Purposeful Faith

Category - blessings

Break Boundaries and Barriers – With This!

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you, like me, are bound to love what I’m about to announce…

(Don’t you love all the intrigue?)

But before I divulge the what, let me get on with the questions:
Do you ever long to belong and to be understood?
Do you ever feel alone in your struggle?
Do you ever wonder why you fear the unexpected – and how to manage it?
Do you ever fret you’re not a good enough wife? Or mother?
Do you ever just – worry, worry, worry?
Do you long for better friendships and a more grace-filled life?
Do you dream of living out a creative calling?
Do you hope to truly seize peace and purpose?
Do you want to know what you were created for?
Do you know God has more for you than anxiety?
Do you wonder if prayer really works?

Where do you stand? Did you answer yes to any of these?

For the large part of my life, I answered yes, to well, pretty much every question. I struggled alone, between the 4 walls of my house: trying and failing at multiple ventures, reaching out to women and never following through, hoping for God to bust me into my dream but always doubting my abilities, trembling at what could happen in the future and agonizing my rocky past.

Paralyzed and agonizing, I trembled at the thoughts: I am not enough. I fear failing. I am desperately afraid I’ll waste my life. Women will judge me. Life is a threat. Dark streets and corners are the end of my life.

The list went on and on…

Panic points. That’s what I call them. I had a million and one “panic points” running through my mind, little links of worry, constantly convicting and restricting me. They were chains.

Do you even realize you are chained? Many women don’t. Sometimes we can get so used to living with chains, they start to feel like weighty bracelets, not 50-pound pieces of metal that cut the flow of life from our heart. We fail to see we’re stifled. We can move, but only 50-yards one way or 50-yards the other way…that is all the chain gives.

Yet, metal is no match for one who beat the grave. The nails didn’t determine Jesus’ destiny, and they don’t determine ours either. They may hurt in the moment, but there is freedom in the process, for those willing to seek it. I did and…

I found myself, even though I hadn’t a clue who I was.

I discovered an idea of what God had for me to do,
even though I constantly turned away from everything.

I began to enjoy and thrive in life,
even though I used to hate it.

I embraced risk instead of Christian-cussing at it.

I uncovered a door out.

I opened up new possibilities.

I realized they weren’t too far away.

I altered my perspective slightly and that changed it all.

I believe that can happen to you too.

Do you believe your chains can fall and you can push open that impossible-to-open box, or seemingly inescapable trap door?

Yes, there is always a trap door…

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

Often finding the door, is all about pulling up the carpet that covers your heart. Only then, can you see your heart for what it is. When this happens, your way becomes clear.

What if you found your trap door – to more?

I have an idea for you. You see, I did write the book Fear Fighting, which is a fantastic first step for anyone interested in fighting fear; I highly recommend it if you struggle with any of these things, but this is not what I want to talk about today.

I want to propose to you attend The Journey Together Summit.


Join me, and over 34 fabulous published authors, as we do some fear fighting. We will be talking about everything you care about: mothering, marriage, living with unmet expectations, dealing with an unfair life, building intimacy with your husband, getting clutter-free, letting go of the past, finding your calling and more. With so many topics, and different perspectives on fear, you’ll come with panic points, but you’ll leave with a list of peace checkpoints to guide you on your way to courage, boldness and new found mission.

Don’t miss it! The event goes live June 5-8, but you can sign up today at www.journeytogethersummit.com to watch these 34 video interviews – for free. #JourneyTogetherSummit #Summit #FearFighting

Can’t attend in June? You can still access all the videos post-event with the All Access Pass.

I know the heart, the wisdom and the words spoken during this event will not only free your heart and comfort your soul, but they will provide practical and tactical tips to beat mountain-size fear and worry.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and
fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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

Also, win a 10 Book Bundle of books if you share this event. Learn more…

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The Choice Before Us

We sat in the parking lot staring blankly ahead with the doctor’s words still ringing in our ears.

“Some people just can’t have children. Now is when you need to start working on accepting that.”

