The Lie I Bought Into

In light of recent events, I’ve decided to share my hardest story to tell.

 

I remember most details from this day more vividly than any other day in my life.

 

I remember the car pulling in between a large metal gate, that was lined with people yelling and holding signs that went all the way around the block.

I remember getting out the car and just standing there, paralyzed with fear, but trying not to feel anything.

I remember walking up the sidewalk, and hearing a woman scream that I was a murderer. I stopped walking for a second, before I was prompted to keep moving.

I remember the biracial couple walking in front of me.  The man turned around and said, “They aren’t paying to raise your baby, so don’t listen to them. You’re going to be ok”.

I remember thinking that was such an odd thing to say.  Raise my “baby”? I thought it wasn’t a baby…  I’m going to be ok? That was the first lie I heard that day.

I remember the paperwork. And how the worker who handed it to me never looked me in the eye. In fact, no one looked me in the eye that day.

I remember having to talk to multiple people before the procedure, including a pastor.  I remember him telling me that “God understands”.  At that point in my life, I didn’t care who understood.  What was there to understand? I most certainly wasn’t concerned with some man in the sky and what he thought or understood.

I remember going in to have the ultrasound and I asked the woman if the baby feels it.  Her response was, “It’s not a baby, honey.”

Oh.  That was the second lie I heard that day.

I remember walking into the procedure room and thinking about how shockingly cold it was.

That is the last thing I remember for a while.  It’s a blank hole in my memory. I honestly think that I’ve subconsciously removed it.

I remember laying in my bed that afternoon, and for the first time in the whole situation, I cried. 

I can’t remember how many days I cried.

I realized I made a mistake. I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t change it.

Someone’s heart wasn’t beating because of me.

I killed someone.

 

I hate going to the doctor for annual checkups, and they ask: “How many times have you been pregnant?”  There’s always a hesitation…

“Two…”

“Miscarriage?”

“No…”

And then awkward silence.  Every time.  

The reminder. Every time.

 

There’s so many lies surrounding abortion.

“It isn’t a baby”

“It’s your choice”

“You’re going to be ok”

 

No.

No.

No.

 

Satan is the father of lies.  God does not make any mistakes. Humans do.  Absolutely. But God doesn’t. 

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

“…I knew you…”

God KNEW my baby. He knows ALL of the babies.  Every single one who doesn’t make it out of the womb, along with those of us that did.

Unfortunately, it took my abortion to understand that.

It took my abortion to help me understand grace.

It took my abortion to understand that God doesn’t make mistakes.

It took my abortion to become pro life.

It took my abortion to see that it is ALL a lie.

 

No one told me that 13 years later I would still think about it every single day.

No one told me that 13 years later I would still have nightmares about it.

No one told me that 13 years later I would still feel a gaping hole for my first child.

 

Abortion changes you. It changes everything.

It breaks you in a way that nothing else on this earth can.  It tears into your soul and all you can do is cry out to God for His forgiveness and mercy. For years, I dealt with shame and allowed satan to use this as power over me.  Shame to tell anyone, for fear of judgement and ridicule. Shame that could only be removed at the foot of the Cross.  The Cross that gave so much, for someone like me.  

Thankfully, so thankfully, God forgives.  He delivers. He shows new mercies every day.

He has healed the large wounds that came with it.  But, during certain seasons of my life it gets difficult again.

I am so thankful that God allowed this to change me, and has given me a voice for the ones who cannot speak for themselves.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3

An Open Letter to the Parent who Chose their Addiction over Me

Thank you. 

 

Thank you for showing me early in life, that life is not fair. 

You showed me that sometimes bad things really do happen to good people, at no fault of their own.

 

Thank you for showing me how to be a good parent.

Any time I wonder how I should handle things with my daughter, I think about what you did or would have done, and it guides me to do something different.  I know how to be gentle and humble with her, demanding nothing and forgiving everything.  I know that she is just a child, and that there is no malice in her heart.  I know that her soul is pure and loving, and that no matter what, she loves me.  Just like I love you.

 

Thank you for helping me maintain sobriety as an adult. 

