Saturday, March 17, 2018

holy ground....

"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)

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Monday, March 12, 2018

the wall.....

Lying face down on my bathroom floor, the text had been sent, my faith was hanging on by a thread... life was too hard.... it hurt way too much.... did anyone really care.... was HE really going to rescue me?  Where was GOD in all of this?  How is it that I survived all that I did, and now here I am drowning in overwhelming sorrow, pain, and tears?  Was HE really working things out for my good, because JESUS if YOU don't come soon, I'm done.... I'm giving up..... not on life.... but living.... I won't give up my life.... I won't take it.... I'm already dead inside..... I'm shattered... I've tried.... I'm trying desperately to hang on..... when LORD when will YOU rescue me?

The tile on my bathroom floor was cold as I felt the warm salty tears pooling around my face.  My makeup was running onto the floor, as I heard the soft buzzing of my phone.  A call that would come just in time.... the rescue that I had so desperately needed.  HIS promises, HIS love was proclaimed for me.... HE met me right where I was in my time of need.... HE stepped in through HIS living vessel my Sister in Christ N.  She boldly proclaimed HIS promises for my life, my families life, and listened as I poured my heart out to her.  She prayed a bold audacious prayer over me, for me, and it was then I felt HIS living water begin to fill within me.  HIS TRUTH, HIS PROMISE, HIS MERCY, HIS LOVE, HIS GRACE, and HIS overwhelming PEACE.  My GOD, My ABBA, My GOD of MIRACLES stepped in, broke through, and rescued me. 

I've already written a post about that breakthrough, but what I have to learn in my walk with HIM this morning is that the breakthrough wasn't really where the healing began.  What I didn't realize was that in order to rescue me that day, HE had to break through, and pull me through the wall.  The process of going through that hurt, and unbeknownst to me it would take more than me just surrendering to HIM to pull me through, I never stopped to think about the injuries that I incurred through HIS rescue.  

Today HE has taken me back and shown me what my injuries were, and what keeps me from truly healing, and all that is stepping up, and trying to block me from stepping, from walking from TRUSTING HIM with my life.  You see in my head I know WHO HE IS... I remember HE is the GOD of MIRACLES, but what I forget is though my FAITH is strong, my enemy works overtime to trip me up.  Without even realizing it, I allow my self to be fear led.  Without even realizing it, I put limits on HIM.  Without even realizing it..... I doubt..... and when I doubt.... the enemy remains my stronghold.

Thankfully because HE loves me so deeply, HE led me straight to HIS word this morning that ENDS that very thought.  "The LORD is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life -- whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1  Just when I need it, HE fills me with HIS word, to remind me, to lead me, to teach me, to guide me to SHINE HIS light on the lies of my enemy that have wreaked havoc, and have set up roadblocks to HIS TRUE HEALING.

Today HE is helping me realize that in tearing down the wall HE wants me to know that will require me to be broke open, so that HE can remove ALL that is NOT from HIM.  However since I have been so unfathomably hurt by this world, HE is letting me know that HE's not going to just remove everything all at once, as with each removal comes pain.... healing.... and leaves a scar. All of which  in my own human understanding I am not able to handle all of it at once.  

Today is another step in my journey of learning just how merciful HE is.  I know this because the agony I once lived through I no longer feel.  This I know is because HE is merciful, HE is faithful, and HE has healed me from my time of agony.  I realize this because though I can read my words from that time, I remember crying, and feeling so blown away I can't physically remember what it felt like, and to be honest I struggle to put into words how I felt.  For this I am so unbelievably, and undeservedly grateful.

For the second week in a row I am listening to GOD of Miracles on repeat.  Each day as the words play in my ears, the words sink even further into my heart, and HE takes me to a new level of what this song means for me.  HE is letting me know that the wall is only the beginning of the miracle, the break through that HE has planned for me.  HE is wanting me to understand that HE doesn't expect me to come to the other side of it healed and whole, as HE is always wanting me to understand what HE has done in me and through me, as its always the beginning of the next crucial step I am going to take.  

