Purposeful Faith

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Living Unfulfilled Dreams

Living Unfulfilled Dreams

I always wanted to be someone.
I wanted to do things.
I wanted to pursue life.

I thought, tomorrow, I will live as God wants me to live. I knew if I wanted to be someone tomorrow, I had to do something today. Yet that was the hard part.

No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to follow through.

I studied to become a realtor and never got myself to the test.
I planned ways to bring chef dinner parties to people’s home, but I never got it off the ground.
I had goals of starting my own marketing agency, but I never made it happen.

Tomorrow. It’s the day we always hang our dreams on. It’s the day filled with hope, possibility and longing. Yet it’s often the greatest hindrance to where we want to go.

Tomorrow held me back and I kind of hated it for that reason. I lived in a perpetual dream cycle of tomorrows. I became the aimless girl who roamed from idea to idea – hoping one would stick.

I felt misguided.
Angry at myself.
Frustrated by my lack of follow through.

Until one day, God spoke a different story into my life – a different calling.

As I listened, put pen to paper and spoke his words of life, I could sense a powerful seed growing. Something was starting to take bloom! 

I could feel the uprising of something big.
I could sense new life in my lifeless walk.
I could sense a new arrangement of purpose taking shape.

When these sensations came over me, I remembered that aimless girl. I remembered how she felt. And, sadness washed over me. I longed to rewind back to yesterday to tell her a couple things: hold fast to following God and trusting him, don’t get down today and believe in tomorrow!

Why? Because:

Sometimes we actually aren’t in hesitation mode,
we are in God’s preparation mode.
 

What we wait for today,
develops our character for tomorrow.

 He has to plant the seeds of his love within us,
before we are ready to plant them around us.

 It’s always about his seeds arising,
verses ours attained through striving.

God faithfully watered my soul that thirsted to serve him, to love him and to bring Him glory. I am so thankful he took the time to water. It has been his greatest gift to me. I have grown and I have prepared, so I may go.

In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. Is. 27:6

Now I see what he arranged within me, isn’t to satisfy me, but it’s to satisfy others. He has developed dreams that extend far beyond my hopes and wishes, although they do completely satisfy them.

The truth is, God is always in the process of planting and blooming. There are parts of us that are ready to bloom, parts ready for water and parts ready for seeding. But, one thing we can trust is that he is always at work – and it’s not just for our good, it’s for our great!

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Ps. 138:8

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Linking with Suzie Eller’s fabulous #LiveFreeThursday, Susan B. Mead’s #DancewithJesus and with Five Minute Friday.

Remember God’s Faithfulness

Post by Katy

The word tumor took my breath away.

Even through two months of watching the little bump on Elijah’s head grow, that word never once invaded my thoughts. But there I stood, with my 5-month old son and a doctor looking at me with those words, It’s a tumor. We’ll have to remove it.

Why do words you never want to hear stick with you for a lifetime?

Two weeks later I handed my son over to the nurse with one last kiss. One last prayer. One last, I love you. Luke and I walked hand in hand down the hall. I stared at the floor choking back tears. Be strong, I whispered in my head. Tears won’t help now.

Those two weeks between the diagnosis and surgery gave us plenty of time to think, to wonder, to ask … Why does he have to go through this? Did we do something wrong?

We prayed like we’ve never prayed before. We begged. We pleaded. Please God heal him. Please God let this be benign. Please protect him. Bring him through this.

Luke and I sat shoulder to shoulder on the couch, every few minutes asking each other, “You okay?” We felt helpless. We begged God for mercy.

 Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Doctors expected a 4-hour surgery, so when they met us in the waiting room just 2 1/2 hours later it caught us by surprise. Benign. He said the word, benign. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or scream Hallelujah! My son’s going to be okay!!!

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.

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God filled the days following surgery with grace like only He provides. This happy boy never needed pain medicine. He recovered like a champ, and fittingly his name means “spiritual champion.”

I tell you this story because that baby turns 8-years old this month.

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And I believe in the power of remembering God’s blessings.

… Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of the Lord: ‘With a strong hand, the Lord rescued you from Egypt.'” Exodus 13:9 (NLT)

When God freed the Israelites from Egypt He told them to celebrate their escape every year. God called the annual festival a “visible sign … like a mark branded” on their hands or foreheads.

