What Are You Searching For?

Man-searching

We look high and low for something to numb us or someone to fulfill us.

Addictions come in many forms. Drugs, alcohol, relationships, impulse shopping, social media, etc…

Because there is that something in each of us that is reserved for Him. He planted it in us. Because He desires an intimate relationship with each of us. He loves us that much and He is a jealous God, that is why nothing or no one can fill that void we have. He said it is for Him.

The beauty of this is…. what we can not do for ourselves, He can and will do it for us.

Look as much as you want… but until you call His Name, Jesus, you will never find what you are looking for.

Come home to Him. He loves you!

Nobody Greater (click here)

Be Free & Stay Free 

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Heart Shaped Vision

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I recently watched a movie about a young girl who lived in her van. At first glance the girl seems to be happy and carefree. It started as a typical movie, young girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy proposes, she refuses him.

You are probably asking yourself what does this have to do with anything? Stay with me here…

When he proposed to her he offered her a chance to a “normal” life. He loved her and wanted to care for her. It would make since for her to accept his proposal. But when she turned her back to him the camera caught something on her face and I recognized it. It was the look of fear. It was not that she did not love him; she refused his proposal and a future with him because she was afraid.

Fear causes us to do foolish things, doesn’t it?

The young girl in the movie instantly went into a fight or flight mode when faced with change. For someone who has been where she is, I could see her wheels turning in her mind. She could risk losing him now by refusing him, in which case it would be “her choice,” this would be flight, to run-away or avoid the entire situation. Or she could risk losing him later when he realized she could not have a “normal” life, this would be fight, she could fight to maintain herself, until undoubtedly she would go down in flames, as she believed.

For anyone who grew up in a safe and nurturing environment, this whole scenario would be foreign. After all, who in their right mind would choose to live a homeless lifestyle in a broken down van and eat from the garbage and then when given an opportunity to a better life… refuse it? Why would someone be afraid of love, commitment, security, and safety? It would just make no sense to someone who has never experienced the depth of injury and loss that comes through long term abuse and neglect as a child.

Our bodies may mature and age, but hidden deep inside is a wounded child. Some of us may learn to go through the motions, the mechanics, of a functioning life. Look around you. Most people are good disguising their wounded selves. You just never know what inner war someone battles because people can be great pretenders. Maybe you are one of them?

Fear does not allow us to look beyond our past. It is a slow tightening noose around the neck of dreams, hope, possibility, and life. It is the glaring flashing sign that says “You can’t do this! You are not worthy! Someone is going to find out who you really are! You will be rejected! You are unwanted and unlovable!” Fear sets itself up as a roadblock to keep us from turning to the very One who can heal us.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].  1 John 4:18 (Amp)

Children are not always resilient, they are adaptable.

Resilient is able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. To adapt is to modify, adjust to new conditions, to alter. When something is broken, there will be a scar, a crack, even when it is fixed it is not as it was before it was broken.

This reminds me of a teapot I once had. It was once one of my favorite possessions because it was so beautiful with delicate detailed hand painted flowers on the side of it. It was an inexpensive item I picked up at a yard sale, but to me, living on a budget, it was fancy. I enjoyed steeping my tea in it and then pouring it into my, just as delicate, tea cup. One day my teapot broke, it cracked and the handle came off. I tried to fix it by gluing the pieces back together, but it proved not to be resilient, it was no longer usable as a tea pot to hold liquid. However, it was adaptable as a potter. Not wanting to throw it away I made it into a small planter. To me it was just as beautiful, but it no longer served its original purpose.

You see, we are like that teapot. God created us in His image, kissed with the personal touch and breath of God, each one of us unique and finely detailed by His hand. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument]. And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]. I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” When God saw everything He had made, including you and me, He called it very good. (Genesis 1:31) It is His desire that we walk in this knowledge and understanding.

In a perfect world we would all be born into a family with parents to guide and establish this truth in us. But, we do not live in a perfect world, we live in a fallen world, and because of wounds and injuries passed down from our parents (and generations before) we were not nurtured in the revelation of His truth. This cloud of hurt influences our lives and hides the truth. The injuries hinder us from seeing Gods perspective.

I have found great comfort in Romans 8:28, “And we know all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This is great news! He has created you for His purpose.

You are not a teapot. You are far more valuable! He does not expect you to be resilient or to adapt. He will not glue you back together, He will make you new.

Do you believe this? Can you take a step of faith and trust Him to heal you?

Trust in His love for you. His love is perfect and you have no need to fear when you know His love for you is without measure and without end. You are free from fear of rejection and shame, He sees much deeper than the surface and if you allow Him, He will go right to the root and restore you.

