This is an account of my early morning walks of faith with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In searching for accountablity for me, the LORD used it as encouragement for others. I pray blessings for each and every life who reads HIS Daily Teachings
As I picked up my pen this morning and began to pour my heart out to HIM, I couldn't have imagined what HE had prepared for me today to experience. Even as I wrote LORD JESUS YOU have all my attention. I just want to be with YOU. Fill me with YOUR peace LORD, I need YOU always, I'm astonished in the way that HE has led me today. I am overwhelmed by HIS endless mercies, and relentless pursuit for me to experience HIS unfailing love. The weather here in Chicago is that of winter today. An ice storm to be exact, and to be honest when I looked outside and saw that it was snowing once again, I was overcome by sadness. Longing for new life, Spring, and to top it off it wasn't just snow, rather ice too. Almost two inches of ice on our cars to be exact. Enough ice for D to be questioning whether or not we should be driving on the roads, and that would mean missing church. Determined not to let even the weather keep me from hearing HIS word today, I chose to RISK it all for HIM. I knew I needed to be at church, but I didn't quite know why. Well I can tell you now that I'm home and have just finished 30 minutes of crying, I am so thankful that I decided HE was worth the RISK. As I made my way to my seat, I was stopped by several people hugging me, and letting me know that they were proud of me for sharing my story on Friday night. Humbled by what HE is doing in my life, I thanked them, and secretly just kept saying, "thank you JESUS." Finally I reached my seat, and no sooner was I seated, my dear soul sister J came to give me a hug, and congratulate me on my bravery. She too is on a journey of discovery her story as a part of HIS story. After another hug the band came onto the stage and began to play the first worship song. The second song we sang was of course "Cornerstone" and instead of tears, I was overcome by just emotion that made my knees weak, as gratefulness, and thankfulness poured out of my heart. The next song though... took my breath away, and opened the floodgates of complete awe. "Tremble" by Mosiac MSC leveled me. "JESUS JESUS YOU make the darkness tremble, JESUS JESUS YOU silence fear" I was lead back to the darkest moments of my life, and in remembering those moments the next part of the song made my tears fall like rain. "YOUR NAME IS A LIGHT that the shadows can't deny, YOUR NAME CANNOT BE OVERCOME. YOUR NAME IS ALIVE, FOREVER LIFTED HIGH, YOUR NAME CANNOT BE OVERCOME." I was crying so hard, I could hardly hold my arms up anymore, as I couldn't reach high enough in my PRAISE and thanks to HIM for all HE has done for me. Just to be in complete awe of all HE has done, is doing, and knowing, and expecting HIM to keep doing through me, in me, and for me, all for HIS purpose. It's all so overwhelming. The message at church today was the second of the series called "valleys." Today was focusing on our posture in the valley. How the apostle Paul shared about he celebrates in his weakness, for when he is weak that is when he is strong. Meaning that in his own weakness, he's in the perfect posture to receive GOD'S amazing grace, and through HIS grace he is given the LORDS strength. This for me is so very true, as I can tell you that even the simplest of tasks have become so tremendously difficult for me, as I have been so weakened in this valley that I am walking in. Ocean living completely obliterated all strength that I once had, and HE had to rebuild me, starting with teaching me how to breathe. In my darkest hours, I even forgot how to breathe, as the agony I was in took my breath away, and if let up to me I wouldn't have breathed again, as holding my hand on my son's chest to see if he was breathing was enough to make me want to die. The pain was unbearable, but HIS love was greater than the devastation, the agony that I was feeling, and in was in that moment that HE breathed into my lungs again, to help me cry out for help. I struggled to find my voice in those first few moments, so much that my children didn't really think anything was wrong, as my breath had been stolen out of me. HE gave me breath when the darkness surrounded me. HIS love OVERCAME the darkness, reached into me, and gave me the will to keep living. I was taken back to those moments this morning while singing this song. "JESUS JESUS YOU make the darkness TREMBLE," and I was so overcome with emotion in realizing just how far HE has brought me out of the darkness. Throughout the message I could feel HIM filling me with HIS BLESSED ASSURANCE that HE knows exactly where I am, and what I am struggling with. The fears that I have in my heart, that I'm even too afraid to admit to. One being, asking for a vision of my son in Heaven.... for a word of what life is like for him now. Without me even asking, or breathing a word, a desire, HE met me, and filled me with TRUE HOPE that HE is in the details of every single step I am taking. Today HE took me back to Seth's birthday, the day that we planned his celebration of life service, and we chose James 1:17 for the verse to celebrate Seth's life. