Purposeful Faith

Category - awe

On My Going Dark + 4 Solutions to Bad Enemy Assaults

Enemy Assaults

We all have Bonnie Tilley to thank for this post. She said she wanted to hear the story. Here goes: Sometimes you get doing something so big with God, the one who is anti-God doesn’t like it so much.

We normally don’t even realize this is the case. Why?

Because we figure:

  1. Loving someone isn’t big enough for Satan to oppose.
  2. Praying for someone can’t really be that valuable.
  3. Deciding to finally be repentant and obedient doesn’t add up to too much.

But, oh no, friends, this kind of dedicated obedience to God is just what is opposed. It is just what the enemy wants to squelch before it takes off and down the track. He wants to see it go up in flames, because when you move where God is – and he doesn’t want you to meet each other. He’s against that.

So, I was opposed. I know it’s so. I have this book coming out, Fear Fighting. Savior God used it to save me. Writing it, with him, released my soul from the war-torn barracks of fear. This book somehow became a peace pilgrimage with God; it saved my heart and medevacked me out of the heart throbbing places of tension, turmoil and tumultuous living. It’s no joke.

This is why I know you – not getting my daily emails for 2 days – was a mission of the enemy. This is why I know the other problems bubbling up in the last two days are also his approach. This is why I know, today, the foggy head and throbbing headache was more than a random occurrence. This is why I know my site going down was intentional. This is why I know I must be making some spiritual progress.

There is always more than meets the eye.  Let this fact meet your eye, right now.

Behind the scenes of your problems, is often – the problem-maker. You can’t see him. But, he’s working.

What are you up against?
What is trying to get you to move away from God and into a self-focused, self-preservation attitude?

Consider it for a moment.

You see, I was standing firm on Jesus. I was sure. Sure, doubly sure, the Lord, My God, was going to free hearts through this book. Sure, he would get all the glory. Sure,  beyond a shadow of a doubt, He had great plans for me. Satan hates people “sure” about Jesus. If you get “sure” about Jesus, Satan will surely send something to throw you off.

4 Ways the Enemy Attacks:

  1. Out of left field. If you’ve learned a new way to stand firm on Jesus, He’ll aim to hit you from a new direction, you’d never expect. What are we to do?

SOLUTION: We’re to expect the unexpected and then get protected with the armor of God.

2. Through the words of a person. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has spoken an unfriendly word that has lived on in the echo-chamber of my mind. It resounds as the ultimate form of discouragement.

SOLUTION: The only way to combat it is to take God’s truth and to wield it with reckless abandon.

3. Through our own fleshly desires.
“Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  (Matthew 16:21-23)

SOLUTION:  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3:2)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Ro. 12:2

4. Via Blocked Plans. 
For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan blocked our way. (1 Thess. 2:18)

SOLUTION: Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. Ps. 37:5

So, here I am today, very much still well. I am as well as I always was. I am as joyful as I always was. Because, when you realize who is for you – it doesn’t so much matter what is coming against you.

I have the conqueror, the victor and the King on my side. So do you. Dumb little gnat-like issues won’t get me down. Don’t let them get you down either. By his love, abounding in you, you are on to something…

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you are greater, higher and mightier than anything that comes against me. I will rest in you, I will trust in you and I will follow you. Keep me keenly aware of what is coming against me, so that when it does I can find my strength in you, once again. Amen.

More Reading:

Finding Renewal in Christ
When Your Picture Is Not Pretty
When Prayer Goes Unanswered

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The Silent Faith-Killer (You Likely Allow)

Faith-Killer

My son lives like a son. Meaning, he takes all momma wants to give him. If I walk in with a plate of cookies, he dives into them. If I offer him a hug, he runs up to get it in full. If I sit down with him, he delights in showing me things. If he gets injured, he runs to me and asks how I might help. He takes what I give, eagerly and willingly.

Somehow he knows where he is –is safe. And, what I am giving – is good.

For the most part, Christians aren’t good at being children. It’s not because we aren’t loved, adored and chosen, we completely are, but it’s mostly because we grew up. We think we can’t accept all that – all that the Father wants to lavish on us.

I’ve been watching, us, his children shut down his love.

Here’s how it tends to go:

  • I say, “Need prayer?” They say, “Nope. But, I know someone who does.”
  • I say, “Are you struggling with anything?” They say, “Nope. Not at all.”
  • I say, “I’d like offer you a gift – God has put you on my heart.” They say, “Nope. I never take gifts from others.”
  • I say, “You are courageous.” They say, “I don’t want to talk about me. Let’s talk about you.”

