The Truth

Some days I have profound moments with God where I know He is speaking straight to me.  It’s not in a different voice, it’s my voice affirming a truth from His Word.

Seasons come and go and I’m in a hard one.  One that is requiring a lot of my time, energy, and attention.  Emotional growth is one of the hardest parts of my journey so far.  Connecting with my emotions, memories, hurts and pains.  I don’t like it.

What I am learning in this time is God’s Presence in my life is deeper than I ever have felt Him before.  Another layer, depth with my God, my Savior who promises to never leave me or forsake me.

I’d love to just have some comfort and an easy walk but to be honest I don’t really think about God being with me then.  I think about how I am crushing it and keeping myself together.

So today, I’m spending time journaling and putting pieces together that feel painful but I’m seeing fruit.  And the verse, John 8:32 comes to mind, “…then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  I kind of brush it off, because I have read this verse a million times praying it over myself usually in the form of freedom from anxiety.  But today something new came and I want to share it with you.

Sometimes searching for the truth feels a little like detective work.  But in this case God clarified for me I want you to experience the truth.  Truth that is real no matter what’s going on.  See freedom from anxiety is circumstantial.  Stressors will come and I will deal with the anxiety again, and hopefully less overwhelming the next time.

But God says to me I want more:

I want you to experience my love.

I want you to experience my forgiveness.

I want you to experience my closeness.

I want you to experience my grace and compassion for you.

And experience comes from being with other people and allowing them to minister to you.  Allowing them to speak over your life the truth when you are having a hard time holding onto it. And in this God shows us Himself, through people.  And it can draw our eyes back to Him.

John 8:31 says, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciple…”  from this verse I’m reminded of James 1:25, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”  I don’t know about you, but I need help remembering.

Freedom comes from sitting with Jesus over and over and over until we finally experience who He truly is to us.  And what I love is this is not an independent endeavor.  People are a part of this process.  Mine are a counselor, friends, mentors, and my husband.

Who are your people?  Who are helping you experience who God really is?  How are they teaching you?  What connections are you making from these experiences?

Lord help us to see you for who You are and how You see us in return. 

Do you re-read books?

Do you re-read books?

I have a few I like to re-read.  These are part of my resources.  Books that speak over me and encourage me.

It goes without saying but just in case, the Bible is an irreplaceable resource for me.  It speaks to me and it amazes me how I can hear the same verse and depending on the day I hear it differently.  God speaks through His word and I believe He speaks through other’s too.

So while God is speaking to me through His word, He also comforts me through others words.  Books have been a comfort for me especially as I work through healing.

Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning was one of the first books that taught me I can come and sit at Jesus feet as is.  I can come to Jesus with all of my feelings that I’ve labeled good or bad.  I can come with my sin and sit at His feet and you know what He gave me in those moments, His love.  Deep gratitude began to grow in me towards God.

Then it was a few years and a lot of heartache later, God met me with the book Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray and it rocked my world.  I was in counseling working through trauma and Bonnie’s words spoke over me so clearly.  The heart of her message was that I need “space/rest” for God to speak over my wounds.  She has been a kindred spirit and I am grateful for her words and how God to used them in my life.  She also wrote Whispers of Rest which is a continuation of how we get spiritual whitespace in our life.  This book really helped me reconnect with myself, because God wants to be with all of us not just part of us.

Finally, two books that are impacting my new year.  Try Softer by Aundi Kolber  and To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue.  If you need salve for a worn out soul, if you need comfort, if you need space to just breathe and know you are safe-these book hold that space for you.  They draw you back to God and renew a fresh perspective that is better.  It is better to try softer and not be so harsh with ourselves.  God is a God with compassionate love towards us.  I believe He wants us to experience this here and now.

These are some of my re-reads.  I will pick them up when I feel misunderstood and hurt.  I will pick them up when I need a pick me up.  I will pick them up when I need to know I’m not alone. These books break me out of that “stuck” feeling and help me become more curious.

What are you reading that is speaking to your heart?

Encouraging you in a new way?

 

Hold up, WAIT a minute.

Wait.

Pause.

Contemplate.

Sit with it a little while longer.

