{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”

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!

Grasshoppers

The Bible says, behold God. Behold God; I passed by it in my reading, not thinking much of it. Then I was praying and asking God what I should write about, I felt Him tell me write on Behold. I am thinking, how I am going to write an entire blog on Behold. I don’t even know what it means.

So of course I looked it up in the Merriam-Webster

Behold: to perceive through sight or apprehension (to comprehend), to gaze upon.

I thought how do I perceive or begin to comprehend God?

I want too, I have at times, but I wasn’t “feeling” it, ya know…..

I read on down a little bit in Isaiah 40 and was kind of shocked at what I found…. I noted some of the compelling thoughts from the prophet Isaiah on the magnificence of God; I asked a friend who is very gifted seeing the big picture of the situation or person in the Bible to tell me more about Isaiah and his story. He said he lived during the reign of 4 kings including Hezekiah the King of Judah. During his reign the King of Assyria came up against God’s people and proudly said that he would defeat them like they did every other nation. Hezekiah and Isaiah humbled themselves and God sent the Angel of the Lord and struck down thousands of the soldiers that came up against God’s people. God’s people did nothing. Isaiah prophesied that God would do this great work! Also, Isaiah prophesied often about Jesus coming much later!

Read below what Isaiah said about God, read slowly, and really think on each one, sometimes I have to stop and remember who God really is! (All Scripture in BOLD comes from Isaiah 40)

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor?

14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?

Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?

22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

28 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.

29 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;

31 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.

When I read that, slowly, out loud, I start to begin to understand what the Bible means by Behold, gaze upon with awe and wonder. It gives me a place to start when life is crazy and I remember what is instructed in the Bible, Be still and KNOW that GOD IS GOD.

If He really did create everything, is there anything more important? Is there anything better to seek, read, learn about and gaze upon?

Oh ps. I loved how Isaiah called us grasshoppers; there is no other reason for the title except it made me laugh!

The word ‘unforgivenss’ is not in the dictionary

I think that is weird, why wouldn’t it be in the dictionary? When you look up the word unforgivess in the Merriam Webster is says “there is no official word for unforgiveness” which I just found strange, because I think most of us well meaning, loving, lovable, kind people walk around with unforgivness in our heart all the time and it just eats at our  soul without us really even knowing.

I discovered this first when I had unforgivness in my heart since childhood about someone close to me that hurt me (not meaning too) but did and very deeply.  Truly it had affected my life in every way I can think of, from physical illness, to emotional illness, leading me almost to cause harm to myself.

It wasn’t what happened that made me so (for lack of a better term) “ill”, it was the unforgiveness I carried around for the next 25 years that caused the illness of my body and my emotions. It was a lack of understanding that people make mistakes, well meaning, loving people, just make mistakes in life. This person’s intent was not to harm me, this person actually loves me very much, but I couldn’t see that, because the unforgivness had blinded me with bitterness and resentment that I could not see past. The truth is that person, never knew, and still probably doesn’t know how hurt I was, because “it” the situation had nothing to do with me, even though it affected me in ways I can’t even explain on this little blog entry.

Once I understood how Jesus came to earth, to show us the character of God, then to take on the sins (or the mistakes) of the world (the world, meaning me, because I am one of us in this world and so are you) Jesus came to die for me (and you) for my mistakes (and your mistakes) and the mistakes of those who hurt both, me and you!

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Once I let myself see my mistakes, they actually ran through my head like an old time movie playing in the screen of my eyes.  It was horrific, I have to be honest. I think I wanted to throw up, I know tears (and probably snot) where streaming down my face, as I saw all the ways I made mistakes, the ways I accidentally hurt people, they ways I even knowingly hurt people out of my own anger and pain. I suddenly understood the sacrifice that Jesus made by hanging on that cross until His death, He died so I could be forgiven of all my mistakes (past, present and future). The next thing that popped into my head was, Lindsay, Jesus also died for the mistakes of that person who hurt you so deeply. It’s time to forgive them!

It is too long to continue this story, but there is more! The journey of forgiveness in my life has freed ME, I didn’t say THEM, I said ME from such pain, sorrow, guilt and gripping fear. I could write a book on this, because it changed my whole life once I was able to see that Jesus died for me, for my “mistakes” little and BIG, He also died for the mistakes of those who hurt me and once I understood that and forgave those people, my life changed in a dramatic way!

I hope you will think about this, ask God, He will answer, ask Him who you need to forgive! Then even though it doesn’t “feel” fair to forgive for what they did to you, think about what our mistakes did to Jesus! Feelings are not always true, do as God asks and forgive as you have been forgiven. I promise, you will be FREE if you do!

I wrote a blog post a few months ago with some help on the actual process of forgiving see here!