When Darkness Comes

When the curtain of darkness surrounds you, almost swallows you whole, where do you go? What do you do?

I find myself there more times than I care to admit. The smothering sensation that will leave me gasping for breath and wishing for the day to end falls. It falls heavily and quickly, and the strength needed to escape doesn’t come as easily as I would wish. But in those moments, I have two choices: I can fade into the background and allow the darkness to consume me or I can extend my hand and reach out for the One who is wanting mine.

Darkness is a funny thing. It can be scary and comforting all at the same time.

Darkness can usher in fear through the unknown. Leave us questioning what we’ll find lurking around the corner. Too scared to look under the bed? Me too. The unknown is a cold and lonely place.

But that same darkness can also bring a sense of comfort as we choose to bunker down and wallow in our doubts and fears. Choosing to stay resolute in a posture of defeat.  Oftentimes that feels easier. But it’s not. Because the longer we stay there, in that darkness, the longer it will take to find a way out.

The battle out is hard. Fighting takes a lot of strength, courage, and stamina. But I’ve learned that we don’t fight alone. We haven’t been left alone to fight these battles. Jesus came, He conquered, and He won the victory. But victory doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain or disappointment. We have to weather through the hard in order to reach the victory.

You can be certain that the enemy is watching and waiting to pounce. Looking to destroy and add to the darkness. You have to be prepared for the frustration when the disappointments abound. Aware of the anger that grows when it feels like God isn’t hearing your prayers or doing something to remedy the pain. Because it happens. We question His goodness. We question His presence. Sometimes we even find ourselves sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor crying out to Him in anger because we’re tired. Tired of feeling ignored. And when we’re feeling hurt or disappointed it’s easy to lose sight of Him. In the middle of the chaos and pain, it’s easy to miss the sound of His voice. And we can get even more lost in the darkness.

But He’s there and He’s listening. He’s fully aware of what is happening and why. And if we’re paying attention and listening, He makes His presence known. Whether it’s through a friend or a book or a passage of scripture. In that moment, He finds us where we are, and He speaks exactly what our hearts need to hear but we must be listening. Willing to hear what’s not always easy to hear.

So we must be still. If we want the victory, we must be still and listen to His voice.

The enemy wants that victory. But if we just hold on and fight then we begin to see the rewards that come from being faithful to that which we believe. We begin to experience the victory that Jesus says we have. When we wage war in the valley, we eventually hit those mountain tops where God reveals His splendor and faithfulness in ways that take our breath away.

So we mustn’t give up! Giving up will just leave us empty and searching for something else to fill the emptiness. Instead, we must fight because fighting ignites a fire within us that allows us to see a bigger purpose for ourselves, and for all that God is doing in our lives. It allows God to shine through us. It offers people hope where they will find encouragement through our struggle and in our stories. Our battle can help others find victory and strength in their darkness. So don’t be afraid of the battle. And most importantly…. don’t be afraid of your story! Use to inspire others to continue fighting! Because it’s worth it! Because victory is just around the corner!

“But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Last Resort

“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your disease.”

Mark 5:34

Desperation leads to Despair.

What things have to happen before we finally find ourselves turning to Jesus?

When Jesus walked the earth, we saw countless stories about those who turned to Him with their struggles. Most often, they had exhausted all other resources and He became the last resort. They had heard His name and word had spread that He performed miracles, so it was worth a shot to find Him.

The story of the women who bled for 12 years is one on my most favorite stories in the bible.  It is an incredibly short story, but it is packed full of so much goodness and promise.

This woman, who found herself at the feet of Jesus, had tried everything to heal her condition of bleeding that had lasted for twelve long years. Twelve years of balancing the tight rope of hope that this next medicine or treatment would work to heal her condition which would only lead to having her hope shattered. But now she finds herself pushing her way through the crowd of people gathered to get to Jesus. With hope of being healed, she finds herself at the feet of Jesus where she touches his robe, and she’s instantly healed.

But her healing does not go unnoticed by Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, Who touched my garments?” And in that moment, the woman “came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.”