It is no surprise to me that in my humanness I want healing to just be easy.  After all living in pain, sorrow, agony, and suffering..... crying oceans of tears..... isn't that enough.... why does healing have to be painful as well?  As I think back to this last wall that HE pulled me through and is now tearing down, I am beginning to understand my frustration of what now?  I am understanding that even though I "think" I am ready, HE is letting me know I can't possibly be "ready" until I understand HIS good work that HE is doing in me and through me.  

HE is letting me know that just because I'm on the other side, doesn't mean that it won't still be hard.  HE is reminding me that being put through the fire to refine, renew, and restore me doesn't come without pain.  HE is wanting me to let go of the notion that HE does all things for my good to mean HE does ALL things for my life to be "easy."  HE is wanting me to know that HIS good for my life, is to make me more like HIM.  What????  This is a concept that I struggle with because in my own understanding I think, "LORD haven't I done enough?"  Then before I even finish that thought HE leads me to the next thing that needs to be worked in me and through me, so it can be taken out of me.  

Today during an argument with one of my children where words were said, feelings were leading, HE stepped in, and poured HIS loving reminder into me, that just as I have to be pulled through the wall so do my children, so does D, and so does everyone else in this world.  In my brokenness this morning HE led me straight to HIS word, and all that I've been working on these past few weeks, that all I could think of was let faith arise.... NOTHINGS impossible..... HE is the GOD of MIRACLES.


Today I am meditating on, and letting HIS word sink deep into my heart that HE is ALL of the words written above.  Today I am overwhelmed by just how much HE loves me, that even though I see an argument as a roadblock, HE SEES as a teachable moment, to lead me, to guide me to reveal HIS truth about what is really going on inside me and the lives of every single person my eyes see.  Today I am thankful that HE is giving me the precious gift of HIS WISDOM to SEE beyond what my eyes see.  Today I am thankful that HE has created, and cultivated an immense desire to seek HIM so that I will live according to HIS will.  Today I am grateful, and I am thankful that TRUE HEALING is happening in me and through me all because HE pulled me through the wall.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,

Friends, I pray that you know that I don't write because I have all the answers.  Rather I go back and reread my own posts, because in my humanness I forget, and I too need to the constant reminder.  I have had to learn that living for CHRIST is a daily, pursuit, desire, to seek to know, to grow in HIM all because I already know what HE has done for me so far, and I can't wait to SEE and experience what HE has written for the rest of my life.  Friends I pray today that if you're hurting from something that you've been battling a long time, I pray that you will let go, and let HIM pull you through the wall so that you will begin your journey of TRUE healing. 

Always dear ones, with so much love compassion and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,
~ Heather 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

battle plan....

"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

For the past few days I've felt something stirring within me.  A desire, a hunger, a thirst, a readiness to SEEK HIM to reveal the next steps that I am needing to take in my journey towards wholeness with HIM.  It is no surprise to me this morning that as soon as my pen touched the paper, the readiness, the willingness, to hear, to SEEK, to know HE met me right where I was, and whew.... it's overwhelming just how much HE loves me, how patient HE is with me, and just how far, and how deep HE will take me, rescue me, break me free from all that is keeping me from being WHOLE in HIM.

"let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance" Proverbs 1:5

While pouring my heart out to HIM this morning, what I felt HE was going to have me write about, HE quickly let me know that I was getting ahead of myself, and wanting to skip the first few crucial steps in what I am needing to know about what HE is leading me to, to take me through, to teach me why I do the things I do, and how to breakthrough, break free through HIM, and allowing HIM to guide me to overcome all that is within me, that is NOT from HIM.  Just as a onion peels with so many layers, friends, these are the next few layers that HE is peeling away at what makes me.... well..... me.

As I studied HIS word this morning, I felt HIS gentle reminder for me to SEEK HIM, HIS wisdom to HEAR HIS voice.  While meditating, soaking in that thought, I remembered watching Billy Grahams funeral on T.V. last week, and the first thing that came to mind, was one of Billy's sons speaking about WHO his father was.  He said his father was F.A.T.  Faithful, available, and teachable.  Just as I was writing that thought down so I wouldn't forget I felt HIS loving reminder that in times that are uncertain I must remember to SEEK HIM as HE is the ONE WHO truly understands, and allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide me to make the right choice.  