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 In a conversation with a new sister in CHRIST JESUS S, and my dear soul sister V we were discussing Seth's headstone. Which I am in the process of designing with V, as her sweet family have graciously offered to purchase for us. Their family have overwhelmed us all with HIS unfailing love and support. Vwas the person chosen to walk with me through this next step in healing and recovery in visiting Seth's grave. She has a gift, HIS vision to SEE beauty in the eternal life that we can celebrate in cemeteries. Not only that, but she has been given the ability to speak of HIS overwhelming PEACE that meets us in the quiet and stillness of visiting our loved one's grave. Honestly at first I was totally freaked out about viewing Seth's grave, but overtime, I know that it has been through HIS amazing love that I too have been given the wisdom as to WHY Seth's grave needs a headstone. HE knows that my greatest fear is Seth being forgotten by this world. HE knows that it pains me to my core that Seth's name is rarely spoken, and for even the people who knew him, I fear that they too will forget him. HE is letting me know that just as I was chosen to be Seth's Mama in this life, I've also been entrusted to let his name be made known, his story be made known in this world. HE knows how much the darkness of sadness that keeps me from taking steps, and HE has ensured that I will know that I am never alone, HE is always with me, and HE has aligned all of the support, love, and help that I am needed to take each of these tremendously difficult steps in healing and recovery. Finally I was completely overwhelmed by HIS goodness and mercy as my new friend S gave me a prophetic word from her friend, (as she told her about me, my story, and my sweet Seth Daniel.) When I received her friends word for not only me, but for Seth too, I cried as hard as I did the day that I lost him.... the type of cry that you feel the end of yourself. You feel as though you may break in half. The only difference today was a healing cry, a cry of relief, as HE has stepped into the darkness that has kept me locked in fear, and has made that darkness tremble. "Seth, one that sees me as I truly am all truth and all love has been revealed to him. HE walks in the garden of my love and my grace where all things contain the light of his God and his King. I say all the beauty and splendor of his God and his King for behold I make all things new and all that resides deep in his heart now belong to the Father of Lights I say. And I say he is full of all I am yes, my child all." This all leaves me feeling, and knowing that HE truly is in all the details. HE knew we would choose the verse of James 1:17 and HE knew the prophetic word we would receive, and HE knew what that would mean for me. HE knew that ONLY in HIS timing, even though I "thought" I was ready before now, HE knew better for me. HE met me right where I was today, in ALL of HIS SPLENDOR, GLORY, and GRACE, and let me know that HE was then, and still is now, "JESUS JESUS YOU MAKE THE DARKNESS TREMBLE." My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, dear ones, I pray for your hearts in this very moment that JESUS JESUS is with you always. That the fear that has gripped your heart, HE knows, HE cares, and HE is there ready to silence all of your fears. I pray my sweet friends that you will lean in, press in, and allow HIM to lead you in whatever valley you have found yourself in. I pray that if you too are in the ocean of sorrow, cling to HIM dear one, HE'S got you, HE will hold you steadfast in HIS mighty hands. Always, with so much love, compassion, grace, and understanding, Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,
For the past fifteen years now I've struggled in this wilderness of life. A life that I knew would be better because I had JESUS, but a life that was so riddled with messes and darkness from my past. Behaviors, attitudes, habits all that needed to be changed, removed, or broken from deep within. Transformation that began fifteen years ago when I said YES to HIM to teach, lead, and guide me. Even long before I even truly understood what I was saying YES to, HE had already begun working things out for my good. "And we know that in all things God worksforthegood of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 My first test came within six months of giving my life over to HIM, surrendering all of me or so I thought. I will never forget where I was on that day, the restless feeling I got on that day, and how I knew that something was taking place deep within me, and even though I knew it was coming, nothing could have prepared me for what lied ahead. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 My third daughter was just four months old at the time, and my two oldest were just four and five years old. I was a mama to three precious little girls, and in my mind I was doing everything I could to be the mama that they needed. I will never forget that afternoon when the volcano of emotions erupted out of me, and my oldest daughter on the phone with her daddy thinking surely her mommy was dying. To be honest in that moment I had never felt more alive, as all that I had kept hidden for so long was finally being brought out into HIS light. