Are you struggling right now?
Are you in physical or emotional pain?
Have you experienced some kind of physical or mental trauma that has left you feeling numb, depressed, anxious, stressed or overly burdened?
First off, you are not alone my friend. Though I may never completely understand everyone's pain and how they experience it, I completely understand experiencing the type of pain that you feel you cannot survive. The type of pain that brings you to your knees in a river of tears and though you have no thoughts of ending your life, you are convinced that death may be a better option than feeling this unbearable, hopeless pain.
I do get it.
I have been paralyzed by pain. Truly. All I could do was lay there with my tears and let my body feel what it was feeling, being fully aware that at THAT moment, there was nothing I could do, but experience the pain and work through it.
We don't like pain.
We want it to go away. Now.
What God has revealed to me is pain, as unpleasant and unwelcome as it is, IS a part of life and no man can escape it.
He has also taught me you can't run from it, you can numb it, but doing so only compounds the problem. Eventually you have to either denumb yourself or live in perpetual state of unreality that will inevitably destroy every relationship and hope and dream you ever had.
Here is the bottom line.... Sometimes... you have to just SIT with your pain.
Sit with it, feel it, experience it, work through it, process it, allow God to work and do what God intended for it to do...
Yes! Transform you. Not by weakening you or destroying you.
But by STRENGTHENING you to a level you never, ever though possible.
By CREATING in you a new heart that will feel compassion for others in pain and battle like you never have before
By PUSHING you outside your comfort zone and allowing you to experience things, you otherwise would never have experienced.
By SHOWING you parts of yourself that you otherwise may never have seen or known.
By RESTORING you and MOLDING you... into the beautiful masterpiece He always intended.
Yes, your pain will change you. Whether is changes you in a good way or a bad way totally depends on your dependence and faith in God and His purpose and promise for your life.
If even through your worst pain, you believe that God is good. That He wants the best for you. That He is faithful. That He has purpose for you.... then you will be able to take that pain, even though is may hurt like hell, and give it PURPOSE and NOT power.
God.... wants you to...
GIVE YOUR PAIN PURPOSE... NOT POWER!
He wants you to believe there is meaning and beauty even in the pain.
I have experienced this first hand friends. I promise you.... He is faithful. He is perfect in all His ways and the greatest thing I have ever done in ALL of my life....
Is give my life... including the pain.... to Him.
IF today.... you are in pain... of any kind. I pray that you believe with all your heart... there is purpose and if you cannot get yourself to believe that.... perhaps you have not allowed God that proper place in your heart.
If you want to know how to get Him in that place.... message me.... comment..... or get on your knees and ask Him to fill your heart with Him in complete surrender to yourself.
I promise you.... it will be the GREATEST thing... you will ever do and you will learn to take your pain...
and give it PURPOSE.
In turn... you will bless more people than you will ever be aware of. They will see hope and promise in you because they will see God, even if they are not aware of it.
I have found my purpose in my pain..... and through that pain....
I am a woman redeemed.
Peace and Blessings
You know what really breaks my heart?
When I see others walking in self defeat and I know there is not a whole lot I can do to pull them out of it.
I can encourage. I can give them affirmations. I can sing their praises and I can point out every possible positive attribute they have.
But in the end... if they do not believe those things about themselves... it will all fall on deaf ears.
It may give them a warm fuzzy for a moment or an even a day.... but their default thoughts and coping mechanisms will eventually switch back on.
They are often their own worst enemy.
That used to be me. (sometimes I may still struggle) It is exhausted to live a life where you already feel defeated before your feet even hit the floor.
Exhausting to be in battle with yourself every. day.
Exhausting to have a mind filled with endless negative thoughts and feelings of anxiety and hopelessness.
What can I do?
I can PRAY! And I do!
Those negative thoughts.... those feelings of anxiety and despair.... they are NOT from God.
Giving my life to Christ did not only give me eternal life and save me from imminent death, it breathed life into my heart and soul.
This was a process folks, I won't lie. Allowing God to kill those old strongholds and thought patterns took time and more importantly... complete surrender.
I fought this.
