Tag Archives: courage

Just Breathe and Believe

Don’t worry, if you’re worried, that this present issue you’re dealing with will kill you.  It wasn’t designed for your demise.  It was designed to prepare you for your destiny. That’s both good and bad!

The enemy through which this circumstance, place you’re in, or person you’re dealing with desires to make you miserable (if you’re a believer).  He doesn’t want you dead for many reasons, the most important of which is the fact he knows where you’re going and he can’t use you anymore once you’re physically present with Christ.  He knows how salvation works; I think he witnessed it while in heaven with God.  No friend, he doesn’t want you graveyard dead; he wants you spiritually dead.

The enemy wants you alive so he can rejoice in watching you suffer!  He wants you to feel everything thrown at you.  He wants you to focus on your broken heart, your shattered dreams and the depression and sadness you feel. He wants you to stay completely focused on yourself and how hard life is.  He loves that.

The enemy wants you to be so afraid of past disappointments, failures and rejection that you don’t dare venture out of your self-imposed prison to believe God.  He wants you to believe your doubt and past experiences more than you dare believe God.  He wants you to constantly recall the times you ventured out in 100% nothing but faith and things didn’t go like you planned.  He wants you to remember how crushed you were when even the things you did for God weren’t easy, in fact they were extremely difficult.  He’s aware that the seed of doubt was planted back then and he does everything in his power to see to it your doubt grows every time you even think about stepping out in faith.  You remember every single pain and disappointment of that time.  Some will never, because of the pain and devastation, take a step…let alone a leap…of faith, ever again.  That place of doubt becomes the cemetery where their faith is buried.

If you’re reading this, you’re not dead.  You reached for a smidgen of encouragement – a “mustard seed” of faith.  God allowed what happened to you, to happen.  He has his reasons, some of which may never be understood so maybe it’s time to quit trying to understand and just simply trust.  You’re not dead.  You’re still here and if you’ll just lift your head up, pour your heart out and believe that all things – all things work to the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, then He can heal and restore you.  It may not be easy and it may take some time, but if you’ll believe and stay with it, He will do things for you, in you and through you that will strengthen your heart, heal your mind and way of thinking and touch your weary and wounded soul.

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage and strength to believe after you’ve been hit hard but what do you have to lose?  Come on out to the Light.  Darkness doesn’t become you at all.  If all things aren’t possible for those who believe, He wouldn’t have said it.  Come on.  Believe one more time, then another and another.  Don’t let the enemy rob you of one more second.  Just breathe and believe.

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Keep Me In the Valley

I’ve often prayed for better times

And an ending to this pain.

I’ve begged the heavens to see the sun

In torrential rain.

I’ve walked through many a darkness

While crying out to see

Those were the times I can surely say

You were never closer to me.

Keep me in the valley, Lord

If that’s how I will know

More of Your personal love for me

And closer to You I grow.

You give me strength and courage

To do what I need to do;

You give me grace and a dose of faith

To put my trust in You.

When I think of stopping cold

You whisper in my ear,

Keep me in the valley, Lord

If that’s where You’re most near.

Keep me in the valley, Lord

If that’s how I will know

More of Your personal love for me

And closer to You I grow.

Tis the Season

Waiting.  Waiting. Hoping. Believing…yet doing nothing.  I know what I should do; I know what I want to do, but I don’t.  Not even the thing I most want to do.  I’m waiting for the weather, car to be fixed, to be more rested, for this to happen, that to happen. I’m looking to the sky (and everywhere else) to see a sign – I’m waiting for conditions to be perfect.  Guess what.  It hit me today that will never, ever be the case.

Pining, mourning the things that have happened; the decisions made and the decisions not made and the shame and embarrassment that goes along with all that.  Yes, I’ve been set free in many respects, see a lot of things in a different light, but I’ve allowed myself to be placed in a new cage.  I’m the jailer.  I have the key.

We’ve have ridden the spiritual high and expected it to last and never feel the things we’ve felt in the past…and when the feeling flees we believe the lie that we can’t so we don’t.  No more.

“In season and out of season” implies much, much more than what we see.  It means to love, to tell, to share what’s between us and God, thanks to Jesus, regardless.  Waiting for the perfect opportunity is a lie.  MAKE the opportunity.  Go get it.  Make your place.  Set the pace and keep going no matter how you feel.  Just. Do. It.

Today is the “season” – regardless of ANY circumstance – to do what you were made to do.  Regardless of how we feel, what we think, and what has happened, let’s just rejoice in the now and make the most of every opportunity.

Yes. Every Time.

