Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bombardment, trust and a steadfast mind...

Yesterday, I was longing for a break.

We’ve had some stress the week with getting our heating fixed after our dishwasher flooded and shorted out what ended up being an easy fix that was overlooked the first time (just the thermostat).

We had a lot of time with family. It is very good, but sometimes the “people time” can get a bit noisy and overwhelming.

I really was longing for a break.

Another stress that I have had is my beloved coffee shop has changed hands. I know, it doesn’t seem that big, does it?

All I wanted to do was run away to my coffee shop, to my hidden corner table and sit and read and pray and cry. Well, with the new management, the shop and bookstore were rearranged. So, unfortunately, I lost my private corner. It will be interesting when I try to go in there for some quiet time, and find myself needing a good cry!!!

I have had a wonderful break this week with the relatives in town. They were so anxious to see the kids, that there have been several nights where one, if not both of them have been out at the farm. It has been a blessing.

Today, as Dave was working downstairs, and heading to work, I hand washed the dishes (no dishwasher till next week) and decided that I would take my daughter to the coffee shop. I wasn’t sure how she would do… but where I was able to sit, there was a direct line of sight to the “kids area” where they have a small table to draw on with chalk, some dolls and books, and blocks, etc.

She was so good. She gave me 2 (!!!) hours. She sat and played and I was able to read the bible a bit, and look outside and just soak in the atmosphere and try to relax. It worked some. (the relaxing, that is…)

I guess the longing for a break wasn’t so much needing a break from the kids, or anything else really.

Rather, it has been the bombardment I have been under for the past week. Mind and heart focus on God has been the exception rather than the rule. I have been having a really hard time keeping my focus where it needs to be.

So I guess that I am having some difficult times, and would really covet your prayers.
I know that as I move out and away from counseling… well, I have said this before. I really need to kick in with the things I have learned and keep going.

I had a really great quiet time the other day that talked about 2 things I really needed to hear.

One was talking about the difference between the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus. The rich young ruler stopped short of fully following Christ, allowing his love of his possessions to cause him to shrink back.

Zacchaeus, though he also was rich, did everything he could to get close to Jesus, and when Jesus approached him, he gladly welcomed Him into his home. And then gave away half his possessions and paid back with interest anyone he stole from.

Zacchaeus pressed in to following Jesus, doing whatever it takes. The rich young ruler backed away.

One of the things that Beth Moore said in the study was that Jesus doesn’t want to take away our possessions, He wants to be our greatest possession.

Jesus doesn’t want me to shrink away from Him because I feel something is too demanding or too difficult; He wants me to press in hard and continue to follow Him. He doesn’t want me to feel that He is trying to take things away from me. He wants to become the only, all important, thing in my life, so He is the focus, not my finances, possessions or the lack thereof.

It was a blessing for me to hear that… and a challenge.

A blessing, because it was a reassurance that He really isn’t going to “take my fun away,” like many people think might happen once they become Christians. He just wants to be number one. Which is where He is supposed to be.

A challenge because it was a call to follow Him deeper, farther, with more passion and conviction than I have before. I might suffer for that deeper following, deeper conviction. But He still wants me to follow Him with more passion… suffering included or not.

He has given me a deeper desire for His word. In the midst of struggles and decisions, I have a deeper longing for His word. I want His word deep in my heart and mind because that is what is going to keep me strong in the midst of adversity.

Please pray for me so that I can withstand what feels like a storm in my soul. I am able to continue to live my life, which is such a blessing and so different from a year ago.
Please pray that I will continue to seek God, and seek his Word, and be able to memorize it. Pray that I will find the time each day.

Pray that I will rely on Him and Him alone, rather than my own strength.

Pray that I will be able to make the continuous decision to trust Jesus in all areas of my life, no matter what they look like.

I want to trust with my heart so my mind is steadfast.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 26:3

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Yes to God" Chapter 10, Healing truth

Oh to have to read the last chapter of this book! To have to write the last post for this book… I have been dragging my feet all week. I haven’t wanted to end either.