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 A journey of little me began, as HE made sure that the right people were within my path, for me to receive the help, care, and much needed support I would be needing to overcome that first stage of my past. For nine months I met with my therapist twice a week working through the scars of the physical, and sexual abuse that was inflicted upon me. For nine months I relived what had happened to me, each time going further into the pain, to understand the "why" and "how" this could have happened to me. When it was over, I was free from the physical, and sexual trauma of what had happened to me. I was flashback, and nightmare free for the first time in my life. I had been set free from the fear of being alone, and leaving my house. I was free in a way that I thought would have never been possible. "Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” John 19:26 Two years later I began the next phase of little me. I was drowning in the bitterness of my past, the anger, the hurt that I couldn't move past my past. So much that I avoided people, places, and little did I know that the bitterness was buried deep within my soul. I remember where I was when HE spoke straight to my heart about forgiving my step-grandfather who inflicted so much of my pain. I was angry that HE was asking me to forgive because in my mind it felt as though I was saying that what happened to me was okay. However, HE had already healed me from the physical, and sexual trauma so I knew I could TRUST HIM. With that I began a six year journey of forgiving each person from my past that inflicted immense pain on me. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 On the final day of forgiveness I had been battling HIM asking me to forgive my birth mother for all the pain that she put me and my brother through. I was angry that I was always being asked to forgive people without receiving an apology from them. However on that final day of forgiveness I felt led to write her a letter, and pour my heart out into it. Not only that I posted on the blog about how love is forgiving. That morning after I posted it, I told HIM I was all in no matter what. Feeling completely elated I told D what I had done, and how I finally felt free of my past. I can now look back on that final day and know that I was on the mountain top with HIM, fully living in HIS presence, completely oblivious as to what was about to happen next in my life. That afternoon at 4pm I fell from the mountain top into the darkest abyss of overwhelming agony, sorrow, and unbearable pain. Not even realizing until this past week that HE was there, and as I plunged so violently into the abyss HE caught me in HIS mighty embrace. HIS loving message to me this past week was, "remember when I caught you, I'M with you, I'm always with you." "So do not fear,for I am with you;do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 "TheLordis closeto the brokenheartedand saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 "He heals the brokenheartedand binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 After three years of living in the ocean of deep, immense sorrow, HE gave me the strength to make it to shore, and thus began the next phase of little me. In February I attended a women's conference at my church. When I arrived I was drenched in tears, and I was weary. I was weary from crying, for being stuck and not knowing what my next steps were to be. I was angry that I was stuck, crying, and weary, but most of all I was restless. I was restless as I knew that HE was working in me for a purpose, but I just couldn't figure out what that was to be. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 As we began to worship that night the band started to play "Cornerstone," and the floodgates opened, and I found myself sitting in the truck like I did that first night without Seth. After the conference ended I made my way out to meet the speaker. I was crying as I spoke, she hugged me, and then took my hands and shook them and said, "I'm going to tell you something, and I need you to listen to me. The HOLY SPIRIT is telling me this right now, and well girl, it's time to take your life back." Immediately I was like, "YEAH, take my life back, I'm going to do just that." Then it hit me, how do I do that? I went home that night knowing that HE was working in me, and something BIG was coming, and so that was enough to get me to go back to the second day of the conference. The next speaker shared from her heart her experience in letting JESUS write "a new narrative" for your life. I knew I needed that as I had been stuck my whole life, constantly struggling to get past my past.. I didn't know how HE would do that, but it was then that I now know that HE captured my heart once again. "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 The final speaker's message was "don't get lost in your own pit of despair." I cried the entire time as I knew this message was sent straight from heaven for me from my ABBA. Driving home that afternoon I cried, I didn't know what to do, or how to do it, all I knew was I needed to TRUST HIM that HE would work it all out for my good. