Living Water To Quench a Hurting Soul

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Jesus was sitting at the dust-coated well with a hurting woman.

She was there to get water, but that wasn’t why He was there.

He made a special trip; went out of the way, and sat down at that well

to offer her a hope that could fill her parched soul.

She had five husbands and was living with a man that wasn’t one of them.

Underneath those facts is a woman who is empty.

She has been let down. She has been given false hope.

She has listened to broken promises, repeatedly.

She gives in and drinks the unquenchable relief of feeling wanted by another man.

And here Jesus sits with her and delicately declares,

 …Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;

but whoever drinks the water that I will give him

 shall never thirst;

John 4

She doesn’t have to run after empty pursuits to quench her hurting soul.

She simply needs to be filled with the refreshing Savior who knows

the deepest aches of her soul and longs to fill them.

I don’t know what your empty pursuits may be,

but we all have them at one time or another.

I, like the woman at the well, ran after love and affections

to fill the longing in my hurting soul.

And when those left me empty, I found it in addictions and success and

on and on the empty pursuits continued.

For some the void is filled with:

Success

Busyness

Relationships

Children

Addictions

Ministry

Friends

Television

Media

Shopping

Self-harm

Fitness

The truth is when the busyness calms down, the relationships end,

the children go to bed, the high wears off, the phone is put down,

the friends move on – we are left empty and wanting.

Like the woman at the well, we feel thirsty for something more.

We have a savior that understands the deepest scars and disappointments of our soul.

Oh, hurting sister, you were never meant to fill those – He was.

Let your parched soul be refreshed by the love of our Savior.

He offers the living water, but you must decide to run after it.

 

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Trust The Lord With Your Baggage

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Baggage. We all have it. Each small wound in a well-lived life leaves some behind.

Maybe a broken childhood, damaged relationship, bad choice or hurtful event.

This baggage is only brought back around by satan’s attempts to derail our purpose-filled life.

I remember the affairs my mom had. The affairs my friends’ parents had. Then there were the two boyfriends who cheated while I was away for a summer – my trust has always been empty like a dusty road at sunset.

Sadly, satan holds this is piece of baggage over my head at just the right moment, when I’m feeling just a little less than enough.

It has left me suspecting and doubting. It has cost me many friendships and relationships. I can’t turn away and claim it’s just the way I am. Those experiences God is using to build my trust in Him but satan creeps in to overthrow my freedom and peace with that baggage, one lie at a time.

While my trust in people may lack at times, God has a beautiful promise:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

God says “trust Him” – while pain is a fact of life, so is God’s peace.

Trust Him “with all your heart” – All my heart means all fears, hurt, regret, baggage.

Do not lean on your own understanding – my past experiences can create an unrealistic picture of what I think I look like to others – but God knows the full story.

Whatever your baggage, you’ve carried it long enough – lay it at the feet of our sweet forgiving Jesus.

Never Too Far Gone To Come Home

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Like a romantic ending to a Hallmark movie we’re always on the edge of our seat when the father and son are finally reunited in the Prodigal Son – but the profound love and forgiveness gives us hope that maybe we too would be welcomed back.

Here’s the beauty in Luke 15:20

“So he got up and came to his father, but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Luke 15:20

”but while he was still a long way off his father saw him” – his father watched and waited for him!

“his father…felt compassion for him, and ran to him” – he didn’t wait for his son to get his life back together, but ran to him in his mess!

“his father…embraced him and kissed him” – his father loved and held him regardless of the rejection from his son or the mess he brought to himself, his father, and his family.

Regardless of how we’ve rejected God, walked away from Him, disobeyed Him, lived a life that brings dishonor to Him or anyone else, if we have a humble heart that is ready to return, he will have compassion, run and embrace us.

He doesn’t wait for us to clean up our language, to blurt out the disastrous past we may be dragging along behind or to get our life together.