I naturally have a desire for order and control. And choosing to let go of worry, anxiety and self defeat, took MANY, MANY hard lessons. What is basically came down to was God choosing to break through those steel framed walls by the only means He knew would work..... pain and exhaustion to the point I felt if I wanted to survive... I had no other choice but to give it to Him and lean on Him to carry me through.
Literally. I could no longer do it or function in a healthy manner on my own. I was self destructing.
I thank God every day that He rescued me from my earthly demise and showed me how to love me. Just me. Plain old, sometimes controlling, sometimes moody, sometimes blah, often imperfect, flawed and messy me.
I have learned.... others may not approve of me or my ways. That is okay.
Others may not like me for whatever reason.... that is okay.
I will make mistakes... daily. Accepting them, repenting of them...makes them okay, even if others don't see it that way.
The freedom found in this.... is priceless and freeing.
Satan is alive and well and he attempts every darn day to steal this from me. I WON'T let him. God has my back.
This freedom has allowed me to do things I normally would never have done, stepping out of my comfort zone and realizing.... God is my gauge. No human's opinion will ever trump his. Ever.
I want this freeing gift for you and everyone I know.
Christ died to give us life and life abundant!!! Even in this crazy, scary unpredictable world we currently live in!
I long for you to quit hiding behind your own mask.
Quit sleeping in each... with the enemy.
Let God reveal to you.... what He sees. The you... stripped of all your negative and self defeating thoughts. He sees the you... He made with purpose, talents and gifts He longs for you to use in service to Him... to bring joy to you.
CHALLENGE: Take off all your make up...put on your glasses if you wear them.... don't touch your hair... now look in the mirror.
The day I was able to stand in front of the mirror...stripped of all the "things" I thought made me okay... and say... I am okay!
Was a GREAT day. Another day I knew... I was a woman redeemed!
Peace and Blessings
Good Morning Ya'll
I have had people ask me from time to time where I got my Bible and what Bible journaling is all about, so this morning, I am going to share a little bit about Bible journaling with you!
I am a hands out, visual kind of learner! I love creativity and I LOVE my Bible to reflect what I God has taught me and enlightened me with. My pray is, someday, when I am residing in my heavenly home, I will leave this Bible behind to my children and hopefully great grand children and they will be able to easily see how God spoke to me.
Basically, Bible journaling is a way of expressing yourself creatively right in your own Bible, by reading scripture and illustrating through words or drawings in the margin, how that page or scripture spoke to you. For me, it encourages some critical thinking and deep thought as to what God is trying to express to me through that particular scripture. I cannot tell you how it has enhanced my time with the Lord and drawn me closer to His word!
Here are the items I use in my journaling adventure;
1. A notebook or journal of any kind. I use this to pray before I begin diving into my Bible. I prefer to write my prayers out, as I feel it keeps me focused more during prayer. This is not necessary, if you prefer to just pray without writing! This is just a personal preference. The notebook also comes in handy if you want to take notes of any kind.
3. You will need items to express your creativity! I use colored pencils! But you can also use twistable crayons, gel pens or highlighters! I find colored pencils work best for me, but it is ALL your choice!
4. I love to use Pastel chalk to shade in areas on my Bible pages! This is also a preference and an option! I had a wonderful friend gives these to me and I put them to use in my Bible! I gave you an example from my Bible!
5. I also enjoy using stamps!! The same wonderful friend that gave me the pastels gave me a plethora of terrific stamps and I use them in my Bible Journaling!! I love to use them when there is something I really want to draw but don't have the ability or just for fun! This is also and option!! I will give you an example of using stamps as well! I could never have drawn that cute little sheep!!!
So, there you have it folks!! I hope this helps you get started on Bibling Journaling if you feel God calling you to do so!! Like I said, I LOVE IT and it makes my Bible time so much more meaningful!! Please don't hesitate to ask me any more questions and if anyone prefers a tutorial video, I will be glad to do that for you!!!
I pray for God's word to flood your heart..... and in return... your world will forever change. For the good. I pray you become... a woman OR man... redeemed!!
Peace and Blessings
You ARE strong enough!
Whatever you are facing today.
Whatever hill or mountain you are attempting to climb.... You can and you will reach the top.
