Unexplainable Peace

“No. I’ll go along, I’ll look at houses. I’ll even sign the papers to sell my beautiful home, with the confidence in Your kindness that I’ll have somewhere to call my own again soon. But I will not be choosing that place while my husband is away.”

My largest “NO” has been that I would not choose our home while my husband was away on military orders. That was my biggest “no” to God and to my husband, although, both had a different hope/plan. I promised my husband that I would keep looking while he was away, because this market is intense. One minute you find a home you love and the next it’s gone.

It felt like I had to strive to find the new house. Better not wait too long before I search all the sites and apps again because something new might pop up and be gone before I can see it! I was exhausted and so tired of constantly searching. I was up late each night searching and sharing the day’s findings with my husband over the phone. I found myself so sleep deprived that I did some dumb things, like oh, I don’t know…slam my thumb inside my car door (it hurt so freaking bad it took my breath away)

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Friends: “How’s your day going” . Me: “It’s fine. Everything’s fine. 🤣

I found myself praying, sharing my frustration as well as my trust with God. One minute declaring how grateful I am for His unfailing hand and the next minute whining about how delirious I was becoming. HA! (This is why when I get to Heaven, I must meet King David. He and I will be BFF, I mean, have you read the Psalms? We’re prayer twins!)

Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, patient love of God. Thankfully, when I would get wrapped up with what I could only see with my physical eyes, I reminded myself of what He’d already accomplished and chose to look with my spiritual eyes. Trusting in His inability to fail. In His infinite kindness. In His promises. Knowing that He’s in the details. That anything we give to Him is never wasted or discarded. (John 6:12) Like a proud Father whose daughter just brought her artwork to Him to display on His desk for all to see, He was celebrating this simple faith I had lifted up with open hands.

Here’s my house, Lord. Here’s my place I’ve always referred to as a physical refuge and retreat: it’s yours. Not my will, but yours. Where do you want me to live? Guide me.

Fast forward to a crazy weekend not too long ago. 1 day after I saw the Crazy Closet Lady Cabin (click here if you missed that blog) I saw a house in one of my friend’s neighborhoods that I’ll call Chimney House. I really liked it! But, I felt the same ole tummy-turning uneasiness that I was fearful that my husband wouldn’t like it. Over the phone, I told him about Chimney House and sent him pictures and he was open, but asked me to first go see the another house we had found online (let’s call it Blue House.) My beloved sister-friend Erin had sent me Blue house while we were eating dinner together, reeling from the Crazy-Closet-Lady-Cabin Thursday viewing. There was still a bit of daylight left after dinner, so she and I hopped into the car and drove by Blue House and found it was so private and peaceful. I was intrigued, but still bummed about something very selfish on my “must-have” list: no attached garage. At the request of my husband though, I had promised to set up a viewing. I viewed Chimney House Friday morning, and it worked out for me to view Blue House Saturday evening. In the middle of these 2 days, God had been dealing with my heart about striving. There’s this beautiful song by Rita Springer called There is No Striving that poured into my mind. The Lord kept reminding me: in His love, in His will there is no striving. I just need to trust Him.

But what does that even look like, God? 

I decided it must mean that I pray and place my eyes on Him. That I don’t just lazily sit by and not do my part to search, however I’m not to let the searching consume me. Somehow I knew it wouldn’t be found in my strength anyway. My job was to trust His character and promises, and to walk forward as I trusted He would guide me…

The next step in front of me was to view Blue House on Saturday. And UGH – that day did NOT go as planned –whatsoever. It was a frustrating day on a variety of levels. Nothing was going right, and my attitude was going south, too. I listened to worship music on the way to view Blue House trying to get my attitude right, and only had time for a very simple prayer. I took that short moment to pray whatever came to my heart:

Lord, please clear my mind from all these distractions and frustrations. Help me to be present, and have your will. If this is where we are supposed to call home, give me unexplainable peace. Peace so tangible that I have no doubt and can sign on this house with confidence even though my husband will not have even stepped foot onto the property. Let me see our family there if this is our home. Otherwise, I trust without that, that you are guiding us to continue to be still and wait. 

