Perfection

I havent blogged in a while and I’ll blame my busy holiday season for that. After a month of beloved visitors coming and going through our home, and our household visiting others as well, I have been intentionally spending my down time with God, my husband and kids. No pouring out my talents in music, writing, or even going out of my way to minister to others. Just a lot of being still and sharing the love of Christ with whoever I bump into along the way. A great deal of exploring new praise and worship music and a desk full of books I read. It’s been a time of fueling up. And I know that means one thing:

The hurdles have been lined up. I am crouched down on the starting line, awaiting the blank to be fired, and ready to take off running as fast as I can.

But for now deep breath in, deep breath out.

My need for patience linked arms with humility becomes clearer and clearer everyday. When I first surrendered my life to Christ, I resembled the hare in the classic Tortoise and the Hare story. I ran as fast as I could wherever the path took me, leaving behind whatever hindered me.

I went on a one week mission trip two weeks after dedicating my life to Christ. We ministered the gospel of Jesus to teens and young adults partying on a beach. They were slaves to the exact same sins that I had just been pulled out from. I was on top of the world yelling at the darkness about this little Light of mine.

But the light dimmed when the trials came and I found myself lukewarm, drifting back deeper into the lifestyle I’d so recently abandoned. I was the seed planted in gravel. The rain came and I washed away.

Thankfully I was pushed into signing up and raising money for a 3 month long mission trip in California by my new missionary friends whom I had moved in with. These new friends were the Titus to my Paul ( 2 Corinthians 7:6), cheering me on as I dusted off my tattered jeans and got back up. They never ceased to encourage me, never once judging me when I fell. I can not say “thank you” enough to Kelsey, Brittany and Taylor. You three girls were the first genuinely Christ-like people I’d ever had the pleasure of building a relationship with.

Afterwards, I spent an entire week’s drive to California with a super-Christian friend I hardly knew. I write “super-Christian” because she was an amazing reflection of Jesus, to the point of me being jealous of her and thinking I’d never achieve that type of closeness to God. I didn’t realize then that God wanted that for me too. I spent that journey literally sobering up, being still with the Lord as my feet dangled off of the edge of the Grand Canyon, and learning patience as our drive across the United States blurred into the horizon. Again, I was being fueled up.

I had no idea that this mission trip would actually be God’s mission for me to see the depths of Christ’s love and truly be transformed by the His Holy Spirit. I spent the summer of a lifetime surrounded by Jesus-loving friends and diving deeper than I ever had into an intimate relationship with God. I was transformed to the point of no return.

I share this tidbit of my life in hopes of revealing the importance of submission to the journey. Submit to God’s stop-signs and green lights within the journey. Humility and patience are directly connected to our level of endurance through this trek of life. We have to humble ourselves before God to realize His sovereignty over our lives. Doing this allows us to see the need for His Spirit to guide us in ALL things, bringing forth the budding of the fruits of the Holy Spirit within our hearts. As I am sure every human to exist could agree, patience does not come naturally. Haste is in our nature. But I tell you today wait, my friend.

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

That verse says more than I ever could. Wait on God! The promise is coming! Remember just who this God is, whom has set an appointed time for your promise to be fulfilled (Exodus 9:5). He is El Shaddai, God Almighty, who has no limits. He is Jehovah, Sovereign Lord and Leader, who can make a way through oceans (Exodus 6:2-3).

“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,” (Genesis‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

This lays the foundation for us to see just who He is and what He does! God Almighty brought me out of the pit & Jehovah my Lord leads me down His path of righteousness through Jesus! When we see Him as both Lord and God we surrender our impossibilities to being His capabilities. If He can create planets and Heaven itself, what can’t He do? Your appointed time is already written. Trust in Him.

Humble yourself before God, seeing His sovereignty over all and your deep need for His leadership in your life. Reflect back on the countless times God has been patient with you so that you can learn from Him and apply it to your own life.

Feel that momentum building up? Get ready while you wait! Put the spikes on your track shoes, kneel down, and breathe deep. Wait for God’s signal, and go! We are in this race together.

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Waiting on the Promise

I can’t speak for the world, but I’m pretty positive that no one enjoys waiting. You might enjoy whatever you do to keep your mind off of waiting, but the lengthy process itself is almost never fun.

Think about Moses and the Israelites’ 40 year trek through the wilderness. Time and time again we see the nation become ablaze with faith, and then falter due to the delayed process of entering the Promised Land. The toxic idea here being that God is taking so long to do what He said He would and therefore that must mean one of two things:  1) He forgot about me or 2) He is not God anymore. Both resulting in turning to other false gods for help.

It sounds harsh, but those are the doubtful thoughts that can develop out of impatience and a loss of endurance.

When we forget who God is, we believe the lie that He forgot about us. 

A loss of truth becomes a loss of faith.

To avoid going on a downward spiral to mental and physical chaos, you must counteract those lies with  truth. And if you’re already in that boat surrounded by disorder, let this be your reinstalled anchor of hope to the One who has never abandoned you.

God is still God. His plans are still good. Nothing and no one can stop the fulfillment of His promises

“‘And of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father.Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’” – (2 Chronicles 28:5-7 NKJV)

God called David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). Despite his sinful ways, God chose David to be king of Israel. That alone is encouraging to the rest of us wretches saved by grace. In this passage, David discusses the promise God spoke to him regarding his son, Solomon, becoming the next king. David had many sons, but God promised Solomon to be heir of the throne. Solomon was a man born of David and Bathsheba whose very relationship was founded on adultery and murder. It wasn’t his fault, but according to the Law the sins of the father are passed down to the next generations (Dueteronomy 5:9). However, God is good and His mercy triumphs His judgment (James 2:13). What better way to show that, than to bring favor, blessings, riches and the Messiah out the line of sinful, yet repentant David? It all points to Jesus and what He has to offer us.