All this week I've listened to GOD of Miracles on repeat.  I believe it is because HE wants me to get it planted deeply, and firmly rooted in my heart, that HE truly is the GOD of miracles, as sometimes with the things I am dealing with in my life, are so beyond my control that HE really is the only one WHO can help me.  This morning through this song HE is reminding me once again that in order to truly let go, I must CHOOSE to TRUST HIM and Let Faith Arise.

HE is letting me know that HE knows, HE SEES how much I have struggled in my past, and just how anxious I am about my present, and just how fearful..... fear filled I am about my future.   HE is pulling back the layers and revealing so much of "little Heather" within me still "trying" to control, and because that part of me doesn't fully grasp... understand..... WHO HE is in me, and what that means for me the decisions that are made by the "little" part of me, I am self destructing, losing self control, and allowing myself to be self absorbed.

Learning this has floored me.  Leveled me right where I am, and has allowed me to TRULY SEE and begin to understand why it is that I do the things I do, and why they are so detrimental to me.  Learning what makes me tick, why I respond in the manner that I do, and SEEING the years of self destructing behaviors that have all been fear led, fear filled, all because of agreements, bondage's, and strong holds that were formed long before I could even begin to comprehend just how destructive they would prove to be in my life.

HE let me know right away this morning that HE didn't reveal all of this to me to break me down, but rather to BREAK THROUGH me, to reach "little Heather."  To grow me, to mature me, with HIS wisdom and discernment.  HE let me know that my time of being locked in the prison of lies that I am not worthy enough to have a healthy, fearless life is over.  Today HE is handing me the keys to unlock that prison, and for the first time in my life, I am SEEING my life, my ways of processing, coping, and understanding in HIS light.

Stepping out, and looking UP HE is revealing to me that in order for me to be fully rescued, and made healed and whole I must understand the importance of having a battle plan.  HE is letting me know that there are so many ways that I don't even realize that my way of thinking, dealing, processing, and understanding have been severely compromised.  However HIS loving reminder to me today is this, "NO matter how far I go, how deeply I am hidden from HIS light, HE will find me. HE will rescue me, HE will SHINE HIS light for me to SEE, to reveal the strongholds, to break me FREE of my chains of addictions, wrong thoughts, and the fear that has led me to make horrendous decisions for my life.  HE is my CHAMPION, HE IS NOT DEAD,HE IS ALIVE, and ALIVE in me.  HE is MY GOD, THE ONLY GOD OF MIRACLES."

HIS loving reminder to me today is that I don't have to feel to BE.  I don't have to feel grateful to BE grateful.  I don't have to feel thankful to BE thankful.  My feelings of nice, kind, or wanting to do the right things  don't have to be based on my feelings of how I am being treated for me to BE WHO HE has created, called, and needs me to BE.  This is a struggle for me, as I am an extremely emotional person, who has endured a lot in my almost forty years on this earth.  I always viewed my tenacious, fighter spirit to BE who HE has called me to be, but what I failed to realize was I was being all those things by the world's definition, and NOT BY WHO HE is DEFINED me to BE.  So this morning I am finding myself seeking HIM, and allowing HIM to transform, renew,  and refine me with HIS word, HIS wisdom, HIS discernment through HIS overwhelming love for me.

HE is letting me know that these next steps are to grow "little Heather" hidden within me, to join in the fight.  To give that portion of my life, a voice, to FIGHT BACK in ways that are good, pleasing, and honoring to HIM.  

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

The more HE pulls back the layers, the more HE is revealing to me that the way I have chosen to deal with the circumstances of my life through my thoughts, feelings, and emotions need to mature, to grow, just as HE has already grown my wisdom and discernment in other areas of my life.   HE is letting me know that it's time that I stand up, step up, and step out from under the control of being a slave to fear of being a victim.  

HE is letting me know that HIS battle plan is to ensure the VICTORY that has already been won on my part.  That HIS power, HIS strength are within me, and with HIM I won't fail.  I WILL break free, and will BE able to stand, to shout, to share HIS message of HOPE that HE truly is the GOD of Miracles, and with HIM, anything, and ALL things are possible through HIM!  

