Purposeful Faith

Tag - life

3 Ways to Stay Close to God (& 10 Faith-Squeezers)

Stay Close to God

I love God. I love him a lot. So, why do a whole bunch of common things, seem to draw me away so easily? Not all these things, in themselves, are bad. Many are not damaging. Almost all, are not sinful, and perhaps this is just the problem. They go undetected as their current moves me out.

Do you feel yourself slowly drifting?

What normally goes undetected as it floats you miles off?

10 Faith-Squeezers that are Likely Happening in your Day:

– Going gangbusters on family activities
– Getting caught up with life’s incidentals
– Becoming all wrapped up with another person
– Planting my face on TV, iPhone or iPad
– Driving like a routined robot on a schedule
– Expecting things to happen
– Getting frustrated when they don’t
– Allowing anxiety and worry to seep in as a result.
– Letting the monotony of life, make me monotonous

When we float by the tides of life’s demands,
we sink into a rip-current that seemingly sends us miles from God.

So, how do we stay, as we always were? How do we stay on fire?

3 Tips To Stay Wild About Your First Love:

1. Put God first – and keep him there!

Just the other day, I was outside. I was taking a second to bask in the wonder of Spring budding. I was observing. Until, someone called my attention away. They needed me. I couldn’t say no. I felt awkward saying, in a random moment, “Hey, I’ll get back to you in a bit, I am spending time with God.” Sometimes, our need to please gets in the way, of our need for God. It doesn’t mean, we shouldn’t value those we most value, but it means we must always value God first.

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

Apply this:

– Set aside time with God, and reserve that as his.
– Devote your first portion to God in the morning. Wake up and be with him.
– Ponder God’s Word throughout your day.

2. Experience him.

When I am in my car, sometimes the most restorative thing I can do, is worship. It is my time to turn up the music, to focus my mind and to literally see Jesus as the music plays. Whether it is in a car, at your house or on a 5-minute walk, Jesus is always waiting. Experience the fullness of his life, death and resurrection. When you find yourself in the center of God’s amazing, it is hard not to more and more drawn to it.

Apply this:

– Turn on worship music.
– Observe nature on a walk and thank him for his creation.
– Close your eyes and see Jesus, hear his words and ponder his parables of old.

3. Ask.

I used to tell my brother (yes, I was the bossy oldest child of six), “You don’t receive, because you ask not.”

I don’t have any idea who says something like this, but apparently – I did! But, I can’t help but think how often this is the case with us. In our relationship with God, we often ask not and then we get not. It’s not that he doesn’t want to give, but just that it is hard to force a giant gift into someone’s hands that are closed. Are your hands closed?

When we ask, we sending God a message of acknowledgement
that he is provider, sustainer and giver; his reply often – confirms it.

Apply this:

– Say, “God, I want you first of all and above all.”
– Ask again, all day long as things go wrong – and right.
– Ask for wisdom on how to respond to those who bang into you.
– Ask for a mind set on all things Spirit.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt. 7:7

God has not left you, most likely, you have left God. But, be not discouraged, you are raising your arms, pulling together your strength – and with these three tips – are well on your way to swimming back to him.

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The Way to Handle Life

pray handle life

Years ago, I took one of those 20-question quizzes, which used to populate our email inboxes. Before Facebook took over, we replied to all and read our friends’ answers one by one as they replied to ours. Remember that?

This quiz included questions about your favorite fruit, your most embarrassing moment, and how many days a week you cry. Random.

Guess what I learned?

Most people don’t shed tears every day.

Or at least that group of my friends didn’t. After I sent out my answers, some of them wondered if I was depressed. But I didn’t have anything to hide—I’ve just always been an easy cry.

I’ve been studying the book of Hebrews, where we see Jesus as superior to angels and prophets and the law that came through Moses. He’s our High Priest who gives us continual access to God’s Presence.

But we also see Jesus living out of his humanity, displaying strong emotion.

We see Him crying and praying fervently about what was to come.

We see Him struggle and still obey God, even through suffering.

We see Him fully dependent on God His Father day after day.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7

It’s the emotion here that stops me—fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him.

This points to His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus asked His Abba, Father to take this cup from Him. He was asking God to not let Him die in such agony–with the sins of the world heaped upon Him.

