Loving the Lonely

lovingthelonely

 

Confession time, ladies! Sometimes I feel the most alone when in the midst of the most people. (*Cue gasps and shocked faces*!)

I’m just being honest! You probably know how I feel. Like when the whole family is together (aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers-in-law, etc.), and you’re sitting awkwardly in the corner. A little nagging feeling starts somewhere near your heart and spreads out through the rest of your body. How is it fair that they all have someone to share this with and you’re just sitting there alone in a corner? A CORNER, for heaven’s sake!

You may think I’m being a little dramatic, and maybe I am, but it’s pretty close to the truth. The thing is, you and I aren’t the first ones to feel this way.

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.”

Psalm 25:16-18

Okay, if even David felt alone from time to time, I think we’re in good company here. It’s human nature to want to share life with someone, and when everyone has a ‘someone’ and you don’t, it can get hard to take. Don’t get me started on grandparents and their constant questions about my relationship status!

Loneliness can feel all-consuming and even leave an empty feeling inside, but you don’t have to feel that way. You’re never really alone if you think about it. The Bible says the following about that:

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20b

“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

So, boom! Right there. You’ve got God right next to you the whole time. Your argument is invalid.

But I get it. You want someone you can see, feel, touch, and talk to. You want a physical human being. I get that, too. I’m the same way. We “waiters” tend to feel an acute sense of loss because we haven’t found our gain yet.

So here’s an idea, and one I use all the time if we’re being honest. (Which we are.) Write a letter.

Stop laughing, I’m serious! I have a whole collection of them so far. I’ve titled them “The Darcy Letters,” which is a story best told some other time when I have more time and word to say it. Basically, when I feel that lonely feeling, when I want someone to share something with me and don’t have them yet, I write a letter to my future husband.

Yes, I am aware I don’t know who he is yet, but that doesn’t stop me from sharing these moments with him via letters. I plan to one day give these to my fiance and allow him a look into my life before he came alone. Tip: Keep them upbeat and positive. We’re not trying to depress our fellas.

In review: everyone feels lonely sometimes. You’re really not alone in that. You CAN take control of your feelings, and you CAN do something about it. Don’t let loneliness define your life. Let love work it all back around to complete you.

I love all you lonely “waiters” out there! Don’t feel alone, be strong and stick together!

When It Hurts

wih

There are times when life just hurts, deeply.   We can take those wounds to the cross, crying out for God to bind them.  Time passes, and the wounds heal.  We pull off the bandages to see that God has created something new.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  ~ Psalm 147:3

However, even when we do our best to protect ourselves, an injury may find us again.  Old wounds are opened, new wounds are formed.  We may find ourselves tempted to keep those wounds bandaged, to protect ourselves from every being hurt again.

Do you know what happens to a healed wound that is kept wrapped up indefinitely?

It festers.  A new wound forms and it can end up being worse than the original.

While it is important to guard our hearts, we must be careful not to build walls.  A shepherd guards the gateway to the pen that holds his flock.  He doesn’t block the entrance with stones, keeping the sheep enclosed for ever.  A good shepherd takes His sheep out into the pasture, tending to their needs, and keeping them safe from harm.  He takes the sheep to choice areas where they will receive the nourishment they need.  At night, the sheep return to the safety of the pen.  The shepherd stands guard until it is safe for the sheep to return to the pasture.

We can guard our hearts against being hurt again, by surrounding ourselves with people who give wise counsel.  Guarding our heart also means that we are reading the Word, praying, and leaning into the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we venture out into the world or into relationships, we do so with our Good Shepherd.  And, when danger reveals itself our Shepherd takes us into His safety and stands guard at our hearts.

Our Good Shepherd doesn’t lock us into the safety of a walled up pen.  The Great Physician doesn’t bind up our wounds permanently.  He tends to our needs, helps us to heal, to learn from our errors, and then accompanies us when head back into the pastures.  He commissions us to:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

When it hurts, pray for healing.  Trust in Lord and put on the FULL armor of the God.  The harvest is plenty, and the workers are few. Do not be tempted to hide form the world, by licking your wounds, and allowing the hurts to root deeper.

Forgive.   Love.   Pray.   Trust.

