Posted in Love, Spiritual Growth, Trust

Trust Issues

Greetings Beloved!  I pray that you are prospering and in health even as your soul prospers!

The Lord wanted me to share with you today about my trust problems.  When I really think about it, I’ve had issues with trusting people for a long time, as in many years. But in the past couple of years or so, He’s revealed to me that I had trust issues big time!  I didn’t trust much of anyone including God or even myself.  Yes, that is very sad, but that’s just where I’ve been for many years. Jesus has brought me a long ways….but He’s still working on me and so graciously helping me. Hallelujah!

I remember being a shy and quiet child, and I had few friends in school.  I was the poster child for introverts if there ever was one.  Growing up, the only person I was completely and totally comfortable with was my younger sister.  I got teased and made fun of in grade school (christian school, btw), and got bullied in the 9th grade, which didn’t help matters.  10th grade and on was a little better.  As an adult, I still wasn’t one to introduce myself let alone start a conversation with someone I didn’t know well. Then I got a job at a grocery store as a cashier.  I took that job because I needed a job, and it didn’t cross my mind in that moment just how much I would be interacting and dealing with people. Hey I was young and naive. It’s so funny now, when I think back to being in training for that job.  The lady who was training me, put me on a “live” lane meaning real customers coming through.  I would just scan their items and tell them the total due.  After 3 or 4 customers, my trainer pulled me back off, and looked at me and said rather sternly, “You have got to say ‘hi’ to people!” I can only imagine the look on my face as I was thinking inside myself “You mean I have to talk to people?” I didn’t say that, thank God. I just told her “ok,” and began to force myself to start acknowledging each customer.  It was the best thing for me and really helped me A LOT when it came to strangers.

But I still didn’t let hardly anyone get real close to me. I was a very private person emotionally, and the deep things of my heart most often either just stayed inside of me, or was written in a journal that I would hide so no one could find it.  I always felt like no one understood me or even cared to, if that makes sense. That wasn’t true, but that is how I saw it then, and even until a couple of years ago.

I got born again in 1995, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the Lord started to reveal and help me with this.  Why that long?  Me.  He was waiting on me to let Him. I didn’t know that I could talk to Him about everything!  Once I know that I could, I still struggled to talk to Him and just pour my heart out, even though I knew my heart was safe with Him, and knew that He already knew what was in my heart! I was so used to just keeping everything to myself and not talking about things that bothered me. I realized that I didn’t even trust God!

One of the ways He showed me to help with this where He is concerned, was to look up and write down several Scriptures about trusting God. And then to personalize them and read them out loud.  I haven’t read them every single day, but every day that I do, I can sure tell the difference in me! And I can tell my faith in Him is growing, too.  Thank You Jesus! And I feel like I’m lighter and more free inside….it’s so wonderful!

If by chance you feel like you are struggling with fully trusting and having faith in God, people or yourself even, I highly recommend doing the same thing.  In fact, I’ll just share the Scriptures I’ve been using with you. I’ll put a link at the end of this post. Read them out loud at least once a day. And read them believing that it will make a difference.  It might take a few days, or even weeks, but just keep at it….your mind will get renewed. Then one day, something will make you go “Hey, I didn’t have any trouble believing that!”

Much love to you, and remember to believe His love for you!  He will never leave you or forsake you….ever!

Download PDF Here: Scriptures About Trust

Posted in Love

Reflecting on the Past 2 Years

Have you ever just sat quietly and reflected on your life?  I’m sure most everyone has at some point, and to some degree. I am one of those people that does this a lot! I like to sit and think about stuff, because I have an inquiring mind….I want to know. LOL.

This past Sunday afternoon, the Lord had me to sit, reflect and review the past 2 years of my life.  Before I get into what all He led me to do, I should explain “why” the past 2 years specifically, and why they are significant in this post.

