Thursday, September 19, 2019

Rock, Refuge, Peace, and Trust



I love when God says things over and over. Sometimes I do wonder if it's because I'm not listening so He has to repeat Himself.

Regardless, over and over I see and pick up on the words rock, refuge, peace, and trust.

If you go back to the last couple of years posts you'll see several on Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."


The Lord's really been bringing home what this message means for me. I'm a bit of a controller. (ahem-as most women are ;) ) Trying to figure out how things are going to work out gives me a false sense of control.

Because when things DON'T work out the way I think they will, well... it usually leaves me feeling distraught as to how I could have been so wrong.

Over and over God says STOP TRYING TO FIGURE OUT ALL THE THINGS AND TRUST ME, ALECIA.

This is hard for me :/

Life turns upside down and all I want is some sense of control and normalcy.

So not only do I still see my favorite verse in Proverbs regularly but God's been showing me more verses to lean in to such as Psalm 91:2, Psalm 34, Psalm 46:1 ...

And every single one has brought peace to my soul. As I read and pray over the verses I lean into His spirit and listen.

Some God whispers I've heard recently:

Trust the Process

I alone am your refuge. Not man, money or anything or anyone else.

Let me love and protect you.

I'm working all things out for your good.

This season is a season of being still and waiting. I'm doing a deep soul-work, and soul work takes time.

Life's a crockpot, not an insta-pot. (this one may be more of my own musings then God's ;) )

I'm hiding you, protecting you, and healing you until I know you are ready to come out. In Me you are safe.

Apply the blood of the cross to your life. Apply your faith.

I love how God speaks to His children to let them know they are loved and never alone.

When I intentionally look for Him I "see" Him everywhere.

And the grip that I've had begins to loosen out of my control and into His, right where it belongs.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

When You Need to but Don't Want to...Forgiveness

I settled into my seat. Since the divorce, I had been seeking. I was after healing and restoration for all the broken pieces of my life. I needed it for myself and for my kids.

The course promised closeness to God and healing.

I was excited and nervous but I knew this was the place God wanted me to be. So I settled in with my small group and book and waited for the video to start. This was the beginning of my next chapter.

My heart was still raw, I was still angry and hurt.

I needed this class to help me process my emotions in a healthy, spiritual way that would move me forward.

The stagnate waters of regret and hurt were growing more repugnant by the day. I wanted to feel His breath breathed into my dry bones and make me come alive again.
And then Rock, the leader of the class said it, the words that made me sink in my seat rather than sit up and yell, Amen! 

Forgiveness.

Ugh, really? I paid for this? This was the answer to my broken heart and the key to healing?

The one thing I wasn't sure I could do. I had made a list in my head of all the things that deserved to be paid back and how I was the victim. I felt like God should side with me and take care of business and vindicate me.

His daughter had been hurt after all!

I sat through the hour-long video half tuned in and out. I didn't want to hear it and wasn't looking forward to 10 weeks of being told if I wanted to heal and move forward I had to forgive.

I deserved repayment. Right? My trust had been broken. My heart torn into pieces. That certainly felt like I deserved some kind of justice.

But over the course of the weeks, God began working and softening my heart. I saw how holding onto my hurt was blocking intimacy with Him and was making my heart toxic.

Rock (the founder of Transformation Ministries) gave an illustration of a waterfall and the water is the Holy Spirit, moving down the falls and into the river below. But hurt, anger, unforgiveness can become boulders in the water, blocking the flow of the Spirit. And when the Spirit is blocked it can't move in our lives freely. We become stopped up and can't see or experience intimacy or blessings.

God gave me a vision of a prison cell. This is where my prisoners were who had caused me pain. I wanted them to hurt too, it wasn't fair that they could hurt me and then were allowed to walk around scot-free.

I wanted vengeance! Doggone it. ( and I may or may not have prayed for such immature things like their car to run out of gas and make them late for work, or for them to smile in a really important meeting with broccoli in their teeth (ok, I'm kidding...kinda) ).

Unforgiveness makes you into someone you're not.

I wanted the guilty to stay locked up in my prison.

And yet, they seem pretty unfazed. Unfortunately, in reality, I was the one in the jail cell.

That's just what unforgiveness does. You think you're punishing the offender when really it's you who pay the price. What's so ironic is that we even have the key to let ourselves out. God gave it to us!

But will we use it?

It's not a joy-filled way to live.

I realized I needed to use my key and step out of the cell I'd locked myself in.

I wasn't saying what they did was right or acceptable. And I wasn't saying our relationship would be restored-though it could be (in some situations).

But what I was saying is that vengeance wasn't mine. Because you know what? God says when we forgive, we are handing over that person to HIM, and vengeance will be His. He will repay them for the evil they've done according to His will.

And that, friends, brings me great peace :)

The boulder that rolled over into my holy spirit stream got hit with a blast of dynamite-forgiveness- and now the flow is allowed to do what it does best...flow.