The same God who led the Israelites out of Egypt called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

Has God freed you or rescued you from something? Answered a prayer? Heard a cry of your heart? Declare His praises!

Today, take a minute and remember. Remember God’s past faithfulness.

It may be something as simple as God giving you a happy baby when all the other kids need baths and you’re running solo. Celebrate it!

Or maybe a tank of gas lasted miles and miles longer than it ever should have. Celebrate it!

Maybe you asked for a last-minute baby sitter and God provided. Celebrate it!

Maybe you’re whole world fell apart and God pieced (or is just starting to piece) it back together with His gentle, patience hand. Celebrate it!

The further we travel from the moment God’s strong hand so intimately connects to our little lives, the easier it becomes to grumble. Complain. Doubt. (See the book of Exodus!)

Choose to remember God’s faithfulness. And let God’s past faithfulness lead you to a future built on His promises.

Will you share something you’re celebrating today? Leave a Comment!

Sincerely,

Katy

I left my job as a television news reporter to join my husband, Luke, on our adventure in the National Football League. 10 years, 12 moves, 6 kids, 5 teams, and 4 states later, it's safe to say the road has been anything but predictable. Our dreams today don't look quite like they did ten years ago, but I've learned along the way dreams do come true ... even if you're not a Disney World. I blog about a football wife's life at www.katymccown.com and I'd love for you to visit me!

I left my job as a television news reporter to join my husband, Luke, on our adventure in the National Football League. 10 years, 12 moves, 6 kids, 5 teams, and 4 states later, it’s safe to say the road has been anything but predictable. Our dreams today don’t look quite like they did ten years ago, but I’ve learned along the way dreams do come true … even if you’re not a Disney World. I blog about a football wife’s life at www.katymccown.com and I’d love for you to visit me!

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

How To Deal When Life Gets Tough

when life gets tough

When Life gets tough

Where can I go when I am tired? Worn? Weary?

Because sometimes in life:
A minute overwhelms.
A day get’s to be too much.
My schedule feels too full.
People get a little forceful.
Bad things happen.
Circumstances throw me off guard.

Just the other day, a troubled heart started to sink me with anxiety. I turned on the TV to find a moment of peace, a second of calm and to possibly hear from God.

Yet, within 2 minutes, my so-called “peace” was interrupted.

My son called out,
“Mommy, be with me. Just be with me. Sit next to me. I need you.”

A monster loomed.

And, although I first approached him with a stern face because my rest was interrupted, God set me face-to-face with something far greater – my son’s reaction.

You see, when the bad things loomed, my son, knew something very powerful:

He knew my presence was greater than the monster.
He knew that nothing could hurt him when I was near.
He new that safety was all about my closeness.

Am I this way with God?

Do I understand the power of calling on Him for covering, closeness and connection?

Do I realize that I can call on him at all times, for all things, in all ways, on all days
and fully know that he will be there?

Do I realize that just his presence is greater than my biggest problem?

When monsters come, do I come against them – with the power of God?

Because he is always ready to sit next to me.
He is always ready to hold me in my struggles.
He is always ready to run to my rescue.
His presence always confirms my safety.

How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. Ps. 65:4

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. Ps. 145:18

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mt. 11:28

God stands ready to impart so much to me as I incline into him: nearness, a knowledge that he is near, rest, blessings, satisfaction, goodness, holiness.

What does it really look like to incline?

I think of “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” John. John also deeply loved Jesus.

There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Jo. 13:23

Did you catch that? John was reclining or laying right on Jesus’ chest. What an act of love, humility and surrender. John leaned in…He drew near and drew strength.

When we lean, when we fall, and when we rest our faces on the power of Jesus, we love and we are loved.

Falling in means we know we won’t fall down.

No matter what we are secure in Christ.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Ja. 4:18

God leans into us. Let’s lean in. Let’s lean in when life gets tough, circumstances happen and people hurt. Let’s lean in hard, fast and with an extravagant pursuit of his love.

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From Bad Self-Talk to A Good God (Linkup)

Bad Self Talk

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I think to myself:
You are not doing that right.
You’re coming off as a know-it-all.
Kids don’t love a mom who acts annoyed.
You always drop the ball with your husband.
You are being too selfish.
You are a continual mess-up.
God won’t bless that.