I was on a path similar to yours for a short time, but decided that being you wasn’t what I wanted for my life, so I changed. I decided that my daughter didn’t deserve to see me passed out on the floor or refilling my cup for me regularly.  

I decided that today, and every day, I’m going to be a mom.

I’m going to choose her.

I’m going to be sober.

 

Thank you for breaking my spirit. 

Otherwise, I would never have realized that I needed God.  Once your spirit is broken, only one person can heal it.  I found out that Jesus is the only one who can mend and save, and it allowed me to love you still.

 

For a long time I was bitter.  Angry that I can’t call you and ask you how your day is, because I know your speech will be slurred.  Resentful of friends who have great relationships with both parents.

You’ve broken my heart and my spirit.

You’ve caused me to question my worth.

You’ve ruined my ability to easily trust and believe people.

 

But I have good news.

 

I forgive you.

 

I forgive you because Jesus forgave me. 

I forgive you because I know it is beyond your control now.

I forgive you because it releases a burden from me that was never mine to carry.

I forgive you because it gives me hope.  Hope that one day you will surrender your life completely to Jesus and allow Him to deliver you from the bondage of addiction.

 

For eleven years now I have prayed.  I pray circles around your name every day.  Praying today will be the day that you decide that being clean and sober is what you want for your life.  Praying that today, you will choose me instead.

 

I’ll never give up on you. 

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Psalm 118:5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

 

The Statue of Salt

I knew a little about the bible when I first got saved.  Just enough to be able to argue with people about whether or not God was real.  I didn’t know many old testament stories though, so when I started studying and learning it was a whole new world for me.  One story stuck out to me and I have read it over and over and thought about it many times.  I’ve been in the middle of my day and a voice will say to me, “Remember Lot’s wife.”

I’m sure you’ve all heard the story before of Sodom and Gomorrah.  They were sinful and God was going to destroy them. (There’s much more to it, but that’s my very shortened version of it)  So, the angels went to deliver Lot and his family before God sent the fire down to destroy the towns.  They were told to run away and not look back.  Seems like pretty simple instructions.  But, Lot’s wife thought about what she was leaving; She thought about all the things she loved in her town.  She turned around to have one last look and immediately was turned into a pillar of salt.  Whoa.

So my mind starts thinking on this.  First thoughts, that seems pretty harsh!  The woman barely looked over her shoulder and POOF, she was a statue of salt.  But then I realized that there is much more to this than that.  There must have been a reason why God told them to not look back.  It could have been that He did not want them to see the destruction.  It could have been that He wanted to see their obedience.  I don’t know.  It could speculate all day, but I won’t.  The point is, He demanded they look ahead, and not back.

I think we all get caught up sometimes in looking back.  We think about things we could have done differently, and sometimes we make ourselves sick over things that have happened but cannot change. I know there are many things I’ve done that I would love to change.  But God tells us to leave these things in the past.

Philippians 3:13 says, Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

I don’t think God does not want us to share testimony of what He has done for us.  But, I don’t think He wants us so focused on the past that we cannot push on in our destiny in the future.  God can use your past to propel you towards glory, if you allow Him.  But, care must be taken to not dwell and live in the past.  So, don’t look back.  Look to the future and set your eyes on the prize that is in Christ Jesus.

Remember Lot’s wife.

My Secret

This blog has been an obedience thing for me. I know there are certain things and testimonies I am supposed to share, so writing a blog seemed to be the easiest way for me to do that.  When I decided to go ahead and do this I had already decided that there were certain topics that I would never touch. Not ever.  But then God started waking me up at night with thoughts of these topics.  I have woken up around 2:30 every morning for months now and all I can think about are the same few things.  So I guess it’s time to share.

