I have heard it said countless times.
"I am not hearing God."
"I pray... but hear nothing."
"I wish He would just make it clear!"
"God never speaks to me."
Oh, the frustration that is felt when you feel you are calling out to God.... the God you so desperately want to trust and give your troubles to, yet, you hear nothing in response!
I have been there, many, many, MANY times. I totally understand my friends.
BUT..... once again.... God.
He is faithful.
He is listening.
He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ever think or imagine!! (Ephesians 3:20)
I am not going to tell you my breakthrough with hearing God's voice came easy.... it did not. I believe over the years I have heard Him speak from time to time but never in a consistent manner. I was often left questioning if that was truly His voice or my busy, yacky brain.
What brought me more clarity in hearing God than any other thing.... was DESPERATION. That's right! A complete and utter desperation for Him. Fully knowing and understanding that I had nothing left on earth left to help me.... but Him.
Finally realizing that God is my ONLY true source of comfort and peace and He has ALL the answers I will ever need.
We will find ourselves questioning SOOO many times.... why God allows us to travel through painful or devastating circumstances.... and I will tell you straight up.... this is one of the very reasons...
To strip you of every earthly comfort you have ever placed your trust in and leave you desperately seeking the ONE thing that will truly bring comfort. Him.
For us stubborn folks.... this can take MANY, MANY....... MANY hard lessons. God is nothing but faithful.... ergo.... He will NOT give up on you. So... if He has to take you to the threshold of hell to get you to finally seek Him..... that is exactly what He will do!
Since experiencing the great pain of a devastating season of life..... and then falling on my knees in desperation.... I have learned three ways God speaks clearly to me! I want to share them with you today!!!
1, QUIET TIME ALONE WITH HIM!!!! Folks, when I say quiet, I mean QUIET. I have learned that one of Satan's easiest and greatest tactics to keep us all from hearing God.... is NOISE! I hear God's voice and feel His presence the most when it is so quiet I could hear a pin drop in the room. Honestly, every little noise distracts me.... the dog's snore, the dog licking, music, car doors slamming, a random noise in the house. I have to have complete silence!! I sit in that silence... with my eyes closed... and heart open. At first, it feels uncomfortable... Satan makes sure of that.... but then all of a sudden... I begin to feel His glorious presence.... like a flood of peace. In my mind... I can almost see a vibrant light.... and I know He is with me.
Seriously... if you have to go hide in your car... do so. You have to have silence and you have to learn to be still in it. We live in a noisy world and that is what we all have become accustom to. You cannot hear God.... through meaningless noise. Find your quiet space and time and invite God in. Be patient.... this is a learned behavior. It is not what we are used. to.
2. BE PREPARED FOR WARFARE! Seriously... it will happen. Prepare yourself in advance. Another Satan scheme is to place doubt in your mind that you are actually hearing God. This happens to me instantaneously when God speaks!
For instance.... I sit in my quiet.... come to God with a question or wait to hear His response and suddenly I will hear His directive....and BAM... hear comes Satan....leading me elsewhere. Playing 500 different scenarios in my mind why that won't work or is a bad idea. Making something else look more appealing. This happens... ALL. THE TIME!
For awhile I thought I was truly not hearing God and that I needed to listen to the 500 other possibilities, then I realized... God is not a God of confusion. He would not give me 500 different scenarios to choose from. He would speak softly and clearly and He would nudge my heart along with it. I have found when it is God... I feel a little spark in my heart. Just a tiny warmth. So I know it is from Him.... as He desires to touch my heart... so I will touch others.
3. READ HIS WORD.... EVERYDAY! God is NEVER, EVER, going to give you an answer that is contrary to what His word would tell you. So, if you don't know His word, you are going to be left not only confused, but possibly choosing contrary to what God would will.
The thing is... this does not have to be a stressful, have to, thing to add to your day. When I struggle with knowing what to read, I simply open up to Proverbs and read the Proverbs that coorelates with the date. There is a WEALTH of knowledge in Proverbs!! It is an easy start to get you in the word.
Meditate on what you have read all day. When your mind is adrift, bring it back to Him and His word. Start training your mind to heart God's word and voice, rather than the world's noise!!
I pray these three little tip will help you!! It is not a one size fits all and something different may work for you! These are my steps to hearing what God wills for me and even still, sometimes I don't hear right away. God can also make us wait on an answer.
But in that wait.... are more lessons to be learned. In that wait..... He is teaching us... to be still... and know He is God.
