Tag Archives: Prayer

A bird

I’d like to tell you a little life lesson I learned from a bird awhile back.

I was doing some yard work in late spring and I had my back to a tree. I was focused on what was in front of me and technically walking backward straight into the tree. If that makes any sense at all!

A bird flew over my head, a bit too close for my comfort. Before I knew it, that bird was going back and forth letting me know I needed to get out of that space.

There may have been a few screams ūüėČ OK, I screamed. I’ve been swooped at by many birds over the years and I’m not a fan. I quickly moved out of the way and got a better look at why the bird was warning me.

There it was- a baby bird hopping around on the ground, flapping it’s wings and getting a little momentum. I was smack dab in the middle of a flying lesson. Worse yet, I was seen as an object of danger.

I immediately had empathy for the bird. It was protecting its young while it was learning how to survive. The main focus of that parent bird was to do whatever it could to protect its little one in training. In that season, the bird was the protector while the baby was vulnerable.

That scene has stuck with me ever since.

I could so relate to that bird. It took me back to the years that my own kids were small. I wanted to protect them while they were learning. I wanted a safe space for them to master survival skills.

If only it was as easy as swooping down on dangers. I would have loved a roped off construction site, but that’s not how life works.

It took me far too long to realize that my role as a parent was only to guide and teach about all the dangers. I couldn’t fully protect anyone. I wanted to tuck them under my wing…but that’s something I don’t have.

I could never do enough, be enough, love enough, want enough to create the perfectly safe environment I longed for my kids to have. It’s just not humanly possible.

There is only one perfect Protector and Defender and eventually I learned to release them into his hands.  Psalm 91 is a comforting passage of scripture that talks about divine shelter. Verse 4 goes like this, “He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” 

As parents we teach, guide and release. Yes, there will be dangers. Dangers none of us can stop. That’s why teaching and guiding is important. Children don’t automatically know not to touch a pot handle on the stove. They don’t know not to go by a running tub or a bucket of water. They have no idea that climbing up or being on top of furniture is dangerous. They don’t know about electrical outlets, cars, parking lots, wells, strangers, poison, farm equipment, pools, chainsaws, safety around animals, hornet nests, cliff edges, the dangers of wandering away in a crowd, the dangers of electricity and water, ropes, necklaces, large food pieces, fireworks, internet dangers…I could go on and on. Do you see how much they don’t know? They just don’t know. They have to be taught. 

I’ve watched so many parents yell at their kids for doing something dangerous. All the while, smack dab in the center is an assumption that they would automatically know. Telling and teaching are two very different things. The day of release will happen and if there are gaps in the learning and guiding then it’ll be a very rough flight for them.

I know there is no way to escape all the dangers in life. You and I can’t make the world safe. There will always be accidents and individual choices that are out of our control. Teaching them Who their ultimate protector is will help them in so many ways.

That bird showed me there comes a time when we stand at a distance. First we’re pretty close and we’re right there as danger approaches. Then we move further and further away. Entrusting them to the One who has their days in His hands. 

Parenting transitions from being very actively nearby to praying from afar.

Please hear me…there is nothing easy about the release. Regret, heartache, shame, what if’s, could have’s, maybes, should be’s, why’s, not yet’s all show up at the door when each child steps out on their own. The welcome mat you have outside is not for any of that so refuse it. It can quickly become the unwelcomed guest that stays too long. Don’t open the door!

Trust that the gear you gave them is a good start. They need to gather the rest of their flight supplies themselves. They need to rely on their Savior more than they ever relied on you. 

I wish I could tell you letting go is surrounded with promises of safe. You know I can’t, because it’s not. I can’t even tell you how many times others have shared they’re afraid what’s happened to me will be a reality for them if they fully release their children. Oh friend, there’s no peace in that thinking.

We can’t forever frantically swoop over dangers that get too close to our kids. Knowing Who’s children they really are is important. We have them for a time. To teach, to guide and to fully surrender to the Lord.¬†

Life happens in seasons. If this is your season of release then open your heart and both hands and let go. The same One who will be with them is also with you. Trust Him, even with all the unknowns and unplanned. Trust.