Your BIGGEST barrier to pressing through this difficult time.... is you.
Have you ever noticed how as you watch someone you know or love struggle through a trial or painful time in their life.... it is so easy for you to see the victory they will claim in the end!
You have no doubt!
You believe in their strength... far more than they do.
You can see the picture clearly without emotional ties and words of doubt plaguing your mind.
This is how God sees you in your struggle.
Think of all the times you faced a hard or devastating situation and you were certain you could not handle the pain or make it through the situation without crumbling beyond repair?
You made it!
You are still here!
And you are still pressing on!
Oh, how I understand that feeling!
Some of you may not even know me or know me well.... but I promise you... I am one of your biggest fans!
I pray and root for the those in battle and I believe without doubt you WILL find victory!
I posted yesterday on why we often don't feel God at work in our lives..... our head. Our thoughts. Our constant negative self talk.
Don't be your worst enemy.... join forces with God and be your greatest ally!
With Christ as your protector ..... you are like titanium to those flying arrows and bullets! You may be knocked down, but you can't be defeated!!!
I pray that this message will move from your head to your heart in God's speed. That you would absorb and bask in the confidence that you are rightly given with God as your Savior. That you were savor each moment of life, understanding that the journey is not promised to be easy, but it is promised to be purposeful!
Let strength and dignity be your clothing.
You ARE strong enough.
I AM strong enough. I AM a woman.... redeemed.
Peace and Blessings
Here's one of the greatest revelations I have had in my journey with God.... He is not satisfied, nor will you reap the benefits of His great and powerful strength and mercy... if you are not giving Him ALL or you.
By all of you.... I mean ALL OF YOU! The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, your heart, your head, your soul, your toes and fingernails! ALL. OF. YOU.
He wants and will use it ALL!
For years I battled with this and at times still do.
Here is a common scenario.... We willingly give our heart to Christ, we may open our Bible on occasion or maybe even daily, we pray ( maybe not as often or as heartfelt as we should, but we pray) we listen to some Christian music and we often go to church. So... when we continue to struggle with feeling connected with the Lord and become frustrated at what we deem as a lack of His work in our lives.... we are stumped.
We assume God has abandoned us.
We begin to believe in hopelessness and defeat.
We may even become belligerent toward God, walking away from Him and refusing to commune with Him at all.
Are you ready to hear the secret?
Why you aren't feeling close to God?
Why you are not seeing Him working in your life?
Why you feel you are under constant attack and constant defeat?
The answer: IT'S YOUR HEAD!
Stop and ask yourself, what are the thoughts that run through your head 90% of the time?
Are they pleasant?
Are they hope filled?
Are they positive?
Are they encouraging?
Are they uplifting?
Are they faithful?
Most importantly.... are they TRUE!!!!
Are they negative?
Are they worry?
Are they discouraging?
Are they full of doubt?
Are they hopeless?
Are they LIES???
Are you thinking more about the people that have hurt or wronged you than you are thinking about God's wonderful love and mercy?
Are you thinking more about the worries and stressors of the day than you are that God has already defeated Satan on the cross and won every battle you will face? He will never take you.... where His feet have not already walked.
God will NEVER, EVER, EVER be able to rule your heart.... while Satan rules your mind.
It won't happen.
I know this from personal experience.
How do you combat this war that is taking place between your desire for God and Satan's desire for you?
You give God ALL OF YOU! Your heart AND your head!
The only way to do this... is to completely change your mind set and the way you think.
A lot of people seriously have to rework their thought process and train their brain to focus on that which is Godly, hope filled and encouraging, as their mind will always go to it's default reactions.... negative worry and doubt.
How do you retrain your brain?
I have found there is only one way and God has allowed me to go to such dark places only to reveal to me the only way to survive is by bringing His light.... to the darkness.
It took some pretty significant, painful things for me to finally surrender my mind completely and realize.... if I don't choose to focus on the goodness.... this world will annihiliate me and many times... it has.
It took me A LONG time to learn this and it is still a battle at times. However, I have refused to succumb to the schemes of the devil and I flood my heart, my and soul with God's truth, His hope and His love.
