Posts tagged ‘Christian Encouragement’

My Throwback Thursday

‘For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.’

Proverbs 9:11

It is a Thursday afternoon as I sit down to write this tribute to my son, Drew. In social media it is better known as Throwback Thursday. The day where people share pictures and stories of the past on Facebook.

Not only is it Throwback Thursday but it is the eve of Drew’s thirtieth birthday.  Drew is now a dad himself. He has a precious four-month old baby girl. As he shares the newest things Campbell has discovered and/or things he is doing with her, my mind goes back to  Drew’s childhood.

In these flashbacks, I can see a little boy sitting in his daddy’s lap early in the morning reading the paper and talking together before starting their day.  As Drew got older, these early morning conversations and reading the paper together transpired at the table and eventually with a cup of coffee in hand.  Nowadays,once a week, in the early hours of the morning, I can hear father and son having conversation together with a cup of coffee in hand. The only difference is it is over the phone.

Then my mind goes back to all the trips we took with Drew over the years. The beach trips, the Disney World trips, trips to the mountains and the list goes on. My favorite pictures of Drew on these trips are the pictures of Drew with his dad sitting on the beach planning what kind of sand castle they would build.  As they planned, they would discuss what would be the foundation and how they would form this foundation and build their sand structure. It was all diligently planned out.

Out of these conversations, I think of the advice, the do’s and don’t’s Jim gave Drew. The  most pivotal conversation I remember is the following on Drew’s thirteenth birthday.

Son, you are turning thirteen. The gift I want to give you is an assignment. The assignment is to read the entire book of Proverbs and imprint the wisdom from this book on your heart.” Drew took what his dad said to heart and not only read the book of Proverbs but also memorized quite a few which he has quoted back to us on occasion.

As I reminisce over these conversations and words of advice between father and son, I see where God was guiding a father to guide a son. God guided a father to showing and teaching his son the importance of making wise choices, listening to others and building his life and home on faith in God. Jim wanted Drew to have a solid foundation and relationship with God.

Today, as I write this I have no real advice to Drew.  It is  my prayer that as he watches his little girl grow up to absorb all the moments he can.  I pray Drew takes time to have those early morning conversations with his little girl in his lap that one day will evolve into conversations at the table over coffee.  I have no doubt that Drew will pass on the legacy of love and the foundation of faith that was given to him through the years. It is without a doubt he has Proverbs 22:6 imprinted on his heart and living it out with his daughter.  “Train a child in the way he is to go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Drew- Have a wonderful birthday. This video pretty much sums up the wishes your Dad and I have for you on your birthday  and in the days ahead. We love you and are very proud of you!

 

My Soul Provider

heart and crown

June 19, 1989 Michael Bolton released the hit song, Soul Provider. This song is about a guy who wants to provide all of his love’s needs. He says he will wait patiently  and will hold their heart in his hand.  Although the song, Soul Provider was and is a good song, this is not about Michael Bolton nor his hit song. (Sorry about putting that ear worm in  your ear. I do hear that chewing gum does get rid of ear worms. )

Christmas Night

grief

Of recent, I have seen God’s provision at work for me. I don’t mean the daily roof over the head, food on the table and other necessities of life being met but His provision for my soul.  The last month has been a bumpy ride for me. If you read my previous post, Fearless, you will know my mom lost her battle with cancer. Thus, there has been a lot on my mind as I try to comprehend and accept all that has happened.

looking-back

There are times when you look back and see God’s provision. In my case, this would be this past Christmas night. Jim and I pull out of the hospital  parking deck of the hospital after spending the day with my mom and having an improvised Christmas celebration with my family at her bedside.  Jim begins to asks me where do I want to eat. Keep in mind it is Christmas Day night and the chances of finding something good to eat open were probably slim. Yet, we were determined to find anything but a McDonald’s or a Waffle House since that had been what we had lived off of for the last couple days.

After passing many exits and scouting for places with their lights on, we find a TGIFriday’s and it is open! We pulled into the parking lot and due to the few choices of places to park  we see that we might be there a while. Jim and I enter into the restaurant and we put our names on the wait list. The hostess tells us it will be a half hour to forty-five minutes before we are seated. We were okay with that as long as we could get a good meal.

Then It Happened

black-and-white-vintage

Jim and I found a place to lean as we waited for our table. To kill some time, we both pulled out our phones to catch up on messages. However, we barely got to the first set of messages and a young man comes up and calls our name and party number. Jim and I were stunned we were getting seated after only ten minutes and there were others ahead of us.