"God is within her, she will not fall;  God will help her at break of day" Psalm 46:5

The next season of my journey has begun and I can't wait to SEE what HE the GOD of Miracles is going to do in me, through me, and for me.  This new season has planted, and grown a deep desire for me to let go of merely surviving this one life I have been given so I can go to HEAVEN.  Rather my hearts cry has become, LORD put HEAVEN in me, so I can run my race and finish it by choosing YOUR WILL so that other's will be able to be with YOU in HEAVEN.  Now more than ever I am understanding HIS purpose in my pain, my suffering, my struggle.  ALL for HIS glory, to mold me, make me relate-able for others to SEE that no matter what happens, HE is our GOD of Miracles, and HE can transform, renew, refine, rebuild anything that the ways of this world have destroyed.  HE is there, and for every person that our eyes SEE they are DEEPLY LOVED by HIM.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, my prayer if for you all to feel HIS presence today.  Through your hardships, tests, trials, and storms. Through the diagnosis of sickness, failed marriage, rejections, past hurts, deep hurts, abuse, addictions, all of it my sweet friends, I pray that you will SEEK HIM to help you, to let HIM hold you, to lead you, to guide you to teach you HIS ways, so you too will begin your journey towards wholeness.  Friends life hurts, it's hard, but I pray today you will come to know HIM as I know HIM and that through HIM with HIM NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING is impossible to overcome, break free, or breakthrough.  JESUS changes everything dear ones, this I know, this I believe, this I have lived, this is how I am still living.

always with so much love, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Monday, March 5, 2018

let Faith arise.....

"Let faith arise in spite of 
what I see Lord I believe
But help my unbelief 
I choose to trust You
No matter what I feel, let faith arise
Let faith arise
For my champion's not dead, He is alive! 
Oh, and He already knows my every need 
Surely He will come and rescue me" Chris McClarney "GOD of Miracles"

"Lord JESUS let this be my daily hearts cry.  Let my Faith arise LORD.  Help me to SEE beyond what my eyes SEE in choosing to TRUST YOU in all that YOU are doing, have done, and will do.  LORD help me to overcome my unbelief that YOU have amazing plans for my life.  Even though within those amazing plans is not promised an easy, happy, fun filled life.  Rather YOU LORD, Steadfast, secure, my anchor that HOLDS STRONG in the storms of my life.  LORD that my Faith will arise through my circumstances, and will overcome my feelings of helplessness, hopelessness.... that no matter what I may be facing, feeling, or is happening to me that my Faith in YOU will arise.  LORD that the lyrics to this song will be embedded deep into my heart just as Cornerstone has.  LORD JESUS that I will always remember that YOU are indeed the GOD of miracles as YOU met me in the truck that night when my world shattered.  LORD JESUS that I remember to share YOUR message of HOPE of how YOU helped me in my time of suffering.  LORD JESUS that I speak of YOUR SUPERNATURAL LOVE that broke through my agony, my pain, sorrow, and suffering that threatened my very existence.  FATHER that I speak of YOUR goodness of how much YOU helped me navigate through this journey of loss.  LORD that I speak of YOUR PROMISES that I have seen come to fruition in my life.  LORD JESUS that with each and every step I take, I ask YOU GOD of miracles to come, to know to believe, to LIVE OUT, SHOUT OUT, that YOU ARE INDEED OUR GOD OF MIRACLES that YOUR SUPERNATURAL LOVE has broken through the darkness and brought me out into YOUR LIGHT.  LORD that I tell my story of how YOU rescued me so many times through this journey, that YOU LORD alone have brought me to my knees in tears of reverence.  NOT because of anything I did on my own LORD, but that YOU have done through me, for me, ALL for YOUR GLORY.  LORD that my story tells of WHO YOU are YOUR FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, in leading me back to the stage on which I stood on October 19, 2014 telling the story of my son's life.  Celebrating his earthly life.  Leading me back to that stage on February 25, 2018 to reveal to me that each week that I face the stage, I can SEE the HOLY GROUND on which Seth's life, both earthly and eternally are celebrated.  LORD JESUS that ONLY YOU could have erased what the powers of hell wanted me to "see" to breakthrough my sorrow, my loss, my suffering.  LORD JESUS that you have planted firmly, deeply into my soul YOUR TRUTH of YOUR MESSAGE that has been written for my life, to speak to share, to teach me that I couldn't possibly understand the power of YOUR MESSAGE within me, until I realized, and fully could grasp on which the HOLY GROUND I stand on.  LORD JESUS that when I speak YOUR NAME, no matter where I am, I am on HOLY GROUND, I am rooted, planted firmly, to speak, to share, that YOUR PRESENCE will be felt as I witness to the masses.  LORD JESUS that YOU LORD are preparing me for this moment in time, to share my story that YOU LORD ARE THE GOD OF MIRACLES.  Thank YOU JESUS for loving me, with unconditional love.  Thank YOU for YOUR unending grace, overwhelming me with just how much patience YOU have for me to learn WHO YOU are to experience what it means to be YOURS.  Thank YOU JESUS for rescuing this little girl lost, that I am NOT abandoned, I am wanted, cherished, and delighted in.  Thank YOU JESUS for all YOU have done for me, through me, and to me.  LORD JESUS that in all circumstances and steps that I may take let Faith arise.  Oh how I love YOU JESUS, Amen."