I meditate on His word and every time I begin to fear, worry, doubt or complain, I quickly grab a scripture or I pray until that thought dies.
It may creep back up, but I start the process all over again.
It takes time, work and dedication. This will not happen with half a heart or effort.
You have to STAND strong and refuse to fall.
Because the one thing I have learned for certain... are those willing to surrender to darkness.... will seldom see the light.
FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS IN CHRIST.
These are all mine.....and I thank God... I am a woman... redeemed!
Peace and Blessings
I am a creature of comfort!
Oh, I like mild changes, like the color of paint on the wall and perhaps adding a subtle new color to my hair,however, big changes are a big fat NO!
I like routine, consistency and predictability. I have always been this way, ask my mama. The problem with this, is life is anything but predictable! We have no way of knowing what lurks around the corner. We can plan out our day in our head but in the end, we really have no control over the day's happenings.
You can't control the traffic jam, the two year old tantrum, the sick child, the unexpected bill, the friend in need, the broken appliance or the car that won't start. And we surely can't predict the attitude, reactions and actions of the others around us!!
We think we can control it by our reactions, like somehow losing it and collapsing into a tirade or an adult pity party will remedy the situation, but I think we all agree, it only makes it worse!!
I am both compelled and blessed to share with you the three most AMAZING ways God has changed my life. This is the real deal folks! No fluff, no faking, just my true heart!! Here goes....
GOD CHANGED BY LIFE BY......
- 1. Showing me I had purpose! Yes! I am not here by accident or because my parents decided to have another child! I am here for a purpose!!! God knit me together in my mother's womb and while He was doing that, He gave me every characteristic, talent and gift I would need to fulfill the purpose He assigned to me. I was given a mission!!! I may never know all the ways God used me on this earth, but rest assured He will and that my friends.... IS PURPOSE!!!
- 2. Showing me He will use ALL things that happen in my life.... for GOOD. This perhaps is one of the greatest ways He has changed my life! I have and will face some very painful and difficult situations in my life, as will most people. There was a day that when these storms would come rolling in, rather than STANDING strong and knowing God has a purpose, I will collapse into a puddle of self pity and continuously question why, why why? I am not saying I still don't have moments I don't revert back to this behavior, but I can honestly tell you, the more difficult things God has allowed in my life, the greater my faith has become. I have SEEN Him make beauty out of ashes and change hearts Satan had convinced me were a lost cause. He wastes NOTHING!!! I can walk through the storms knowing beauty awaits me on the other side, if I STAND on His truth!!
3. Teaching me what other's think about me is irrelevant in comparison to God's love for me. THIS my friends, is the foundation of life free from oppression. Satan wants you to believe you are worthless, a failure, an accident or mistake, a horrible person, that your mistakes will never be forgotten or forgiven and that you can never be redeemed from your past. LIES LIES LIES!!!!!!! Now, I will not go so far as to say that I still don't struggle with worrying about what other's think of me, however, I can honestly tell you that 99% of the time when I am worrying about this, it is because I fear I have jeopardized my witness for Christ. I long for people to see Him not me and if I have done something offensive, I have not shown Christ to them. God is my judge. I will never be enough for this world. I will never be able to please everyone. People's expectations of me are often unrealistic and very self centered. If I am hearing and following God, I have the assurance of knowing, though others may expect something different from me, I have pleased Him and THAT is all that needs to matter. Your worth is not defined by the world's view of you, your worth is completely defined by God's love and purpose for your life.
THESE.... are my top picks for God's great changes in my life!
How has God changed your life?
Peace and Blessings
Your Friend Missy
More than likely, all of us have been on both ends of a lie.
You have either told one (or many more!) or you have been lied to from another individual. Perhaps you weren't lied to directly, but you witnessed someone being untruthful, trying to escape accountability or pass the blame onto someone else.
Oh, there are many things that hurt in this world. Unfortunately, we all have learned that throughout our lives. Lies do so much more damage than just inflict pain and anger. Lies destroy relationships. Lies cause distrust. Lies deplete the character of the individual lying and cause others to view them very differently.
Funny thing..... the Bible reveals to us that there is in fact, a father of lies!!
Take a guess who that might be?
