Thursday, April 9, 2015

a confident heart

" 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

Now more than ever I am confident that I am truly LIVING out my life's verse.  So much in fact that I am confident that every single part of HIS word I am LIVING.  I say this because of the massive response I have received not only here on the blog, but also in my every day mundane life.  If ever I fail to recognize how I am truly LIVING  out HIS word in my daily walk, HE is right there to ensure me that I am.

It occurred to me yesterday after I wrote the blog, that it's hard to understand how I could possibly be PRAISING HIM, and TRUSTING HIM after losing Seth.  I never just want to write about the all the good that is happening in my life, because I feel as if though that would just leave you the reader feeling like, "oh good she's living another blessed day, never a struggle.... doesn't she ever get mad at HIM?  Doesn't she ever mess up?"  This is the very reason WHY I know that it has been  HIS purpose all along for me to be transparent, open, and authentic about how my life has been anything but easy, or candy and roses filled.  

" If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" 1 John 1:8

I am confident that with each test, trial, and storm that HE has allowed to come into my life, has been for HIS purpose which is far greater than anything I could possibly think of or imagine.  To be honest, I'm relieved to know that I don't have to know, as looking back on my journey with HIM, I can't imagine how I could have possibly prepared myself for the past almost six months of my life.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I am confident that HE truly does have amazing plans for my life.  Plans of which I can't even fathom the magnitude of how my story will reach the masses.  NOT just in the blog, but also with every single precious life of WHOM I encounter.  I am convinced of this, because HE has lovingly taken the time to press it deep into my heart that every single person that my eyes SEE, HE deeply loves them! 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life." Isaiah 43:4 NIV

I will NEVER forget hearing that during a message at church, and how HE really began to work over my heart about people.  It is the very reason why I call life precious.  NOT because it sounds flowery and sweet, but because of what I have endured in my lifetime, I am confident that HE has always intended for me to always view life as precious.   In knowing this, I know how fragile life is, how each and every single moment I am given with someone, is my opportunity to SHINE HIS LIGHT for them.  

""But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel:“ Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.  I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place,  it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you:all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,trade the creation just for you." Isaiah 43:1-4 The Message Bible

I am confident that HE has been preparing me for the greatest challenge of SHINING HIS LIGHT for ALL of WHOM I encounter to witness to.  I can look back on the smaller challenges in my life, where when I tell that portion of my story people are amazed that I am able to SEE things so clearly.  I know this is the very reason that HE has so lovingly taken the time to teach, lead, and guide me through each of those times.

" In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

I am confident that HE began HIS Daily Teachings to be able to reach the masses, NOT just here in the United States, but ALL over the world, in 58 countries to be exact.  This is the very reason WHY HE ensured that I would be sitting in the very seat that I was when the pastor spoke about asking HIM to USE you BIG.  I know that in the moment when I fully surrendered my heart and asked HIM to USE me, HE did, and HE did in ways that I would NEVER dream of. 

" As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." Ephesians 4:1

I am confident that ALL those years ago when I would sit and cry because I was so different, HE caught every single of my tears.  HE knew my heart then, even when I didn't know HIM.  HE knew my life, HE knew what was to come.  HE knew ALL of what I would endure, and HE knew how strong HE was going to build me to be able to endure with steadfast FAITH, all because HE took the time to teach me about HIS Relentless Steadfast LOVE for me.

"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

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8

I am confident that NOTHING that happens in my life or in this world for that matter is by chance.  Rather has been planned, for HIS purpose, so that when each and every single person hits rock bottom, because they realize that they can't do anything without HIM will rend their hearts to HIM, seek HIM, HIS forgiveness, repent ALL of their sins, and ask HIM into their hearts to BE their LORD and SAVIOR.

"Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity." Joel 2:13

I am confident that the BIBLE is HIS LIVING WORD.  I know this because I can look back on all the times where I "tried" to read HIS word, and couldn't because my heart wasn't in it.  My heart wasn't right with HIM.  I now know something that I didn't know then and that is, it wasn't about me being perfect enough to read HIS word, rather it was about me being broken enough to know that I needed HIM.

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

I am confident that HE has taken me on this amazing journey of redemption in such a way that my story would be relateable to others.  This is the very reason WHY HE has allowed me to go through so many hardships in my almost 37 years of life.  I can look back on the abuse that I suffered, the broken hott mess that I once was in NOT knowing that HE was there.  I know that I have endured marital issues, challenges, and have been on divorces door step twice in my sixteen years of marriage to D.  I know that I have lost 2 pregnancies, so that I would know and understand the silent tears of a broken heart, empty arms longing to be Mama.  I know that I have now lost my sweet little boy, so that I would know and understand a bereaved parents heart.  I can tell you that of all the things I have been through, losing Seth has been the most challenging.

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21

I am confident that every single life lesson, and  HIS Daily Teachings have been HIS way to prepare me for the most tragic event that NOT only I would survive, but that I would conquer.  That is not to say that I don't hurt, as the pain runs so deep, that I can't even put it into words, other than the day that Seth's heart stopped beating, and mine kept beating, was when my heart was shattered into a gazillion pieces.  I know that HE allowed me to experience Seth's death in such a way that even in death I would be able to look back and SEE that HIS goodness was there in even the horrific moments of his death.  