On January 4, 2017, I left a 16+ year marriage to a husband that loved alcohol more than me.  How I got to that place is another story in itself. But for this post, once I made the decision to get out, the Lord helped me to do so.  He made a way where I couldn’t see a way until I stepped out in faith.  Once I got to my new location, I spent the first month or two, just learning how to relax and rest….how to just breathe again.  Most of that 1st year (2017) was healing, restoration and learning how to have a one-on-one, intimate and personal relationship with Jesus.  I had been saved for many years, but I didn’t know that I could, or that it was even possible, to get so close to the Lord, or that He even wanted that from us.  I knew Him as Savior only before that.

Year 2 (2018), was filled with tests, trials and tribulations, most of which were against my mind and emotions.  And that’s how the devil operates.  However, I wasn’t prepared for these because I wasn’t expecting them.  That’s no excuse by any means, I just hadn’t thought much about satan, our enemy, coming and trying to knock me down, because I hadn’t studied those scriptures for quite some time.  But it got so bad at one point, or a better way to say it, it got so loud in my mind and emotions that it seemed all I could do was just hunker down and ride through it.  And suddenly, when it seemed all was quiet, I felt like I was sitting in the middle of the rubble of a tornado wondering what happened! I began to doubt everything that I thought, knew or heard from the Lord. I even doubted my wonderful experiences with Him.

I had a lot, A LOT, of questions afterwards! But I didn’t know what to ask.  I thought that maybe I brought this on because I messed up somewhere.  Yet, the Lord Jesus has been so gracious and kind, as He always is, to help me through it all little by little.  What I mean by that is He helped me sort it all out a chunk at a time in a way I could handle it, and not be overwhelmed. And He continues to do so.

So back to Sunday afternoon, to start He had me pull out my journal that I had started when I moved here to where I am now. He said to read through everything I wrote from start to where I left off in it. Then He had me continue on into all the other things and words He spoke to me in my spiral notebook up to the most current thing I wrote. (Thank You Jesus for leading me to write down all these things). It was quite something to read through everything, especially what I wrote during those times of tests, trials and tribulations.  All the stuff that I had begun to doubt earlier, I realized that God had confirmed most all of it in other ways. He also answered many questions that I had that I never really asked Him specifically.

What He showed me was that He had been helping me all along. And He has also been teaching me the things I didn’t know before.  But most of all, He has showed me that He has never left me or forsaken me. And that He never will….EVER!  When things got crazy, if you will, the devil tried to get me to believe it was all my fault and that God was mad at me.  But praise God, that is simply not true whatsoever!  God IS Love! And 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us how Love acts….how God is.

Thinking back to that first day, and first few weeks, I was overweight, depressed, and I had no clue who I was or who God created me to be.  I realized that I never did know.  I spent my life trying to be what I thought everyone else expected me to be. I was a people pleaser through and through.  The difference in me between then and now is amazing to me.  I’m not overweight anymore, and I didn’t even try to lose weight….it just came off. I’m not depressed anymore. I feel so much more free and lighter on the inside, too.  God is so awesome!!! He truly, truly is good. And His mercy truly, truly does endure forever! I love my Father God and my Lord Jesus so much!

And you know what? My Father loves you, too….yes you!  He sent Jesus to be the one and only sacrifice just for you. And Jesus did it willingly. Why? Love! Love is why. Love gives. Love does not demand, and love does not condemn. It does not matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been.  Satan tried to get me to believe I was not loved, but he’s a liar!!!!! I am loved and so are you!  I haven’t met you yet, but I love you. But most importantly, God loves you! Believe it today!

 

 

 

Posted in Love

Beloved, Just Come Home

I apologize that I haven’t posted anything for several weeks.  It isn’t that I haven’t sat down to do so, but everything I started to write just didn’t seem to go anywhere, or it just didn’t seem to matter for lack of a better way of putting it. I really don’t know what to “chalk it up as” to be honest.  I have found myself spending a good deal of time reflecting and reviewing many things in my own life, and just sitting and letting the Lord show me things and letting Him answer so many questions in my heart.  Perhaps I’ll be released to talk about that in another post.

What’s really been on my heart today is the love of our Father God for us all, and His desire for all people to come to Him.  He really and truly does love us! And He gave us Jesus to prove it.