 

I’ve always been “thin”.  Looking back at pictures of me as a child, I was always skinny… bony actually.  I ate whatever I wanted and never gained a pound.  I can’t remember ever thinking about my size or weight.  So, you can imagine my surprise when I got pregnant and gained 50 pounds.  I didn’t lose the weight immediately.  And I felt weird.  I didn’t know how to find clothes that fit.  I didn’t want to go anywhere for a while because I was huge and uncomfortable.  So, I decided to eat a little less.  I was also starting college again at the time, so I knew that staying busy would help me not eat as often.  At first I didn’t realize how many meals I was actually skipping, until I started to see the number on the scale going down.  That’s when I started making a point to miss meals, and more meals.  I remember I started coming up with excuses whenever someone would ask me if I wanted to eat. “I’m not hungry.” “I already ate.” “Let me finish this chapter and then I’ll eat.”  The process seemed to spiral quickly in a direction I had never been before.

 

I remember lying in bed, feeling my stomach growl, and feeling a sense of accomplishment, like I had conquered my stomach.  I remember I didn’t sleep very well, because I was so hungry all the time.  So I found a solution.  I began drinking about 8-10 cokes a day.  This kept my stomach feeling satisfied and I wasn’t lagging as much because of all the sugar and caffeine I was ingesting.  Day after day the chains of bondage just got tighter on me, and I didn’t know how to escape.  It didn’t really catch my full attention until one of my friends asked me when the last time was when I had eaten and I replied, “Four days ago.”  Thank God, my friend finally spoke up.  At this point, it was not uncommon for me to eat maybe 4 meals a week.  I sometimes wonder how many people knew I was starving myself, but never said anything about it.  How many people listened to my excuses and never wanted to know what was going on?

 

I think a common misconception is that eating disorders is just about not eating.  It’s not.  It can also be about overeating.  For me, it was fear and anxiety about eating anything;  Feeling guilty about enjoying a meal;  Hating myself for eating more than once a day;  Wondering how I was going to lose a pound if I gained one.  My whole thought process revolved around food and how I was going to avoid it.  Looking back, I don’t even know how I made it through college with my thoughts being so focused on eating, or not eating.

 

January 2012 I finally realized that I needed to make a decision.  I had been hiding my problem for almost 5 years.  I was down to around 100 pounds, and I was miserable.  I still don’t understand how a Christian could get caught up in such bondage…  I never saw it coming. I decided in the middle of the night one night that I needed to go somewhere that I could get my help and deliverance.  I chose a Christian conference that was starting that next weekend.  So I drove myself to Atlanta, found a hotel, attended this conference, and found my escape from bondage.  I was in a place where I needed to get away from “my life” to be able to find my freedom.  I had actually tried before to start eating on my own, but I couldn’t.  That weekend, I met two women who prayed with me and spoke so much life to me and over my situation.  I found my freedom.

 

I have put 30 healthy pounds back on since that day.  I have decided that there is a certain weight that I will no longer allow myself to get under.  I am healed, but I know that it is also important to continue to be aware of myself, and my ability to fall into bondage again.  I am not immune.  I have a friend who asks me pretty regularly how much I am weighing, and I appreciate her.  She is holding me accountable, and she doesn’t even know it.

 

Just because you are a Christian doesn’t make you immune to bondage.  We as Christian’s must be careful with what thoughts we allow to fester in our minds.  Those thoughts become actions, and can quickly lead to bondage.  I found out the hard way that being saved doesn’t mean I cannot be lead astray.  If you are in bondage today, bondage of any kind, cry out to the Lord.  He can heal and restore ALL things.  He did it for me, so I know He can do it for you.

25387_519741058423_4231204_n
This photo was around 3 years into my bondage… This was close to my smallest weight.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

 

 

 

February 21- 27 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

If you, or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please share and encourage them to get help.  God is able.

Who is this Jesus?

 

I’m a fact person. I have a hard time believing anything that cannot be scientifically proven. I love all things science.  Chemistry, microbiology… anything that can be studied and researched.  I am all about it. I struggle with sleep, so a lot of the time I end up tumbling down a rabbit hole in research in the middle of the night.  I feel like my brain runs in 100 directions at all times.  It never slows down.   Lord knows I have wasted hours upon hours of my life researching things that don’t change my life one way or another. I’ve actually read textbooks cover to cover, just out of sheer curiosity.  I want to know everything about everything.  I guess this is a big flaw of mine.  My mind seems to always need more. I think my science based mind was the main reason why I had such a hard time believing in God.