He didn’t want His Father to turn away from Him.

And He was heard because of His reverent submission. This last part of the verse is important.

Jesus asked for a different way, but He submitted to the Father’s will.

Yet not what I will, but what you will. Mark 14:36b

Is this the attitude you carry into your prayers?

It’s often not where my heart is, when I come to God with a need. I’m thinking, MY will, Lord, just say yes! I’m assuming I can see far enough ahead to know my way will work out best. I’m sure I know what I need.

But often, God shows me that what I need more than anything is to walk with Him and depend on Him.

What I need most is to lay my requests at His feet and say, Not what I will, but what you will.

Jesus endured His life on earth with regular time away from everyone else, praying to His Father–even though there were endless people to help and things to do.

Our lives, also, are meant to be handled with prayer.

May we follow Christ’s example to actively trust in God and depend on our Father through prayer. May we pray as an offering, sometimes including tears. Every day if needed.

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Angela Parlin is Dan’s wife and Mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her each week at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty in All This Chaos.

Prayer with the Power to Work

Thank you God

My prayers kind of remind myself of a puppy pining from next to a table. I kind of look up all puppy-dog eyed and beg for scraps.

Do you?

It looks like this:

Day 1: “Please God. Help me God. Do this thing_________________!”

Day 2: “Please God. Help me God. Do this thing_________________!”

Day 3: “Please God. Help me God. Do this thing_________________!”

Day 4: “I really need this. I need it right now… “Hey God, maybe you don’t really want to do it, but please do it anyway.”

Day 5: “God, do you hear me? I need it….” I wonder, does God really hear me and love me?

Day 6: Silence. I say nothing. What is the use?!

Day 7: I give up hope in praying.

The more I beg and get fed, the more I keep up the begging, but if the master doesn’t hand me any good food, I start wondering why I am forgotten. I start wondering why I am next to his table when he can’t even see me.

I start asking, “What is the use?”

A wound sets in and I keep licking it…
No answers. And deeper it burns.
Roadblocks. The more it stings.
Discouraged faith. The infection sets in.

After walking around like this for a while, I am coming to think: Sometimes, God lets our wounds sit wounded, so that we can see how wounded we are without a right view of him.

Clarity sets in: I really feel abandoned.
A new prayer takes form: Let me see your love.
God’s prompting arises: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer an supplication to God, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)

Answers appear: You may be praying, but you are hardly thanking.

In an instant, what feels broken suddenly gets mending, because what I remember is God is always working. He doesn’t have to speak, or appear or provide some emotional answer, but as I pray he is working.

Why else would he tell us to thank him when we pray.  For when we ask, he then takes it on.  We can at that point thank him for what he is working out.

Will it always look like we expect? No.

Will it tend to end up better than that? Quite often.

Will we end up looking more and more like Christ? Yes.

And that is worth giving thanks over.

Thanks that sounds like this:

Thank you that you hear me God.
Thank you God that this is now in your hands and you have it.
Thank you God that you are for me.
Thank you God that you know best.
Thank you God that you will never desert me to my destruction-ending plans.
Thank you God that you are always leading me to the better way.
Thank you God that you have a Christ-like vision for my heart.
Thank You God that everyday I can trust that you see me and want me.

How might your perspective change if you just said thanks?

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You No Longer Have to Force Happy

force happy

I ran into a friend today.

She said to me, “If you see my face and I look not as happy, just know it is because some things are hurting right now.”

I loved her honesty. I think she felt like she owed me something though; I think she felt like she had to prove that she, as a Christian, was okay to feel down. It kind of bothered me.

Jesus didn’t say, “Happy face required” to follow me.”

He didn’t say, “Pull yourself together and say what I want to hear.”

He didn’t say, “If you are having a hard time, you can’t be near me.”

He didn’t say, “Isolate yourself in a little bubble of protection if you feed sad.”

On the contrary he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28

Notice, he doesn’t say: I will give you giggles, a smile and a facade that looks all squeeky clean.

