Maybe God Had A Flat Tire

Today I’ve spent time thinking about what happens when the feelings fade. ¬†I know I’ve talked before about how feelings lie. ¬†That concept was brought to my attention several months ago and I never understood what was meant by it.

Let me try to clear that up (Just as much for myself as for anyone else who randomly stumbles onto this post):

Let’s say you have a friend. (Most of us have at least A friend we can use for this scenario, so it seems a safe bet.) Anyway, you and this friend decide to go to dinner. ¬†You sit down at the restaurant, you order drinks for the two of you and this friend never comes. ¬†10 minutes pass, 15 minutes pass, 20 freakin’ minutes. If you are a friend like I am a friend, you’ve started to get frustrated. You’ve done called them. MORE TIMES THAN YOU SHOULD ADMIT! ¬†You’ve gotten no answer. ¬†You’ve texted and not gotten a response. ¬†Now you’re starting to feel not just mad, but rejected. ¬†You’re starting to feel like perhaps they forgot about you. You wait 30 minutes and FINALLY that stinkin’ friend of yours walks into dinner, hands covered in black grease and sweat dripping off their brow. ¬†

A flat tire…. DANG GONE IT.

So, did the friend reject you? Did the friend forget about you? No. ¬†The friend had a dead cell phone (because isn’t that just classic when you’re going to have car trouble!!) and a flat tire.

The same thing happens in our spiritual walks. (I mean false feelings, although I am sure there is such a think as a spiritual flat tire.) ¬†God is always there. ALWAYS. ¬†There are specific times when God makes himself incredibly known. ¬†He needs you to feel his presence for specific reasons. ¬†Sometimes you’re going through a rough time. ¬†Sometimes you have a decision to make. ¬†Sometimes he knows you need to specifically FEEL his love. ¬†Other times, God is ever present, but we don’t necessarily FEEL things. ¬†That is where faith kicks in. ¬†I think those are specific moments where Christ is really asking us so step out in full faith and follow him not by sight.

He’s asking that we stop groping at the wall and using it as a “feel guide” through life. ¬†For some reason, that vision is really powerful to me. ¬†Rather than living a Christian walk where you are in the dark feeling your way cautiously down the hallway, dragging your feet on the ground to make sure you don’t trip over an unexpected bump, Jesus is begging that we grab his hand. ¬†Step into the light. ¬†And walk in faith.

That requires a lot. ¬†Sometimes that means abandoning some of the truths you’ve believed for WAY TOO LONG. ¬†It means embracing forgiveness and grace. ¬†It means being in a constant state of repentance and reconsideration. ¬†It means being in the word and taking in the things God wants to reveal to you.

Faith. 

Today I was reading Esther and a friend was talking to me about the Bible Study she is currently attending. ¬†They are studying¬†this chapter, and one of the things she’s learned is that this is the only book of the Bible where God is not specifically mentioned. ¬†However, that doesn’t me he isn’t present! The presence of God is all throughout Esther’s life and Mordecai’s (Esther’s cousin) as well. ¬†The importance of coincidences that are too big to be coincidences are ways that we know God is present. ¬†This is true in the book of Esther.

One significant part that stood out to me is that Mordecai (Esther’s cousin¬†who took her in as a child) was to be put to death by Haman, a royal official of King Xerxes. ¬†The NIGHT before Haman is going to hang Mordecai, Xerxes¬†couldn’t sleep. **This is where God starts to work. ¬†Sometimes it’s something as small as not being able to sleep.** Because he couldn’t sleep, he asked that the chronicles, which documented special events of his reign, be brought to him and read out loud. ¬†So, as Xerxes is suffering insomnia, he requests this book to be read (he could have chosen to do ANYTHING else with his time) and as the book is being read to him Mordecai’s name comes up. (You know, the same Mordecai that Haman wants to murder, yeah. Him.) Mordecai had earlier overheard a conversation between guards plotting the death of King Xerxes. ¬†He then sent word to Esther and Esther sent word to the king so that it would be avoided. ¬†This event was documented in the chronicles that are IN THAT MOMENT being read to Xerxes. ¬†Xerxes asks¬†if Mordecai has ever been thanked for his actions and the answer (OBVIOUSLY since Haman is trying to MURDER HIM!) is no. ¬†So!–Literally HOURS before he is to be hanged, Xerxes instructs Haman to show Mordecai the recognition he deserves for saving his life. ¬†(God’s irony is just so perfect sometimes. Literally the dude who was going to murder Mordecai now has to dress him in the best clothing and parade him around the city saying how awesome he is! HA!!)

