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Posts Tagged ‘trusting God’

 

Matthew 17:20

 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

It has been 6 weeks since I have written a blog post. I have now been in Georgia for 4 months and I love the area. I have had to take a step back and focus on what God’s purpose in this move was. I have been hibernating a bit this past 6 weeks. I have been working on obtaining my certification in biblical lay counseling. I have been conquering my anxiety issues. I have been spending time with God and discerning where He wants me to serve. When I moved down here, I was determined that I would not take another go- nowhere -stress-me-out job that doesn’t pay enough to live on. I want more than that. I have always had a missionary heart and I wanted to move here to serve the community. I had a couple of false starts, but I have found a community ministry that fits me like a glove! Living Bridges Ministry is in Valdosta, Georgia (45 minute drive from where we currently live). The ministry is moving into a new building and has some really AWESOME programs for those living in Valdosta.

Clothing Closet

Mom’s Connection Group

Transformation Group

Community Garden

Kid’s Connection during the Summer

Seasonal events

and more programs in the works

I am excited to get plugged in and to see where this goes! There will be a pastor who will have an office there to provide counseling. Does it pay? No, but the opportunities to serve others through programs that God has given me a passion for is worth the sacrifice. If I can be that example of a living and breathing faith then that is what I will do. It is scary, but it is also exciting. It is such a rush to see how God is going to work when we step out in faith with no safety net. I have no safety net. I am completely dependent on God to provide for my car insurance, gas to drive 1 1/2 hours a day to serve and my other expenses. It is exhilarating, but it is scaring me silly! Faith the size of a mustard seed. A mustard seed is very small. God, being fully aware of our human nature, only asks us to have the faith of a tiny mustard seed in order for Him to work on our behalf. I made the move to Georgia. I have dwindling funds. I have no safety net. I have faith in a God who has always gone before me, stood beside me and watched behind me. He has my back.

I start my new adventure on Monday. There is no better job than being able to follow my missionary heart in community ministry and love others to Jesus in this beautiful city of Valdosta, Georgia.

 

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There are often times in my life when I know that God has intervened on my behalf. When circumstances come together in such a way that only God could have pulled it off. This happened to me this week.

Back in January I had decided to put full coverage insurance on my 2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor. I had debated about this because of the age of the car, but decided to go ahead because it is still in great condition and it is my only vehicle. My inflated payment was due February 28th for $377.00 and then would go down to $274.00 in March. I made the payment for $377.00 last Saturday 2/16. The payment had not cleared my bank account as of yesterday (2/21) and I was not sure why. In the meantime, my son Talon informed me yesterday that I could take his 1986 Chevy truck off the insurance because the cold weather in January blew the engine. I removed the truck and noticed that my insurance app was still saying that I had a payment due, only now the payment had gone from $377.00 to $179.00. I called the insurance company this morning to find out if my payment of the $377.00 had gone through or not. The payment had not gone through. It had been bounced back to the insurance company. I called the bank to see why it had not gone through. The customer service rep didn’t have an explanation. She said it was strange and she couldn’t see any reason that the payment wouldn’t have gone through. So, being reassured that the $377.00 payment did not through, I made the payment for $179.00 and thanked God for saving me $200.00.

I try to give and do what I can for others. I try to live in obedience to the Holy Spirit. I try to always trust that God will provide, but there are times when I falter in that faith. There are times when I falter in my belief that God will always provide and God in His goodness gives me a reminder of His greatness in the orchestration of an insurance payment to save me $200.00. I am not worthy of His goodness. I fail repeatedly every day and still He loves me enough to bring about small miracles to remind me that He is with me always. God will provide if only we believe.

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Seasons change. Kids grow up. Hair goes gray. People leave the things they knew. I am facing a change of seasons. My kids are growing up. My daughters are now in their young 20’s and are building families and lives of their own. My sons are 18 and 16. They are growing into young men that are testing their independence and boundaries. I will be 48 in three months and as I look in the mirror, I see more strands of gray everyday. I realize with some sadness and with some excitement that 50 is right around the corner and my life has just opened up.

