I also love that as I love you, I get a chance to learn who you really are. You send me emails and thank yous and little stories of the giant hurdles you’ve made in life. And yes, even though you call them small, God and I know they’re giant.
You all are great. You make me smile. You make me shed tears. You make me pray. And while I can’t always respond to every email via the computer I always try to respond with God. I ask him for the best for you, for your situations and for your heart. I ask him to show his lavish love in your life.
You are amazing. You gift me a lot more than I gift you. Daily, so many of you give to my heart. Quietly, I know others inwardly offer up thanks. Readily, I know there are prayers going out for the wider community of gals who read these words.
To know we are fighting together, battling through our hang-ups, and sticking to the King of Kings on this road is beyond helpful to my heart.
We rage on – in love.
I once thought this blog was about me “getting my healing.” Now I know it is about all of us “becoming healed” and supporting each other along the way. Thank you for helping me realize I need you just as much as I need God.
You are often a vessel for His voice. A voice of encouragement that pops up via email at just the right time. A prayer note that I needed. A living testimony of what you are reading.
All glory to God! He is working right here. We read and write only holy ground, together. And I love it! I cherish it. I rejoice in the fullness of what He has prepared for such a time as this.
While social media rages with hate, anger and dissension, we pull together in love. We smile and keep on with Jesus. We do our part to do our best to change our little slice of the world one small act of love at a time.
I am grateful for you. I want you all to know that. God has given me so much in this community of lovers. I praise Him for you today.
My prayer for you: Sweet Jesus, thank you for the reader of this post today. Thank you that you see her heart. Thank you that she pursues, loves and follows you. I ask you to open every door unto her, so that she can meet and know you with immense passion. I ask that there would never be a question in her mind as to how much you love her. I ask that there would never be a question in her mind about how immensely loved she is. I ask for an increase of your heart on this very blog that reaches hearts day-in and day-out. I ask for your activating faith to pour out on every reader in profound ways in the coming days. I ask for your will to be done in all ways. We thank you Jesus. Amen.
Do you ever think, “Everything is going so well…I wonder when is God going to pull the carpet out from under me?”
Or, “I don’t deserve good stuff.”
Or, “I feel guilty for accepting…”
I think this way sometimes. As if God’s given me too much and suddenly needs to put me in my place. Or as if I’m spoiled by the fact He is good. Or like He is a killjoy who is out to punish me for my happiness.
Why do I do this?
Recently, I asked God for something. It was small, but I prayed for it to “get better”. Amazingly, I immediately did, to a degree. I saw God move in incredible ways. Then, I wanted to ask him for something else, something more. I almost prayed…but then I heard:
Bad Kelly! You want too much.
Bad Kelly! You think God is there to give you everything.
Bad Kelly! You are selfish.
Bad Kelly! You know there are others who have it much harder than you.
Afraid to take too much from God, I almost missed the opportunity to see how much He really loves me. I almost stopped asking. Why? Because I counted the nature of God equivalent with the nature of man.
God gives abundantly. Many give, but then take for themselves.
God does even more than we ask or imagine. Man does and then expects something in return.
God continually pours out the best of who He is on our behalf. Man halfway gives and then gives up.
When we assign the track record of man to God, we always lose. In fact, we close down the opportunity to see the abundant nature of an abundant God. We essentially hold an arm up to God and say, “You’re a little bit good, but not that good.”
What are you believing about God today? In what ways have you held an abundant God back? How have you let the past hurts of man create a false view of God?
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jo. 10:10
“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jo. 6:33
Jesus ministered to every man who needed him. Right?
Jesus never stopped giving, ever. Right?
One evening after sunset the people brought Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. (Mk. 1:32-34)
Notice, Jesus healed “many.” But, as I see it: many is not all.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”(Mark 1:35-38)
Notice, while the crowds of people waited… While people were still searching him out… He did what?!!!
He went off.
He turned away from the demands of man to connect to the voice of God. Away from the calls of man, He could once again to hear the call of God. We see Jesus restating his purpose to the disciples when he said, “This is why I have come.”