Okay the suspense is killing you.... Yes, Satan.
"He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44
The ability to lie, lies themselves and the devastating consequences from lies are NEVER from God. They are from the enemy!
It does not much matter if it is a small little white lie, as we often refer to them, or a monstrous, colossal lie. A lie is a lie and both can have devastating consequences.
BUT TAKE HEART.... here is the AWESOME news!!
God. Can't Lie.
That's right folks. He can't lie.
That means any promise, any word, any scripture you read in the Bible is 100 percent, without a doubt, beautifully pure truth.
How will you know if it is a lie Satan is whispering in your ear or God's truth being spoken.... flip open your Bible. God will never, ever tell you anything contrary to what His word says.
Oh, how I pray you would learn to believe these promises.... they can and will change your entire life.
Just to give you a little more uplifting energy for your day..... here are some of the promises God makes to those who love Him and follow Him....
THE PROMISES OF GOD....
- He promises to supply every need we have.
- He promises His grace is sufficient for us to stand against any hardship we may face.
- He promises His children will not be overtaken by temptation if they call on Him.
- He has promised VICTORY over death! Oh death, where is your sting?
- He promises that He will work all things for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Even the really bad things!)
- He has promised that those who believe in Jesus and give their heart to Him, will be saved!
- He promises eternal life, to those who submit to Christ.
- He promises to finish the work He has started in us!
- He promises comfort in our trials!
- He promise peace when we pray!
- He promised abundant life to those that follow Him!
- He promises rest for our souls!
- He promises that He will return for us one day!
Is that not REFRESHING!!! If you have given your life to Christ... you can claim all of these promises and trust in them completely!!!
God can't lie.
Each morning I wake up.... no matter how difficult the day prior may have been, no matter how challenging the day ahead may be....I claim His promise to me....
I am a woman ..... redeemed!!
Peace and Blessing,
It was major news to me to find out.... I could be physically alive and breathing.... but also be dead.
As strange as phenomenon is this seems, I can whole heartedly attest to its truth.
That was me.
That was me before God's perfect and timely awaking in my life. In September of 2003, 13 years ago this month, I truly came alive. God lead my heart to accept Christ as my Savior, my Comforter, my Friend, my Counselor, my Guide and my Life Line. He became the air I breathed and the beat of my heart. My eyes were opened and I began to be blessed with the ability to see through and past the evil and darkness and believe in that which is good and true.
Though my heart could and can still be broken, I now trust that at the very same time it is breaking apart, God is taking those pieces and making them whole once again. Though my faith does and shall waver, I now know unbelief is a tactic of Satan and I press on toward the goal and STAND. Though my strength can and still does get drained, I now know that the battle is not mine to fight. I am able to hand Christ the boxing gloves while I fall to my knees.
I was dead. Because I had no eternally safe home for my heart. I had no faithfully strong and perfect arms to be held in, when I was falling apart. My heart beat for earthly gain and selfish ambitions and the main focus of my relationships were what they could do for me, not how I could serve them. I had some goodness in me, but that goodness was used as a tool to gain acceptance and approval from others, rather than a sincere, sacrificial giving to glorify my Creator.
Though God still leads me to walk through darkness and adversity and I may temporarily experience the pain, fear and doubt that often comes with it, I am quickly able to refocus and lead my heart home once again.
With Christ, you can shine brighter than ANY Hollywood star because in you, others find hope. In you, others will find comfort. In you, OTHERS WILL SEE AND EXPERIENCE GOD.
"Awake O sleeper,
and arise from the dead.
and Christ will shine on you." Ephesians 5:14
My friend, may you become fully awake today. May you seek and find Christ. May experience a light in your life that does not compare to the sunniest day or the brightest star.
I shine, not because I am a star, but because.... I am a woman... redeemed.
Peace and Blessings
One of the best lessons I have learned from the Bible......
DON'T FOLLOW YOUR HEART.
Yes, you read correctly.
Crazy, isn't it? We are taught at a very young age to.... "follow your heart." While I have no doubt that, that advice was well meant and at times can produce a positive result, many, many times, this advice will lead you astray.
Here is what God has to say about following your heart....