Needless to say, Mordecai’s life is spared. ¬†The story get’s even better. Xerxes get’s mad he murders Haman and the Jews start kicking some serious butt. ¬†I would tell you the whole story, but maybe if I don’t, you’ll go get in the word yourself. ūüėČ

I specifically share this story to show you that even though the “high” of God’s AWESOME grace has worn off, He is still an awesome God. ¬†One that shows up and takes care of us through “coincidences” even when he is not specifically named. ¬†One that presents himself to us when we actively seek him. ¬†One that gives us gentle reminders as encouragement. ¬†One that is there whether we “feel” him or not.

Sometimes it’s helpful to pull back and see the coincidences in our lives that are more than coincidences.

Sometimes it’s helpful to remind yourself that feelings lie.

*shrugs* Maybe God had a flat tire and a dead cell phone.

He Calls Me Daughter!

This week has been the HARDEST and yet the most blessed week of my entire life. ¬†Have you ever wanted something so badly it physically pained you. ¬†You’ve longed for it. ¬†You’ve fantasized about it. ¬†You’ve spent time planning it. ¬†You’ve even gone as far as to “place an order” with God. (*I’ll take a Tall Dark and Handsome with a side order of kindness, a HUGE dollop of unconditional love and joy sprinkles on top. K thanks.*) ¬†Have you ever experienced a longing that deep?

I have.

Have you ever then decided that you could figure it out all on your own? ¬†You already KNOW what you want. ¬†You’ve only spent your entire life dreaming it all up, so why aren’t you qualified to do it all on your own?! ¬†You know why? ¬†Because this life simply isn’t about you.

**SLAP** (Yes. That was a slap from Jesus.) ¬†Jesus has slapped me in the face this week with that reality, but let me go back to the beginning. ¬†Jesus didn’t slap me at all. ¬†He so gently has guided and directed and whispered and begged for me to talk to him. ¬†God has given me scripture and peace and comfort. ¬†Jesus has met with me in my quiet place and shown me visions of his love. ¬†What I so desperately long for; He so desperately wants to give to me. ¬†When I am seeking him first. ¬†

The past couple of months I have been constantly reminded of the story of the woman in Luke chapter 8 who was very sick and bleeding constantly (12 YEARS of bleeding. ¬†Imagine having a period for 12 years straight. I don’t know if it was period bleeding,but seriously ladies..could you imagine bleeding for TWELVE YEARS?!) Anyway, she believed¬†that Jesus could heal her. ¬†She believed that just touching the bottom of his robe when he walked by would heal her. ¬†When she reached out and touched his robe, Jesus could have done so many things in that moment. ¬†He could have scorned her. ¬†He could have mocked her. ¬†He could have politely told her he was too busy. ¬†How many times in our own lives have we “gently” avoided someone in need because we were on our way to do something. ¬†Jesus was a busy man. ¬†He had an entire human race to save…it LITERALLY doesn’t get any busier than that! In that very second he was actually on his way to save a DEAD GIRL…and you know what Jesus did in those sweet, sweet moments?

DO. YOU. KNOW?!

He looked down at her and he called her “daughter”.

Let. That. Sink. In.

“Daughter”

¬†For me, this speaks to my entire core. ¬†To the deepest parts of my soul. ¬†I have a father who has so many worldly addictions that he has chosen over me time and time again. ¬†Wounds that literally cut to the bone. ¬†And here is a man who wasn’t like on his way to grab a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, but on his way to RAISE A GIRL FROM THE DEAD and he still, still took the time to heal her and call her daughter.