Pray, forgive, release, repeat. As many times as needed.

Praying for you friends.

Reference Verses:
Matthew 6:14-15 
Luke 17:3-4
Ephesians 4:31-32
Romans 12:19


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Why can't things just be easy?

We all like easy don't we? We may not admit it, but we like comfortable living. We begin to assume we are doing something wrong when we go through hard times and things don't get better...but worse.

I've prayed a lot over the years for things to just be easier. Or at least ONE thing to come easy. There were days everything felt hard-EVERYTHING. Nothing went right. I woke up with tears mingled with prayers and fell asleep the same.

Why can't things just be easy?

I've been convicted of praying for an easy, comfortable life. As a Christian I can read my Bible and see easy is not a theme woven throughout. Hard love is.

I want my nice things, with easy people, comfortable income. But I've been asking myself, and maybe it's because I've found myself in the old testament a lot lately ( which I love), why? Why do I want easy and comfortable aka safe?

There's nothing in the Bible that says our lives will or are meant to be any of those things.

Suffering brings us to God. It's not fair and it doesn't feel right but it can be holy in the hands of God.

I ask God to lead me out of my suffering and then grumble and complain the entire way because I thought when I got what I wanted it would be easy and better. God doesn't take the easy, straight path. He usually takes us the long way round. As we witness His hand on our lives, we know He's our Father and protector.  We get a first-row seat to miracles.

We are shallow people who will always turn to the safest and less painful way. For thousands of years, God has been showing us the way to deep and lasting life is the hard way through.

Getting uncomfortable, loving hard and "dangerous" people, outcasts, staying put when we want to run, doing the hard work of healing when it's easier to live hurt, being ok with just enough and trusting God for your enough (so hard!), will do deep transforming work in our lives.

As a society, we've bought into this lie that God wants us all to be prosperous and happy.

Wrong.

God wants us holy. God needs us to know Him and what His word says. To live like we know Him and obey His word. He wants us to live like we are His beloved's because we are. He cherishes His children and adores us.

We medicate to numb the pain. We've created idols to take the place of truth because it rubs against our happy places and we don't want to hear it.

Over and over we see the cycle. When we make ourselves the gods, we head for destruction.

The Jews wanted easy, they wanted a king to set up shop and put the haters in their place. To save them from persecution. THEY WANTED THE GOOD LIFE. THEY WANTED EASY!

But that's not what Jesus did.  He didn't promise things would get easier, but he did promise a gift, the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). And He knew they would be persecuted and hated (Matt 24:9; 10:22).

Suffering creates warriors.

The warriors know that the suffering and the battles will not end until the day they die. Easy and comfortable are not our callings. Hard love is.

We won't always be accepted or popular or look hot and flashy, but the deep that is in us will attract.

The peace and healing we have found that keeps us moving forward will be a force that won't be stopped. Others will want it too and the fire of the Lord will spread. The time has come for us to stop asking for easy and to just trust Him with our suffering and broken hearts.

Will we just trust Him? 

Lord, forgive me for the times I've begged for an easier way...I ask you to prepare me for whatever lays ahead of me.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Navigating the middle seasons of life

I wrote this post on my Notes on my iPhone, over Easter weekend. I never got around writing it here until now.

I've been in a season of deep healing. Really working out and understanding what and why God brought me to Isaiah 61 four years ago. He was trying to tell me then He wanted to heal my soul- wounds and set me free. I didn't understand what He meant, until now. It took some more time and pain to realize what He meant.

Up until now, I've been in the middle.

The middle is where I've always felt I've lived my life-I'm the middle child, I always find myself neither hot or cold, neither left nor right, but somewhere in-between.

And that is where the words for Saturday, the day in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday came from.

I sat praying and realized how many "Saturdays" I've had in my life.

Days of waiting.

Uncertainty.

Wondering what would happen.

How did I get to this point? Can I be saved? Be healed? How will life go on?

The middle-Saturday- is confusing and feels never ending. It is riddled with uncertainty, fear and confusion.

This is the in-between. All we can do is wait. We pray. We praise. We hope. We wait some more.

(Waiting is excruciating to me.)

We are caught in what was and what will be.

So here I sit on this Saturday, wondering where God is. Does he see my fears about the future?

How long Lord? I wonder.

Why does it have to be this way?

Even Jesus on the cross cried, "Father, why have you forsaken me?"

And yet, I whisper still as I wipe away tears, "Not my will, but Yours be done." I surrender all. There is no other choice.

Mine for His. Because He's always promised to work ALL things out for my/our good.

We can't see how.

But somehow He does.

Sunday comes and it all makes sense.

"I will rise again," says Matthew 27:62

All the waiting. Pain. Tears.

He was working. He knew what you and I  were going through and what we would need to carry on our journey and finish well.

 It is finished, indeed.


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