We were stunned in spite of the clues. The previous years’ experiences had pointed to this moment – the months of negative pregnancy tests, the losses, the testing and exams and poking and prodding, they all pointed to the possibility of infertility. Except now it was real. Now it was our story.

In the weeks that followed our diagnosis I found myself facing a critical juncture in my faith. I could refuse to believe that God might have plans for my future that include infertility and I could live in a state of anxious denial (a place I’d been sitting in for too long already.) Or, I could do as the doctor suggested, and work toward finding acceptance and faith and peace. For several weeks I chose the former and it twisted my stomach and heart in knots. Then one day I chose the latter.

Sometimes peace is a choice. Peace is a choice that doesn’t always come naturally for me, though. I tend to be an anxious person who likes to be in control of, well, everything. I want to know exactly how the day will go and I want to be able to manipulate my surroundings to fit what feels safe, secure, and right to me. But life doesn’t often comply with my version of how things should be. This is where faith and fear collide for me.

Life has taught me I have a choice in how I respond to things outside of my control. Things like infertility. I can’t always control how I feel about these things – if I could take away my grief and pain I would… who wouldn’t? But I can choose to believe in peace and love and hope.

On one of the worst nights of my life – the night I returned from the hospital after losing our first baby – I turned to my Bible for something that would bring me comfort. I don’t think I really believed peace was possible in my grief, but I just wanted something to get me through the night. I flipped the pages and they eventually landed in the book of Isaiah, chapter 54. My eyes fell on verse 10 and I began to read…

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”

In those words, I found everything I didn’t know I needed…

Unfailing love from the Father in the midst of tragedy and loss.
Peace that will never leave – no matter what.
And compassion for my broken and baffled heart.

In the months that followed, I found myself navigating the often lonely waters of grief and learning that I often wouldn’t feel peace, but Isaiah had told me it was there. So I made a choice to believe it, whether I felt it or not. Still today, I choose to believe that the peace that surpasses all understanding still covered my life even in times of turmoil. I choose to believe that hope is a fact.

I believe this is what Horatio Spafford had in mind when he penned the words to famous hymn, It Is Well with My Soul. After losing his son, his business, and then his four daughters (who drowned in a shipwreck) he wrote,

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know*
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

It is well. Or, as my son has taught me to say, “It’s Okay About It.” Saying, “it’s okay about it” or “it is well” doesn’t mean declaring that we are unaffected in the face of hardship and loss. It is simply choosing to believe that love, peace, compassion, and hope are true. That they are promises we can believe no matter what comes our way.

So though my heart broke in the pain of infertility and the grief of miscarriages I choose peace and hope, knowing that God will redeem my pain.

When my children suffer I remember God’s compassion for us.

When I face disappointment and rejection I declare the truth of God’s unfailing love.

When I face anxiety and panic over an unknown future and circumstances beyond my control I choose His covenant of peace.

Because of the truth of God’s word and the hope of heaven I can say with assurance, “It’s Okay About It.”

Lauren Casper is the founder of her popular blog, where she shares her thoughts on life, parenting, and faith. She is a top contributor to the TODAY Parenting Team and has had numerous articles syndicated by The Huffington Post, the TODAY show, Yahoo! News, and several other publications. Lauren speaks in various locations around the country at conferences, retreats, and church events. Some of her topics include: adoption and foster care, infertility, parenting children with special needs, building meaningful community, and facing fear.

Lauren’s first book, It’s Okay About It, released May 2, 2017. In it, Lauren shares poignantly simple yet profound wisdom about removing the barriers we construct around our hearts and doing life full-on, all from the least expected source: her five-year-old son, Mareto.

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12 Verses To Remind You: God will Provide

Self-Critical

Last night, I told my son, “Don’t get out of bed after I put you to sleep or we won’t be able to eat pie for breakfast.”

An hour later he was downstairs and next to me. It broke my heart. The fun of eating the mud pie we prepared the night before – for a breakfast party while my husband was out of town, was now going to have to be rescheduled.  I wanted to give, but now I had to take away.

