Writing Down Life

WITNESSING...the ebb and flow of life.

Morning Walks

Believing for What is Beyond the Battle Years

By | April 22, 2017 | Comments
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April 21st I celebrated my birthday: The day that God ushered me onto this planet and thrust me into the world! I wasn’t really going to make a big deal of it but God seemed to have other plans. While driving to work around 6:50am, I had what I thought was recollection of a message my sister had written on my birthday a couple of years ago. But it persisted and I found myself in tears of joy; I soon realized it was not that message, but my Lord, my spiritual brother Jesus, speaking to my heart. “Happy birthday to my amazing and beautiful sister, whom I love!”

Once I recognized who was actually in my head, pure elation fell over my entire day and extended itself outward. Did my Abba Father understand how much I need such love being poured into my very soul? Absolutely! The message shifted a place within needing shifting. To receive such warm edification from my Savior, whom I so desire to have look upon me fondly and proudly, flooded my heart, instantly healing a very deep hurt.

A Banner of Love

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

(Song of Solomon 2:4)

One of the joyous gifts I’ve received from my life in Christ Jesus is no longer scrutinizing my past and mistakes. Not looking back is a wonderful thing, especially not holding onto regrets. While this is how we are instructed in scripture to live, sometimes God will have me in a place of retrospect, for which there is a purpose under heaven. Presently, God has me in a place of waiting. It seems as though the past few years have indeed been one battle after another and I have chosen to believe God has a beautiful banner waving above my head that only He could see. I am believing for what is beyond these battle years.

The Lord planned a surprise party on my behalf for this year’s birthday. He is celebrating the victories of the past and to come. I cannot wait until the day I am able to run to the throne room of God and throw myself before my Father’s feet, worshipping him on my face. Relenting it all to Him. I have now worked through a lot of emotion that was locked up over the past several months. Not locked up on purpose, rather for lack of the ability, physically and mentally, to let go and let God have his way with my heart. On my birthday I sensed a release of my spirit back out to live life again, and to do so with a restored vision and deeper understanding of Him in every detail. Yet, still underneath the protective wings of my savior as not to experience any unnecessary suffering.

Hindsight = God’s Insight

I find myself, at moments, in a place of retrospect and have taken the “what” of my life to the Lord for understanding, or at least a flicker of the “why” behind what has been happening. My spirit continues to receive from a sermon our pastor began at the new year about battle years vs. banner years. My mind recently began revisiting what life resembled in the years prior to relocating from Southwest Florida, where I lived for the better part of 18 years, back to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I grew up. It was always my heart’s desire to return and God made that possible, although not in the timing I’d hoped.

Comparing the two versions of my life is like comparing spring and fall. The first five years of my new walk with the Lord transpired while in Florida. There, I was instantly surrounded by a sweet yet fierce circle, women of faith who protected, comforted and helped me flourish in my relationship with the Lord. These women encouraged what they saw the Lord doing in my life and who I was growing into, through Him. So much of my early identity in Christ is tied to that protective barrier. However, I absolutely accept what God has allowed to transpire in my life over the nearly two years since returning to Ohio. It has grown and stretched my faith, my identity in Christ, and my ability to find strength in Him, to new proportions. There has been a great falling off in my life, of people, self and need for anything of this world.

Life before relocating was much simpler and easier: I worked, I went to church, Bible studies and women’s groups. I had sunshine and love all around. I ran through the rain and had time to allow it to refresh any weariness in my bones. The only real stress I experienced was remedied quickly or let go of through exercise and rest, two things I do not presently get enough of, and it has effected me adversely both physically and emotionally. I’ve had to learn to lean on God and God alone to get me through days of little sleep, pressing illness and great stress. In other words, the two year old legs have been replaced with adult legs. Milk with meat. God has tested, then proven, the strength of my faith in Him.