Rather than living as needy children, we living as arrogant adults. To turn away the love of Christ is to turn down the greatest gift moving on earth. We do it often.

Why?

Maybe, because we don’t want to owe people things. Maybe, because we feel guilty or embarrassed. Maybe, because we feel undeserving. Maybe, we don’t even notice he wants to hand it to us.

The maybe’s don’t matter.

What matters is, like children, we open our arms up to hold the gifts God is outpouring through others. What’s important is we see all the ways he is trying to love us. What is vital is we let this love in, so we can let this very love – out.

God wants to hand us his best, yet so often, we either walk right past it or reject it. Then, we get angry that God doesn’t answer our prayers, or reach out to us in our time of need. Guess what?! He’s been doing that all along. If only we’d just open our arms and hold close all he is pouring out.

He made us worthy.

What have you denied? Held at an arms length? Shut down? Walked away from? Turned away?  Sit down, look up and let in what love is pouring out from others onto you – receive what the Father wants to give you. You will be shocked at how it impacts your life.

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. Jo. 16:24

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More Reading:
A 3-Point Plan to Beat the Enemy
When You Don’t Feel Gifted
25 Verses About God’s Protection

Fear Fighting: Like You Never Have Before (+ Special Invite)

If someone asked me a year ago who I was, and I was brutally honest, I’m not sure of my response. There’d be too much garbage to tell them.

All of these answers could have been true:

I am a life agonizer. I see my to-do list in the morning and then get spooked by it. I have this dreadful feeling I’ll never get everything done I need to. Suddenly, I see the family without laundry, my kids without dinner and my life swooshing down the drain.

I am an endless worrier. Every accident, incident and ailment is just on the verge of happening. I imagine a neighbor’s cough will leave me flu-ridden. I think a chair will leave my daughter’s head crawling with lice. I think my husband’s mistimed call means he’s gotten in a highway accident and will flat-line in ten minutes.

I am a constant doubter. I read the bible in the morning, I say my prayers at bedtime and I know what truth sounds like, but often I lose God when mini-catastrophes hit. I freak out – and then freak out, because I just freaked out. I forget that I am forgiven and live criticizing and condemning myself – over and over again – in my head.

I am a defensive blamer. If she has an opinion, I have a reason why my way is 100% right. If she has too many opinions, I start to believe she thinks I am stupid. If she disagrees, I think she is against me. All of this is – her fault.

I am a sizer-upper. If I see you dressed well, I decide, I look like a trash truck exploded on me.  If I see you with great gifts, I think my gifts serve no purpose. If I see you succeeding, I hate you for it.

I am a controlling dictator. I tell my kids when, where and why – and expect them to move in line formation. I notice what my husband is doing wrong and then jump all over him for it. I get scared things won’t turn out well so I set rigid standards to keep things in my realm of comfort.

I am an avid-fretter. I remember the past and thinks it disqualifies me from good in the future. I see opportunities and decide they intimidate me too much to seize. I have a general sense in me that God isn’t happy with a woman as faulted as me.

A year ago, I was a walking nervous wreck. You would have had no idea because on the outside, I looked primed and mascara’d. But, inside, my heart wore a frown and my nerves wore an electric current, set so high, it made me sizzle with anxiety. I wanted more. I was tired of feeling tired and over feeling overwhelmed.

This is when I realized, God didn’t create me to live in panicked misery, he created me to live as a Fear Fighter.

This is why I wrote the book, “Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Fears.”

Writing this book, with God, changed the story line of my life. Now I can declare, through the Spirit of the living Lord, I have found my path to freedom: I am a Fear Fighter.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor. 3:17

A Fear Fighter is a woman who pursues a life where, she is both, a victor and an overcomer!

A Fear Fighter is a woman who knows who God created her to be.

A Fear Fighter is a woman awakened to his greatest callings.

A Fear Fighter is a woman armed with strategies to beat the enemy’s defeatist tactics – on-the-spot.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who knows how to beat her heart palpitations by the power of pointed prayer.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who applies truth to her fears like an oxygen mask to a barely breathing life.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who is equipped with heart-calming courage-building habits.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who learns to step past her deep tremblings so she can walk sure-footed into God’s glorious callings.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who is not perfect, but who sees perfect Jesus – personified, in a way where she trusts his strength.

A Fear Fighter is me. Thank you, God! A Fear Fighter is me!!!

