Sometimes

Sometimes it’s hard to walk this faith thing out.

I was praying last night and telling God how frustrated I was.  I have been trying to memorize verse to have a more “positive” mindset, and it just felt like a lot of work, reading books, listening to podcasts, and feeling tired.

I realized I have so much head knowledge, and now I need it to connect to my heart.  Those broken places in my heart need God’s love and redemption too.

Then, in my human dust like state, I realized that I did not have the ability to change my heart.  I could think new things and do more Bible study, but if it wasn’t sinking in to the deepest part of me it was just work with no heart.

And work with no heart, is not pretty.  It shows up as pride, self-righteousness, anger, frustration, and the list goes on.  It looks like having all the right answers but no victory to back it up.

So I cried out to God, “I can’t change my heart!”  And He reminded me of a verse.

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart…”

What?!?!?!

This y’all is what I have craved all along.

Then another Matthew 11:28, “COME to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”  It DOES NOT say “come to me when you have it all figured out and it looks pretty with a bow on it.  It says come to me with it even when its messy and you are exhausted from trying to fight and make things right.  And I will give you rest.  Beautiful rest for your soul that is tired and weary.  Oh the promise.

Another verse, Philippians 2:3 “…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Ephesians 2:9, “…not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I had been working, checking things off, but I was doing it in my own strength.  I’ve come to the end of myself, realizing that this battle for my heart belongs to Him.  And He will work this out for good.  He will do a mighty thing.  Because He loves me, and He loves you.

Maybe your saying, wow that sounds great, but how does this look.

Reaching out is essential.  We get lost thinking we are the only ones fighting when there are believers right beside us who are saying the same thing.  Pray and ask God for friends who you can trust and let them love on you.

Support and encouragement go hand and hand in this battle, even Jesus did do life alone.  Having others around you allows God to use people to encourage you and for you to encourage them.

None of this is to be done alone.

We may be the one swinging the sword in our personal battles but is there any army behind you-praying for you, encouraging you, and speaking verses to you when you’re lost.

No man is an island.  Reach out.

Just enough for today

My blog name.  I wrestled with writing a blog.  I’ve never done anything like this before.  Yet, something called.  A peace.  Even an excitement at what might come at my sitting and waiting and writing it down.

It is a beautiful thing to trust God with something new.  Something uncertain.

Most days I have no idea what I will write.  And even in the stewing the days prior, thinking over words or ideas not much comes.  A lot of mumbled mess.  This is how I used to write.  In school I had all these ideas and I had such a difficult time picking one and sticking to it.  The pressure was too great to just pick one topic.

Prayer. 

It’s not a big prayer, but each day when I go to write, I ask God what He wants me to talk about.  The better days are ones where I’ve listened a little longer and got the clearer picture.  But still I write.

So, today, as I’m getting my car inspected I’m reading Daring to Hope.  And I am desperately trying to finish my two books for the month of April, which have proved challenging with kids in school, connect groups and family visiting-you know life.

Daring to Hope has been another life-giving pics this month.  I thought I would feel insecure reading about this sweet girl name Katie Davis Majors who has adopted all of these Ugandan girls, single and runs a ministry.  I mean that alone intimidates me.  But as I read, I hear this real life person.  This woman, a mom working this faith thing out each day.  Its beautiful and powerful.  It has made me appreciate the dark times, motherhood and ministry.

As I’m reading she italicizes this idea just enough for that day.  I was struck.

Those words.  Just enough for that day.

Those words have meant so much to me in these four months of writing.  Asking God each day what He wants from me.  What He wants me to be real about, to share a piece of my heart.  It is humbling.

He’s calling me to new things, things uncertain, but things that He is going to walk with me through.  And I can trust that I have just enough for today.

I don’t need an overflow, just enough.  

So I’m sitting on this phrase today.

I’m not exactly sure what our future holds, but I will have just enough each day to live it out.  

His promises are true, and He is faithful to provide.  We just need to ask.

 

Are you willing to hope?

Hope.

A simple word defined, “to expect with confidence, trust.”

How many times in this life have you lost confidence or trust in something or someone?

Countless for me.

So today I was challenged with this idea of hope.  Should I get my hopes up?  Should I allow myself such anticipation?  And I was reminded that I’m hoping in the wrong things.

I’m hoping someone won’t disappoint me or let me down.  I’m hoping this new shirt will make me feel happier.  I am hoping this new endeavor will sustain me.

But that’s not hope, not true hope.

We need to move our hope up higher, to a person who will never disappoint.

Maybe you’re thinking, Tara, I have been so disappointed by God.  He has let me down, not shown up, or left me.  I’ve felt those things too.  So, I challenge you to do something new.

Look back at some of those painful and disappointing times in your life and ask God to show himself.  Ask Him to show where He was.  Trust Him when He speaks.  It’s true.  He was there.

He is incapable of disappointing us.  Of letting us down.  Of leaving us even if we’ve left Him.  He is omnipresent, everywhere, all the time.

Now, you don’t have to look back forever, just long enough to let God show you He was there, He was moving, on your behalf, so He can be with you.  He sent Jesus.  He sent Him for you.

Romans 5:5 (NLT)

 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

So who are you hoping won’t hurt or fail you?  Hopefully it’s not a person or a thing, because they will hurt and fail you.  It’s not hopeless though.

All through the Psalms you’ll find the phrase “I put my HOPE in You.”  Move that hope to the right place.  And allow people to be people.  It will move pressure from them, pressure they cannot carry for us.  And let God surprise you with hope.

He is worthy of all our hope.