So, this Jesus man…  I needed facts. I needed details. Who was He? What was He like? What exactly did He do?  I mean, I knew He went to the cross for me, so that alone told me He was pretty great… but what else was He like? I needed to know.  If I’m supposed to be like Him, then it would probably be a good idea to find out what He’s like. So, I started digging.  I began pulling apart scripture.  Especially scripture that Jesus himself spoke.  For example, Matthew 11:28, “Jesus said, ‘Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest’.”  I looked up what ALL ment.  Was I included in this “ALL”?  Absolutely.  You are too.  I looked up what weary ment: physically or mentally exhausted. What about rest?  What did that mean? Who did He say would give us rest?  Him.  He said “I WILL”, not “I might” or “I’ll think about it”.  “I WILL”.  There’s a fact. I can stand on that. So looking at this scripture and what it meant, I knew that it applied to me.  I was tired.  Exhausted actually.  So I needed this rest that Jesus offered.  I’m sure you do too.

I now find myself pulling apart scriptures because I want to know exactly what it means.  I actually carry a concordance and bible in my pocketbook. Weird, I know.  Anytime I talk to someone and they say something that sparks an idea in me, I start digging.

My daughter and I read our bibles and study at the same time at night.  Sometimes we sit together, but sometimes she sits in the living room and I sit in my room.  A few weeks ago I walked in the living room and she was reading a dictionary.  I thought it was funny at first, because it is something I’ve done.  Then she started telling me what she was doing.  She wanted to know what certain words meant.  She was looking up words and marking them in her dictionary so she could better understand.  The first word she looked up was “worship”.  My child wanted to know what worship meant.  I am so excited about that.  She knew that word is important, and she wanted to know more about it. So it got me thinking.  Does she see me living a life of worship?  She obviously knows that it’s important.  Does she see me worship when things are bad?  I’m very open with her.  So, she usually knows when I’ve had a bad day or if I’m stressed about something.  But does she see the worship?  I would like to say yes, every time. But she doesn’t.  She sees me complain and grumble about things I can’t change.  God sees that too.  It’s led me to become more aware of my attitude and my worship. It also caused me to start studying what true worship really means.  And I’ve discovered that it’s not something I do on Sunday morning.  It’s a lifestyle.

At the end of the day we are called to be like Jesus.  It’s that simple.  But, to do that we need to know about Him and what He stands for.  I feel like I could never find out enough information about Him.  He teaches me new things every day and backs it up with His word.  I don’t think everyone has to pull apart scripture the way I do, but I do think it’s important to spend time in His word.  I encourage you to get alone with God and His word and get to know Him.  You will be mesmerized with what you learn.

Speak Life

Almost every morning between the hours of 4 and 6 I get a text from a friend of mine that contains scripture and some encouraging words for my day.  Honestly, when they first started texting me I was a little irritated.  I mean, 4 am is early.  But now, if I wake up and there is no text I’m actually pretty bummed out.  Those texts bless me so much.  It starts my day off in a way that is hard to mess up. It’s made me realize that it is so important to speak life to people.

I have reminders on my phone for everything. Seriously. If I need to go to walmart I have to put a reminder on my phone to do it;  If I text you about something specific there is a good chance I’ve put a reminder on my phone to do it.  All day long there are reminders that pop up just so I can keep my head on straight. I’ve started using these reminders for other things too.  At 6:45am I have a reminder every day that pops up that says, “Speak life to Kayden”.  At 6:45 we are usually in the car and I’m getting ready to drop her off at my dad’s house.  So, I want the last thing she hears from me to be something positive, something uplifting.  Did you know that you can ruin someone’s day with something you said, or didn’t say?  I feel like people don’t know that.