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 "Trust in theLordwith all your heartand lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6 In taking the steps that were impressed upon me I started therapy, and on my first day there my therapist gave me what I can now say as a life giving book. "Unashamed" by Christine Caine has brought out HIS truth for my life, in shining HIS light in the darkness of my heart of the lies of shame that have kept me shackled my entire life. Little did I know that when I began reading the book phase 3 of little me was about to begin. For the past two weeks I've dove into the book each morning as HE has taking me on a journey back to when.... and has led me to where I now I am. HE has instilled in me HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE the TRUTH of WHO I am, because I am really starting to understand WHOSE I am, and what that means for me. HIS light is shining deep into my soul, revealing to me all the lies that have been whispered into my soul for so long. "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 This past week I came to the point where she talks about "the gate," and like Christine Caine, I realized that I too had become paralyzed by the gate of relational shame. The feelings of unwanted, abandoned, less than, not good enough, unworthy, worthless, unloved.... all lies breathed into my soul. Attitudes of it will never get better, I can never move past my past, and I'll never truly be free, it's just who I am. ALL LIES.... ALL revealed by HIS amazing grace in taking me back to when, and leading me to where I am now. All designed for me to prepare me for one of the greatest moments of my life. Last night onstage at my church in front of a room full of my soul-sisters for the first time I shared my story. For the first time I shared my story in a way that didn't feel like my story, rather HIS story. HIS amazing story that I got to live, to experience of how DEEP HIS love is for HIS child. HIS love that leveled mountains, dove into the deepest pits, and emptied oceans to reach HIS beloved child. HIS story of Redemption, unconditional love, amazing grace, overwhelming peace, and relentless pursuit of HIS child to know HIM, to rescue HIS child HIS ROYAL TREASURE. In being able to share my story, HE has moved me through the gate of relational shame, and has brought me to the other side where I can truly experience and live out HIS TRUE FREEDOM all because of what JESUS did for me, and WHO HE is for me. In sharing my story, I am finding me, the TRUE Authentic me, and I can finally say that I am moving past my past. One final thought is going into HIS word and reading about lepers that took a chance, risked it all to go through the gate, they knew if they stayed the would surely die, and if they moved they might die..... so they risked it all, and HE was there, ready for them to receive HIS overwhelming blessings of everything they had needed. If I have learned anything like the lepers, I have decided that HE is indeed worth the risk! I am so thankful, and relived to be past the past. "Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die?4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there,6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!”7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
9 Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.”11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.
12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”
13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”
14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.”15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king.16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the Lord had said.
17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house.18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”
19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!”20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died. 2 Kings 7:3-20
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, oh dear ones how I pray for the lies of shame that have been whispered into your soul to be removed in JESUS HOLY and MIGHTY name. I pray that you too will be given the strength to endure that pain of moving forward. I pray that you will know that often times the pain of moving forward is so much more than the pain that was originally inflicted upon you. I pray that when the pain is felt, I pray you will know HE is with you, and that you will choose to TRUST HIM, that you will lean into HIM, press into HIM, and choose to RISK it ALL for HIM, HE'S worth it! I pray that today begins your journey of healing, and being able to move past your past. Always dear ones, in so much love, compassion, grace, and understanding, Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS, ~ Heather
I'm currently walking in a valley, living in a valley where HE is asking me to TRUST HIM again. TRUST HIM to lead me to TRUST in HIM that is without borders, and I so desperately want to TRUST HIM with my whole heart, yet I am afraid. I am struggling, as in my mind, I know that HE is trustworthy, but my heart has been ravaged by everything that has happened to me in my lifetime. Before I even got to church this morning, I was already crying, tears were pouring from my eyes, as feelings of inadequacies, and unworthy of anyone ever admitting to how they have treated me, and how badly its affected me. Feelings of tired, and weariness, my heart being put through the wringer is not something that I want to endure anymore. As I sank further in my seat in tears, anger, and stubbornness HE reached out to me in the form of my pastor who stood next to me and leaned into hug me. I couldn't even look at him, as I was embarrassed as once again here I am sitting in church coming completely undone. He squeezed my shoulders and let me know that he loves me as my pastor and my friend. Truly he does love me, as does his wife, as they have been there for D and I throughout the past 3.5 years of struggling to cope with the loss of Seth. They were both there on the day that