A Late Blog

February 13, 2014

I don’t expect many people to read this, since it is after 11 pm. But I know I am not the only one who becomes tired of enduring through discouraging and sometimes confusing times. When we lay down our dreams and desire’s before God, we honestly ask for Him to reveal what His will in our lives. By faith, we will seek His word and seek His movement in our everyday lives. That is something we should never stop doing, because even God tells us to seek Him in everything ( Isaiah45:11, 55:6 ).

But life is not like the moveis. The whole picture does not form before our eyes within two hours. Sometimes our testimonies can span in a matter of years before seeing the full works of God. I don’t know why it is like that, but that is no reason to not trust God since our lives are His not ours anyways.

I’m sure many can relate to waiting on God. I’ve actually been in a waiting season for a very long time, and yes it can be discouraging. Maybe great desire’s to better glorify God’s kindgom have fired up inside of you, and so you pray that if it be God’s will, He will make a way to open doors. Maybe those doors have never opened, and you’ve prayed for a long time for God’s guidance. Only it has been many months later, maybe even a couple years, and God has not said one word to you about it. Discouraging yes, but you seek His will. So of course, you personally ask God just what is His plan for your life, especially where you are at right now. You seek, eagerly pray, be content, work hard at your job, and even endure through tough times of being under-appreciated and taking on a lot of responsibility. You wait for your hard work to pay off, only that day feels it will never come. And maybe someone else gets the credit over all the hard work you’ve accomplished. Plain discouragement. You can’t figure out what you did wrong, or what you have missed. And at the end of the day, you feel discouraged and let down.

 

Jesus never said that following Him would be laid back. Sometimes, it is exhausting.  And because often nothing seems to be in sight, we just want to give up. But I believe those who truly belong to God cannot give up. Its just not in you to, because we have a connection with God not only through prayer ( which is a big bonus ), but as well through His Word. Times of trying faith is to trust God when we do not understand why He does the things He does, like maybe not revealing Himself more often as we’d like Him to. Through waiting times we have to draw closer to God because we want to know more of Him. God can use such times to be closer to us, if we choose to allow our hearts to be set on God and not on ourselves.

 “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail your nor forsake you…” 1 Chronicles 28:20.  As a believer, taking it one day at a time, I have to choose God’s word over my feelings and thinking because it is by the Word of God do I gain new strength to get me through life’s challenges each and every day. It is the only way to fight and be victorious in the name of Jesus. Not in the name of “Erin,” but the name of Jesus.  Today at my job, I had a very discouraging moment and it happened early in the day. I’d rather not tell the story of it all, but discouragement had been building for some time lately. And this morning, it hit really hard and I couldn’t help but drive home and cry a little. Satan know’s how to hit hard and say to me, “Give it up already.” And even though I feel weary from it, I cannot give up because of the Word of God. I know the Bible is the most powerful weapon I own and the devil himself fears it. The Word of God defeats every lie of the enemy and gives life in trials where there seems to be no life. Because Jesus overcame death and the grave, nothing is too big for Him to overcome one tiny trial in the eyes of God Almighty.

I have gone over this verse many times where it says, “Cease striving and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10. Since God never breaks His promises, we can trust that God will come through for us and Wow us in such a way that we never saw coming. Everything we go through in life is about bring honor and glory to Him. And it creates a testimony in us that constantly brings us to our knee’s humbly before Him. And it can draw others to his endless love.IMG_9224_1

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Who I am like…

November 11, 2013

Sometimes I look back at all the times I felt myself struggle with God. I put myself through a lot because I refused to give stuff away for Him to take care of. I was one of those who kept saying, “I’m trying, I’M TYING!” But still the next day I’d be anxious or worried, stressed and afraid, and I felt like this must be a part of walking with God, that this is just how it is. I kept praying to God saying, “Take this from me; do something with it!” Only to still feel the war going on inside of me. My friends, if you were or are in a place like this now… it is because you are refusing to give your circumstance over to God. For if you truly have let go and are trusting God, you would not feel anxious or stressed; tired and afraid. For these things were never God’s. Don’t keep saying, “But I’ve prayed and prayed and it still won’t go away.” You can pray all you want but if you never do the do God cannot do one thing.