God is still a good God.

“Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” – (1 Kings 1: 5)

Adonijah is one of Solomon’s many older brothers. A few verses later he is described as being ‘very handsome’. He’s older, he’s attractive, and he’s got more followers. So Adonijah sets himself up as king while David is laying in bed from his advanced, old age. Adonijah invites all of the brothers, not including Solomon, and all of the royal officials to his ‘I just usurped the throne‘ party.

Have you ever been left out by your family or friends? Solomon can relate! The Bible doesn’t talk about how Solomon feels here, but I can imagine it’s intimidated, doubtful and afraid. He doesn’t stand up for himself while his promised throne is sabotaged. He is guessed to be around 10-13 years old at the time and his mom, Bathsheba, goes to battle for him! Hooray for momma bears! Bathsheba tells David what Adonijah is doing, and David immediately swears Solomon to be the true king. He has Solomon anointed king and put on his own donkey to ride through town proclaimed as the true King.

“Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, Long live King Solomon!And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.” – (1 Kings 1:39-40 NKJV)

God’s party for Solomon doesn’t compare to Adonijah’s party for himself. The pretender doesn’t stand against the real deal. The darkness can’t overcome the light. The lies will never overrule the truth

God’s promise for Solomon to be king was never compromised. Even when Adonijah appeared to be king in his place, God had a plan. Solomon didn’t have to lift a finger to combat his overthrown throne. God did the work for him.

Even when the odds seem against you, when everyone seems to have abandoned you, when the victory seems to be given to your enemy, the Lord is still at work on your behalf. Nothing and no one can stop the fulfillment of God’s promises in your life.

Regardless of what you see, don’t lose hope in the God who said He would move your mountains. You need only be still & have faith the size of a mustard seed. Surround yourself with Jesus-seeking people who will love you & fight for your behalf. Pray without ceasing. Don’t give up. Stay the course! Press in! The victory is yours.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My Surrender Moment

Walking in the darkness
I shiver against the cold
My life
So very, very alone
The alarm rings, rings
Loud in my head
I should not be here
This is not me
Yet I fight the urge to leave
Because here is better
Than there
Where
Everything fell apart
I tried to control my own life
But nothing ever went right
Betrayed by my family
It hurt
Left alone by my fairweather friends
They wanted me
Only when I was ‘fun’

But it hurt
And sometimes the pain showed
except no one likes a sad person
No one hears my silent screams
No one gets me
No one seems to understand
My demons locked inside
Became my only friends
So I left
I walked away
Better yet, I ran
From the hurt
The pain
The sorrow
I left the narrow path
And entered the scary land
Why me?
Why does everyone always leave?
What is so wrong about me?
I cry
I yell until my throat
Bleeds
And the loneliness
Overwhelms me
The voices,
The demons begin to whisper
“You are nothing”
“No one wants you”
“You are ugly”
“You are fat”
“No one wants you”
“Feel ashamed”
“Feel ashamed”
“Feel ashamed”
The terrible things I have done
Lock me in a cage.
“Nothing and no one could ever truly love someone like you”
The voices tell me their my friends,
And I listen.
“Drink this-you’ll forget”
“Take that-you are invincible”
“Throw up your food-you will stay beautiful and thin”
No!
Stop!
I can’t take it any longer!
I am suffocating!
So much death all around me

My baby
My family
My friends
Why was I left alive?
Why, terrible me?
I should not be.
The voice whispers
“Grab the knife”
I’m drunk
I hate everything
So why not?
“It’s quick and painless”
I drag it across my arm
Oh no!
I have never done this
And it’s deeper than I thought
Crimson red
Gushes out of my arm
I see my blood.
And suddenly remember
Jesus shed
Crimson red
So that I
Could live forever with Him.
What have I done?
Is it too late?
Lord I need you!
Forgive me,
I have sinned
So so much.
You are all that is right in my life
Father, please save me!

Finally, I see a light
In my dark world.
My cage of shame is destroyed
And You take away my pain.
You cradle my head on the bathroom floor
In Your arms, I am held tight.
Your tears hit my cheek
And it is then, that I realize
You have been with me
The entire time

You held my hand
You screamed my name
Through all the voices,
Through all the pain.
I was looking down and all around,
When I should have been looking up.
You kiss my wound
You wipe my tears
You fight off my demons.
No more cold
No more darkness
I am set free
You lift me up and tell me
Sweet daughter, I love you
Goodbye to temporary happiness,
I am filled with eternal joy
Because of Your truth
It gives meaning to my life
I am weak
But You are strong
And even though I fall
You promise to always pick me up.
Jesus Christ
By dying,
You have rescued me
Sovereign Father
Redeemer
Above all,
You are holy.
This is a little piece of my testimony that pushed me to finally surrender my life to Christ in February 2014. Written by God through me during a 2014 summer mission trip in Santa Cruz, CA.

My “He loved me at my darkest” tattoo covering my scar from the suicide attempt & my beautiful daughter, Isabelle.

God supernaturally saved me in that exact moment, not a minute too late. God knew then the beautiful life awaiting me right around the corner of all the darkness. Now I’m a mommy. Now I’m a wife. I’m a child of God. I’m a friend, daughter, aunt and sister. I’m somebody. And I’m loved. So are you!

 Don’t let the present troubles keep you stuck. There’s more to come. Don’t give up! 

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Please reach out to someone if you or someone you know is depressed, anxious, has suicidal thoughts, or just feeling mentally overwhelmed. You are not alone. 

Don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: tel:1-800-273-8255