When Your Dreams Are Big

Big Dreams

Do you feel it?  A stirring in your heart to do something others may think is crazy? Do you find yourself staring into space and dreaming a dream that is so big you are terrified?  Yet, no matter how scared you are or intimidating it seems… you just can’t shake it.  How do we know when these desires are what God wants for us versus our fleshly desires?

What does God’s word say about it?

If you were to search the scriptures would you find any verses where the Lord clearly speaks against whatever this desire is?  Or, would any of the steps along the way require you to compromise His clear directions?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Do you need to justify your choices not only to others but to yourself?

Does your spirit seem unsettled about the decisions you are making or the steps you are taking?  Are you having to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing, over and over again?  Are you feeling any conviction over your actions, guilt or shame?  Are you unwilling to listen to others or God’s Word, because you know it will speak against your choices?

But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly; They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.  Nehemiah 9:16

Have you spoken about your desires with trusted, godly, men and women in your life?

Are you afraid to talk to those who are closest to you about your dreams and your actions steps to get there?  Are you hiding any part of the process from them because you know they will disapprove?  Have you invited your prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf?

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15

Have you laid your desires at the throne?

Have you taken your dreams and placed them at the foot of the cross, surrendering them to the Lord?  Do you pray for clarity and direction?  Have you invited the Holy Spirit to guide your dreams?   Do your prayers include requests for affirmation to assure you are in His will?

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.  2 Peter 1:10

Do you trust the Lord with your dreams?

Are the reservations you are having about your dreams due to a lack of confidence in the Lord to be faithful to His promises?  When we trust in God, that means that we believe in His plans for us… even when they don’t make sense or seem too big.  It means that we are going to lean into Him during each and every step of the way.  A decision made daily to do what He asks of us for that day, and not to worry about tomorrow.  Commitment to walking with Him in prayer and through His word, clinging to our Shepherd to lead the way.

And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek you.  Psalm 9:10

The scriptures reveal many stories of people who the Lord cast big dreams for their lives.  In each story, we see individuals who called out for His guiding hand and provision.  A dependency on His protection, and the expectation of His miracles.

When your dreams are big, remember your God is bigger.

What Defines You?

what-defines-you

What defines your worth?

It’s a real question, isn’t it? One I’ve been asking myself lately, as I learn more and more about who I am in Christ. I’ve chewed on it and rolled it around in my brain until I thought I couldn’t think on it anymore.

It led me to a second question:

Why do I assume I’m not likable/attractive?

Yeah, I’ve dealt with those feelings for a long time now. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like anyone will ever find me pretty? You know what, that’s a great question! I puzzled over it again and again until God finally pulled up one specific memory. I’ll give you the basics.

I was 11, maybe 12 (a very impressionable age), and not the prettiest flower in the meadow. My other friends were. Anyway, I was sitting in the church foyer during a wedding reception, talking to these two guys who were supposed to be my friends. (Keep in mind, these are junior high boys.)

Basically, the air had broken and in the middle of July, that’s not the best scenario. So I may have mentioned something about my being hot. Being juvenile boys, they took it and ran, insisting that I wasn’t. Meaning they didn’t think I was even remotely pretty.

It’s taken a lot for me to get over the hurt of this memory. For years, those three little words haunted me. “No, you’re not.” I let them stew inside my head, and I let them define what I thought other people would think of me. Because of those juvenile boys, who probably didn’t even realize the damage they were doing, told me I wasn’t pretty, I chose to believe it for almost ten long years.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they were being idiots, and I don’t need their confirmation of facts I already know. Neither do you.

Let me show me something.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had good plans for you…”

Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

If God knew you before you were even born, don’t you think His plans are perfect? Don’t you think He knew what you would look like, how you would sound, what your style would become? He put those things in you. He has good plans for you! And that’s not all.

“Oh, yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You, High God-You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body…”

Psalm 139:13-15 (MSG)

He knows you, inside and out. He made you! He knows every bone in your body. He knew what you would look like when He formed you, and God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you perfect!

I know you may not believe it now (even I have a hard time believing it sometimes), but to someone out there, some day, you will be the very thing they’ve been searching for all their life. To God, you’re already perfect. To that future someone, you’ll be perfect too! Everyone has different ideas about perfection, and despite the fact that you might sometimes feel like a failure, you’re not.

Don’t let the mean girls of this world define you. There will always be a voice trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t listen! The Voice above all other voices says “you’re perfect.” He leans down and whispers, “I made you, and I won’t leave you. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll always look after you. You. Are. Mine.”

