The Ache Within

Sometimes this life does not seem to satisfy the ache within our souls.

Busyness. Distraction. Confusion. Form that basis of the society we seem to find ourselves in.

Is it a good life, yes. Are there so many blessings, yes. But are there so many wondering with lonely, hungry hearts.. searching for that thing.. just that thing.. to satisfy the ache within.. oh yes.

And this what makes me stop in my tracks.

The lost. The lonely. The hurting. The broken.

In this American society, where big houses, large paychecks and nice cars seem to be the dream, we can often forget about the real dream within.

The dream to help others. The dream to lay down our lives for another. The call that tells us, this life is not about us, but about serving the least of these.

About offering the cold cup of water to the thirsty. The warm meal to the hungry. The loving arms to the orphan.

In this upside down culture we live in, the reminders to lay down our lives are not the one’s spoken over us each day through co-workers, television and the advertisement that echo for all of our dreams to come true we just need to make a little more money, get the pool of our dreams, get that new outfit, those ray ban shades and smiles will be forever more.

Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with pools, money, cars and houses. They have their place, and who does not like some fun in the sun.

But this is something deeper, this pausing, listening and stopping.

Listening to the cry of the person we may walk past each day as we go to work.

Pausing as we allow a lady new to the area cry on our shoulders as her whole world is coming down.

Stopping our fast paced life to look around and ask is there someone I can help today who cannot pay me back?

Though we cannot save the world, we can do our part.


For so long, I believed my small offering did not make a difference. Who am I and what can I do? But as I sat with my daughter this week having our nightly bedtime bible story, I was reminded in John 6, a small offering laid into the hands of Jesus can be transformed into something so much more. I encourage to read the story if you are not familiar it.

His sacrifice. His faith. His trust. The little boy was not told the outcome. But still he freely released.

And with that release, transformation occurred.

One little boy’s sacrificed meal fed 5,000. And that was just 5,000 males. The women and children were not even counted.

Our God. Our Father. He is a miracle working God.

Maybe God is not asking us to give up our lunch today, but could he be asking you, asking me to give up something else precious?

Our pride. Our time. An insecurity. A possession.

The Father loves to take our small offerings and turn them into something beautiful, something amazing. Something that will not only bless us, but bless others as well.

One girl who opened her heart to me in college seeing my distress said, “have you thought about praying?” Those words changed my life.

Prayer. It was just the thing I was missing in my life. The missing link between me and God the Father. Prayer led me to Jesus. The One my weary and broken soul needed. The One I knew when I was a child. Jesus.

We are here to reflect Jesus. May we never forget that. He is the greatest gift we can give to anyone.

It may be a word. It may be an action. Maybe a physical gift.

We never know how our lives may be used to reach another’s. May we never doubt the impact, purpose and intent of our life. We were each knit together with a special purpose, with unique gifts and as a vessel to bring hope and light to a broken and dying world.

If you are struggling today, ask God how you can be a blessing to someone. Joy is our gift as we give selflessly. Wonder becomes our stature as we continue to follow Jesus as we lay down our lives for those who are in need. Peace flows deeps as we serve the least of these. The ones who cannot pay us back.

May the love of Christ flow through you today. May knowing you were created with great purpose bring you hope today. May reflecting on the wonder of our God bring you overflowing joy. May you offer up your small offering and ask Him to do something beautiful with it. He is waiting and ready to reveal His glory.

Father God, we thank you that you are a God of miracles. We thank you that you performed miracles for us to read about years ago, and you are performing those same miracles even now, in this American culture. Oh Lord, forgive us of our sins. The sins that separate us from you. We ask that you create in us a clean heart oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us. We want to be pure and blameless before you, as you hear the prayers of the righteous. Oh Lord, you are good. We ask that you take our small offerings and transform them into so much more, as we watch you work Lord. May you be glorified in and through us, as we desire to bring hope, light and love to a dying and broken world. We love you Lord, and we pray this all in Jesus’ wondrous and miracle working name, amen.


The Beauty of Broken Dreams


We all have them.

And I am not necessarily talking about the dreams we may have at night, but the dreams we have within our hearts.