Jesus let go of a “very good call” (taking care of every person’s waking need), for a better one: going where the Father desired Him to be and following through on his vision/mission as planned.
What might you be doing today that is thwarting God’s mission for tomorrow?
We are wise to look into our life to see:
If our heart to do things is causing us to lose peace.
Consider: Stepping away and praying.
If we feel upset at others for all we’ve done for them.
Consider: Stepping away and praying.
If we are so tired, we can hardly love people anymore.
Consider: Stepping away and praying.
If we feel God has something new for us to do.
Consider: Stepping away and praying.
If others want us to do something more than we can do.
Consider: Stepping away and praying.
Prayer re-centers us, not on the plans of man, but on the purpose of God in our lives.
Look back and think of some miracles God has done in your life.
My miracle: He completely healed me from an eating disorder.
My miracle: He brought money into my mailbox on the very day I believed, many years ago when I couldn’t pay rent.
Your miracle: ____
Your miracle: ____
These past miraculous mile-markers serve as huge celebrations. Essentially, we said to God at that time, “Father, I want to ____. I need to ___. Only you can ___.” Then, Jesus did.
Times like this are recounted again and again in scripture. For example, a blind man said to Jesus, “I want to see!” (Lu. 18:41)
Jesus replied: “Receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” (Lu. 18:42)
It was this man’s faith that healed him. Faith permitted him to receive his healing versus doubting it and blocking it. He opened up his arms to a new idea, versus crossing them. Doing this was powerful, because look what happens. . .
We are told, “Instantly the man could see, and hefollowedJesus, praising God. And all who saw itpraised God, too.” (Lu.18:4e)
Notice the progression at work here…
Our faith leads to our receiving: This becomes our seeing.
Seeing leads to following Jesus.
Receiving and seeing creates a life of praising.
Our praising makes others start praising.
Where might your small mustard-seed-size faith start a wildfire of praise in this world? Don’t discount a small beginning of faith; God does not despise it. Instead, remember the wonders of old and recount the faithfulness of yesteryear. Re-establish that your God is able. And believe. Get ready to receive God’s new thing.
My tracks tend to be on auto-pilot. What about yours? Routinely, I’m interested in what I need to get done, who needs help around me, and what tasks need to be accomplished for the family and God. The order of our day does matter. Our priorities reflect what we believe about our identity.
Let me explain…
A religious man said to Jesus, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” (Lu. 18:21)
Essentially he said, “I’ve done what mattered, I’ve obeyed you, I am good.”
His identity was: A Rule-Follower.
Jesus replied, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Lu. 18:22).
Essentially Jesus said, “Your treasure is not what you’ve done, but is found by continually following me. In me, is your identity.”
In Christ we are:
Children of God.
Yet, as we let other treasures cloud the treasure found in following Jesus, we start to believe we: must work hard to be loved, follow every rule, do more to achieve eternal glory, look good to man, and get everything done in our day to be successful.
Where is your treasure? Is it in following and staying close to Jesus? Or is it in doing stuff, accomplishing more, and keeping up with the world in order to stay protected and safe?
What is the one thing that tends to distract you from following Him?
The best lovers of Jesus are the best releasers of what they hold tight to. The more they let go and cling to the robe of Jesus, the more they find their world healed by His love. They follow Him at all costs. They find treasure.
Jesus says to you today, “Leave that one thing behind and come. Follow me.”
I recently noticed an increasing problem in my life. I can’t stand it if people think poorly of me. If they don’t email me back, I think there’s an issue. If they don’t answer my call, I decide they no longer like me. If I did something in the past and asked for forgiveness, I still figure I’m on the people-we-don’t-like list. The issue is not so much that I haven’t forgiven them. It’s that I think, “They couldn’t have forgiven me.” Which lends to a problem: shame.
And when shame shows up, we can always be sure its makings are from the enemy. And when he shows up, we can know we need to fight back.
How do we fight back? We realize, on many levels, it is not man who is in charge, but God.