I arrive alone to meet my realtor, and I was still on edge because it’s a FSBO (realtor lingo for For Sale By Owner) – 🙄. But, reminding myself that my husband is super interested and wants me to check it out for us. So, I put on my best smile, prayed for an open mind, and walked in with my realtor to meet the sellers (owners.)

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BEST FSBO EXPERIENCE EVER!! What should’ve lasted 1 hour, lasted 2.5 hours. And THE PEACE CAME!! It was covering me like a heavy, comforting blanket before I even realized it. I cannot fully explain with words what it felt like. It was a peace like nothing I can explain. My eyes fill with tears as I write this, because my wonderful Father did this miraculous thing for me. He honored my plea for peace so I could know the right decision in trusting that He had guided us there. I remember the moment I realized the peace had come so powerfully that even when I tried to think doubtful thoughts, I couldn’t shake the peace. I had no fear: I knew this was our home. I looked at my realtor and said “my husband will love this place.” To which he replied “it’s what you two have been looking for all along.”

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS, PEOPLE.

It’s been a whirlwind of negotiations, signing contracts, house inspections, etc., but we are full speed ahead. Moving to a part of town I never thought we’d end up in, in a house I never saw us living in, with the lot/space I had thought we could only dream of having. Blue house is perfectly funky, older, and absolutely home for us. And I did the things while my husband was still away!! I’m so proud of my husband’s faith in God’s guidance and humbled by his trust in me. What a blessing it is to be married to my best friend, and to be loved and trusted with such huge decisions.

It’s truly amazing when you pray about everything, and listen for His guidance. My faith has grown so big in this season of saying yes to God, and I’m so grateful He helps us grow past our “no.”

So what’s your biggest no? What’s holding you back from trusting that if you leap your all knowing, all powerful, always present, infinitely loving Father will catch you?

He’s big enough, sweet friend.

Leap!

Love in Christ,

Amy

PS – Remember that whole no striving thing? I didn’t even find Blue House! Remember? My sister-friend did.

(PSS! This is the 6th installment of a series of blogs. If you’re curious and you’d like to read from the beginning, click here.)

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Hospitality Is Not About The House

(Hi! First time reading the blog? This is installment 5 of a series…if you feel a little lost, scroll back up and click here to go to the first installment so you can read them in order. You’ve kind of missed some things 😊)

To Everyone – I wrote this on 8/9…just now getting around to proofing and publishing it. Because: LIFE.

In this season of saying yes and selling my beloved home, I’ve learned a few things.

  1. We stockpile way too much junk. And it is really freeing to purge said junk.
  2. Spending time in the Word and in prayer and worship more than I watch television has helped my ability to discern God’s voice significantly
  3. Hospitality has nothing to do with my house

About # 3….someone mentioned to me the origin of the word, so I decided to look it up and contemplate it further… If you didn’t know, the root word for hospitality is hospital.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word hospital? Illness.

Why does someone typically go to a hospital? To receive treatment, care, surgery. To get help because something appears broken or “off.”

Is it the building that administers the care and aids in their healing? No.

It’s the people. The building cannot provide care without the people. It is only a structure. A dwelling. The people within it utilize the resources to care for those that have sought comfort within.

And so it hits me again: hospitality has nothing to do with the house.

I am trying to be open to what God is doing in my life and in this season. There have been a lot of unknowns and I’ve just tried to not get wrapped up in my fear that I wouldn’t have a place that I could call fully mine when we move out of the place I currently call home. And I’ve tried to not be consumed with feeling like I needed to search constantly to find the house God has for us. Reminding my mind and heart that I will be grateful no matter where He sends me/us. All the while, still being focused on the unknowns I was experiencing when it comes to the ladies gathering I’ll be starting in September…

And several days ago, when I originally wrote this (Thursday 8/9), I had a beautiful reminder from Him when He told me: it’s not about the house. All He wants is for us to open our hearts and our doors. For so long I didn’t host many things because I allowed my life to remain too busy. But also, when I did host things I struggled with major anxiety of people judging me because my house was so nice. I actually felt this weird level of shame because I lived in such a nice home. (It’s weird, I know.) God in His infinite grace and gentleness with my heart continues to patiently help me heal from human-fear to a desire for more of what He wants to do in and through me. And as I think about hospitality, He continues to bring to my mind and heart so many remembrances of friends that model hospitality naturally and didn’t allow non-perfect situations to stop them.