2019.  Wait.  My word God has given me.

Now, sometimes when I tell people my word, maybe they feel guilty, unsure of their word, or just unaware that maybe God would speak to them this way.

This is a gut thing for me.  It’s a word God has spoken to me, and ultimately it is the thing He wants to teach me this year.  It’s not overcomplicated.  So, go with the word that rings in your ear the over and over, or ask God to open your ears.

Because He is personal.  So intentional on speaking to us.  Right where we are.  As is.

This is one way I see God caring for me.  Showing me how He is going to specifically teach me.  This relationship with Him is one on one, deeply personal to my circumstances and needs.

So I’m waiting this year.  When someone asks me a question, I can choose to wait to answer.  I can choose to pray.  I can choose to give myself time on a subject.  Waiting isn’t forever.  It is a place to stand with God until He says move, or until He clarifies my next step.

This doesn’t mean I’m not active.  I don’t get a pass this year.  “Oh I’m just waiting on the Lord.”

No I’m waiting on my hands and knees praying.

I’m waiting in the car line for my son to get out of school listening to music.

I’m waiting while I read and grow and nurture my soul.

Waiting is preparing.

What are you doing this year?  How is God speaking to you specifically?  Has He revealed a word to you?  Let Him speak, He is loving, kind and true.

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Love perfected

Paul prays it for us in Ephesians 3:19, “… to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge…”.

John lays out in 1 John 4: 7-12, “Love is from God, God is love, Jesus-the epitome of God’s love in flesh, that God loved us, calls us to love others, and in all that His love is perfected in us.”

To know Gods love is to give it away.  Believing He will still fill us up at the end of a hard day, with hard people to love, and that He will do it again tomorrow.

I’ve been fearful.  Stingy with my love at times.  Afraid I didn’t have enough to give out.  But slowly I’m trusting, this perfecting, that God will refill me.   But that requires some practices on my part, like praying for others, so my heart softens and changes towards them.  Praying for patience with my littles.  Praying the Holy Spirit shows up for me, because I am not able to love in a way God has for me.  It is beyond me.

I love Ephesians 3: 19 says “…and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.”   I love more that this is Paul’s prayer.  He understood what it took for us to know Christ’s love for us.  It has little to do with us, we don’t have to organize perfect prayers, just honest ones. Like we need Him.  We can’t do this thing on our own.  It is impossible without Him.

As we pray, I’m challenging myself to look less for the answers, and more for where God is showing up in this mess.  I’ve focused hard on the answers for so long, instead of the One with all the answers.

Love is perfected:

  1. as we get to know our Savior’s love for us through:
    1. Prayer
    2. Reading His Word
  2. as we love our neighbor:
    1. without expectation
    2. with anticipation of God showing up and making His love known

Life goal: to know His Love for me, because it will undoubtably pour out.

Balance

 

This is my word for 2018.  Balance.

Have you ever had a word for the year? A word you let God speak to you?

I love this. It is so personal. A magnificent God communicating to each of us personally through one word.  How powerful.

I love that my friends have shared their word for the year with me. Some are joy, humility, to be content and to grow. I’m honestly challenged by many of their words. Through them sharing, I feel like they are letting me be a part of what God is doing in their lives.

So what is God challenging you with this year?

Over the past two years, my word has been rest and I read books on rest and being present and reflecting.

And this year my word is balance. So I’m not only balancing my schedule with my kids and husband but also with myself. Picking things I enjoy amidst the chaos of loving my home and the people in it. I’m taking time for the things that make me smile, and grow me as a person and a believer.

Here are some of the things I will add to balance out my schedule. And most of them I’ve learned the past two years focusing on rest, I like that!

I’m reading more fiction, balancing out my how to and Christian living books. I’m doing yoga and appreciating my time and worth and it has opened my heart to be thankful just by slowing down to do it. I’m taking baths with fizzy bath bombs and painting canvases. I’m doing calligraphy and making artwork for friends. I’m cooking and trying new foods. I’m listening to piano music and nature sounds. But I’m also still doing laundry and dishes and picking up after my kids. It’s both and I like that.

So what’s your word? Pray about it. Share it with your friends! Comment below, I’d love to know too!