" But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57

I am confident that HE has always known my fear of death, and knew my perception of it was wrong.  For this very reason, HE allowed me to experience my son's death through HIS perspective, by giving me HIS vision, and with HIS wisdom began leading me down a path of acceptance.  That is NOT to say that I didn't HATE, or don't still HATE HIS plan, however because HE has proven HIMSELF time and again to be completely TRUSTWORTHY, I choose to TRUST HIS plan.  

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelations 21:4

I am confident that HE has created in me the courage to write about my anger towards HIM, and not only write about it, but be BRAVE enough to LIVE it, to tell HIM how angry I am at HIM.  I know this because I can look back into February the hardest month of my entire life, and SEE that no matter how angry I got at HIM, the harder HE loved me.  When I l think about HIS love for me, the first word that comes to my mind is relentless.  

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Psalm 86:15

I am confident that HE has relentlessly pursued me in my anger, to let me know that NO matter how angry I was at HIM, or still am, HE can take it.  After all HE is the ONE WHO created those emotions for me to feel.  I know that even in the deepest darkest part of my anger towards HIM, HE knew I still TRUSTED HIM.  Even in my blinding tears where all I could do was cry out in agony, HE knew and understood what I was saying, what I was feeling.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26

I am confident that HE has been teaching, leading, and guiding me so that I would be able to know and understand so that I would be able to live my life where I would be called to suffer bravely.  When I first heard that expression, I couldn't fathom having to do that, and I think even secretly prayed that I wouldn't ever have to.  However, as you and I both know now, that is exactly the way I have learned to LIVE.

" I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I am confident that HE moved our family here to bring us to the church of HIS people WHO are truly all JESUS with skin on.  I know that HE placed me heavily on my pastor's wife's heart, so that I would come to MOPS.  HE knew the theme of BE YOU BRAVELY  would resonate so deeply in my heart, in my life, and HE knew that the messages that would be spoken in just two short weeks, were just another step in preparation for me to endure the massive loss of my precious son Seth.  

" So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

I am confident that HE is truly in the details.  As my soul sister S says, "in the tiniest of details to the biggest of details, HE is in ALL of it."  There isn't a moment of my day where I don't SEE HIM in it.  There isn't a day that goes by where I can't look back and SEE all of what HE has done, and PRAISE HIM for it.  I know that currently my hearts desires are NOT only heard, but answered, and the answer has been YES.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." 1 John 5:14

I am confident that there is NO such thing as unanswered prayers, as I have lived through hearing the most heart breaking NO of which tested me on every single level of my FAITH.  I can look back on my life, and SEE where I thought HE didn't answer my prayers, but from where I am standing now, I can SEE that HE did answer, and it was NO.  I can honestly say had I lost my son before the start of the amazing journey that I am on with HIM, I probably wouldn't be here.  I would have given up.

"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

I am confident that HIS purpose for my life, is to SHINE HIS LIGHT, because of all that I have been through.  HE knew that I would be able to write, and talk about the pain that I have endured in the unfairness, and cruelness that is of this broken and fallen world.  HE knew that pain needed a voice, pain needed a face for people to SEE.  HE knew that HE would equip me with the tools that I would need to be able to SHINE HIS LIGHT even in the midst of pain, sorrow, sadness, and anguish.  HE knew I would be a voice for child loss.

"For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6  

I am confident that HE has taught me that it is okay to admit to my weakness, that is okay to NOT be strong all of the time.  I have learned that it is in my weakness that HE is my strength.  I have learned that it is okay to say that I am weak as that is when I learned just how much I needed HIM, and because HE is THE ONE WHO meets and provides for ALL of my needs, HE will pour HIS strength into me so that I would be able to endure whatever test, trial, or storm I am in.  I can tell you that in the past almost six months HE has been pouring HIS strength into me.  Sometimes strength just so I could ask for more strength.  

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

I am confident that there isn't ONE portion of my journey that I have ever done alone.  ALL of my strengths and weaknesses, talents, and desires...... all of it HE created.  In all that I have ever done, or will ever do, I know it is because HE has created me to do so.

"This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things,who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself" Isaiah 44:24

I am confident that HE is the ONE WHO created in me a confident heart.  Though there are many things in this life that I am unsure of, what I am most certain of, and can speak with total confidence is that I don't ever have to worry about anything, as HE has taken so much time teaching me that HE is indeed SOVEREIGN.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,  It is my prayer that you will have the courage to seek HIM, and ask HIM to teach, lead, and guide you so that you too will be confident of WHO HE is, has done, is doing,and will continue to do for you and in you, so that you too will be living a life full of HIS purpose, in TRUSTING HIS plan.  I pray that even if you dislike HIS plan, question HIS plan, or yes even hate HIS plan, I pray that you will have the courage to say that to HIM.  I pray that when you do, HE will shower you will HIS love, HIS grace, and HIS peace, by pouring HIS mercy's out for you to every morning on your journey towards wholeness with HIM.  I pray that today is the day that you seek HIM and ask HIM to create in you a confident heart.

Always with much prayers, love, compassion, grace and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

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