Be Free & Stay Free

Free to Fly

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As I sit here and listen to Jason Upton sing about freedom, I mediate on the truth of what he is singing. (Click here)

Ah, yes, freedom! Isn’t that we all long for? True freedom to be who we were created to be in the security of safety and comfort of knowing we will not be rejected?

Strange, how even Spirit filled believers struggle to walk in that freedom. Still, knowing is not always believing, is it?  We see, but we do not believe. We listen, but we do not hear. We nod our heads yes, but our shoulders are shrugging. We can even preach His truth and believe it for anyone else, but somehow we think “It’s for everyone else, not me.”

But this is the freedom Christ gives us, to be set free in His love.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 1 John 4:18 Amp.

What does this mean?

I believe God is saying: My daughter (son) you have been created in My image from the beginning. You are Mine and nothing or no one can change that. You are wrapped securely in the palm of My hand, you are the apple of My eye. I have gifted you and created you with a purpose. You are not an accident, you were planned before the foundations of the earth. I knew you before you were even in your mother’s womb. Lay down what hinders you and embrace Me. Look around you, there is no one there to condemn you, I do not condemn you, there is no condemnation in those who are in Christ Jesus. Though others have rejected you, I will never reject you. Do not be afraid to shine. Lay down the guilt, regret, fear, and shame. When you stop trying to self medicate the injury and wounds that did not come from me, then you will seek Me and you will find Me. I am not hiding from you. Unforgiveness will hold you bondage to depression, bitterness, sickness, restlessness, anger, and death. Let it go, give it to Me. Only I can take the ashes and create beauty. My joy that I give you is not based on circumstance, but on the revelation knowledge that I love you and in My love you are free to be the you I created you to be.

Selah

Be Free & Stay Free

 

He Thought He Was the Shizzit

Ever wonder how you ended up in such a confusing relationship? Is it leaving you feeling torn down, beat up, and exhausted? Don’t ignore the quiet voice.

I Am Not leah

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How did I get so deceived? I am an intelligent woman. I know the Word, I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I should have known better.

“You are too hard on yourself” a friend told me.

I have to take responsibility for my actions too. It would be quite easy to just point fingers at him and say it was all his fault. Honestly, I believe the breakdown of our relationship was his fault. But the results of the fall out, the injury to my soul, I can’t blame him for that, that part was my fault. I saw the red flags, I ignored them, I justified them, I excused them. I heard God warn me and tell me no, but I had to have it my way.

You see, he was everything I thought I wanted.

I met him online, a Christian dating site (fair warning, not everyone…

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Women of Influence

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Women, remove your mask and be the woman God has called you to be. Do not be independent, but be dependent on God. There is a difference between independence and strength. Let your strength be that inward quiet beauty that God loves; let it radiate through you.

You do not have to demand respect. God has a plan and a purpose for everyone; men and women. Do not usurp the man’s position by demanding yours.

If you are single, do not look for that perfect man… he does not exist. Work on you and let your Heavenly Father, who is perfect, bring your husband to you. Do not awaken love before it’s time. Remember, you were purchased at a great price, the blood of Jesus has redeemed you. You are a precious treasure, not a cheap trinket. You are to be cherished. Do not give your body and your heart and your soul away to a man who is not your husband. In God’s time He will bring that man to you. That man will only find you if he is chasing after God. So, be so hidden in Him that you will not be deceived by the counterfeit. God wants much more for you. Trust God’s standards.

Mothers, teach your daughters to be women. Let your speech be gentle, truthful and non-demanding. Do not belittle your daughters father, build him up. Be grounded in Gods Word and not the world.

Wives, honor your husbands. Build your home to be a refuge for him. Keep the fire hot, the world is a cold place, he needs your warmth. Respect your husband, he has the responsibility to be head of your home. Do not take lightly his burden of accountability to lead. Be his helpmeet. Stand beside him, watch for his blind spots and cover him in prayer.

It is not the paycheck that determines the head of the home, it is God. Because He loves you, He has designed the blueprint for marriage. Trust Him.

You cannot change your husband, only God can do that. Your husband needs a wife, a helpmeet; not a mother, a boss, or a competitor.

Know who you are and Who He is and who you are in Him.

Let your family rise and call you blessed.

Proverbs 31 10-31

A capable, intelligent, and [b]virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.

12 She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.

13 She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].

14 She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country].

15 She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.

16 She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.

18 She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].

19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].

21 She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].

23 Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!

26 She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].

27 She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying],

29 [c]Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.

30 Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!

