{Walk Forward}

I wrote a blog about 6 months ago called “Joy in Suffering”!  In the book of James, chapter 1 in the Bible it begins with “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”.

Let’s face it; we live in a fallen, broken world and we needed a Savior 2,000 years ago as much as we need that same Savior every single day!

We need Him with us through it all, the good and the not so good.

As I recently walked through a very confusing time in my life, painful to say the least, I did everything in my power to hold tight onto Jesus in the mists of it all. I will be honest; I didn’t always do a good job. By God’s grace He put people around me that kept me close to His Truth! The Bible talks about our enemy some refer to him as satan or the devil, his only real power is deception. Basically he is a liar and the truth of the matter is he doesn’t let up with his lies during our dark times. I tend to think the lies alone can cause the dark times to seem even darker because you hear things like: “well that’s it, there is no hope, you will never be happy, you will be sad for the rest of your life” LIAR LIAR LIAR……. He is a liar, but when you are in the middle of the valley, it is hard to recognize the lie.

During that painful and confusing season the only thing I could hear God say to me was “Walk Forward” ahhhh I screamed in my car “WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?”

“REALLY GOD that is all you have for me? In the mist of my hurt and utter confusion I was hoping you would have something a little more concrete to tell me than -Walk Forward”.

The one thing I knew through it all was “I have to hold on tight to the TRUTH of GOD, I KNOW God is for me, I know God has good things, I can’t see straight at the moment, but I KNOW God will work this for good, I just know that is His nature.”

All of the sudden, things started to make sense in a very real way, when I say real, I mean, SHUT UP LORD, THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED ME TO WALK FORWARD INTO???? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (NOTE: THAT SCREAM IS IN THE MOST SHOCKED AND PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WAY EVER)

As the clouds cleared and the sun started to shine on new and exciting opportunities in my life! I was taken back!

These opportunities connected to dreams that had been hidden away for many many years. I honestly had forgotten about them, BUT God didn’t, He was waiting for me for the past 35 years to STOP trying to make everything happen. He wanted to show me He was God. He wanted me to put down the pencil; He wasn’t going to pry it out of my hands.

It was like darkness became light in a matter of weeks, He started presenting opportunities leading in the way of my dream. Putting pieces together that I could have never done myself, I was, well I still am in a bit of shock and AWE of how real God is and HOW much He really does care about each one of us. The Bible says He knows every hair on our head! Now that is AMAZING.

Praise YOU Jesus, because you ARE in control! Although I do think you wait for us to give you control, total control and sometimes that comes out of brokenness. Now I kind of understand a few more things than I use too. I understand that YOU are my JOY, YOU were with me in the dark valley and you led me to the light. All along YOU had these amazing doors open and You were just patiently waiting for me, but I had to keep walking {forward} when I really didn’t feel like it!

WALK FORWARD, He is leading, push past the feelings, the lies that hold you down, PRESS ON, He has good plans. We may never understand the brokenness of our world, of our lives, but we can understand the goodness of our God. WALK FORWARD with Him, trusting Him, trusting His goodness, even if it seems dark, He is leading you to the light where you will rejoice, praise and stand in amazement all for His Glory.

Praying for your future “helpmate”

I honestly have never really prayed much for my husband. I always kind of thought God already knew what I wanted plus I didn’t really know how, I know that sounds weird.

I guess what I am saying is that I felt a little weird telling God what I wanted in a mate?

I had a dear mentor of mine challenge me to pray in great detail for my husband, as he reminded me praying for my husband is not selfish, God says in His word “it is not good for man (or women) to be alone” and God also says “we have not because we ask not”, my mentor told me to pray for my future husband as if I were painting a picture of our life together. I am a visual person so I started to imagine, what would I want, what do I truly desire in a mate? It was really revealing, it helped me to pray in more detail about our life together, my future husband’s character, and our marriage even.

prayer-on-my-knees4 man-praying-dark

Then as I was reading a book called  “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson- fantastic read by the way, he talked about WHY God wants us to pray (I mean He knows us better than we know ourselves, so doesn’t He KNOW what I desire) the book went on to explain how maybe it is God wanting to know if WE know what we desire, do we know what we want? I was so taken back by this comment in the book; I honestly had not ever thought of it like that, Batterson went on to reference Mark 10:51 in the Bible where Jesus encounters a blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go” said Jesus, “Your faith has healed you” the Bible goes on to say “Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”

Isn’t that interesting, Jesus asked the blind man what he wanted, even though He knew.