Here is what I have to say to you, brothers and sisters today, who are struggling:

  1. It is okay to feel down, Jesus can handle it.
  2. It is okay to wonder the whens, whys and hows – and to bring them to the Lord.
  3. It is okay to tell us you are struggling, we often are too.
  4. It is okay to say you need time away to pray; God will show up.
  5. Greater is God than your greatest weakness.
  6. God is mighty to save you from anything and everything.
  7. Deep learning is in the deep reflection found through pain.
  8. Trials that peel away self, so we find self looking a whole lot more like Christ.
  9. Jesus suffered. He gets you and your pain.
  10. There is no kind of bad attitude that will push God away from you.

Keep going.

Keep loving.

Keep surrendering.

He has you.

Keep abiding.

Keep asking.

Keep listening.

He will not abandon you.

Keep pressing on.

Keep moving your feet.

Keep trusting by faith. 

He sees you.

Days will pass, emotions will ride out – and before you know it – you  will be in a new season.

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5 Experiential Invitations to Go Deeper With God

Go Deeper
God. If you look for him, you’ll find him. If you keep looking for him, you will find him some more. If you don’t stop looking, he’ll invite you in deeper and deeper, fuller and fuller and farther and farther.
He invites you.
Do you notice the welcome?
It is a white owl taking flight into the darkness,
a place where you are not sure what will happen.
Are you willing to go?
We don’t have to know where we’re going, just that Christ is taking us.
Another invitation.
He stands by the water,
arms open,
ready to hug you,
ready to feel your complete innocence, purity and beauty.
Will you allow him to hold you this way?
Will you accept it as true?  

It is often by faith, we receive the fullness of his love.

going deeper
It arrives again.
You may not see it.
You may not notice it.
It sits right outside your window.
The colors are brilliant, the majesty spreads across the sky;
it reminds all of the orchestrator and creator of things big and small.
Will you take a second to look or will you continue to be rushed and busy with other things?
By keeping an eye on the one above our trial, we remember how all things work out under his might.
going deeper
He calls.  
Will you open your heart?
It’s another invitation.
Daddy waits…
Hoping beloved breaks out to run to him.
Seeing a grand return and his glorious rescue.
He doesn’t need strong; he loves weary; he can handle it.
Do you see him waiting to rescue and love you every minute?
In every weary and heart-wrecking task, God waits to rescue you time and time again. Will we accept his invitation?
Go deeper
He knocks,
in a way where it nags your soul.
You know you should, but can you? Can you open up?
Surely, it is an invitation, but will you permit it to be so?
For it hurts far more than it feels good to do.
Still, daddy, he is pushing you just a little to step out.
Will you listen or ignore?
Will you forgive or forget and pretend it never happened – like you always do?
He wants to do it for you. He wants to finally unclutter your heart of it’s bitterness to make room for his fullness.
We think our unforgiveness is right, but only one is right and that is Jesus and he says to forgive.
going deeper
The invitations they never end for those with eyes to see and those with ears to hear.
It is a symphony of sympathy that plays the most desired harmony of humanity.
Yet, if you are busy, you’ll drive right past it.
If you are worried, your mind will not have space to receive it.
If you are distracted, you will blab on your phone, rather than hear his whisper.
It is an invitation for those who want more.
Who call out more.
Who long more.
Who ask more.
Who need more.
Who desire more.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

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6 Reasons Why You Can Now Wait Well

Wait Well

Have you ever considered that life is just made up of a series of waits?

You wait to get through school.
You wait to find a spouse.
You wait to hear back from that job.
You wait to know if it is cancer.
You wait to see if your dreams ever will come true.
You wait with hope that a person might do something differently.
You wait and wonder if you will be rejected again.
You wait to go to heaven.
You wait and then you wait some more, nearly agonizing over every moment.

Waiting feels like grueling torture. It feels like a good God went into hiding. It feels like waiting for a hand-out from one who may not. It feels like doors shut. It feels like mountains unscalable. It feels uncertain. It feels like agony. It feels like…if-I-have-to-go-through-this-one-more-time-I-am-gonna…!

Why does a good God torture us?

Even more, why does he seem to love every minute of it?!

Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually. Hos. 12:6

Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Ps. 27:14

Wait. He says. Wait again, he says. Wait well. Wait with courage. Wait with strength.