For many of us, we believe God is always taking away just like I did from my son. We believe God is constantly removing goodness from our life, food from our table and providence for our future – because, we figure, we are messing up somehow.

It is easy to fall into this mind of thinking: I must have done something wrong. God is angry at me. I’ll never be blessed. I’ll always be stuck.

Yet, looking at the Word of God, paints a much different picture. I hope these verses encourage you. I pray they remind you what a provider God is. You can never fall out of his love.

12 Verses to Remind You: God will Provide

And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:10)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, How! (Ps. 84:11-12)

Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food? (Job 38:41)

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.  (Mt. 7:11)

The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him may your hearts live forever! (Ps. 22:26)

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners. (Ps. 146:7)

The LORD will not allow a righteous person to starve, but he intentionally ignores the desires of a wicked person. (Prov. 10:3)

For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. (Psalm 81:10 )

Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (Gen. 9:3)

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Ps. 107:9)

The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. (Prov. 13:25)

Give us this day our daily bread. (Mt. 21:22)

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Stepping Into Your Calling

Your Calling

What is God calling you to?

It’s a very important question to consider.  Knowing the answer can make the difference between ongoing fulfillment and unending misguidance. This answer can radically shift the purpose of your life.

Have you asked God? And listened. Observed. Noticed.

And then asked Him again. Listened. Observed. Noticed.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

Things are in the works my friends, on my end. I have something VERY exciting to announce in the next couple of weeks (and, no, it is not a baby…why do I always have to preface things with that?!). It is something that increases unity, brings restoration and that will change your life. I am sure of it. Oh, I can’t wait for you to know. To be a part of it.

But, I could have missed this calling altogether. I really could have. I was just considering this very thought this morning as I sat on my patio. I love to go out there in the mornings. I seek God, read scripture and absorb the Lord’s goodness. Well, this morning, as I tried to place my mind on Him above, I couldn’t. All I could hear was a consistent…SQUAWK!!! SQUAWK!!!

Get out of here!!! You are so annoying.

Try as I may to focus on how God wanted me to proceed with every He’d called me to, how to…SQUAWK! SQUAWK!

The shrill voice of the crows butted in once again.

And, I couldn’t: I couldn’t think. I couldn’t listen. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get my mind off the annoyance.

What is squawking in your life right now? Making you believe you can’t hear God?

God never leaves us; it is usually our mind that leaves him. We always have the opportunity to return back.

Today, I sit with fresh resolve: I will not allow what is making noise around me – other’s voices, distractions of the iPhone, bad news on TV, uncertainty in the world, aggravation with a friend – keep me away from this question any longer –  “What is God calling me to?”

I’ll fight to hear him. Will you?

There is a very real enemy, with a very real plan to hold you back from God’s real good stuff. Are you letting him win?

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

The Value in Going Low

Going Low

The two girls, in position, knew their job. They steadied their bent knees for the small gymnast to climb up and, before not too long, they supported her with their strong arms as she stood tall. Victory! 

The girl at the top was tall. Radiant. Glowing.

But, what about the women at the bottom? I can’t help but think, no one really likes being at the bottom. In the place without glory. In the place, unseen. In the place not valuable.

We find that place hard. It is hard to:

– Encourage a person who speaks with a tone of meanness.
– Pray for the girl you’re always sizing up.
– Be generous to one who already has so much.
– Give precious time to the neighbor who needs help with the groceries.
– Tell the truth when no one is looking or when it could hurt someone.
– Praise others, even when we feel they are better than us.
– Acknowledge and praise Jesus on hard days.
– Get on bended knee when our finances, future and relationships all are tumbling around us.
– To work hard onto the Lord even when you have a horrible boss or a critical husband.

But, getting in the position of bended knee, with the goal to lift high is tremendously valuable. Just think, how would that small gymnast find her position if no one lifted her?

Are we willing to lift Jesus, no matter how difficult it is not to be seen?

Will we lift the one who:

– Left the riches and glory of eternal paradise.
– Was born in a stable.
– Rode in on a donkey.
– Took our every whip and lash.