I don’t have to claim every fear is abolished. That wouldn’t be honest, but what I can claim is that I know how to fight what is coming against me. I know how to win when I used to wrestle for weeks. God has delivered my heart, much more, to lands of calm and clarity, peace and purpose, love and liberty.

Will you join me? To continue fighting, I need sisters like you with me. I need women willing to band together. Willing to live out the Fear Fighting journey with God. Willing to read the book. Willing to be loved. Willing to move closer to Jesus. Willing to pull in other sisters paralyzed in fear. Willing to move this movement out.

Fear Fighting

Pre-Order Fear Fighting here.
Shed fear and draw near to God.
Fight like a girl who knows God has her back!

In other exciting news!!! We’re putting together a launch team! Actually, I’d rather call it an overflow team. Sure, we will all be sharing, posting and Amazon reviewing. This will be a great part of it, for we are leading downtrodden women to the well of Jesus’ healing. This matters and it matters BIG. But, while we do this, we will most certainly breathe in and exhale the fullness of freedom, rather than the bondage of to-do’s. This is my hope for the team.

If you’re interested, you can join sign-up here. We’ve got only 200 spots (and 200 free copies of the book!) and would love to have you. We’ll get a lot accomplished in this group, have a ton of fun at the same time (including giving away some fun prizes as a thank you for your help!) and we’ll have tons of encouragement for you too. Make sure to sign up by November 17th! You can do that here!

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25 Verses About God’s Protection

God's Protection

My foot slipped. I couldn’t catch myself, not with the bundle of love I had in my hands. I took the fall. Rather than grabbing the railing or even putting a hand down to break the fall, I let my hip hit the stairs – hard. I held on to her. Child. Must. Be. Safe.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The impact left my hip sore for weeks. Child. Must. Be. Safe.

She didn’t even so much as touch the floor. She was saved. After the thrill of her ride, she got up, laughing, she was scuff-free.

God loves to save us from our worst falls. He lifts us right above them. Child. Must. Be. Safe. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Ps. 91:7

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Ps. 91:4

You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. Ps. 40:11

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. Ps. 63:7

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. Ps. 27:5

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Ps. 91:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Ps. 46:1

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.

You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. Ps. 18:35-36

…the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:6

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Ps. 119:114

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Ps. 16:8

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Ex. 14:14

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Ps. 18:30

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Ro. 8:31

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Ps. 3:3

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov. 18:10

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 2 Sam. 22:32

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? Mt. 26:53

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Ps. 9:9

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Ps. 62:2

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Ps. 4:8

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 2 Thes. 3:3

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. Is. 54:17

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Ps. 138:7

…but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 Jo. 5:18

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

When you fall down the stairs of life, there is one who will run to your rescue. His name is Deliverer. Fear not, he goes with you.

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How God is Helping You Work Problems Out

God is Helping You

Imagine if every time you hit a hard time, you had a friend a step ahead of you. Your car broke down?  They were already waiting on-location with the jack. Your mom was in the hospital? Upon your arrival, they stood at the hospital room door with soup. Your landlord just kicked you out of your house? They beat his call by 5 minutes to invite you to stay with them.

You may think one of three things:

  1. This person is the rock-star of all friends.
  2. You can’t live without them.
  3. Only God could do this sort of thing.

On all three counts, you’d be right.

Sadly, there is no person like this. But there’s a God just this way:
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Is. 65:24

God isn’t just in step with our needs, he’s one step ahead.

We call, he’s already answering.
We speak, he’s already working.
What we can’t voice, he’s addressing.

What we’ve been afraid to ask for, he’s hearing.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Ro. 8:26

God doesn’t just hear our prayers, he preemptively steps in front of them. Like a good basketball player, he anticipates where we’re headed and beats us there. The only difference is, rather than blocking us, he gets there to lift us up. He gets there to help us score our goal. God improves our shot.

Have you been negating the love of God, the power of prayer or the worth of praise?

Often, we don’t say thank you for what we can’t see. We don’t say thank you for the disastrous saves never knew. We don’t say thank you for the trials God averted. We don’t say thank you for the small blessings we thought were our work.

Maybe today is the day we do.

Thank you, God, for all you do. You do more than meets the eye. You are working for us, helping us, and freeing us. Thank you that you are leaning into our problems and calling out on behalf of our weakness. Thank you that your all-consuming power is behind us and pushing for our best outcome. Amen.

