Hope

You can have pain without healing
But
You can’t have healing without pain

I’m healing, I’m hurting

Wait
Am I healing or am I just hurting

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell
If I’m making progress
Or just hurting
Healing is necessary, but healing is painful

You can have pain without healing
But
You can’t have healing without pain

Let me explain

We avoid healing, not because we don’t want to be whole
But because we know healing means removing masks, facing hidden truths, and being transparent
When you’re really ready to heal, it has to be all
Or nothing

You don’t want to be half healed
So don’t take off half the mask
God is a God of wholeness
He doesn’t do a job halfway

Walk with me on this journey

Let’s choose healing for all areas of our lives, not just the parts we’re comfortable uncovering.

Lord, Abba, Father,

We come to You
We remove the masks
Entirely, not halfway
Heal us
Make us whole
No more shame

We are Your children
You must come
You have to heal us
For Your word says
If earthly parents know how to give good gifts,
How much more will You?

Lord, we need healing
We want to be whole, truly whole
We need You

In Jesus’ name,
We, Your children pray,

Amen

Whose Standard: God’s or Yours

I had to tell myself ,“If I am going to tell my girls not to fear, I have to hold that same standard for myself.”

While dealing with something recently, I had to tell myself ,“If I am going to tell my girls not to fear, I have to hold that same standard for myself.”

How can I require of them what I am not willing to do or what I have not done?

It is the same with Jesus Christ. He came, was born of a woman, lived on this earth, suffered, died, and rose. He knows what this world does and does not have to offer. So, when He says “don’t go,” “don’t do,” “don’t say,” “watch and pray,” etc. ….He knows what He is talking about; He has already walked this road, dealt with the temptations, issues and much more. Even though we have Christ’s example to follow, we will not get everything right; He knows that. In 1 John 1:9, it says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This brings me to my next point.

We need to quit requiring of others what we can’t expect of ourselves. How can you want people to be perfect, but you are not? How can you want friends that have never sinned, yet you just sinned (possibly before reading this)? So, because someone did not meet your standards of perfection, they are not worthy of your forgiveness? Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Holding someone else to an unattainable level of perfection is not only hypocritical, but it binds up your forgiveness from God.

Be real and examine yourself, then proceed with caution. Pray for one another, love one another, and quit casting thou the first stone. Jesus clearly stated in John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Since not one of us fits that description, we should all be focused on living for Christ and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s spend more of our time using our lips for praising God and encouraging others, and less time gossiping about what someone did or is doing wrong.

As iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17) so let us sharpen and lift one another up, in the body of Christ.

Don’t Give Up

God loves you. Please hear me out. God loves you!

God loves you. Please hear me out. God loves you! Nothing you’ve done and nothing you do can ever change that fact, that truth. So many times, the enemy would have you believe that you’ve gone too far, made too many mistakes, slept with too many people, had too many drunken nights and “high as a kite” days to ever make it back into God’s grace.

Do you want to know the truth?

On your worst day, God still loves you. On your best day, you’re still not perfect. None of us are. And God loves us anyway. You have to pay attention to who has your ear. Who or what are you listening to? God is not a man that He should lie. His word tells us that He loves us (John 3:16). So, if what you’re hearing is anything other than God loves you, it’s not from Him.

Now, don’t get me wrong. God may not be happy with some of the things you’re doing, things that He considers sin. But, He still loves you. And, He will still accept you back into His family, if you would only repent, turn from foolishness, and follow Him (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Take heart and be encouraged. It’s not over for you. You who was considering suicide, you who’s been depressed for years, you who feels like you’ve messed up one too many times, you who feels like a failing mother or a failing father…You are still here which means you still have a chance to get it right, to let go of the pain, deal with your past (or your right now), and embrace God’s goodness and love for you and your life.

I’m praying for you and believing that God will do what needs to be done in your life.

Don’t, I repeat, DON’T give up. God has a plan for you! 

God Connection: True Relationship

Do you have a true relationship with Christ, a true connection? How can you be sure?