The dreams we have held since we were a child. Dreams to make the world a better place. Dreams to be independent and self sufficient so we will not have to rely on anyone else. Dreams to be successful so our children will greater opportunities than we may have been given. Dreams to be a leader. Dreams to be a mother. Dreams to change the world.

We all have dreams. No dream too small, no dream too big.

Dreams are a beautiful thing. They give us something to work towards. Give us purpose. Dreams are in a sense like a road map guiding our life.

If we have dreams to be a leader in the business world, we may not necessarily choose to quit school and spend our days on a beach, going wherever the wind may take us.

You get the point.

Dreams guide our paths.

But what happens when the dreams we have pursued for so long.. The dreams we have chased year after year.. waiting in expectation for fulfillment.. are in an instant.. stripped away.

Dreams like building a committed, stable family with hopes to lay a strong foundation for your children, but divorce papers are delivered.

Dreams like becoming the next big executive at your company, but the company has closed it’s doors.

Dreams like seeing all your child will become, but in a moment, your child is now gone and not a part of this world anymore.

When a spouse passes unexpectedly. A young mom finds out she has cancer. A child is fighting an illness a child should not have to face.

These moments knock the life right out of us. These moments beat the dreams right out of us and we are left on our knees. Broken. Broken to the core.

The dreams we followed after so long.. shattered.

The hopes we felt were promised to us year and year.. in an instant.. gone.

The purpose for our life.. feeling stripped away.

Oh the pain of these moment..

They sting. They hurt. They leave a forever, unchangeable impact on our souls.

There are no words to fully describe the pain of shattered dreams.. of a lost child, a deceased spouse leaving you raising your children alone, a life altering diagnosis pronouncing you have one month to live.. the pain of abuse, the consequence of one bad choice, the pain of a deceiving path like drugs, alcohol, theft, adultery that lead to unanticipated destruction.

So often in this Facebook posting, Instagram uploading, Twitting world.. we can be deceived to think that we are alone in our pain, in our suffering, in our mourning, in our grief.

I come to meet you today.. to remind you.. you are not alone. If we all took a minute and looked deep down, got real honest, we each could share with one another a dream that has left us shattered, left us broken, a crushed dream that maybe we are still working through processing today. Maybe one that is weighing heavy on us. Maybe one we seek day in and day out to find some relief, some peace, some hope in what seems like a hopeless situation.

I have been there too in that hopeless, broken situation. And though those situations can and still at times come.. once we have Jesus things change.

It is in our shattered dreams, we lean in deep the One who created us.

It is in our shattered dreams, our eyes begin to open and see others around us who are suffering, mourning and grieving in this world.

It is in our shattered dreams, we are given the opportunity to offer all we are to God, learning  His word and understanding the promises of His word.

I do not know specifically what you are facing today, but I do know this. As those who call on Jesus as their Savior, He is with us. He understands our pain. He understands betrayal. He understands lose. The Father grieves with us. Jesus walks through the trials with us. We are not alone.

Though none of us would invite brokenness into our lives, it is often the brokenness that leads us straight to the feet of Jesus.

Maybe the feet of Jesus we said we would sit at another day. Maybe the feet, quite frankly we just did not have time for. Or maybe the feet of Jesus, we had forgotten so much about. Caught up in living this life the way we saw fit.. leaving Jesus aside.

In our broken, we are welcomed to meet face to face with the most beautiful One. Commune in a way that may have not been a priority before our starkly evident realization of our brokenness.. our broken state.. and our clear need for help.

In our broken, as we begin to surrender all we are and all we have, believing God is good like He says He is. We are given the opportunity to commune with the greatest counselor of all. We receive mind, soul and body healing by the best physician that has ever walked the land. We are able to be held in the tender arms of our merciful parent. We begin to walk in freedom as we hold the hand of our gracious friend. We are led by the selfless Savior.. the One that will lead us to eternity where all we have ever dreamed will be..where brokenness will be no more, where all will be made right.

This is the beauty of broken dreams.

May you know today the love God has for you.. no matter what you may be experiencing. God is with you. We are the body and we are called to support one another, build one another up and help carry the heavy burdens of our brothers and sister. If you need prayer, please message me and I would love to pray for you, pray with you. There is power in prayer.

As we close our time today, I would like to pray this prayer over you, and myself too. The life giving words Paul prayed over the Ephesians.

