Monday, April 26, 2010


Lately, God has really been answering my whispers. I affectionately use the word "whispers" to refer to those desires of your heart that are consistent, but that you never really pray about. However, God knows they're there. They're those things you make small little mentions of in your head or under your breath. The quick "I wish's" that you don't pray, and you don't consciously think about God paying attention to them. But then, when you're least expecting it, he makes one of those "I wish's" come true - and you are joyfully surprised and thankful :)

I've had several of those happen lately... God answered my "I wish's" for time to spend with him every morning before I start my day, flexibility in my schedule, the opportunity to minister to people I meet through work, the opportunity to meet more sisters and brothers in Christ, for God to divinely place me in the career that He wants me in, and the opportunity to start my own business.

Most of those things are things that I've thought about and wished for once, maybe a few times. Some of them are things that have been desires of my heart for years. But regardless, they have all been whispers, lately - not things I directly prayed recently - and God has been weaving all of them into my life. I am so thankful! It has happened so joyfully.

God divinely intervened in my circumstances in the last week and a half to set me on the path that He has for me during this season in my life. Now, I am completely dependent on Him for my income. But it is also giving me the opportunity to create my own business like I have yearned to do for so long. It also gave me the flexibility in my schedule and the time with Him every morning that I was craving. He provides so perfectly, and He knows exactly what He is doing! He knew that this new direction fits me perfectly. And it's not something I have training in, nor is it something I really ever considered doing - but I have been given glimpses of my ability to do it. That was another whisper of mine. I would hear stories of God divinely directing someone's path and setting them in the career field God wanted them - often times it being something the person didn't go to school for or had no experience in, but God graciously provided and equipped the person and established them firmly in that career field. I feel like that is another whisper that God is answering, and that is such a HUGE blessing. I've been praying for God to show me my purpose and His will for my career for years now, but never felt sure of anything or guided into anything. Slowly but surely, I feel like God is beginning to answer those prayers and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Which is so exciting. I always felt called to a bigger destiny than just working in a cubicle for the corporate "man". I feel more confident now, more happy, excited, grateful that God is going to use me. Praise Jesus :)

In other news, God has really been working the desire of waiting for my future husband into me. Spiritually, physically, relationally... I have a new desire to set myself apart for him that is pure and unforced and unlike anything I've felt on that subject before. Usually, when I would think about that years before, it was because I just wanted God to bring him to me sooner! Pretty silly :) Now I find myself praying for him naturally without even thinking about it, and with no ulterior motives or selfish desires. Whether it's someone I already know or someone I've never met, either way he'll be blessed by me pursuing purity in every sense of the word.

You know what that makes me think? That God CAN restore purity.

Through the years, people would talk to me about my testimony. You know, they would say that God was going to give me a testimony. When I would listen to others share their testimony, I always yearned for God to give me one. But I never felt like I had one, because I was still filled with hurt, pain, and confusion, or because I was still trapped in a sin pattern that I couldn't find the way out of and still believed all of Satan's lies.

But God really is starting to give me a testimony :) And it's one I want to share with the world for His glory.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unexpected Change

Completely unexpected! My small, close-knit, more like a family than anything church is closing its doors.

It came as a shock this morning. As I was plucked out of bed and strongly urged to go to church though not feeling good (and already in emotional distress over another topic), I arrived to get an announcement I was not expecting. There were a lot of tears... including my own, the minute the words left Josh's mouth.

But I think God had started planting the seeds in everyone's hearts before this arrived. God started working in each of us in different ways and planting different seeds among us - me for youth, Laura for downtown Denver, Josh and Marleen for the creative arts...

And as sad as it is, I know we will never truly grow apart. We will still be a family, and this isn't an end to our relationships... just a few weekly meetings ;)

They keep calling it "A New Thing"... and I think it really is. I'm really excited for the different ministries that God is going to bring out of this, and I'm excited for how God is going to use me personally. I sense God putting the pieces together for the purpose that He has for me. And I know with complete peace in my heart that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

And though it is sad, I have peace over the Lighthouse closing.

So, I love you, Lighthouse. I'm excited for all the great things that are coming. You will always be my family.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Alright, It's Ok

Things I've been reflecting on today...

This week, I felt attacked and rejected because of my relationship with God, my lifestyle, and the way that I live out that relationship with Him. But you know what? That's ok... because Jesus said, ""Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matthew 5:10-12).