Condemnation. Like rain, it sure can pour down. Yet, somehow I have grown to think it’s an ordinary part of life.  It’s like a fly in the house. Sure, it’s annoying, but I can deal with it. Sometimes, it even becomes familiar. Provided it doesn’t bother too much, we can co-exist.

But I wonder, how much does it hurt me to co-exist with condemnation?

Because when I think of it, I see that self-condemnation left unchecked…
leads to self-loathing and self-loathing left unchecked…
leads to self-inadequacy and self-inadequacy left unchecked leads to…
a fear-filled turned-in spirit that doesn’t turn-out towards God or others in faith.

Condemnation may not injure our current actions, but it sure impacts our future ones. It may not hold us back from dreams, hope and a future in the present, but it’s lasting effects do bite.

And yes, friends, I do know that God says, “There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus,” but sometimes I just don’t consider that in the moment – the moment when the thoughts move in as fast as a freight train.

Mostly,  in that moment, I am just trying to get by, to live the hand of cards dealt – even when they leave me flushed with thoughts of how much I lack, what I can’t do and where I can’t go.

Sure, I hate those cards, but at the same time I am used to them. That doesn’t make them right though.

Yet, as I stare intently at those cards, wanting something more, my eye starts to focus on the King, the King who wears the crown. The King who is high. The King who can change the game.

I remember his love, I see his royalty and I admire his crown.  I see something. I grab hold of something…

I realize the King’s love has already condemned condemnation.

Thinking of it in this way, allows me to grab hold of this truth.

His love is what changed – and changes – the game. And it is what changes my thoughts.

Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Prov. 4:25

If I can keep my eyes fixed on what is love – Jesus – my thoughts will follow him. He will lead my mind in truth. The King will teach me the right way to go.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Lu. 6:45

I know Jesus calls me towards obedience. I can’t help but think of this verse: take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?” 2 Cor. 10:5

I want to be obedient.

Next time, that hand is dealt and that fly buzzes, I am going to ask myself 3 questions:

1. How does Jesus see you in this moment?
2. Is this thought rooted from a place of Christ’s love?
3. Could I imagine Jesus speaking these words to me?

Perhaps, then, I can discard the things that trump his love and grab hold of the ultimate King of hearts. Perhaps then bad hands won’t be a precursor to bad actions. My eyes will be set on the King.  

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Move From Survival to Revival

Survival to Revival

Ever felt like you were just trying to make it through the day?
Just going through life rather than charging through it? 

Perhaps God is calling you to move from survival to revival.

I have been spending many a weekend this way. I run circles around my house chasing small feet. Clean crumbs constantly. Entertain with whatever will keep us all smiling. Mostly, I just try to make it until bedtime.  Many times, it feels like the kids are running me, more than I am running life.

For you, it may not be kids that makes you go into existence mode, but perhaps a job where you just go through the motions, or a marriage where you live together but don’t do life together or a financial state that makes you feel like you are just getting by.

We all have our places of existence. And, as I brought mine before the Lord, I felt him calling me to something different.

I felt him calling me to: CHARGE!

Jesus never called us to be reactive to life; he always spoke about being active.
He spoke about moving in, instead of moving out.
He spoke of going beyond norms and into what’s not normal.
He spoke of seeing trials as running trials for our ultimate victory.
He spoke of going, doing, being – with him.

I can’t help but think he is drawing me out from existence and into his brilliance.

Jesus always gave commands of movement:

– Go, Repent, follow, rejoice, shine, honor, love
– Be honest, turn your cheek, love, help, serve, care for the poor
– Lay your treasure in heaven, don’t judge, pursue eternal things
– Pray, ask, seek, knock, obey, be born again, love God, deny yourself

I can’t help but notice that I don’t see –
“just get by” on the list.

I can’t see just “get through” either.

Jesus is calling us out of the safe zones of routine. Can you think about times that you have done this? I can. I can think about how much my faith was invigorated, how much I felt loved and how significant my purpose was. I felt excited to be taking a risk and eager to pursue my calling.

Charging through the day, means walking by faith into the purpose where he has placed us. It means picking up crumbs with a smile, chasing kids with joy and acting out charades with peace. It means praising him for the circumstances of now. It means going into risky, turbulent areas with the charge of his faithful calling.