I’m tired of struggling as a single mom living in poverty. I’m tired of fighting to keep cars running and having to beg for rides to work and the store for a year at a time because I couldn’t afford any car at all. I’m tired of working a dead-end job that doesn’t even pay enough for me to rent a small apartment at market value. I am tired of money being the reason I stay in that job instead of taking a chance and doing what I really want to do. I am tired of living a mediocre life. Please, don’t think I am saying that raising my kids was something I hated or that I was dissatisfied in that role. I love my kids more than I could ever express, but I will not hide that those were hard years and sacrifices were made in order for me to be the mom I needed to be for my kids. They have always been my first priority.

I currently live with my daughter, Cherokee, her fiance, Chris and four kids combined. The house is perfect for them, but it is tight with me in the mix. My time here is coming to an end and even with working 32 to 40 hours a week, I can’t afford a place on my own, so where does that leave me? It leaves me with some uncertainty about the future, but I feel an excitement about the possibilities. The sky is the limit. My past does NOT define me. My age will NOT limit me. My lack of money will NOT stop me. I have a three step process that I will use as I go into this next season of my life. I call them the three P’s:

Pray: Before I take a step forward, I need to pray for God’s guidance. I need to make sure that I am heading down the path that God has marked out for me. I have to depend wholly and completely on God. I don’t have a significant other that I can enter this next season with. I am alone to face the future. I will be praying for answers to these questions: where will I go? How will I make a living? Where will I live? God knows the answers, I just need to be patient in the process.

Plan: Any type of change takes some amount of planning. Deciding if God wants me to move to another city or stay where I am. If I decide to move, I will need to find a job or source of income, a place to live and health care since I am a diabetic. Is the area close enough to make some research trips to get to know the community and available resources? I will need to list my needs and find the resources to meet those needs before I proceed with any action. I will need to make a list of possible obstacles and solutions. If I stay, I still need a place to live that I can afford, without going on housing. I will need to find a source of income that doesn’t drain me of energy and passion for life.

Proceed: After I have planned out my course of action, then I can proceed with my plan. If I have planned well enough, hopefully everything will go according to that plan, but life is unpredictable and ultimately God is in control. If I have prayed and have planned according to God’s will, then I know that I can trust God with the outcome.

If you are facing a new season in your life, you are not alone. Life is all about change. Change can be good. Change can keep us from becoming stagnant. Change can keep us from living a mediocre life. Embrace the change. Embrace this new season in your life as I am embracing the new season in my life. If you pray and plan before you proceed, then you can be certain of success. You may face some bumps in the road, but God is in this with you.

I will keep you updated on my decisions as I embrace this new season and as I embrace the gray.

 

 

 

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Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

I was at work this week and a Sister asked me how my daughter, Kiowa was doing. Kiowa has been stationed in Japan for 2 years now and with the threat from North Korea, the Sisters have been faithful prayer warriors. This question led to a conversation about world events (such as the school shooting in Florida and the mass killings in China) and how much hopelessness there is in the world. I mentioned how all of this despair can cause anxiety and worry and she mentioned the Bible verse that mentions the Proverbs 31 woman who can laugh at the days to come. I reflected on that verse for the rest of the day and looked it up as soon as I got home.

Having the ability to laugh at the days to come takes faith in God. Something that comes and goes with me. I can be the epitome of faith at one time and completely lack faith at another. Thinking about the days to come can cause me to shake in my shoes. Why is that? If I have complete faith in God like I’m supposed to, then why is it so hard for me to trust God with the days to come? Aren’t Christians supposed to have faith in God at all times? WHY IS IT SO HARD?

I want to be the woman who laughs at the days to come. I want to be the woman who has no fear of the future. I want to be the woman who trusts God with every situation that comes my way. How? How do I keep my faith from coming and going like leaves upon the wind? I know of two ways to strengthen my faith:

  1. Pray: God blesses us when we pray. God gave King Solomon wisdom when he prayed for wisdom and God will give us faith when we pray for faith. When we pray, God moves mountains on our behalf. He will answer our prayers for faith.
  2. Read the Bible: The Bible encourages us to be strong, to be courageous and to have faith. When we read the Bible we fill ourselves with the promises of God. We fill ourselves with the power of God through the Holy Spirit.