I work in dental clinics in public schools. I’m sure most people reading this know that.  It’s hard.  Don’t believe me?  Pick a 5 year old and go to the dentist with them.  The kids I see have hard lives.  They have stories that would break your soul.  Unfortunately, few things shock me these days.  I’ve seen too much.  But, I’ve learned that I have the power to do something with these kids that other people might not be able to do.  I can speak life to them.  I pull them out of class, take them to my clinic, put them in the dental chair, and start working.  So, I have a few minutes to talk to them, to tell them that they matter.  To find out what they are afraid of, or what makes them happy, or even what they had for lunch.  I talk to the younger kids about what their favorite color is and I talk to the older kids about college.  I’ve had so many high school aged patients that have never been told that college is an option for them.  Kids like to be asked questions. It lets them know that you care.  A lot of kids go home and are ignored by their parents and never hear that they matter and that they are loved.  I give out a lot of hugs at work.  It’s so important to me that these kids know that they are loved.   To me, that’s what my job is about.  It’s not just dentistry to me.

The other night I was talking to my pastor about a recent development in a situation I’m praying about and Pastor told me, “Keep speaking life into it.”  So I do. Every day.  Speaking life is such a simple concept that most people overlook.  We get so busy moaning and groaning about little things that we don’t see the big things God is doing.  God’s work in the little things is where our faith is tested.  If God cannot trust us in the little things then how can He trust us in the big things?  If there is something you have in your life that seems impossible, speak life to it.  If it’s a promise from God then it will happen. Tell your situation that God is bigger.  There is nothing on this earth that is bigger than God.  Nothing.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

I Let it Go

I’m going to get right to the point.  I’ve had a terrible week. TERRIBLE.  I won’t bore you with my pity party, but lets just say it’s been crummy. Everything good I have tried to do this week has seemed to come back and slap me.  There’s stuff that I have been wanting to go a certain way, and it has not. Not even close. I feel like I said, “WHY GOD?? WHY??” probably 100 times since Sunday.  And then there was silence.  Nothing. I have heard nothing. I was ready for the weekend by noon on Monday. After church last night, my best friend told me to go home and have a “Let it go” session with Jesus. I tried, but couldn’t.

So this morning I fell out of bed, ate pizza and brownies for breakfast, and headed to work.  Let me add that I was running late, of course. I got to work and was met first thing by a woman who loves the Lord and who loves me. I wanted to sit and complain to her and tell her how life isn’t fair, but she just hugged me, told me she loved me and sent me off to my clinic.

I was stomping down the hall around noon today and I started talking to God, “Ok God.  I did what you told me to do.  I did it. I obeyed you.  So why isn’t something happening?  Why aren’t you doing anything?  I need you to DO something. I’m losing it here!!!”

And He spoke.

He said, “You asked for me to stretch your faith. How is your faith going to stretch if you don’t have some trials?”

I got back to my clinic and started boo-hooing and He spoke again. He said, “What are you so upset about? Don’t you know that the tomb is still empty?”  Whoa.  So, what He’s saying is, “Victory is still mine.  I’ve taken care of it.  I did that a long time ago. It’s covered. Relax.”

Ok God.  I’m listening now…

So I sat in my clinic and finally had my “let it go” session.  Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”  So, I let it all go.  My anxiety, my fear, my doubt, my heart ache.  I dropped it off the feet of Jesus and walked out of the clinic and left it there.

I don’t know what is going to happen with the situations that burdened me all week.  I can’t say that what I want is going to happen.  I don’t know.  I can say that what I need is going to happen. God doesn’t always give us what we want, but he ALWAYS gives us what we need.

That thing in front of you that looks like it’s not happening, give it time.  Wait on the Lord.  He is kind and wise. He wants you to let it go.  Give it to Him. Trust Him with it.  He won’t lead you where He won’t go.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

 

 

The Definition of Loneliness

I know the definition of loneliness.  I’ve lived it. I think most single parents have. Webster’s dictionary describes loneliness as, “sad from being apart from other people”.  Now, they didn’t ask my opinion when coming up with this definition, but if they had I could have summed it up a little differently.  To me, the definition of loneliness is, “Single Parenting”.