It makes me overwhelmingly glad that I obeyed the Lord's will, because now their true colors have been revealed, and I have no more ties holding me back. MAN I love the joy that comes from obedience to the Lord's will! It is always met with joy in the end!! I am SO glad that there is a God up there who loves me!

Let's focus on that last part for a minute. He loves ME. And as I reflected on these events this week, I am more resolute and resolved that I am not ashamed of who I am, what I believe, or what I stand for. That I am proud to be a child of God and to loudly proclaim my love for and belief in Jesus, that I proclaim His kingdom come, and that I will readily obey His will as He conveys it to me. I will spend my life earnestly seeking to obey his commands, to live out the way the Bible tells us to live, and to glorify His name. And that does not make me crazy, that does not make me "less fun", that does not make me less of a person - in any way. I'm a sinner, but I'm saved by grace. I am beautiful, and I have a beautiful heart. For the first time in maybe ever, aside from my humanness that will be there until I die, I feel like I have a pure heart. I have no sin I'm hiding from God or from man, I'm not trapped by any sin patterns right now, I'm not locked in drama, I'm not out of God's will, I've been freed from the lies and bondage of Satan... I feel restored. I feel blessed with a gift of salvation, and not just in terms of where I'm going to spend eternity, but salvation from the bondage and lies I was living in, salvation from a nightmare marriage... I have been rescued and I am safe.

"What will people think, when they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak? .... I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak."


The other part of my reflecting today made me think about this... (unrelated to the first situation)...

No matter how much you may love or care about someone, how much you might pour into them, or pursue them, or desire to be close to them, and no matter how much you may have bonded with them: You cannot force someone to want to have or invest in a relationship with you. And if they don't, it's better to just accept it, because it will save you unnecessary strife and unrest in your heart.

Being family in Christ doesn't mean that someone is going to want to build a relationship with you.

I think being family in Christ often makes relationships with each other a little more touchy and sensitive.

Even friendships can become idolatrous and become a distraction from God. Even CHRISTIAN friendships can be used by the devil to distract us from God. I'm sure some would argue with me, but getting emotionally attached to a close Christian friend can equally distract you from your relationship with God or what else God might have for you. I think Satan likes to use things that look so good we don't think it could be possible.

At the end of the day, God needs to be our source of joy not just above romantic relationships, but above friendships as well.

I think there is a place inside each of us that only God can touch and fill. A place that friendships can't fill, family can't fill, and significant others can't fill. "There's a God shaped hole in all of us... "

As I walk through this season of learning how to make Jesus my all in all, I am reminded that includes friendships.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Epiphany

I have been thinking a lot about relationships and my emotional patterns having to do with them, lately... as I've pretty much been forced to, but also because I am determined to change them. After an amazing, wonderful Easter church service and potluck today, I felt something on my heart that needed to come out, and one of the things that helps me process feelings or just de-stress is taking a walk. So, with it being such a beautiful day, I did. And it was UH-mazing. God totally blessed me with a breakthrough and epiphany about the whole subject and challenge I have been facing.

I kind of mentally worked my way backwards through a series of questions, looking for connections to why things have always seemed to go a certain way for me in romantic relationships and looking for answers to questions. Instead of working my way backwards now (which is really more confusing), I'll work my way forwards so I give you the summary.

Basically, my question was: why do I always choose to date guys who don't love the Lord wholeheartedly?

And here's what I traced it all back to: My missing sense of self, a missing sense of true love, and a missing sense of worth.

When I was a child, my dad never really praised and affirmed me that much - causing my sense of self to be under-developed. Additionally, I never felt a wholehearted love from him. It always felt like He was living more for himself than for me, evidenced by him leaving my family when my parents separated. I always have seen it as him leaving ME, leaving us. It was heartbreaking. He pursued his better job and lifestyle, pursued other women. When he finally got remarried, he was always using dialogue about doing what made him happy. He favored his wife over me when she was mistreating me. He allowed me to be mistreated. My siblings and I are not even allowed to visit his home, because all he wants is peace, and somehow peace was not something that was ever present in the relationship with our step-mother. Again, prioritizing his needs.

So when I came of age to start dating, I was missing two major things: a sense of true love, (and usually the love of a father is pretty darn true) and an established sense of self - AND a sense of worth (I mean, my dad did leave me and my could that have possibly made us feel about ourselves? Unworthy). I was already a Christian, but I was still young in my faith, and these scars had already been worked deep inside me. So I started looking for all of these things in dating relationships, looking to find them in and from guys. Instead of having the confidence and maturity to wait for a God-loving and God-fearing guy, I was so needy that I rushed into all the relationships that came my way, and they always left me hurt and more damaged than before.