Home under renovation construction? No problem. Parking situation minimal? That’s okay, too. Live in an apartment? No biggie.

House not perfect? The hurting and broken don’t care. In fact, it’s nice to see others are human, too.

Ladies!! Let’s stop letting impossible standards of perfection stop us from being the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s open up our homes, put some simple food on the table and invite people in. It doesn’t need to be perfect. In the great words of my dear friend Melodie: Don’t over think it. Just open the door.

Love in Christ,

Amy

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Up Close, Houses and People Are Not What They Seem

The internet is so great at making things seem perfect. But perfection doesn’t exist and when you come in close, you expose the mess within and behind the walls…

I’ve come to realize that Zillow and Realtor.com are like Facebook/Social Media for houses. You put your very best out there, but you don’t disclose the mess. You have to come in close to see the full details. And so many are not what they seem online once I have the opportunity to come close and be invited inside for a viewing. Last night I went to view another house that is a potential purchase for my beloved family. On the internet it seemed near-perfect. The house details, the size, the lot, the location = everything. As I drove by, from the distance of the road, it seemed totally in order and just needing our personal touches.

But when I got permission to get close and see inside I swiftly realized, like nearly all the others I’ve seen: it was not what it had seemed. There was decay in the wood siding. Tape covered a slight crack between beams that exposed the outside world. Poorly attempted renovations abounded in nearly every room where someone tried to cover up the old without going through the work of demoing and properly renovating the spaces. The rooms didn’t make sense and some appeared to be additions added on without a functional plan. The owners even decided to hang around during the showing which – of course – made things really weird. The home was messy, one of the ladies had bras hanging from the bathroom chandelier and the rooms were very cluttered. So many oddities awaited us as we walked around. We even found the lady hiding in the closet while we were walking through looking at the master suite (I am not even kidding!) Scared the crap out of my realtor when he opened the door, ha!

I also lost an hour of my life when I was reaching over to move a pillow to see out of a window and found the family cat inches from my arm on the bed. Thankfully he is harmless and didn’t care that I was there either. Like owner, like pet. Ha!

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People are weird, man. And that’s the point I want to make here. We all have “laundry.” Some of us air it out for strangers to see (like Closet Lady) and some of us hide it behind locked spaces that you can only see if you get really, really close. ALL of us have broken spaces in our hearts and lives, some of us have poorly renovated spaces where we tried to heal them or improve them on our own to no avail. When what we really needed is to bring those things to a professional for help (aka maybe a counselor and definitely to Jesus…and in the home renovation world: skilled carpenters and other licensed professionals.)

What I feel led to share with you tonight is that the person you see online is NOT the whole person. And you know what? That’s okay! There are some things you shouldn’t share online. They are not meant to be on display for the world to judge. Or perhaps it is not your story to share. Whatever the reason – sometimes things are just kept close.

So don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of comparison. Don’t feel like you don’t measure up because some other woman or mom seems to have it all together. Because reality is, when you are invited to come up close you’ll see she’s messed up, too.

We are all messed up, and that’s why we need Jesus.

Give yourself some grace, and give others grace. Perfection is not the goal and is not possible.

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And remember, when you invite people in they will see your mess and that’s completely okay, too. We aren’t meant to do life alone, and everyone has a mess of their own. You’re not beyond grace, and Jesus loves you right where you are. Let people come in close, it’s so very healing. We were created for “community” and meant to be in relationships with others. God designed us that way! So stop keeping your distance because you think you don’t measure up. Honey – we are all a hot mess right there with you! Pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee, I could tell you all kinds of stories about mine. And I’d love to follow it up with some grace stories, too. Because when we invite Jesus in and allow the people He gifts us with to help us grow, there are lots of healing stories, too.