Why do we feel we need to go anywhere else to find our true worth? The One who created worth wants to hold you. Forever.

While I’m Waiting

While I wait

 

Waiting is hard. I know that you know that, we can all agree on that. No one wants to wait. In fact, we live in an “I want it now” society where they tell us we don’t have to wait. You want food fast? Plenty of restaurants are willing to accommodate you.  Do you want a relationship? Plenty of fish in the pond, boo!

Unfortunately, that’s where the world gets it wrong. Half the journey is experienced in the waiting. That’s why I’ve decided to explain to you, today, why I have chosen to wait instead of date.

Let me show you a few things I’ve been learning from scripture before we delve into that particular sore subject.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”

Isaiah 40:31a

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the souls who seek Him.”

Lamentations 3:25

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

All these have come up in the past week during my regular devotional time with God. I’m a firm believer that the entire Bible is God’s word to me, and if He keeps bringing up the same thing over and over again, you’d better believe I’m going to stand up and listen to what He’s trying to tell me.

Did you know that in over half the scriptures that tell us to wait, or be patient, or let God’s timing prevail, that they tell us to “be brave and have courage”? Even God knows that waiting is hard.

So, with that in mind, let me show you a few more things that helped me decide to wait, not date. I hope they’ll help you make a decision one way or another, too.

First off, let me start by pointing out God’s original design for man and woman. Eve didn’t go searching for a man. God created her specifically for one man, and he brought her straight to him. Genesis says that God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him.” He didn’t “try out” fifteen women before he landed on Eve. God brought them together, and they stayed that way.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Proverbs 18:22

“But he who finds a WIFE finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord.”

(emphasis, my own)

First, let me point out that it isn’t the woman finding a man here. It’s the man finding a woman. And, yeah, that might seem like an outdated concept to you, but I firmly believe God is still in the business of bringing the right people together.

Secondly, I would like to point out that it doesn’t say “he who finds a girlfriend.” In fact, the Hebrew doesn’t even have a word for “girlfriend”. God’s original design for relationships was for them to last forever. “Casual dating” only teaches people that they can back out of a relationship if they have to work too hard.

So, yes, waiting is hard. The good stuff always is. Think about when you were a kid, and you had to wait for a batch of cookies. Didn’t they taste that much better because you waited?

Who cares if it’s not the norm? We left normal in the dust the instant we turned to Christ. Isn’t it better to wait and not have all that emotional baggage when you find THE ONE? (Or, rather, when he finds you?)

I still believe in true love. I still believe God will bring me the perfect mate. Yes, I am still waiting and yes, it is still so hard. I’m human. I have wants, desires, and urges that only get stronger as I get older.

Guys, I’m going, to be honest here. I’ve never even been kissed. I want so badly to know what that feels like. But I’m going to wait on God’s timing. I’m going to wait for that one guy that I will spend the rest of my life with. You know why?

Because…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:13-14

 

 

 

To Be Seen, To Be Known

ToBeSeen

Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one can see you?  A few weeks ago, I sat with a woman who was lamenting about being overlooked.  Her heart wanted desperately to be seen as valuable, worthy, capable, and a blessing.  As we dug deeper through our conversation, she shared that she had been overlooked her whole life.  Then she said these words.

I think this is why I am fat.  I am making myself seen.  You can’t help but see me.

At first, I was stunned to hear this woman speak these words.  I have known her for years, and I would hardly consider her a woman who was invisible.  She was one of the first women I was drawn to at our church, because of her beautiful heart for God. Her infectious sense of humor and her wisdom.  I sought her out, and yet she feels invisible.

Then I began to reflect on women in my circle. Including myself.  There is the woman who incredibly loud, The woman who dresses over the top for all occasions.  There is the woman who is always up for anything, the life of the part.  The woman who posts a million photos on Facebook and Instagram.  The woman who always has something to say in every conversation.  The woman who is quick to raise her hand, volunteering on every committee and project.

I wondered, how many of these women were just trying to be seen, to be known.

I thought about all of the times when I have cried out to God, and it seemed like He didn’t hear me.  I thought about the number of occasions I was waving my arms at God saying “pick me, use me” and felt He had passed me by.

Have you ever felt invisible to God?