Three times.  He asked Peter three times if he loved Him.  Three times.

How many times has He had to ask me? How many times has He spoken to “get me right”…to get to the core of me?  You?  How many times has He spoken to you?

You know, that whisper that silences everything else; that touch that stops you in your tracks; that cuts to the person you really are.  The voice that gets down to the truth of what is really going on.

When you hear it, you know that from that point on, you can’t be the same.  You know that conversation will change everything: the way you feel and think, how (if) you go forward from there…how you see things, how you respond.  Everything.  You know the significance of the question, and the response is critical.

This is no normal “do you love me”.  Peter had been with Jesus throughout His ministry years.  He had witnessed the power of the Messiah.  He thought he knew what it meant to “follow” Jesus.  He thought he loved him and was faithful and “sold out” – he even said he would kill or be killed for Him…then it happened.  He denied Him.  He followed at a distance and watched him be tortured and crucified. His Jesus – the one he had left his life for was dead.  Until that moment on the shoreline he thought it was over.

Then the questions.  “Do you love me?”  I suspect with every answer the realness of love became clearer.  The requirement of what it meant to say yes became deeper and deeper. With the third question, the deal was sealed and the proof is in the Bible.  This man, with his yes, was never the same and was completely devoted to Christ.

As hard as Peter’s life was – he was tortured, forsaken, probably hungry and without many times, imprisoned, chained up, beaten (on the list goes) he never wavered again.  His dedication and love for Jesus was undeniable.

I want a love like that.  I want to stand firm and follow Him regardless of the cost.  If my hands are empty and I have absolutely nothing material to prove He loves me, I pray I will still say yes.  If my life is hard and I’m destitute I still want to love Him.  I still want to lift my hands to praise Him. I pray I will.  Yes, Lord.  I love you.

The Answer is STILL Yes.

Yesterday I was going through my son’s medical documentation gathering what we’ll need for an upcoming reassessment. I had a good but painful dose of reality remembering what it was like right after he was born and as he has grown up. Even though I live with him daily and have written our story the details of that very dark and scary time had escaped me. I read through several assessments done on him through the years and needless to say, it hurt. I got sad, mad, and astounded when I read on paper what the teachers, counselors, doctors and other specialists said was going to happen while contrasting their words to what I have seen the past 31 years.

For a moment, I was crushed. I bought into what I saw on paper. To say the documentation filled me with despair is an understatement. I started feeling like I had done nothing right pertaining to decisions regarding him. I felt I had pushed too hard and had unrealistic expectations. Regret and sadness rushed over me like standing beneath a waterfall. I felt like a failure as a mother.

As I mulled over the documentation in my mind I considered how well Matt has done all these years and the contradiction was huge. The documents were accurate. Each assessment although years apart done at three different facilities were almost identical so I’m sure they were right. The person, however, and his life didn’t match the paper! After I got my emotions in check, I remembered one very important thing not included in the mounds of paperwork: THE GOD FACTOR!

As we walk our paths in life, so many things happen, good and bad. There’s so much tragedy and pain. We spend so much time trying to figure out why it happens, what could have been done differently and if that weren’t time-consuming enough, we try to undue it or pretend it never happened! It is what it is and no amount of want to can change it.

I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened to him had we not given our lives to Christ. The picture painted by EVERY doctor and every evaluator was a dismal one (and I have the paperwork to prove it). God really, really has been good to us.

I was confronted by a very big reality. It was bad and bleak; depressing and sad. But then I remembered the wonderful things – the seemingly impossible things I have seen through Matt’s life that just don’t line up with what’s on paper. I have “double vision” in a very real way. I have to deal with reality while remembering what I have physically seen.
I remembered Jeremiah 33:3 – if I call to God He will show me great and mighty things. He’s surely done that! Romans 8:28-all things work together for the good (all means ALL); the whole of my son’s life thus far displays God’s goodness and compassion for both of us and thus far, I have seen lots of God through what he’s gone through. I could go on and on but you get where I’m going with this.

I realized that like all that medical and psychological paperwork, the Bible is just words on a page to some but reality and truth to me and in both instances, I have to choose to believe and live according to it and like I believe it. Reading it can alter your life but living it changes everything starting with our perspective.

After all that reality on paper yesterday, I’ve determined that God’s yes is still yes. It is a stark contrast to reality but His promises are still true and not only that, He is true to His promises. All of them, regardless of what reality looks like. Do we dare have the courage to believe them – that’s the life-changing question.

After all we’ve been through I must say YES. The answer, after all this…or maybe because of all this is STILL yes. Lord I believe. I trust. I still say yes.