"God of miracles come
We need Your supernatural 
love to break through
Nothing's impossible
You're the God of miracles"

I struggle to even put into words how I am feeling these days.  Yesterday as the worship team played this song, I was overcome with tears in reverence.  I had already been crying the entire time I was there, and when the lyrics played into my heart, I was overcome.  Overcome by thankfulness that HE has healed me enough in my journey to hear not only the message yesterday, but to also sing this song as I felt the moment where it was my turn to let Faith arise.  The breakthrough I desperately needed, and clung to HIS promises for had come!!!!  My GOD, My ABBA, My GOD OF MIRACLES broke through with HIS Supernatural love, showed me that even losing my son..... I could overcome the grief.... the sorrow.... in a way that was honoring.  Not that HE would take away my sadness, tears, or even sorrow...but living in sorrow and grief was killing me.  I was losing my grip in the fight, and HE knew it, and in the moment where I felt I couldn't go on any longer, HE stepped in with HIS Supernatural love and rescued me.  

A rescue that was through obedience in my fellow Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS.  Obedience to answer HIS calling to reach out, to press through the darkness, to SHINE HIS LIGHT to SPEAK HIS TRUTH, TO BOLDLY PROCLAIM HIS PROMISES for my life.  TO speak HIS TRUTH DEEP INTO MY weary heart that My CHAMPION is NOT DEAD.... HE IS ALIVE!!!  A rescue that has saved me from giving into the sorrow, and accepting this narrative that my enemy wanted me to live.  A rescue that has brought me back to my feet, filled me with more strength, and power to endure..... to run this race, my race Fearlessly.  Not on my own doing, rather BOLDLY proclaiming that HE is the GOD of miracles, and with HIM NOTHING is impossible.  

"Let faith arise and see the kingdom come
I lift my eyes, oh
for the battle has been won
My God is faithful, oh 
and every single word
He said is true, oh"

As I type, my eyes are filled with more tears of reverence as the lyrics above are my TRUTH, HIS TRUTH, HIS HOPE that is alive in me.  I'm weepy with tears as it's so overwhelming to me that HE has saved me, rescued me from overwhelming despair.  That not even my son's death would destroy me, pull me away from HIM, or that I would lose my life, both earthly and eternally.  I am overwhelmed by HIS supernatural love, love that I can't even begin to describe.  How I long for the world to know, to experience HIS supernatural love.

"This world is shaking
but You cannot be shaken
My heart is breaking 
but I'm not broken yet
Your love is fearless 
Help me to be courageous too
Oh there is nothing impossible" 

In a time where my world was shaken, HE was steadfast, HE was my solid ROCK Foundation, and HE made sure I remembered that in meeting me in the truck that tragic night to remind me of WHO HE IS.  HE knew my heart was shattered, and knew how much I needed HIM, and HE stepped in and poured HIS Supernatural love into me.  HE gave me breath that night to speak.... to sing..... to cry out to HIM.  HE took me on a journey of HIS fearless love, that pursued me..... relentlessly...... to teach me..... to lead me..... to guide me.... to be courageous..... fearless..... all through HIS Supernatural love..... all BECAUSE HE IS THE GOD OF MIRACLES..... and in my journey has lovingly taught me to let Faith arise.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, though your hearts may be broken, I pray that you will answer HIS gentle knock on your heart.  That you will be radically transformed by HIS Supernatural love, as HE is indeed the GOD of Miracles.  I pray that the lies of the enemy.... this world.... will be shut down, shut up, and shut out with HIS Supernatural love.  That you will know that with HIM NOTHING is impossible, that through HIM, with HIM you can overcome anything, and HE will be with you through it all.  Dear ones.... I pray that you will come to a point in your journey where tears of sorrow will turn to tears of reverence as you experience, SEE, and feel HIS supernatural love.  That you too will be able to tell your story that HE IS THE GOD OF MIRACLES.

always with so much love, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

selfish Eve.....