In Christ,

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For additional encouragement, please check out these scriptures:

  • Proverbs 27:17
  • Galatians 6:2
  • Romans 8:1
  • 1 John 1:7-9
  • Psalm 1:1-3

(This is the 4th installment of an ongoing series. For part 3, click here.)

Posted in adult life, encouragement, faith, prayer, relationships, Remodeling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

When Your Safety Net Fails

I had a plan, until the safety net failed.

I am a natural risk assessor. It’s like it’s in my DNA. I have a hugely positive and sunny disposition, however I’m extremely good at seeing all the ways something will fail and go wrong.

When making big decisions, I want to have as much control as possible. In the project management world, it’s called risk analysis and prevention. I’m pretty sure I have a badge somewhere that dubs me at queen level. The problem with this is that it doesn’t jive well with faith. Faith is saying I’m going to believe this no matter what I see. No matter how this could go wrong, I’m going to trust that good will come, even when I can’t see it and don’t feel it. Risk prevention says: let’s think of all the ways this could go wrong and put in preventive measures and controls to assure those don’t occur: safety nets.

In mid-July, God used a house to get me to say yes to selling my own. It was a house I initially didn’t want, but I kept being drawn back to it. We finally went to view it and I could see us living there. Picturing how we would set up the living room, the bedrooms, my office… Suddenly I was all in, and ready to sell our house.

The house we had fallen in love with had oddly been on the market around 140 days and was technically under contract with special stipulations. The current buyers had a contingency that they would get it upon the sale of their other home. Although there had been no activity on their home and they were nearing the time point where their offer would be no longer on the table. Additionally, there was something called “right to refusal” in there meaning that if the sellers received a better offer, they could go with that… So, we had decided we would list our house with absolute confidence it would sell swiftly, but we couldn’t put in an offer until ours was an active MLS listing. No big deal though, it all seemed so certain. The house would remain under contract with the other folks until 8/1, and ours would go active 7/26 giving us plenty of time to get our offer in and find an agreement between counter offers before 8/1 hit and it was released.

Sunday 7/22 rolls around and that day a guest minister (Bishop Mitch Corder) came to share the message – and the title of his message? Learning How To Wait. I was grateful God was preparing my heart because we were about to enter into some tough terrain… But I still had my safety net, I was certain we would get the house we had grown to love and confident ours would sell, hoping it would be soon. Something huge that shouted to me was when Bishop Corder said “While you’re waiting, God is working.” I was so excited! Surely this was God reminding me He’s working behind the scenes and that we would get that house! But, during the service, God told me to go to the house that afternoon to pray… So I asked my husband to take me there because God had told me to go there and pray. (PS – no one currently lives there so no people were freaked out in the making of this story…😳😬😉) When I got there it was starting to rain so I walked around with my umbrella and prayed, while there God told me to place my hand on the doors while praying. Um…Okay. I prayed that God would have His will. If we weren’t supposed to live there, that He would guide us. And that if the other family is supposed to be there that He would help them sell their home so that they could buy it and get moved in and settled, allowing them to get/keep their kids in a great school. Otherwise, to let it all work out and allow us to buy the home and use it to be a blessing to our family and to others.

All the while not knowing, that He was preparing me for what lies ahead…

Monday 7/23 comes and the verse of the day is Matthew 7:7 and my app is set to the Amplified Classic version “Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on KNOCKING [reverently] and [THE DOOR] will be opened to you.” WHAT!!?? YES!! This must be confirmation!! We’re going to get that house!!

Tuesday 7/24 comes and the verse of the day is Matthew 7:8 and again I’m in the AMPC version “For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [THE DOOR] will be opened.” You guys – I can’t make this stuff up!! This is clearly a sign!! Keep asking, the house is mine!