I gave myself away sexually, and that, combined with never waiting for a Godly guy and dating non-Christians (which is frowned upon in the Bible and in the Christian culture), I began believing that I was unworthy of the kind of guy I truly dreamed of dating and marrying. So I started settling, because I started telling myself that was just my lot in my life that I had to accept. That I just wasn't the kind of girl that was going to get a Godly guy, the kind of guy I really wanted. That's another reason I didn't wait for a Godly guy to come along.

(when Satan gets a foothold, he really gets in good.)

When Stephen (my soon to be ex-husband) came along, he promised me everything I'd ever been wanting from a guy. Deep, lasting commitment and whole-hearted love, devotion, and exceptional treatment. So I fell head first and signed my life over to him. But then I got burned more badly than I ever had, and I was treated worse than I ever had been. I swore to myself that I would never date another non-Christian and that I would never repeat my unhealthy dating pattern again.

Unfortunately, deep-set emotional patterns are hard to undo and it takes a lot of work and time. It takes a lot of work and time to eradicate all of satan's lies that I've believed so completely for so many years.

Fortunately, my experience with Stephen has made me too afraid to enter another relationship that God is not the center of completely, because now I know how disastrous it is and will always be. Now I know that the feelings a guy has for me need to be rooted in God, and so do my feelings for him, and our relationship as a whole, completely. God is the center of EVERYTHING.

Now I know my task that lies ahead. I must re-establish my identity, and it needs to be in Christ, in Christ alone and completely. And I need to find my source of true love in the Lord, because the Lord will ALWAYS love me and NEVER disappoint me. The love of a man is just icing on the cake.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Love and Hate

I don't like the period of absorbing the conquences for your mistakes.

I don't like reality sometimes. I don't like it when you wish something was meant to be, but God tells you it's not. I know He has his reasons, His reasons are perfect, His will for you is best, and when you obey it, you will ultimately find more peace and joy you could have ever found or made for yourself. But accepting that something you desire to be right is not is very hard. Which has led me to be a repeat offender of some of the mistakes I had previously made... but not this time. Because once and for all I have recognized my patterns, and I am confident that with God's faithful help, they will be brought to an end.

I hate hurting someone's feelings through my mistakes. I hate hurting people I care about.

I hate that sometimes, when you know you're doing the right thing, someone else might not agree or maybe just can't see it, and therefore they still hurt or hurt worse, even though you deeply wish to take that pain away and regret causing it in the first place.

I hate it when other people don't have any confidence or faith in your decisions, don't trust you. Just think you're doing something wrong, even though you know you're doing something right. It kind of hurts, because it feels like they don't have faith in me period, because I'm not doing what that person thinks I should. I don't like the pain of having to live with that, because there's really nothing you can do to change their mind. But I hate the fact that that scenario exists really only because you made the mistake in the first place and hurt them pretty badly.

But I love knowing that I am doing the Lord's will. I love the peace that obeying the Lord's will brings. I love the comfort and joy the future brings, the hope that is promised by obedience, the blessings that are promised in obedience. I love knowing that even though I'm experiencing some pain, I will be blessed with joy in the future that far exceeds my expectations. I love that God's joy is better than anything else on this earth. I love that God's wisdom is greater than my own, and God's plans better than anything I could ever plan. I love knowing that even when you have messed up so badly that you think you can never recover, be successful, be blessed, or be happy, you are never without hope - God's arms ALWAYS welcome you back, and I love that with repentance, God is always quick to forgive and restore you to full and true life.

I just love GOD. And I love the life that God gives... I love that He was gracious enough to bless us with it, and I love that heaven's going to be unequivocally better. I love that He loves me, and loves me no matter what. I love that He welcomes me back no matter how big my mistakes, how often, how repetitive - every time. I love that with God, I'll never be alone. I'll never be without hope. I'll never be without what I need. I'll never be unloved.

When I was a child and teen going through my bleakest years of life - years filled with so much darkness and pain, I thought I would never see the end - God was my only source of hope, and I clung to him with every breath. And always, in the quiet times, in the night or in my despair - He would ALWAYS whisper to me, "It's going to be ok."

It's ALWAYS going to be ok.