we had to plan Seth's celebration of life, choosing his casket, and signing the papers for the medical examiners office to release Seth's body to the funeral home. They were there in the first moments where D and I were able to view our precious little boys earthly body. As the unimaginable began to sink in fully that was truly our living nightmare. Our friends, and pastors were there for us. Each week that I find myself making my way to that same seat in church sitting right behind where I sat the day we said goodbye to Seth, I am struck with a desperate plea from my aching heart. LORD please heal me, please don't let me cry, and please LORD don't let me come undone. Week after week though I find myself falling harder into HIS grace, burying my face as the pain is still as real as it was the day my world shattered. I struggle to TRUST HIM with my life, well I should say I struggle to TRUST HIM with new things, new aspects of my life. For the past week HE has been working in me and through me, bringing me back to the little in me, and has been letting me know that what I have been so restless in needing healing for, has been allowing HIM to teach, lead, and guide me to know HIM deeper, and for me to open up again. This concept scares the hell out of me, as the last time I opened up..... the last time I went all in.... the biggest test of my faith followed.... a test that I almost didn't pass, or even survive for that matter. I've struggled with putting into words how much I've loved SEEING and experiencing ALL HE has done, and is doing in my life, but in the need to be transparent, I want it to be made known just how much the thought of getting through this next test.... though I know HIS glory will be made known through me, I am afraid of what the next test will be. I am currently walking through a valley with HIM asking me to open up again and allow HIM to SHINE HIS LIGHT on all the lies of shame that have been whispered to my soul. I am struggling to grasp just how deeply buried those lies of shame live within me. Shame has taken deep root in my heart, and have shaped and molded me to see myself as the world has taught me, and HE is letting me know that now is the time in my journey with HIM towards wholeness to understand that I am HIS. HE is wanting me to SEE myself as HE SEES me. HE has called upon me to begin to share my story, my heart with others in a public setting. This is scary to me, as so often I feel ill-equipped to share my story, as I am still struggling so much with TRUSTING HIM. It's not that I don't believe HE is faithful, as HE has proven HIMSELF so many times to me. It's not that I don't SEE HIM as merciful, because HE is, and has been through each test, trial and storm in my life. It's not that I don't feel HIS light shining in me and through me for HIS glory, as I know it is indeed. It's not that I don't believe that HE is doing a good work through me and in me, and will continue to do so until I'm either called home, or JESUS returns. I know HE'S working in me and through me because HE deeply loves and cares for me. I believe, know and TRUST that HE is my SAVIOR and HE has rescued me more times than I can count, and has REDEEMED me from the pain of my past before, and HE will do it again. In know all of this, the one thing remains, I can't seem to get it from my head into my heart how HE SEES me. How HE feels about me. I am struggling with not proclaiming my identity in HIM, and that is because of everything that has been said, and done to me repeatedly in my life. After suffering for many years from physical, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse and soul changing manipulation I fall prey to the broken record that plays deep within my wounded heart. HE has begun to call out the lies, and is letting me know that WHO I am today, is NOT who the world has taught me. HE is wanting me to know and SEE myself as so much more. HE let me know today that when I tell my story, HE'S wanting me to know and convey to those I am sharing my story with that there is so much more to me than being a survivor of abuse, and child loss. HE is wanting me to share beautiful story of moving mountains to rescue HIS beloved. HIS words, not mine, and even as I type beloved, my breath is caught in my throat. Beloved, chosen, wanted, cherished, worthy.... all that HE wants to get from my head, and planted so deeply and firmly within my heart, so that I will be able to do the things that of which HE has called me, prepared me, created me on purpose to do, ALL for HIS glory. Earlier this week my soul sister M shared a song by Hillsong Worship called "Touch of Heaven" I purposely avoided listening to it, as Heaven is what I long for, and when I am drowning in pain, HEAVEN is where I long to be, and the thought of opening myself up to worshiping is sure to bring on the water works. Well this afternoon HE placed it on my heart to listen to the song, and just as I had already suspected, all it took was to get to the chorus, and I found myself come completely undone. "All I want is to live within your love, be undone by who you are, my desire is to know you deeper. LORD I will open up again, throw my fears into the wind, I am desperate for a touch of heaven." "LORD, how I long to know YOU deeper, to TRUST YOU, to throw my fear into the wind, to be able to open up again. LORD please help me to overcome my unbelief that keeps me trapped from falling into YOUR amazing grace. ~ Amen" your faithful follower ~ your daughter ~ ~ Heather