God knows something, we don’t often consider: Waiting is our wrestling ground with faith. It is here, where a believer gets on the mat, dukes it out and gets down to the heart of the situation, “Will I really believe?” 

It is here where one rises up in victory, arms to the sky,
saying, “He is good. He has me. I trust” or
where they fall to the ground saying, “Curse God and die.”

Which way to do things tend to play out in your life?

Do you rise to trust a working God or do you fall
to your own strategies, plans, executions and wounds? 

God is not preparing us for nothing, he is preparing us for his everything.

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation My God will hear me. Mi. 7:7

The more we need God, the more we call on God. 
The more we call on God, the more we lean on God.
The more we lean on God, the more we find God. 
The more we find God, the more we rejoice in his greater gift.

We start to explode with greater vision. It transcends just the here and now, but it reaches out a hand to eternity to clip it and draw it near.

Things like this happen to waiters who are also trusters:

1. They want outta here! They rely on the eternal joy that sits just over the finish line called life.
…even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23

2. They end up hoping in the right thing, rather than their demanded thing.
And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You. Ps. 39:7

3. They sit and see that the Lord is always fighting for them.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. Ps. 33:20

4. They see God doesn’t give them their best answers, but his.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Ps. 19:21

5. They look back and see, that far beyond what they wanted, was what God wanted. They see that they look a whole bunch more like Jesus.
…knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope… Romans 5:4

6. All of a sudden they see God’s huge dump truck show up. It backs up and unloads, dumping in far greater weights of love than they ever expected.
…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:4

Are you a waiter and a truster or a hater and agonizer? Lean in. Lay back. Let go. Find hope. Great hope. Life-breathing hope…

Hope is waiting and believing – God will.
Hope is knowing he is able – and we are not.
Hope is calling out in prayer and believing.
Hope is knowing God is above our situation rather than smothered and struggling under it.
Hope is knowing his best plan is above ours.
Hope is knowing his nature sees and cares.
Hope is standing confident his timing could not be better.
Hope is moving forward with joy.
Hope is finding peace.
Hope is leaning back and laying down into God’s love.
Hope is not listening to outside voices, but Jesus’.
Hope is not devising and strategizing.
Hope is the greater expectation of God’s exaltation in our lives.
Hope is the grain of longing for that greater thing he’s doing.
Hope is seeing past feelings to the very being of Jesus that is being formed in us.

..those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Is. 40:31

That is hope; it is otherwise known as “waiting and believing well.”

May we do it.

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The Deep Key of Faith (You’re Prone to Forget)

Key of Faith

Listen, This is the News that Breaks Every Minute!
This is a Christian’s Always-Headline News!

Do you know it?

Have you not heard?

There is a King of Glory coming for you. He is coming to love you. To find you. To bring you home.

Have you not heard?

You will not know the hour (Mt. 24:36), but you will know the time, because you will see eyes like flames arrive, the white horses of victory drive in and the sword yielded over the nations. You will know because you see white: white robes, purity and holy arrive with power and might (Rev. 19:12-16)

Have you not heard?

The seemingly silent of God will be silent no more as lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail pour down like a stadium full of the Lion’s booming return. (Rev. 11:19)

Have you not heard?

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)

And in a split-second, according to the timing of Jesus, for believers, everything changes. Lives are restored. Pain is wiped away. Time never ends. Days continue in feast. Lives bask in presence. King rules with no obstruction. We are raised to the vision of all we ever dreamed of.

This is not light, fine and dandy, Christianity; this is the deep of our faith. 

Things happen to those who know where they are bound to go:

1. Those who keep their eyes pasted on eternity, find they aren’t as easily torn from what’s right. They wake up with a purpose and then live by it. They see the wrongs, and decide to do right, for they know at the end of their fight, they will see his might.

2. Those with forever perspectives, find a forge-through attitudes no matter the barrier. It’s not so much about what they can do, but all about what God will do as they bow down to him. It is about becoming less, because they trust in the more.

3. Those with the seal of God (Eph. 1:13), know they will be signed, sealed and delivered into God’s arms forever. When you are sealed with the Spirit, there is no killing the Spirit. Soul is restored with the Spirit of God and one day body and mind are too.