This woman did not know that on that day she would have this powerful encounter with the living Son of God. She knew she wanted physical healing of this affliction, but she did not know that with this healing would also come a spiritual healing and salvation. But Jesus. 

In that moment, He wanted her to own her actions and to share the news with those around her of what had taken place within her body and so He asks, in a crowd of people, “who touch my garment?”. Though she was afraid and most likely expected punishment, she fell before Him and she spoke the whole truth. And in that moment, without judgment, Jesus looked her in the eyes and called her “Daughter.” No condemnation. No punishment. No mistreatment of her with unkindness. Instead, Jesus calls her daughter and tells her that her faith in Him has made her well.

This woman came for healing and though she received it, she also found peace in the security of Jesus. God’s power of love and mercy took away her illness and that illness was replaced with God’s love, His mercy, His compassion, and His peace.

Where in your life do you find yourself exhausted from all that has gone wrong, looking for relief in all the wrong places?  How many times has Jesus been your last resort?

Today, I want to encourage you to take a moment to think through the times He has been your last resort.  Ask yourself why and then throw yourself at His feet. Reach out and grab his robe. Trust that He is loving and merciful and will turn to you with compassion and love. Be confident in knowing that He will look you in the eye and call you daughter and that He will take away the pain and heal your broken heart in more ways than you could ever dream or imagine.

How Long?

How many times have I asked God, “how much longer?”  Truthfully, I have lost count. There are days when I just wish I could get a tiny glimpse of His eternal perspective. I keep telling myself that if only I could see just a little bit of where all of this is going then maybe it would help me better understand why He has allowed some really hard things to happen in our family.

Perhaps, like me, you have prayed for God to turn a situation around in your life but instead of things getting better, your greatest fears have become your reality. You feel forgotten by God and totally alone. You find yourself on a journey you never wanted to take and the constant question that plays over in your head is “why has He allowed this in my life?”

A few months ago, I was reading through Psalms 13 and was struck with the question asked by David:

Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Those words resonated so deeply in my soul but at the same time offered a comfort and peace.  In that moment, I realized that we can take our questions to God. We can be honest with Him about our emotions and hurts.  We don’t have to hold back or be afraid that He might be offended by our outburst or tears.  Instead, we can be confident that He knows our hurt but even more so, He sees our hearts.  Instead of venting to someone else or turning to social media to distract us once again, we can bring our broken hearts straight to the throne of God.

David goes on to say:

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart and to ask God for His supernatural help. There is no relief when we attempt to undo the pain or correct the struggle on our own. Trying to work in our strength only leads to deeper pain. God alone is the source of our strength and the only one who holds the answers. He is the restorer of our souls and the one who can and will lift us from the pits of despair. We must reach the place where we acknowledge that we cannot fix things ourselves or our damaged situation, and instead find ourselves at His feet in surrender asking the Almighty to stand in the gap on our behalf.

David ends with:

But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
 I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.

Focus on what is true. Everything around us may change but God is our constant. He is in control.  He is good and He is faithful.  In every season, no matter how painful the circumstances, we have reason to rejoice because He is a God who delivers. He fights for us and in the end, He will have the victory! When we are facing things we cannot control, and choose to believe He is who He says, even when things do not make sense, our faith is strengthened.

Remember that you do not need to hide your feelings from God. He knows each of us. We can pour out our hearts to Him and trust that He hears us and He sees us.  His character never changes and the love He has for His children runs deep. When you are going through a season of injustice, pain and suffering don’t avoid your time with God because of fear in not knowing how to voice your frustrations and hurt. Pray to Him in confidence and freedom, knowing that He IS your loving Father that you can share your unspeakable pain with and trust Him for all He is and all that He has done. God will keep us standing and He WILL give us a new song to sing!!


Over the years, life has been full of many disappointments and lost dreams with what often has felt like little promise of a turnaround.

If I’m being completely honest, had God given me the insight at 19 of what my journey might have looked like, I’m certain I would have done many things differently. Had I held the foreknowledge of the events that would transpire over the course of my life, I think I might have run the other way from many of the choices I made when I was younger. Yes, those words might sound harsh, but it is in the reality and harshness of life where we find our greatest blessings.

