Sometimes you have to fall back before you can spring forward (cue laughing audience).
You are so faithful! This has been a season of rich time with You. You are showing me things left and right, but I don’t feel shame because I know it’s for my good and because of Your love for me! Help me navigate this time of growing in You, caring for myself physically, emotionally and spiritually, caring for my husband and daughters, having boundaries with friends and family, learning to walk in continual forgiveness, growing in self-control, growing in trusting You, and more! It can definitely be overwhelming, but You keep reminding me to keep my eyes fixed on You, trust You and take one step at a time. When I misstep it’s an opportunity to learn and grow and put into practice what you are teaching me. Amen.
Below are several highlights of what God is teaching me. It’s a highlight of the healing work the Lord is doing in me at home. Remember my blog address is called “I’ve Got Too Much to Say.”
Mercy triumphs over judgment! I play this song over and over again, not only for myself but as I navigate relationships with others. I listen to the albums Starlight by Bethel Music, A Brave New World by Amanda Cook, Where His Light Was by Kristene DiMarco and Beautiful Surrender by Jonathan and Melissa Helser daily. I am thankful for music that speaks to my soul and also gives me words for my experience.
A dear friend asked me the week leading up to Easter if part of my struggle was because I felt guilty for living life now that our son is in a group home. Right away I answered that I have no guilt, that I lived through hell for five years and I am happy to be free. As the days went on I thought about what she said more and more. She was absolutely right. Subconsciously I was feeling guilty for truly enjoying my life right now as it is in this season. On Good Friday we had our own service at home. We read from the Bible, played a song and had a time of reflection. We talked about how Jesus died to set us free and that we each hold on to things, but that is not God’s will for us. We each wrote down things that were holding us back from freedom in Christ. Then we went outside and burned those papers. Easter Sunday is always a special day! This year I loved that Easter was on April 1st and the girls and I helped at church in the courtyard. I was able to see people I haven’t seen in a while. For many years I would sit by myself on Easter Sunday. This year the girls and I sat with our dear friends. It brought so much joy to my heart and I was grateful for the time together after all those years of sitting alone. There was one song that was incredibly powerful for me. Death was Arrested…at one point in the song we sing “our Savior displayed on a criminal’s cross, darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost.” The entire sanctuary went dark. Then slowly and building with power, the whole sanctuary rumbled and on the screen was a video of the stone being rolled away and light breaking through! All the lights came on and we sang, “Then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand, that’s when death was arrested and my life began!” I loved Jesus’ reminder of His sacrifice for me so that I don’t have to carry these burdens. My days are still challenging, but Easter Sunday was a breakthrough for me in Jesus’ name!
Let the guilt go and let the forgiveness flow! I am using this for myself and as I dig into my past so that I can move forward.
God showed me three big lies that I believed starting with abuse in childhood. Throughout my life, when challenges came, these lies were triggered and I believed them without even realizing it. I am in the process of renewing my mind with the truth.
- I am trapped and there is no way out.
- I am alone.
- My parents/God weren’t there for me, so I need to take control.
- GOD ALWAYS MAKES A WAY!
- JESUS IS WITH ME!
- I YIELD (SUBMIT, SURRENDER) MY SPIRIT TO THE HOLY SPIRIT!
FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT ARE IN CONTROL!
I have been reflecting on the different seasons in my life. As I thought about the middle school age years, God brought these verses to my mind. “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) When memories from that time come, I say those verses over myself at that age. Jesus took on the abuse done to me as well as the sins I committed. The truth statement I am holding on to is – Jesus took on my iniquities and by His wounds I am healed.
Then there was high school. God gave me the following verses to say over myself as I think about that time in my life. Some memories have come up again, most likely because I have a child in high school now. I picture saying them over myself at those ages. I also am shooting down any memories with Jesus! He came to set me free, I have confessed and repented of that season, and He sees my sin no more!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it. Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!” Isaiah 30:21-22 Then I declare that I will listen to the Lord’s instruction and obey Him.
My son (and daughter), do not forget My teaching, but keep My commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write the on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man (people). Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:1-6 I will trust the Lord!
These next verses bridge the high school to college season. They of course are truths for all of life, but these verses speak to me about those years in my life. Last week I walked/jogged through all of the student apartments that were open while I went to college. I prayed through each street and proclaimed Lord over all that entire area. It was a powerful time with God!
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. That is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper; rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:8-21 I once was darkness, but now I am light in the Lord Jesus Christ!
On one of the many sleepless nights recently, I remembered the words in the book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we have to go through it. As my family and I heal, I have to go through the pain and the past with Jesus and that will sky rocket me forward. We won’t have to stay in the pain, but we have to work through the pain. It is not my responsibility to do this for anyone else, I am responsible for myself and walking through this journey regardless of what anyone else chooses.
Mostly in my journey as a parent, but for years I have cried out to God, “Help me! Send me help! I can’t do this! It’s too much!” God has been faithful to send friends and family to walk alongside us in every season and I am truly grateful. What God has shown me lately is that He did send someone who has been there all along – He sent myself to me! God is showing me that it is good to help others and receive help, but He has given me myself as well. First I receive everything I need from the Father and He has given me everything thing I need to carry out my life. I am finding that when I am not overscheduled, overcommitted, helping others before myself and my family, that I have the time and energy to care for what is in front of me. My main ministry is to my husband and children. My priorities had gotten out of order, I was living in survival mode and reacting to things happening daily in my life. Especially in the Christian world we are taught to help and love others, and that is absolutely biblical. But I had it out of order. Daily God is giving me opportunities to say no to commitments, in order to say yes to myself and my family. I know that I will be able to help others more in the future because God designed me that way. But for now He has made my world the Trinity, myself, my husband and my children. That doesn’t mean I shut people out, it just means that is my main focus. I am finding in the daily moments of being overwhelmed that I am reaching for the truths above and proclaiming them. They are reminders that God made me for this, He will give me what I need to get through the challenge. God has shown me that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the key to my healing and I hold the key!