This past year has been one of such learning! Such growth! God has used this book by Lisa in an amazing way to help complete the healing in such a short time frame. I never expected that when I finished this book, that I would be also looking at my last counseling session coming up.

Recognizing who I am in Christ has been hard for me… especially in the past 3 years. As my depression got more and more pronounced, I just didn’t feel like I had any real truth about who I was to keep me steady and stayed on Him. I truly did feel, like Lisa said, that God dropped a stitch when He was knitting me together in my mother’s womb.

I thought I should be who my family wanted me to be, or like those I looked up to, and all it did was muddy the waters.

Lisa said,
“It has been a beautiful thing in my life to let go of the ideas I have for me and ask God to develop in me those things He intends me to do and to be the person He intends me to be…. I am talking about saying to God, ‘Have your own way with me.’ Recognize that in the process of making you, God didn’t have an ‘oops!’ moment.”

This has been a big part of this past year for me. I’ve continually beat myself up for quitting my student teaching. For not managing to finish with a teaching degree. For not using my musical gifts in a “professional” area. For not being a good enough wife. For not being a good enough mother. For not being a good enough ___________. Fill in the blank: Christian, daughter, grand-daughter, friend, person… and then it led me to the thought that I shouldn’t be here, that I was just a mistake.

As I have finally learned to let go, and let God have His way with me, I have come into more and more freedom. He has awakened things in me I thought I had lost. The biggest was a thirst for Him that I haven’t experienced ever since I was a new Christian. Another one was the joy I got from writing and singing. I had lost writing, and almost lost my joy in music as well.

Admitting my mess-ups has been hard for me, because I clung to them as an identity. I had to let God clear up who I was in Him, and then not wade in the cesspool of condemnation. It was hard to admit I screwed up, and then LET GOD TAKE CARE OF IT!!

I love what Lisa said:
“God is quick not only to forgive us; He is quick also to restore us.”

Oh, how thankful I am for that! I’ve gotten some very visual reminders of how much He loves me, of the depths of His forgiveness, and what His redeeming and restoring work is in my life. I’m so grateful that my mistakes aren’t held against me, but that I can learn from them, and He helps me to walk away from them and not make more mistakes on top of them, and end up worse off that I was before.

The pain I’ve been in and through in my life, because of my choices or others, has been enough to cripple me this past year. If I hadn’t been given the strength to deal with the pain, and take a good hard look at it and allow God into it, I don’t know that I would be here right now.

All my life, I applied a soothing balm… of time, of distraction, or of attempting to move on with my life. It covered over the hurts, but never healed them. The worldly things I tried to anesthetize my soul didn’t work permanently.

Only God can apply the healing balm… of really looking into the pain, and touching it with His love, His forgiveness, His restoration, His TRUTH. That really heals. I may have scars left, but this year I’ve been healed by the Truth, my God.

Lisa is right when she said that all God desires is to take my brokenness and yours and set all of us free by the Truth that we were once so afraid to face.

That is truly what has happened this year in counseling. I was so afraid to see the Truth, to see God in the face of all I had done, and all that had been done to me. But, all my brokenness has been exposed to the light of day, and to the light of the Truth. All God has wanted is to set me free. That’s all He wants to do for you. Once we are free, the possibilities are endless. I know that now that I am free of so much pain that was shackling me, I can do whatever He leads me to.

More than that, I know that even if I don’t know right now specifics of what to “do,” He uses me. I have so much baggage, but God has freed me from it, and now can use it to help others. As Lisa said, being used by God is the one time that being “used” by someone felt good!

Today I can say that I have truly tasted the goodness of God, tasted the freedom, tasted the healing that I never thought I would.

Truth time:
Is my soul truly set free? Is the truth behind my eyes the same as what others see?

I think so. I hope so. I feel like I am set free, that my soul is. I think there are probably some things that I still have to work through, but who doesn’t have something?
I’ve struggled with the idea of needing to pray for someone who hurt me. Still am. Finding others to pray for specifically… or God is finding them for me.