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How to Find Rest in God

The girl was acting bad in church. I couldn’t help but notice her. She jumped around, like a pent up puppy, giving no attention to the pastor. I apparently was acting bad too because I kept on watching her. She was cute. She didn’t much care for brother though, and with this, Mother shoved her over towards daddy…

To give you some background, I’ve felt unsettled lately. Unsettled in my mothering that seems a bit too intense. Unsettled in this adventure called book and how God will use it. Unsettled by people who have let me down. It feels like a bad cough. These feelings of insecurity rise up as a hinderance to faith. I feel it coming, I hate it too. Yet, I know there’s a cure.

Daddy picked her up and held her. Immediately her head rested on daddy’s shoulder. She looked to the side in a daze. Instantly, her arms that wrapped around him fell. Daughter relaxed. She became a wet noodle fresh out of a massage – all aggression, agitation and irritation vanished in the arms of her Father.

I watched closely. It was interesting. Nothing had really changed. She was still in the same place. She was still just as bored. She was still the sister of the brother that drove her nuts. She was still very much in the same problem she was 2 minutes ago, but actually, everything did change.

She was in daddy’s arms.
Her eyes closed.
She was nearly falling asleep.
Simply because she knew she was safe.

Loved.
Cared for.
Adored.

Do you know this?

You can relax. What is bothersome, burdensome and back-breaking is soothed by the power of love. It is love that pulls you close. It is love that holds you with arms of protection and dedication. It is love that will never break or fall or grow weary of your bad antics.

Perhaps you need to know today you can fall into the arms of a daddy that will not hurt you. You don’t have to resign yourself, any longer, outside of his arms because you are on the blacklist or because you are a bad church-goer. You don’t have to keep him at an arms-length because you are the the ugly step-child or because you are a failure.

Daddy’s pick up daughters. It is as simple as that.

great daddy

In this place, there is no worry of what annoyances are around.
There is no focus on things that are about to ruin you.
There is no attention to the ways you’re life is breaking apart.

There is just – Him.
You.
Covered in affection.
Filled with security.
Embraced without requirements.

I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

Have you trusted daddy to uphold you in his arms?

The cure to worry, insecurity and the silent jury in your mind, is getting unhurried as you lay in the arms of God.

I know this to be true. Me – the most unsettled of all unsettled people, finds refreshment in the deep-reaching arms of the father.

Daily, I fall there and fail there and it is okay. He accepts me. He accepts you to – in such a powerful way, you can let go of everything and just rest, body fully relaxed, in the arms of his love.

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Remembering Jesus

Remembering Jesus

If the man sweat, I’m convinced, it would’ve come out as iron. He was strong! No doubt, he was military. I tried to keep my eyes straight, but to no avail, they wandered like a girl cheating on her 11th-grade chemistry test. I didn’t want to get caught – pastor was going strong. Still, how the man rubbed tenderly and passionately his bracelet, over and over, round and round – it meant something. I needed to know what.  The sermon, this day, was all about him.

I squinted and spotted a location and a date. Aha! I figured it out. They are winning moments. Times, people, places that were special, meaningful or momentous.

As his fingers moved,
did his mind also, going back to the memory of what happened?

A place where he joined hands with a fellow warrior and pressed on?

A time when his courage nearly beat out of his chest – and he conquered all?

A lesson of bravery, learned through trial, never to be forgotten?

How sweet! “Hold on to that fella,” I wanted to say, “that’s what moments are made of.”
If I could’ve whispered it without being rude and out-of-place, friends, I might have.

The paint was chipping, kneaded raw, but clear as day I spotted three letters: KIA.

At first, I thought of the car brand – KIA.  Then, I the reality appeared:

KIA. Killed. In. Action.

My eyes widened.
Killed. in. action.

My back sank down the chair.
Killed. in. action.

My heart moved with it.
Someone willing to pay the ultimate price for freedom.

This man? He knew: You hold on to one you love. You knead into the fact they gave up their needs and wants, so you could have yours. You absorb the price of their sacrifice.

The man next to me did just that. He remembered…

Him, a person, laying down his life for liberty.
Him, one suffering all pain, for our gain.
Him, a beating heart, a heart he knew, silenced.

Do we remember Jesus Christ in the same way?

Keeping the reality of his sacrifice not only within our fingers,
but everpresent within our heart?

Our warrior, the perfect warrior – Jesus – with his final breath beat death, sin and the war of all evil. He is worthy.
Our Jesus lion and lamb, burst free of the tomb. He is worthy.
Our Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the father, won the battle, so he could plead on our behalf. He is worthy.