Jesus reminds us we can. He reminds us the value of losing our self to find something far greater. He died to his flesh, so we could come alive in our soul.

A lot of times, we must do the same: Die to our flesh, to come alive to our soul. Die to our flesh, to help others come alive in their soul.

It is the heart of the gospel.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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

7 Ways: From Manic Mode to Peace

Manic-Mode to Peace

Pots and pans where flung everywhere. I didn’t really know what I was doing, except I knew dinner needed to get on that table, before the two screaming heads even more flipped a lid. Move faster, Kelly.

I tried to maneuver around the crumbs and grease that were splattered everywhere. I tried to manage a deep conversation with my husband while pulling the salmon out of the oven. I threw it on the stove, checked the hardness of the fish (yep…rock-solid, alright) and then proceeded to grabb the handle with my bare hand….Yeee-oww!!!!

I burnt the living-cells right off my palm of my hand.

I’ve decided, in manic-mode, I do dumb things.

I guess you could say this is a theme in my life.

Manic-mode at work: I’d rush so fast, I’d send the “I am so frustrated at my boss” email not to my co-worker two cubes over, but directly to him.

Manic-mode in the car: I pulled out so fast out of school, I crush metal like it’s nobody’s business. Car’s totaled.

Manic-mode with kids: I fear someone is going to fall in the bathroom, so I lean over to shut the door with a baby in hand and her toe gets slammed. It busts wide open. Baby gets stitches at the ER.

My heart longs for manic-mode, sometimes. I don’t know what is wrong with me? It’s like somehow I think I am more productive there, like the hot-flashes of anxiety are going to produce something, like more will get done and somehow I’ll end up being recognized as the shining star mom of the universe. It never happens.

What is it producing?  Burnt hands. Angry bosses. Ruined cars. Babies with stitches. Internal frustration. Residual guilt. Kitchens left half cleaned up because I’m either dealing with the likes of insurance agencies, ER rooms or burn marks. FAIL.

What is manic-mode producing in your life? Where do you see it show up? Why do you chase it?

I think I believe if I rush, the loud sounds of my life will hush and  I’ll make space for peace. Like, I’ll run to the destination real fast and then I’ll have time left over to chill there. To lay down. It doesn’t work that way, I’m learning.

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex. 33:14

To make peace, it works much more like this:

  1. You ask God to be with you through everything.
  2. You trust him to be with you through everything.
  3. You don’t become a marathon sprinter.
  4. You look out for God to be with you through everything.
  5. you still don’t let yourself become a marathon sprinter.
  6. You notice God be with you through everything.
  7. You find some peace, and even some rest, through the process.

Why? Because He’s taking lead. The destination is not your destination, but God is the destination. And, when God is the destination, you’ve arrived.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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

6 Verses: God Travels Ahead of You

God Travels Ahead

There is a huge ravine behind my house. If you make it down without falling or getting caught in a rabbit hole, you’ll find yourself at a playground. On most days, my kids longingly stare at it from our kitchen.

On a good sunny day, after rain storms are done and passed, I take the hike with them. As a good mom, or, at least, one who tries to be, I look for everything that could go wrong along the way. If I see a thorn bush, I pull it away before it snags them. If I see a bunch of rocks that may twist their ankle, I lead them in a different direction. If I see a huge ditch that might entrap them, I make sure to lift them over.

I go before my children… My eyes travel the path before them, so harm doesn’t as much befall them.

God does the same for us.

No matter what path we walk down, God is one step ahead. No matter what mountain we come up against, He is already climbing it. No matter what journey of uncertainty we encounter, God is 100 steps further. He’s laying out our path and preparing our steps. He’s flattening the land and preparing our journey. He’s uncovering our gold and laying it out for us.

He sees our way.

Sometimes, it seems, we believe we tread through this world, alone, like little boxcar children, trying to make it to the next meal. I’ve been thinking, this could not be further from the truth. We are always right next to God’s goodness.