Here are 25 Reasons Why Others Don’t Control My Destiny:
What matters is not what man builds, but what God builds.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Ps. 127:1
Every single battle belongs to the Lord. When He fights, He wins.
Jesus had people against him. Guess what? He kept His eye on the mission, and as a result was still victorious.
I may plan my way, but God ultimately directs my steps. (Prov. 16:9)
God is actively working in others’ hearts in a way I cannot see, manage or predict.
I think far more about how I appear and “come off” than others do. They usually are thinking far more about how they “appear” and “come off” than about me.
What I dwell on, people tend to forget, especially if I’ve apologized.
Another’s silence could also mean: they are busy, out of town, struggling or forgetful.
God is my maker: nothing can unmake His plans for me.
If I remember who annoyed me 10 years ago, they are practically a non-issue today.
For every desperate no-way-out problem in the bible, God drop-kicked its walls and cleared way for victory, for those who trusted Him.
Waiting with trust is the first step to seeing a miracle.
What I can’t see being worked out, God can.
Shame doesn’t rule me. God’s truth and Spirit does.
I’ve been made to focus my attention on God, not on other’s wavering emotions, reactions and motivations.
God knows my heart. He stands behind and protects the hearts of the righteous.
The Spirit in me will guide me and lead me down the best paths.
I am not perfect, but I can trust the one who is to help me.
Jesus’ mission was never thwarted by those against Him.
God-dropped learnings result in my growing, when I steer clear of self-condemning words.
My path is God’s, not the trampled-down wide road the herds travel. Charting a new course with God always takes determination.
It is God’s rod that comforts and protects me, not the response of man.
I am made by God, not by other’s opinions.
I am the daughter of the Most High King. He will provide all I need (and then some).
When it is “You vs. The Enemy”…you must be prepared.
Because in this world it truly is eat or be eaten. Eat God’s Word or be eaten.
Fight or be killed. Fight back with truth or be killed.
I know this firsthand. The times when I try to do everything on my checklist so I feel accomplished, or work really hard to look better than others, or hear a million reasons why I am no good. . .here, I have one of two choices.
1. Ignore what is going on within me, do nothing, and thereby proceed into the lion’s den,
2. Square up to the one who desires to make me doubt, fear, worry, stress, overdo it, give up, get defensive or hide.
Choice 1 leads me to: eating a whole bunch of the enemy’s stomach-churning bull.
Choice 2 leads me to: finding the truth that has just set me free.
Choice 1 ends with: doubt, discouragement and despair.
Choice 2 ends with: faith, hope and love.
Always use truth when you face a liar. He can’t stand up against it. So that is what we will do today. We will use truth so choice two becomes your only end and option.
Here is arsenal for your fight:
Nothing can come against me in Christ Jesus.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. (Is. 54:17)
The Spirit in me always trumps what is coming against me.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
No evil will overcome me, because Jesus is in me.
No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. (Ps. 91:10)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Gal. 2:20)
How can the enemy own what he can’t find?
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3)
I’ve been given divine power to demolish the strongholds set up against me.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3-5)
God will faithfully protect me against the evil one.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thes. 3:3)
Whatever evil comes against me will be annihilated by God.
The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (Deut. 28:7)
God will not lose me; I am not outside His love.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (Jo. 6:39)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
I am the oldest of two kids in my family. While growing up, it was hard not to notice that my mom seemed to spend all of her time helping my younger brother. To be fair, he needed more help than I did but it was sometimes hurtful that I didn’t get the same level of attention. It kind of forced me to become independent. When I was an adult, married with kids, I asked my mom why there was such a disparity in my youth and her response was, “You didn’t need any help. You were perfectly capable.”
Now I call it the curse of the capable. Because you don’t need help, you won’t get any.
I’ve seen this curse play out a dozen different ways since then. For example, my husband and I are both independent people, and while we love to be together, we don’t always need each other. That can be good sometimes because I don’t have to wait until the weekend change a smoke detector battery or kill a spider. It can be a bad thing, however, because it’s easy for independent people to grow apart. We have to be careful about noticing when we’ve drifted and come back together.