I pray you learn to find comfort in the silence..... to prepare for battle when you seek Him..... and find joy in His word. For these very things..... have made me.... a woman redeemed.
Peace and Blessings
If you are so blessed.... there will come a glorious day in your life.... when you can find rest.... in who you are.
You can look in the mirror, stripped of all vanity and find peace in the reflection you see. You can have a bad moment, a bad day, a bad month or even a bad year and learn not to let that define you, even if other's choose to.
You can take a deep look within your heart and find solace in knowing what your heart is made of, even if others can't see it.
Oh, what a precious day this is. When you understand you are IN this world... but you are not made up OF this world.
I experienced this day.... through walking through what I believe the most painful year of my life. My mind spun in a million different directions and when your head is spinning.... your words are often too many and not filtered. Your actions can be impulsive and your reactions immediate and full of tremendous emotion.
But at the end of the day.... I knew who I really was. I could peel back the layers of raw emotion and still see the Missy living underneath. Other's may have only seen the outward actions but God never stopped reminding me of who I really was.
Through it all.... I was able to learn to say goodbye.
Goodbye to the expectations, whether from myself or others, that I allowed to rule my life. Goodbye to the Missy "I wish" I was rather than the Missy, " I am." I adopted a quote that spoke volumes to my heart....."I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But, still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am." John Newton
There are just certain things that I have finally learned will never be a part of who I am and that, is totally okay with me. Though I have personality traits, whether by nature or nurture that I would choose to tone down a bit, if I never change the way "I" feel I should change.... that is okay.
A goodbye has never been so sweet....
- Goodbye... to the woman of spontaneity....I was never you, nor meant to be you. I like routine, consistency and predictability. And that is okay.
- Goodbye.... to the woman of free spirit. Along with non spontaneity also comes a bit of a reserved spirit. I have never really been one to go wild on a dance floor or throw back a shot. And that.... is okay.
- Goodbye..... to the woman of anal organization. I,Missy, am a bit of a mess and my closets and cupboards reflect that. My pans may attack when you open the cupboard and my closets may mimic an episode of hoarding buried alive. But... that is okay.
- Goodbye... to the woman of few words. I have tried. oh, I have tried to speak less, to share less, to just be the quiet and meek woman I thought I needed to be. But... that is just not me. And... that is okay.
- Goodbye... to the woman of homemade Halloween costumes and retail worthy crafts. I love to be creative. I love to mess with my sewing machine, when I have time and I love to try new things, however, I have little eye or patience for detail and always go for the "illusion" of perfection. These traits do not make a good seamstress or flawless crafter. And... THAT... is okay
See... this is ME... Taking forced ridiculous selfies with the cat..... and then walking around the house... making everyone look at it while I belly laugh... assuming they will find it as jovial as me!!!
- Goodbye... to the woman of radical health and fitness. I love to take care of my body, I run, I try to eat fruits and veggies, take my vitamins and care for my mental and spiritual health. I,however, am so not into totally organic eating or major exercise routines. I am happy if I squeeze in a 20 minute run four times a week and I will not feel guilty about my bowl of ice cream I eat in bed nearly every night. And... that is okay.
- Goodbye.... to the woman of productive late nights. I am NOT a night person. I never have been and never will be. I was the first one asleep at slumber parties and even in college I can count on one hand how many times I as up past 10 or 11:00. I will pop out of bed at 5:00 A.M. if you need me to, but at night, I am ready for bed. And... that is okay!
- Goodbye... to the woman with a green thumb. I am NO gardener but I am sure good as harvesting a pile of weeds! For years I tried, feeling guilty I was not providing my family with pesticide, GMO and every other carcinigen free produce. The media had me convinced I was subjecting my family to a slow and painful death. I simply am not a gardener. And.... that... is okay.
This is an exhausting list of expectations I have placed on myself, either by my own accord or through what I believed, were expectations of others.
The day God revealed to me...... that His greatest expectation of me is to love Him with all my heart, soul and strength and to love others as myself... I realized.... that is it!
Giving God my whole heart and committing myself to love others in the way God commands takes most of my resources!! I have a daily war with my flesh to take on..... and I simply do not have the time to focus on trying to become the woman.... I was never meant to be.
I am happy... just being me. The routine, a little reserved, yacky, a bit messy and disorganized, early to bed, I will buy my produce at the store and eat my ice cream in bed.... Missy. And... THAT... is not just okay.... it is a very good thing!!
I pray you learn to be happy..... being you!!
Peace and Blessings
I am appalled.
There is no better word to use. Okay, except maybe disgusted.