Resting in the waiting,

Tracy

Every house

Each house we drive by has a story unfolding inside. The chapters belong to the faces of whoever lives inside those walls. None of us knows exactly what’s happening as we blindly drive by.

It’s the girl walking down the road in her pajamas with a bloodied face and beaten up spirit.

It’s the eyes you lock with that show more raw emotion than you ever thought possible.

It’s the teen trying so hard to hide what’s happening behind closed doors. The addiction that has them trapped, but they have no idea how to crawl out of the shackle of shame.

It’s the person who grabs one more carton of ice cream and chokes it down to ease the pain inside….or the one refusing to eat at all because it’s the only thing they can control.

It’s the little child who cringes at voices. The one who’s quiet in a crowd. Over looked. Full of fear. Learning to lie to survive and even worse….starting to believe the lies about themselves.

It’s the overwhelmed mom in the store screaming at her kids. Lashing out at the wrong people for hurt someone else caused.

It’s the man in the middle of the intersection who hops out of his car to start screaming at the person behind him. A once little boy turned into a bully full of rage.

It’s the family wondering where their next meal will come from or how they’ll pay the stack of bills on the counter.

It’s the one crying in the bathroom as they harm themselves. Or looking at another negative pregnancy test…or another positive one.

It’s the one who hides in the closest trying to find a safe place to be.

It’s the addict who looks at all their pill bottles, consumed with the thought of how they can get more. How many more surgeries can they safely have. How many more doctors can they see before someone starts to connect the dots.

It’s the picture perfect family with the terrible secret. They really don’t resemble a family at all. The silence is piercing. The emotional abuse is suffocating.

It’s the one all alone.

It’s the house full of joyful drinking. But the drinks are no longer an option. Lives are being controlling by them.

It’s the one who acts like they’re strong, but they know what others don’t. Words and actions don’t match.

It’s the freedom fighter who isn’t really free themselves.

It’s the one who can barely crawl out of bed some days. The pain is too much. Everyone else is to blame for how they got there. They are trapped in their own reality.

It’s the grieving soul. Struggling to make it through the next minute. Shattered. Lost. Broken.

It’s the one who never follows through. There’s been no growth in years. Just excuses. The mountain of lies took years to build.

It’s the overworked. Striving for some false type of success that is never achieved. Ten years go by. Then twenty. And five more. The work never stopped and now there’s no time left.

It’s the one wondering why no one sees what’s happening.

It’s the person burying all their hurt. They feel like they have to or it will swallow them when in fact it already has.

It’s the one who bought into the hustle mentality. Seeing each person as a potential prospect. Frantic from one month to the next trying to reach quotas and missing out on genuine relationships and the very people around them.

It’s the one left with only photos to look at.

It’s the person who can’t take one more empty apology…or never gets one at all.

It’s the person who is always the victim. Always suffering at the hands of others. Always giving themselves permission to stay right where they’re at.

It’s the one reading their diagnosis for the tenth time. Hoping somehow someway, if they stare at it long enough it’ll change.

It’s the parent who’s overtaken with grief. They haven’t seen their child in years and have to face that they may never again. Or… they stand beside a grave marked with the name they chose for their child. And it just doesn’t seem real.

It’s the one who knows scripture but won’t let it transform them.

It’s the person always taking care of everyone else as they continue to weaken from lack of self care.

It’s the one saying I’ll get to that tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

It’s the one full of fear and anxiety trying to make it through each day. Stuck in the cycle of trying the same thing over and over.

It’s one the who still hears the taunting voices of others twenty years later. The one who let their identity become what others falsely claimed.

It’s the one who never got to say goodbye.

It’s the one curled in a ball praying with all their might.

It’s the one who just can’t take anymore. The one who’s tried to save her family and lost herself in the process. The one seeking answers, any answers. Something to make all this stop.

It’s the one who’s always right. So right that they’ve pushed everyone away.

It’s the one who can’t out run, or exercise away the ache inside.

It’s the tear stained pillows.

It’s the hardened hearts.

It’s the spouse left with once was while they face what is.

It’s the abuse cycle being passed down from one generation to the next.

It’s the person sitting in the chair. Frozen. Wondering how this could have happened.

It’s the one trying to start over. Trying to put back the pieces of their life.

It’s the one experiencing horrific things that no person ever should.