I remind myself that even King David’s faith wavered at times. The disciples didn’t always have faith. Peter denied Jesus 3 times, because he didn’t want to face the persecution that came with being a disciple. I am human. There are times when I may not have the faith of David facing Goliath, but the Bible says that if we have the faith of a mustard seed that NOTHING will be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20). Certainly, I can summon the faith of a mustard seed!

As the enemy continues to create chaos around the world and we see the pain and heartache caused by the evil he unleashes, I know that I really need to focus on becoming that woman that can laugh at the days to come.  I need to be in constant prayer and I need to be meditating day and night on the Word of God, so that I will be able to trust God completely with whatever the future holds. I don’t want to be that Christian that is found cowering in the corner, biting my nails, fretting over what may happen. I want to face the future with courage.

My challenge to you: if you find yourself lacking faith, I challenge you to pray and dig into the Bible. The world is a scary place and things aren’t getting better. We all need to find the faith to face these events with courage and faith. We all need to be able to trust God with our future. The goal of ALL Christians should be to have the faith of the Proverbs 31 woman and be able to laugh at the days to come. If we can not summon that faith then we will find ourselves locked in a prison of worry and fear.

If you find yourself struggling in your faith, or suffer from anxiety, worry or fear, contact me. I am here to pray with you and encourage you. I will walk with you as you build your faith in God. I know how hard it is. I’ve been there and on some days am still there. You do not have to suffer alone.

 

 

 

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I have been reading a book on prayer, Busy Lives and Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life, written by Becky Eldredge. In the book, Becky talks about the instances when God says NO! to our prayers. She asks us the question, “Would you still be willing to say Yes! if God’s answer is NO!?”

As I pondered on that question, I realized that there have been times when God did say NO! or NOT YET! and I still found myself trusting Him. Hanging onto Him until the storms of life passed. Yes, I have struggled through a divorce and the transition to single motherhood. I have struggled with poverty, chronic illness, and anxieties. I have prayed for God to alleviate the pain that these issues have caused. I have prayed for God to work in the tough situations of my life. I have heard my fair share of God’s NO’s! I still struggle. I still deal with the same situations. 17 years later and life is still a struggle. But, I have NOT prayed for the healing of a child or spouse and still had to watch them die. I have NOT lived through a mass shooting or a terrorist attack, praying for an answer and never seeming to get one. I have not tried to save a fellow Marines life while in the middle of a firefight, only to see him die and trying to find the Why in it. As much as I have struggled in life, as many times as I have prayed for help, I have not had to live through a life altering trauma such as those listed above. If I had to live through such a tragedy as any of these, could I still say, Yes! to God. Could I still say, “Thy will be done”?

Luke 22:39-44

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 

Jesus prayed for “this cup” to be taken from him. From my perspective, this can only mean that Jesus did NOT want to die. He knew the suffering that He would soon endure and He did NOT want to face that suffering. But, in the same breath, he says, ” yet not my will, but yours be done.” Remember that God said NO! to Jesus. God said NO! to His beloved Son and Jesus still had faith enough to trust God’s will.

If Jesus, facing death, and dealing with human emotion, was willing to say, “thy will be done” when God said NO! than I should be able to follow that example when God says NO! to my prayers. But can I? Will I? I wish I could say that I knew for sure that I would still say YES! to God in that type of situation, but because I am human and I do deal with anxieties, I honestly don’t know.

This is something that I am working on. I continue to pray. There are times when God says YES! and there are times when God says NO! I continue to go deeper in my relationship with God. I continue to push myself to where I can say YES! in any circumstance. I continue to grow in my faith.

CHALLENGE: Reflect on the question, “Will I say YES! when God says NO!?” Be willing to get real with yourself. Don’t be afraid to admit that you would not say YES! Don’t be afraid to admit that you are still growing in faith. That’s okay. Most of us are. Get real with God and find out what you need to do to get to the YES!

In the meantime, I am always here if you need me to pray with you or journey with you. You are NEVER alone!