It really challenged me to think beyond what I see. What is “out there” as some of us think, it reminded me that God really is God, He created the Universe (not just the earth, the entire UNIVERSE) and He really can do more than we can ask or imagine. (Ephes. 3:20) He writes great stories; He writes great love stories, stories of redemption and He does it all for His glory!

I want to encourage all of you man or women to pray intentionally for your spouse if that be your hearts desire, pray like you are painting a picture, and pray about the everyday things you desire in a marriage.

For me, I love to read and quality time is my love language, I heard Beth Moore say one time that her husband sits on the edge of the bathtub and reads to her as she styles her hair and puts on her make-up in the morning,  I thought, YES, I would LOVE that. I want a husband who enjoys spending time with me.  I know that seems simple, but is it? What if we prayed and wrote down the desires of our heart for a future mate and just what if the God of the universe blessed us with that, wouldn’t that be a great story????

God is faithful and I believe He will!

Leave a comment, tell us what you desire in your future “helpmate”

God is writing the story of our lives!

I never really thought that putting down the pencil would be so hard yet so beautiful at the very same time. I knew what I meant when I named my blog, I knew it meant releasing control of my life, just like it says at the top, under the heading, a moment by moment surrender to the One who created it all! Moment by moment, meaning at each moment surrendering to what I believe God wants even if it was not exactly what I want, or what I would do! My favorite verse in the Bible is “Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Surrendering and trusting that even if it doesn’t make sense, it is God and He created the world, so I would rather be in His will, than my own.writing450

Putting my pencil, my story, my future in His hands, trusting ONLY HE can write the best selling story of my life. It’s never a best seller without pain but the beautiful part is a best seller usually always ends up with a heartwarming ending and I am confident that my God, He works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I know I LOVE Him more than anything and am called by name, for His purpose.

He will work these things as well for my good and His glory.

God is God, when I sit and really dwell in that; I see how real He is. I see that He is good, I am beyond thankful for His guidance even if it hurts, and it has hurt lately. I am beyond grateful that He came to set the captives free and I am one of them, I am beyond grateful that He has plans to prosper me, not to harm me, to give me hope and a future, that He is Peace, He gives wisdom freely without measure and that He will work things out in us for a purpose, a purpose to share those stories of freedom with others and help set them free from the yoke of bondage. He is a Redeemer, He is a Rock, He is Hope, He is worthy of our trust and He is my Perfect Father, He teaches, He preaches, He loves and He adores.

My heart is strengthened by the pain of the past two events in my life, He is strong in our weakness and it is kind of amazing! I feel this right now, I feel that He is holding me and that I am stronger than I was before, because I KNOW who holds me through it all, I know who knows my heart, I know who knows my pain and I know who tells me that He is proud of me. That is my Father in Heaven. He truly is before ALL things and in Him all things hold together and I am glad He is writing my story, because He writes the best stories.

Learning A New Level Of Trust

I thought I trusted God, I thought I had that down, I know quite prideful of me, but just being honest. God knows what we need to take us to the next level of REALLY trusting Him. It all started with traveling half way across the world without much guarantee of anything, it was one of those things that I felt God tell me to do, He opened a way, more than one and it was obvious with the counsel of many wise people that this was from God. Yes there was a cute guy who had peeked my interest there, but God made me give that part back to Him, I didn’t really know what was going to happen with this cute guy, and he would tell you he didn’t know either. I had a few break downs as I prepared for the trip and ended up writing to several girlfriends this just 7 or so days before I left out of desperation