It’s the one who’s lost all hope, and has no one who’ll listen.

It’s the person who was so hurt by their church that they now blame God.

Every house, every person has a story. Cars may sit outside. Toys may be in the yard. But inside things are happening that no one sees.

Thankfully there are many houses where things are ok inside. My fear is there are too many where things aren’t. How often do we miss what needs to be seen.

It’s easy to head to our next destination with schedules and activities on our minds. What if during all that busyness we paused and took time to pray for every house we drove past.

You never know how badly someone inside might need it!

And if you’re one of the unseen…I’m so sorry. Do you know how I could write these potential scenarios? Because I’ve lived at a few of these addresses. And the one thing I want you to hear is this- there really is a God who loves you and sees you. He is very near. Circumstances won’t always make sense, but He can be trusted. In my hardest moments is when I feel His deepest love.

If you need help please reach out. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

Wrapped in His grace,

Tracy

How long

There I was making dinner, listening to worship music and thinking. Before I knew it the question came rushing back again…

“How long, Lord?”

It’s a question I’ve been asking a lot lately.

I never imagined my life would look like this.

I wonder…have you been there too? It’s a difficult place to be, isn’t it?

Please hear me, I trust & love the Lord deeply. I know He sees what I can’t & can redeem anything. All according to His will and timing.

Knowing that doesn’t mean that I won’t feel pain & frustration. Actually, it’s in the knowing that I experience all the emotions.

When the wave of how longs come in I have to steady myself on the Rock.

How long

before relief

will he stay gone

until my family is restored

will the oppression last

until healing

do I stay silent

before this is over

hourglass image

Oh my friend, the list of how longs has so many possibilities, doesn’t it?

I want to share some hope with you that the Lord shared with me-

Psalm 27 

Psalm 33

Those Psalms are so rich with meaning. Each & every verse spoke to my heart only in the way that He can.

Both of those Psalms ended with an instruction to “wait for the Lord.” He is my blessed hope and I will wait.

In the waiting I need to stay close to Him. It’s the only way I’ll be able to take each next step.

I am gifted by a personal Savior who knows my heart better than I do. He hears the concerns in my thoughts.

And…He takes me right to His Word for answers.

Psalm image

Sometimes the answers don’t come in ways I expect. I want my situation to change and He knows the first change that needs to happen is in my heart.

The enemy wants all the “how longs” to leave me hopeless. My God of hope already has victory over each & every one!

He has walked me through some glorious seasons and some painful ones. There have been valleys, mountaintops and wildernesses. He’s been by my side the entire way. When I start to feel lonely & afraid it’s because I wandered away…He didn’t.

This is the song that was playing when my most recent how long showed up-

More Like Jesus

If more of You
Means less of me
Take everything
Yes, all of You
Is all I need
Take everything

You are my life and my treasure
The one that I can’t live without
Here at your feet my desires and dreams, I lay down
Here at your feet my desires and dreams, I lay down

With hands spread open in front of me I lay down my dreams & plans.

Dear Lord, in the waiting please fill me with more of You. I want You to be the treasure that I seek. Please forgive me. I trust You with whatever outcomes you decide. Please help me rest in Your strength. Use my life for your purposes. I am blessed to be Your agape loved chosen daughter. Please create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me. I am lost without your divine direction. In Jesus precious name I pray…Amen.

If you been asking ‘how long’ please don’t give up hope. God hears. God knows. God cares.

Saved by his grace,

Tracy

I have a Shepherd who rescues

Today I started week two of a bible study called Psalm 23 The Shepherd With Me¬†by Jennifer Rothschild. My friend, it’s intense.

When I first can across this study I thought it sounded like a relatable topic for my current season so I decided to jump in.

Well. Jump I did.

I’m also reading New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp. Because why not…it makes perfect sense to tackle both at the same time. Did I mention that I’m finishing up Enough- Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence by Sharon Jaynes? Don’t let the title of that one fool you. It is not a self help book. It’s a book on lies the enemy likes to whisper & who our identity is in. All deep stuff.

I love to read, but I’m usually a one book at a time gal or I run the risk of crowding out my bible time. There’s the whole daily priorities, goals & side things that vie for my attention and well- you get it, right? Multiple readings can be a challenge.