What circumstances is he calling you to charge through? Where might you pick up his go-mentality?

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Josh. 1:9

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Family Relief

Family Relief

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I love my family. I love them so much.

But, put us all in one room and you will see the definition of hectic.
With 6 children and a bunch of grandkids, there are bound to be problems.
Normally one person goes in the spotlight of scrutiny and if you happen to be that one – you need to run.

Each person, including me, comes with our own background, opinions and issues. 
We come with trials, with life concerns and, sometimes, with hurt feelings.
We come living out childhood roles we thought we left so long ago.

It’s amazing, time changes, but somehow childhood perceptions stay the same.

Some parts of family can be so hard.

In many families, it can be agony to find relief from:
– Pains of yesterday that still feel alive
– Judgments that fly
– Words that have hurt
– People who have abandoned
– Abuse that has occurred
– Walls that seem to separate
– Anger of yesterday
– Strong opinions
– Eager assumptions
– Life-haltering labels
– Deep rejection

These kinds of hurts go under the radar at holiday tables,
but they live written all over the hearts of those who sit around it.

God sees everything though.

He sees the foot stomping below the table,
the hands beautifully crossed above,
the child screaming next to it
and the sagging heart before it.

He always sees. No pain of the past is ever lost on God. No hurt of the future is either. 

“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled…” (2 Thess. 1:6-7)

What I walk away holding on to is that God does the payback. Not us. He also offers the relief, we don’t find it some other way.

He provides a path out from a table of hurts and a soft rescue for our heart.

His relief means we don’t have to go to war. We don’t have to fight with all our might. We don’t have to slam our fists on the table.  We simply find refuge in the One who is the ultimate refuge. The ultimate rescuer.

“This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” (2 Thes. 1:8)

Jesus will come in glory, in majesty and in power and ultimately relieve us from everything. That day will come. He will return in magnificence.

Until then, we always have an outlet in Jesus.

We can reside at his feast – anytime. We can sit at a table of secure love, empowering joy and no judgment. We can take refuge in him. We can bring our hurts to the table and let him forgive us there. 

Then, arms will not cross, feet will not tap, words will not spew, but love of God will just go through and through.

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Blogger friends, join us every Tuesday on this site for the #RaRalinkup.

Today, I am happy to be joining Kate Montaung’s Five Minute Friday, Susan B. Mead and Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday linkups.

The Change Starts Here

Blog post by Abby McDonald

For months I wondered what would happen if one of the city’s homeless graced the doorstep of our church. Would the lady I’d often seen walking the streets be welcomed in with warm smiles?

Her tattered comforter was always wrapped tightly around her like a cape. It seemed to be her only source of security as she made her way from one location to another.

What would occur if she came to this place which could bring her hope not just for this life, but for eternity? Would she be given looks of disapproval?

My husband and I had spoken with her before, asking how we could help, but were turned away. She continued wandering around the canal, setting up a small camp of belongings here and there. I couldn’t get the picture of her out of my mind, the way she always seemed to be talking to no one in particular.

Then one day she was there.

She stood at the doorway to our small church as worship began. Instead of being given looks of disdain she was invited in not once, but three times by various people.

She politely refused.

As I heard about the interaction she’d had with the church, I uttered praises to God. Whether she’d chosen to come inside or not, a seed was planted that day.

It was a Sunday just like any other. But that Sunday she saw a little bit of Jesus here on earth.

He said,

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least one of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:45 NIV

It isn’t about you and me, friends. It never was. Whatever we do to those who are lost, hurting, and wandering the streets, we do to Jesus Christ.

If Jesus stood at the doorway of your church, would you invite him in? Would you recognize him?

Every day, we have the opportunity to bring a little bit of heaven down to earth.

Many times, we choose to go about with our everyday lives, blinded to the world and the great need around us. And we don’t have to travel across oceans to find it.

We can simply look across the street or in our back yard. We can look into the eyes of a depressed new mom who needs a friend or a young soul who’s been transplanted so many times she lost her anchor somewhere along the way.

The desperate and hurting are everywhere around us. We simply have to open our eyes.

I wish I could say the homeless woman had some miraculous salvation experience that Sunday morning. I wish she’d accepted the invitation to come inside and had felt the warmth of Christ’s body around her. However, that isn’t what happened.