I realized that I canceled my counseling appointment with Tricia this week, and I really didn’t feel stressed. I did schedule another appointment, in a couple of weeks. To know that I have one out there, my last one to talk a few things over with her, gives me freedom to see what it is like to get through a month without “needing” to talk to her about everything.
One other thing… to be truthful… (sigh)

I’ve realized just how much I am going to miss Tricia. I praise God for her. I’m so thankful for how He has used her to help me along this road of healing I have been on. I know that it is time to end our relationship as counselor/client. I’m OK with that. I’m just going to miss her. I’ll be praying for her. I know that if we never meet again on this side of heaven, I’ll be able to see her there, and hopefully then express to her how incredibly grateful I am that she has allowed God to use her as He has, not only in my life, but the lives of countless others she’s invested herself in.

However, my prayer is that someday, this side of heaven, when the right amount of time has passed, God will bring us back together and allow us to meet and develop a relationship on the equal footing of friendship. I don’t know that it will happen. But that is my prayer.
If it doesn’t get answered the way I would like, I won’t be disappointed, because God has the best for me and the best for her in His heart. He knows what will be best for both of us. I’m extremely blessed to have known her for this brief year. I’m forever grateful to God for bringing her into my life, me to her, when I so desperately needed someone to come alongside who cared and who could guide me ever closer to God.

In closing, (it is so hard to try to figure out how to sum this whole study, this whole book, this whole year up) our church has a Thanksgiving service this Sunday night. We do this annually where we open up the mic to whoever wants to come forward and share a praise. I couldn’t bring myself to go last year. Just out of the hospital 3 weeks, I couldn’t find anything praiseworthy.

This year, well, I really don’t know what to share or how to share it, because I could be up there ALL night! This year has been incredible. Looking back now, I can see God’s hand all over it. I look at all the struggles I had, and how I thought the darkness would never end… and now… oh words can’t express what I am feeling right now!

I can only pray that more and more what people see from me is truly what is going on inside of me. That my actions and words match with what is really going on inside. I don’t want to act the part anymore. If things are going bad, I don’t want to fake the perfect life. If things are going good, I want to share that with others. I want to be free to rejoice with, or cry with others as the need arises. I want to be approachable. I want to be used by God to bring healing to His people who are hurting. However that happens I don’t know. Yet.

I want to leave with two quotes from Lisa that caught me enough that they rated not only underlining, but also highlighting!

“He [God] wants us to realize the freedom - true freedom - that comes with letting go of the struggle, once and for all, over our past mistakes, major life interruptions, and wrongs that have been done to us. He desires to remove that which has incapacitated us and held us captive - unable to fly and soar and be the beautifully created person He has made us each to be. Jesus wants to fix everything in us that has ever been broken, not temporarily soothing it on the exterior, but healing it in places not able to be seen by the human eye….

His arms are a place of ultimate security and peaceful rest.”

There is nothing more powerful that to realize the Creator of the whole universe, is your Creator, that you are the apple of His eye, and that He searches after you with undivided attention until you are found by Him…. and then He holds you, oh so carefully, gently, and securely in His arms… and that He wants to HEAL EVERY HURT! He wants to heal you and me and everyone else, until we all realize who we are in Him, and are able to live from that Truth in our everyday life.


May God bless all of you. Thank you for joining in this journey with me: through this book, and for those of you who have been around longer, through this past year. I can’t tell you what your prayers and support have meant. Please don’t cease praying for me; I won’t cease praying for you. God has so much more to do in all of our lives.

Just because I see the end of a season for me doesn’t mean an end! It really means a new beginning. I never thought I would say this, but I have a new beginning!

So do we all!

Thank you Lelia for hosting this. I can’t tell you how God has used you in my life. You are the first person who ever contacted me, other than my family, on my blog… the first “bloggy friend” I made… and the first person I ever started praying for that I met through a blog. My husband thought I was nuts (still does, I think) :) But I know that God has been behind all of this. I praise God for you Lelia, and continue to pray for you. God bless you, and I love you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hearing His voice...

One of the benefits of counseling with Tricia has been learning to listen for and recognize God’s voice.

It seems weird that it took counseling for me to really hear that. You would think that counseling is all about talking. My talking to her, and her responding, teaching, etc. But it was more than that. There were times when things that she said really resonated within me, or pricked my heart. Those were times when I knew God was speaking to me, using Tricia’s voice.