Having an eternal view means running victorious marathons
verses short sprints of inspiration
followed by deep fits of frustration.

How do you live?

Do you live by the sound of immediate demands 
or by the trumpet sound that will resound on the day of Christ’s return?

 Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us,
    who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father,
    forever—and yes, he’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye,
    those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times
    will tear their clothes in lament.
    Oh, Yes.

(Rev. 1:7 MSG)

He is coming. Do you know him? Love him?

Like a groom at the end of the aisle, he is ready to see the brilliance, the beauty and his beloved, the one he loves. That is you. That is me.

May we live in eager anticipation of his return, not seeing the world as a here and now deal, but seeing the world through the deep of eternal eyes that know what the things we are pressing into are things that are bound to last.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mt. 18:18)

May it all be so, may it all be just as God has proclaimed it to be – now and forever.

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Circus Slaves, The Show & Cutting The Music

Circus Slaves

Circus Slaves

Have you heard of circus slaves? It sounds odd, I know. But, it is a horrible and very real thing.
Imagine the music. The applause. The fanfare.


Children are led in, smiles taped on. A woman grips a rope with her teeth and spin herself around. An odd one, a short one and, perhaps, a misfit one, under age 10, contort themselves on stage. In India, they’re trapped. Perhaps, beaten. The rings, nor the stakes to perform, couldn’t be higher.

Deep calloused pain sits heavy for circus slaves.

The Show Goes On

I sat in megachurch, thinking, “Maybe the Pastor will notice me.” 
Maybe he’ll look over and say, “That one. I want to meet her. She’s something special.”

I tried extra hard, declaring, “The harder you work, the bigger you rise and the better the chance of going noticed and getting ahead.”

Untitled design (22)

I sat blogging,  praying, “If only (insert big name here) would help me. If I had her endorsement on my book that would mean everything. It would get my message where I only dreamed it could go.”

I sashayed as a child, planning, “I’ll sing. I’ll sing and dance. Surely they’ll see and adore me.”

Cutting the Music

There’s this pull for me to enter the grand tent of the circus–flying colors, flips and all.

Do you feel it too?

It’s an invitation to wow the crowds, to stand tall and to swing above the fray – up to the places where a platform is set just for you.

It’s the call to rise to greater heights. Do you know it?

It lures us with the thoughts like:  I have to meet certain numbers. I have to appease publishers. I have to be the best dressed mom. I have to drive that car. I have to do as good as that person.

It plays out in our lives like: Checking in on where others are. Keeping an eye focused on the crowds. Getting consumed with self-tactics. Filling yourself up with either pride or self defeat.

After many shows, a girl gets tired of the big show. She starts to see that the tent really is full of hot air and it always falls down at days end.

The floodlights nearly blind me with truth: When we look for man to see or save us, we miss how God does. We miss God all together. And, if Jesus isn’t there, what’s there — is slavery. 

“For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
 Galatians 5:1

A girl stands there. A girl who realizes, “I am not performing, I’m just enslaving and depraving myself from God’s very best.”

She looks left and right and sees the others who are enslaved and depraved just like her. She sees ones trying and fighting, pining and clawing, hoping and dreaming to maybe be seen. Not all, but some, and her heart breaks for her fellow playmates who have been forced into hard labor, by themselves.

She calls out to them,
“Let’s sneak outta here. I know the secret for us circus slaves,
want to hear it? It is the words of Jesus. . .”

“But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” Luke 14:10

Take the lower seat.
Sit down.
Know Christ.
Let him recognize you.

When we sit with the other unseen and uncared for, we suddenly find that we are seen and cared for. We find that Jesus recognizes us, calls us friend and invites us to dine in his “best place.”

What could be better than that? It is called being freed to dine and delight in God. It is called your place to spin, sing, dance–a place where Christ sees and loves your every move made just for him.


Is Jesus inviting you there too?

Take the lower seat– that ends up being called the honored seat. It looks nothing like a flashy tent called slavery, because it is much more a heavenly seat called sitting right with Christ (Eph. 2:6).

Let’s go ladies, let’s go. Let’s go and remember it is not about how high we can rise, but really about how low we can go in service to Christ.