special ladies….. I would love to ask for your prayers around this coming week! As you may know a week from tomorrow (November 15th) I am heading out on an adventure with God, as much as sometimes I think this is about Cory, I know it is about God.. I thought to myself tonight, am I crazy, flying half way across the world to visit a guy I have met 3 times? As I started to pray, God reminded me that He is sending me on this trip and I know that is true because I didn’t actually manipulate one piece of this plan… So I can surly rest in that, I don’t want to get ahead of God in this, I want to walk faithfully and TRUST the One who created it ALL.. I would be honored if you could help me to pray with that in mind, that I rest in God, that I enjoy the journey, that I am excited by the adventure (as traveling the world is a dream of mine that I NEVER thought would come true, I thought it was for other people, never little me) but God puts those dreams in us, so here we go… Please pray that the details come together, favor for seats on the plane (I am flying standby and have many flights to GET ON), comfy seat if possible, safe and FUN travel, divine appointments, clarity, revelation, direction, GOD’S WILL, whatever God leads you to pray… Thank you so much for traveling this little journey with me, I know you are mighty women of God and I can’t even express how blessed I feel to have this many to write this message too… God has truly blessed me by crossing our paths, I am beyond grateful….

Love you!!! linz

When I look back, God answered every one of those prayers. Why do I doubt Him? Why do I doubt Him when plans don’t go the way I had in my head? Why do I even come up with things in my head? To be honest parts of the trip went WAY better than I could have ever hoped or imagined (Ephes. 3:20) and well other parts, like my travel there, my grandfather’s passing and my trip being 4 days shorter than planned, staying two days in Bangkok by myself, one day in Japan because of flight arrangements, that all didn’t go as “planned” so why do I plan? Why do I say I trust God, but then don’t really in every aspect of my life. I am not being hard on myself; I am being honest with myself. It’s time for me to pray that God help me to REALLY trust Him, that He give me grace and mercy and be compassionate on His little girl, but teach her how to TRUST in His goodness, His love for me, His plans for me.

I am sure I am not alone in this growing pain, this struggle, this normal part of walking with Jesus Christ, this part of the journey, I am sure I am not alone. Just know you are not alone either! I want to learn all God has for me to learn, I want to do all God has for me to do and I want to receive all the blessings God has for me to receive, and as my favorite preacher says, it really is a journey!

God’s healing LOVE

Love is one of those words that gets thrown around A LOT, I personally say it a lot, I don’t think twice to throw it out there, especially if the “feeling” is there, like I LOVE payday candy bars, or my heated seats in my car, or the sunshine.   I love the ocean, my friends, my family… But what does LOVE really mean?

 Love [luhv]

1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

3. passion or desire.

4. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?

Now that I read the definition, do I really consider a pay day candy bar this important? I mean sometimes, I do like them, but probably not THIS much! The one thing that is amazing and pretty clear and straight forward in the Bible is that God (our Father in Heaven) LOVES US. I know I know we have all heard this, not new information Lindsay!

I have heard that LOVE is a choice, makes sense to me (I can choose to LOVE payday candy bars if I want- you may choose to love a snickers candy bar?) but we do have a choice, right?

So we can CHOOSE to believe that God the Father, our perfect Father in Heaven LOVES us AND we can to CHOOSE to receive His love, or we can choose to know that scripture that Tim Tebow paints on his face during football games, have it memorized, even tell others about it, but still hold our hand out to God and not really receive His love.

I know it sounds impractical, but honestly my heart has been so healed by receiving God’s love for me, not for the world, but for me. . It was a process to believe and receive the fact that the Creator of the universe, LOVED ME, after ALL I had done, not only does He love me (AND YOU), but in a tender way, a profound way. He feels a warm personal attachment and deep affection for me as His beloved child, I am His sweetheart. In Zechariah 2:8, God refers to us as the apple of His eye.  (that’s God, the One who created the entire universe) that can be a little hard to wrap your brain around.