God just revealed this to me tonight: struggling is a part of life because we are imperfect people. However, while we are allowed to be human, we must also choose to be holy through what Jesus did for us on the Cross. I am like Peter who challenged Jesus to allow him to walk out on the water. I say to God, ” I am ready to do anything for you.” And so He calls me to come out to Him. But then the waves of life come to distract me. I am the one who chooses to look away from God and see those waves and allow them to have their affect on me leading to fear, doubt, discontent, stress, anxiety… all these things I have experienced too many times to count. This is when I struggle to allow God to have all of me and to keep my eyes on His truth. And often, I would look at those waves for months, sometimes years, preventing God from working in my life in a positive way. I was being selfish.

But still, though I was for a long time sinking, somehow, God always found a way to reach out to me, to refocus my attention on Him instead of what is going on around me. Like right now, things are not going too well at work. There is some tension going on that I am very uncomfortable with, and I am praying for God to move in this someway. But He has yet to show. Like Peter, I have been tempted to look at the wrong happening before me and have given into that temptation to later feel the struggles impact. But God, as always, reaches out, and reminds me, “Look at Me! Not that them!”

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14:27, 31

I Choose God.

October 6, 2013

Choices start from the heart. The heart causes me to communicate the way I connect with the world and people around me. I have chosen at times to be kind and sweet, other times not so kind and sweet. At times I have chosen to play it cool, only to turn around when no one was looking to allow my eyes to form a tear or two. I have chosen to laugh at funny things in times when inside my heart, I was far from being happy.

At times I have chosen to smile to set the example, and other times I didn’t care and became real. I have chosen to sometimes respond to difficult situations in a loveable way, but other times in a very hateful way. At times, I have caused hurt upon others without ever meaning to, because I chose selfishness. At one time I chose to not forgive those who have hurt me to instead become bitter and angry. Often by our own hand, we are the ones who prevent our hearts healing from wounds.

At one time I hated and condemned myself for all my wrong doings and past behavior. At one time I hated looking at my face in the mirror. At one time, I chose to believe the lies of Satan over the truth of God’s Word because I was selfish enough to desire other people’s words, that I have never received, over the words of the only One who is called Perfect.

At one time I felt very insecure about who I was. I chose to believe my insecurity over the Security that God had placed before me several times.  I chose to place my confidence in the hands of a person who would later disappoint me and hurt me, instead of God who has never done such a thing.

I could go one through out my short life many more paragraphs, but it all sums up to this: even though I have made many wrong choices, God still chose me. When I made idols, God chose me. When I cried in His arms, God chose me. When I sought my identity in other people and what they thought of me, God chose me. When I was in my darkest place of depression, God chose me. When I refused to eat my food, God chose me. When all the great relationships I once had ended, God chose me. When I was alone with my tears and thoughts, God chose me. And after all of this, my heart finally opened, and I chose God.

When I chose God, roots were being dug out of my heart. When I chose God, we dealt with those roots together. When I chose God, I believed then that He heard my prayers. When I chose God, my heart allowed His love to complete me. When I chose God, I found my identity. When I chose God, my heart began to heal. When I chose God, I forgave myself. When I chose God, my heart changed into a new creation. When I chose God, can now smile and be happy, be filled with joy, and mean every bit of it.

I choose God, because He first chose me.

Romans 5:8 .But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Heart Deep Roots

April 15, 2013

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Have you ever been through a storm in your life where you realize that through it’s long period of “storming,” you find yourself learning a lot of lessons? I’m currently in that place. I use to see the storms in life as something you just gotta get through and then go on with life. However, I’m learning that God doesn’t see storms in that way: He means for me to take everything that storm has to throw at me. I’m seeing I’m not going to “just get through” as I once believed, but there is a lot to take in that God is making me endure. I can go against it with my own freewill, but the fact is God will be patient with me until I get it right even if it takes ten more years before my eyes finally open for the first time. God is a god who always gets His way. And since I’m His, as the Bible speaks of so often, He will never let me go. It’s impossible for Him to.