If you’ve lived a life you’re not proud of, these are some people He’s used for His Glory:

Abraham and Sarah: Told they’d have a son, but doubted so he slept with Sarah’s maiden instead (Genesis 16)

Moses: killed a man and fled (Exodus 2)

David: had an affair with a married woman, got her pregnant, and had her husband killed (2 Samuel 11)

Peter: a disciple of Jesus then denied and rejected Him (Mark 14)

Zacchaeus: stole money from thousands of people (Luke 19)

Woman at the Well: had been married five times and living with a man she wasn’t married to (John 4)

Paul: went after Christians and had them murdered (Acts 8)

Each of them were welcomed back by our loving Father and used their mess for His Glory!

You’re never too far gone to be welcomed back, love. Period.

 

 

 

 

The Real Enemy

For our struggle

I yelled at my husband over the pile of laundry….Yelled about laundry? I wasn’t even angry about the laundry, I was angry about something much more significant and detrimental to our relationship…so why did I yell about the laundry. I walked into the bathroom and closed the door, and thought about what just happened – two words flashed in my mind: Spiritual. Warfare.

Sister: our enemy never has been and never will be any person on this earth – as long as we are followers of Christ our enemy will always be Satan and his minuscule kingdom.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Priscilla Shirer puts it this way:

Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world,”

The Armor of God

Spiritual warfare takes many appearances:

-dissention

-depression

-self-doubt

-God-doubt

-past failures replaying

-apathy

-bitterness

-lack of peace

– lack of joy

-lack of trust

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Philippians 2:12b-13

And let me assure you Satan attacks when he knows God is doing a great work in or through you – anything to trip you up and prevent you from falling at the feet of Jesus in complete surrender.

Sister, the battle has already been won, Satan knows:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:15

No matter your chain, you have to call on the name of Jesus to walk you through this!

Here’s what needs to happen:

-Pray

-Stay in the Bible

-Seek forgiveness

Let us encourage each other today to remember the real enemy and to remember that our all Powerful God has already overcome him and has big plans for you! As for me, well I had to ask my husband for forgiveness and in those moments of confession satan shutters at the great work God is doing in our hearts and for His kingdom!

 

We See Calamity He Sees the Mountain

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As a rock climbing instructor at a camp several years ago, I remember very well an incident that has forever stuck with me.

When climbing there is a belayer who remains at the bottom and manages the rope holding your life in their hands. I witnessed a belayer tell a frightened and sobbing girl where to put her hands and step next. The girl, through breaks in sobs and gritted teeth, yelled that she didn’t see the next hand grasp and wanted to come down, but the belayer softly said to her, “trust me, place your right hand up to your right and step up with your left foot”. Hesitantly the girl did and with each little instruction, she was able to climb the entire wall.

Oh, how I spent many days that summer comparing faith to that incident –how many times in life do we find ourselves in that same situation: confused, in tears, uncertain of where to go next. Like the belayer down on the ground, God sees the whole picture, the next step.

Jeremiah 29:11 says,

“’For I know the plan I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”

Here’s the beauty in this passage:

  • God says “I know the plan” – even if we don’t HE KNOWS.
  • God says “the plan I HAVE for you” – Our dear loving God has a plan for us and after all, He sees the whole picture, finished product and all.
  • God says “plans for welfare and not for calamity” – If you are in a place of calamity in your life, He has promised that his plans end in welfare – this rough patch is not your end sister

Here’s the best part – the word “declares” in the original language actually means to whisper or utter.

Dear love, know that God is whispering to you that He sees the big picture, that even though your life may seem like the center of calamity, or that you just don’t know where to go from here – He knows the best way to welfare, to a future, and to hope – but you must hear Him, listen to Him, Trust Him, and grab that next hand hold, even if you don’t see it.

 

 

 

Quiet Moments with God

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Yesterday, my God time started out as usual – a quiet house before the sun came up and a hot cup of coffee. By the end of the day, I would have faced a spiritual battle with an old lie that satan occasionally likes to bring back and the sad news that I had a miscarriage. Yet, I felt a sense of peace and an overwhelming sense of God’s sovereignty.

We start our day with Jesus sometimes because that’s just what Christians do. But what if we knew the power, the defense, the perspective we gain in having those silent moments with our God?

Even Jesus knew the power in aligning wills first thing in the morning.

And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.
Mark 1:35

Dear sister,
As I learned yesterday God time is not just about starting our day on the right foot, it’s about gaining a perspective on our day that we would miss if we went about our day without it.