But then there were those other times. I noticed them happen especially when we were doing the EMDR therapy. We went through the therapy in sets, in between which, we would talk briefly and then have another quiet set. It was during those times of quiet that I really noticed something happening. I would end up starting to have a conversation in my head. In reality, I realized I was focusing my questions and concerns at God. I was focusing on the hurts that we were working through, but when I opened myself up to God, silently asking Him to show me lies, when I cooperated with the process, He really did open up things more quickly for me and show me things that I was believing.

Usually by the end of a session, Tricia would have given me encouragement and prayed through the sets for me… and there was something else. Usually near the end, as I would start getting to a point of needed to get the lies replaced, God would really start to speak to me. Not really in a voice, but sometimes giving me an image to focus on (like where He held my heart in His hands and was healing it) or by giving me a song that spoke right into where I was at, or by speaking right into my head. I know it sounds strange. But scripture phrases would “randomly” come into my head, in the silence. Truth based on scripture would come into my head, not exactly in my own voice… I wish I knew how to better explain it. I just know that when I would share with Tricia what impressions I got, or what I saw or heard, she was able to help me discern what was truth and what wasn’t. I was able to figure out from that the difference between God’s whisper, and the enemy’s shout.

It seems crazy that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a whisper and a shout. But when you have been listening to the shouting for so long, your ears tend to be ringing so bad that you can’t hear the whispers.

Besides, when I was hearing the lies, I was unsettled in my soul, my heart was upset, and physically I felt sick. When I was hearing God’s whisper into my heart and soul, I was at peace. I was able to let out the hurtful emotions and feel renewed, though exhausted, at the end.

Now I have found at least one place that I am able to be still enough to hear God. That is the coffee shop that I frequent. Now my hope is to find a way or a place to have a “retreat” at home as well. I just want to have a place where I can get away from the kids, my husband and not feel like I am in the way of anyone. However our house is so small that there really is no place for me to go.

I want to have it before I finish counseling. My next counseling session is the first week of December, and it will probably be my last one… if everything goes well. So I want to be able to have a place besides the coffee shop and Tricia’s office as a place of retreat!

I guess that would be a prayer request I have then. That I will be able to find a place. I know that God can meet me anywhere, and He has. I just know that I need to have a place I can run to when I need the quiet and concentrated time with my Lord. I want to continue to change and grow as He continues to lead me on in healing and wholeness. I know I will never get all the way there in this world. But I want to have Him as my focus.

When that happens, well, then it is like Cindy said… I look to her, like a completely different person than I was when she met me a year and half ago.

I change from the inside out… and I want that inside to be Christ alone, not the lies or the problems I have had in the past. Just Him. Nothing more; nothing less.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Yes to God" Chapter 9... Flawed yet forgiven

Right now I am sitting in Beatitudes. Beatitudes is a coffee shop. This coffee shop is the realization of a dream that a Christian woman in our community had for years. After years of trying and praying she was able co-rent the space with someone who wanted to open a bookstore. What goes together better than coffee and books?

The walls have interesting artwork, warm colors… strategically placed table lamps and track lighting, soft music in the background, tables and chairs arranged in conversation areas, free wi-fi (hence my being able to write this here). This place has become a haven for me. A safe place. A place where I walk in and immediately relax.

If I could I would transport you all here. It is so much more conducive to conversation. I want conversations with you. To really see you all face to face, not just blog to blog… I want to share my heart with you. I want to share with you some of the things that this chapter stirred up in me. I will do the best I can through this medium. But, I want so much for you to see my face, to be able to get the expressions, and really be able to see my heart and know the depth of love I have for Christ, for you… see, words are failing me already. Only a hug and my tears can express what I am feeling right now.

When I say tears, I mean it. I can hardly hold them in right now, in this public setting with people around me.

To see how this book, “Behind Those Eyes,” by Lisa Whittle has impacted others lives, visit Lelia, and follow the links there to others blogs… (thank you Lelia for setting this all up!!!)

