So hard to forget

Why is it so easy to remember all the bad stuff and so easily forget the good? Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with negative feelings and regrets from the past that I know that are gone…they have been taken away by the blood of Jesus…but I won’t let them go. Why do those feelings resurface so quickly when things get tough? I know and believe with all of my heart each promise that God makes me in the Bible. I believe that I have been made new in him and that I am daily being transformed into the person he wants me to be. So why don’t those feelings – feelings of pride and of being loved unconditionally by my Heavenly Father surface first when life gets tough? Eventually my mind and heart get there, but typically, my first reactions are negative…I’m not good enough, not worthy, etc. I am told through his holy word that God keeps no record of wrongs. I am promised that because of the sacrifice that Christ made for me that I can stand holy and righteous before God. So then why can’t I let all of the past go? Why is it so hard to forget? The devil really knows how to find and play with our weaknesses. He looks at me and says, “I just need to remind her that she’s never felt like she measures up…she’s not worthy.” And he jumps in and grabs hold. Why does his voice sometimes ring louder than the voice of the Holy Spirit who lives within me and guides me every day? I know that I am a beloved child of God. I know that He is stronger than the devil and that he is my guide. I know that I DO NOT have to live with the shame of past mistakes! I guess I just need to let the devil know – loud and clear – that MY GOD loved me even while I was still a sinner and that His love never fails. I need to stop allowing the devil to speak negativity into my world by listening more closely to the voice of the sweet spirit dwelling in me. I have to be the one to forget the hard stuff….cause God already has.

Dear God,

Please forgive me when I listen to the whispers of doubt that play with my mind and my heart. Thank you for loving me enough to save me from myself. I worship and adore you! And I know that you are working in my life each day, and that through that work I continue to grow in your love.

Amen.

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Spirit Lead Me

Recently I heard the song “Ocean” by Hillsong United. There is a line in the bridge of this song that has resonated with me so deeply. It has been playing in my mind since I heard it. The words are “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…” It’s one of those lines that as a writer myself I wish I had written. The image conveyed by these words is so powerful and meaningful to me. But I think that’s really just one reason that the words have been with me for days.

I earnestly believe that God reveals things to us as He feels we are ready for them or as He sees that we need them. Most mornings, before I jump into my daily walk in the word, I pray and thank God for His blessings, and I ask for guidance and wisdom as I open His word. For the past several mornings I have found myself reading and studying in the Holy Spirit. I believe that I personally do not rely nearly enough on the Spirit in my every day life. I know what the Bible says about the Spirit in us, but in my day to day life I’m not sure that I allow it to work in me. But I continue to study and grow in that aspect of my Christian walk. I think that just the words “Spirit lead me…” really spoke to me. I can’t ask the Spirit to follow me…or tell the Spirit which way I would like things to go…or guide myself. It has to be “Spirit lead me.” That is God’s plan. His perfect plan. He sent us the Spirit to dwell in us. Somehow it’s very comforting to think that if I honestly allow that to happen in my life then I don’t have to be the one trying to find my way, because I have the Spirit to lead. We are told in Romans 5 that the Spirit will also fill our hearts with love. The Holy Spirit we are told will also help us in our weakness, and plead for us in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8).the power of the Spirit is best exemplified in the following verse from Galatians. “…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” What an amazing God we serve who loved us so much that He sent his son to die for us while we were still sinners…and then He blessed us with the Spirit to keep us In his care. I know that I have barely tapped into fully understanding what a gift the Holy Spirit is, but I do know that I will continue to study and learn and to follow the Spirit’s lead.

The second part of this beautiful phrase is probably my favorite but of figurative language ever. Trust is difficult for many of us. Very few people could honestly say that they trust anything or anyone completely, fully without reservation. But even if we did speak of that kind of trust, there is something about the image of “without borders”. Picture that…endless, infinite, open, ongoing, without borders. Nothing restraining or confining it. That is such a beautiful picture of what trust should be. I love the thought of trusting without borders when it comes to people.. Unfortunately there are very few people out there in our Iives that we could truly say that about. I am so blessed to have a husband in whom I can put that kind of trust. It is such a feeling of peace and contentment to trust without borders in the mate that God chose for me. And as much of a blessing that that is, trusting God without borders is even more of a blessing. God has a plan for my life and though sometimes I try to control it (okay…even obsess) I trust in His word and His plan for my life. He proves His love for us in endless ways every day of our lives. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us in each stage of His plan. Our part of the deal is that we allow ourselves to be led and that we trust in our God as He provides for us. But not with the kind of trust that we as mere humans are only capable of…but with the kind of trust that the Holy Spirit can instill in us. Trust without borders.

By the way, the rest of this song is beautiful in its language, imagery and message. I thank God for revealing those words to me in His timing, and I pray that I will keep them with me and allow them to remind me echo day that the God I serve loves me…without borders.

High Road

It has been a very long time since I have blogged. I find myself wondering sometimes why that is, but at the same time I do not beat myself up for it either. Life has been very good – and very busy lately. In the course of just a few months, I got engaged, got married, became a “step” mother to three new kids, and moved all seven of us into our new home. Blogging fell to the wayside as we navigated through all of the changes. And quite honestly, nothing has seemed so urgent in my thoughts and prayers that I was drawn to blogging – until now. As most followers of Jesus, I am constantly working on growing closer to God, listening more carefully to the guidance of the Spirit, and praying for wisdom from my heavenly Father. At times, I feel like I have come a long way and I see myself becoming the Godly woman I know I was called to be…but at other times there are things that I still struggle with. It’s times like those that I am so thankful for the fact that God loves me even when I struggle. He even loved me when I was still broken. God showed that great love for me “by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8). That is a great comfort to me as I continue to grow in His love. I am still very much human and broken. I have been battling a situation lately that makes me just want to yell and scream and really let people know what I think about the way that I they have made me feel – based on their actions and hurtful words. I have had to walk away, bite my tongue, pray, look the other way, pray, bite my tongue some more. There is something just basic in our nature that leads us to want to seek “revenge.” Or to “have the last word.” Why is that? As I have fought my way through these ugly emotions, I have turned to God’s word for my guide. Recently I have felt “shunned” by some people whom I considered to be friends (and brothers and sisters in Christ). The broken me wanted to just let them know all about how shameful and hurtful their behavior was…..but God told me this…”If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Now – that is a bit dramatic for this situation, perhaps – but is it really? Do I consider them enemies – no….but the point is – revenge or pay back is not ever the answer – be it friends or enemies. I am supposed to take the high road. I have to remember that we are ALL sinners and that Christ died for ALL of us. My job is not to judge, or take revenge. Yea, but they hurt me! Why can’t I just send a little email and let them know how disappointed I am in them…but God says something different. God tells me to “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, and so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3: 13). It’s so much easier to point out other’s faults when I am the one who feels wronged. So much easier to judge another’s actions when I am the one who is hurting…but God says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37). I certainly want my Father in heaven to forgive me – so I must be able to forgive others…..even if they don’t ask for forgiveness. Even if they don’t acknowledge hurtful actions and words…I have to forgive them. I may never again have the chance to speak my mind or share my feelings. There may never be reconciliation…but there must be forgiveness. Reconciliation takes two, forgiveness takes one. I have to be that one if I truly want to live the way that God wants me to live. As I have dealt with this situation over the past few days, I have learned so much about myself and the person I really want to be. I will not say all of those things that I wish I had said. I will not speak ill of anyone – regardless of the way they speak of me. I will ask the Spirt to guide my steps, thoughts, and words. And I will take the high road.