We were never promised an easy road, and I won’t pretend that life is without disappointments and pain. I’ve learned that to share my story and who God is in my story, all the parts; the good, the bad and the ugly should be shared so others can be encouraged and find the hope that can only be found in Jesus. So, the stark reality is this; life isn’t butterflies and roses. When we choose to follow Jesus, we are not handed a “get out of jail free” card and knowing that truth, we need to be there to support, encourage and remind one another of what stands on the other side of our doubts and fears. That there is hope in the but God moments.

But God. He is so good to remind us of where hard roads can take us. For me, He reminds me through the amazing gift of my 5 amazing kids. These five came from a situation I would have never chosen for myself all those years ago had I known the destruction and chaos that would evolve out of many years of dishonesty. However, God uses and continues to use those amazing kids of mine to constantly remind me of His ability to take the ugliest and most painful experiences and turn them into tapestries of beauty that far exceed anything I could create or even imagine on my own (Ephesians 3:20).

His reminders and provisions give me the tenacity to hold on to the unknown because of the confidence I can have in knowing what He’s capable of creating and doing in my life. I’m reminded that this story, my story isn’t finished and that there are many more chapters to be written. And with confidence I can expect that once this season, this chapter, concludes I will once again stand amazed at the way God works in all things when we trust and love Him.

I am aware that the words I have written may sound absurd to many who have made it this far in this post, but the truth is that God can use our most painful situations and turn them into great moments of joy and thankfulness. That as He continues working in our lives, we can discoverer a peace and faith that will transform our lives. Rest assured there will be pain and disappointment, but we can rest in knowing the truth of who He is.

Knowing all I’ve written to be true from my own experiences, I will encourage you to choose to hang on longer and to trust Him more fully. I encourage you to stand guard and be aware of the attacks of the enemy whose plan is to discourage you from trusting and remembering the goodness and faithfulness of God.

Life didn’t turn out the way I would have planned for myself as may be the same for many of you reading, but up to this point, I still wouldn’t choose for things to be any different. God has most definitely blessed me with way more than I could have ever hoped for myself and moved in ways I could have never imagined. So, until this season passes, I will find comfort in knowing that He is faithful and that He will move in mighty ways again! Will you choose the same?


Twenty some odd years ago, I was preparing for a life of marriage and family.  Learning to become the wife I thought I should be. Soaking up all the knowledge being thrown my way.  I was bound and determined that I would do this marriage thing right. I was nineteen years old and had dreamed for a very long time about being a wife and a mom. And it was all about to come true.

During an extended weekend of marriage counseling, it was repeated more times than I can count that, “you never speak negatively of your spouse to anyone.” The reason being that for you, a situation may arise that causes hurt or frustration that you and your spouse might encounter but later end up working through and are able to move on from in a positive direction.  But for those in your life that you might share this struggle with, they are stuck in that moment involving what you have shared and may not be able to look past the offenses of your spouse and so they then hold it against them.  That made sense to me and so that became a principle I held to with everything in me.

Fast forward many years later. I had spent many years married. Many things happened. Many things kept a secret because of a principle. I did not speak a negative word about my spouse. I followed those words of instruction as if my life depended on it and it cost me. a lot.

It wasn’t until yesterday, when I was having a conversation with someone that this was pointed out to me. I have been through YEARS of counseling trying to reconcile what had been done to me by family and friends.  I experienced some of the worst forms of betrayal, and I have been unable to figure out why. But now I better understand.

The lesson I thought I learned, and what I thought was good advice, ended up being anything but.

I had never once spoken ill of my spouse or the things happening in my home.  I never shared with anyone until it was too late.  And because I never spoke up. No one believed me.

A few months ago, our pastor was talking about marriage. One of the things he shared that stuck with me was that by the time most people turn to their pastors for help, things have gotten bad.  To the point, that it makes it difficult for staff to determine what is happening or how they can help.  He also said that usually by the time someone comes forward they have reached the point that they are beyond wanting to save their marriage.  As I thought about his statement, it made a lot of sense, and it can be applied to the “principle” shared with me all those years ago. Talk to someone before things get worse. Do not stay quiet!  Find a trusted person that you can confide in about what is taking place. Keep a journal. If you are not in immediate danger, write down events as they happen and then check in with someone who can help you process and decide what steps to take next.