Yet, through it all He has shown himself both to and through me, in miraculous and beautiful ways. He has provided for and blessed me beyond my greatest expectations (which I have none). I am so humbled by this it is hard for me to share the blessings publicly. My belief in Him is stronger than ever by way of relying on myself less. I simply don’t have much fight within and I believe that is what God wants, for me to absolutely give him the right of way to fight battles on my behalf. I’ve become so numb in my exhaustion I, at times, cannot even mutter my prayers, or keep my eyes open to read the Word. I trust that God reads my every thought (prayers) and knows my heart is absolutely for Him and him alone. His word is tucked safely in my heart to retrieve when needed, and for this I am grateful.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)

Banner Years are Ahead

The banner…it’s not a true banner rather glory filled banner years (adj. leading or foremost) God has set before me after successfully navigating through the past few years consisting of constant battle. A battle against the devil for my family and God’s best for them, against an adversary who tries to take me out. A battle against a fierce Jezebel spirit that the Lord revealed is generational iniquity in my family. I declare, however, it stopped with me, in Jesus name, on October 27, 2009. The day love won, breaking the bondage of the Jezebel spirit which has run rampant through my family. The devil is defeated, in Jesus’ name!

The Lord has given me the authority to stand against it, full armor on. Yet, despite the armor’s heaviness and the darts of the enemy being sharp and difficult to dodge, I stand firm. Helmut down, and shield held tightly against my chest to ward off evil so His good can prevail. I find myself (very) ready for tangible victory, not merely victory hoped for. The banner years…Oh, how I pray they come sooner than later. I declare Friday, April 21, 2017 as the first of many great banner days to come, going forth in Christ.

Thankfully, upon occasion, I get to lay down in green pastures. Have no doubt when my head hits the pillow every night, I’m out for the count until the alarm sounds the next morning. The banner years…I won’t plan for something I’m not 100% clear on, however, I believe the Lord keeps showing me glimpses. Do I completely understand what I’m seeing? No, but I patiently await His next call to move.

Thy Kingdom Come…

Only God knows why he placed a veil about my heart which temporarily blinded my ability to see much good in this world and in people. I’m much more a realist at present, and less the optimist I’ve traditionally been, however, I feel myself rebounding in every passing day. In moments of clarity when I’m able to see through the mist, my Creator dumbfounds me with heaven on earth. The wait is oh-so-worthwhile, but dang is it hard on my tender soul! Some days I wonder what this butterfly is going to resemble when she breaks through the cocoon and takes flight.

He has broken me all over again in the past few years. Comprehending the purpose of it all, as I do today, dumbfounds me because of the deep hurts and pains I’ve had to experience. Yet, he uses every turn of the way through writing as ministry and in those whose path He puts me on.  If it is all part of whatever ministry is to come, so be it. We must walk through deserts and valleys in order to find God so intimately. My one job is to trust He’ll usher heaven down to earth; turn deserts into deep waters and the valleys into mountaintops, because if we just wait, they always do with God as our source.

God knows I seek a fresh outpouring of Him in my life. He also knows how very much I need to know He still loves and sees me! And not only Him, but others might see me through eyes of love. Hence the overflowing messages of love, respect and encouragement received from many people, some quite unexpected, on my earthly birthday this year! Thank you Father for we know that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

This birthday I am feasting on Your gifts of perfect LOVE and freedom in Christ, amen!

“Your Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:10)

 

Writing Down Life

A Showdown with Jezebel

By | April 20, 2017 | Comments
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The absolutely still atmosphere of my apartment hit me square in the face that day. I walked in the door from work, immediately sensing the shift, although, it took some contemplation to grasp “what” I was experiencing.

Upon entering the main room, I realized she finally decided to go. She’d signed the lease to Jezebel’s new place of residency over a week prior, moved in, yet hadn’t slept there. That day, Jezebel left the building! I cannot express the amount of elation experienced upon discovering she wouldn’t be back! Honestly, the wash of emotions were mixed but no matter – this was for everyone’s good, especially after Jezebel’s vengeful side threatened me two days prior. The long of the short: I was standing toe to toe, no matter how nasty the battle turned, and was not relenting. Jezebel has lost. She is a very sore loser!