“I pray that out of his [God’s] glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” -Ephesians 3:16-20

May you know today the love the Father has for you. May he do immeasurably more than you could think or imagine your life. May knowing His love and power for you bring hope, life and purpose to your day. May we cling to His very word to lead us through each season of life, the good and the trying. In Jesus name, Amen.



Meaningless for Meaningful

We do not read the Bible because we have to.. it is not a legalistic thing.

Reading our bible isn’t for God, the Father.. it is for us.

It is not a book filled with meaningless words.. rather it contains the words to unlock the power set in us, by our Father.

As we read the word, we become powerful ambassadors through the power and word of Jesus.

The Bible, you see, is not another thing the Father wants us to add to our to do list.. but is the very thing that will give us the power to get through our to do list, and each day with strength, power, peace and joy.

Oh the Bible, it contains beautiful truths about the goodness of the Father.

Oh the Bible, it holds promises that break addictions.

Oh the Bible, it is our joy even in times of trouble.

You see, we have an enemy. He is not foolish. This enemy, he knows the power of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The enemy knows if he can keep God’s people from reading the Word, God’s Word, God’s children will remain feeling powerless.

But.. but if.. God’s children open that precious book.. the one that so many are deceived to think is not relatable to this 21st century life.. if we dare to open those pages and read with our own eyes.. lives will be changed!

Addicts will be set free!
Anxieties will be healed!
Brokenness will be made whole!
Sinfulness made right!

Oh dear sister, dear friend, let us not be deceived.

The Bible is not for the Father’s benefit, but for ours.

The Father wants to bestow mercy, grace, love and peace upon you, upon me, as we come to Him.

If you are needing forgiveness, come before Him, ask, repent and He will freely give.

If you are struggling in a sea of desperation and anxiety, come to Him. Fall at His feet. Acknowledge your struggle and ask Him to help you through. Ask Him to speak, to give you a word to cling to. Like 1 Peter 5:7.. commit to reading that verse day in and day out.

If your marriage is drifting, ask God to come and re-establish the covenant you and your husband once made. Ask the Father to begin a work in you to renew the life and love between the two of you. The Father wants too.

Oh dear sister, what a loving Father we have. I know some days it may not feel like He is too loving, but may I say this.. I speak this over myself as well.

No matter your circumstance today, whether you feel God is for you or against you.. may I whisper a truth that helps get me through the good times, and the bad.. God is for you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He wants to equip you and raise you up to do great works for His glory. He wants you to live in victory through the life and death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

You, daughter of the Most High, have great significance to the Father. May that truth meet you where you are in your journey today, and bring peace and joy to your very being. You are loved.

Father God, we fall on our knees in awe of you. Your love. Your grace. Your mercy. Your love Jesus.. words cannot describe the thankfulness we have for you and your sacrifice. For your example Jesus.. coming to lay your life down so others may come to know the Father. Father, open our eyes. Remove the lies about the Bible so we can meet you face to face, fully and completely. We believe lives will be changed in beautiful ways as we lay down all of who we are. Oh Lord, help us to carve out treasured time to read your precious and powerful word. We desire the power of purpose in our lives. Thank you Father. May your will be done in us and through us.. to bring hope and light to a broken world and broken circumstances.. in Jesus awe consuming name we pray.. amen.

Encouragement for Insult

The struggle is real. The battle is waging. Walking in step with Christ.. well quite frankly, is not for the faint of heart.

Be prepared.. insults will be hurled.

Be prepared.. adversity will rise.

Be prepared.. that quite honestly, anything that Satan can use to come against you.. to come against me.. will be used.

It will not only happen outside the church, it happens inside the church too.

Satan wants nothing more than to have a bunch of defeated Christians walking in step with this broken and confused world.. feeling less than. Never able to measure up.

The enemy will use anything he can:

  • to discourage us
  • to condemn us
  • to leave us feeling like we will never be enough

He has done just that to me.. over the past several weeks.. and maybe even over the last year. Wearing me down week by week.

It has been a battle. The lies of:

  • You call yourself a Christian.
  • You think God can use someone like you with all you have done.
  • Look at you even now.. you think you have what it takes to represent Christ.

The lies raged.