At the end of the day, people mean well. But people are not always right. And this goes for believers too.

The takeaway of this story: no one needs to trash or demean a spouse to ANYONE because they are mad at said spouse. That is NOT okay. However, if someone is causing you harm, repeatedly, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally, DO NOT STAY QUIET. Tell someone! Abuse of any form is not okay and should not be kept quiet.

Bikinis, Midriffs and booty shorts

Last night I was having a conversation with my teenage daughter.  We were mulling over the dress code for camp which led to a discussion that hurts my heart each time I have to think or talk about it.  The hurt that comes from acknowledging how badly the church has failed our teens. For whatever reason, a lot of churches are afraid to talk about sex.  Truly talk about it. To talk about the ins and outs of something so beautifully created by God for marriage between a husband and wife. To talk about how we each are wired and why our bodies react or respond to certain things the way they do.  It almost feels like it is a dirty subject to even write about but here goes.

We have spent YEARS shaming our daughters.  And when I say years, I am talking about generations of daughters. We have told them to cover up because if they don’t they are sluts or being provocative or you fill in the blank.  And yes, these are things being said to our girls. Now before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I believe girls/women should dress modestly. I am not in favor of women dressing in whatever scantily clad outfit (if you are uncertain the meaning of the phrase, google will happily share images with you) they choose. Especially if one claims to be a follower of Jesus. But all that aside, the shaming we have placed on our daughters needs to stop.

I am the mom of two wonderfully charming daughters. Both totally different. In so many ways. But there is one way in which they are the same. They both have my incredibly long legs. Now I know to some, this would be a great blessing. But to those of us with such things, they can be far from a blessing.  You see, most schools or youth camps have dress code rules which limits the length of which your shorts or skirts must fall. It often is 1-2 inches above the knee. Which for a lot of people is perfectly acceptable. Unless you have long legs and then it is near impossible to find shorts that measure up. Pardon the pun.

Yes, we could buy boy shorts (which has in fact been suggested by adult leaders which is upsetting to me as a mom and woman) or cut off a pair of jeans to make them into long shorts that are acceptable to man’s standards but why?  What are we teaching our girls, who God created in this way about their bodies?  What statement are we making regarding God’s workmanship? Let me tell you as someone who experienced this as a teenager.  Here is what I learned. We are teaching our girls that there is something wrong with my body.  That my body isn’t normal. That something is wrong with my legs. This then leads me to ask, why would God make me this way if I can’t wear clothes that properly fit? Why would He make me this way?  I don’t want to look like a slut or be a slut but why would He create me in a way that I can’t find clothes that fit the way the leaders tell me they should?  Each of those questions, are questions I asked myself repeatedly as a young teenager.  I would cry and get angry because I didn’t understand why I had to be made this way. I hated my body.  To this day, and as much as it embarrasses me to share this, you will not catch me in a pair of shorts unless I’m at the beach because it is still something I struggle with.

So this brings me to my next thought. Who came up with the standards that have been set for dress codes?  Men? Women who don’t struggle with body issues? I’m genuinely asking.

Last night Matthew and I shared the ongoing struggles of boys/men when it comes to women and modesty. Here’s the thing, until the church starts talking about sex in a very real and honest way with our teens, girls will continue to be shamed, labeled, and left scarred. We need to reach a place where we are not afraid to have the big conversations. To explain what makes guys different from girls. Why we as women NEED to cover up. It makes me so angry to be walking through the mall or sitting at a restaurant only to see another woman half dressed with her cleavage exposed and her leggings so tight you can see everything. Why does it make me angry? Because I understand the effect it has on my husband as well as my teenage boys. The difference though between my husband and boys is that my husband makes the choice to look away because he has trained himself to do so as a way to honor me and to control his thoughts but my boys, that might not be the case. Boys/men are wired to look. Wired to enjoy. They are visual. Song of Solomon is chocked full of how much Solomon enjoyed the breasts and body of his wife. It is natural. But it is natural and healthy within the confines of a marriage.