Through this storm in my life, God has given me as the world would say, “too much patience.” I think of the first line in 1 Corinthians 13:4 where it says, “Love is patient.” This is a characteristic of God that I’ve seen so many different moments in the storm. Once again God is showing me that He’s with me through it, but He is also in it. I’m not just walking, striving, crying, hurting, and then I climb the top of the mountain and then it’s all over. No, this isn’t God. What God is inside of the storm, is Him showing me who He is instead of giving me the “why” for it all. What God is showing me are things about myself that I do not like but needs changing. He is bringing this to my attention. He is taking His hand and pulling up roots in my heart and yes…it hurts bad! But I hear Him whispering,” I do this because I love you, and I don’t want these roots of sin and hurt to be killing your life anymore.” This is where the patience comes in. And because I am such a stubborn person without realizing it at times, His patience comes in handy. And here’s the thing: I remember a while ago I asked God at the beginning of the storm to take ahold of any root inside of me and anything that needs to be resolved or changed to be brought to my attention. God is only doing what I asked Him to do in the first place! How is it that every single time I fail to see that it is gonna hurt? And how many times have you done the same thing and ask yourself,” Why does this have to be this hard?”

When God reveals things inside of us that are not right, we often backfire because we don’t like seeing that we are this person. It’s one thing if it happens to another. We love we forgive we pray, and we hope for the best for that person. But when it comes to ourselves, man! We much rather forget about it and act like it never happened. We don’t like seeing ourselves dirty. And often times we will blame somebody else for the dirty when most of the time it’s our own fault we have become this way. And that adds on to more dirty.

I asked God just a few hours ago,” God, show me in this storm that You care. And even if You don’t show it to me now, thats okay. I know You’ll show me in Your own time.” Do not think that your pain is not important to God. We can compare ourselves to someone who maybe going through a harder time than we, but don’t push your pain aside because of that. You matter to God. Your pain matters to God. What we are to do is take our focus off our pain and instead focus on who God is and what He has done and promises to do. And I am so glad that in this moment God did show up for me when I glanced down at my Bible and read this verse from Psalm 8: 3-4,” When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” NASB.  He care’s so much that when I ask Him to assure me of His love, He is always up for game.

I’ve learned that the longer you linger with heart deep roots, the more wounded one becomes and will often not see what God is trying to tell us. And I’m telling you, it hurts terribly allowing God to put His hand deep down into you and pull at those roots. I can see myself now saying, “God stop it! It hurts! I’m tired of hurting all the time! Can’t you just make it go away?” His response is, “Yes. By doing this, I am making your pain go away.” Never forget that by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross as payment for our sins is also God sending new life into us to heal, to live, as He had planned us to live. And because Jesus died and rose again, we can have victory in our lives. Because of Jesus choosing to endure the cross, despising the shame ( Hebrews 12:2 ) , we too can endure ’til the end.

 

 

No Handle Bars

April 5, 2013

I just had one of those moments where I expressed a feeling of freedom: I tried riding my bike with no hands. Yeah! I’ve never done that before and today is such a lovely day that I decided to go for a bike ride. I was going down this hill really fast and I kept thinking about those moments in movies where the actors are riding their bikes without using the handle bar thingy and they almost feel like they are in another world. For me, it took a few tries before I finally got it right. Almost wrecked a few times but while I was riding really fast down this hill, no peddling, I decided to let go. I figured out that in order for this to work I had to first let go of my right hand and then my left. Don’t understand why, but the other way around I would almost fall to the ground. So anyway, in this moment I let both of my hands go and had both arms balancing myself straight. I felt like Rose in Titanic as she was at the front of the ship, letting the wind hit her hair and face. It was a pretty cool moment. Being able to do this actually felt joyful. It felt cool. Too bad nobody was around to see it. But God did. I believe He liked it just as much as me if not more.

In a moment like this one I experienced today, I feel God was in that moment. He was telling me, “I am your freedom. I am your joy. I am your love. I am in every moment of your life.” ‘Cause recently, I haven’t always felt joyful. Sometimes, I get tired of the same struggles that I seem to face from time to time. I’ll become reminded of some things that I’m not proud of, or that I regret, and getting passed those things have been pretty tough. I’m sure that you’ve felt like becoming limp and numb before because you’re just too tired of fighting for your life. Yes, being a Christian in this world, you fight. And you get tired. But maybe we get tired because too often we use our own strength instead of using the strength God gives us: His own.