One day I was leaving the church.. my sanctuary.. my holy ground..  and a gigantic wave of depression, defeat and despair came over me. Of all places, surely not the church.

It was as if I as I walked out of the doors that day.. this terrible, wretched, life sucking, identity stealing lie.. took over.. and rocked my world.

He laughed. The condemnation overwhelmed my soul.

All I had been moving towards in my walk with Christ… Jesus. My prize, my possession. My hope.. my purpose.. Jesus, my rock. The One that keeps me afloat in this broken and beaten world. Seemed to have disappeared. And at my most favorite place in the whole world.

No…. my heart cried out… Noo…

The enemy saw my weak state and met me in my defeat speaking..

  • You will never be worthy.
  • You will never have it enough together to make any difference in this world.
  • You, my child, are a failure, and there is no place for you in the Kingdom.

I took his lies as truth.

And for the first time in a long time, I grew angry. This enemy.. the one God had been helping me to overcome for ten years, setting me free struggle by struggle, lie by lie.. just collided in a large way into my world and knocked me on my face.

I was down. I was broken. I was defeated.

My purpose was stripped of me in that moment.

Ohh.. how does a person move forward without a purpose.

The purpose.. the truth.. I clung to through my darkest days.. seemed at the be a lie. All I was clinging to, to make a difference for Christ, for the Kingdom.. stripped in the parking lot of a church.

Talk about a blow.

Talk about unworthiness sinking deep.

Talk about a liar meeting me in the least likely of places. My sanctuary. My hiding place. My safe place in this broken world.

But out of the ashes God raises His children..              

  • The truth will always set us free.
  • The true sanctuary is the sanctuary of our hearts.
  • Mercy is always greater than mistake.

Dear sisters, dear brothers.. let us never forget the impact we each make in the Kingdom.. with our words, with our actions, with our deeds. Myself included. We are called to build one another up. We are called to sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron.

You see, the life as a follower of Christ is not for the faint of heart.


That day.. in a church parking lot of all places.. weary and worn.. I accepted lies as truth in that moment.

Oh the sting of lies.

Oh the defeat the father of lies wants to flood the hearts of God’s children with.

For the first time, outside of knowing I was called to be a wife and mom, I felt like maybe just maybe writing was something God wanted to use me for.. to reach those who are hurting, suffering.. to reach those who are needing encouragement for their weary souls. My heart overflowed with joy, dreaming God would use broken me to encourage another’s soul.. another’s spirit.

And you see when I met God in the humblest of places, at the end of me and the beginning of slowly releasing my selfish ways.. I surrendered my life to Jesus. I promised I would do whatever He asked, if he would save me from the mess I made of my life.

You see.. this purpose.. has been what led me out of the depths of despair. It is still what I cling to when somehow the darkness seems overshadow the light.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

This verse has been the thread weaved through whatever life brings.. those words.. those life giving words.. I cling. I hold to tightly. I will not loosen my grasp.

God in His goodness.. God in His mercy.. scooped up His defeat believing girl.

He is revealing.. those words of defeat.. those hopeless, life draining words were not of Him. God does not disqualify His children. The Father.. oh the Father.. He builds His children up in love and discipline. The Father he teaches and trains.

The Father does not disqualify.

Not one child is unworthy in the Father’s eyes.

So I come to you today, in realness, in vulnerability.. to meet you where you are…to meet you where I am. I do not know what you are going through but maybe you have thoughts or feelings that linger when life begins to wear on you.. maybe as a mother, a wife, a friend, as a servant to Christ. I ask you join me in confessing that defeat.. in offering that defeat to Jesus.. and asking Christ to meet you where you are with His truth.. His truth of grace, of mercy, of love.

Satan wants nothing more than to have you.. to have me.. devoted Christ followers walking in defeat.

God, the Father, however wants nothing more than you.. than me.. than our sister struggling.. than our brother struggling.. to walk in victory. Unrestrained. Life Giving. Absolute. Indescribable. Victory.

Jesus came. Jesus died. Jesus rose. So we, his children, may have victory.

To all my dear sisters out there, spurring one another on in the faith.. thank you! We are all in this together. We cannot do it alone. I cannot do this thing.. this writing thing.. this life thing.. this mother thing.. this wife thing.. this laying down my life thing.. without you. God, the Father, in his kindness did not leave us alone to fight the good fight, but gave us His Spirit, His Word, Jesus.. and one another.

