I’ve followed his lead as he has followed His lead.
I trusted in his ability to hear His voice even before he had the chance to prove himself to be a listener and a hearer.
I’ve followed because I believe God gives good gifts, thus, I believe the gift I’ve been given is a good one. As I trust the gift, I trust the Giver of the gift.
I’ve not always been an eager follower. I haven’t always understood the big picture. I don’t like what I can’t see. Nevertheless, I have followed, in spite of my lack of understanding.
My following has brought me to scary and painful sections of the journey — parts I didn’t expect nor seek. But I turned to the gift for guidance on how to work my way through and have kept trusting and following. And the good gift from God has kept listening, hearing, following, and leading — and holding my hand while showing me the way.
I have my own desires from God — a calling — a purpose. But I’ve chosen to put the gift first — to follow his calling and purpose — to follow hi...
Yes, there is a healing balm in Gilead (referenced in Genesis 37:25, Jeremiah 8:22, Jeremiah 46:11).
There is a healing balm if you won’t reject Him. Jesus wants to heal the broken hearted. (See Psalm 34:18, Luke 4:18; NKJV.)
But the healing balm is applied when you open up and let Jesus in to see and touch your wounds. It’s not a “shout it out” kind of healing, but, rather, healing that comes from daily, relational, conversational meetings with the healer. It’s messy and takes a lot of courage to experience.
So, yes, there is a healing balm in Gilead. You just have to be willing to let Him do His work.
I can’t claim to have already overcome, but I am growing fruit through the overcoming process.
Through this process I have discovered that it is easier to forgive hurts from the past than it is to forgive hurts happening in the present. This is true for me because I’ve learned how to separate myself from the past. However, I have not mastered separating myself from my present. And to forgive in the present requires me to make decisions today that demonstrate forgiveness. This means I have to live in ways that will make me vulnerable to continual hurt. I can’t build walls of protection when I know from experience that more wounds are most likely coming my way.
Maybe you’re arguing with me about my right for boundaries. If so, my response proposes a different definition for boundaries. Boundaries should not be put in place for the purpose of protecting myself from hurt. Those boundaries have never proven successful for me because I still feel hurt when people are hurtful. Rather, bound...
My husband is encouraging me to start a live connect group. I’m curious to know if any of you would be interested in being a part of something like this once a month. If I do it, I would like for it to be a conversational venue about the same kinds of topics I write about in my blogs. To allow for conversation, it would need to be limited to about 15 people each time—so the first 15 to respond to the invite when I send it out each month would get the link. If this is something you would like to participate in, leave a comment. Thanks.
While in the midst of the chaos caused by a series of negative life events, I found myself focused on survival—fighting to breathe and stay alive spiritually. I was terrified. So much of what had become a valuable part of my life had been ripped out from under me.
I finally found a place to land, and I’ve noticed how this more stable moment I’m living in now has given me a chance to process what I couldn’t process before. For these past two years I’ve been grieving my losses and doing a lot of thinking.
I’ve recognized that it is very difficult to find the good in people who have hurt me. I’ve also recognized that it is easy to validate my hurt feelings. All I have to do to validate my hurt is tell others about how bad I’ve been hurt and how badly the person who hurt me behaved. Both saying the words out loud and hearing the agreements come back to me make my hurt feel justified and strengthened. It also makes the hole in my heart grow bigger.
When driven to pray in the midst of hurt, the go-to prayer tends to be focused on hurtful people stopping their behavior so the pain for those being hurt will end. That is true, at least, for me. But, in my experience, every time I start praying that prayer, I am the one who ends up being changed.
Now, after so many experiences with this, when I find myself driven to pray for my pain from hurtful people to end and for hurtful people to change from hurting me, I hear the words of the right prayer in the back of my mind. Yet I’ve also noticed my resistance to praying the right words. I should be praying for God to change my perspective, but I don’t want to change my perspective. My flesh says changing my perspective isn’t fair. Why should my perspective have to change when it’s others who are engaging in wrong behavior?
The truth is, there will always be hurtful people who come my way who will never change. I can’t change them. Neither can God change them if they don’t want to change. But...
I’ve spent my morning taking care of my rose bushes. The abundance of rain we have had, lately, has made conditions perfect for big beautiful blooms with leafy green foliage. Being surrounded by so many voluptuous red and pink flowers as I worked made me smile.
However, though the sight was a feast for my eyes, the clustered up flowers will limit continual healthy growth if left unattended; therefore I had to trim away some of the beauty, today. Overcrowding will eventually result in less rose blooming, so I had to cut away some of the roses to make room for my plants to breathe.
Ever true to my nature, I kept applying what I was doing to my rose bushes to what has been happening in my own life. I’ve recognized how God seems to be cutting away some of what I consider to be beautiful parts of me to make room for me to breathe. Overcrowding will suffocate and result in less growth, and, thus, create potential for no growth. Though I love when beauty grows out of my life, sometimes a little...
I didn’t see it coming... the moment when my safe place became my nightmare.
Trust became elusive, once again. Disappointment and uncertainty rained down on me simultaneously. Questions relentlessly bombarded my mind. How could people turn so drastically and cut so deeply?
Were the circumstances that befell me God’s will? I don’t know. But they were now mine to deal with, and it was definitely His will that I deal with them correctly. There I was, abruptly living in no man’s land not knowing what the future held for my family and me.
Then God became my closest companion. He shifted my focus from human frailty to His strength. And He was perfect! He was comfort; He was certainty; He was stability. He became the antidote to the chaos I did not cause. And He took what was meant for evil against me and turned it around for my good.
The desire to fulfill God’s purpose should never become greater than the desire for relationship with the One who gave the call to purpose. Even so, we tend to measure the validity of our relationship with God based on our fulfillment of His purpose. That should not be.
I think God puts time between His call to purpose and the allowance of our fulfillment of that purpose simply to establish our relationship with Him. Our wait time is His way of motivating our reliance on Him. That’s His protection of both His purpose and us.
It’s impossible to fulfill His purpose without relationship with Him. Action towards purpose without relationship is always focused on serving self instead of serving God—self-purpose is concerned about pleasing men over pleasing God. And that’s idolatrous.
The purpose should never replace the purpose giver!
I walked up the side of a mountain and shared the beauty of it all. But I took no pictures of the most difficult and less pleasant parts of my journey because I had to put my camera away to balance and focus on getting through them. Even though there were a lot of rough patches, I captured only the best scenery as I was able to take it in during my pause moments in between the challenges. Then I announced when I made it to the top but never mentioned when I made it back down. However, the hardest and least climactic times were more important to my experience than the most picturesque and exhilarating. Without enduring the worst, the best would have never been enjoyed. It was the whole experience that made the beautiful moments.