With God as my guide and filter I really try to shy away from subject such as politics. I do so, simply because I do not want to get involved in heated quarrels that really have no purpose but for people to air their opinions. And often, it is not done in respectful or kind manners.
However, God has given me a message to share that I honestly know I would be walking in disobedience if I did not share. My body was actually shaking as I grabbed my computer, as part of me did not want to obey.
God has made it clear to me that my job is not to judge others, but to lovingly guide them in God's direction. So let me make this very clear, this is not a post on JUDGING others, this is a post on DISAGREEING with others actions. There is a HUGE difference!
Last night, like millions of other Americans, I watched the presidential debate. I am not going to beat around the bush, so here it is.....
I am absolutely, completely appalled that the members of our country would vote for an individual that finds it acceptable to dismember a full term baby inside it mother's womb and call it the woman's choice!
IT IS NOT HER CHOICE!!!!!
No one wants to talk about the hard stuff. No one wants to hear the gory details of what happens in that surgical room.
It is not an abortion.... it is plainly and simply murder. There are several different methods a Dr. will use to remove the baby, as it is considered "abortion" as long as the baby is still in the mother's womb. So, you know what the Dr. does? One of the methods used in late term abortions is delivering the baby's head, then breaking it's neck, then delivering the rest. Then they take that precious baby and throw it in a biohazard bag OR send it off to be used for science!
So I need someone to explain to me the difference between that and a woman who delivers the entire baby's body and then kills it and throws it in a dumpster.
Either way... she did't want the baby... the end result was the same.... the heart was the same... the only difference is the baby's feet were not allowed out of her womb!
Make sense to you?
If our country finds this acceptable and okay....
America... you have reached a whole new level of depravity.
Our country has so many resource for mother's who find themselves pregnant and not wanting or not being able to keep the baby. Free medical care, adoption, homes for pregnant women, Safe Haven law, just to name a few.
I listened to a candidate last night go on about the women that have to make this horrible and difficult choice to save their own lives.
Really? A baby at that gestational age is viable outside the womb, which means, if that mother's life was in danger due to the pregnancy, that baby could be born alive and kept alive. Killing the baby would be completely unnecessary!
Medicine has developed in such phenomenal ways in this country that baby's at the 21 weeks gestation are able to survive with needed medical intervention.
There is not justification for taking the life of an innocent baby. None.
In the very, and I mean VERY small percentage of cases where medical intervention may be needed on behalf of the mother, a medical Dr. would do everything necessary to save the life of both the mother and the baby. There would be no need to walk into an abortion clinic.
I am simply heart sick that there are so many individuals in this country that support such behavior all in the name of... FREEDOM TO CHOOSE!
Simply because there is an option to choose does not mean that there is a choice!
I have the choice to abuse my children when they act up. I have the choice to steal something I really want when I don't have the money. I have the choice to simply walk up and kill someone I don't like. I have a million choices a day at my disposal..... just because they are there.... does NOT mean they are truly an option!
This is a heart issue. It goes back to what God teaches us through Jesus's selfless action of dying for the entire world's sins! Our country is plainly selfish. Anyone who would put their right to CHOOSE over a human life has a very, very hard heart in my opinion.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself." Philippians 2:3
At the end of the day... I will take a candidate that calls me names and disrespects me over one that wants to dismember and kills baby's any day of the week and twice on Sunday! Mainly because I have learned.... it is not about me.If it saves a baby's life.... call me any darn name you want!
If this country chooses to place this candidate in office, I truly will have lost faith in most of humanity. . I am grateful and thankful for my faith for a million reasons.... but one main one being... I know... no matter who lives in the White House..... my God REIGNS in heaven and earth!
Peace and Blessings
Are you a prisoner, held in bondage to your past?
Have you had a season of your life, when you have made some questionable or even hideous choices and that Devil won't let you forget?
Perhaps, it is not a past issue. Perhaps, you are currently struggling with an ugly sin you can't seem to be set free from. Perhaps, it is well known, perhaps it is a secret identity you hide from the world. It is the life you lead... when you think no one is watching.
Someone.... is always watching. ....
"Noting in creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before Him to whom we must give an account." Hebrews 4:13
You can't fool God.... ever. He sees every little tiny sin we commit. Even if you did not outwardly sin, He can see your heart and knows the thoughts that roam through your mind.
Kind of unnerving isn't it?
Well, actually, it doesn't have to be. Yes, God sees our sin, BUT, God is the One who can cut the chains that keep you in bondage to that sin.