God has been so sweet to me. ¬†So sweet. ¬†Constantly I think I am able to do this thing called life on my own. ¬†I stumble. ¬†I fall. ¬†I make an idiot of myself. ¬†I hurt people around me. ¬†And Jesus shows me grace that I just plain don’t deserve.

The second story God has brought me to just this week is of another woman who is at the feet of Jesus.  She is a well known sinner in the town.  (Go Here to Read the Story) and she finds out that Jesus would be eating at a Pharisees  house.  This woman determines that she has to see Jesus and upon entering the house she falls at his feet, sobs and wets his feet with her tears, then dries them with her hair.  She then puts perfume on his feet.  The entire time these men at dinner are talking about her and scoffing.  Again, Jesus shows this woman compassion.  He sticks up for her against the other men in the room!  And you know what else? He gives her grace.  He forgives her sins.

Jesus has just constantly been reminding me that there is grace at his feet.  That when I humble myself not only is there HEALING, but there is forgiveness.  I cannot adequately convey the overwhelming feeling of unconditional love I have felt this week from a Jesus I thought I had known since I was a child.

So, you ask.  What does this have to do with my original question?

It’s this:

God knows the desires of my heart. ¬†He knows what I want. ¬†He knows what I desire. ¬†And as I have poured out to him this week, he has poured into me. ¬†As I have begged him this week for clarity, he has shown me grace and mercy. ¬†I go to him broken and he has healed me. ¬†I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus is going to give me the desires of my heart and it is because for the first time in my ENTIRE life, I am able to say I’m not afraid to let him have control.

SERIOUSLY I COULD JUST SCREAM HALLELUJAH!!

God knows what he is doing and my job in the meantime is to seek Him first. ¬†In seeking Him I am preparing myself to be the kind of woman who is suitable to be married. ¬†When I think I have it all figured out and attempt to do it on my own accord, I am a FRACTION of the Godly wife God wants to shape me into. ¬†My future husband deserves more than that from me. ¬†Beyond that, marriage isn’t about me anyway! ¬†It is literally a bonding of two people to be a light in the darkness! ¬†Marriage is supposed to represent the church. ¬†Marriage is about honor, and respect and love and (dare I go there) SERVICE to your spouse and more importantly…your GOD. ¬†Lord, forgive me for ever making it about me! ¬†This is so not about me.

This week, I have found comfort and grace.  I have found peace and love.

The following are specific words God gave to me as I was driving home from Graduate school tonight:

It’s not about me.
It’s all about you.
Why can’t I see it?
My days here are few.
Feelings are fragile.
Feelings will lie.
When I am weary,
The truth is my guide.
No longer a sinner,
but I am Christ’s Bride.

God knows my inner most desire.

And, guys:

He calls me DAUGHTER!! ‚̧

Go Now and Leave Your Life of Sin

Some scripture that is speaking pretty clearly to me tonight…

John 8:11–After the woman who was found guilty of committing adultery is brought before Jesus to be stoned.¬† He told them that whoever hadn’t sinned could throw the first stone.¬† Every last man disappeared.¬† Jesus asked her “Has no one condemned you?”¬† When she answers no, this is the sweetest response Jesus could have given.

He says to her, “Then neither do I condemn you.”¬† And then this–This spoke to my very core.

GO NOW AND LEAVE YOUR LIFE OF SIN. 

And that right there is how Jesus works.

Mark 7:6–When Jesus witnesses the Pharisees practicing in rituals before they eat he tells them that they are hypocrites.¬† “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.¬† They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”¬† It’s too easy to fall into this ritualistic behavior and then go into the world looking just like it.¬† I’m guilty.¬† I struggle.¬† There are times no one could tell me apart from anyone else.¬† This spoke to me.¬† I don’t ever want to be guilty of this scripture.¬† I don’t want my worship to be in vain.

Mark 5:34–There is a woman who had been bleeding for many many years.¬† She had spent all of her money and had seen several doctors without any relief.¬† She knew that if she just touched Jesus’ cloak she would be healed.¬† When she touched him and was healed, Jesus wanted to know who touched him.¬† The woman approached him afraid, but she told him everything.¬† His response to her, I can’t explain the feelings it gives me.¬† Mostly because he calls her daughter.¬† “Daughter, your faith has healed you.¬† Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

I have several prayers tonight.¬†¬† As I am sorting through all of the messages I received this weekend, I want to hear God’s voice.¬† I want to recognize him talking to me.¬† I also want to have faith that is strong enough that I can be freed from my suffering.¬† I want my faith to be strong enough that I can “Go and leave my life of sin”.