Thank you, Lord, that you didn’t let me overthink and for your guidance to these books that guided me directly back to You.¬†

He knows what I need more than I ever could. He is my Shepherd and I am his sheep. There is nothing that can heal me more than the truth of His Word. There is no greater hope. He saw that I was needing rescue again. He heard my SOS.

I am not hidden from my Shepherd.

Psalm 23

Taking a deeper look at how personal Psalm 23 is has been pretty emotional…and extremely comforting.

He is my Rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my light & salvation, my strength & shield, my King, my warrior, my help. I am His & He is mine.

He leads me, guides me, protects me, carries me, saves me, blesses me, watches over me, guards me, directs me, sacrifices for me, provides for me. For me.

That is beyond overwhelmingly amazing. He rescued me from death and continues to rescue me from me.

Rescue 

I was wrecked the first time I heard this song by Lauren Daigle. I cry every single time.¬†I know the lengths He went to for my rescue.¬† He pulled me out of a lot of darkness. His love runs deeper than any other love. This song puts a visual in my mind of the search & rescue He did for me…his lost lamb.

There are people in my life that need spiritual rescue right now. No matter how much I want it for them or try to think of ways to help…I can’t. I can’t rescue myself or anyone else. All I can do is be the lifter of prayers.

The Holy Spirit is the only heart changer.  I tightly hold onto the hope that He will send out an army for them too.

The Shepherd rescues souls. This sheep is living proof!

If you’d like some extra prayers for yourself or lost loved ones, please reach out to me. I’d love to pray!

Forever in His care,

Tracy

sheep

#Psalm23Study

 

Anchor

I went for a walk down the lane to clear my head and have some quiet time with the Lord.

Right away I noticed how cracked & hard the ground is from a lack of rain. Things tend to make more sense when we see a cause and effect situation with our eyes, but what about when we can’t.

Everyone has circumstances surrounding them this very second. Some have simple explanations, like a lack of rain & others don’t. It’s the ‘others’ that can be such a struggle.

Lord, help us not to just see our circumstances, but to search for You in them.

I’d guess the plants I was walking by have pretty shallow roots. Ever since the seed went in the ground, the rains have halted. Plants need a deep watering to have deep roots.

It’s like us. If I only sprinkle my day with a quick prayer & a few verses then my roots don’t have much to draw on. I need a daily downpour to have roots that can anchor me in His strength.

Colossians 2:6-7 

anchor

The hope of Jesus is an anchor for our soul. I believe that with every ounce of everything in me. I can sink myself into His entire being to find hope.

Hebrews 6:19

Sweet friend, are your days hard right now? All I can offer is…Jesus. Please reach for the only One that can ease the pain. There is nothing else. Only Jesus. He fully understands.

It’s in the vast areas of water that anchors need to be mighty to go into the depths. During our stormiest times, we have an anchor unlike no other. He is the Great I AM!

Are you anchored in Him?

God’s Word is the rope that attaches us to the Anchor. Worship. Prayer. Scripture Meditation…each is a strand that adds to this indestructible rope.

It’s in the most uncertain times that growth happens. The hard ground & cracks of life can be used to bring Him glory.

Will you join me in trusting Him with the unseen’s & searching for Him in the midst?

Adopted by Him,

Tracy

 

 

 

 

Entrusting the One

There will be days, months…even years that shake you.

The unexpected can leave you‚ÄĒ

facing each day with the same raw realities, climbing out of bed with weights on your heart & feet. Sunrise bringing new mercies that you desperately need, but the heaviness…oh, the heaviness.

It’s a hard place to be.

I can honestly say, I’m probably two steps ahead or behind you…traveling a road I never wanted to be on. I’m fairly certain more roads are to come. Until the Lord takes me home, there’s going to be rough paths here & there.

Strahlengang 3

Do you know what the good news is in all of that? I don’t travel alone. He doesn’t abandon His own. Ever.

The day that He opened the door & embraced me- sin stained, rebellious, prideful, broken, lost me…is the moment I gained a forever Father. Jesus fully loves me. So much that He¬†died for me.

It’s because of all that He is that I can strap His sandals over mine & journey on.