God USES ANY human being that gives themselves to Him and allows themselves to be used by His mighty hands.
Take this story from the book of Joshua...
Rahab was a prostitute in the town of Jericho. Her home was located at the front of the city, possibly to draw in more clientele. Joshua had sent two spies into the town of Jericho as they were getting ready to take over and destroy the city. Rahab has heard about the power of the Israelites, how Moses had parted the Red Sea and how they had destroyed neighboring Kingdoms. Her heart became convinced of the power of the almighty God and she chose to follow Him, rather than the gods she once knew.
God sent these two spies to Rahab's home. Because God had prepared her heart ahead of time, she let the spies in, knowing their goal was to destroy the city and all those who lived there. She hid them on the roof of her home, to keep them hidden from her town inhabitants. She asked only one thing in return from these spies.
She asked that when the city is destroyed, that she and her family be spared. She confessed to the spies that she knows their God is the God of heaven and earth.
The spies agreed to spare she and her family's lives for theirs. Rahab then lowered the men down off the roof with a rope. The men told her to place a scarlet cord in her window, SCARLET, the color that is often used to describe our sin, the men would know that was her home. Her sin would be displayed in the window for all to see.... but THAT would be the ONLY home that was spared. The one baring their sin!
What a statement that is!
Rahab did as she was told and when the city of Jericho was destroyed and they burned the city and everything in it with fire, her home was the only one left standing.
Rahab would later be mentioned in the book of Hebrews as one of of God's faithful ones. God saved Rahab in every sense of the word. A woman in active sin.... God chose to do His work and in turn saved her... heart, body and soul.
If you read about Rahab later in the Bible, such as in the book of Hebrews, God does not refer to her as just Rahab, He calls refers to her as the Prostitute Rahab.
Rahab turned from her sin... into the hands of God.
Why do you suppose that is?
To humiliate her? To add more shame to her past? To make sure she always remembers who she was and what she did?
No. That is not it at all. God continues to refer to her the Prostitute Rahab in order to show us, yes, this woman has a past and she made some horrible choices, but I used her anyway!!! Her sin had no baring on her ability to serve Me. Her past cannot be erased, but once she chose Me... her past didn't matter.
He wants us to see.... it does not matter what you have done... or what you may still be doing!! God is a God of redemption and restoration.
The hands of the ugliest of all sinners....
The hands of the holiest of all saints.....
Can both be used..... by our perfect God.
Your past, no matter what a train wreck it may seem to you and others around you, can actually be used by God in a much more powerful way than one without a past.
The greatest testimony's to God's goodness and deliverance don't come from those who lead a pristine life from beginning to end.... but those who found themselves in the bondage of the most hideous of sins..... but allowed God to break the chains that bound them. The one's that went from what the world would call, a worthless junky, professional thief or the town whore to a beautiful servant of God.
It is the most beautiful transformation you will ever witness!
Don't live in bondage to your past! USE your past to glorify God and show the world He is a God of faithfulness and restoration! He is a God of healing and grace. He is a God with patience beyond our human comprehension and with the ability to take our sin and throw it as far as the east is from the west.
Sure, the world may always remember our sin.... but... WHO CARES!!
Let he without sin, cast the first stone!! There is no one qualified to do that... I promise you!
You are a creation of the almighty, perfect God. He can and will use you in mighty ways... if you give your heart completely to Him!!!
Break free from your past or current sin today! Give your sin to God and in turn... He will give His heart to you. It is a win/win!!!!
Giving my sin to God.... made me... a woman... redeemed!!!!
Peace and Blessings
Sometimes you have to laugh, right?
I mean, when life seems to never let up you can really and truly go down with the ship! I GET it! I really do!
I have vowed to be authentic on this blog and I absolutely try to be, sometimes even to a fault perhaps.
As I have shared with all you, Garrick and I have been on a wild roller coaster ride in our marriage for the last few years. I can tell you in all honesty, this man IS the love of my life. That has NEVER, EVER changed. What happens is that love gets buried under layers of hurt and disappointment that Satan wants you to believe is your destiny in marriage.
This is the hard and solid truth.... love never dies.... it becomes buried. Buried under the pain, the hurt, the anger and bitterness, but if that love existed at one time.... it will never die.
The only way it dies is if you refuse to dig through those layers together to allow that love to breath and resurface once again. It does take effort and for sure you can feel like you will never, ever find it beneath all of the dirt and muck you have thrown on top of it. And if both partners are not on board, it may sadly, stay suffocating beneath muck.