Jesus was K.I.A.

Because of the lamb, who is also the lion,
we are now forever liberated, loved and alive.

Do you hold him close? Do you knead into his goodness? Do you remember the power of his miracles worked into your life? Do you draw from his words and wear them, like an embossed memorial, across your heart?

Today, hold close: Jesus. Died. For. Me.

Goodness, purity, wholeness was killed, willingly, on your behalf.

“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:24

Jesus. The man who had it all, but gave it all – for you. R.I.P.

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Why God Really Has A Better Way

Better Way

A tear welled up in my eye, God had forgotten me.

What seemed like a possibility, a door, creaked and slowly shut. I couldn’t tell –
did the door fully close or was there still a crack?

Either way, what I had longed to hear as a yes, disappeared like a vapor. Gone. Without a mention, without a word. As I figured it, no news – means people are avoiding you. They hate to be a disappointment (Humanomics 101).

As I saw it; I lost out.

Not wanted. Rejected. Not worthy. Hurt. Alone.

Ever been there?

Why is it that God seems to give you something only to slam a no in your face? It makes a girl soar in the throat from trying to hold back tears. That is how it feels. It feels like a smile turned upside down. It feels like a heart wanting to be happy, wanting to trust God, wanting to walk in faith, wanting all that and then getting pinched – hard.

Oww!!!

Do you feel left behind by God?

Do tears drop where hope once abounded?

I know, friends, it stinks. Let’s just first acknowledge, hot fudge sundae’s can end up melted. Dreams can wash up and away. Hopes can suffocate under discouragement. Sometimes, things don’t work – they break, and then, seemingly, break us.

They break our spirit of joy.
They break our mode of purpose.
They break our vision of the future.
They break how we see ourselves.
They break our feeling of belonging.

But, let me ask you…can they ever break the character of God.

As much as I want to stomp and pout before my Maker, the maker of everything, the maker of every opportunity – I have to stop to consider…

Who says I know the best way?

Who says this was ever God’s way?

Who says God doesn’t have in motion – a better way?

Who says God ever left me?

Who declared me not good enough?

If the great and powerful, high and mighty, God declared me good (Gen. 1:31),
who is man to label me otherwise?

And, why do I give them permission?

If the all-knowing, all-seeing God, says he has plans prepared in advance for me (Eph. 2:10), what is a small hiccup?

A hiccup to God is a grain of sand to me. It is of no consequence.

Looking back, I can’t count the blessings that have come to me. But, what I can count on is that they’ve never arrived by striving. They’ve never shown up through inflated efforts. They’ve never walked in on account of man’s doing.

Nearly, every time, they’ve come like a surprise birthday party – out-of-nowhere,  thrown in complete love.  And what could be better than that?

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When It’s Their Fault

Their Fault

I sang and danced and swirled and twirled. I had no care in the world. I paid no attention to my foot caught on the hem underfoot or my strap halfway down my young arm. None of that mattered. What mattered was that I felt alive, beautiful and one with creation.

their fault

What happened to that little girl?

The one who gave no care to her off-pitch high notes?  The one who heard not catcalls of criticism, but simply her voice of freedom? The one who gave no merit to outside perceptions, but just God’s wild affirmations?  Somewhere along the line, she got buried.

It’s always easy to blame others, They broke me.”

They broke me with pointed words, “What’s wrong with you, Kelly? Wake up, you self-absorbed one.”
They injured me in ways that people don’t talk about over coffee.
They pointed out my big nose, loud voice and my bouffant hair.
They made it clear I was destined to be a loser.

In school, I remember things. We all had a papier-mâché project. You put a little something in your balloon, you’d shove in a little figure of sorts, then blow up the balloon. After that, you’d add doused paper on top – lots of doused paper. You cover that balloon right up, layer upon layer. The balloon got hard.

I am like that balloon – 3-inches covered by guilt and shame. You too?

Their Fault

“People stole care-free from me.” I yell to God.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Ro. 12:2

God speaks to me,
“Kelly, you can relive the past in your mind
or you can renew your spirit with my mind, the mind of Christ?

untitled-design-11

Half of me is so accustomed to assigning other people blame for my pain. It’s hard to turn away from a comfortable seat well worn. But, the other half of me realizes if I want to be new, if I want to get up and go, I’ve got to turn another direction. I want to believe it is well with my soul.

I close my eyes. Can I find her? The liberated, dancing singer?  