I learned something that changed everything for me nine years ago: Being a parent is tough.  I’ve been a single parent all nine years of my daughter’s life. I was actually single most of my pregnancy too- talk about lonely… I think being pregnant and alone is one of the loneliest places you can be.  I remember going to doctor’s appointments and feeling anger towards the cute, married couples I was sitting with.  And I was lonely.  Towards the end of my pregnancy my doctor actually asked me if I had someone who could drive me to my appointments because he didn’t want me driving anymore. I think the poor guy actually felt sorry for me.  So here I was, 8 months pregnant and needing someone to help me, and of course God showed up. In my time of need, God placed a wonderful woman of God in my path and she took me under her wing and made sure I had what I needed and got me where I needed to go.  God has an awesome way of placing people in our lives right when we need them. It always amazes me. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that every single thing that happens and every single person that crosses our path is perfectly designed and planned by God.  This woman was absolutely a perfect gift for me. She’s actually still a huge part of my life today.

My little red-headed baby came right after thanksgiving that year. I was living with my dad when she was born, just the two of us.  I remember my dad taking us home, and going to work the next day.  I stared at Kayden all day.  And I was lonely.  I had no idea what to do with her.  All my friends were in college, and I was sitting at home with this baby.  I remember my emotions being all over the place.  I was angry. I was sad.  I was scared.  But most of all, I was lonely.  I realized very quickly that a baby is not exactly the best company.  For months, Kayden and my dad were the only contact I had with anyone.  That was tough.

At the time I could not understand why God would allow me to be so secluded.  Why in the world would He want me this broken down?  I think God allows us to be in a place of loneliness and solitude so we completely count on Him.  Jesus is there, when no one else is.  Psalm 119:71 says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes”.  I learned a lot about the character of God through that season of loneliness.  I learned that God is faithful.  I learned that He comforts those who are weary.  I learned that I could trust Him with my daughter and her life.  I learned that Jesus did not just take my sins to the cross.  He also took my hurts, my anxieties, my fears, and my loneliness.  He took yours too.  All of it.  Through that season of loneliness I can say that He did not forsake me.  Not once.

There are still some nights when Kayden is gone and I’m sitting alone in my house when the devil tries to trap me into a moment of loneliness, but God is quick to remind me that He is always near.  Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”.  He reminds me that I don’t have to live in loneliness.  He took care of that on Calvary.  He has shifted my focus to sitting in His presence when I am alone, and there is no place I’d rather be.

But I want it NOW

I have been praying for two specific things for almost 10 years. One of these things doesn’t even directly involve me. Neither one of them has come to pass, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that they will eventually because they were promises. I pray for a lot of things, but these two things are things I think about daily, wondering if today is the day. Through praying for these things God has dealt with me. His word says in Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.   Seek FIRST…

There have been many times that other things and people start sliding in front of Him.  It’s difficult when your eyes start drifting to the left and right.  We loose focus on our promises and what God has called us to do.  We are busy bodies.  We think we need to say yes to everything and do everything.  I’m guilty.  I say yes to everything. Sometimes we need to take a step back and make sure there is nothing that is between us and Jesus, and if there is we need to move it or remove it.  If it’s a person then move them. If it’s a hobby then move it.  Do whatever it takes.

Honestly, there has been more than once that I have wanted to throw up my hands and say, “Ok God. I give up. It’s not happening”.  I actually had a pity-party cry-fest while sitting in my car in the middle of a parking lot recently over something I want and God immediately began dealing with me.  Multiple times he has told me, “You are doing it your way, and that doesn’t work.”  I know I have told God, “If you would just do it THIS way, I know THAT would happen.”  Or, “If you let me have THIS, then I know THESE things would happen”.  I think we get caught up in HOW things will happen instead of just letting God do what He does. I bet God just shakes His head in frustration at me.  Guess what? Things don’t go well when I try to control it.  Trust me.

The devil has even told me many times that God is not going to do what I ask, because of things I’ve done.  He has reminded me of things I’ve done years ago, things I’ve done months ago, even things I’ve done last week.  He has even told me that God is going to take away certain blessings because of things I’ve done.  But he’s a liar.  The father of lies. You have to speak against those lies when the devil comes at you.  He might as well pass over, because he cannot touch the promises God has given you.  He is not the author of your story. God has the final say.  How fantastic is that?!