Our job is simply to plant a seed. Often, we don’t see the results on this side of eternity, but we plant them nonetheless. It is God who makes the seed thrive and flourish into something beautiful.

Today, my prayer is that the Spirit will soften my heart just a little bit. I pray my vision will be widened beyond the walls of my rancher to the widow next door, the lonely down the street, and the callous around the corner. Whether I deliver a meal or simply engage in conversation, I can make a difference.

Change starts when we move from an attitude of “I’m only one” to “I’m the one.”

Guest Contributor

Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.

Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Acts of Kindness Matter

Acts of Kindness Matter

There is power in the unseen acts of a friend.

Not so long ago, I had been delivered soul-crushing news.
News that gave me a new revelation of the past.
News that made me wonder if I was still good, worthy and valuable.

It made me see myself in a new light. It was I-don’t-know-if-I-can-handle-it type news.

I knew God says, “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:23)

But, did God really have faithfulness stored in this?

It seemed this news, this turmoil, and this trouble now excluded me from His promises.

Attempting to push past feelings, I called out to God with all my heart, saying, “Come Lord. Save me in this situation. Heal me and help me.”

Shockingly, as I drove up my driveway later that morning, something caught my eye. A white as snow gift-wrapped box leaned against my garage door.

I couldn’t find a name, but when I opened it and was awe-struck with its contents. What it contained inside changed my entire perspective.

It was as if the very heart of God was delivered to me in a box. It was as if a giant hug and a note of his faithfulness was sent.

Inside lay a picture frame with the words, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex. 14:14)

These words were the exact message that I needed; they healed my heart and spoke to the depths of my pain.  I was touched by God, but I was so deeply touched by the love poured out by a friend.

She had been used as an angel of God that day.
She never sought recognition or acclaim.
She had no idea of my pain, but did a nice act all the same.

What she probably doesn’t know is that this act meant all the difference. It changed my vision. 

It wasn’t about her recognition or acclaim. She had no knowledge regarding my issue – but, all the same, she offered a gesture of love. Love that was sacrificial, that took her time, that used her money, but that healed a heart.

I was brought to my knees. I was touched. I felt so loved.

I don’t know who this woman is. I may never know. But, what I do know is that God has special rewards for her in heaven. I also know that she taught me a lesson in friendship that day.

She makes me wonder:

Do I go out of my way to make small acts of love?
Do I give my time and money intentionally?
Do I see the friend who is likely hurting?
Do I shower them with advice or do I love them under the radar?

This friend inspires me to love through the power of God. Because friends are often the messengers of God’s faithfulness. I want to deliver Jesus’ messages.

Small acts of kindness do matter and love does conquers all. Friends are the best vehicles for his love, mercy and grace. They drive his truth home in our hearts.

Small acts of kindness matter; they completely transform lives.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” – C.S. Lewis

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Get Rid of Jealousy (Link-up)

Get Rid of Jealousy Once and For Al

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I could only see the distance God took her.

The places she was set to go.

The open doors she got to walk through;
they same ones that slammed shut in my face. 

The must-have-been joy all on her face
as comments galore flooded her blog.

I could taste the sourness in my mouth
and feel the irritation well up in my heart.

She had everything and I walked away with nothing.

I used to be this kind of girl. The kind of girl that wanted only me to succeed. The kind of girl who couldn’t deal with the success of others. I really hate to say it – because it’s embarrassing to see this always in turmoil, always watching, never happy girl.

Jealous girl. Greedy girl. Needy girl.

I have fought this girl time and time again. I have told her to take a hike. I have told her she is wrong. I have told her she is ungodly.

She normally didn’t care much because she always returned. Despite my best attempts to push her underground, to pretend she didn’t exist – that dang girl kept haunting me.

But, one day, God prompted my heart to make one small change. And, oh my goodness, I just praise him that I listened.

Because this one small step of obedience changed the entire terrain of my heart. It’s as if this one step of obedience invited a landscaper in to level everything. His work left my mouth dropped.

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:25)

When God calls us to untraveled, unlevel places of faith, he brings us there to transverse the most astounding, the most astonishing and the most breathtaking terrain of our lives. Terrain that leaves us charged to go to new places.