It was within a matter of seconds that a beautiful young lady came up and introduced herself and said she would be our server. As she introduced herself, she looked at us with such grace and said, “can I get you two a glass of sweet tea?” We both nodded in agreement that a cold glass of sweet tea would be much appreciated.

sweet-tea

Our server returned with our drinks and began to take our order. Again, she apologized that it might be a wait due to the crowd and the orders ahead of us. Jim and I told her we were okay and we understood. Yet, in a matter of minutes our food was at our table and it was steaming hot. Again, Jim and I look at each other acknowledging God was looking out for us.

Jim and I  joined hands and said our blessing and began to enjoy the flavors of our steaks and all that went with it. As we enjoyed our meal, we would realize there was something we needed and before we could even ask for the item it was already being brought to our table by our server or her helper. Our needs were met without us having to really ask for anything.

As we left the restaurant, I told Jim we just experienced God throughout the entire time. We both looked back at the sequence of how things unfolded as we enjoyed our Christmas night dinner. I asked Jim  if he thought  that it was odd that our servers knew what we needed or wanted before we asked but yet then again was it odd? We looked at each other and smiled. We knew God had known our needs even before we knew what they were and He provided.

Homesick

homeisck

This past weekend marked a month of laying my mom to rest. It was also Jim’s weekend for hospital duty. I dreaded the weekend with passion.  Jim and I live about six hours from my family  in Georgia and about two hours from his family in Louisville. I knew my brother was having a get together for his youngest son’s birthday and Dad would be going to join the fun. On Dad’s way, he would stop in downtown Atlanta to meet up with my son and great-granddaughter for a visit. Knowing all of this was taking place, Jim at work and us not having family here in the town we live, I began to throw myself a little pity party. I was homesick to the point I actually felt sick to my stomach. It was just Smokey {my sidekick and service dog} and me and the house was too quiet.

Trying to keep my mind busy, I would read and attempted to knock out some chores around the house. Yet, the heartache of being away from my family, Jim being at work and it being a month since I said good-bye to Mom, my heart broke all the more. It was one of those get the ice cream out of the freezer with no need to scope  but to only eat it with a spoon out of a container while binge watching Gilmore Girls. 

Jim had called me while on his lunch as he usually does and I told him how my heart ached and the loneliness I felt. He did the best he could to console me but he knew that what I was feeling is only something time and God could heal.

god-shows-up

Then it happened again! God showed up! God provided! about forty-five minutes after I talked with Jim on the phone, a friend sends me a text, ” Are you going to be home around 2:30? We have a cake to bring to you. I replied back that I would indeed be home.

As I finished picking up around the family room, the doorbell rang. I opened the door and there stood a dear friend from church/Bible Study with her mom holding what I consider a very big cake for two people. But it wasn’t the cake that overwhelmed me. It was the smiles on their faces they had as I greeted them at the door. You know the kind of smiles where you don’t just see the smiles but you see the light of Christ in the smiles. Yep, it was one of those moments. Though the visit was short, my spirits were lifted. Again, God provided just what my soul needed.

Sunday Morning

alive-blessed

Sunday morning arrives and again Jim is off to work at the hospital. I get myself up and ready for Sunday School and worship. My heart still working through my grief I knew Sunday School and worship was what I needed.

As our worship came to a close with the Gospel being presented and the altar call, a child of one of the gals in my Wednesday Night Bible Study went up to profess his faith and to request to be baptized. I think this child would have gone on up and jumped into the baptismal font clothes and all at that moment. He was so excited about his new life with Christ! To see that enthusiasm for God warmed my heart. Yet something else happened that personally warmed my heart.

After the closing prayer, this young man and his mom were asked to stand up front at the altar for the church family to congratulate and welcome this young child into the congregation and most of all welcome him into God’s Kingdom of believers. While I was standing in line waiting my turn one of the ladies I had been in Bible Study with began to talk to me and then all of sudden she embraced me with the most loving hug. She began to tell me what I meant to her and how she loved me. At first I didn’t know, how to respond but then I asked if all was going okay with her. We chatted a few minutes as we made our way through the line.

Once I got home, I immediately messaged this sweet gal that grabbed and hugged me. I told her I needed that hug because it had been a rough weekend for me. I told her it was a month to the day that I was sitting in my mom’s funeral.  She messaged me back saying she just suddenly felt the urge she had to hug me. Again, God was at work using someone I knew to bring me comfort and letting me know how much He loves me.

Along with what happened on Christmas Day, the cake and smiles arriving at my front door and the hug at church, I have been leading the study, Redeemed by Angela Thomas-Pharr. The scriptures for the last two weeks have been exactly what I needed. In this week’s video session, she discusses justification, sanctification and glorification of redemption. As she explained glorification, it brought comfort to my heart knowing that Mom is now fully redeemed and she is with her King. It is through my salvation that I will be with her again one day. Does that completely take the homesickness and the hurt that is so raw away? No, but it gives me that blessed assurance of the love and grace God has given me. It reminds me that God is walking with me in this storm and to continue to seek the blessings He puts in my path.