I guess she never learns from the lessons God has handed her. Jezebel cannot go after God’s children/chosen ones and get away with it. As scripture states, vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:18-20) and sadly, this case was absolutely no exception as I’d learn in the days to come…but, in the meantime, I would be adjusting to a Jezebel free zone! Praise Jesus!

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Peace.

Pure, unadulterated, peace!

A peace that surpasses all understanding had been ushered into my home. It so permeated the air, I couldn’t fathom disturbing it. For what seemed like eternity, I would come home from work in the evenings and simply receive from the calm silence; the stillness was deafening in a miraculous way! (He is the God of miracles!)

The Lord used my desire to embrace the silence to His advantage by sharing his thoughts and wisdom with me, as well as His pleasure over my finally overcoming this spirit (Jezebel) after what feels like a lifetime of ugly battles.

Delivered.

Freedom.

Gratitude.

My spirit receives it all with open arms!

Many of my dear sisters in Christ had been interceding in prayer on my behalf over the past ten months (in this situation). Their responses upon learning of this development were pure joy for me and praises to Jesus, who absolutely deserves the credit! Jezebel no longer has access to my home. The key has been returned to my possession for keeps.

Soon after departing, an unfortunate event occurred; I prayed it somehow expunged Jezebel from the soul in which she resides. (Sadly, this does not seem to be the case.) You see, during that morning battle Jezebel lashed out at me, saying, ‘I would pay for my cruelty’…Cruelty? Is that what you call opening up your home, helping financially and continually extending grace over the course of a lifetime to someone who cannot get their life together by age 60? Not to most, however, Jezebel doesn’t see kindness only what someone might do to offend.

In this case, she didn’t get her way. She failed to manipulate me into doing what she wanted, therefore I became public enemy #1!

What happened may or may not have been God but I firmly believe He controls all: While at work, the soul whom Jezebel possesses, tripped and fell, flat onto her face. The injuries received, though minor, are painful and cumbersome. Ironically, prior to, I prayed for this soul asking God to bless, provide for and protect her. Unfortunately, I have no control over what God allows beyond my knowledge.

I have great concern for her wellbeing but the Lord has kept me in a place of perfect peace over her injuries and keeps me at a distance. For once, I was not compelled to run to her side and take care of her. I didn’t feel the need to save her. God gave me a rather lofty revelation after the accident regarding this relationship: I was under the impression I historically chose to help this person, but what the Lord has slowly revealed is how I have very subtly been manipulated into it.

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The subtle way in which Jezebel gains control are baffling to even the most educated psychologists. One does not learn the ways of this spirit unless one has maneuvered through its clutches, and lived to tell about it. I see more individuals who by faith alone have successfully overcome her grip, individuals who are being propelled forth to call Jezebel out of the dark – this, so she can consistently be defeated by the Light. There is no other way than through Jesus Christ to bring this demon to its knees!

Personally, I’ve decided to no longer be sad for those close to me who are stuck in this spirit. No—instead, I am standing up to the source of conflict: The devil himself. I am declaring victory for them in Jesus’ name!

Pour your Spirit out Jesus, in our lives and homes. Help us to overcome, overwhelm our world Lord Jesus with your healing power. Jesus, infiltrate walls and break every chain of bondage like only YOU can.

 

About the image used: I took this photo when a storm was brewing outside of my apartment. This tree, with it’s peeled bark revealing the bright white light underneath, seemed reminiscent of Jesus on the cross on the day of his crucifixion – when all went dark and the Light remained.

Morning Walks, Writing Down Life

An Easter Spent Being Used, Not Sitting in a Pew

By | April 16, 2017 | Comments
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“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;

who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” (Psalm 103:1-4)

As this Easter weekend approached, something seemed to be missing within: a desire to attend church services. For the first time since I recommitted my life to Christ, I felt as though there was more God desired from me than to follow tradition. I skipped all the services leading up to this Resurrection Sunday and was simply not feeling led to go, but had every intention of attending a service, today. However, God had other plans; I believe He was instilling these plans into my spirit over the course of this past week. His desire was for this year be an Easter spent being used, not sitting in a pew.