May we never forget the power we have in one another’s lives… either to build up or to tear down..

May we say today.. I will use my life to build up.. to encourage.. to sharpen. To be a light in those broken world.

Father God, we thank you. We thank you for who you are. We thank you for the body of Christ. We thank you for how you see each one of us so individually and reach out to us.. meeting us where we are. You are always reaching, and we thank you for that. We thank you for text messages just at the right time. We thank you for cards and emails that come just at that perfect moment. And we thank you for grace. Father, we know we are messy and broken people, but we ask you equip us to build one another up as you tell us to do. We see the need of hope.. of purpose.. of encouragement in this broken world. May people see more of you and less of me. You Father, are a good, good Father. You are the One.. worthy of all our praise. Thank you Jesus. We pray all this in your gracious, merciful and beautiful name.. amen.

Hurt for Healing

Life has a perpetual way of reminding us of the brokenness of this world, the brokenness of people.. even the broken places still lingering in our own hearts. Though the riches of following Jesus are far greater than the sacrifices, Good Friday is a needed reminder to us as Christ followers of the cost we must pay to follow Jesus.

Though there is great victory in Jesus, there is also great suffering. Paul tells us “..but if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” (Romans 8:17)

Ahh yes.. the part no one likes. You know, the suffering part. Ugh. I mean who in their right mind wants to suffer. When we hear those words, we can be tempted to put Scriptures like those on the back burner and concluded no, that does not apply to me. I will deal with that another day. We justify we are not in the days of suffering so surely this does not relate to this modern time.

In our human nature, we want to skim right over that suffering stuff.. and straight to the glory.. the rejoicing.. the victory of Jesus. The Resurrection. Easter Sunday. I understand, I want to so often as well.

But Paul tells us in Romans, if we do not share in His suffering, we are not able to share in His glory.

Let’s jump right in and meet Jesus on what looked like a defeat filled day.. that dark day Good Friday is all about.. the Crucifixion. As Jesus stood before Pilate…as Jesus heard the chants of people all around Him shouting “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” Let’s walk with Jesus beaten and battered to Calvary. Hang there with Him as He died on the Cross. We find the story in Luke 23. I encourage you to read.

As I read and put myself in the shoes of Jesus that day so many years ago, I could not help but ask.

How did you do it Jesus? You know.. take on beating after beating as your body was covered with gashing, bloody pain filled stripes on your bare skin from the whip of those who hated you.

How did you do it Jesus? You know.. carry the Cross as people watched with no compassion and even cheered as you walked your body beaten and being mocked to Calvary’s Hill.

How did you do it Jesus? You know.. hang painfully on a cross even for those who hated you… and a Cross for that matter you had no business being on. You were no criminal. You had done nothing wrong.

With all I have, I try to grasp just an inkling of how Jesus sustained such pain, such agony, such public humiliation with such grace, such love, such forgiveness. I mean though Jesus was fully God, He was fully human too.

If we can get real honest for a minute and put our judgmental hearts aside. After I am mocked, the first words that come into my mind are forget you.. no more love coming your way from me.

After I am beaten with people’s words, comments, exclusion.. whatever it may be. My heart cries out I do not need you anymore. See you later.

If I were to be stripped naked, publicly humiliated and hung on a cross.. let me tell you. If people started cheering.. especially after I had just been beaten and hang there bloody and in pain. I would have said you know what I am coming right on down from here. I am God. You can pay the consequences for your hate. Bye bye.

But no, not Jesus..

As He hung on the Cross, he spoke these show stopping.. life changing words that go against all that is within my nature, and maybe yours too.. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Wait. What?

Those 12 words in the Scriptures stop me dead in my tracks.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Wow. Really?

This broken and dying world needs Jesus.. needs this new. We are called as Christians to be a light shining bright.. like a city on a hill. We can take the love of Jesus on the Cross and apply it to our lives today. When we are hurt by our friends.. our husband.. our coworkers.. our kids.. a family member.. maybe even a stranger. Jesus gives us an example to follow “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Let me tell you this does not come natural. Not if you are like me. No. Not for a girl who likes to keep herself protected and keep hurt far away. Not for a girl who would rather place blame for the hurt than take responsibility and forgive. Not for a girl who internalizes even the smallest hint of rejection as time to cut the cord and flee.

