Monday, March 29, 2010


The topic of forgiveness has been coming up a lot lately. Our pastor recently spoke on this topic. And this week my lesson in recovery class is on forgiveness. Forgiveness is not saying the offense was ok. It is not forgetting the offense occurred. Much can be learned from these experiences.

To forgive means you have to first admit that there was an offense. too often we spend time in denial not ready to admit that we were vulnerable. But forgiving is simply giving up control that you really don't have in the first place. Do you have the right to judge someone? No. None of us do, only God can judge. As we give up control and letter go or the bitterness that has poisoned our hearts, we letter in Gods love and grace. You may have to forgive several times. But if you ask God to give you a heart of forgiveness He will be faithful to respond.
May I never stop learning what forgiveness looks like and may I be open to Christ's leading and teachings.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This week our study is all about trust. For those of us who have been abused in one way or another, it is very normal to have trust issues. Some trust too easily and some don't trust at all. At any rate, our boundaries are broken.

I have done this study before, but as I worked through it this time, I realized that my boundaries with people weren't only broken but my boundaries with God were broken. I didn't trust Him. I trusted Him with my salvation and with my prayers for other people. I hoped in Him, but I didn't trust Him...not completely. I have made great strides with this over the past year especially and I trust Him so very much. In my imperfection, I'm sure my trust in Him isn't perfect, but it's getting closer and closer every day.

But for so long, I put walls up around my heart so that no one could hurt me. I lived in bondage. And unfortunately, when you have walls around your heart to keep people out, you're really keeping God out as well. We try to control our life, our emotions, our surroundings and the people close to us in an effort to feel secure. When in reality, great freedom comes when we let go of that "control" we think we have and allow God to heal our hearts and trust Him to take care of us. Satan lives to deceive us about God's true nature and encourages us to mistrust Him.

Yes, bad things will still happen but they will happen with God right beside us, sometimes weeping with us, and protecting us. I know that in the midst of the storm it's difficult to imagine that God is really protecting you but I assure you He is. He is protecting in ways you can't see or imagine. And what is going on around WILL be used for the glory of His kingdom. When I was in the middle of my abuse, my thought that God had forgotten about me and probably the world as well. I couldn't imagine how such things could be used for His glory, how any good could come of it.

But today, I work at my church, and I am surrounded by amazing people. I have the privilege of being able to show people the miracles and grace that the Lord desires to lavish upon us. If only we would trust Him enough to let Him into our hearts completely, surrender our fears to Him.

Trust God completely with not only your salvation, but your heart, your emotions, your finances, your schedule, your relationships, your worries and fears, your everything. Let go and Let God. He is faithful and He is trustworthy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Love much?

Today I said goodbye to a dear friend. My friend Felicia moved here from Oklahoma about 2 years ago. She was sweet and funny and she, Katie and I hit it off immediately. We were instant friends. Unfortunately, due to the downturn in the economy she and her family are now headed back to Oklahoma. So we went to the park to let the kids play one final time and say goodbye to our friend. It was really hard and although I promised myself I wouldn't, more than a tear or two was shed.

This heartbreak led me to this post, it's all about love. This life is short and fleeting and we should all stop and ask ourselves if we have loved much. Because in this life, what's important is how you loved. I have loved much. I lost my darling grandfather when I was in middle school. I lost my father seven years ago and my mother 2 years ago. I have loved friends and seen them leave. And what I've learned through the heartache of so much loss is that I would do it all again. I would still love, in spite of the incredible pain of loss.

Why? Because my life is better for it. Because the pain of loss lasts for a bit but the joy of having them in your life lasts forever. So I encourage you to love much and love often. And when the pain of loss comes, savor the moment, because it means that not only did you love someone, but that you were also loved in return.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Are we done yet?

I am of the opinion that as we continue to live this life that God has give us that we are never done growing. We may grow older and we may mature in many ways but we're never quite done until the Lord calls us home. Why? Because we are sinful people in a sinful world. Unfortunately, that tree of the knowledge of good and evil shared evil with this world. And that evil effects our lives in permanent ways.

So in an effort to continue growing, I have to allow God to reach into the dark recesses of my heart and re-open the wounds that have scarred and changed me. Things that God never intended for us to see or experience, scar us and leave us with guilt, shame and contempt.

I am starting a new book called The Wounded Heart. That's my next step in allowing God to go into those dark places and shed His light. Because lasting change won't happen if I pretend that these things didn't effect me, if I ignore them, and if I pretend that things are fine. Lasting change takes place when I face my fears, my past, my problems and my sin head on and allow God to heal them. It's not easy and my flesh screams out in reluctance. But I press on toward my goal of growing more like Christ every day.

I'm so thankful that through the pain, tears, joy and laughter that I call my past, God never left me. And I'm thankful that He never will. I'm thankful that He never gave up on me and I'm thankful He never gives up you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Am I Forgivable?