But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:3

His word tells us that He knew us as we were being stitched together in our mother’s womb, that he knows our voice, He knows those who belong to Him, he calls us by name.

Last week, I stood in line at the Deli section of the grocery store waiting for my number to cue.  I watched the people working behind the counter rushing to serve each customer efficiently but quickly.  When it was my turn, I used all the manners I had been raised with.  Please.  May I have…?  Then, as she handed me my last package, I glanced down at her name tag.  “Thank you, Linda.  Have a great weekend.”

I was no different than the customers before me, with one exception.  I called her by name.  I saw her.  She was known.  I watched the stress lift from her face, her eyes light up, and the corners of her lips turn up into a smile.  I made eye contact with her, smiled back, and went about my day.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

The Lord knows you, by name.  You are His, and the Lord is the Good Shepherd, who tends to the needs of His flock.  We may not always understand where our Shepherd is leading us, or why He asked us to wait.  But, he has not forgotten us.  He is the Shepherd, who seeks the one lost sheep.  The Creator who provides for the sparrows of the field.  The Lamb, who was slain for my sins, … your sins.  He gave His life for you that you would be covered by the blood and saved FOR eternity with Him.

When the road is weary, the wait is tiring, and your strength seems to fade, remember His promises.  Wait on Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

      29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

      30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

      31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Taming The Tongue

taming-the-tounge

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. ~

Psalm 141:3

Several years ago, I was serving with a team of women in the church.  I was the person in charge of the task, although I had a leader over me that I reported to.  Every month I met with my team, and we would come up with plans for accomplishing our assigned task.  Every month I would present it for approval, and every month we were shot down.  We felt like we were just treading water and honestly questioned if they really wanted this task completed.  We could never make headway.

That is when it started, the frustration building.

“Why are we even bothering to meet?”

“You should just tell the church to do whatever it wants, and stop wasting our time.”

“Maybe we should just do it on our own; they don’t even care.”

The excitement that once motivated us toward volunteering for this project had faded.  As the appointed leader, I heard their complaints.  I must confess, I was frustrated too.  The complaints about the project, however, began to shift to complaints about the church, and then to specific people.

“If more people from the team would speak up, they might listen.”

“It’s all Pastor’s fault; he’s never supported projects like this anyway.”

“I’m not surprised; Pastor has always been dismissive of ideas.  Sometimes I think he just gives enough permission so that you’ll leave him alone.”

The more talking was going on, the more frustration grew.  Thoughts were beginning to influence how we all viewed the church, the people overseeing us, and even our place in the body.  This ultimately led to a confrontation with another member.

What I had not realized was that I was working with a very unhealthy team.  I didn’t catch on to their complaints shifting into gossip.  What I saw as a legitimate conversation about our frustration had turned into a gossip and complaining session, and I was just as guilty.  I wasn’t just guilty the moment I began to share my opinions, I was guilty the very moment I allowed their feedback to turn into gossip.  I had let their voices influence me.

Then when the fellow leader and I ended up in a confrontation, those voices were unsurprisingly silent.  I am very grateful that the Lord put someone in my life who could help me see what was happening, and that I was able to apologize and reconcile with my fellow leader.  Gossip is a sneaky, sneaky thing.

Gossip is a like a spider web. Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and into a web?  You couldn’t see it coming, and you may not have immediately realized you walked into it.  But, as your senses catch up you realize what you have done if you are like me, panic follows.

When we think of gossip, we often think of the intentional spreading of lies about someone.  However, gossip can also be spreading truths… truths that were not ours to share.  In church, gossip can often be disguised as “prayer requests” or “venting”.  When serving on a committee or ministry, it can often come in the appearance of complaints.

We can often get caught up in gossip and not sense it until it is too late, just like the spider web.  And, like a spider web, once it is on us… gossip clings to us, and it’s hard to shake off.  We may even panic as we realize what we have done.

Once someone knows you are receptive to gossip, they will return to tickle your ears again.  When something is so sneaky and pervasive, how do we know the difference between someone who really needs to just talk something through or someone who is spreading gossip?