One of the things I’ve been reflecting on is where He brought me from.  I grew up in a Christian home. I went to Christian schools until I started high school. My parents saw to it that I was as sheltered (protected) from the world and its ways the best they knew how. And God bless them for doing so, and I am so very thankful for my parents. I love them and miss them, and look forward to seeing them in Heaven very soon.

But at the age of 14, I chose to go the opposite way.  I went completely rogue and rebel on my parents.  I won’t go into details now, but I stayed on that path until the age of 26. That’s when my life, and my way of doing things, completely caved in around me.  And I got a little taste of what hell would be like. No I didn’t die, but I sure wanted to and even tried to. But God stepped in and said, “I love you. Just come home.”  No, I didn’t realize that in the moment, but I saw it later after I gave my life to Him.

See, back then I thought it was too late for me.  I had sinned too much, and had done too much evil for God to ever take me back or accept me. In my mind it was over. Life as I knew it was over! But God said, “No, it’s not too late. This is the very reason I sent My Son, Jesus.”

And I have been reminded recently of the story of the prodigal son that Jesus told in the gospels.  The father did not care where that son had been, or what that son had done. He was just happy that he came home. And not only was he happy, he treated that wayward son as if he had never done anything wrong. It wasn’t too late for him.  That is how our amazing and awesome Heavenly Father sees us! He is eagerly and expectantly waiting for us to come home. And He is waiting with open arms to receive us! It does not matter what we’ve done.  All we have to do is humble ourselves before Him.  He is gracious, loving and kind! He is good and His mercy endures forever!

It took me a very long time to really let this settle into my heart and believe it.  But three different accounts in Scripture helped me to lay ahold of this.  One was King David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then had her husband killed to try to cover it up.  But he was convicted in his heart through the prophet Nathan, then humbled himself and repented before the Lord. The second was the story of the prodigal son which I already spoke of. And the third account was the woman mentioned in John chapter 8 who had been caught in adultery, but Jesus released her even though He was the only one without sin and had full and legal right to throw that first stone.

Beloved, If you have wandered away from God, or even if you have never known God at all, it is NOT too late!  Just come home.  He is eagerly waiting to receive you,and call you His own. He won’t make you or force you. You have to choose. Choose love….God is love! He has already chosen you!

I will be praying for you, and I want to meet and see you in Heaven. Will you be there?

 

Posted in Love, Revelation

God Really IS Love!

Many years ago, back in 1995, the very first revelation I received from studying the Bible was that God not only has love for us, but that He is love.  I was a new believer, just a few months into my new journey with the Lord.

I had already come across 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where Paul talks about what love is and what love does and doesn’t do.  I loved that passage of Scripture (and still do very much). I don’t recall how much time had passed by, a few months perhaps, but one day I found myself reading the 1st Epistle of John.  As I was going through it, I noticed that John wrote more than once that God is love.  I began to meditate on those words.  And as I did, I began thinking that if God is love, then love is God.  I can’t separate the two….they are one in the same.  Then the Lord started showing me that anywhere I saw the word “God,” I could also use the word “Love.”  And vice versa, anywhere I saw the word “love,” I could also use the word “God.”

Then 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 came back up in me.  So I went over there and read it again. I was using the older version of the NIV at the time.  And then I read it again using the word “God” in the place of love.  It totally transformed me and how I viewed God!  See, I used to be afraid of Him, as in scared.  Afraid that if I messed up in any way at all, He was going to condemn me to hell forever.  I didn’t know or understand the love He has for us at the first part of my salvation.  But when I read His Word in the light of this new revelation, I wasn’t scared or afraid of Him anymore.  I realized He wasn’t going to condemn me to hell or beat me over the head. No!  Love doesn’t condemn, love gives!

Here is how 1 Cor. 13:4-8 in the older NIV translation says it, with my line-by-line breakdown:

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, love does not boast. Love is not proud, love does not dishonor others. Love is not rude, love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered, love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, love always trusts, love always hopes, love always perserveres. Love never fails!

And here it is with “God” inserted every where the word “love” is:

God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast. God is not proud, God does not dishonor others. God is not rude, God is not self-seeking.  God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs.  God does not delight in evil, God rejoices with the truth. God always protects, God always trusts, God always hopes, God always perserveres. God never fails!