 

 

 

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Kiowasiouxburris

 

I watched her disappear down the boarding ramp. My heart ached. As the tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t help but remember when she was 2 and stuffed worms in her coat pockets. I found them when I did the laundry, all shriveled up. She still has the crack in her tooth from a stunt she tried on her bike when she was 10. Always the dare-devil, she would ride her bike down the porch steps, nearly giving me a heart attack. She ran her first half-marathon when she was 14 and finished in the top 4 percent. When she was 17, she defended a classmate who was being bullied at school. A week before her 18th birthday, she ran her first marathon. She finished just 8 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I shouldn’t have been surprised when this courageous, risk-taking, defender of justice announced that she was joining the Air Force. She had served four years of JR ROTC in high school, but had always sworn up and down that she would NEVER join the military!

Yet, there I was, my heart pounding with a mixture of pride and fear. I gave her a farewell hug, whispering, “Stay strong and trust God.” As I watch her plane take off, taking her to a far away land, I whisper the same words to my own heart, “Stay strong and trust God.”

Easier said than done. How can I trust God to protect this daughter of mine? How can I trust Him to keep her safe from harm? Matthew 10:30 tells us that God has numbered the very hairs on our head. I love my daughter with all of my heart and soul, but I have not numbered the hairs on her head. How much more must He love her, to have every hair on her head numbered? As much as I love her, He loves her so much more.

Do I still worry? I would be lying if I said I didn’t. These are troubling times. I think some worry lurks in the heart of every military mom. I remind myself that I serve a God that is in control of ALL circumstances. Nothing happens on this earth that He doesn’t know about. I pray for her safety, as she does her job as an electrician. I pray that God will keep her out of harm’s way, here and abroad. I pray that God will continue to give her courage as she serves this beautiful country that we call the United States of America. When the worry creeps in, or missing her becomes to much for me to handle, I feel the whispering of the Holy Spirit in my own heart, telling me to, “stay strong and trust God.”

 

 

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I-have-come-as-light-791x1024

Matthew 10:26-31

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Evil will ALWAYS be found out. It may take years for darkness to come to light, but be assured at some point God WILL shed light on the darkness. Because Satan roams the Earth, we will have evil and darkness. God has overcome the darkness and sent us the light of Jesus to shed light on the dark places.

I want to encourage you, if you are being oppressed by abuse by another person, substance abuse, or any other evil. If you are hiding in the darkness and feel hopeless, don’t give up! Look to Jesus, my friend! Jesus IS the truth and the light! Keep praying, keep believing and trust that God will shine His light on the dark places in your life. God loves you and cares about your life. He loves you enough to have every hair on your head numbered. Do not be afraid of the dark places. You are NOT alone. God is with you and is waiting for His perfect timing to reveal the light in your situation. Never give up hope! No matter how long it takes, NEVER GIVE UP HOPE! God has a plan and a purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).

If you are the one that can reveal the light on the darkness in someone else’s life, you need to do so. You may be the hope they have been praying for. If the Holy Spirit is compelling you to bring someone out of the darkness, you must obey. You may be the only person that can help. Obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Don’t think that it is none of your business. God calls us to fight for justice, and fight the oppression when we see it around us. Don’t think that there isn’t anything you can do. Even prayer moves mountains.

We are living in a time of oppression, injustice and evil and we need to fight it where we can. We need to be that light in our communities, our cities, our nation. Don’t leave it up to someone else. Do something! Even if it’s something small, do something. We can never go wrong if we follow the leading of God’s Spirit.

I love these words from Marvelous Light, sung by Ellie Holcomb:

There’s no place I would rather be

Your light is Marvelous

Your light is Marvelous

You have come to set us free

You are Marvelous

Your light is Marvelous

So I walked out of the darkness and into the light.

From fear of shame into the hope of life.

Mercy called my name and made a way to fly.

Out of the darkness and into the light.

Walk out of the darkness, my friend. Our heavenly Father is calling your name and He loves you. He wants to erase the shame of the past and pour His light into your life. Won’t you let Him?

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