Oh, to have the heart of Jesus.

Though we are not called to be Jesus, we are called to be like Jesus. The Father wants to make us in the likeness of His image.. like Jesus, our example. It is a daily renewal and lifelong process. This Good Friday, as we remember the Cross, I challenge you, and myself too, to think about how we respond to hurt. I pray even in the midst of hurt.. we can offer forgiveness, offer love, offer the benefit over the doubt.. to say I do not know what they are going through but I will take a step to forgive rather than condemn.

It is in uttering those 12 words Jesus said with such love, we see glimpses of Jesus in us.. others see glimpses of Jesus in us. His beauty flowing freely out of our broken. Just dream with me for a minute.. can you imagine, what a beacon of light we will be, we are, if we as Christians spoke those words out loud or in our hearts each time hurt came? How different the world would be.

Hurt damages. Love heals. Jesus came to heal.. to heal with His love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness.. with His very being.

Living a life of forgiveness.. it is not an easy example of Jesus to follow but it is the way we are called to live as Christ followers. A way that will bring life, healing, glory to God the Father and a reward here on Earth and in Heaven one day. I know we have a challenge ahead of us, we are human. I know we will not get it perfect, but may the next we are hurt whether with words or actions.. may we see Jesus on the cross speaking those 12 life changing words.. and may it lead us on a deeper journey with Christ and deeper relationship with others.

Father God, we thank you for sending Jesus your only Son for us. We thank you Jesus that you were obedient even to death. Father God, we confess this life is challenging, overwhelming and downright exhausting at times. People can be mean, hateful, selfish and hurtful in their ways.. maybe even unintended.. me included. Father, we ask that you place on us a love, a forgiveness like Jesus displayed.. that when persecution comes, when hurt comes.. we can say with all our hearts.. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” May these words become the very being of our souls. That in all our ways, in all we do, we bring glory to you Lord. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for showing us what true love and forgiveness represents. May we become a little more like you even in this moment and from this day forward.. we pray this in your precious and beautiful name Jesus. Amen.

Trading Up: Mine for Yours

Laying down facades.. vulnerability..  not again. Everything in me wants to run.. everything within me waging, nooo. Once is surely enough.. right?

But I hear the call to die to self. This is what I was created for.. authentic relationship.

I am telling you.. this is not natural for me. No, not for a façade builder like me. Not for the insecure girl who has gotten so well.. at running, at hiding, at pretending.

You see, I am learning something.. something life changing. I am praying I do not run before I fully grasp this lesson. The struggle is real for a girl like me.

I am learning.. this life.. this life is not about me. I know, right? Ouch. Have you been there?

I obviously missed the boat on that lesson. I mean what is all that talk about “be all you can be” “follow your dreams.” I thought it sounded… right.. noble really. But I am learning if I leave God out of the equation, no matter “how noble” my dreams.. my desires.. I will put myself on a path of destruction if I do not first ask, “God, is this what you would have for me?”

I am learning it is only in the will of God we are truly able to fulfill the desires and purposes set within each of us. It is only in the will of God we are set on the path of righteousness, where.. though trouble will still come.. life, hope and purpose is found. It is only in the will of God and relationship with the Father we are able to ease the deep ache within us that nothing in this world can seem to satisfy.. not even our husband, our children, or yes, even that newest dress with those cute shoes, and that adorable necklace that just make the outfit pop. At least not consistently..

Ok- maybe I am sounding a little too Christian-ese right now in my speaking.. but hang in there with me.

Being vulnerable.. if I can be quite honest.. I hate it. Blunt, yes. Sugar coated, no.

I like numbers. I like black and white. I like facades. I like to just say everything is good, put a smile on my face and move on.

Vulnerability is everything that is not of me. Vulnerability is not natural. Vulnerability ruins all the pretending, the building I worked so hard to accomplish.. it destroys the masterpiece I was working so hard to build.

So much of my time, outward focused.. working diligently to portray something on the outside that was so broken and is still so broken, but beautifully broken, on this inside.

What would a girl like me do with her time if she was not so busy building facades?