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9
Does this mean your heart is always going to lead you astray? No, there are times your heart will direct you correctly, however, I have found that is only when my heart is aligned with my Spirit. The Spirit that Christ has placed within my heart, to guide me each and ever day.
If I always followed what my heart wanted..... there could possibly be individuals with bodily harm done to them, I may be living on an isolated island far, far away, many of my personal relationships would more than likely be extremely damaged and I would probably be in debt beyond my eye balls!!
So, you see, the heart IS NOT your best guide. Our heart can be very selfish and really struggles with seeing beyond our temporary troubles and trials. My heart has been in some very dark places. I have struggled with depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness and desperation.
I have had to fight and dig my way out of these dark pits and claim what God has proclaimed is rightfully mine, when I have Him residing in my heart, and that is JOY!
Here is the thing, my JOY does not come from worldly gain or temporary pleasures anymore. Oh, it used to. But in the last few years of journeying through some extremely difficult life situations that left me feeling empty and numb, my JOY was redefined!
I can now find JOY even in my darkest moment. And you know what? So can you!
Here is the secret!
Don't live in your heart. Your heart will often mislead you with temporary emotions. LIVE IN YOUR SPIRIT!!!
Photo credit: www.allprodad.com
The Spirit of Christ will lead you away from you and your heart and put your focus on what brings true JOY.
I place Jesus first, above ALL else in my life. By doing so, He naturally takes the desire away to place myself first and to dwell in the dark places of my heart. Yes, I may still struggle with this, but by persevering and placing my trust in Him, he is faithful to place my focus on His goodness, His promises and His never failing mercy.
Next, He redirects my focus to the crux of Christianity..... serving OTHERS! Nothing, I mean NOTHING brings my heart more JOY than serving others for Christ. I will tell you, there are many times I don't want to and God has to basically catapult me in the direction of service He is desiring, but once I do this and place my focus on OTHERS needs, suddenly, my temporary troubles begin to lose their power over me. Seriously, it can be something as small as sending someone an encouraging email or text, or seeing an immediate need and filling it. My greatest JOY has come from the little every day things God has called me to do, that often we may look at, as pointless.
But... I promise you.... every good deed God calls you to..... serves a GREAT purpose. You may just not see it!
Lastly, He will place my focus on me (You). Making sure I am taking care of myself, doing good things for my body, mind and Spirit. He will provide my soul rest when I need it and He will place the right people in my path at just the right time to help ease my troubles.
So, bottom line, often, your heart will not naturally rest in JOY. You may have to LEAD your heart, kicking and screaming to JOY, by yanking it's focus off YOU and placing it in the proper order! I PROMISE!!! Once you put your focus on JESUS.... He will do the rest!!!!!
Today.... I can find JOY..... because in Christ.... I am a woman redeemed!!!
Peace and Blessings
Through His Eyes…...
I am far from perfect.
I have a nice variety of shortcomings and struggles.
I will never pretend or imply that I know all the answers.
Therefore, I will never close my heart and mind off..... to the One who does.
My goal is to plant deep roots into my thick and stubborn skull.....
that my job is not to understand all of God's ways..... but simply trust them.
Nearly two years ago, as I sat back helplessly watching my newborn daughter be poked and prodded with endless needles and sat helplessly listening to her scream for comfort all I could hope and pray was that her little mind could understand I was allowing this for her good. I hadn't left her or abandoned her, I was watching the entire scene with tears of pain rolling down my cheek, clinging to the knowledge that this is what was best for her, she just cannot see or understand it right now.
Through His eyes..... all things are clear.
Through mine..... all things are tainted.
Tainted by my doubt and self focus.
I cannot see beyond my pain and entitlement.
I cannot complete the entire puzzle because it is not my hand that holds the pieces.
It has taken me nearly 40 years and many, many tests of strength to finally realize there is no greater life.... than a life of surrender.
Surrender to my Creator. My Mentor. My Father. My Friend.
I walk in the path He has paved before me. He has already been, where each of my feet will land. He is my safety net, my guard rails, my life preserver and my body guard.
May these words live forever in my heart....
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end,
they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion," says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
Peace and Blessings