If I’m carrying too many other things, I can’t fully hold onto Him. My grip will loosen on something. It can’t be Him.

So what do we do when the heaviness of the load becomes too much? Eventually, I let go‚ÄĒ

entrusting people & situations to the One who set me free is the best possible thing I can do. I can’t handle the choices of others. I can’t change losses. I can’t heal hurts. I can’t prevent things from happening. I wasn’t created to do any of that.

The losses…I entrust to Him.

The pain & hurt…I lay at His feet.

The unimaginable…I surrender.

I don’t do it perfectly.¬† Even my letting go is messy & that’s OK. He knows I’m still learning. Still growing. It’s when I don’t let go that it’s not OK. If I hang on too tight or too long then the weights get heavier & I start sinking.

How do I know this? Because I’ve done it.

I wish I could give you step by step instructions, but I can’t. The letting go process has no time table. There’s no ‘right way’. All I can offer is stay close to Him, His Word, prayer & you’ll know when it’s time. The Holy Spirit will guide you.

‘Letting go’ is a phrase that’s misused by many. The thing is, with letting go, I have to be ready. It can’t be forced. Do you know what, “I have to be ready means?” It means I¬†fully turn to the Lord, fully trust Him, fully release my wounds into his Hands. Fully.

Bumps will come. I don’t know what or when they’ll be or who will be involved. When it’s a child or someone very close to you, those unexpected’s can feel like someone dropped a load of bricks on your chest. There is just no way to prepare.

I entrust it all to the only One who can help. I need help. Always. When the season of unexpected is long, I need even more of His help. I can’t make sense of certain things. What I can do is let Him chisel away at the parts of me that need to go, so not only can I survive, but actually thrive.

bible at sunrise

It’s a special type of thriving. Everything tends to stay “messy” on the outside, but a ray of His light rises up hope inside. He lifts a few of the weights off & I roll out of bed, onto my knees and offer Him the day.

Lord, please use my life for Your glory. May I rest in Your endless mercies. Continue to bring restoration according to Your will. I know there’s a divine purpose for all of this. I trust You, even if I never see the end result.

Eternally His,

Tracy

 

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness.

It’s a word that comes with a variety of how to instructions, books, and detailed manuals.

It’s not simple to explain or easy to do.

What it is….is necessary.

I’ve read many books over the years on forgiveness & lots of step by step guides. Most of it has been helpful, even convicting at times. However, there’s one book that lays it all out. One that I return to time & time again…my Bible.

As a follower of Christ, forgiveness is at the core of my salvation. The Lord forgave¬†all¬†of my sins. Every last one. I didn’t do anything to deserve it & yet, here I stand…in His merciful forgiveness.

I know this truth & there are still times I find myself being half-hearted with it.¬†Every second of every day I should be on my knees pouring out His praise. He didn’t gift me with partial forgiveness & I shouldn’t be giving Him pieces of devotion.

The enemy loves to whisper lies that I’m not really forgiven. Self condemnation rears it’s ugly head. It’s just not true. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the full penalty for my sin. I am His forgiven daughter.

Colossians 2:13-15     Titus 3:4-7     Romans 10:9-10

He provides the ultimate example of what forgiveness looks like. I never come anywhere near to doing it as quickly as God does. I’m not proud of that at all. I’m just being truthful with you. Sometimes it’s a process for me.

People will wound other people. I know I’ve hurt others & have needed to be forgiven. We all act & react out of a state of brokenness.

There are times when even the thought of being able to forgive someone seems impossible. The hurt is too deep. I can tell you from experience that it is possible. Not from anything we can do in our own strength.

Forgiveness can happen because we are the forgiven. 

Forgiveness isn’t forgetting. It’s forgiving, and we’re commanded to forgive…to bring Him glory.

Colossians 3:13     Matthew 6:14-15     Ephesians 4:29-32     Luke 6:37-38

forgive

Can I share with you for a minute? Not long ago, I faced a hard season. I knew I had to forgive someone very near & dear to me…but I couldn’t. I would sit outside staring at the horizon, crying out to the Lord. I could not find forgiveness for this person.

It was tearing me apart inside. Distancing me from true fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I was angry. Broken. Betrayed. Disillusioned. Hurting deeply. I had no idea where to start.