At the end of the chapter, Lisa wrote:
“While Satan would love for you to believe that you are too flawed and too unworthy of forgiveness, Jesus wants you to know that nothing could be farther from the truth.”

As I have worked through things in my counseling… all these different issues, hurts, lies… all the time I have felt I was too flawed and unworthy of that incredible forgiveness Jesus extends to me. As each issue was dealt with and healed, I got a little closer to believing that though I had these flaws, God still forgave me. Then the next issue would come up, and I would feel again that THIS sin, or hurt, or issue was the one that God wouldn’t forgive.

Now that I have seen His consistency in forgiving me, cleansing me, each time… well, I find myself more eager to fall on His grace and mercy, knowing it is going to be there to hold me up, rather than be pulled out from under me at the last minute.

The healing I have received this year has served to bring me ever closer to Him. The flaws and pains that have run so deep… as they are healed, His balm of forgiveness and healing has gone just as deep, to fully heal them.

Like Lisa said,
“…when I first realized in my heart and it began to sink into my soul that being so deeply flawed left me with the ability to be forgiven by God equally, the flaws suddenly felt really important to the process.”

Yes, I am going to continue to sin. I can struggle against it, but I am not going to be perfect. I am not going to be able to live without mistakes. But God’s grace, love, acceptance and forgiveness will cover over all that, and heal and guide and correct me.

(A side note for you all, now I am writing the rest of this at home, at my desk… wish you were here so we could gather in my living room and talk… but I said that already… ok, back to work…)

In counseling last year, I started with an issue that had plagued me and caused me a lot of pain. At the time, I saw it as an isolated incident. Now, I am not so sure.

In college I became friends with a young woman. We were both Christians, but very young in our faith, and both been hurt in our past. We both acted our of our hurt.

As Lisa said in her post today, “My new unspoken motto became, ‘I’ve been hurt, I am hurt, and I will live my life, acting out of that pain.’"

I think that was our unspoken motto. I never realized it at the time. She was very needy and manipulative, and I needed to be needed by someone.

We started down the road of sin. You know the one. Where once you have stepped onto it, you suddenly start to slide, down and down, until you hit the bottom with a gut wrenching crash and look up and wonder how you got there in the first place.

Somewhere down in that muck and slime, God pulled me out, and gave me the desire to distance myself from that sin, and from the friendship that kept leading me back there. I looked at what I was doing and shuddered, as I was doing it! I kept getting sucked back in. God kept after me. Finally after probably a 2 year struggle all together, I finally was able to make a clean break and walk away from that friendship.

I walked away, pushing it down, burying it. I was angry at her for her influence and how I allowed her to control me. I was angry at myself for knowingly taking steps and doing thing that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt were wrong. I hated her, and I hated myself. But I couldn’t express that, so I tucked it away with all the other hurt and anger and hatred.

When I started the counseling, we ended up approaching this situation first. I was scared to death. I walked through it using EMDR with Tricia. I left her office that Friday night, very shaky. I didn’t really realize where I was at until I was on the way home, feeling nauseous. All weekend I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t function. I called her office Monday, and got an appointment with her the next morning.

After a couple of appointments that week, we were able to revisit the scene, the image I had in my head. It was shameful and humiliating, trapped and made powerless by my own choice. I could see the image, vividly, but then it was covered with a waterfall of His blood. I could almost feel it pouring down on me. I felt like I was standing under the waterfall.

Literally, Christ’s blood pounding down on my head and shoulders, drenching me, head to toe.
Oh, for the first time I felt clean from that sin! Really clean. And I knew. I knew that I was forgiven. I knew that all God saw was the blood of His Son, cleansing me. It was a powerful image. I can still see it now. I can still feel it now.

I find it ironic, that Lisa’s “Getting Real” section would be to commit to praying for someone who hurt you. Because I read that. Last week. Then I got in the car to go somewhere. As I was about to get on the highway, I said out loud… in my car…

“I could never pray this for HER,” thinking of that young woman from college. Guess what? That is exactly what God wants me to do. Surprise, surprise! (sigh)

I have been resisting it all week. I finally made myself sit down last night and work my way through the study guide more carefully, last night. Then I journaled. As I did, God started speaking to my heart. He showed me a huge root of bitterness, still lurking there.