Matthew explained this all in such a great way to help my youngest and I both understand why girls need to cover up.  It’s not because our teen girls are doing something wrong. It isn’t because our boys are doing something wrong but instead because our boys have eyes that enjoy what God has created but are not wise enough yet at a young age to look away and/or control their thoughts. This can be a reason why they can struggle and find themselves falling into unwise or sinful choices.  It is not our (girls) doing but we can play a part and should be responsible and accountable for the part we play. Again, especially as believers.

We as girls have our own issues which typically revolve around identity and often leaves young girls looking for validation in ways that are not healthy. This too is something that needs to be resolved but most definitely resolved in ways other than being shamed.

As for the measurement for shorts and skirts, realistic expectations need to be made for all body types. For modesty within women, if you are a believer then I shouldn’t have to share what the bible says on how we as women should dress. We should know. And if you’ve never read Song of Solomon and taken in the beauty of the book and the beauty of what God created, then I would highly encourage it. It might help us better understand just how God created men and women so differently and why we should celebrate those differences while at the same time respecting those differences. But that can’t be expected within our teenage crowd if we’re too afraid to talk about it with them.


A friend of mine has been praying the psalms over me daily.  Today, I am claiming Psalm 34 for myself. 

2011 taught me a lot.  I know the story of Esther and Job like never before.  I accept God’s love and grace for me like never before.  I understand the sacrifice in which Christ made for me on the cross like never before.  I know and am more confident than ever before that “Nothing touches your life that has not first passed through the hands of God. He is in full control, and because He is, He has the sovereign right to permit trials that we don’t deserve.” (Charles Swindoll) 

I have listened to those who have gone on and on about how God did not allow any of these bad things to happen.  He would not have allowed this outcome.  They have stated in so many words that this outcome is punishment.  Again, here is my statement to you….