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3 Steps: From Pain to Peace

Pain to Peace

Guest Post: By Lisa Murray

It was the tipping point.  The beginning of the fall.  No, it wasn’t a crash, a sudden impact dive that you didn’t see coming.  I saw this coming.  I could feel it making its way toward me and yet, I was entirely helpless to stop it.

It was a slow, distinct unraveling.  That moment where you can feel the wheels teetering ever so slightly out of balance until the whole thing comes unhinged.  My heart, that is.

This was the season of my undoing.

I was quite certain I had never planned for this.  My life was a well-structured agenda of fortitude, perseverance, accomplishments.  They needed me in some misconstrued way, yet I needed them more.

From my earliest memories, I can recall that feeling, deep in my bones, that insane and horrific gnawing that I was not enough.  That I would have to prove myself.  I needed to be special.  I needed to feel worthy.  Loved.

I heard people say,
If you try hard enough, you can accomplish anything.

I believed them.

So I set my face like flint against the wind, I measured my sails, and I set out to prove my worth to the world.

Whatever it takes, that was my motto.

Whether that meant hours of studying or practicing to be good enough.  Whether it meant endless miles running wrapped in plastic wrap to be skinny enough, I did it.  That was me.

I thought there would be some point where I arrived.  Where I would attain.  Where I would be enough.

Yet, inside I knew there was something adrift.  If I was quiet enough, I could hear the tremors begin to quake. I felt the muffled pangs just beneath the surface.

I told myself,
Just keep pushing and everything will turn out fine.

So I kept pushing.  I pushed real good for awhile.  I achieved what many said I’d never achieve.  Nobody noticed the foundation beginning to crumble around me.  I noticed.

I wanted to be healed.  I longed to know what wholeness felt like.  I craved peace more than anything I could imagine.

That must be for someone else, I thought,
but it must not be for me.

I often felt like the woman in Scripture reaching out, desperate to touch the threads that lined the hem of Jesus’ robe.  Surely if I could touch Him, she must have thought, then I would be healed(Mark 5:21-34)

I understood the longing of the blind man, who day after day, hoped and prayed that he would one day see.  How could he have known his Savior, his Healer would come with a little clay and a little spit near the pool of Siloam and give him everything he’d ever hoped for.  How? (John 9:1-12)

I could see myself like Peter, shivering in the waves and wind as he stepped out of the boat onto the Sea of Galilee.  If only I had enough fortitude to keep my eyes on Jesus, I could have walked on water without sinking beneath the waves of doubt and fear that pulled me under.  (Matthew 14:22-33)

And then my healing came.  Not in the way you’d expect.  Jesus ushered me into a sacred place.  A sacred season.  Jesus led me to this season of healing and He never let go.

I heard Him whisper to me, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

I needed rest.

God gave me rest and He gave me so much more.  Over the years of my healing journey, I discovered an abundance that was more than I had ever imagined.  God was showing me how to build and live a life of peace.  It was all I had ever hoped for.  Longed for.  To breathe.  To feel solid and sure.  To experience wholeness.  To experience abundance.  Physical abundance, spiritual abundance, emotional abundance.

3 Ways To Walk From Pain to Peace

  1. Embrace Maximized HOPE! – Without a doubt your hope lies first and foremost in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is your foundation spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  As you learn to appropriate His hope, His healing into the emotional area of your life, you will experience the fullness, the abundance of hope He promises.

Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  1. Discover Complete WHOLENESS! – God wants you to be not only healed, but whole. God doesn’t want his children limping through life, barely surviving.  He wants you to thrive.  He wants you to discover your unique calling, your passion and purpose so that you can make a difference for His kingdom.  As individuals become whole, the entire body of Christ becomes whole.

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP) tells us that, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well- balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

  1. Enjoy Enduring HARMONY! – You were not meant to live in chaos.  Your relationships were never supposed to be a rollercoaster of pain and disappointment.  God wants us to learn how to foster peace and strength in our relationships so that we can enjoy them without being dependent on them for our happiness or wellbeing.

Romans 15:5-6 (AMP) shares, “Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

This is the life God has for you.  Don’t settle for anything less than Maximized Hope, Complete Wholeness and Enduring Harmony.  In my book, Peace for a Lifetime – Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness, and Harmony through Emotional Abundance, I walk with readers through whatever season of life they are in, and lay out simple, practical life-steps that will help them find healing and will nurture abundance in every area of their lives.