Check out all the ways God goes before us:

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

‘The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf…Deuteronomy 1:30

You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Psalm 139:5 (NLT)

For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Is. 52:12

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. Is. 45:2

To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; Ps. 136:16

God is famous for caring and preparing us for greater things. He walks ahead to fight the battles we fear we can’t win. He calms the seas we’re convinced we can’t beat. He softens the blows we worry will take us down. He knows our road. He understands our coming trauma. He knows how to lead us through it.

Do you know what this means? We can worry less.

Just as I opened up the right path for my kids, God is opening the right path for us. It is for good. It will strengthen us. It will help us. It will lead us in the right way. It will lift us above harm.

God is always a step ahead, even when life makes us feel we’ve been left behind. Be it a marriage that is going under, a financial trial that looks impossible to fix, a baby that never seems to come, an addiction you can’t seem to beat, a dream that never surfaces – no matter, he’s a step ahead, working on your behalf.

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

What Gives, God? Where are You?

Where are You

What is stuck in your mind? What hassles you?

We all have our thing. Don’t tell me you don’t. It’s what you gravitate to in silence. It is what makes your heart nervous because, no matter how you strategize, you can’t figure out the puzzle. You can’t figure how you’ll be delivered to peaceful, serene. There are no answers. God hasn’t pulled through.

Moses was a little puzzled too.

God told Moses at the burning bush to lead the Israelites out of slavery.

Ummm? What??? ME!!???

Yes, you!

“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.” (Ex. 3:21)

Okay, God, maybe this is possible…you have my back. God will do this! I am bustin’ my people outta here!!!

I wonder if Moses was thinking the same? If excitement coursed through him, an eagerness to do God’s will?

In any case, Moses proceeds forward all obedient, faithful and bold. He approaches Pharoah and declares, (I imagine him standing all upright, strong and rock-solid, confident God will speak out of a local bush on his behalf if need-be), “Let my people go.”

Pharaoh’s response? “Make(s) the work harder for the people…” (Ex. 5:9)

What?!! The outcome was the opposite of the promise.

What gives, God???

Maybe you’re asking God that too.  What gives, God???

Why did you call me to something huge, only to not make it happen?
Why did you lead me to respond in this way, when it is backfiring in my face?
Why did you promise and not deliver?

What gives, God???

God’s response to Moses, speaks profoundly to our very own questions. God says, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”

God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord….and I have remembered my covenant.” (Ex. 6:1-2, 5)

Here are 5 points we can take away from this:

1. God speaks to us similarly, saying “you will see…”

Oftentimes, the long wait is because God is preparing something great.

2. God is still Lord.

God might not do things like us, but then again, would we want him to? What God is working, will eventually amount to blessing.

3. God will do what he has promised to do.

He will “remember his covenant.” If God said it, He will see it through.

4. Often, we need to know our progress is because of God’s “mighty hand.” Twice God repeats this line to Moses.

Our wait might be because others need to see that God is great. When his light shines through the darkness of a long cavernous agony, it appears even brighter from the outside.

5. God responds to our pain as we call on his name.

God didn’t leave Moses at the burning bush to figure out captivity and release all by himself. He returned to Moses, he instructed him and he assured him. As we call out to God, God can’t help but approach our hearts with love and compassion. Because it is who he is and what he does.

So, what gives? God is giving you something better. He is giving you a chance to get to know his nature. He is giving you a chance to see something miraculous. He giving you deeper faith. That’s what gives.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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

 

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I am thankful

I am thankful

I am thankful.

I just want you all to know – I am thankful.

Every day, I write stories that usually convey:

  1. I am annoyed one way or another, yet seeking more.
  2. I am discouraged by people, circumstances or problems and attempting to see things through new light.
  3. I am thrown off, but working my way back to God.

Many days, I’ve used this blog as a counseling session. I like it this way: I come with issues – God comes with strength. I come weak – the Lord comes strong enough to change me. I come needy, he comes increasingly ready to feed me.

This is our power, coming weak. This is our life change, coming needy. This is our faith, being reliant.

God answers this approach.