Today I led a group of amazing women in a small group setting at church and it was such an amazing night. The topic was on fear. As God has a habit of doing, He was prompting me to share my greatest fear, the fear of judgment. I am afraid that people are going to see right through me to the person I used to be and know that I have been broken, that I have been sinful and worldly, and that I have had so much shame in my life and that they would judge me and look down on me.

So tonight, I shared with these women, some of the deepest parts of me and I was met with acceptance and love. There were no shocking stares, there was no condemnation. There was love and acceptance just like I received from God. You see, I had asked God for forgiveness and I knew I had received it. I had worked through the shame and guilt but before I had done that, I had judged and condemned myself so it was natural for me to think that others would to. I felt that they would look at me and think I can't be a leader in a church, I'm sinful and flawed. But you see, that's why I can lead sinful and flawed people, because we're all on this journey together.

If you get nothing else in life, I want you to really understand this. No matter what you have done in your life, if you come to God in repentance and ask for forgiveness, He WILL forgive you! His grace is sufficient for you no matter what. I can tell you that, because I have been forgiven much and you can too.

Reach out to God and ask for it and then be willing to receive it. He's waiting for you, and He is sufficient for you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My love

For years I watched my mother actually counting the days on the calendar of how long she had been married to my father. I remember at one point I saw on the calendar, she had written 10,983 days. I looked at that and thought it was incredibly sweet and it showed the depth of her feelings for him. Even after 10,950 she was still so in love with him that she was celebrating the days. I wondered if I would ever be blessed enough to find a love like that.

Today, I was feeling rather ill and laid down in my husband's arms. I felt comforted and adored. I thought back through our years of marriage, nearly 12 now, 4,333 days. I remembered when we were dating and I felt so in love. I knew deep in my heart this was the man I would marry and the thought was both exciting and frightening. I remember, on our honeymoon when my father had fallen ill and we had to head home, he took me in his arms and promised to be there for me. I remember when laughing with him, playing with him, and even fighting with him and I remember making up with him ever so much more. I remeber when my father died, and I saw him pull into the drive, I ran out to meet him and fall into his arms.

You see, in his arms, I am loved. In his arms, I am comforted, cared for and adored. In his arms, I am safe. He is the completion of me. God made him to complete me. Where I end, he begins and where he ends, I begin. He has his faults, as do I, but I choose to look past them and straight into his heart. In his heart, I find love; love of God and love of me, and love of our children. There is nowhere in this world I would rather be than in his arms. I pray that I am the kind of wife he wants and deserves, and that I spend the rest of my life counting the days and celebrating the days of our love.

Monday, March 8, 2010


At the end of last year, God convicted me that certain things I was praying for, I was actually praying in doubt rather than faith. I was still praying for them, but not believing that I would ever see them come to fruition. I was even in the middle of believing Him for impossible things but this one prayer was different. I had been praying this prayer for so many years, I had lost hope. So I praised Him for bringing this to my attention, I got a new dose of faith for that situation and I sat down and wrote my list of "impossible prayers for 2010" because my God can do the "impossible".

Well, I want to tell you so that you can be encouraged, that God went straight to work on my prayer list and my renewed prayers of faith. One of these prayers has been answered and I can see Him working on another. I'm sure He's answered the others, I just can't see it yet.

So, I wanted to leave you with this today. For God, nothing is impossible. Don't give up hope. When you feel something is hopeless, you are slamming the door in God's face. He still works miracles today, just look around you, you may be seeing them and you don't even know it. Give your prayers to God with faith.

Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can we block God's blessings?

A couple of weeks ago, I had a terribly busy week. I was planning an event and I had several cancelations, and this was causing me great stress. I began to pray that God would show me to replace them with, that He would work out all the details and that he would take this feeling of stress away and replace it with His peace and love. I prayed with groanings in my spirit. At that very moment while I was praying, I began to feel this enormous wave of emotion. Wave isn't even a big enough word for it. But have you ever been to the ocean and been out right where the waves were breaking and you could feel the wave break right over you and wash all over you. That's what I what, only instead of water it was God's love and peace. I was brought to tears at the enormity of His love for me. That He would take that time to minister, just to me.

A week later I was still thinking about that moment with God and I began to wonder, why after my mom died it took so long to feel His peace. I asked Him for His peace but I didn't feel it. Why didn't I have access to it then. The answer He revealed to me, was simple. I may have asked for it but I didnt' want it. I thought I wanted it. But I was so focused on my hurt, that I wasn't focused on God. So often when we are focused on our hurt, we put up walls around our hearts so nothing can get in. Unfortunately, we also don't let God in. If we don't let Him in, He can't minister to us and heal our hurt. He won't go where He's not truly invited. I may have asked Him for His peace but I wanted Him to give it to hand it to me over the wall.

So can we block out God's blessings? I believe we can. He wants to minister to us. We are so precious in His sight that He will take time to minister to us individually in ways we cannot imagine. But we have to be open and allow Him to. He wants all of us, are you willing to give it to Him? Have you ever had a time where you wanted God to fill you with His peace but you didn't receive it? If so, search yourself and ask if you were really open and fully surrendered to Him.