My selfish human nature tells me on a daily basis that life shouldn't be this hard. I shouldn't have to try so hard just to be merely surviving each day that I am given. I shouldn't have to cry, to hurt, to struggle, just to live. I shouldn't have to put much effort into what it is that I truly want in my life, and that for me is happiness. My selfish human nature is so full of lies of this world that keep me bound up, tied up, and keep me from truly living the way HE has created me to live. This morning HE has taken me deep into HIS word in Psalm 23 and shown me WHO HE is, what this means for my life. HE has revealed to me that it is in the valley that HE is able to do HE greatest work within me. HE is leading me to HIS truth of why so much valley living is a part of my life, and what it is that I rarely get to stand on the mountains, and how I usually only SEE glimpses of mountain views. Today HE has met me in my weariness of my life's circumstances, and has given me the much needed respite I've needed to catch my breath, replenish my soul, so that I may continue to press on, press through and allow HIM to grow me through what it is that I am going through. Yesterday my thirteen year old daughter and I met with the creative arts director at our church as she is being baptized on Easter. It was exactly one month ago today that I prayed for HIM to show up in each of my children's lives, to capture their hearts, and overwhelm them with an amazing JESUS encounter. Two short days later HE would do just that with my daughter B. This past month hearing her share whats on her heart, what her encounter was like with HIM, and what led her to choosing to follow HIM for all the days of her life. To be a apart of her story is humbling, overwhelming, and leaves me with pure elation and JOY. She like me has begun to keep a written record of her daily walks with HIM in her own personal blog. I am honored to be her mentor, and even more to be her Mama. So while we were at church, our pastor stopped by to talk with us, and shared what April's messages will be about, and that is "why do we spend more time living in the valley's then we do on the mountains?" I left yesterday asking that question over and over again, and the first clue I got to HIS answer was in a gift that B purchased for me after we left church. We were in Target dollar spot and I came across a rock that says, "Grow through what you go through." At first glance I thought it was truly inspiring but honestly had no idea that HE would use that pretty rock to speak VOLUMES to my heart this morning. Just looking back on this post, I realize that I have already begun to realize the concept before HE even brought me to the revelation of what this means for me when I find myself living in the valley. Even after filling pages in my journal about what HE has been telling me, I'm just starting to realize what is is that HE is wanting me to understand about valley living. HE is telling me that it is in the valley that HE does HIS greatest work in me and through me. It is in the valley that HE refines, renews, restores, transforms, and rebuilds all of WHO I am , because it is in the valley that I truly begin to SEE and to experience WHOSE I am. HE is wanting me to know that when I find myself enduring valley living it is because HE has brought me there for HIS purpose, and each time I find myself there, all I have to do is SEEK HIM and HE will meet me right where I am. HE is telling me that each time I choose to SEEK HIM and HIS will and HIS ways for my life that is when HIS light SHINES on me, in me, and through me for other's to SEE. HE is wanting me to understand that if I was always living with mountain views or actually living on the mountain would only cause me to forget WHO HE is, and what HE has done in my life. I know this because the further I get away from living in sorrow, the more I forget the process that it took for HIM to grow me from living in sorrow, to living with moments of sorrow. Daily I am finding myself praying that I NEVER forget the process, all the renewing, refining, restoring, transforming, and rebuilding that it took to bring me this far. I am learning that in order to truly be honoring in my grief, and helping other's learn to cope with theirs, I must truly understand that it is only by allowing myself to continue to be lead through the valley of grief. So often I become so weary, and angry that I am weary by the grief that I live with, however the more I seek HIM and HIS word, the more HE fills me with HIS BLESSED ASSURANCE that this is all for HIS purpose, and shows me just how much HE loves me that HE has created purpose in my pain. That losing my son isn't the end of my life. I am overwhelmed by HIS word this morning that teaches me that HE is my Shepherd, WHO teaches, leads, and guides me. WHO allows me to rest, for the much needed respite from my grief. WHO teaches and shows me daily WHO HE is in my life. WHO is leading me, and teaching me to LIVE fiercely with FEARLESS FAITH because HE has already walked through my life before me, and has paved the way in which I am to walk. Even through fear, sorrow, sadness, and loss HE is there, leading and showing me the way. HE is proving to me time and again that HE is indeed the GOD of ALL comfort, WHO comforts me, so that I will be of comfort for someone else. I know this because I have lived this, experienced this, and it is the ONLY reason that