You don’t have to keep trying so hard to prove your worth.  You don’t have to keep pushing, hoping that everything will turn out okay.  Healing isn’t just for someone else.  Healing is for you.

Jesus is whispering to you, Come to me…

Will you come to Him today?  Will you accept the peace He has for you?  Will you let Him walk you from your season of pain right into His peace?

You can experience the love for which you long.
You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine.
You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow.

You can experience peace —for a lifetime.

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

About Lisa Murray

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 4.09.48 AMLisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, author, coffee lover, and wife.  Her online community lisamurrayonline.com provides a compassionate place in the midst of the stresses and struggles of life.  While she grew up in the Florida sunshine, she and her husband now live just outside Nashville in Franklin, TN.



About Peace for a Lifetime

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 4.09.38 AMIn her new book, Peace for a Lifetime, Lisa Murray shares the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Lisa discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with herself, God and others. Through Lisa and other’s stories you’ll realize you can experience peace, not just for today, but you can experience peace —for a lifetime


Find Peace for a Lifetime on Amazon.com.
Watch the Book Trailer.
Join Lisa’s Thunderclap campaign.

Hating Your Ugly Scars A Little Less

Ugly Scars

I was in middle school, having the time of my life. One morning, I took off running after my friend at her beach house. Laughing, screaming, having fun, all was good until I fell and scraped my knee against the ground.

I screamed in pain.
She screamed that I should hush down.
I’m almost certain I screamed louder.

The gash ran deep, the pain was bad, but I felt like no one else really knew. It was my pain. It was my deal.

I can’t help but think I later delighted in the size of the scar; it seemed to prove my pain. It seemed to be the one marker of something I could show to others and say, “Look what I went through.” So much of everything else was unseen, but having people know, it meant something. 

I look at that big chunk of ugly skin on my knee sometimes and remember things. I remember her, my friend; she is one of those girls who has a spirit, a joy and a life you can’t ever forget. All the same, I remember how our scars are ours and how they’re really just what we make of them. Victory markers or vile eaters of worth…

I’m making a choosing to see victory scars…

Lines that prove we actually got up and walked again.
A threshold of pain we know we can conquer.
The proof that we can and will endure.
The reminders of those deep injured cells that cry out for self-care.

Each scar is worthy of a memory, a glance and a pondering.

You can choose which way you look at them, you know?

Scars can either bring us to victimhood or victory. The choice is ours.

Victimhood: I have been cut so much there is no way all the King’s horses or all the King’s men, could ever put me back together again. Things are said and done; I will live in pain and pain will come again and again. Good things don’t happen for me, one who looks far less porcelain doll and far more like the shredded woman in a horror film. I don’t know if I can take the idea of being cut again.

Victory: The wounds that look like they may kill me, have the greatest potential to heal me. They are what walk my feet right up to the throne of Christ, so I can see his wounds. The wounds that healed, saved and freed us all.

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Is. 53:5

Victory isn’t found through the absence of pain, but through God’s deliverance through it.

He was pierced (for us), he was crushed (to work through our issues), he received punishment (to bring us peace) and he was wounded (so we could be healed).

What deliverance might your battle wounds bring?

What might your victory story look like?

His wounds know our wounds. His pain understands ours. His love quenches our fear. He can’t help but heal; it is who he is and what he does. Healing may not always come on the exterior, but make no mistake it will remodel the interior. And to know this is to know victory.

I hated every moment of being cut. I probably spoke to God things non-repeatable on a blog like this. But, still, with him, we moved and went. I might have wondered how we would make it through, but I got to see how he could bring me through. And one thing I know is you can’t remove a woman from her miracle; it is something that lasts, like scars, and for this I am eternally thankful.

Jesus turns scars into memorials of his faithfulness.

I am not surprised that after he died and rose, he came back to earth scars front and center (John 20:27), I think he knew they weren’t something to hate, but to love, to hold and to remember. For in each scar, there is a story of redemption if we let it work for us.

What evil wanted to hurt me, Christ used to heal me. He wants to do the same with you too…

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