I have also seen the curse among women. I am a natural born encourager. I use phrases like, ‘to die for,’ or ‘phenomenal’ when I’m cheering for you. I’m the friend that will literally jump up and down screaming when you share good news. I like to think I’m the ‘there for you’ friend in good times and bad. The problem I have seen is that as a natural encourager, it’s often hard to find encouragement for myself.
On the outside, it can appear as if I am confident and capable, therefore I don’t need anyone to build me up. Inside though, I am still the little girl thirsting for comfort in an arid desert. I have come a long way in this area. I found Jesus later in life and knowing I have his never waning encouragement is the most phenomenal comfort of all. But I have to admit that I still think it’s nice to get some affirmation from friends, family, and community.
If you are independent or competent, you may be under the curse of the capable. Maybe you are an encourager that needs to be affirmed or a mom who could use a reminder that she’s a good one. Perhaps you are a leader who would love some help but feels bad asking for it because you ‘should’ have it under control. Take heart, friend. As someone under the curse myself, I see you. I think you are doing a great job!
I want to invite you today to take a minute and think about someone in your life that could use a little boost. Even if that person seems like they have it all together, a quick note or message from you may be what she needs most. When we take the time to pour into others, the curse breaks and being capable becomes a blessing.
Father God, you are the ultimate encourager. Please help us to encourage one another regardless of whether or not we need it. Help us never to give up and to break the curse for people we love or admire and that in turn, it would be broken in our lives as well. Amen.
About Anne Watson:
Anne is a former sleep in on Sunday’s girl who didn’t meet Jesus until way later in life. She recently quit trying to be holy, however, after spending an inordinate amount of time trying to shuck her unholy habits to fit into the Christian world. As a bullying survivor, Anne knows first hand the pressure to belong and why changing yourself doesn’t work. She now spends her time fiercely encouraging women to be badass for Jesus by being who God created them to be…themselves. She is a writer, a speaker, and a podcast host for the Declare Conference. She and her husband are raising three hysterical kiddos and are also in the process of going broke while paying for college. You can find more from Anne on her blog, GodDots.com.
I didn’t push the girl’s sheet of paper. I didn’t. She was the one who kept inching her colored sheet over mine and trying to irk me all throughout art class. And despite my best efforts to ignore her, she wouldn’t stop. She did something else annoying too. She kicked me under the table. It was taking everything in me not to respond.
Until, I did. She pushed too far. So I screamed out in the middle of the elementary school classroom, “Stop it.” The girl barked to the teacher that I’d been pushing her sheet. But I hadn’t.
I got in big trouble. The girl sat there unscathed. I sat in the punishment seat. The girl sat there smiling. I sat fuming. The girl sat in victory.
Where was my defender? Who stood up for me? Why didn’t God bring justice? I wasn’t doing anything wrong.
I still ask these questions, even as an adult.
Why? Why did all that happen? Where were you God? Why did I go down those roads? Where were you God? Why did I get hurt like that? Where were you, God?
When I look back and see God’s absence, it makes me believe He was negligent.
But was He?
While horrible stuff happened, it never kept me away from God’s love. While things went wrong, I still lived. While stuff hurt my insides, it never ruined me. While there were some close calls, I often squirmed right past.
Just because we can’t see God work doesn’t mean He isn’t working.
There is so much I can’t see in the moments when I believe He’s not defending me. Like His hands holding things back, the angels He sends on my behalf, and the wisdom He pours down from high to help me understand things. Like the arms wrapping around me when I think I am alone, the heavenly court docket that has no record of my wrongs, and the road he reroutes to make sure I am take care of.
Don’t discount the Protector working in the unseen just because you can’t see Him.
Here I stand today. I may have fallen and felt alone yesterday, but I stand victorious in Christ. I stand wanted and in His love. I stand whole and wholly loved. It looks like God took care of me pretty well. He continues to. He does the same for you.