Some cues I watch out for:

  • Is she speaking about herself & her own problems?  If not, ask her if she has permission to share this with you.
  • Would she say these words to the person(s) involved?  If not, she shouldn’t be speaking them to you.
  • Is she trying to involve you in a situation that doesn’t concern you?  If so, point her back to those involved and encourage her to take the issue up with them.
  • Is she trying to get you to handle or solve the problem for her?  If so, suggest ways in which she can resolve the issue herself.  Take yourself out of the equation.
  • Is she speaking lies or truths just to make conversation or make herself feel better?  If so, don’t hesitate to point out that she is gossiping, and it is inappropriate.

When you begin to put boundaries in place on how you handle gossip tossed in your direction, you will change everything.  True gossipers who are just out to run their mouths will avoid you.  Those who may not realize what they are doing will learn to tame their tongues.  An added benefit is the more you put up boundaries against gossiping, the less often you will find yourself getting caught up in them.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

9 Scriptures About The Importance Of Knowing God’s Word

Knowing Gods Word

Most of us have read the story of Job, and if you haven’t, I encourage you to read it. It’s such a humbling book. It helps us put a lot of things about God and ourselves into perspective. I love how the book of Job shows us that pain is not always punishment and knowing God is better than knowing all the answers. I get so much out of reading the book of Job. Every time I read it, I come away with something new from his story.

As I read the book of Job and the Holy Spirit called my attention to Job’s relationships with those close to him. While Job was suffering, he had some interesting conversations with those close to him.

I’ll start with Job’s wife who was also suffering because she too lost her children; had her finances collapse, and she was now caring for her husband whom she was watching scrape the sores on his body sitting in the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9 NASB

Then we have Job’s friends who came to console Job and after sitting with him for a while, they then began to reproach Job. Saying that God was just and that Job suffering could only be because of something he had done wrong. Unfortunately, Job’s friends were unable to wrap their heads around the cause of Job’s suffering. So their lack of understanding caused them jump to conclusions and assume the worst. Let’s take a look at what Jobs friends told him during his time of anguish.

Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed? According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it. Job 4:7-8 NASB

God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He support the evildoers. Job 8:20 NASB

If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, And do not let wickedness dwell in your tents; Then, indeed, you could lift up your face without moral defect, And you would be steadfast and not fear. Your life would be brighter than noonday; Darkness would be like the morning.  Job 11:14-15,17 NASB

I’m sure Job’s friends were just trying to help by offering up some explanation of why he was suffering. However, we know his friends were wrong because the Word tells us

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Job 1:1 NASB

Can you imagine given all your anguish, loss, confusion about your circumstances and despite your wife and closest friends coming against you still trusting God? How was Job able to do this?  Job was able to do this because he knew God and trusted Him. Knowing God and His Word are vital parts of our spiritual armor you can’t forget, it’s our Sword! We are in a time where knowing the Word for yourself is beyond important. You can’t take everyone else’s word for it; you have to know it for yourself. There are no shortcuts and you can’t CliffsNotes your way through. The Word is alive! Let the living Word of God transform your life, and it will be something that no one can take away. Let it be your foundation, something you stand on and are planted in. ‪Be Transformed‬!

9 Scriptures About The Importance Of Knowing God’s Word:

The Word Of God Trains Us:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB

The Word Of God Directs Us:

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalms 119:105 NASB

Meditate On God’s Word:

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8 NASB

The Word Of God Is Our Sword:

And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 NASB

The Bible Helps Us to Follow God’s Desires:

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” Matthew 4:4 NASB

God’s Word Guides Us:

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 NASB

We Are To Seek God With All Our Heart:

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:10-11 ESV

We Are To Hold His Word Close:

Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:2-3 NASB

God’s Word Is Alive:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NASB

You will also find this post at  Bibleverses.com

And He said GO, to the ends of the Earth.

and he said go

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

Do not be afraid.  Such simple words, strong words, peppered throughout the scriptures.  Do you know, sweet sister, that the Lord was speaking to YOU?  His Word assures us in no uncertain terms that we need not be afraid, because where ever the Lord sends us He goes before us and comes behind us.  He has commanded us to GO.

As a woman who married young, had her children young, it has been harder for me to get up and go.  We have finances to consider, but I also have to consider my husband’s schedule and make arrangements for my children’s schedules as well.  When I am gone, there is still a family that needs to eat at home.  When I leave for a period of time, I have a family who is begging me to come home.  There are so many opportunities that come up that I would love to be a part of, yet He has placed me in a family, and I am to be a good steward with that blessing.  My mission field begins with the children the Lord has entrusted into my care, that I bring them up in the way of the Lord so that when they are old they will not turn from it.