God has reminded me that receiving my promises isn’t just about my prayers. It’s about my praise.  Praising Him in advance for things I KNOW will happen, instead of sitting in my pity party and worrying about when it will happen.

Think about Paul and Silas.  Acts 16:25-26 says, And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

What time of the day were they praying? Midnight.  Did you know that midnight is the darkest hour? But, midnight is also the hour that begins a new day.  So, in their very darkest hour they praised Him. Why? Because He is worthy. And through their praise they received what they needed from God at that exact moment.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that maybe I have not gotten these things I’ve asked for because God knows I don’t need them at this exact moment.  And my earthly mind cannot understand that because I want it now.  It’s hard to want something for 10 years and it not happen.

But this one thing I know, things aren’t over until God says so. We must hold on to the promises of God and know that if He said it, then it’s a done deal already. And that is where my hope comes from.

 

My Sin = My Greatest blessing

When I first got saved I was on cloud nine.  I was untouchable, or so I thought.  I had met this Jesus and He was pretty awesome.  I didn’t drink anymore. I didn’t smoke anymore. I didn’t go to parties anymore.  I really thought nothing could mess me up.  I did not realize how important it was to guard myself from the things of this world that had strongholds on me in the past.  I went to college and slowly began allowing myself to attend parties and places I shouldn’t go.  I was ok with not drinking. I could handle that.  That was never my weakness.

Then I met this guy.  Oh goodness, this guy… I loved him immediately.  Suddenly, my focus was off of Jesus and on this man I loved so deeply.  For a while things seemed perfect.  He was fantastic.  A good man.  I was so unaware of what I was sacrificing for him…

I remember when I first started to feel sick.  What in the world?  Why can’t I keep anything down?  I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. Oh my gosh.  I was supposed to be a christian! Everyone was going to know about my sin!  This was devastating to me.  I realized that I didn’t know how to be a christian.  I didn’t know how to guard myself from sin.   I didn’t know how to lean on God for help when I was weak.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ” The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it.”  This is great news, but I didn’t know about this great news because I had not been faithfully reading my bible or faithfully spending time with the Lord. You see, God gives us a way out when we are tempted, but we have to lean on Him to be our strength in these times. .

I was about 8 months pregnant when my church was having our camp meeting.  I remember skipping a lot of church while I was pregnant because I was so ashamed.  I don’t know what made me decide to attend camp meeting, but I believe it was divine appointment.  A woman came up to me and wanted me to go to the altar to pray with her.  I basically refused.  She looked me in the eye and said, “I’m not praying for you.  I’m praying for HER.”  And pointed to my belly.  I knew then, that I had to get it together.  I could not let my sin ruin this child.  But you see, God had taken my sin and turned it into the most beautiful thing in my life.  God used my sin to show me that His grace is sufficient for me.  And His mercy covers ALL my sins.

We as humans tend to put a value on sin:  This is worse than that, She is worse than he, My sin is worse than yours… I think it is a way of justifying what we are doing. We think that if we aren’t murdering people then we are ok. This is a lie of the devil.  Sin is sin.  It’s all ugly.  It all makes us worthy of hell. At the end of the day, it is miserable to be in sin.  The devil will do whatever he can to try to keep you in your sin.  It doesn’t matter if your sin looks like mine.  Don’t fall for the devil’s tricks.  If you find yourself in sin do whatever it takes to get out and then lean on God’s mercy and grace to keep you from sinning again.  It is sufficient

I still struggle with sin.  Every day. The devil knows what I struggle with so he takes every opportunity he sees to try and trick me.  I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t just float through life and be a christian.  You have to fight daily.  It has to be a deliberate act of crucifying your flesh daily.  It’s hard.  And if I don’t ask God for help then I fail.  I fail hard.  But when I focus on Him and the help the Holy Spirit brings, it is easier.  It becomes possible.  Jesus himself said in Matthew 19 that nothing is impossible with God.

I trust that.