Be Free & Stay Free

Real Love

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If we have not experienced the unconditional love and affection of our fathers while growing up, we may find ourselves in toxic relationships; or unsatisfying, at the most.

As little girls we yearn to be loved and protected by our fathers. If that need was not met we become women who will accept anyone (or anything) who will offer to fill that need. Often, what they offer is a counterfeit and before we realize it we are sucked into another relationship that heaps coals onto our fire of doubt, insecurity, fear and self-hatred.

This is not an issue of intelligence, but a matter of the heart.

A wounded heart that is unable to self love will struggle with boundaries. Our mind may know that a person is not right for us, but our emotional need to fill a void will tolerate almost anything.

Do you find history repeating itself? Are you giving more to a relationship than you are receiving? Is your fear of being alone greater than your courage to walk away?

I have heard women say “love has eluded me.” Honestly, I admit, that I too have echoed these words. I have wondered if would ever experience love and I have found myself settling. It is not a good feeling, is it? What I have learned, and am still learning, is no man can fill this void. No man was meant to fill the void.

When we have not experienced the love of our fathers, we have no standard to measure the love of a man. Without this, we set our standards low, and because we do not value ourselves, we find ourselves with men who devalue us. We fall in love too easy and we are crushed when it is not reciprocated. We unfairly,demand that a man love and value us, when we can’t even love or value ourselves.

We mask our insecurities with false independence. We brush off assaults and “act” strong. We cry, we become bitter, untrusting, and then we hop into another relationship. With each new relationship we have hopes and illusion that ‘this time he is the one’. We ignore red flags, we stifle our fears, we act on impulse, and we become foolish women.

Do not awaken love until the time is right – Song of Solomon 2:7

When is the time right? You will know you are ready for love when you have first fallen in love with yourself. To love yourself you must first meet the true love of your Father. I am not talking about your earthly father. I am talking about your Heavenly Father. Your real Father who you can cry out to as ‘Abba, Father’ (Galatians 4:6) He is not a man sitting in the clouds somewhere and unapproachable. He is with you right now and He cares for you.

We must first know who He is and who He created us to be. We must accept His unconditional love and receive His affections toward us.

Dear woman, you are His creation, His daughter. He does not love as man does, His love is flawless. He is faithful. He is strong. He is patient. He is kind and He sees you as beautiful and worthy.

Cultivate your relationship with Jesus before you attempt a relationship with a man. Until you  trust Him and fully understand how much He adores you,  you will continue in one empty relationship after another.

You are so worth it! You are beautiful! You are the precious daughter of the King, take your position.

Be Free & Stay Free!

The Dangerous Man

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I bet when you read the title to this post you thought it was going to be about a man who was blatantly dangerous, with a wicked temper and is violent? Of course, a man like that is dangerous, but I am referring to a more dangerous man; the sweet Mr. Wonderful.


Mr. Wonderful comes in and sweeps you off your feet. He is fine; eye candy for you. His words are smooth and he has taken such an interest in you. He is charming. He is hard working, so fun, funny, confident, sexy, cares for the people in his life (you know this because he has told you) and he says he has fallen in love with you.


You can hardly believe it. You feel wonderful when you are with him. You feel beautiful, desired and validated. You open yourself up to him. You have given him your trust and your heart.


He doesn’t want to be without you. You find yourself spending all of your free time together and when you aren’t together you are constantly texting each other and calling each other. He has become number one in your life. You find yourself not minding when you change your plans to be with him. You even begin to stop seeing your friends and family to be with him. You begin to stop doing the things that you once enjoyed, this is your sacrifice to your relationship and you do it willingly.


Suddenly you become a different person. You are no longer you and the people who know you do not even recognize you anymore. You may even feel a sting of offense when your friends suggest that something is not quite right here. You wish your friends could see how wonderful he is, but they haven’t been able to meet him, because he has such plans for you, there is never an opportune time for them to meet him.

As your relationship progresses, your communications with your friends and family become almost non-existent. You do miss them and when you voice this to Mr Wonderful he says that “They should understand that you are in a relationship now.” What he says does make sense, a little, but still…


You begin to see red flags, but you quickly dismiss them, because you hold onto the way he made you feel. You don’t seem to see that what you thought you had is no longer there. You dismiss the warning signs. After all, he is just busy, he is tired, he fell asleep early and didn’t hear the phone ring, he can’t go out with you because he has things to do…

You begin to feel insecure in the relationship. You don’t want to believe the worse, but still you can’t shake the foreboding. You ask him if everything is OK, he is quite offended that you just don’t understand him. You try to talk, but he talks louder and seems to have more to say. You look at him and you do not see the man that you thought he was. He is a stranger to you now.