For our single women, however, the world is before you to go and serve your fellow man.  You are in a season of life where the Lord has gifted you a freedom to GO.  Whether you choose to go to your local community center and volunteer your time with the people who share the same neighborhood as you, or you decide to board a plane and fly across the globe to serve the “least of these.”  What stops you from taking on those adventures?

Are you afraid?    He says, fear not.

Are you imperfect?  You are made perfect in Him.

Are you unqualified?  He qualifies and equips those He calls.

Are you called?  If you are a believer, then the answer is yes.  Now, just pray for the Lord to reveal where that calling will lead you.

. 18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, am with you always, to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:18-20

The Holy Spirit grants us gifts, talents, and skills that we are to use for the Glory of God wherever we go.  Each day, as we walk out our front door, we are encountering the “least of these”.  Each day, we become keenly more aware of the hurt, pain, and suffering in this world.  Each day, we are presented with new opportunities to share the Healer, Comforter, and Rock with those who are pressed down by the weight of this fallen world.

Your mission field starts right where you are.

When the Lord asks, “Who will go?”

Will you say “Here I am Lord, send me.”?

Because you, sweet sister, are ready to go and make disciples of all the nations starting with the ones in your neighborhood and to the ends of the earth.  For you do not walk alone, but with the One, who redeems.

Conflict, Attack and Situations That Seem Impossible to Overcome

conflict and attack

Conflict is something a lot of people struggle with, including me. I use to be a person who did not deal with conflict well at all. I was either way too emotional and blowing up or I shut completely down and cut the situation off (even though I may have been rightfully upset). First, I praise God that I have come a long way and am no longer the person I use to be. I have gone from those two extremes to a better balance somewhere in the middle, and I can manage conflict better. However though I was responding differently on the outside, on the inside it was still taking an emotional toll on me. I was still holding the weight of situations in my hands having yet to release them over fully to God. I got to the point where the build up was too much, and I cried out to God, and He told me He wanted my FULL surrender in these situations.

Yes, I had made progress, and it was awesome.  However, God wanted to continue to develop me and train me to release my hold on my situations and hand them over to Him. He wanted me to seek and acknowledge Him; He wanted me to trust Him and believe in His Word. That I can do all things and overcome all things through Christ who strengthens me. He wanted to show me the changes I had made and needed to make would develop our relationship.

So with this new-found knowledge, it was only a matter of time before I was faced with a test a chance to gauge my comprehension of the lesson He taught me. Recently, I found myself at odds with my rental management company. This situation hit all my previous triggers anyone who knows me knows injustice and disrespect are big ones. This case included those and then some. I was too tired to fight and didn’t want to deal with this situation physically or emotionally, and I wanted to run, but I had to have a place to live. So I trusted God and waited for His guidance. Casting my burdens upon Him. I sought Him in prayer and allowed the Holy Spirit to move me to action. I activated my faith over the situation, and  I believed God could fix it. I SURRENDERED knowing that regardless of the results I would STILL trust Him and allow Him to guide me through this conflict.

In the end, the Lord delivered well beyond any expectation I could have had. I had a face to face meeting with the property manager and assistant property manager shortly after a lengthy email exchange with regarding them being unwilling to uphold their promises and honor my request. After our meeting, I ended up with more than they initially promised. Not because I asked for it, but because I trusted God, and I choose not fight in the flesh but to fight against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. He allowed me to gain skills to handle conflict without blowing up or shutting down and instead of holding all of my emotions within I can release them to Him, trusting Him.

When dealing with conflict, attack or a situation that seems impossible to overcome keep  these Scriptures close:

Trust God: we have to believe God before we can expect from God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.Proverbs 3:5 NASB

Remind Yourself Who God Is: tell yourself who God is, in the midst of your situation never lose sight of who God is.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NASB

Tell Yourself Who You Are: Remember the authority that He has given to you.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NASB

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 NASB

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19 NASB

Stay Alert: Be quick to listen  slow to speak and slow to get angry, don’t lose your cool, a hot head is a jumbled mind

everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger  James 1:19 NASB

Never Forget God Is With You: We have a tendency to forget God is with us. So it is important to REMEMBER God is always with you, He will never leave us.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB

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