This is a lesson I learned a while back, but it still applies today…

When I go to church, I want to hear the Word without interruption. I assume others go for the same reason. So, when one or all of my girls get a little loud or overly cranky, I tend to take them out of the sanctuary for a break that sometimes turns into me missing the remainder of service; that is quite frustrating at times.

Well, today it happened. Just before communion, and the sermon, all three girls expressed their discomfort and unhappiness in one way or another (screaming, fussing, attitude). I left my two oldest daughters with my husband, and I took our youngest downstairs, changed her diaper, fed her, and then I cried; I was beyond overwhelmed and emotional. I really wanted to hear the Word and be in the presence of God. But, with no childcare or children’s church today, plus the girls’ lack of desire to cooperate with what I wanted (sitting still and being quiet is not every child’s specialty), my desires for hearing the Word had to take a backseat.

As I continued to cry, God began to speak to me, and He reminded me that the church is in me and I am able to be in His presence at any given time, regardless of where I am. Coming to the building is great, but without a real relationship with God people are just going through the motions and placing an X in their mental box to say “I went to church.” Too many people are going to the church building, but returning home with no true church in them. Yes, the Word does say, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25), but did God say it NEEDED to be in the building? Before there was a building, there was God. When these buildings are gone, God will STILL be. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” – Matthew 18:20.

As He continued to minister to me, the tears dried up, and I was at peace.
I am at peace because outside of the church building, I still commune with God; He is in my heart. We have to realize that simply going to the building is not enough. If the church is not in you (myself included), we are still lost.
As always, be blessed and be a blessing!

Be on the lookout for more information about my new journal/devotional, “Learning to Love You,” scheduled to be released early 2018!

Grace to Give

Grace is something God provides daily. We make a mistake; His grace is there. We go left when He says go right; His grace is there. Freely, He gives grace to us. So, why do we find it so difficult to extend grace to others?

Recently, I was in a check-out line at a grocery store. So distinctly, I felt God leading me to encourage the lady that was working the cash register. Immediately, I started thinking about how she would respond to me telling her, “God loves you,” and fear showed up. That cashier didn’t seem to smile during our encounter, and I began to wonder what would come of this. Would my words encourage her or be the last thing she wanted to hear at that moment? So many thoughts swirled in my head as I weighed my options. In the end, I paid for my groceries and walked away without speaking any words of encouragement. I felt awful about it. She may have needed those words, especially today. Instead of beating myself up for the rest of the day, I prayed for God to continue to increase my boldness so I can speak up when He truly needs me to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Later that same day, another lady reached out to me and expressed how she had been doubting herself. I was able to encourage her, and although I didn’t push beyond fear earlier that day in the check-out line, I was glad I was able to push past feelings the second time around. More than anything, I was thankful for God providing grace and loving me, even when I didn’t get everything exactly right. He would soon remind me to extend that same grace to my oldest daughter, at a time when she needed it most.

My oldest daughter, all of nine years old, had two recitals coming up at her school. She would be playing the violin, once during a class assembly, and again during an evening recital for students, teachers, parents, and friends. She was okay with the class assembly (only students and faculty present), but she was not thrilled about performing in front of a “room full of adults.” Her explanation: “Mom, you know I have stage fright.” I explained that she would have to overcome this fear and that I expected her to perform during both events. Unbeknownst to me, she had already had a conversation with her music teacher and was excused from performing at the evening recital. How could my daughter just decide she was too afraid to perform? Didn’t she know she would be okay? Should I just let her get her way? As I was still adamantly explaining that she would, in fact, have to perform during the evening recital, God ever so gently reminded me of the grace He had extended me when I was too afraid, on more than one occasion.

At that moment, as much as I wanted to persuade for her to perform, I knew I had to extend grace. It was my turn to show her what grace (and a mother’s love) should look like. When she, again, declared that she would not be performing during the evening recital, I merely said, “Okay.” I then proceeded to explain that we would work on getting over her stage fright, “little by little until you’re finally ready.” Though neither of us knows when “finally ready” will be, I am determined to extend grace, along the way, just as Christ continues to do for me.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation that could use a little (or a lot) of grace, remember, God provides us with grace daily. The least we can do is extend to others the same grace we are in need of every single day.