I already forgave her. I already felt God’s forgiveness. But, He reminded me of something we had touched on in counseling, and brought it into focus. The bitterness, anger and hatred that still festered was related to her. I realized I blame her for bad choices I made after our friendship was over. I was hurt in our friendship, and again, I reacted and made other choices out of that hurt.

For better or worse, I blame her, and that ties me to her, as much as covenant marriage vows bind me to my husband.

A year ago I was dealing with that friendship, at the beginning of counseling. Today I am dealing with that friendship, at the end of counseling.

I called my dear, sweet friend Cindy tonight, while the kids were in their bath. (Actually, in your time, it was about 3 paragraphs ago.) I expressed to her that I was writing this post. I also told her where I was at in dealing with the ramifications of this relationship… and was honest.

I told her that I had been stiff-arming God all week. I have been going to Him in other areas, and following His guidance through them, except this one area, all week, knowing what He was asking. I have been telling Him, “NO!!”

Cindy said that she would be praying for me as I processed through writing this post. And as I dealt with the emotions that were coming up as a result, the hurt and anger. I was literally shaking as I talked to her because of where I was at, as I wrote this.

She challenged me to pray for my former friend.
Before I finished writing this post.
Oh, I didn’t want to hear that.
But I knew she was right.

I nearly cried right then and there. But I had to go, get the kids out of the tub, do the bed time routine of, read, snuggle and pray… and then…

…while I laid in bed next to my daughter, I prayed. I asked God to show me how to pray, to guide me in even what to pray for, because I didn’t want to. I was honest with Him. I know that He already knew how I was feeling, and that I didn’t want to pray for her. But I needed to say it.

Then I was able to pray for her. I prayed for her faith, her family, that God would bless her, and then I felt led to pray one more thing for her:

That she would find help like I did, and come to full healing in Christ. That she would find freedom in Christ. That she would find all the love and acceptance she ever needs in Christ. That she would find what I have found in this past year.

I didn’t have a name or word for it then, just this feeling in my heart of hearts.

Now these words are just pouring out of me, and though there are more than I have here, all the words in the world simply cannot describe the indescribable.

…Truth. Peace. Joy. Healing. Freedom. Redemption.Blessing.Love.Acceptance.SignificanceHopeSecurityForgiveness…
I pray she has found
who she is in

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Yes to God" Chapter 8... Loved and Accepted

“Deep down inside, when no one is around and the only sound that breaks the silence is the beating of our own hearts, we long to feel the warm embrace of love wrapped around us. We desire to truly experience lasting and genuine love, maybe for the first time in our lives. What we thought would bring us love has let us down, and we are tired of searching. Even the best of our earthly relationships with the strongest bonds of earthly love cannot quench the INSATIABLE THIRST of our souls for a DEEPER CONNECTION… so much so that we’re not even sure anymore that it really exists.”

“[God's love] is strong, and it is swift. It is a heavenly wonder, unmatched by anything earthly. And when you experience it in your heart, it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to settle for love of any other kind.”

“Our birth certificate has been stamped with a seal of authenticity as a child of God, and He is NEVER GIVING US BACK OR LETTING US GO.”


“God has done things to show us His UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE of us like none other ever has or ever will. Rest assured that Someone who would go to the trouble of counting the number of hairs on your head loves you entirely and accepts you completely, with SHEER ABANDON.”
Lisa Whittle, from “Behind Those Eyes,” emphasis mine.

When I started this study, hosted by Lelia, never in my wildest imaginations did I dream that this book would so parallel the road of healing I have been on for the past year. God knew that learning to come out of hiding, learning to stop suppressing my emotions, learning to trust Him, learning that He loves and accepts me… all needed to be reinforced. It needed to go from my head to my heart.

God placed me with an incredible counselor who, through the EMDR therapy she uses, was able to help me start connecting the head knowledge I had about God, and the truth of who I am, to my heart. She has helped me work through things so that I am getting to the point where I KNOW and BELIEVE the truth that God has spoke to me through His word.

