my friends.
Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about
shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone
and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Some days I feel completely overwhelmed. Torn between the have tos and I gottas, like, bills, laundry, and clean bathrooms, the I need tos, like homeschooling, writing, coaching, and answering emails, to the I want tos like playing games with my kids, being creative and starting a book.
Sometimes at the end of the day I haven’t even impacted that list at all and feel completely lost, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Today was one of those days.
Today was one of those days.
The noise and demands of my life was like a roar of confusion in my head. At that moment, I just had to stop and take a breath. The first thing I wanted to do was call my husband and complain. He is my best friend after all, and my go to guy. But then I heard the Lord’s voice say “I am suppose to be your go to guy.” At that point, I could feel all the emotion rising up in me and tears filling my eyes.
I heard the Lord’s voice say “I am suppose to be your go to guy.”
I put aside all that I was doing. I went back to my bedroom and just cried out to the Lord and poured out all my feelings to him. I talked to him about my day and about my week. I talked to him about my feelings and my responsibilities. I asked him about his plans for me. I felt his voice say “trust me and my plans for you”. Rest in me. So I did. I rested. I felt his peace come into my heart, mind, and soul. I was reminded that I don’t have to have all the answers. I was reminded that it is okay to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. It’s what I do with those feelings that really matter. Do I let them defeat me? Or do I let them lead me to God? Today they led me to him, but somedays they don’t. Somedays I wrestle with them until I am exhausted. But even on those days the Lord is still there to help me pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on down the path.
Today my emotions led me to God, but somedays they don’t.
Days like today remind me that I am only human and to stop striving for perfection, but rather to remind myself that I am a beautiful creation of God, created to be loved by him and to rest in him. After all, he is the one who has given me these dreams, goals, aspirations, and desires. He also has given me my emotions. When I get overwhelmed I just need to remember that and remember that I don’t have to do it on my own. God is my go to guy. He will help me. He will lead me. And yes put others around me to lift me up and support me. SO after my time with the Lord, which was only about thirty minutes of my day, I had a whole new outlook. Then I did call my hubby to talk about my day. But it made a big difference that I went to God first.
If you relate, I encourage you to just stop what you are doing at the moment…
Take a deep breath.
Find a quiet place and talk to God.
It doesn’t have to be a long talk. Sometimes just five minutes can make all the difference.
Be blessed my friends.
I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.
Psalm 61:1-2 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This weeks Poetry Tuesday’s feature is the One Minute Sermon. Really good spoken word.
Many times in life we pass a point of no return. Whether it is good or bad there’s no turning back. No going back to the old ways. No turning back to how things use to be. No turning back to before we had the knowledge that there was more out there to be discovered. We are only left with one truth. We must press forward because it’s the only direction that is left.
Fail or succeed. The direction is forward. It’s the only way to get more. To become more. To see the unseen. To discover the unknown. To find the answers to the questions. To go to the next level. To quench the thirst. To feed the hunger. Forward. No looking back. Completely abandoned to this only option. The point of no return.
Through it may be scary. And it may feel like my feet will fail. I will press forward. I will not look back. I will take the next step. Then the next one after that. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even the greatest journey starts with the first step. I can do this. You can too.
Be Blessed my friends.