But, the sex is great. Oh, the way he holds you makes you feel so good. He looks at you and tells you he loves you and you believe him, because you want to. After a while, the sex is not even that good anymore. What you once thought was making love is now leaving you feel empty.


You have reached the point where you are no longer thinking clearly. You are ashamed because you thought you were better than this. Your thoughts have become obsessed, because rather than face reality, you cling to the fantasy of who you wanted him to be.


You wish you were stronger so that you could walk away, you wish things could go back to the way they were. You question where you went wrong, but you know deep inside the problem with him is not you.


My dear, sweet, sister, does this sound familiar?


Are you in a relationship like this now? Are you just coming out of a relationship like this? Are you still wounded from Mr Wonderful? Are you still holding onto something that you know you should let go of?


Mr. Wonderful is a dangerous man. He is poison to you. Let him go!

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I know this easier said than done. Trust me, my sister, I know the feelings of a broken heart. But, it can be done, you can walk away, you can heal and the pieces of your heart can be put back together. The journey to healing may be painful, but in the end it will be worth it. You are worth it.


There are steps you must take to this healing and I encourage you to determine in your heart that you will do this. I also encourage you to surround yourself with people who care about you to help you through this. Friends that you can turn to when you have those moments of weakness that will not judge you, but will love you through the storm of emotions.


First things first:

  • Throw away all of the reminders. Go through your house and collect all of his things, every love note, picture, card, gift, clothes, everything and throw it in a box and then throw it away. You must rid yourself of everything that will remind you of him in the future.
  • Delete all of his text and emails. Delete his phone number. Block his number so that he can not contact you, EVER.
  • Tell your friends that it is over and you do not want them to ever mention his name
  • Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT contact him. You, for sure, will have moments that you want to hear his voice, because at first he is still on that imaginary pedestal, RESIST the temptation. You do not need to contact him to tell him you will no longer be contacting him, trust me, he will figure it out. You do not need to tell him to never contact you again, because you have already blocked him.

Next:

  • Surround yourself with people who care about you
  • Do the things that you once enjoyed
  • Begin a new hobby
  • Get outside!

Don’t:

  • Numb your pain with alcohol or drugs or any other unhealthy behavior
  • Watch “chic flicks”
  • Listen to mainstream love songs
  • Date. Give yourself time to heal
  • Dwell on thoughts of him

Do:

  • Get rest
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise, it releases the endorphins that will help you to feel better
  • Develop back up thoughts to think about when he enters your mind
  • Remind yourself that you are worth so much more


You will get through this. Trust me. Do not try to go it alone.


MOST IMPORTANT:


Turn to Jesus, my friend. He cares for you. He understands. Do not be afraid to take this to Him. Beloved, Mr Wonderful was not the only one to blame, you also partook of things that as a daughter of a King you should not have. Sexual relations with this man has caused a soul tie and it must be broken. How do we break a soul tie? First, we have to admit that there is one.


I know our culture is OK with sex outside of marriage. This way of thinking, sadly, is even in the church. We rationalize that when two people love each other and are committed to each other and are in an exclusive relationship, then “making love” is OK. Beloved, there is a reason why this is not OK in the sight of the Lord. It is for our protection.


No matter how we sugar coat it, sex outside of marriage is fornication and fornicators do not inherit eternal life.


If you have had sex with this man, go to God, who is faithful and just to forgive us and confess it as sin. Then leave it there. Beloved, He wants your healing more than you do. He alone is the one who can heal you and His healing is complete. There is no wholeness without the healing of our Savior.


Spend time in His presence.


Isn’t it odd that when we meet someone and fall in love that we find it so easy to spend all of our time with him? When we aren’t with him physically, then we are with him emotionally and in our thoughts. Should we offer anything less to the One who loves us most? If we claim to love Jesus, then we must surrender our hearts and our bodies to Him. His love never fails.


Psalm 91 says “He (she) that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in Him will I trust.”


I am not suggesting that this will be easy. But I am saying, that when you have come through this, you will be stronger; if your strength is in Jesus.


Do not look at your experience with Mr. Wonderful as a waste. Though it would have been better if you had not had to go through that, but you did. So look at it as a learning experience and you are better for it.


Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your unfailing love and your help in our time of need. Thank you for your healing and your forgiveness. I consecrate myself to you and I ask that you search those secret places in me and shine your light of truth. Heal me and create in me a new heart and renew my spirit. Shield me from the enemy. Thank you, Jesus, for all that you have done and all that you continue to do. I trust you to heal me.

Be Free & Stay Free