I will begin with an amazing quote from Charles Swindoll that better states anything I feel I could write at the moment.  In this quote, he is speaking on the story of Job found in Job 1:1-12. As he (Job) sleeps, another scene opens to us that Job doesn’t see. Similar things happen in our lives as well. When we’re not aware of it, God is carrying out a plan that would amaze us and, on occasion, shock us. He is permitting things to get underway that we would have never expected. Without Job’s knowledge, something is happening in the heavenlies. We are transported from Planet Earth to the third heaven to witness its occurrence.
As the Lord God looks about, He sees His angelic servants who have come to present themselves before Him. And why not? They’re accountable to Him. They do His bidding as they carry out His divine will.
Suddenly the Accuser appears among the other angels. He is the evil one who accuses God’s people day and night.
Pause and remember that Satan is not a little imp with a red body, carrying a pitchfork, and sitting on one of your shoulders whispering ugly little nothings in your ear. That’s a medieval caricature that Satan would love for you to believe. Instead, he is the most attractive, brilliant, powerful archangel that God ever created. He has not lost his brilliance. He has not lost his power. He has certainly not lost his appealing beauty. He is also insidious. Satan’s favorite method of working is behind the scenes. Because he is invisible does not mean he is not real. As we will see a little later, he has personality. And he is engaged in a relentless commitment to destroying God’s people and opposing God’s plan. It is this insidious adversary we find standing in the heavenlies among the group of faithful angelic servants.
Look at the permission slip He hands Satan. “All that he has is yours to deal with.” He adds a caveat, “only do not put forth your hand on him” (Job 1:12). “Don’t you touch his life. Don’t touch his body or his soul or his mind. You can remove his possessions, and you can attack his family, but leave the man, himself, alone.”
Satan departed from the presence of the Lord with a sinister grin. Keep in mind, Job knew nothing of that dialogue and the evil that would soon befall him. And remember this: we don’t know what wicked schemes Satan is planning against us either.”
There it is my friends.  The key to the story.  Keep in mind, Job knew nothing of that dialogue and the evil that would soon befall him. And remember this: we don’t know what wicked schemes Satan is planning against us either.” Everything was taken from him.  He lost everything because God gave permission to Satan to test the faith of Job.  God did not personally inflict the pain, death and heartache upon Job Himself but He gave Satan the Ok. God gave permission to Satan to do as he pleased to Job however there was a restriction in which Satan had to abide to. Do you understand that?  Satan was given limits.  He could not step out of what God permitted!
God is in control of everything that takes place.  Satan has great power and creativity but God sets the boundaries.  There are a lot out there who do not want to hear that much less believe it.  There was a time I didn’t want to either.  I remember when Columbine happened.  I was young in my faith and questioned why in the world God would allow such a tragedy to take place.  I didn’t understand how he could allow innocent children to die.  I can now understand my own questions of why but only because of my faith and confidence in who He is.
God has a plan we do not understand.  He has a reason behind every event whether good or bad.  Yes, sin and Satan are behind the horror that takes place but God allows those things so that we may draw closer to Him.  He allows these things so that we may place our hope and trust in Him alone and not ourselves.  We cannot control what happens.  Every event whether great or small is accomplished, determined, played out only after it has passed through the hands of God and His approval has been given. 
God sees all things.  He sees the big picture.  We are only a small portion of a big plan.  In our darkest hour, we cannot see an inch in front of us but it leaves us vulnerable to trust God for direction.  We’re left searching for His presence and His voice.  For me, one of the exciting things I have found is knowing that He is right there.  He is allowing a process to unfold in order for my faith to grow.  I have confidence in knowing that He will not allow evil to overcome and have the victory.  In the moment, it may appear that evil has won but I have confidence in His promises that there is still so much more to my story and so much more to come. 
Psalm 34 says, (vs. 15-18) “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
I believe this!  I claim it!  I know that God’s hand is upon me and He sees all things.  I believe He hears every word spoken by me, to me as well as knows every tear I have cried.  He is fully aware of the hurt I have had and the cause of those hurts. I know He will rescue me from those who have caused harm.  I believe it!  I claim it with everything in me because He has proven time and time again that He IS faithful!! Through it all I have realized that God turns His back on those that do harm and evil to others.  I believe a point comes when the heart of those who do evil becomes hardened and God’s hand is no longer upon them. 

Psalm 34 also says that (vs20)“The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;not one of them is broken.”

We are not promised a life without heartache and storms.  Without those things we would never grow in our faith. However we are given the promises throughout scripture that God is on our side and that He WILL rescue us each and every time!  He protects me all the time, every time!

Psalm 34:21-22 says that “calamity will surely overtake the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve Him.  No one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.”

How can you argue with that verse?  God promises to punish those who are wicked and who devise evil schemes.  You do not cause harm to His children and go unpunished.  He redeems those who serve Him and we can take refuge in His arms of love and know that in the end, He has the victory! All the time, every time!!

I have been through a lot but I know others who have been through so much more.  We are all dealt crummy hands in life at one time or another but the choice is ours.  Will we cling to Christ and trust His best for us or will we allow doubt to creep in leaving us to forget His faithfulness?  The choice is yours to make!  What choice will you make in 2012?


I have a friend who is dealing with great hurt.  I’ve been there.  I know the emptiness, the pain, the disappointment and the sorrow.  I know the questions we throw at God in hopes of some form of relief or answer.  I know the doubts that form in regards to our worth.  I know.

This is for you….


I was regretting the past
And fearing the future…
Suddenly the Lord was speaking:
“MY NAME IS I AM.” He paused.
I waited.  He continued.

“When you live in the past,
with its mistakes and regrets,
 it is hard.
I am not there.
My name is not I was.”

When you live in the future,
its problems and fears,
it is hard.  I am not there.
My name is not I will be.”

When you live in this moment,
it is not hard.
I am here.