But like a hidden treasure.... I promise you it is there.
God tells us clearly in the Bible, that LOVE NEVER FAILS. (1 Corinthians 13). Any love can be salvaged if you dig and work at it hard enough.
So, my husband and I have been thrown a plethora of lemons in these past years... we are learning that ...
"sometimes life throws you lemons... sometimes it throws you the whole darn tree!"
Humor aside, because as I mentioned sometimes we need to laugh!!! That is without a doubt been the story of our lives for what seems like way too long.
I have my own thoughts as to why this has occurred. Garrick and I were intense advocates for happy and God filled marriages. We have counseled couples, we have participated in marriage Bible studies as well as attended marital conferences in order to continue to strengthen our marriage.
Everyone kind of find their "nitch" in ministry. This was ours, for a long period of time. I had a good friend tell me one time that Satan's goal is to destroy God's church.... by taking out... one family at a time.
I believe Satan saw us as a threat to His evil plan and so our marriage became his target. One of the ways I believe we made a little easier for him is we truly never, ever thought anything could tear us apart. Perhaps we were too prideful?
It was often difficult for us to understand why others had such a difficulty making marriage work. For us, it really felt effortless most of the time.
We learned..... how very difficult it can become!
Now, when I tell you that we were not just thrown lemons... but had an entire tree hurled at our heads.... I am not just a whistling Dixie! No, no, no!! I mean nearly EVERY. SINGLE. TIME Garrick and I would get back on, what was a normal path for us, WHAMO!!
I could almost hear Satan say... "HA.... TAKE THIS!!!"
Now, I am not saying it is 100% Satan's fault as we as humans have free will and have the option to make good or bad choices. Both Garrick and I have made some bad choices, for sure, however, the struggles and temptations for falter have been non stop it seems.
On October 28th we will celebrate our 16 year anniversary!! It will be a celebration for us as we are still STANDING against the monstrous tree that has been thrown our direction.
Have you been there folks? Maybe not in your marriage, but perhaps with your job, financially, with your children, with relationships in general, maybe your health? Where you just can't seem to catch a break.
I understand. I really do. The struggle is real and the battle can get downright exhausting. Last night I found myself ugly crying in the bathtub as we are supposed to leave for an anniversary weekend tomorrow and my husband became ill on Tuesday and is still not feeling well.
This is what I am talking about. We are so looking forward to this. We need it badly. We planned on just enjoying each others' company and perhaps working on our devotional. It would be incredibly healing.
WHAMO! Take this..... hubby's sick!
I got in quite a funk last night, as I have been holding out hope and faith that he would start feeling better, but I did not see that happening, so I succumb to a puddle of tears, forgetting God's promise to me...
"Commit your plans to God and they shall succeed." Proverbs 16:3
Those lemons were sure making me sour! It is amazing what a night can do and how God can work on your heart... even while you sleep.
This morning my outlook was much less sour and I was able to accept God's will, whatever it may be.
I am still not happy about it, don't get me wrong. I have all the normal questions... "Why God, I know you want us to continue to strengthen our marriage. I know it pleases you to see us connecting together with You. Why allow Garrick to be sick."
The answer I received I didn't necessarily like, but it is SOO God.... "Because I want you to learn to bond and strengthen even with the circumstances are not ideal in your eyes!"
So, even though I feel I am sitting among the scratchy brush of that lemon tree, I will be still... and know He is God.
That's what you do. You let Him work and while you sit still, make yourself some lemonade!!!
It is easy to love God and love my husband when situations are ideal.... the real test is.... will I love them..... even in a sour situation?
How about you?
I pray..... for all who are sitting with their lemon tree today... may you be strengthened through the struggle and find rest among the branches!
Peace and Blessings
We live in a very beauty focused world!
It is quite disturbing when you really ponder it. The beauty craze does not discriminate either! Both women and men have found an unhealthy focus on outward beauty! I have seen this evolve even since I was young, which really was not THAT long ago, come now!! LOL
Take a look at Pinterest or just the internet in general, you will never want nor need for an article on hair, makeup, fitness/weight or fashion. Don't get me wrong, I love to play around with make up and fun clothes as much as the next gal and I am always eyes and ears for a handy make up or hair tip, however, I have learned something so much more valuable about beauty, than how to properly apply my mascara...... I have learned.....
"I Cannot Obsess with the Image in the Mirror.... While Neglecting the Reason it's There."