I am still living today. Today I am finding myself so incredibly thankful and grateful for my experiences of living in the valley. As it has modeled and shown my children that they too can survive valley living with HIM as ANYTHING and ALL things are possible with HIM, not because of anything we can do, but BECAUSE HE IS. Today I am overwhelmed by HIS relentless pursuit of my heart for me to fully grasp WHO HE is in my life, what that means for me, and for HIS promises to be fully experienced by me that HE is WHO HE says HE is, and HE DOES what HE says HE WILL do!!! I am so undeservedly thankful that HE has written such a beautiful story for me to live out one that is all about TRIUMPH over tragedy that leaves a legacy of Faith teaching my children, and future children that when your whole world washes out to sea, HE is the ROCK that won't move, HE is CHRIST ALONE CORNERSTONE and when you cling to HIM, HE WILL hold you close, HE will catch every single one of your tears, and when you are ready HE will bind up your wounds, and teach you how to LIVE again. HE is our CHAMPION HE IS ALIVE in each of us, and when we choose to TRUST HIM with our lives, HE WILL turn our mourning into dancing. I am so incredibly thankful to be living a life that SHINES HIS light in the valley that LIVES out HIS promises through mountain views that PROVE HIS HOPE that leads to Eternal Life. "TheLordis my shepherd,I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23
That legacy my friends, I pray that for each of you, Always with so much love, compassion, and understanding, Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS, ~ Heather
"Then the LORD said to him, "take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Acts 7:33
On February 24, 2018 I attended the second day of my church's women's conference. The speaker came on stage and I immediately noticed that she was barefoot. At first I thought she must have been wearing heels and her feet were hurting, but as she quickly acknowledge and addressed the reason as to why she was barefoot... nothing could have prepared my heart for the journey that I would embark upon with HIM starting in that very moment.
For the past almost month now I've been consumed by the JESUS encounter that has forever changed the narrative of my life. A new season of life, ready and willing to FIGHT to take back my life. I've listened to worship music non-stop, and have meditated on HIS words day and night. HIS words have been my food, and have quenched my insatiable thirst to know HIM, and for HIM to peel back more of the layers of all that is hidden deep within me.
This morning as I poured out my praises to HIM for all HE is doing currently in my life, I felt HIM lead me to open my bible, HIS LIVING WORD, and when I began to read, I was quickly captivated by what HIS word would be teaching me, and how it would continue in this current theme that HE has been working on me, in me, and through me. I was overcome with emotions of pure elation and JOY as I am realizing, and experiencing just how much HE loves me.
HIS loving reminder today to me is understanding the power of the message that is alive in me, and when I am brave enough, courageous enough to push through, press through the fear and allow HIS message to flow from my heart, where ever my feet are standing, that is holy ground. HE is taking me back to that Saturday when my sister in CHRIST JESUS stood on the very stage where I once stood to tell the story of my sons life, she stood, sharing HIS message of HOPE, which for me what the KEY to unlocking the prison of lies which had been keeping me from TRULY experiencing, and living TRUE FREEDOM from despair.
Even though I "thought" I understood what HE has been trying to teach me, pouring into me HIS word daily, I still didn't get it, and because of HIS relentless pursuit for me to know HIM, and fully experience WHO HE is, and WHOSE I am, HE is leading me back through what I've learned by impressing, planting deeply, and firmly in my heart HIS TRUTH, HIS WORD that I must remember as I begin to take the next steps in my life of being led to the stage to share HIS message of HOPE.
This morning HE has led me back to all HIS loving reminders for me to know HIM, to SEE all that HE is doing in my life. HE has taken me back to something my pastor shared, a song of worship, that has challenged me to really seek HIM to SEE WHO I am, because HE is wanting me to know that in order to take on, press through this next phase of my journey with HIM, I must understand WHO HE says I am.
"Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me I was lost but He brought me in Oh His love for me" Who YOU say I am" Hillsong Worship
Listening to the lyrics of this song has left me feeling overcome with so many emotions. Deeply thinking, searching, seeking what it means for the HIGHEST KING to welcome me. Questions began to flood my mind, would I welcome just anyone to my home? Would I judge them? Would I put stipulations on them being welcome? Would I expect anything in return? Is the invite conditional? Do I really care about people? Do I really just want to appear, like, "do good for daddy" approval seeking, people pleasing, what will others think, invitation out of fear, pressure to perform.... who am I? Do I have a welcoming spirit? Do I truly love people.... do I really grasp how HE loves every single person my eyes see? Do I realize that HE SEES beyond the defiance, and SEES HIS child's hurting heart?