This October D and I will celebrate twenty years of marriage.  This year also marks twenty three years together.  I would like to think that in making it thus far, we have a pretty good relationship.  We don't fight a lot, but we sure used to!  We don't have many harsh words for each other, and well speaking for myself I still really like him, and he still gives me butterflies.

That being said, I'm currently on day 26 of a 31 day prayer challenge for my husband.  When I first decided to do the challenge my first thought was, "oh yeah, I'll pray and finally I will SEE the LORD at work in D.  "Thinking" that my suggestions would be acceptable in "prayer form."  Thinking back, oh man did I set myself up, but surely as HE loves me, HE let me know almost immediately that the "suggestions" I would be making would actually be HIM taking me to a place where I would become beautifully broken.

On the third day of the challenge I was to pray for D's connection to GOD.  I was supposed to think about how I SEE JESUS in D, and well at first glance I wrote a scathing review.  It would only be a few short hours later that HE would begin to work deep in my heart and began a journey of revealing to me my selfish Eve ways.

This revelation about myself has both shocked me and convicted me in the hardest, but best of ways.  My world has been rocked by HIS vision, HIS light that has been shone on my selfishness in my marriage to D.  My eyes have been opened, and my heart is being softened to SEEING just how deep of a stronghold my enemy has on my heart when it comes to my husband.  To be honest, I am deeply grieved by what has been revealed, however I'm not going to just lay down and take these assaults on my heart anymore, I'm going to stand up, speak up, rise up, take courage and share my journey, my struggle of my selfish Eve ways.

As I was getting ready this morning, I felt HIM whisper to my heart. "Today you are going to share about being selfish Eve." I was so caught off guard that I immediately began to "try" to negotiate.... back down.... back out of what HE was telling me to do.  So much that after getting ready I grabbed my journal, pen, challenge paper, and bible.  As I dug deep into today's challenge, I felt HIM whisper again.... again I acted like I didn't hear HIM, and continued with today's challenge. 

When I finished today's journaling, I foolishly thought that would be good enough. Oh man I should have know that whenever I get in this big head of mine, HE'S going to be there to humble me.  Finally I picked up my pen, and wrote selfish Eve: standing in the way of GOD'S goodness for my husband

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Self Control: where am I exactly?  Do I practice self-control?  Do I wait on HIS timing and HIS provision for my life, my marriage, my family?  How does this affect my husband?

These questions made me cringe as I was writing them out.  At first glance I thought, oh I'm pretty good at controlling myself.... HA!  controlling is the key word.... HE let me know right away that HE isn't wanting me to be in control, rather to relinquish control to HIM, and allowing HIM to teach, lead, and guide me to making the right decisions for myself, that ultimately affect my husband, my marriage, and our family. HE revealed to me that so often in my sadness, my incessant need for things, I often make things happen, and don't bother waiting, praying, or even discussing things with D or HIM.  

"For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." 1 Timothy 6:7-8

Contentment:  Am I content?  Do I always want more?  Am I always expecting more?  Am I willing to live and bloom where I'm planted?  Am I always looking to the future, if I only I have, then I'll be..... How does this all affect Duane?  Our marriage?  Our family?  What am I teaching my children?  Will they become selfish Eve?

This question makes me cry, as I can tell you I have hated this season of my life so very much.  I have fought living this season with every fiber of my being, exhausting myself, "trying" to just merely survive this season.  I can tell you that I wish I were content, but if I'm being completely transparent, all I want to do most days is hide.  Run to somewhere in this world where memories won't flood my mind, what was, what isn't, what will never be.  The future scares me in the sense of TRUSTING HIM, as my life thus far has been so tremendously hard.  HE revealed to me that I'm willing to do what I need to do survive this life, but HE isn't interested in me merely surviving any longer.  HIS plan, HIS will, HIS purpose for me is to THRIVE, to SHINE, to BLOOM right where I am.  HE is wanting me to Embrace all that I have been given, SEEING that I am TRULY beautifully broken.