Overwhelmed

In a good way.¬† The past few weeks I’ve talked a lot about being overwhelmed in a bad way.¬† Life has a way of getting in the way of things, ya know?!¬† Well, this week I’ve been studying and praying a lot and I constantly am getting two reminders from the Lord.

1.) Cast ALL your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you

AND

2.) Rejoice!

This morning in church, the first song we sang was Rejoice by Dustin Kensrue. (Video!!)¬† It’s amazing how when God is speaking to you, He will constantly reiterate what He wants you to know.¬† This week God really wanted me to hear that He’s already got it under control.¬† He really wanted me to just rejoice in Him and enjoy everything that He is.¬† He is, He was, and He is to come.¬† Jesus is everlasting.

This morning as we were taking communion, I was rejoicing in the Lord.¬† Thanking Him for everything that He has done for me and continues to do.¬† Thanking him for the strength to face each day.¬† As I closed my eyes to pray, I began to see a vision of Jesus on the cross.¬† I was knelt before the cross and I was handing EVERYTHING over to him.¬† I should preface this by saying that for weeks now, as I’ve prayed I’ve been getting this constant vision of myself literally with both hands palm side up handing Jesus my mother.¬† I am on my knees, my head is bowed, my arms are stretched high above my head with my palms up giving her to Him to care for.¬† I’ve been putting her in Jesus’ capable hands over, and over, and over in my prayers.¬† So today as God was showing me another vision of handing her over, I was knelt before the cross as he’s nailed to it and I am handing EVERYTHING to him.¬† Not just my mom, not just my anxiety, not just my depression, but EVERYTHING.¬† My house, my schooling, my LIFE.¬† I left everything at the cross this morning and I heard scripture in my mind “Surely, He was the Son of God”.

SURELY HE IS THE SON OF GOD!!¬† SURELY!!¬† This morning, my circumstances haven’t changed.¬† It’s like I’ve said a million times, circumstances my not change, but your heart will!¬† And this morning…my heart is changed.¬† Surely, Jesus is the Son of God, and¬† It.¬† Is.¬† Finished.

Your sorrow, your pain, Jesus carried it up the hill.¬† So, rejoice in Him.¬† Be OVERWHELMED with his love and sacrifice for you.¬† He cries with you.¬† He sobs with you.¬† He’s suffered with you.¬† He died FOR you.

Be overwhelmed by him this morning.

I know I am.

Dear Friends, Rejoice

(The few, but the incredibly loved friends that follow along on here!!) REJOICE! When I started this blog it was not for this purpose.¬† I’ve talked about that before in another post.¬† I never thought I would come here exploding from the seams with the exciting things that God has put in my life.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written, friends.¬† It’s been a long time, because I’ve been incredibly busy, incredibly anxious, incredibly stressed, and incredibly strapped for time.¬† I have not stopped praising Jesus, though!¬† I want you to know that! I make it a point to start every day with scripture; however, that doesn’t always mean I have awesome days.¬† I’ll be honest. There have been a few ROUGH days the past couple of weeks. (Well the entire summer, which I’ve also mentioned before.)¬†

Here’s the difference though, when I first started this blog, I allowed my circumstances to control me and then I would get on here and say horrible things–some of it humorous, none of it beneficial.¬† But now, I have the love, the confidence, the strength, the comfort and the peace of my loving Lord Jesus Christ!! (can you tell I got a little excited there?! If you could have seen me typing you would have thought my keys were going to skid off my keyboard.) So, I have bad days and I have anxiety and then you know what I do?!

I PRAY. 

I constantly ask Jesus for guidance.  For comfort and peace.