"Who the Son sets free Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God Yes I am"
Do I realize what HE has done for me? Do I fully grasp what that means for me? Do I realize that I am a child of GOD? Do I realize that the guy who just cut me off in traffic is HIS child too? Do I stop to think about the people who are against me, hurt me, who refuse to apologize to me WHOSE they are? Do I put conditions on others being children of GOD? Do I put my human limitations on HIM? Do I speak freedom in CHRIST JESUS, or do I continue to take back the bondage's the lies that the enemy is using to trip me up? Do I SEE other's with HIS vision? Do I even SEEK HIM, to know, to SEE what HE is doing? Do I ask to be apart of it, or is something only worthy when there is something in it for me?
"Free at last
He has ransomed me His grace runs deep While I was a slave to sin Jesus died for me Yes He died for me"
Do I fully grasp that HE has ransomed me? Do I realize the ultimate gift I have received in the price that HE has paid for my ransom? Do I realize that I am not the only one? Do I compare my worthiness to others? Do I question whether my ransom was worth it? Do I realize that I am no longer a slave to sin? Do I realize that the same power that rose JESUS from the dead is alive in me, therefore breaks ALL chains, and strongholds of sin in me, through the power and Resurrection of JESUS CHRIST? Do I remember that HE died for me, so I don't have to suffer in this life, to never fully live according to HIS will for my life? Do I really stop and think about that HE is my SAVIOR? Do I still think I am on this journey all by myself?
"Who the Son sets free Oh is free indeed I’m a child of God Yes I am In my Father’s house There’s a place for me I’m a child of God Yes I am"
Do I realize that there is a place for me in HIS FATHER'S house? Do I realize that is my eternal home? Do I go through each day remembering that my address here on earth is only temporary? Do I live my life for people to SEE to know that my real home, my eternal home is in HEAVEN? Do I even realize what "there's a place for me means?" Do I understand that NOT by my own merit of anything I say or do is the reason WHY there's a place for me? Do I share this message with others, or am I focused solely on the surviving part of life that I don't share is message of TRUE FREEDOM? Do I share WHO HE IS, HIS unconditional love that has saved me, ransomed me, redeemed me, and is rebuilding me, renewing me, and refining me? Do I really believe that? Do I really portray that in which the way I choose to live? Do I really model HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE in all ways of my life? If not..... why not?
"I am chosen
Not forsaken I am who You say I am You are for me Not against me I am who You say I am"
Chosen, never forsaken, I am HIS, I am HIS CHILD, I am CHOSEN, HE is for me, NEVER against me. I am WHO HE says I am. This is what HE is wanting me to understand as the power that in HIS message on which I am to share with, to tell the world WHO HE is, what HE has done. I am starting to grasp the power of HIS message that is alive in me, that I am being called to share. HIS message that has set me apart from this world, to speak, to know, to experience WHO HE is, and WHOSE I am. HE is letting me know that it is imperative that I fully grasp that, as when HE leads me to the masses to share, to open my heart for HIS HOLY SPIRIT to take over, to SHINE HIS light, to speak LIFE not death to the last, the least and the lost, that they will be broken, lost, and feeling hopeless. HE is letting me know that HE is building me strong to SPEAK HIS TRUTH to the weary and broken hearted. HE is wanting me to remember, to keep me close to the recovery, the healing, the process of what it has taken to bring me this far. HE is telling me that in order to remain close to the process, I must SEEK HIM daily and allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through each and every single step I am taking.
Now more than ever I am beginning to understand HIS TRUE PURPOSE for my life. I am able to look back on all that I have been through, and smile, full of gratitude that even though I wouldn't have chosen what has happened, I am grateful that HIS love could SEE farther than I ever could, and in HIS timing HE has led me back to my feet, stronger, more aware, my feet planted firmly on HOLY GROUND, and my heart so incredibly full of HEAVEN.
"Like it's the air I'm breathing I want Your presence Feet on the Earth Heart full of Heaven" Zeal by The Belonging Co.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, it is my fervent prayer that in sharing my heart, is not to make you feel bad about who you think you are, rather to encourage you to SEEK HIM who is full of grace without condemnation. Friends I pray that you too will be your journey with HIM, to reveal to you, for you to SEE to know WHOSE you are. I pray that today is the first step you will take with HIM leading you to speak from your heart on holy ground.
always, with so much love, compassion, and understanding, (as humanly possible)