Jesus is healing me physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually!
I am learning to care for myself whether people change or not.
Changing people is not my job – it’s God’s job and it also takes a willing person to change.
It’s a time of looking in the mirror instead of looking at everyone else. God will take care of everyone else. God is bringing all these things to the light so He can heal, restore and redeem! I’m looking at the man in the mirror…sing it MJ!
Dancing and laugher are excellent medicines for me!
My pace – I have been at burn out pace for years! It is time to slow the pace and keep it at a pace that I can maintain long term. Sometimes speeding up and sometimes slowing down, but I desire to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.
I am reading a book about boundaries and helping/caring too much. It’s a wonderful thing to care and help others, it becomes problematic when it becomes too much. I have found myself on a cycle where I give until I am completely depleted and then I need someone to care for me. I have less anger when I set and follow boundaries. I am learning, and by learning I mean a lot of stumbling, to care for myself.
I am working towards having rest in Jesus in the daily rhythm of life. Vacations are a bonus. I don’t want to live in a stressed state and then collapse on vacations.
Rest is internal. Anxiety, anger and panic are a lack of rest.
Just because I am good at something or gifted in an area does not mean this season those gifts will be used in the way I think.
I am working on giving input when asked and not just offering what I think. If I am not sure, I can ask if the person wants input or a listening ear. When I take a step back to reflect, wow I totally give advice left and right or try to fix the challenge without even realizing it! That is Jesus’ job, not mine!
My first reaction when I sin is shame, my second reaction is blame and I am working towards focusing on the third part – turning to Jesus to receive forgiveness and offer forgiveness. He helps me move forward.
I want to trade reacting to situations for taking right action or letting it go!
Let it go TO GOD! This helps me because just letting something go doesn’t necessarily help. When I let it (the situation, sin, person) to God, He shows me what to do or not do.
I have had tightness in my neck, shoulders, and upper back for as long as I can remember. God showed me this week that it’s from carrying shame, blaming others, my sin, and holding on to people/burdens that I need to give to God. As I am working through these things, those areas are less tense. As those areas tense up again, I am asking God if it’s physical or from shame, blame, my sin, holding on to people, burdens and/or things I need to give to God.
I have been enjoying times of confessing and repenting to Jesus. Yes, I wrote enjoy. It’s so hard to admit my sin, but once I do I love the closeness with Jesus. I am making confession a more continual part of my life. I don’t want distance between God and myself; God sent Jesus so I don’t have to!
These are the sins (anything I say, think or do that breaks the heart of God) that I am working through (and I will work through as long as I am on this earth)…
Fear (anger, anxiety, depression, pride, worry, fear of future, fear that God won’t take care of my family)
Judgment (condemnation, judging others, thinking I know what’s best for everyone, looking at other’s sins and not my own)
Controlling others (trying to fix the situation, helping people too much, people pleasing, passive/aggressive)
Unforgiveness (bitterness, resentment, revenge)
Envy (jealousy, comparison, ungrateful)
Disobedience (going my way instead of God’s way)
Idolatry (putting other people, things, or even myself about the place of God)
I have more but that’s a good start!
Through confession and repenting (turning the other way), I have identified what I am going to replace these sins with in the power of Jesus. I will be looking up verses for each of these areas.
Trust in Jesus
Contentment, gratitude, rejoice for others
Obedience, Submit, Surrender to God
Worshipping the One True God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
This is just the beginning of what God has been showing me lately. One aspect I love is that as God brings things to the light, I see it as a loving Father guiding me and not a list of things I need to change. I want to follow Him because He knows what is best for me!
I found a blog by Rick Warren about self-control. I have heard the word for years, but didn’t really understand what it meant. This is what he wrote about self- control…people with self-control master their moods (Proverbs 25:28). People with self-control watch their words (Proverbs 13:13). People with self-control restrain their reactions (Proverbs 19:11). People with self-control stick to their schedule (Ephesians 5:15-16). People with self-control manage their money (Proverbs 21:20). People with self-control maintain their health (1 Thessalonians 4:4). Self-control doesn’t develop in our own strength, that is fabulous news! (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am mended with gold! I will be doing a kintsugi (the Japanese art of taking broken pieces and restoring them with a lacquer that is mixed with gold, silver or platinum) project soon to symbolize all the broken parts of my story that are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. “The brokenness of our past is an integral part of our unique story and God’s gloriously redemptive beauty.” (Jimmy Larche)
I am not coming back to life as I have told people in the last few months, I am stepping into new life.
Lord Jesus, help me look upward, inward and forward.
I save verses to my phone daily. I usually read my Bible and a particular verse stick out from my reading so I save it to my phone. Below are a taste of the verses I have been clinging to. I will end with God’s Word. Everything begins and ends with Him!
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His striped we are healed. Isaiah 53:4
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. Psalm 16:11
He is not here, for He has risen as He said. Matthew 28:6a
The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear; it makes us children of God. With that Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
See how much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are. 1 John 3:1
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5
Today I choose joy!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but 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. Isaiah 40:28-31
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am Your servant. Psalm 143:8-12
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25
You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
From Jesus Calling…I am with you and for you. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don’t be discouraged – never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent. Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My presence.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
May the Lord of peace give you peace in every circumstance. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Psalm 46:1-3
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121