Today church was AMAZING!¬† It was exactly what I needed to hear from God.¬† The first thing said today was from one of the worship leaders.¬† He welcomed everyone and then he said “This week, I’ve been really anxious.¬† I’ve been having a difficult time being content with the circumstances that I’m in and God has really been speaking to me through Philippians chapter 4.” And then he started to read:

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

WOAH!

Hey Jesus, I hear you loud and clear this mornin’!! Thanks for stoppin’ in to speak specifically to the depths of my soul.

I sang my heart out to Jesus today.  I poured my spirit out to him.  I repented for my grumpy spirit, for my confusion and my anxiety.  I praised God for who he is and for his love and his comfort.  I raised my hands high, I stretched them to Heaven praying I would feel his hands touch mine back.  I swayed back and forth and kept thanking Jesus for his power and his love.  In those moments, nothing mattered.

NOTHING MATTERED. Only Jesus.

Friends, my life is hectic.¬† I’m sure a couple of my 30 some followers can relate.¬† Maybe you have some stress.¬† Maybe you have some sorrow.¬† Maybe you are facing something that you JUST. DON’T. SEE. AN. END. TO.

I am too. I am too. And I want you to know something–God wants you to cast ALL your anxiety on him, for he cares for you. 1Peter 4:7

I want you to know something else.  I sat down this afternoon to do some reading and connecting with God.  I decided to start in Philippians, because I wanted to see what the music minister was all excited about. And let me tell YOU something! Before I even got to chapter 4, the Lord jumped out of that Bible and he hit me square in the forehead with just the right words I needed to hear.

Philippians 1:19- For I know that through your prayers
and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ
what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

What we are facing in this life.¬† The trials and the hurt and the pain and the suffering and the anxiety and the worry and the angst. IT WILL BE FOR OUR DELIVERANCE.¬† Our suffering will be rewarded 10 fold. (That’s in the Bible somewhere too. I can’t place exactly where at the moment.)

Before that specific verse Paul is talking and he is saying that “what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” (verse 12)

That is my prayer today. Everyday.¬† That even in these circumstances.¬† Even in this place in my life where things seem to have no end, no way out, no relief that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.¬† When people ask me how I’m making it, when people say “you are so strong”, when people compliment my actions, I want them to see that it’s not me who’s made it.¬† It’s Jesus living in me.

Friends, (my 30 glorious followers ūüėČ ) Just know. Please just know that the God of the universe loves you.¬† He sees the hurt and the sorrow.¬† He sees the circumstance.¬† And he IS the way out.¬† Your circumstances my not change for awhile, but your heart can change now.¬† Let what you’re going through be an advancement of the gospel.

…And Rejoice!…

Calm After the Storm..And Before the Next

Anyone who teaches knows the difficulties of the first day.  Establishing new routines, boundaries and classroom management can be enough to send some teachers running the other way!

Yesterday in the midst of the storm I was caught up in the EIGHTEEN four and five year old children scattered about–the shredded paper so neatly placed in the sensory table thrown up in the air as confetti, tutus, scarves and hats in various areas of the classroom.¬† My assistant teacher and I staring at each other with wide eyes.¬† To put it lightly, we weren’t quite as prepared as we thought.¬† Even the prettiest, well planned out lessons can go awry at the first site of sensory materials flying through the air.

AND HOLY CRAP was it a scene to be had yesterday morning.¬† Those kiddos were having the time of their lives!¬† Some grabbed play brooms from dramatic play and jumped in to “sweep the mess for you Miss Marti” while others giggled about the shredded paper in their hair.

This morning, I am regrouping, re-planning and thanking God that he is all knowing.  It is comforting to me that God is ALWAYS prepared.  He has the ultimate lesson plans and his never need revision.  God is never unprepared.  So this morning, I am going right to the source.  I am asking Jesus for mercy, strength, and intelligence.

I am also leaving my house this morning with this reminder

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Everything I do today is for the Lord.

Early Morning Scripture 9-15-14

John 15:13- Greater love has no one than his, that he lay down his life for his friends.

On this Monday morning, start your day and your week knowing that Jesus died for you.  He died for you and he calls you friend.  The creator of the universe calls you FRIEND!!

Let that sink in on a Monday morning!!

Can I get an AMEN?!