Thursday 7/26 rolls around, and our house goes live online. The photos turned out incredible and I had a sting in my heart as I saw my beautiful home online for anyone to view and come bid on in just a few short days. The sting was swiftly overcome with the excitement that we could now submit our offer on the other house we wanted… We had our realtor over that night, agreed on an offer and that was that. Now we wait for their counter…

The next morning (7/27) God placed the song Seasons by Hillsong Worship on my heart, specifically the words “if You’re not done working, then God I’m not done waiting.” I played the song loud and spent time in worship, unsure of what He was stirring but completely sure that I love and trust Him. In just a few short hours I got the call that the sellers would be submitting a counter offer to our initial one (fully expected) but that we would remain as a back-up offer because a CASH offer SIGHT UNSEEN came in AT THE SAME TIME as our offer did the night before.

A house that has sat unnoticed, essentially unwanted in a hot market for almost 5 months sells right out from under us the very moment we can commit to it. And God had prepared my heart for the news through a message, through His Word, through various people, and through worship that morning…

And He whispers again: W A I T – worship and trust Me. I’m not finished. Don’t be afraid. Good will come…

[bridge of Seasons by Hillsong]

I can see the promise

I can see the future

You’re the God of seasons

I’m just in the winter

If all I know of harvest

Is that it’s worth my patience

Then if You’re not done working

God I’m not done waiting

You can see my promise

Even in the winter

Cause You’re the God of greatness

Even in a manger

For all I know of seasons

Is that You take Your time

You could have saved us in a second

Instead You sent a child

In a moment my safety net was gone.

Will I still trust Him? Do I still see Him as the great big, powerful, omniscient and kind God I had declared Him to be. Even when I am about to sell my home with no idea where I will be going?

Yes. Yes I do. And to help my mind see what my soul knows, I had chosen songs to sing as the worship leader that Sunday morning in our kids venue that would point our (my) heart to His goodness, wisdom, and power. (Also something that was set in motion before I knew what I would be facing that coming weekend…)

By the way, when our house became available to view that Sunday afternoon with an open house, it was flooded with potential buyers. And our first private showing potentials snatched up our house with a strong offer on Monday 7/30 (all in a 2 day period) I saw Him answer a prayer that still blows me away when I think of it!! He even provided a surprising delayed closing date that was so badly hoped for in my heart, but something I never dreamed possible.

He didn’t have to do that. He doesn’t have to surprise me. But He’s truly the giver of all good things. We read it. We sing it. But do we believe it?

I know I do.

I know that He’s good.

And I know that He has good ahead.

Subscribe or check back…More to come…

In Christ,

Amy

(This is the 3rd installment of an ongoing series. For part 2, click here.)

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Saying Yes, Miracles, and The Unknown

I don’t know what I am doing.

And I have no idea where I will be living in less than 60 days.

Let’s rewind a little.

For over a year God has been stirring in me a prayer for hospitality and nudging me toward opening my home for a recurring ladies gathering. Thankfully He’s patient since life has caused me to make the sane and safe decisions over and again of saying “not right now.” Then the pressing became more frequent, more prevalent, more obvious. I couldn’t escape all the ways He was telling me it’s time to just say yes. So finally, I say yes. And then He stirs in me to pray again about another thing I have been in prayer about for over a year, wrestling back and forth on the decision…a prayer to decide if I am supposed to sell my house or not. My beautiful dreamy house that I’ve grown to love.

Yes. Yes, you read that right. God called me to do a ladies gathering in my home. Then He told me to sell my home.

My thought-prayers ensued something like this: “God, surely this is the wrong time. Surely this is the wrong season. I can do one or the other, but I can’t do both.”

But as I prayed God led me to a story in the old testament of the Bible about a guy named Gideon. There it was, God was using this story to tell me to test Him. To place a “fleece” before Him to allow Him to show me this is Him telling me to do the crazy things. After praying over it and realizing what God was showing me in that story, I placed my “fleece” before Him. I even made a note in my phone so I could go back and read it again and see that it wasn’t something in my head because none of this made logical sense… And I decided to ask and believe for something HUGE because that way there would be NO questioning that He was in this…

Y’ALL!?!?!? HE DID THE THING!! The “fleece” I set before Him was placed before Him in 2 levels because I’m weird like that. Level 1 was “okay, You’re really in this and I’ll keep tip toeing forward.” Level 2 was “OH MY GOODNESS I’M GOING TO CRY MY EYES OUT if it happens and I’m all in.” I figured, go big or go home, right?!? (proverbial home…since…I was probably selling mine…)

He went above and beyond level 2!! I got the message, and when I viewed what He had done I literally went to my knees and sobbed as I prayed prayers of gratitude with my hands raised. Thank Jesus I was at home, because I don’t need any other reasons for people to think I’m crazy.