I know she’s under there, under the fortified covering of papier-mâché, somewhere…

God calls me friend.
God names me, daughter.
I am his love.
The very pursuit of his greatest affections.
A layer of paperweight peels off me…

He sees me, my beauty.
He writes my name on his hand.
He cuddles me in feathers.
He’s my bodyguard, ever-protector, forevermore.
The balloon is seen again…

He leads me.
He unveils his master plan for me.
He tends to my soul.
He teaches and transforms,
molds and makes me,
helps me.
The balloon pops…Bang!

And that little figure? The one tucked deep away, inside the covered balloon? It surfaces. I finally see it. Except there’s one thing I notice, that strikes me – funny. The figure looks nothing like me. It looks like Jesus.

As I strip off the layers that cover me, I see – Jesus, the very power of God, living in me.

I find who I am, through the great I AM.
I release my potential through his power.
I reignite my passion as I draw from his paternal love.

I never needed people to approve me, but Christ to move in me.

But because of his great love for us, God,
who is rich in mercy,
 made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions…(Eph. 2:4-5)

God brings me back to the heart of who I was created to be. What love, I loved, he loves. I see this when I realize I am alive with Christ.

their fault

When I grab his hand and let him take the lead, he leads me to still waters, to new hope and to a new dance that sings his glory.

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Walking into God’s Best

God's Best

Step-by-step, eye-on-goal, I navigated rocks, roots and off-kilter mountain terrain. My thoughts kept pace…

Push, push, push.
Do, do, do.
Keep treading this beaten path…

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I end my day couch-ridden, feeling beaten by my fears.
I walk a beaten path.

I let stress spill pent up emotions – everywhere.
I walk a beaten path.

I let time rush me.
I walk a beaten path.

I let other’s define the “right” way.
I walk a beaten path.

I rush and shush my family.
I walk a beaten path.

I do the same things. Again and again.
Same walk. Same path. Different day.

God, I feel tired, cranky and a bit off kilter.

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Kelly, how’s this working for you?

Umm…Okay, God, so what am I supposed to do?

Get off the beaten path!

So, I do, I venture off. I don’t have to do it like I always have. I don’t have to do it like they do. I don’t have to be what the world demands. This beaten path does me no good.

If God isn’t in it, what use is it anyway?

Covered by the thrill of trees, the calling of excitement – a step is all it takes.

Although it’s risky, I’m just where I want to be. Somehow the mom of, “Don’t venture out in those woods, there are ticks out there” vanishes and some childlike charge comes alive.

I let go.

If I just go with God, where will he take me?

I press into the vines, the brush, the scary. Even more, I find her. Her heart is still going. The girl of adventure, of freedom, of willingness, of spontaneity, of joy, of wonder, of peace.

She’s still alive. She wants to arise.

If I move outside my norm, God,
what will you do with me?

Might I see myself like you do?

I go deeper. My ears hear it first…the rush, two rocks and a transformation in progress…

Living water is changing hard, non-pourous and rough edges into a new mold. They need do nothing, they are being changed.  Restructured as recipients of the living water’s power.

Change only happens if we submit to the force of love over us…

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What if our greatest life-change is just
on the other side of – stepping out?

What if by stepping out we best get the chance
to sit under God’s love?

I sit, in order to see.
It is something we are all wise to try sometime…

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Rather than a schlep to “destination,” just accept God’s invitation.
You don’t want to risk missing it.

This time, I don’t – I won’t.

Quiet whispers wander.
Internal sparks come alive.
True identity surfaces.

I am called. So I go. We go.  We walk on.

To a clearing. It is about as sunny as Florida. Clouds are invisible. But, all the same – off the beaten path, a mini-miracle happens – light drops fall.  The dance from heaven speaks something. But, what, God, what?

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I sit.

He who waters the plants, who keeps green the grass, and who rises the sun, is more than equipped to hold together the nitty-gritty details of my life…

Even if I do nothing, he will create an orchestra of outstanding, mesmerizing and brilliant – out of nothing…

Even if I only breathe, but nothing else,
he can lead all relationships where they need to go…

Even if I just observe, he will create something far better than marketing, manpower or management skills ever could…

I inhale. I like being off the beaten path. I sit longer.

When I finally get home, I crawl down next to him, the boy. I inhale and abolish time. Only the moment counts. Nothing is required. Words aren’t demanded. Planning isn’t essential. What matters is not the destination, but the invitation to rest in the presence of love.

I set my heart on getting off the beaten path…

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