I have blogged many times before on the IMPERATIVE importance of a beautiful heart. I can express enough the changes you will experience when you allow God to penetrate your heart at its core and give Him the power to shine His light through your!
Beauty takes on a WHOLE new meaning! Most women can be very critical of their looks, specifically their body. I am no exception, I used to pick a part photos of myself or often be dissatisfied with how my outward appearance looked. Since allowing God to truly take up full residence in my home, I have begun to lose that desire to self critique. I can look in the mirror now and be content with what I see. I can snap a selfie and not be self conscious, like I used to. Heck... I have even become comfortable with vlogging... WITH NO MAKEUP!!!
Why? Because God lives in me.... that is ALL the beauty I need.
Sure, I still LOVE make up and hair and clothes and all that jazz.... I am after all, a woman. That is part of femininity and that is ok! What is not ok..... is obsessing over the image in the mirror while neglecting the reason it's there!
So.... today... do you want to INSTANTLY look more beautiful????? Here are sure fire ways and you won't find them in your bathroom or closet.....
1. SMILE! Yes SMILE! In the words of Truvy from Steel Magnolias.... "SMILE.. it increases our face value!!" And it does! A heart fixed on the Lord cannot walk around with a frown or scowl! His love and grace are way too good for us to do anything but smile at the thought of Him! A cheerful heart... makes a cheerful face... which radiates beauty!
2. SERVE/ GIVE! Look around you and ask God to show you ways you can help, serve or give on a daily basis! Make this the purpose of your day! It does not matter how small the gesture is, a kind note or email, an encouraging word, an impromptu gift or surprise, a homemade baked good or meal delivered to someones door or offering to run an errand for a busy mom. ANYTHING... you can do in service to others... is a beautiful thing!
3. ENCOURAGE/ DON'T DISCOURAGE! It goes back to the old saying if you can't say anything nice, don't TALK! I get it, I have found myself in the act of discouragement, but truly, that is all about my heart! If I honestly believe that my God can do immeasurably more than anything I could think or hope for (Ephesians 3:20) than I should not have anything but encouragement on the tip of my tongue. Because I am human and will fail at this... that is why God made it possible for us to close our traps and keep them closed! LOL Like I tell my children, you do not have to say EVERY SINGLE WORD that comes to your mind!
4. LOVE! Yes, LOVE! Love all people but specifically the ones that are hard to love. You know who they are!! Ask God to help you with this, as it can be a difficult task, however, beauty is found all over a heart that can love those that appear to deserve it the least. Now let me clarify, that loving someone does not mean APPROVING of everything they do, loving someone simply means showing them kindness and respect believing God can redeem anyone!!!
So there you have it! INSTANT beauty! No lipstick or curling iron holds a candle to these actions! When you choose beautiful behavior, it will A) only enhance the outward beauty and B) very often it will completely take the focus off the outward, because people will see your heart FIRST.
My beauty comes from the God... that made me... a woman redeemed!!
Peace and Blessings
I swear I was born a worrier.
As a little girl I worried endlessly about anything and everything I can think of! I recall having stomach aches frequently and that burning, churning pain in the pit of my stomach. As a kid, you really do not understand WHY you worry, and you surely do not have the capacity to understand that you don't HAVE to worry.
Worrying... just became normal to me.
However normal it may have seemed, it was far from healthy and never proved productive. Constant worry/ anxiety can be unbearable and will send you running for the quickest form of relief. Often, that relief can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, which lead to bigger problems! For me, it lead to a four year battle with Anorexia. Anorexia became my source of control and order. I took my focus off of everything else and gave me a false sense of relief as I felt I was able to control SOMETHING in my life! The more control I had over my eating and exercise regiment the better I felt. The painful cries of hunger that growled within my stomach were a sign of beautiful victory to me!
You can clearly see my point, regarding unhealthy coping mechanisms!
As an adult my worrying got better, but was still a thorn in my side! I believe part of the reason it got better was as an adult, I had more control over my environment and circumstances. I could make choices for myself and remove myself from stressful situations, where as a child, you rarely have that option. You are kind of like a sitting, cement, duck!
When Christ found me.... I found an entirely new outlook on worry and fear! He revealed to me these emotions were NOT from Him, but 100% devil sent! In Christ, there is no reason to worry, as He is now our life guide. He has our best interest at heart and has a beautiful plan for our lives, that often may include some struggles, but those struggles have purpose!
Yet, even with this knowledge, I still fall into the pit of worry, fear and anxiety! Here are the most powerful tools God has given me to FIGHT and STAND against this evil tactic of the enemy....