So many of the other women I have met through this study have talked about getting this knowledge from their heads to their hearts that God loves and accepts them completely and fully, with no reservations.

Through this book, God has been reinforcing all the things I have been learning in counseling. I can hardly describe the journey I have been on. The thing is, since I started posting for this bible study, I haven’t been writing much about how my counseling has been going. Because this book study has been forcing me to focus on things each time, they have carried over into my counseling, and Tricia has been able to help me process through them.

But I have to share this. Yesterday was a break through in counseling in a major way. I mean, we worked through a bad memory, but I got the chance to read my post to her, “A year ago,” and it made Tricia cry. I didn’t expect that, and she didn’t either. She thanked me for sharing it because she said that she doesn’t often get to see the end result of counseling… the end result in a client’s life, from the client’s perspective. It encouraged her when she needed it.

After reading that to her, we both came to the conclusion that my time of counseling with her is finished.

Did you hear that?

I never thought in a million years that only one year after starting counseling, I would be finishing up.

She and I both agreed we may have to sweep up a few loose ends, but in reality, everything has been worked through. She has given me the tools I need to work through things on my own, as they come up. God has given me the ability to process through issues and hurts as they come up, so that I can deal with them and bring the light of truth into each situation.

I am learning how to apply the truth! I am learning that the things I know about God and myself, I can believe fully in my heart.

Out of all of this time, this past year, a passion has been growing inside of me. I didn’t know how to really put a name to it in any definitive way. I have a passion for writing, for singing and leading in worship, for speaking to others. But I didn’t know how to put it together.

I think I now know more of what it is. As I have learned more about God’s love and acceptance for me, He has opened my eyes to see that there are so many others that don’t know and really BELIEVE that God loves and accepts them. Oh, how I want to share what He has revealed to me through His word and His active work in my life!

I have such a desire to see other women find the healing that I have received.

God’s love is so incredible. Just reading the verses that Lisa had in her chapter this week… there were two that I particularly liked, and I will add another one here for you as well.

“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me - a prayer to the God of my life.” Ps. 42:8

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love.” Zeph. 3:17

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Ps. 90:14

God’s acceptance of us.

It isn’t just a toleration of us, but wholehearted acceptance. Without conditions. Without concerns about our past. Without looking for anything else from us, but to trust Him, and to draw near to Him.

He won’t reject us. He won’t harm us. He won’t use us (in the bad sense of the word). He won’t leave us lying bruised and brokenhearted on the floor. Not like the people and things we have pursued time and again looking for that love and acceptance we so need. He picks us up in His hands. He cradles us in His arms as He whispers His songs of love over us in the night time of our hearts.

Oh beautiful child of the only Living God…

  • Do you know that He loves you?
  • Do you know that He accepts you?
  • Do you know that He gave his only beloved Son to die for you, so you can stand unashamed before Him?
  • Do you know that along with His Son, He will give you, out of His lavish grace, all things?
  • Do you know that it doesn’t matter to Him how hungry you have been and how you have looked in the world to satisfy that hunger and thirst inside?
  • Do you know that the trouble and difficulties you have gone through, the hardship that you have faced don’t deter Him?
  • Do you know that the swords that have cut you to ribbons in this life, the persecution you have faced from family, friends, strangers who didn’t understand you can’t ever slow Him down?
  • Do you know that the nakedness, being stripped bare in front of everyone, or in the spotlight of your mind’s eye, doesn’t disgust Him?


Not any of these things can possibly separate you from God’s love.

He has shown us that love through Christ’s death on the cross. He has shown us that He understands all we have gone through and tried to do on our own. He has shown us He loves us. He has shown us that He accepts us because we are beautiful and precious in His sight.
He sees who He has created us to be. He has a vision for us that cannot be denied. He has a purpose for our lives that will not be thwarted. He will complete the good work He has started.

He won’t stop loving us, or reject us ever.

“Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Ps. 34:5

Standing covered with His blood and righteousness, we may look up at Him with no fear in our heart, no shame in our soul. We are clean and without blemish before Him. And He loves us with an everlasting love. Nothing will change that.

We are secure.
In Christ.

That’s more than enough for me.

What about you?