The unimaginable walked through my door & I wanted it to walk right back out.

Words & actions can’t be taken back. Sometimes…they destroy. That’s where I was. Sitting in the middle of destruction, begging Him to pull me out.

I kept seeking His help. Sobbing…sitting in silence…shattered. Days turned into months.

I would get glimpses of forgiveness & think I was getting closer, only to watch it slip¬† away…time & time again. The internal conflict was endless.

My daughter kept telling me to go away for a week & have some alone time. Precious time with my Savior always fills me back up with His direction & hope.

I never went. New piles were being added on top of the already existing mess. It was all too much for me. With each heaping load, less of me was left.

I was disappearing, but He was rising.

One thing He showed me when we lost Jake was that I couldn’t walk some roads…but He could. He carries the weak. He does it.

Here I was. Again. He was reminding me when I can’t…He can.

I remember the day. I was outside in my chair. Same spot, same crying, same hurt. I was pleading with the Lord to show me how to forgive.

Pray. Pray for them. 

I had been praying for change & praying about them…all the time. What I hadn’t done was pray for them.¬† Through sobs, I choked out new prayers. Not prayers about the hurt, or desired change & healing. I fumbled through imperfect prayers that were being lifted to a perfect Savior. He knew I was finally ready.

I had to forgive them as much as I’ve been forgiven. That’s a complete forgiveness. No holding back.

My heart had been hanging onto the hurt for a long time. I needed His heart. The heart where forgiveness resides. I knew I was in sin by not forgiving. Wading through pain is difficult & confusing. I struggled to find my way out, and He never left my side. That, my friends, is a loving God.

I can’t change people or heal wounds. Only Christ can. Surrendering what we have no control over is where healing begins.

Forgiving has no guaranteed relationship outcome.¬† There are too many variables. The person may not want reconciliation. Maybe they’re already gone. It could be someone you’ll never see again. The point of forgiveness isn’t about what surrounds the situation, because there is no eraser. It’s about our heart. When we won’t forgive, we aren’t free.

I’m still walking this path. I can’t promise that I won’t make mistakes. I have no idea what my responses will be. I do know that my desire is to please my Lord. I want to honor Him. All I can do is keep trying, keep filling myself with His Word, keep changing me, keep hoping, and never forget who the battle is with & Who it belongs to!

Sometimes, sadness does remain. We’re never quite the same after trials. Thankfully, He works out all things, in His way & in His timing. His light shines through every crack. Change is good…getting there is the hard part. It’s a continued breaking of our brokenness.

Do you have unforgiveness in your heart? The Lord sees it. There’s no hiding. Please…talk with Him about it. He really can help. I’m living proof.

Forgiven,

Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken

I’m a broken person trying to share hope with other broken people.

Can I just pause there for a second or two. It’s a lot to take in.

The irony is so thick. I have no idea what I’m doing half the time. I know He’s called me to write, yet I still struggle to share my story. He continues to lead me to words. Words that I have no idea what to do with.

Hope, Tracy….share hope. Share your story.¬†Share My hope.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (CSB)

Pointing to the God of hope is only possible because of Christ. He died a terrible death to free me from my sin. He gave everything. I never deserved His pardon…yet he freed me anyway. How could I not share His hope.

I understand that much of my life might not be relatable to many, but my Savior sure is. That’s who I want you to see whenever I share. Him. See Jesus.

Part of sharing hope is handing over all these broken pieces & letting Him use them to point others to the cross. There are times when I try to hold some back…glue them myself & watch as they fall to the floor.

Here are all my shattered pieces, Lord. Take them all.

I’m on day 3 of a 30 day emotion support challenge with some of my oily gals. Yes, I’m one of those essential oil users! After losing Jake, a friend shared some Young Living oils with me. My mind was able to quiet for the first time during deep grief. You better believe I noticed. I use them for pretty much everything now. It’s a way of life in our house.

It was hard coming up with a challenge chart for emotions. Not because I don’t see the value in supporting them. It’s more the feelings part. Emotions are tricky. They are indicators, but should never become dictators. (Thank you, Lysa Terkeurst)

Some of the difficulty is the degree & situation. People are struggling with everything from daily disappointments to life altering losses. The only common thread is we’re all broken in some way. Broken from birth & then filled with brokenness as a result of hardships.

