Signed, Sealed, Delivered…

God builds us up to send us out.

It’s only in the stories that hurt that we can experience His comfort. Have you ever listened to someone share their story and think “How on earth could someone have to go through that much on this earth”? These are the stories that glorify Him most. Because, “if THEY can lean into God through THAT, surely I should be able to.” He comforts us to send us out and comfort others.

He corrects, teaches, and shares wisdom for our own healing and then to share with our children and others. May we learn something from others so that we don’t have to experience everything first hand.

It’s the hard stuff in our lives that is most likely to impart wisdom or recklessness. Anger can wreak havoc on our lives and loved ones. Are you asking for strength, His power to forgive, wisdom?

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (NIV)

That’s a promise! It WILL be given to you.

When we feel the full expression of God’s forgiveness for ourselves, we can’t help but offer it to others. When He corrects us, someone else needs to hear.  When He changes our desires, it’s to align us with His will.  When we choose to love anyway and in spite of, it’s because of Him. If it’s HIS love that helped you, it’s HIS love you will share.

God builds us up to send us out.

The way He has worked in your life, the courage He has summoned in you, the ways He has renewed your mind, the healing from that specific brokenness, the relationships He has replaced, the hearts you can touch, all come from your specific story. Each one of ours is different and I would LOVE to hear yours…

He meets us right where we are so that we can assure the next person that He will too. Our God LONGS for us.

He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (MSG)

In each of your hard places, God has a special purpose. When our faith is tested, it is also strengthened. And, it is strengthened for a reason. Through Christ, we could be used to break a generational cycle, reach others across the globe, touch a heart across the cubicle or our own table, raise a warrior for Christ…all and only through Him. (Philippians 4:13) Who knows how He’ll use you?  That’s part of the adventure. No matter what, giving Him the glory, regardless of the outcome, turns our ashes to beauty.

He doesn’t need us to accomplish His plan, but what an honor to be used in any way, shape, or form for His purposes. This is His desire for us. To turn our lives into living testimonies. Your story may seem too ugly to share, but check your return address…There’s a place with your name on it.

There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am. John 14:2-3 (GNT)

Signed with the blood of Jesus, Sealed with His love, and Delivered into His arms…

Courage to Face the Fear…

courage

The Lord is on my side, and I am not afraid of what others can do to me. Psalms 118:6 (CEV)

This verse is inspiring, but still hard for me to wrap my head around. One of my greatest fears is hurting someone’s feelings with my words or actions. I think that’s because I know how that feels all too well. Having your feelings hurt can inflict wounds so deep that it takes a lot longer to heal than a physical wound. I’d take a broken bone over a broken heart or spirit any day. If left untreated, the scars left behind by hurt feelings and a wounded spirit may never heal and leave our hearts bitter, hard, untrusting, and fearful and this, in turn, hurts others.

My own feelings have been dismissed, hurt, and minimized countless times over the years. Because I know this pain intimately, hurting others scares me greatly. My fear in standing up for myself has been fed by my fear of disappointing others, hurting their feelings, being misunderstood, or just plain trying to keep the “peace”. What this verse means to me is that if we stand up for ourselves or others in LOVE, we can be firm, honest, and true to ourselves and God, without the fear of how the person will retaliate. Leave their reactions to God and let Him deal with the circumstances of you standing up and speaking the truth. It takes God-given strength to speak the truth when you have lived in fear of other’s reactions your whole life. You’ve heard the saying “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes”? This rings increasingly true to me. Ask God to help you perform the actions He desires and let Him deal with the reactions. Speak the truth in love and the truth shall surely set you free. He knows our hearts. That is such a relief to me and I hope it is to you….because one thing we all need in this world is relief!