The quiet mornings are a preparation for:
•spiritual battles
•boldness and preparedness in sharing the gospel
•refreshing the souls of our sisters in Christ
•eternal perspectives on our day – good or bad
•most importantly, to align our will to God’s will.

Psalm 34:1-9
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.

When you begin your God-time this morning, remember that it is preparing you for the events God already knows you’ll face!

GOD MADE THIS DAY PURPOSEFULLY

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We all wake up with expectations for our day and
rarely, do we wake up and say “this day may be a disaster,
but it was made by God, so I will rejoice!”
And if you do, there is wisdom I could learn from you!
I found myself today in a series of events that led me
to simply wish this day would be over.
We packed to head out of town and I got everyone else packed,
but left my own suitcase at home – we didn’t notice until
we were 300 miles away.
My daughter threw up on my only pair of pants I had.
I received a text that threw me into deep feelings of
past rejection.
On and on the days events eroded any joy I had left.
I took a deep breath and looked to the sun setting behind
a beautifully, purposefully, array of trees and I heard the
still, small whispers that only a loving God would utter:

“This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I was reminded that it does not matter what my day looks like;
full of rejections, failures, joys, laughter, tears, brokenness, or success.
Our beautifully purposeful God hand -picked this day to be the
one in which you would experience at this moment in your life.
He has a purpose for each moment you took a breath today;
he is holding each tear; he is smiling at each laugh or giggle;
because he said at the end of each piece of creation “it is good”.
Dear Love, each moment that we find our joy crumbling before
our eyes, lets make a vow that we will earnestly seek out and
find God’s purposeful beauty behind all this day holds!

Silence Can Be A Foothold For The Enemy

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Silence – many see it as a form of self-control, but it can be a foothold for satan.

“and do not give the devil an opportunity.”

Ephesians 4:27

Listen love, our God has a divine purpose for us here on this earth, in our current places. This purpose is known by God and while satan may not know your purpose, he does plan to keep you from fulfilling that purpose.

One way he prevents us from fulfilling our purpose is through silence.

  • We struggle so we remain silent and pray through it
  • We have a past, so we remain silent and don’t let our great God use our past for His purpose
  • We sit in a group of women, sharing God’s goodness, but remain silent in the broken areas of our heart

Here’s what I’m learning – my silence is a foothold for the enemy to keep me from encouraging others through my brokenness and it prevents me from sharing God’s goodness in our weakness!

Awake, sleeper,

And rise from the dead.

And Christ will shine on you.”

Ephesians 5:14

Girlfriend, let God be in control of your words, make a stubborn decision today to no longer remain silent in your hurts, struggles, and past, but instead speak it boldly that you may show our God’s strength in your weaknesses!

Beauty Out of Ashes

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Dear Sister,

God brings beauty out of ashes – Isaiah 61:1-3

God draws near to the brokenhearted, the captive, the prisoner.

The enemy would love us to think our ashes define us,

to reflect and remember the burns and scars that have once

tainted our lives from those deep wounds.

But our loving God is “Making all things new” (Revelation 21:5)

Here are some ashes the enemy attempts to relight:

1.Our past hurts

2.Fear of others judgement for who we WERE

3.We are unworthy to even say the name of God, let alone call him Father

4.We need to prove our worth

5.Attempts at overcoming our struggles are futile

6.We never seem to make forward progress for long

OH, Daughter of The One True Father,

those ashes create an astounding portrayal of His

grace and love – never hide them,

but walk in forgiveness and confidence because our Father

has used every single ash to write your unique story.

As I struggle accepting this truth, I came across Galatians:

Six quick Reminders from Galatians

1.Don’t live for the approval of others (1:10)

2.You are not defined by your past (2:20)

3.Your worth is in Christ, not your job or education (3:27)

4.You are no longer a slave, you are now a child of God (4:7)

5.Don’t be led by feelings and emotions, be led by the Spirit (5:25)

6.Don’t grow weary while doing good. When the time is right, you will reap what you’ve sown (6:9)

If you’re like me, still holding onto an ash or two,

Lay them at His feet that He may complete your story

And make all things new.

 

 

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