There is no exact way to process hurts. No perfect formula to follow. No time table. Every single person & situation is unique. The only person who knows how another person feels is the Lord. Although, many try.

People are often quick to give advice. The best “advice” I received after losing Jacob, was from those who gave no advice. They provided for our immediate needs, were silently present & shared simple words of hope. That’s when I started to see how valuable sharing His hope is. I want to be a hope bringer.

It’s not helpful to the hurting to try & make sense of things or approach them from a broken human perspective. Which we all have. We don’t replace the Holy Spirit. We can’t take away pain for another or change anything. The best thing we can do is pray fervently for them.

Maybe you’re down & discouraged. Maybe you’re struggling with anger…or maybe you’re in deep sorrow right now. I’m not sure what you’re facing or how long you’ve been there. I do know the Healer is near. Seek Him. Run to Him. That’s where true hope lies. He is stronger than any feeling.

Feelings change…He doesn’t.¬†Anytime we process situations through feelings instead of faith, it gets harder to pull out from being feeling controlled.

In our human brokenness, we either become feeling led or Spirit led. 

When it’s time, He does lift us up & out. His mercies are new each day. Pouring His Truth over our wounds is the best comfort this world has to offer. Our minds can get cloudy during tragedies. Others might have to do the pouring for us. Take heart,¬†the Son can break through any cloud.¬†Through the overflowing of His comfort,¬†we will start pouring on our own again.

ray of light

I’m pretty sure we don’t even realize when healing starts. It’s rarely instantaneous. Slowly, we stop trying to hold onto everything around us and start holding Him tighter & tighter. The firmer we cling, the more He strengthens us.

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)

Friend, I stand in His hope every day & there’s plenty of room for you too! As a matter of fact…you can stand right next to me.

In His endless love,

Tracy

If you’d like to know more about my essential oil lifestyle then please check out Roots of Healing.¬†¬†I have a blog over there too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authentic

Precious Savior, you are worthy of all. Here is my life…please help me every second of every day to glorify You. Lord Jesus, may authentic be at the core of Your church. Start with me, King Jesus…here-I-am. I am Yours. Forgive me for being so slow. May Your will be done. I pray for an authentic Spirit-led heart. You are worthy of all praise & honor…AMEN.

Far too often, I think many of us try to figure out who we are by using worldly standards instead of searching the scriptures to see who we’re called to be.

We scan over the character traits mentioned in God’s Word, as if they are optional accessories instead of commands.

We put all our effort & energy into everything of this world & offer Jesus scraps of time.

We say we love God but our devotion goes to the internet, a screen, fads, hobbies, jobs, TV & people.

We give each other unspoken permission to continue doing what we want. To keep focusing on what makes us happy & empowered. Words like repent, sanctification & wicked are tossed in a bowl labeled radical.

We attempt to soothe our sin by plucking scripture out of context. Being comfortable in church is more important than humbly seeking the Comforter.

We say we are believers yet our time, attitude & actions show exactly who we have belief in.

We dismiss unwholesome talk by spreading a layer of praise & worship over it.

We’re OK with spending more time with people who don’t sharpen us as a believer & excuse away their active sins VS being with those who offer discipleship & equipping godly fellowship.

We’re afraid of or misunderstand the words “fear God” & yet we show no fear for the wrath of God.

We make our own plans instead of getting our our knees & waiting for God to reveal his plan.

Forgive us, Lord.

I say we because, regrettably, I’ve done each one of these things at some point in my Christian walk. It grieves me to admit…even more than once. I’m guessing I’m not alone.

Thankfully, with God’s mercy & grace there’s hope for an internal change if our heart is humble. Changing comes with growing pains & I’ve had myself plenty. They are painful & hard, but oh so necessary. I know there’s more to come because I’m committed to continuing to change. Even if it’s by one painful tiny half step at a time.

Every change needed follows the realization of something that’s sinful inside, so repentance is the first step. There’s no side stepping it. No short cuts. It’s gotta happen.