Helen Mallicoat

It is so hard to stay in this moment.  When we are hurting we search our past in hopes of an answer.  We look to the future in hopes of a resolution.  Christ said that we cannot do that. He told us not to worry about tomorrow.  He told us not to worry about things that are out of our control. He is our provider.  He supplies our every need out of His unconditional love for us.  There is nothing that we lack.  We may not always see it that way but once our eyes are opened and we walk in faith, we recognize that we have all that we truly need and so much more.

Our hearts deceive.  Our hearts long for things that we may not necessarily need at this moment in time.  When we allow our hearts to long for “things” (whatever that may be for you at the moment) we become “sick”. (Proverbs 13:12)

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12

Every woman is familiar with unfulfilled longings that can come in the form of material possessions, attention, another child, etc. We wait and  hope for something that will fill that desire or empitness. No matter how long we wait, we will end up being disappointed, heart sick and in deep despair. When we hit rock bottom, we can even reach a place where we  limit God or settle for less than what He has planned for our life. Either way, we lose. 

How much better off would we be if we chose to trust in God alone to fulfill our every dream? What if we learned to wait patiently on Him and trust His timing instead of demanding our way or giving up? Only God can see the big picture, and only He has the power to fulfill what the heart desires. He is so gracious and longs to show us compassion. His Word says that we are blessed when we wait on Him.

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!”
Isaiah 30:18

No matter how bleak the situation may feel or truly be, God knows the path. He knows the outcome. He does not always answer our prayers immediately. Sometimes He answers by making us wait so that His plan will spring forth in His perfect time.  We makes us wait in order to grow our faith and allow us to see with our eyes how awesome He truly is.  When we have hope in the Lord, we can trust in His promises and His timing and soar above the feelings of emptiness. This hope can renew our strength, we will be able to run and not grow weary, walk and not feel faint, and we can soar on wings like eagles.

I am praying for you my friend.  God has you on a great journey.  Though it may not feel like it right now, seek Him and one day you will look back and see how His hand moved your life in miraculous ways!  Love you!

“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 40:31

A Gift

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Ephesians 4:29

When our resistance is weak and we have grown tired, we need someone who will come beside us and show us understanding. We need someone to root for us and motivate us to have the strength and dedication to move forward. When jobs are lost and the money is gone, we need an encourager. When we become a single parent and the world seems against us, we need an encourager. When friends and family turn against us, we need an encourager. Those who encourage inspire us with courage and hope. What we would not give to have someone to come alongside of us and comfort us. We must make the choice to follow the example of Christ and choose to encourage others. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus” Romans 15:5 Encouragers give us a beautiful gift when they bring renewal through encouragement.


“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Recently I have dealt with the hurt that has come from the wickedness of gossip and lies. People within my church began spreading things about me that were untrue and extremely hurtful. Over these past few weeks, the hurt that I experienced from it turned into anger and soon the unforgiveness crept in allowing bitterness to form. Knowing how easy it can be, when bitter, to fall into sin with an unforgiving attitude, I began to search God’s word for wisdom.

God’s timing is perfect and last Sunday at church, my pastor preached on bitterness and the bitterness that comes from having an unforgiving heart. I have spent this week focusing on these truths.

In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells of a servant forgiven a huge debt by his king. When the same servant has an opportunity to forgive someone a minor debt, he chooses to inflict punishment instead. The king finds out and is outraged:

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:32-35, NIV)

These words penetrated my heart as I thought of my bitter attitude toward those who have hurt me. As I meditated on these verses, God reminded me of times that I have said or done hurtful things to others. God’s forgiveness has been extended to me in those times and so I can no longer allow myself to withhold forgiveness from those who have wronged me.

Forgiveness is a process and something that God must work within us but we must be willing to let go and to allow Him to work. I have to continue to forgive the ones who hurt me and as I have struggled with this issue, God is showing me biblical steps to take as I forgive those that have caused this hurt.

We must recognize and confess our own sins.

Psalm 41:4, “I said, ‘O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.'” (NIV)

We must rejoice in God’s forgiveness of our sins.

Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)

We must remember that forgiveness is a continual process.

Matthew 18:21-22a, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” (NIV)

When we allow forgiveness to take place and allow the Holy Spirit to heal our hurts, I believe we are then able to experience Psalm 34:8:

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”