We leave knowing it was his work, because in this place, we got to behold his glory, perceive his beauty and witness his loyalty. We leave, perceiving life from a different perspective. Our soul is compelled to go new distances and new places.

It feels like the Israelites as they muster the courage to step into our promised land. We get faithful and then he brings us there.

He did this for me.

He called me to more.

He asked me to leave comparison behind.

To wave goodbye to inadequacy.

And to begin encouraging and uplifting.

As I did this, my dry desert heart began to sink away and an amazing thing replaced it.

The more I encouraged my fellow bloggers through
the #RaRalinkup, the more my heart was replenished.

The more I saw each person’s pain and hardships,
the more my heart softened.

The more I lifted another up,
the more my love grew for them.

The more I felt a heart uplifted,
the more mine was.

The more I saw their love for God,
the more I wanted them to succeed.

Christ’s love was taking over.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 Jo. 4:18)

Each step of love, is a step towards life. Each step of encouragement, is a step towards excitement. Each step of faith is a step towards something greater than me and loftier than my sole vision.

God has opened my eyes up to the power of his body – a body working together in unison.

Rather than rallying against them, we rally together on Twitter and the blogosphere in the name of Christ. There is no fear in love. We are so much more effective as a whole than as a part. I see God accomplishing big Kingdom-work through this group of women.

Together we are powerful.

God pushed me to encourage. Now, I only want the best for these women I once envied. I delight in their successes and mourn at their losses – authentically. I truly want God to take each one of them to his greatest heights. I delight in cheering for them. I want to help them.

What a transformation. Am I always perfect, no, but who is? But, I am 99% changed.

I praise God because he is the great Transformer. He is always ready to lead us to more. The question is – are we listening? I saw how one small prompting could open a floodgate of love and change a heart completely.

So, it inclines my heart to wonder, what other small things is he speaking? Am I missing them?
How is he calling me to greater love?
Because I have learned, when he calls us somewhere it will stagger us.

When we let God in, he truly changes the landscape of our heart. He works and reworks everything that is out of place. When we get rid of jealousy, we see God’s beauty.

A Note to the #RaRalinkup Linkup Team,
My heart beats for what makes your heart beat. Thank you for teaching me true love. God has used you mightily in my life. I am forever grateful. You encourage me more than I could ever begin to encourage you.

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Surrender Gives Freedom

Control

Today, in a rare instance, I am opening up my blog to a guest poster. She is excited to get her book out into the world, “My 30-Day Journey to a Fulfilled Life.” Welcome Ifeoma! More details on her book here.

Post by Ifeoma Ezitonye-Samuel  

The harder I worked, the more pressured and tense I became.

Cracking, under the pressure of doing things my way, I was slipping into disappointment.

The harder I fought, the more difficult the situation became.

I was focusing too much on me.

This New Year was supposed to be about me!
My goals and not anyone else’s! Selfish? Maybe.

If you have ever given up your personal desires you understand my shoes. If you have laid down your time, efforts and sacrificed your space and comfort for others, then you can relate to my thoughts.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (2 John 3:16)

You see, everything was tilted – towards me – and in my mind I had the right to justify my actions. I acted defensively.

Until God reminded me of this scripture:

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6:10)

So I struggled within me to surrender my selfish intentions.
Saying, Lord, I want “me-time”.  I have been handling everyone’s business.

When am I going to handle mine?

Can I get on with my own business without
receiving your nod of approval?

And God answered.

He showed me that he doesn’t cheat his people.
He will never use you, only to discard you when he is done.
He rewards every labor in the vineyard.

You see, I can’t control what happens in my day
but I can choose to commit my day into His unfailing hands.

Does this mean we don’t set plans?

The truth is: God’s counsel will stand regardless of our plans.

We all want things to go the way we plan, but God’s way of settling issues in our lives may be very different, more profitable and even peaceful than we ever considered.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)

The moment I start to control, I remember that God is in charge and not me. This gives me the peace required for that situation. I am free from the burden of control.

We experience freedom
when we yield to His counsel for our lives.

Prayer:

Lord, help me to surrender to your will for my life.
Heavenly Father, I enjoy peace and freedom from yielding my life to you in Jesus Name.

Do you ever struggle to yield yourself to God’s agenda for your life?

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