"I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips." 
Psalm 34:1

Gratitude:  Am I grateful?  How do I live that out?  How do I model my gratefulness to my husband, my children, this world?  How does this affect my marriage to D?  What does this teach my children?  

Tears are flowing as I type the answer to this question, sadly no I'm not grateful, at least not the way I need to be, not even should be, but NEED to be.  So much in my sadness, my hurt, my pain, my sorrow, my missing my son, I portray a life that isn't worthy of gratitude to HIM our Creator.  This breaks my heart knowing how much I've dishonored my Abba.  So much I long and desire to be rid of the ugliness that grief has created in my heart.  So much I want to shut out, shut up, and shut down ALL the lies of the enemy that I have agreed to in the past three years.  So much I want to live this new narrative that HE is written for me, that HE is putting me through the fire to refine, renew and restore me.  So that I will be rebuilt to LIVE in the way that HE has written for me to live.

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

Patience:  Am I patient?  Do I model patience?  Just how impatient am I?  Do I really want to know the answer to that?  Am I really ready to seek HIS answer?  What does this mean for my marriage? How must this must make D feel?  How must this make my children feel?

I am probably one of the most impatient people when it comes to D and our children.  This pains me greatly to admit, as what I am learning about myself is that those who are closest to me SEE the ugliness that lies underneath the smiling, happy, 'fake" me.  They SEE who I really am, the struggles, the angry Mama, the heartbreak, the loss, all of it, they SEE it, they know and through it all they still love me.  This is how I know HIS grace is real, as there is NO way my family would put up with me through the way I handle the loss of Seth.   How I have handle every single hard thing in my life.  HE has revealed to me that every single thought, word, and action that I make and have affect my family in ways that I can't even begin to comprehend.  It leads me to question, how much harder have I made their journeys in the poor way I've chosen to live mine?  

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Peace:  Do I care if my family is peace filled?  Do I actively seek peace for them, or just for myself?  Do I think about their needs?  Do I think about how hard things must be for each of them, or am I more self-focused?  Do I think about how much D must need HIS peace daily?  Carrying the weight of the family on his shoulders, do I even realize that?  How must this affect D?  How does this affect our marriage?  Do I forget that I am a part of a WE?

I truly believe that I am on this journey for HIS good, as HE is working deep in my heart on issues that I didn't even realize that I had.  When Seth first passed away it was all I could pray for my family and myself was that HE would flood us with HIS peace and drench us with HIS grace.  To be honest I don't think I've prayed that much for my family lately. Sadly I have for myself, as well as I am learning in the flesh I am and indeed a selfish Eve.  However, since my desire to live by HIS spirit, I know that this all needs to change, and it starts with me confessing, repenting, and seeking HIM to do the heart work to change my selfish Eve ways.

"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

Rest:  In my need for rest so I ever seek, pray for rest for D?  Do I even care if he receives rest?  Do I just view D as strong, and not in need?  Is it because of how he went back to work after only one week of Seth's passing?  Do I resent him for that, so I don't think of his needs, as I felt abandon with our kids in that most trying time?  Have I forgiven him for the way he has chosen to grieve?  Do I truly want HIS will for D's life?  Do I really desire for D to receive rest?

Okay, a loaded question.  One that brings me to my knees in realizing that I have resented D and how he's handled his grief.  My heart breaks that this is an agreement that I have made in my heart about D, as SEEING it in HIS light, I can't imagine how this must make D feel.  Thankfully LOVE SEE'S so much farther than I ever could, and LOVE knew that D needed to be the strong one in our marriage, as I was about to be obliterated, lose my mind, and one of us had to remain intact.  Though that doesn't mean that D was strong on his own, rather HE was pouring HIS strength into every inch of D's being so that he would be able to endure life as Dad and Mom, as when he lost his son, he also lost his wife.