Isn’t that awesome?!  He really does love us as children.  He didn’t approve or like what I had been doing before I got saved, but that didn’t change His love for me. And the same is true for all people.  He loves you as a father whether you believe it or not, know it or not, and even want it or not.  Maybe you have children. All of us have been children. As a parent, you may not like some things your children do, but you don’t stop loving them because of it.  And as a child or former child, maybe you messed up (and maybe more than once like me), but your parents didn’t cast you away.  And if they did, you have a Father in Heaven who will never cast you away if you go to Him.

He really IS LOVE!  He really IS GOOD!  And His mercy really DOES endure forever! Believe His love for you, and receive His love today! If you would like to receive Jesus into your heart and life, please go to my  Prayers page. And if you would like prayer for anything, please feel free to contact me here: Contact Us

You are greatly and dearly loved!  Be blessed today!

Posted in Love

True Friendship

I came across something I wrote back in March of 2018.  I wrote it in a style that would be good in a custom greeting or birthday card.  But I didn’t ever use it for that.  I just wrote it, and saved it on my computer, and forgot about it.

I looked at the date stamp on it this evening, and remembered that I had written it on a day when a friend was supposed to come and visit me. It was their idea, not mine. This person ended up not coming over, which normally wouldn’t have bothered me one bit.  I called that day (because they asked me to) to let them know when was a good time since i work from home.  When I called, they didn’t answer.  A few moments later, I received a text saying they were laying down in bed with a bad headache, and to please pray.  So I did.  Later on in the afternoon, they called me and sounded great.  Real chipper, happy and feeling good.  They never apologized for not coming, nor tried to re-schedule. Just nothing.  Nothing but a lot of fast talking.  It appeared to me that they never intended on coming, and I don’t know why.  This was hurtful because I thought this person was a friend. I wasn’t expecting to be lied to and deceived like that.  I mean if you can’t make it, just say you can’t make it. Right?  Why all the deception and excuses?

I chose to forgive as the Bible commands us, but Jesus really had to help me with this one.  It hit me right in the heart.  And so that evening, I sat down at the computer and the following is what came out:

True Friendship

What is a true friend?

A true friend never leaves you or forsakes you

Even when you are at your worst.

A true friend never lets you go

Even when you deserve to be let go.

A true friend will not yell at you

Even when they are upset with you.

A true friend will not tell you one thing,

And then do another.

A true friend can be summed up in the following Scripture:

Love is patient

Love is kind

Love does not envy

Love does not boast

Love is not prideful

Love does not dishonor

Love is not rude

Love is not self-seeking

Love is not easily angered

Love keeps no record of wrongs

Love does not delight in evil

Love rejoices with the truth

Love always protects

Love always hopes

Love always perseveres

Love never fails

Love never stops loving.

(Reference: 1 Cor. 13:4-8 NIV & TPT)

I have a friend just like this.

His name is Jesus.

He really is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

He is always there when I need Him no matter the hour.

He is always there when I want Him. And He is even there when I don’t.

He is never too busy for me…..ever!

He loves me with all that He is and all that He has!

I am by no means perfect in any way.  I have many flaws and shortcomings. I’ve let people down, and people have let me down.  Even though we as humans fall short, we have One in Heaven who never falls short. His Name is Jesus!  He never leaves us or forsakes us….ever!  He is always there to help us when we call on Him.  He IS my very BEST FRIEND!  He loves me when all is well, and when all is chaos.  When I’m in a good mood or a bad one.  When I’m angry, sad, hurt, happy….He’s always right there to help me….every time.

If you are struggling with a friendship, or any kind of relationship, just go to Jesus with it. He will hear you, and He will help you with it because He loves you.  And He will heal your heart, too, and show you how to love people just as He loves people.  How do I know?  Because my heart isn’t hurt anymore, and I still love this person, and we are still friends.