I read a devotional & there was a sentence that really stuck out to me…

When we’re authentic to our faith and who we are, God’s presence joins in. Our words and actions reflect who He is, no matter the situation or who’s with us.- Suzie Eller

YES! That’s the goal! I want that!!!!

Authentic people are the best kind of people to be around. Words & actions are a reflection of who we really are on the inside, not who we pretend to be.

Many times, pain is at the root of no growth. Pain masks truth & we can get all cloudy in our thinking. We just want to be accepted, loved & allowed to do what makes us feel better. That all circles around feelings & as Lysa Terkeurst says, “Feelings are indicators, not dictators.”

Authenticity can usher in the healing balm of God’s word IF we get real & stop hiding.

Everything I listed at the beginning had me in chains. A chain of consequence links. Jesus can break any chain of bondage that we face. He really can. Rebellion is all about self. Submission is all about Him.

I don’t know if you’re ready for change. ¬†I do know there’s no faking it. Pretending doesn’t work. I’d love for you to join me in striving to be authentic. I think this world could use some more authentic people, don’t you?

Hanging on HOPE,

Tracy

His Healing Power

Have you ever experienced moments of regret so deep that you felt like it could swallow you?

Oh dear friend, I have. I’m gonna be honest…it’s not a good place to be.¬†

Every day there’s a fountain of living water I can drink. It’s found in God’s Word. Prayer. Quiet time with Him. Laying my burdens down. In the rush of life,¬† I often find myself thirsty. I take in drops instead of His healing flow.

John 4:10-14       Psalm 63:1-8

When I “hurry”, I’m vulnerable to old habits. My thoughts & words shift back to the very sin nature that Jesus died for. The enormity of that hurts my heart. Not nearly as much as it must hurt His.

The old me is where regret seeds were first planted. I made bad choice after bad choice. Distorted thinking was the residual that surfaced after I got married & had kids. I thought I could protect my children from life. I convinced myself that with the “right tools” in place they would be spared from regrets & totally forgot they had their own human nature. That “need” to protect only created more mistakes which lead to more remorse.

The closest we can get to doing relationships anywhere near just¬†right¬†is by exampling what we believe instead of just saying it. That realization usually arrives too late & we’re left with thoughts of, “I wish I had/hadn’t….” There are tears of sadness….and rightly so. Mistakes hurt.

Psalm 73:26

Change can’t happen with yesterday’s but it can be part of today.¬†

Regrets are one of the first things to flood in & try to steal the truths I hold close. I have at least twelve U Haul trailers full. I unhitched & parked them a long time ago but every now & again I try to pull a wagon full behind me.

Have you ever had them creep in out of nowhere? That’s how the enemy works. He whispers lies to saved souls trying to draw us back into darkness. I don’t know about you, but if I’m tired out, weary or in a heavy season of sorrow, those regrets can pull me right down into a puddle of sobs.

When those lies start coming…turn away & lean toward the Truth. We have a victorious King who already won. That’s where real power is found. He can & will break every chain.

Josh Baldwin released a new song that points to this power. Here are a few of the lyrics–

Stand in Your Love by Josh Baldwin

When darkness tries to roll over my bones
When sorrow comes to steal the joy I own
When brokenness and pain is all I know
I won’t be shaken, no, I won’t be shaken

Shame no longer has a place to hide
I am not a captive to the lies
I’m not afraid to leave my past behind
Oh, I won’t be shaken, no, I won’t be shaken!

There’s power that can break off every chain
There’s power that can empty out a grave
There’s resurrection power that can save
There’s power in Your name, power in Your name!

We all have hard stories to tell, don’t we? Life changing phone calls, core-shaking actions, images revealed, devastating decisions made by trusted loved ones, tragedies, abuse, addiction, mistakes, abandonment. There can be deep, deep sadness surrounding these things, but it’s not the end of the story.

Please hear me…the Lord can bring purpose out of pain. He really can. It takes time, but it’s more than possible. Handing the shattered pieces over to Jesus is where healing starts. The old is no longer our identity.

The power that can break any chain is the same power that fear flees from. His mighty power will hold us in His love. His perfect love. He offers it to us…the imperfect. The very same us that cost Him his life.

That fountain I mentioned? It’s always there. Let’s grab a cupful and thirst no more.

Forever in his mercy,
Tracy
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