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on  establish the work of our hands for us --yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17

Work:  Do I just assume D's job is all GOD has planned for D?  Do I assume that serving our family is the only way D is to serve?  Is D's life all about our children and I?  How must this affect D's work in HIS Kingdom?  Is D able to serve others?  Is D just too busy to tend to my every incessant need?  Do I even realize that HIS plan, HIS purpose, HIS will for D is far greater than just being my husband, and our children's Dad?

Thinking back on my life with D, I've never really given much thought about D's work outside of his career.  So much in the past ten years I've just viewed D's career as HIS plan for D's life.  After all D is the bread winner in our family, therefore that must be what HE has planned for D's life.  Never once did I consider that just as I am Mama, wife, I am also HIS daughter, and I have been called to share HIS message, HIS hope, HIS good news to this broken and fallen world.  So why haven't I realized that HE would want the same for D?  So much HE is shining HIS light on my selfish Eve ways.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.: Philippians 4:19

Health:  When I say I care about my families health, do I do things to support that statement?  Do I buy, cook, prepare, suggest healthy alternatives, meals?  Am I truly doing my share in taking care of our family, or am I still leaning on my crutch of it's too hard?  Do I think about my families overall health?  Am I only really focused on myself?  

For me I've become so frustrated in doing things my way, that instead of seeking HIM, I've remained solely focused on myself,  HE let me know this is because when I do what I "think" HE wants me to do for my family, it's always with selfish intent.  However when I SEEK HIM, and truly desire for HIS ways for my family, it's not about me, rather about honoring HIM, raising up my children to have desire in their hearts to honor HIM.  When it comes to my marriage to D, health is on the back burner,  We are merely surviving, eating to pacify needs that can only be met through HIM.  Hard work is merely surviving in our eyes.  We have taken a "don't rock the boat" approach to everyday living, as there are eight of us in our household now, and it's very overwhelming with each of us dealing with the aftermath of everything that has transpired in our family.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love:  Do I give love freely to D?  Do I give love freely to our children?  Do I give love freely the way HE gives love?  The way HE is love?  Do I keep records of wrong?  How does the affect my marriage to D?  What message does this send to my children?  What message am I sending to the people in my life?  Am I truly living out my life the way HE intended?  Am I intentionally loving?  Am I withholding based on merit?  Do people have to earn the right to my love?

Shallow me would say that I'm very loving.  I'm a good person,  I'm generally nice to everyone, well everyone I like anyway.  In all honesty, I feel that HE wants me to be completely transparent of where my heart has been for the past three years.  More than I would like to admit I have said, "I hate everyone, and everything."  That when I would share that with someone in my grief, they would be offended, and quite honestly would annoy me, as it I viewed myself as an equal opportunist.  As if to say, don't take it personally, I'm not singling you out,  I hate everyone and everything equally.  It's not anything anyone has done.  It's just a mindset I've been trapped in my grief.  Though I'm not saying those words aloud anymore, my heart is telling me different as HE continues to SHINE HIS light.  Even as I type, I'm realizing just how deeply penetrated my heart has been in the anger, jealousy, hurt that other people have been able to live their seemingly "oblivious lives."  However since HE loves me so much HE is revealing to me that it couldn't be farther from the truth.  HE is letting me know that just because other's aren't as transparent about their struggles, I am NOT alone in hard living.  So much in fact everything in this world is incredibly difficult, as a constant reminder of just how much I need HIM.  This past weekend my Pastor said this to me, "GOD will always give you more than you can handle."  This I know to be true, this I am thankful to know, to understand, and know exactly where to turn to.

I have four more pages from my journal that I haven't written about on today's post, but you get the picture, you see what HE is working on me, working in me, and working through me.  The heart change I am enduring, all for HIS good for HIS glory.  I am thankful that HE loves me enough to NOT let me be trapped in a prison of lies when it will affect the lives of  my husband and my children as well as myself.  So much I am grateful for HIS Daily Teachings, for my Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS who challenge me, hold me accountable, and who aren't afraid to SPEAK HIS TRUTH straight to my heart just as I so desperately NEED it.

"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

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, I pray today that this glance into my life, reading about my struggles will be an encouragement to you that no matter where you are, what you have done, HE is there, HE is waiting, and HIS grace will cover it all.  I pray that today will be one of courage and conviction to SEEK HIM so that HE will reveal to you your selfish eve ways.

Always Dear Ones, with much love, compassion, understanding, and grace,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,
~ Heather