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Archive for August, 2011

“Exhausted”
“Defeated”
“Frustrated”
“Lonely”
“Overwhelmed”
“Depressed”
“Discouraged”
“Ashamed”
“Angry”
“Insecure”

“These are the words used by today’s Christian women to describe themselves . . . Many living under a cloud of personal guilt and condemnation. In bondage to their past, whether the result of their own failures or the failure of others. Their pasts hang like huge weights around their necks. Others in bondage to what the Bible calls the ‘fear of man’ – longing for approval.” (Lies Women Believe ~ DeMoss)

Yes, yes, and yes. This is me. This is my life. And yet, someone who doesn’t even know me was familiar enough with my life to write about it. I am convinced more than ever that the devil is a liar and he will always use the areas in which I am most vulnerable to keep me spiritually impotent and ineffective.

According to De Moss, the cycle begins when we listen to the lie, dwell on the lie, believe the lie, then eventually live as if the lie is truth.

The solution? Identify the area of bondage, identify the lies at the root, replace the lies with Truth.

What lies have I believed, how has it manifested in the way I live, and what steps do I need to take to re-align my life with the Truth?

In my marriage, I have felt “ravenous for kindness, starved for approval, distraught with my fear of abandonment.” Now realizing that I need Him “filling me up constantly enough so that I can be in a place of surplus – so that I can have enough grace for others.” (mindspace by T.C)

A Letter To Myself:
I need to release my need for his approval. For his compliments. For wanting him to be proud I am his wife. I need to let go of trying to understand his thought process. To make sense of how he can easily compliment the talent, appearance and personality of others but virtually ignore me. I must rely on God to provide what my husband does not. I must grow stronger in who I am in Christ so that I can live confidently. I may always wish things were different and may always hope they will be, but I must finish grieving for what my marriage is not and move forward in life – regardless of the circumstances – and be filled by Him, allowing and believing His grace to be sufficient.

Psalms 31:14-15a But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, “You are my God! My future is in your hands . . . “

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I can only assume, by the circumstances of my life, that God has made it a priority to teach me this lesson: ____________ (fill in the blank)

As a child, I often wondered, “What was wrong with those Israelites?” What more could God have done to show them He was watching over them, that He would provide for them, that He was faithful and would take care of them. The Red Sea parted for them to cross, food fell from heaven and water flowed from rocks, the cloud by day & pillar of fire by night guided their way. . . the supernatural was part of their daily lives and yet, still, they doubted, disobeyed and took how many years to travel a distance that should have only taken days?

Now, as an adult, I can relate so well with them. Like the Israelites, I seem to travel in a constant circle. Struggling with the same issues over and over again. At times, seeming to learn what God is trying to teach me, only to forget the lesson the next time I am faced with the same issue.

So many things I could write to fill in the above blank. Here are just a few:

  • When experiencing difficulties, I should not pray for God to take away my difficulty, but ask Him to give the strength, grace and patience to endure it.
  • Regardless of what emotions are whirling around inside, by God’s grace (not mine), I can choose to fix my mind on Him, trusting, obeying, loving and forgiving without limit.
  • “True joy is not the absence of pain but the sustaining presence of the Lord in the midst of the pain.”
  • God does not delight in my suffering, but realizing that my needs and desires are not granted as a “right” of being a Christian, I must have a reckless pursuit of God by doing what pleases Him, not what pleases me.
  •  Know what is True.
  •  Seek Truth daily.
  •  Choose Love.

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A part of me fights the thought that all my life has been full of pain for nothing. I feel God has to make it meaningful at some point. One day, I want to look back over my life and have gratitude and joy. I recently read that the word Ephraim means, ‘God has blessed me to be fruitful in the land of my suffering.’ – Fruitful in the land of my suffering . . . The word “fruitful” hit a chord with me. I like the word ‘fruitful’. I want to know that IT was purposeful in my life. My tears, my sorrow, my mourning, my sacrifice. Even if it means nothing to the one I love – at least God, You will make it fruitful.” (mindspace by T.C)

Lie: God should fix my problems . . .

Truth: Living an obedient life does spare us from the many problems that are the natural consequences of a life lived apart from God. But that does not mean those who follow Christ will be exempt from problems. Until heaven, there will be many tears, sorrows, pressures and problems. He uses pressures and problems to mold and shape our lives and to make us like His Son. God has a purpose for our problems. He wants to use them to change us and reveal His grace and power to the world. (Lies Women Believe ~ De Moss)

The words of others resonates so accurately with my own heart when it comes to the lie that “God should fix all my problems.” And while the Truth is something I KNOW, when I am in the midst of my problems, it is so hard to make sense of His will and His ways.

“Our circumstances not only molds our character , but also reveals it.”

Realizing that this current problem is not my first, and will not be my last, but with each challenge, I have the opportunity to let it refine me.

James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

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” ‘Is God really good?’ . . . While few will admit they doubt the goodness of God, deep in many hearts, there lurks a suspicion that He may not really be good . . . Or at least, ‘He has not been good to me‘. . . “. (Lies Women Believe – De Moss)

Ahhh – how often I have felt this. Never audibly voicing these feelings but inwardly wondering why I have not received the blessings I thought would follow from doing the “right” thing.

The author of “Lies Women Believe” identifies common lies that keep Christian women in bondage and tells us we must replace the lie with Truth in order to have the life God intended for us.

In this case: The Lie Is God really good?

The Truth: “Once we doubt the goodness of God, we feel justified in rejecting His will and making our own decisions about right and wrong . . . The truth is, God is good whether or not His choices seem good to you; whether or not it seems true in your life.”

In my case, I saw marrying the man I became pregnant with as the “right” thing to do, but having had such a difficult marriage, I struggle with God, my faith and His goodness to me. “THE PLAN” has made me feel empowered with a purpose and given me a goal that holds out hope for a better future, but . . . Does it mean I am now “rejecting His will and making my own decisions about right and wrong”? . . . After so many years of discouragement over my marriage, is it that I am tired of waiting on God and  now taking matters into my owns hands? . . . How does one take ownership of personal responsibility in making changes in one’s life but also be aware that “God’s timing” is not the same as our own? . . .

Yes, I know God is good and, yes, I acknowledge that He has been good to me in many areas of my life. But I still wrestle with so many questions regarding my marriage . . . Wanting to do the “right” thing – wanting to accept His will without feeling trapped inside my circumstances . . . Not wanting to continue living with this crushed spirit and wondering, “Is this all there is?”

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