 

Posted in Love

A New Foundation Built On Love, In Love

The devil had attacked me in my thoughts and emotions rather fiercely in recent months, and it had become so loud in me that I wasn’t sure what to do.  When it was over, I felt as though I was buried in a pile of rubble wondering what happened.  Afterwards, I started sliding down that slope of depression. I was so angry with myself. I started telling myself what a failure I was (again) and a bunch of other not-so-nice things.  I just felt stuck, I lost my joy and my peace. Every morning I woke up with a heavy gloom over me.  I didn’t want to pray or pick up my Bible, and I didn’t really want to talk to the Lord about it all, either, because I was afraid I would get sternly rebuked for whatever had happened with me (I thought it was all my fault). I finally managed to squeak out a prayer of sorts and asked the Lord to help me.  Though I didn’t hear a response inside right away, I believed that He would do it.

I have always been rather hard on myself when I make a mistake, or don’t get something quite right. I had been improving over the years, but lately I have been finding myself starting back down that old and familiar road.  First thing I heard was that I needed to start over.  I felt in my spirit that what He meant was I needed to start over with a solid foundation.  The one I had started when I first got born again wasn’t built with much faith.  And I certainly didn’t have a true revelation of His love for me.  I believed it in my head, but I didn’t really know it in my heart. When I first got saved, I was immediately hungry for the Word.  I just began devouring it like a starving person.  There wasn’t any rhyme or reason to my immersion….just feed me! A better way to say it would be that I didn’t have any structure to my time in the Word.  Yes, it was changing and helping me, but I just kept doing things that way for some years.  I would read my Bible, out loud even so I would also being hearing, but I never focused on choosing a topic such as love or faith, and then study and learn more about it in depth.  This is part of why the devil was rather successful in his attack and my not knowing what to do.  All of this revealed that my foundation wasn’t so stable.

Little by little, though, the Lord started showing me different things about myself, a lot of which I heard while listening to teaching through various ministries.  One thing after another began to click.  One day a couple of weeks ago, I heard someone sharing their own story about how they had come to a place similar in their own life.  The person said to just lay all the pieces down at the feet of Jesus, and to let Him start peeling back the layers and pull out the junk.  And so I did that, and He’s been doing that.  As He has cleared the rubble away, He’s shown me that I didn’t have a correct view of love and that I didn’t really know what true love is.  Part of this was because I didn’t have the best example of a loving relationship growing up.  Yes, I had a stable home with both parents who stayed married until they died, no abuse or anything like that.  However, it was a rather rigid environment, with my mom being the more dominating person and my dad rather on the passive side.  There were other things, too, that didn’t lend towards my learning how to have a healthy and loving relationship. I also didn’t know that I could have a relationship with Jesus.  Yes, I knew Him as Savior and Lord, but not as friend, Let alone having Him for my best friend.  After going through this attack, I had forgotten for a bit all the wonderful times I had with Jesus getting to know Him more and learning how to let Him inside of me. The devil tried to make me believe that I was so wrong about all of it.

But Jesus!  He is so awesome and amazing!  He told me that He was not mad at me, for starters.  He also said this, “Don’t block Me out! I love you and I so love and enjoy our time together! Yes, even when you’ve had a bad day or struggle to find joy. I told you I accept all of you, bad habits, faults and all. That means I also want to be with you and spend time with you, bad habits, faults and all. Don’t let ANYTHING keep you from coming to Me! Not even your poor self-image! Try Me….yes really. That’s religious performance when you act like you have to be all prayed up, spend hours in My Word and doing everything just right in order to come spend time with Me.  Our relationship, fellowship, companionship, our being one together, is what means most to Me. That is what you were created for.  You were created for fellowship and companionship with Me.  All else is secondary. Yes, I have things I want you to do and accomplish for Me, but not at the expense of our relationship, our time together. Always remember that!”  Thank You Jesus!!!!!  I just sense in my heart that this word isn’t just for me.  It is for anyone who will believe and receive it.  Amen!

I feel so light and free! It’s amazing!  And now Jesus has given me several tools in this process to help me dig down and build a new, solid foundation.  A foundation built on His love, knowing His love, and believing with my heart, as 1 John 4:8 says, that He IS Love!