1. PUT THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE! This one is huge!! As I think back to all of the things I have wasted precious time worrying about, I can honestly tell you a vast majority of them NEVER came to pass. Think about it. Ponder all of the things, issues or situations you have attempted to control by worrying and the issue never became an issue! I can tell you with great confidence that this will more than likely continue to be the case for the list of things satan will give you to worry about! What if's almost always turn out to be.... wins!
2. PLACE YOUR WORRY IN THE HANDS OF GOD! Easy right? No, this takes time to learn how to accomplish, nevertheless, it is totally attainable! I am living proof! God gave me this scripture to ponder years ago in my season of endless worry and anxiety... "Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3 When worry comes knocking on my heart, I meditate on this scripture over and over and over again. God's got my back! Always.
3. BELIEVING THAT EVEN IF MY WORST FEARS CAME TRUE..... GOD HAS A PLAN AND BETTER YET... HE IS USING YOU! He does. No matter what it is, how badly it hurts, He has a plan and a purpose! A mighty one at that. You are just an instrument He uses to accomplish His greater will on this earth. Allow Him to use you as He desires and reap the blessings that you never though possible, through the struggles you only believed would sink you.
4. TAKE THE FOCUS OFF OF YOU! This one is 100% full proof in my book! Stop obsessing over your own life and place your focus on someone else's or another situation in which God could use you! When I have woke up in the morning with anxiety and worry plaguing my heart, but rather than wallow in that, asked God, who can I serve today? Who needs a phone call, kind note, some cookies, a break from their children, whatever it may be, I find a peace that surpasses all understanding. God designed our hearts to find the most joy, the most peace, the most fulfillment through serving others by serving Him.
"The Greatest Joy... Comes From Hands.... Immersed in the Work of God."
5. UNDERSTAND THE REALIZATION THAT THIS WORRY/ FEAR IS SATANS WAY OF STEALING PRECIOUS YEARS OF YOUR LIFE! It is. He wants pain, heartache and unbearable fear and worry to wipe you out to the point you are not able to lift a finger to serve the God that can heal you. If your focus is solely on the doom that surely awaits you, your energy is spent! I know, I have been there. During these past years of struggle in our home I have experienced more anxiety than I can ever remember. Literal shaking, could't eat, couldn't be still, yet didn't want to move. What I learned was priceless..... no matter WHAT Is happening around me.... I can choose joy. It ain't easy folks! But with persistence and an absolute REFUSAL to stay stuck in Satan's trap, I have learned to allow the fear to come but then quickly resolve to kick it to the curb and press on toward God's goal for me... which has NO fear involved!
Fear is a lie.... that holds you prisoner in your own body!
You CAN combat it! You WILL combat it. God. Never. Fails!!!!!
My fear, though may surface, has been replaced with a peace that only comes through placing my trust in the One who has my life mapped out to the tiniest detail Because of His faithfulness... I am a woman... redeemed.
Peace and Blessings
Friends.... I CANNOT stress to you enough the point God has lead me to share with you today.
IT. IS. LIFE. CHANGING!!!!
It is not simple. There is a process that takes place in your heart that allows you to master this. Even then, you may still have slip ups where you return to your default, programmed reactions. BUT God, is faithful in pulling you back, when you seek Him with all of your heart.
What am I talking about?
Yes,The immediate, default, often hasty reactions we have to outside circumstances or happenings in our life.
You may be one of the rare few that have always been slow to react, quick to process and pray and think through the event before reacting to it. If that is you... you are very blessed.
Most of us are very quick to react and respond and more often than not, it is to our demise.
The desire to quickly respond, whether it be out of retaliation or the anxiety you feel when you have "unfinished" business, will often lead to massive problems and a bigger mountain to conquer.
I have learned this first hand. Everything God leads me to speak about on this blog, are things I personally have experienced. I do not share anything out of naivety.
Recently, I shared the storm that Garrick and I have been facing the last six years. I cannot tell you how many times my quick and thoughtless reactions along with my desire to retaliate took the already horrible situation and made it devastating... to myself... to my husband... and worst of all... to my children.
Oh believe me... I am not saying there were not times I felt my reactions were completely justified, however, they did 100 times more damage than good.
They may have felt "good and right" in the moment... but later.... they felt very ugly.
Our God, is a God of peace, patience and though He is very righteous and just, He is also very loving.
There were SOOO many times that out of anger, hurt and deep frustration I pondered ending my marriage. And there were times I felt I really meant it, yet there were times I said it out of retaliation and a desire to hurt my spouse.