Even with this incredible thing He provided to me to help me see, I still struggled with obedience to what I had agreed to. It was in this time that God challenged me:

“Do you care more about what others think or what I think?”

Honestly? It was true, at the time I cared more about others. What would people think of us? Would they think we’re crazy? Would they think we’re ungrateful or other ugly things about us that we would move from such a gorgeous home we finally finished renovating? Would they think I’ve lost my mind after committing to a group and then selling the location? Would people not come to my group after the first monthly session because of wherever we land? – PAUSE – Ouch. There it was: clearly my focus was on me. I’m thankful for His correction, because my prayers have shifted back to Him. Choosing to care more about being obedient and saying yes than what I’m perceived to be. Choosing to take my fear of judgment to Him and allowing Him to help me stay focused on His heart and His course ahead…

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So, friends, that’s where I am. Deciding to care more about obedience than seeming safe. Saying yes. Realizing that I want what He wants for me. Believing that He cares about every detail, even where I live. And when I am afraid or tired, I can trust He’s big enough to catch me when I jump off the ledge into His unknown.

Saying yes because I want to be obedient to what He is doing, and to see His plans unfold in my life and in my home, wherever that will be. Because His plans have proven over and again to be far greater than anything I could ever imagine. Never easier. In fact, His plans always involve sacrifices, come with challenge and are never a cake-walk. Yet with confidence I know I have never walked alone, and every time I walk into His plans, I will see His goodness abound.

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I continue to trust and pray He will guide every step and provide the courage to trust that He is good and His plans are good. To trust that no matter the outcome, when I’m seeking His will – it will all be more than okay. Still a tough journey, but still more than okay.

In Christ,

Amy

(If you missed part 1 of this Series, you can check it out by clicking here)

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What if we just said yes?

“Anything. A prayer of surrender that will spark something.” – Jennie Allen

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Anything is a book that has been sitting on my desk for way too long that was loaned to me by a friend who has faith that inspires and challenges me to my core. To be honest, I’ve been afraid to read it. There’s a huge part of me that wants to run wildly into the unknown with God. I’ve done it more than once in my life and quite frankly, I’m feeling old and tired and I kinda sorta really feel like I don’t want to right now…

But yet, I do.

There’s this unrest in me that I can’t explain. I’ve gone through some tough seasons in recent years that have caused me to really consider what is important to me and in life. And I have a hunger growing inside of me to see God’s power moving through and around me that I cannot quiet. There is no silencing it and I cannot escape it.

I’ve been reading Anything in small excerpts. Sometimes a chapter, sometimes only a few pages and I try to digest what it’s saying to me. What is God asking me to do?

Say yes. That’s what. He wants me to seek Him, listen, and say yes.

Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if I don’t feel ready. Even if it sounds crazy – say yes.

So, what if we just said yes? What if we took the crazy idea that we’ve been praying about whether we should or shouldn’t do, and if we see that it doesn’t conflict with scripture or God’s character – what if we just said yes?

What if we said yes? What if we trusted that the promises in His Word are true?

What if we were willing to jump into His unknown, fully trusting that He’s big enough to catch us, and caring enough to be with us the whole way?

What is your yes? What’s holding you back? What will it take for you to say yes and trust that He’s good?

Plant these promises deep into your heart:

  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • Joshua 1:9
  • Exodus 14:14
  • Proverbs 3:5-6

Let’s pray crazy prayers, and believe crazy things, and say yes. This life is too short to hold back – and if our hearts are in line with His, there are literally souls at risk. YOU MATTER. You make a difference, and you may just be the person to plant the seed that leads a weary person back to their Savior.