Beginning on Wednesday night God moved me in a clear direction; a direction I had approached the throne for that very morning. Having been convicted I knew I must no longer put on hold the ministry the Lord Jesus desires to purpose me for, beyond writing. Being the church out in the world in a way that moves me way beyond my comfort and safety zone. I find myself trepidatious yet excited at once! I stayed up later than usual that night working on part of the marketing preparation; a portion I’d tried to hire two separate people to design but neither have taken it seriously. I believe He wants me to be the one to design things in order to stay completely connected to His vision for the ministry.

Friday, the Lord used my being off work to his advantage by setting up phone calls with people He desired I connect with and minister to. All time spent for Him was very fruitful. A recent connection made with a sister in Christ and fellow blogger, via social media, was full of discovery and encouragement; after talking for nearly two hours, we both declared God definitely has a greater purpose for our meeting than originally thought. One of three calls was to a dear friend…we laughed, cried, shared but in the end, God used me to minister to her heart and pray over her life and that of her family.

Saturday, despite being tired I knew the Lord had something he wanted me to say so spent time actually hand-writing a blog post; later in the day, more work on ministry items took me late into the night. This Easter morning, I was awakened much earlier than I needed to be by my poor ailing dog; however, God knew what was about to occur, and a reason I was not to attend church this Easter: He used me to usher peace into the apartment next door. The couple who resides there argue a lot and loudly. This morning was no exception and they had their kitchen window open, near my bedroom. I wrestled with saying anything. This was just not how I wanted to be awoken nor did anyone else deserve to bear witness to this couple’s issues.

I went to my window and knew they would hear me if I yelled out to them. I honestly tried not to sound annoyed but it may not have worked. haha

I said, “Can you please keep it down, people are trying to sleep.” The man yelled back some not nice things and I wasn’t going to be spoken to like that, so said, “Would you rather I call the police?” He is a real lovely guy…his response,’ You do what you have to do’. That told me he’d been there before and it didn’t matter if he went back. (To share, it’s obvious to everyone around here he is addicted to alcohol and that’s what was speaking to me, not the guy himself.)

Hearing their argument get louder, I sat still and waited. The next thing I heard coming calmly from my mouth was, “It’s a peaceful Easter morning…please be quiet.” Their voices immediately shut off at the faucet. Not another word after that from what I could hear. Then the Lord began to share with me that he intends to use me in the lives of these people, through my witness. Well…I can’t really say no. Throughout the day He continued to show me ways I can share love with this family that may lead them to know Jesus. Knowing they have small children who are normally present when the arguing ensues simply breaks my heart! Plus, after walking out of my abusive marriage, the absolute last thing I need or want to be subjected to is this type of atmosphere!

After that, I felt compelled to type up and post an Easter themed poem “Can you…” The Holy Spirit began flowing the poem through me on Friday, then kept editing and adding to it. I didn’t expect it to continue to flow like a river this morning. Writing took up quite a bit of my morning and before I knew it, it was after noon and the plan was to have brunch with my mom and then put together some tables she purchased since she is unable at present (she had an accident at work earlier in the week). This took a lot longer than expected. As I carried out the task, I felt as though the Lord had other things he wanted me to accomplish for him today. Or, perhaps I wasn’t actually supposed to come to her rescue. (Pretty sure it’s the latter.)

I can honestly say that as I worshipped the Lord at home this morning, tears of gratitude fell down my cheeks and my heart swelled with deep love and desire for Him. A love I needed to know was truly still in there. Not that I doubt Him, nor am I less passionate about my Savior…it has simply been a tough year thus far – I needed to feel something more than what I have been. Easter morning, this year, was between me and my Savior alone. I didn’t need a sermon…I know how that story ends. Nor did I need the pastor telling me to be glad and rejoice, I do that daily. All I needed, wanted, was my Jesus and he knew it! For thisfor how well God understands his little girl…I am most appreciative!

Easter, this year, was all about the Great Commission; Jesus pushed me further out the door of normal life, out of the church pew, into the mission field to share the Good News! Hallelujah!