If I had chosen to leave my marriage....
I would have turned a mess... into a disaster!!
THIS, is why it is SO incredibly imperative that we learn to pause.... be still.
"He says, 'Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
Stop. Don't immediately react. PRAY! Walk away. Take a walk. Call someone. Take a million deep breaths. Run to a room and cry! GO running! ( I have done this!) Close your eyes and go to your happy place. (I have done this... it is usually always memories of of being at my grandparents home!)
Be still. And KNOW that He is God.
My quick and thoughtless reactions can only make things more unbearable for everyone involved.
This is why Jesus tells us if someone slaps you on the cheek, turn to him the other. He does not say this for you to become a door mat or a human punching bag. I believe He is saying this as a warning NOT to respond in retaliation.
Almost 100% of the time, when I refuse to react quickly to something and instead choose to walk away or take time to process with God, my desire to retaliate diminishes completely. He is able to fill my heart with peace, love and patience and remind me of the fallibility of all human, myself included.
What extinguishes a fire is not adding more fuel but covering it with living, refreshing water.
With God... you can be that water.
Your reaction to another person, even one that has hurt you, has the ability to change them in ways you may never be aware of.
Imagine in a fit of rage, you are yelling accusations and names at another person and instead of yelling back, they walk up to you, touch your shoulder and say..
"I don't want to fight with you, I know you are angry, I am sorry for what has happened, can we just calm down and work through this together?"
Or when you are angry with your spouse and you are crying and explaining to them why you feel hurt and instead of becoming defensive and possibly angry or nasty... they come to you and put their arms around you and tell you its going to be okay... they love you.
WOW! What do you think this could do?
I think.... it could change the world.
Today... choose not to react but process.
If you are faced with a difficult situation or person, be still.
Pray. Ask God for guidance. Nothing has to be resolved right that second.
Choose to turn your mess.... into a VICTORY!
God is so good at what He does..... Achieving victory... is effortless for Him.
He has made me... A Woman Redeemed.
Peace and Blessings
Today....if you read this message and truly apply it to your life.... it can change the world as you know it.
I would venture to say.... that most of the world is in bondage to this daily struggle. It is hard not to be. It this day in age, it often feels we are all swimming around in a fish bowl. Everyone has a judgement. Everyone has an opinion.
Here is the thing God wants you to take with you today....
Everyone may judge, everyone may have an opinion... BUT... EVERYONE... doesn't matter!
God asked me this question....
"WHY, WHY, WHY Missy.... do you place your worth in the hands of other fallible, sinful, imperfect humans..... rather than Me. Your Father, Your Creator, the One who knows you better than your best friend, the One who can make purpose out of any pain you experience, the One who loves you deeper than your own mother.... why."
The only answer I could give my Father, was because deep inside.... I feel if others don't like me... if others don't approve of me... if others think badly of me... talk badly of me....judge me... then, I am not okay. It tears at the core of who I am and I begin to identify with who they are accusing me of being.
This colossal mistake comes with many, many costs.
It steals your joy, your peace, your confidence and more importantly... is steals your purpose. You CANNOT live out God's purpose for your life... while living to please man. It can't happen.
I know for a fact I have made decisions and have done things that others may not approve of or understand and though I make mistakes, my heart is always focused on what God is calling me to do.
Sure, it has pushed me outside my comfort zone and has allowed me to do things that my flesh would have run from and others may not understand, but God's way... is the only way I will ever find peace in life.
I cannot waste my time worrying about what others think of me. If I know I am seeking after God's will for my life, then man can do nothing to me.
"The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid, What can man do to me?" Psalm 118:6
That is why I write this blog, that is why I can be open, honest and raw with my readers. At the end of the day, my Father has my back... always. I bury my head in His lap, feel His arms around me and THAT is my covering from a world that can be cruel and judgemental.
One of my biggest prayers is that I bring only peace and encouragement to others. After I have journey through the storm with Garrick, God has taken the desire to judge others from my heart. I have experienced first hand, that even people that love the Lord, will struggle, will sin, sometimes in ways we are baffled by, but in the end..... God is ALWAYS victorious if we cling to Him.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters. Colossians 3:23
Today, I pray you stop walking in the self defeat Satan wants you to stay stuck in. Though we should live trying to love and be kind to others... at the end of the day... it is not your spouses, children's, neighbors, bosses, friends or the guy who gave you the finger on the highways opinion that matters....
It is God's. Thank God... I am a woman redeemed!!
Peace and Blessings