Sunday, June 10, 2018

Will I Survive This?

"Make no mistake: You will be stripped down in the shipwreckBut you will not be lost." Jonathan Martin


Hey friends, it's been awhile. I'm not sure how many people are still around these parts, but that's ok. I'm not much of a regular here either.

I've been working through some messy life situations and every time I try to get on here and write I just stare at the white, blank page.

I don't know where to start or what I should say. What should stay private, what should stay in my journal, and what is safe to share?

I know I can't share too many details because the spin that life has taken not only affects me but those closest to me, in particular, my children.

Late last year I had to file for divorce.

I didn't want to.

But circumstances were out of control and my now ex wouldn't/couldn't get help. He chose his path and forced my hand to choose mine.

I could have stayed, I guess, and pretended his drinking and partying weren't out of control and lived in denial of what was happening. Pushed through and ignored the pain and hurt.

But I couldn't. I fought the internal battle for a long time. I waited and waited to see if things would change. Praying God would intervene. 

Why God? Why this way? What about my kids?

Time and time again He showed me in His word and in His spirit:

"Be still, I will fight this battle."

"You are not going to die, stay your ground and stand firm."

"I love your children even more than you, they are mine. I will protect them."

On the day I said "I do," I meant the words I said. Divorce wasn't part of the plan. I knew I would stay and make it work no matter what. I thought God would honor my obedience by making everything work out. I thought he would honor all of my prayers I prayed on my exes behalf. I believed God would save my ex. I believed God would open the eyes of his heart and he would grow up and become a godly man.

But He didn't. Because God doesn't force himself on anyone. You have to choose him. And my ex didn't. He's chosen a path that seems right to him...

Being married to someone who isn't a Christian presents its own kinds of problems, but when there is an addiction it completely changes the situation. I thought I was protecting my kids by staying when in reality I was only protecting myself. I didn't want to be a single parent. I didn't want to be alone. The enemy had put such a disparaging vision in my head of what life would be like, it scared me.

I know God heard my every prayer and gathered every tear and still, things didn't work out as I had hoped.

And now, I must put the past behind me and move forward. It's time. 

There has been a devotional that has stayed with me, it's from a book called, How to Survive a Shipwreck, by Jonathan Martin:

"During my own shipwreck, my long season of descent, I returned over and over to the story in Acts 27 of Paul’s shipwreck. The apostle was a prisoner in transport when God revealed to him that a storm was coming. Because Paul knows the Spirit, he is a man in tune with matters of wind and wave as much as the matters of the soul; and he knows the boat he is traveling on will soon encounter a terrible storm. Before the storm comes, he tells his captor companions a heartening thing: 

None of you will lose a hair from your heads.” (Acts 27:34) The good news is, you are not going to die. The bad news is, the boat that has been carrying you — the vessel that had taken you from port to port, place to place, the strong and stable boat that made you feel safe on all the oceans you’ve sailed thus far — the boat will be lost. They were not going to lose their lives, but they were going to lose the boat."

This was the message. I was going to lose life as I knew it, my boat, but I was not going to lose my life. This was going to wreck me, but it was not going to destroy me. 


There are days I sit and wonder, "Will I survive this?"


"On the other side of them (shipwreck), there is a stronger, deeper, richer, more integrated life.
That on the other side of the storm that tears you to pieces is a capacity to love without doubt, to live without fear, to be something infinitely more powerful than the man or woman you were before it happened. "
I have good praying people in my life who remind me God's plans are good and to trust Him. I believe it. And I know one day I'll look back and thank God for the storm that wrecked me. I grow stronger each day; so do my kids.

My faith has never been tested so much and despite Satan's attempt, I'm still standing. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,fear no evil, for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;You have anointed my head with oil;My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:4-6)



Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Love Language of Praise

I think if praise was a love language it would be mine.

I love good praise and worship music. One of my favorites currently is Reckless Love. Have you heard it?

"Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away"

I originally heard it the first time by the group called, Bethel. But I recently was given the opportunity to review a new Passion CD about to release and Melodie Malone is on their version...A-MAZING.


The entire CD is worth listening to on repeat while you're working, cleaning house, or just relaxing. 

For me, praise music is my way of praising when I have no words or in seasons of hard, my prayer when it hurts too much to pray.

Another oldie, but redone for the CD is, "God, You're So Good."  The last couple of years I've been in a season of transition personally and there have been times I've wondered what God was up to and how He was going to work things out, but every single time I was able to say God is good. This song is my heart and prayer. It reminds me that He is good and working all things for my good.

I'm lucky enough to be able to give away one copy of the new Passion CD called, Whole Heart. I think you're going to love it just as much as I have.

Leave me a comment with your favorite worship song and I'll choose one winner and announce next week!

The list of songs include:
  1. Whole Heart (feat Kristian Stanfill)
  2. Almighty God (feat Sean Curran)
  3. God, You're So Good (feat Kristian Stanfill and Melodie Malone)
  4. Reckless Love (feat Melodie Malone)
  5. Heaven (feat Sean Curran)
  6. More Like Jesus (feat Kristian Stanfill)
  7. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat Brett Younker)
  8. Ghost (feat Crowder)
  9. Ever Almighty (feat Melodie Malone)
  10. Great Are You Lord (feat Matt Redmon)
  11. All My Hope (feat Crowder & Tauren Wells)
Oh, number 11, All My Hope, I can't forget to mention that one. They're all really good, but you know there's always a couple that speaks right to you. And pretty soon you know all of the words and can belt them out like you're on the CD too ;) 


xoxo,
alecia

About Album

         Info about Passion: http://passionmusic.com/story/ 
         “Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”
         WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion—captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

         Passion Conference 2018 was a beautiful worship experience, and the live album captures each powerful moment, allowing those who were not in attendance to experience it.
  
         Featuring Passion Artists: Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, Crowder.
Bio:
Rooted out of the Passion movement, Passion music is committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. You can listen to Passion music at http://capcmg.me/PassionSpotify


(“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.)

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Different Kind of Ambition

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
Social media overwhelms me.
It's a loud, loud place. And unless you have good boundaries, one minute of scrolling can somehow turn into an hour.

It seems like everyone has something to say.

Everyone wants to be noticed and heard. They want to know their voices matter. 

I love chapter 3 of You're Made for a God-sized Dream because it reminds me I don't have to shout, wave about, and do cartwheels to be known. I am.
The One who stops me from striving, who gives me permission to slow down, who tells me my worth is already won forever. Yes, this is the ambition I want to live with, to live for. A quiet life...especially on the inside. (pg. 61)
I'm known for taking short fasts from social media when I feel like the voice of the world is louder than God's.

I also do it to bring some peace into my life and refocus on exactly what God has called me to.

 I can get caught in the comparison game fairly quickly.

When I feel the murkiness of discontent rising, I know it's time to put social media in a timeout. By the time I realize the need for a fast I'm usually soul-tired, weary, and ready to quit...because most days I don't have the time or energy to figure out what I'm having for breakfast much less how I'm going to achieve my dream.

Once Instagram and Facebook are in their corners, my world gets small, my quiet time has more meaning, and my focus and excitement returns. It's a truly amazing thing!

And then I remember why God doesn't require us to strive.

Please keep reading over at God-sized Dreams!

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