God knows when we are tired. God wants to hear it from us. I’ve caught myself too many times not confessing how I feel in moments like these to God, thinking He already knows about it, or that its just not that important. But everything there is to do about me is important to God. And instead of giving over my fight to Him to fight I just let it run over me where I become limp and numb. Why should I ever doubt when God is bigger than the invisible darknesses that come to bring me down and destroy me? Why should I ever give up when God never gave up on me; For He sent is only Son to die for my sins and three days later conquer death once and for all for me to live eternally beside Him? Why should I ever walk away when daily He loves me by giving me breath to live another day for Him? In every storm, there are words to calm it. And only God can say them. Psalm 46:10  “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

I hope you have a moment of letting go of the handle bars in your life and allow God to steer you straight. And enjoy the freedom only He gives to those who ask for it.

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The Job Factor

March 9, 2013

This blog might start out a little sad, but it does get better! I’ve discovered that when a person gives their life to Christ, that is the beginning of many lessons and stories to come!  Not all stories start out positive, but when God is the author He always turns it around for good!

Grieving. We link this word in with the lost of a loved one. We don’t only grieve over death, but also over things and changes we don’t understand. Recently, I left a ministry I was very passionate about. There were a lot of spiritual strongholds that occurred in my life and the only way to deal with those strongholds head on was for me to step down. My grieving began, as I left behind the passions, love, and people who I cared deeply about. This was not the only grieving I had to experience. Through leaving this ministry, I also lost a friend. Not to death, but friendship. My true mourning entered my heart as I had to also leave this friend behind and out of my life. This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. During my mourning, I had a hard time thinking of other things besides my hurt from leaving the ministry and hurt from a friend. Countless times I cried it all out to God.

Before this time, a few other doors closed in my life as well. I started to feel like I was becoming more alone and being by myself than I wanted to. So many people had walked out of my life, and I felt I had nobody. I didn’t understand where God was going with all this. The past months and the future weeks that lay ahead have tested my endurance. I prayed for healing for my heart, only to find God didn’t give it to me instantly. He takes His time. And His time is not my time because His is perfect.

When in mourning, Satan doesn’t help matters. He likes to smudge in my face the hurt and remind me of my pain. I realize that even though I may not know why this storm occurred or why it began, it was God drawing me to be alone for a reason: to place Him first in all things.

Through the closed doors, God has drawn me to seek His face, peace, comfort, joy, heart, love, contentment, and complete surrender to His love for me period. He purposely allowed these doors to close forcing me to run to Him to show me how people will leave me but He never will, as it says in Hebrews 13:5 NASB, “…I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you”. While the words and thoughts of people change daily, the words and thoughts God has toward me do not.

I would ask God this, “Why would You bring me something good, only to take it away from me?” I don’t know why hurtful things happen sometimes, but I do know that God allowed this to happen so that I would place my relationship with Him above all others. I had no choice but to throw myself at Him through this storm because it came to where He was all I had left. By doing this, it allowed Him to change me to look more like Him and to take myself out of the picture frame and put Him in my place in this crazy adventure called life. John 3:30

Recently, God led me to read the book of Job. And what He had to show me through Job’s amazing story gave me passion and a new drive. Job 27:3-5 NASB says,” For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils, My lips certainly will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue mutter deceit. Far be it from me that I should declare you right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.” Through all Job had been through up until this time ( loosing livestock, home, children, and having discouraging friends and a discouraging wife, boils, disease, etc ) Job would not curse God and turn away even though God never gave Job a reason as to why he was suffering. Job, (a real human who felt hurt, pain, loneness, depression, discouragement and desperation) still kept running and crying to God. In time God blessed Job ever so greatly and he lived a long happy life with a new family, servants, and friends. You know when we are suffering through a trial we often want to blame and put hurt on someone else because we are hurting too. We don’t want to be the only one in pain. Through this current storm in my life you don’t know how much I have wanted to complain to someone about how, “So and so hurt me like this, she makes me feel like that. He needs to fess up and and apologize and blah blah blah.” Yes, I wanted to find the stick in someone else’s eye instead of removing the stick in my own eye. My flesh wanted to place hurt on others through words and actions, but the Spirit inside of me did otherwise. Instead, I took it to Jesus. He listened and allowed me to vent. And then He spoke to me love when I became ready. As I gave in more to that love, I was choosing the Spirit above my flesh. The whole time God understood my pain. He feels it along with me. That was all I needed the whole time from somebody. That somebody was Jesus Christ.

Within time, much healing has come. I still have some roads to walk as I continue to heal. I hope that in the storm you might be facing: your answer to “why” is Jesus. Sometimes God takes away everything to show us that He is the only one will remain standing…because He is all we need.