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Pull up a chair to the table.

Just say yes.

In Christ,

Amy

(Go buy Jennie Allen’s book on Amazon or whatever platform you choose. It’s incredible. And if you’re on Instagram, go follow GivingSquared for daily inspiration, while you’re at it go follow Jennie, too!)

[Check out Part 2 of this series by clicking here]

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Fear Is A Liar! (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I shared about my personal struggle in one of my callings where I have the honor of serving my local church through the worship ministry. (Read more about that here) Another calling I have is to be an encourager. I have the great honor of people being drawn to me and I get to hear their stories and speak life into their gifts and hearts. I have heard countless stories from others and a common theme is that we fear we aren’t going to be enough… That we cannot possibly accomplish ___ because we’re just not able. We can’t, we won’t, we don’t. Impossibility captures our sights and grows into the most unscalable mountain we’ve ever laid eyes upon. But the God we serve is greater than any mountain. In fact, He brings your mountains down low and makes your rugged valleys like a plain! (Isaiah 40:4 NIV)

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Would you pause for a moment with me? Close your eyes. Deep breath in and deep breath out. Go on… close your eyes for a few seconds and let your mind clear…

You’re back? Great…

Now, answer these questions: have you ever struggled with the lies of fear that you aren’t enough? Or you’re too much? Or you are striving to perform for God, and it is shifting your focus away from true worship? There’s no condemnation here. I’m helping you down a path to freedom, so be honest with yourself. Have you ever placed your focus onto the wrong things in your service in the ministry?

When you experience fear or inadequacy – recognize it for the liar that it is! Pause and ask yourself, “What am I truly believing about God here?”

Melissa Helser says in her podcast, “Our accountability to the Father has to be driven by delight and not duty or fear.”

She goes on to say the following:

“The Lord is still defining my heart… If our hearts are not marked with the Father’s pleasure, we’ll strive for His approval when we already have it.

When we experience the true delight of the Father, it actually begins to change our internal world.”

What Melissa is saying is that we must be rooted in delight. We must be rooted in the knowledge of His true nature and thoughts toward us.

Do you believe that He’s good? Do you believe that He’s a good Father and that He loves you, delights in you, guides you, and wants good things for you? Do you believe that even in difficulty, storm, or anguish – that He is still near, still loves you, that He is still for you? Do you believe all the promises His Word speaks over you?

Or do you believe, that your good, loving Father is actually not good at all? Are you letting the lies tell you that He’s setting you up and waiting to watch you fail. That He doesn’t have enough for you, because He’s giving it to everyone else? He’s waiting to let you fall on your face and wrestle in the mud and mire and that He watches in disgust as you struggle? Do you think He loves to push in your face all you can’t do, especially when you don’t measure up?

If you have ever allowed any of the negative lies above to whisper and attempt to take root in your mind or heart – hear me now – it is all lies. HE IS GOOD.

Spend time in His Word. Intentionally set aside time, especially if you serve on a worship team or in ministry – set aside dedicated time to seek Him. Fill your heart and mind with good things that remind you of His truth and promises. Write down scriptures that speak to wounds in your heart and meditate on them. Place them where you will see them often and repeat them. Shout them in your mind (or aloud) when you hear a lie try to conflict with His truth.

YOU are His beloved.

He sent Jesus to die for YOU.

He is using YOU to help minister to people in a way that only music is touching their souls in those moments. You have a powerful responsibility – but you have also already been equipped. He’s enough in you. He has called you. He loves you, and He delights in seeing you share your gifts He has placed within you.

Go in confidence of the great love your Father has for you. And remember:

Fear IS a liar.

“It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!” [Romans 8:11 MSG]

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle (special messenger) of Jesus Christ, to those who have received (obtained an equal privilege of) like precious faith with ourselves in and through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).” [2 Peter 1:1-3 AMPC]

“”The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” [Zephaniah 3:17 NASB]

“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.” [Isaiah 40:4]

In Christ,

Amy

(edited into a 2 part Series)

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