Interesting you ask.. because though it took me many years to understand this question, I am learning the complicated, yet simple answer. When we surrender to the will of God.. something beautiful happens.. our striving to be the number one façade builder begins to diminish and God begins to work out His beautiful purpose in our life.

We begin to find rest from this ever ceasing world that continues to tell us we need more.. we need to be thinner, we need this newer outfit, the bigger house, the pool, the playset.. the list it goes on and on. Just watch the television… the striving is endless to reach “happiness” in the world. In the world’s eyes, perfection on the outside is the goal. A never ending striving.

But with God, perfection, being made in the likeness of Christ, is from the inside out. God wants to make us new from the inside out. It does not involve striving, but resting in His presence.. in His word.

Do not get me wrong, I still have my struggles with not following the paths of this world. But as we step into the will of God, as we choose to surrender and seek to follow God’s plan for this life, striving slowly begins to diminish. It is beautiful. It is freeing. It is life giving.

When I used to hear ‘will of God’, it sounded weird, foreign, something a girl like me had no business being a part of. But as the lie begins to be unveiled, I am learning it is not really all that weird, but something beautiful, something miraculous and fulfills the promise God has spoke over me since I was being knit together in my mother’s womb. I was designed with purpose!

I was not created to serve myself and make myself happy, but to die to self and live for the sake of others. Something so much more beautiful.

So in my natural state, do I hate being vulnerable, yes.. but God sees the bigger picture. He sees how vulnerability is just the door I need to enter through to reach my dreams and desires to bring hope and encouragement to those who are suffering, mourning and searching for something this world cannot offer.

Lies held me captive and stole my joy for far too long. I am understanding, I am here to speak truth so other do not fall into the lies that led me in to such destruction. The lies that stole so much from me.. things that were not intended to be taken. Oh the enemy, how his whole life mission is to take all the good God has set before and within each of us.

Being vulnerable, you see, is my greatest gift from God. God sees though it is uncomfortable, being vulnerable, makes me come alive! It is the door to the dream I believe that has been set within me to reach this broken and hurting world with the love and truth of Christ.

What God is calling us to is not always natural. It is not always easy God does promise us it is worth the cost. As we pursue God’s will.. our call.. obedience to our Father.. surrender to His path, we begin to see the gift embedded deep within the discomfort.. our souls coming alive. arising.. living in freedom.

I do not know what God is calling you to do today, but I encourage you to listen. We all have a call. A purpose. A gift.

  • Maybe you need to make that apology
  • Maybe you return what is not yours
  • Maybe you need to confess to God or a trusted friend a secret you have been hiding

Obedience may not be easy, but the joy is always greater than the pain. Our offering, though small.. God can use and turn into something so much greater. Just as the little boy offered his 2 loaves and 5 in John 6:1-14.. let us offer our lunch and see what God does with it.

We never know what happens when we pay for the groceries for the lady in front of us who cannot afford the entire bill. Or we open our house to host a small group that has been on our heart. We never know what happens when we share our broken with someone we fear may judge us.

God does not waste anything we offer. I encourage you to read John 6:1-14. If you are wondering if you can be used in God’s will, just ask Him. Share with Him you want to do your part to reach a hurting and broken world. He wants to include you! Just like the friend who came ever so kindly to wrap her arms around me as I wept in church this past week, stay on alert. I am sure God will bring you an opportunity to be used for His glory. He loves to partner with His children to reach those who are hurting so others know..  just like you.. and just like me.. that they are not alone, they are not forgotten, but dearly loved. And today, sweet friend, I want to remind you… and myself too..

  • You are not alone.
  • You are not forgotten.
  • You, my child, are dearly loved.

Thank you Jesus for loving us. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you to reach a hurting and broken world. Thank you for using others to reach us in our brokenness. Thank you for never leaving us alone. Come and speak to us today. Show us a way we can be your hands and feet Jesus. We want to seek the beauty in the broken, and be a source of beauty in the lives of those broken around us. We ask you equip us with your Word and the tools we need to be the light to a broken world. And today, may this post be used to bring hope to someone who is hurting. Thank you Father for my dear family in Christ. May your light shine through us.. shine through our brokenness.. so all may see your beauty.. In your loving and humble name we pray Jesus.. and all God’s precious children said, amen!