But, I don’t want you to ever think, not for a moment, that I am not entirely thankful. You see, my posture of leaning on him, almost always, helps me discover how he holds me up. It reminds me that, every time, he is faithful. It helps me see that through every bump in the road, He’s the shocks softening the jolting impact of life. He smooths my ride.

I call. He answers as I keep seeking.
I cry. He catches my tears when I focus my mind on him.
I am in pain. He understands and draws near as I pursue his Word.
I need. As I wait (which sometimes feels like forever), He faithfully and, in his timing, rushes in.

He’ll do the same for you.

What kind of grief do you need to lean up against him to know he is strong enough to hold it?

The counselor waits.

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Ps. 91:3-4

Maybe, like me, you’ll come out from an eating disorder, depression, financial trials, huge health issues or relational problems, thankful, in awe, and amazed at what he just saved you from – if you’ll just turn in.

Before you know it, He’ll work: soften your edges, sand off your rough spots, make space for his movement. Love and peace will come busting into your heart.

I’ve found this, after day-in-and-day-out writing on this blog…

I see God’s goodness in the land of my living grief, fear and guilt – when I run after it – hard.

What all seemed impossible, turned possible. We have the ability to reach God’s transcendent, his abundance. He loves us.

All this is the source of thanksgiving. As God enters the nitty gritty, the down and dirty of your life, you can’t help but lift your arms, lift your voice and give a good shout out to his character.

 

Today, I am thankful. What might you need to offer to God, knowing that soon enough, by faith, you’ll be giving thanks to God?

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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

I’m Being Honest: This Bible Verse Ticks Me Off

ticks me off

I wouldn’t admit this in church, but there’s one verse that continually ticks me off. It’s this: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:6

I guess you could say I have multiple issues with it:

  1. In all ways acknowledge God.  When you acknowledge someone it’s as if you’re offering a late gesture. Like, they did something for you, and you can’t forget to bring them up, lest you feel guilty that you didn’t pay them back well enough. I mean, you certainly don’t want them to feel slighted or, even worse, to punish you afterward. “Acknowledge” plays out like an after-thought. I did all this stuff…oh, shoot, can’t forget – I’ve got to acknowledge so-and-so. It lacks authenticity.
  2. Make straight your path. I imagine someone walking down the sidewalk, picket-in-hand, yelling in my face, “You better acknowledge God, or else! You better let him make straight your path – or you’re a goner!” This thought entirely stresses me out. It burns my insides with the fear that no matter how good of a daughter I think I am, I’m going to burn in hell one day. It somehow makes me feel like there is no good that is good enough for God. Why try?

Sitting today, just me and this verse, I decided to decode it. If I’ve learned anything it is this: If God’s Word doesn’t give you more vision, it’s probably because you’re looking at it through the wrong glasses.

God, give me new lenses to see. What does acknowledge really mean?

Yada. That’s the Hebrew word for it. It means to “come to know someone by observing, reflecting and experiencing.”

Now this makes sense.

I can almost hear God saying, “In all your ways, come to know me by observing me, by reflecting on me and experiencing me…”

And, I want to. I need to.  Because to acknowledge God is to hang a welcome sign on your heart. It is to open your heart to his movement, rather than to demand your mouth to give him due credit. It is being a hostess rather than a hopeless speaker of things, even you aren’t even sure if you yet believe.

Here, there is no pressure, but peace.
No self-demands, just connection with the love of your life.
No hard work, but an easy yoke.
Less striving, more relaxing.

I feel content with the answer to my gripe #1. But what about #2?

What about the path?

God, do you yell in my face, “make straight your path, girl…or else!?

And, where God focuses my eyes, is here, on this very verse: “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Ps. 23:2-3

When we “acknowledge” or “experience” God, He sets us on a path of refreshment, restoration and righteousness. Where we are, the path is so straight, we get more of a glimpse of him at the end of our every road. Our vision, even more, focuses, targeted and clear. We know what we are running after. We see the end goal. We pursue eternity.

God is right before us. And, all we want is more. We’ve found our straight road.

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