I read a few years ago in the Bible that God IS Love. Have you ever sat and really thought about that, I hadn’t the first 35 years of my life, but this summer I started reading this book Captivating and it talked a lot about how a women is made and how she requires and desires love, I believe a man is the same (but I can only speak from a women’s perspective) that our Creator designed us to be LOVED, because He Himself is LOVE, He gives us a choice to choose whether we will 1. Love Him and 2. Let Him Love us.

That’s all I have…. I think it’s important to sit in and think on.. Ask God why He loves you and  listen to what comes to your heart/head, write it down, you will blush!

Joy, Peace and mini Meltdowns

2 things you can’t fake are Joy and Peace

“Joy looks above and not ahead, Joy is a deep seated assurance that He is in control and admission we are not”, said by my dear friend Sarah. I personally hate when I lose my Joy because it takes my Peace right along with it. Thinking for a time that I AM IN CONTROL, which causes major stress, fear and worry, that “IT” whatever the “it” is depends on ME!!!!

I use to FEAR my suffering; truly, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop in just about every situation. I was trying to CONTROL with everything I had, for protection, because of fear, it is an ugly cycle. It still happens, it actually happened yesterday!  I do seem to be quicker these days, to re focus and remember who is in control, who I can depend on, who wants me to depend on Him.

Being very honest with you I am currently walking through two of my biggest fears in this very season of life, I have had my control, protection, fear cycle meltdowns a lot more lately than I care to admit. BUT I was reminded this morning that God really does know the END from the BEGINNING… and He is teaching me to let go, trust Him, moment by moment and when I grip to things a little too tightly He gently reminds me, He has got “THIS”! Well in my case, “He has got those

Good Part:  The Bible says 365 times in one form or fashion “Do NOT Fear”.. I really try to take this literally, the Bible is God’s Word, from God, the God who created the universe, He doesn’t say do not fear, except in that situation, He says, DO NOT FEAR. (period)

I believe Joy and Peace are true gifts from God, I believe Joy and Peace are Jesus Himself, in the form of God’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us…

Let’s discuss Peace!

I believe Jesus is Peace because of what the Bible records:

1.       In the book of Isaiah it is said that “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. {Is 9:6}

2.       In the book of John, Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”

{John 14:27}. When Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, He was referring to the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within us, who is God who is Jesus!

Therefore, invite Jesus not only into your life, but also into each and every situation! I invited Jesus into my life a while back, but just yesterday I was living, thinking and reacting to a situation like Jesus was nowhere to be found. Like He had no idea, like it was all up to me and I was a mess to say the least.

When I finally humbled myself and prayed, asked God to help me, HE DID. It was that simple, did the situation change, no! The circumstance I was so upset about, no, to be honest, it didn’t change one bit, but my heart did, I had turned back towards my Peace, back towards my Lord and Savior, my Jesus.

That verse in scripture that talks about the Peace that surpasses all understanding was always something I would pray for all those around me who were in a season of suffering, but now that I face my own valley, my own season of suffering, my own very fear, I feel and have felt “that” very peace that truly does NOT make sense. The circumstance doesn’t change, but something inside of me does!

If I think about it, it actually seems unreal to me. I know it is NOT of me, I know how I usually react to some of the very situations going on in my life right now and this peace, this is not me, it is something in me, it is Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God. I struggled at first wanting to sit in my fear, my sadness, my potential despair, I still do sometimes, like doing that was going to change the circumstance or something!

I lived without much peace or joy most of my life, I basically wondered why me in every trial and tribulation that came my way.. But no more. If it’s truly up to me to allow Jesus to be JOY and Peace in and through me, then I will, even if I slip up from time to time.

He promises He will walk with us; He will NOT leave us or forsake us! {Is. 43:2, Psalm 23:4, Hebrews 13:5}

Whether you believe in Jesus or not you will endure suffering on THIS earth, but with Jesus you will have PEACE.

Joy (Himself) Jesus helps us to endure the trail. BUT you have to receive the Joy, don’t try to muster it up, it’s Jesus just simply humble yourself and turn back towards Him, your Peace and your Joy!

Thoughts?