Promises

I am so thankful for God’s promises. They are a life line to my soul and I can tell you hundreds of examples where they have proven true in my life and the lives of my loved ones. When reading scripture, I get all kinds of feels and sweet memories when I come across a familiar promise… 90% of the time. There is 1 promise however, yes Psalm 91 I am talking to you, that just unnerves me.

I was recently at the beach with my husband, and he showed me something he was sharing on Facebook. It was a video of God’s promises. I was enjoying the video until the screen read “I will protect you.” Stop right there. All set with your video. Why do I cringe at this? It was time to get real with God. I have grown in my faith and understanding of so many things. When it comes to this promise, I am stunted.

“I will protect you.” It just doesn’t ring truth to me. Just look at our world. I know too many stories, including my own, where children are hurt, abused, and neglected. “I will protect you.” Christians are killed, persecuted and abused every single day. “I will protect you.” People die of diseases and accidents and are hurt daily. “I will protect you.” People are raped, abandoned, and lives are destroyed. “I will protect you.” Don’t misunderstand me. I understand that the Lord has protected us in more ways than I could ever know. I am speaking about when He doesn’t.

So I asked God. (Don’t worry He is used to this from me.) “God, I am confused.” This is what He said. “What if protecting you from hell is enough?” I can barely breath as I write that. Enough? It is everything. “What if my promise of protection is wrapped up in the death of my son?” (John 3:16) I weep. I am set free.

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We are not promised a life free from pain. We are not living in Heaven. Frankly, we are the ones who invited sin to that party. However, God’s protection came in the way of his son’s death on the cross and John 3:16 promises that “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”   “I will protect you.” I get it now.

 

 

 

 

 

Shitty People

Romans 3:23-24 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Have you ever heard something that takes residence in your head and you think about it over and over? I haven’t been able to shake a recent conversation that I had last week. I was in the car with a friend who commented, “Man, there are a lot of shitty people in this world.”  Sigh. Poor girl had no idea what that was going to spark in me. It was going to be a long car ride…God bless her.

Aren’t we all people who act shitty or make bad decisions at some point? I know that describes me. I also know that I am a less “shitty” when I am trusting in God and not in my own messed up, broken self. What a journey life is. A journey that can easily entrap us in sin. I have walked through many seasons and have finally found myself in a place of full surrender to the Lord. A place where I ask him to reveal my sin to me and then to stay real close as I walk through the brokenness that causes me to behave that way.  Not only is it healing but also so beneficial toward being the person that God has created me to be. I want to walk in God’s will and I can often get in the way of that.

Everyone is on his or her own journey.  Their journey is one that we cannot judge because we don’t know the big picture or the story behind their journey.  I have been accused of having “too much grace” for others. Trust me, this is not because I am a “good person” this is simply because I am extending Jesus’ Grace that He consistently and mercifully lavishes on me.  Understandably, it is more difficult when someone hurts you but even then I urge you to release him or her from your judgment, protect your heart, and pray for that person (yikes, that’s the hardest part!)

I pray that you are able to ask the Lord to reveal your sin to you, get to the root and healing that causes that sin and then walk closer to being who God created you to be. I also pray that your first reaction when you want to judge others is to pray the same prayer for them.

With love…Be free!

Generations of Faith

My mother’s rock solid unmovable faith is without a doubt one of the greatest blessings in my life. A blessing that wasn’t fully realized until I was a grown woman with my own family. Her faith is the kind that petitions the Lord to move mountains for her family…and He has. Hours upon hours of prayers to her Heavenly Father has made a huge impact on my life and the lives of my siblings. My mother refers to it as “The Jesus Factor” and it is a treasured gift.  Looking back on the difficult years of my childhood, I see a woman who was bold and brave. One who responded with kindness and love to the rebellious years of a teenage daughter with a big attitude and big mouth to go with it. I know…I shouldn’t talk about my sister like that.  Kidding.  I remember one tantrum in particular where I said such cruel things about this Jesus she loved. I basically told my mother that she was a fool for believing in Him and that if He would just show up (in the way I wanted with all of my infinite wisdom at the age of 18) then maybe I would believe as well.  You know that whole “If God was a loving God” stuff.  She gently and simply replied that she felt badly that I was hurting but it hurt her for me to say such terrible things about the Jesus that had saved her and that she loved.  She wouldn’t stand for it. Such grace. I tantrum less often these days however, I am continually met with that same grace. It has taught me that faith isn’t about religion but is a real relationship with Jesus.

My mother, now a grandmother, has the same commitment to prayer for her grandchildren. What a blessing. She also has served as a foster mother for more than 30 children and has also adopted a young boy.  This is an act of love and submission to God. Being a foster mother requires great sacrifice and it recently seemed that these sacrifices were beginning to take a heavy toll. My siblings and I were concerned.  When I asked my mother why she continued to open her home and heart to new foster children she quickly answered “Because God asked me to.”   End of story.

What we do and how we do it matters, especially when it is work done with our heart’s intention of serving The Lord.  Although the work can be difficult, it does not go unnoticed. I am so grateful for my mother’s example to my children.  My mother makes it her job to pour the love of Jesus into them. Her life’s commitment to children who need a loving space has been a positive influence of faith to so many, including her grandchildren.

The following song was written by her granddaughter Mary. It is a tribute about how a life lived for The Lord is an example of faith for the children and grandchildren in our lives.

 

Everybody says she’s a crazy woman

She says she’s just listening to God

Has 5 foster children

Many more will be comin

 

Listen to the Lord

Oh notice the signs he sends

Listen to the Lord

You know he will never end

 

He always knows what’s coming next

Even when you don’t

You have to put your faith in him

But even when you won’t

He’s always there for you

Yeah he’s always there for you

 

6 kids 12 grandchildren

A lot of little ones

She never knows what’s gonna happen

But she never runs

 

God gives her hope

He gives her inspiration

He shows her where she needs to go

And gives her salvation

 

Listen to the Lord

Oh notice the signs he sends

Listen to the lord

You know he will never end

 

He always knows what’s coming next

Even when you don’t

You have to put your faith in him

But even when you won’t

He’s always there for you

Yeah he’s always there for you

 

2 Timothy  1:5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until You

 

 

 

She didn’t know she was lost

Until you came and found her

 

She didn’t feel inspired

And then she heard you pray

 

She couldn’t internalize confidence

And then you built her up

 

She didn’t experience desire

Until you stood too close

 

She didn’t know how to trust

Until you told the truth

 

She couldn’t control her emotions

And then you reeled her in

 

She didn’t understand respect

Until she was in your presence

 

She didn’t feel safe

And then you displayed your strength

 

She never felt at home

Until she was in your arms

 

She didn’t know true love

Until you said the words

 

Until you…