Our First Exchange

Can I just say, I do not like this.. you know this being vulnerable stuff because it is so unnatural to me. I like façades. I like presenting myself as put together. Not because I see myself as having it all together but because I have hidden so long behind façades I really do not know what it is like to be vulnerable, to be real.

I have never tried to be deceiving or fake but the brokenness I have carried most my life about killed me. Growing up in a broken home can about destroy a child. It causes damage that takes years and years to undo.

My coping philosophy to deal with my brokenness (whether consciously or subconsciously) became “bury it deep enough.. move enough.. pretend enough.. ignore enough.. and it will disappear, right?”

So I got to going..I got really good at moving, at hiding, at pretending. None grow up in perfect homes, with perfect parents.. none grow up in a perfect world.. so maybe you can relate. We all have hang-ups, accusations and lies that we have gathered from our past that have traveled with us to where we find ourselves today.

And though I still have the tendency, to move.. to leave.. to hide.. to pretend rather than sticking it out and pushing through authentically. I met God in the humblest of places and have been on a ten year journey with Him as we uncover the gunk of my soul together, piece by piece.

There are still many hang-ups lingering, unhealthy patterns from my past that follow, but the work he is doing in me, as I offer my broken.. is beautiful. He clothes me in his love, his grace, his forgiveness, his peace. It is a beautiful exchange. My broken for his beauty.

As I continue in my walk with God, I am seeing more and more being a Christians means being humble enough to say.. I AM ONE BIG MESS. And that I am! I have confessed my need I cannot do this life on my own, but I am in desperate need for a Savior, for someone to make me right with God, because I am not “good” or “right” on my own. It is not about being perfect. It is saying with all humility nothing I do and nothing I say makes me qualified to commune with God, to be worthy of relationship with God, but Jesus alone.

Though I still struggle, and have so many hang-ups, so many that even now at times, I wonder how I am going to make it through this life.. God has proven himself faithful and worshipping him, reading his word, trusting in his promises.. gets me through.

Worship music is literally my anti-depressant. I could not face a day without. The Bible it is my anxiety pill. Though I am such an anxious person at heart, God’s word has calmed my soul more times than I can count. Serving others that is my vice. When I serve “the least of these” I come alive! If I know I encouraged someone today, just through this blog, my cup overflows. When I go on a mission trip to love on children in a third world country, it is the best vacation I could ask for. I look forward to the day I get to go back!

You see, my brokenness.. oh it is still there. And there is this enemy, that loves to remind me of it.. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And sometimes he gets me, and he knocks me down, and beats on me a little bit. Sometimes even a lot. But then God in His sovereignty, always has a way of ever so kindly reaching out his gentle hand and saying to me once again, “My child, when are you going to stop believing those lies the deceitful one keeps telling you?”

And with all my heart, I want to say today, TODAY is the day. Today is the day I will no longer fall for the lies. Today is the day the direction for my life will change. Today in my weakness, I find my strength. Yes! Today.

I pray one day I can say with all sincerity and proclaim with the Apostle Paul “when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Oh that will be a glorious day!

But until then I will keep fighting the good fight. I will keep running the race. I will continue to shine the greatness of our God into this broken world because people are hurting. People are suffering. And it is Jesus they need.. It is Jesus. He is the best anti-depressant, anti-anxiety. He is the greatest joy. There are no regrets with Jesus. No clouded mistakes from reading His word. Only blessing upon blessing in following Him.

As a fellow soldier in this faith battle, there is a battle raging for our souls. Let us offer our lives to the Lord, and ask Him to fight for us. As it was told to King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:15 “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army [the enemy]. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.‘”

Father God, we are but broken people in desperate need of you and your truth. Father, meet us where we are today. Come pour into our weary and broken souls. Give us the strength to confess our broken. We ask you replace these dry, broken places in our souls with your love, your grace, your mercy.. and with your healing touch. May your healing power come down into our souls even now. May your word transform us into your likeness. May we begin to discern the lies of the enemy so we can live the abundant life you have set forth for us. May we boldly proclaim in all humility as Paul did “when I am weak, then I am strong.” Yes, Lord Jesus, do a work in us.. bring us one step closer to you and to healing. In your mighty and precious name we pray Jesus.. and all God’s beautiful children said, amen.