Our Soul Provider

fear-not

There may be a time where you are going through life’s storm. You wonder where you will get the strength to take that next step forward. You will have had nothing but Waffle House, McDonald’s, hospital food or whatever else you can find in a vending machine and you long for that hot meal with a glass of sweet tea. Maybe you are sitting at home in silence at your wit’s end indulging in that carton of ice cream while binge watching Gilmore Girls. Whatever the need your soul longs for God is there and He is taking care of those needs. You may not realize it right now but there will be a day you will look back and see that God was providing all along. Those things that happen that some people all coincidence are not coincidence they are divine interventions of God taking care of your soul.

Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:19 that God will meet all of our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ. Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  Psalm 147:4 says, “He counts the number of the stars, He gives names to all of them. What a blessed assurance that we have a Father who meets our needs, who longs for us to come to Him when we are weary, and just like He names the stars, He knows our name and longs to be our soul provider and holds our hearts in His hand.

Blessings-

Fearless

be-fearless

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong

and of good courage, do not be afraid,

nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God

is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

 Two weeks ago my family and I began a new chapter in our lives. This chapter opened up not only as a New Year but it also began a new normal. My mom went to her eternal home after a hard fight with cancer.

Mom pictured with my dad on the right and my husband, Jim in the middle.

Mom pictured with my dad on the right and my husband, Jim in the middle.

The Word Cancer Came Into Our Home

Five and a half years ago mom learned that she had cancer.  Once hearing this news and sharing with immediate family, Mom very firmly requested that we say nothing to no one. Yet, she did allow me to share with my Ladies’ Bible Study group, church family and Jim’s family here in Kentucky. I was allowed this privilege only because I live in Kentucky and she  lived in Georgia.  I am so grateful that Mom allowed me to share with these select few. They have held me up with love, prayers and encouragement as I took this journey. It is difficult for a girl to live away from her family especially her Mama. There is just something special about mother and daughter relationships.

Mom and me.

                         

Mom and me on my wedding day.

      

The Struggle

Over the last five and a half years, my brother and I struggled to keep a tight lip on what was going on with Mom. Deep within our hearts we so much wanted to share with others so that she would have more people praying for her and a support system for Dad. When the topic would be brought up it was quickly put to an end. Mom would have nothing to do with people knowing what she was going through.

Needless to say, not only did I struggle  carrying  this secret in the presence of those who knew her but there were times when I would become frustrated and question why Mom was so hush-hush about her battle with cancer.  I questioned how Mom was going to field the questions given to her as she would lose weight and she began to wear wigs. What was Dad going to tell people when Mom was not up to be out with him after a chemo session. (Mom and Dad did everything together!)  What would the response be to all of those inquiries?

dscn2239

” I’m Fine”

Despite Mom losing weight and wearing a wig, Mom would respond those inquiries of how she was feeling with the phrase, “I’m fine.”  When Dad or any of us were seen out and about without Mom we were told specifically by Mom to tell people she was fine. Mom did not want anyone to make a fuss over her. She chose to battle this beast with her own Southern Belle style and dignity.  She lived fearlessly knowing that she was a Daughter of the King and that she could face anything placed before her because  her strength was drawn from Christ. ( Philippians 4:13)

In her daily walk with Jesus, it was Mom’s choice to focus on the needs of others. She preferred sending cards and words of encouragement to others who were going through a storm.  Not only did she chose to encourage those fighting a life storm but she chose to encourage others in their ministries, their walk with Christ and celebrate life’s celebrations with others.  Mom was also my encourager in my daily walk with Christ and in my life as a mom, wife,  blog writer and Bible Study leader.

gods-presence

God’s Presence

On the morning of December 27, 2016, Mom took her seat at the Great Banquet in Heaven. This date was already significant to our family because it was her late daddy’s birthday.  Later that morning, I opened a box of pictures to sort for the slide show that would be shown at the funeral home. The first picture I picked up was of Mom on her wedding day on her father’s arm waiting to be given away to marry my dad. What a beautiful message  God gave me at that moment. Mom had taken the arm of her heavenly ushers to be presented before her King.

Mom with her dad on her wedding day.

Mom with her dad on her wedding day.

On the evening prior to Mom’s visitation, I prayed to God asking Him to send me something assuring me that Mom was ‘fine”. Perhaps this sign would be a butterfly in my path, a word from a friend or a feather from an angel.

As we gathered outside the funeral home to go in, Dad opened the door to let me go in first. Before I took the first step into the building, I looked down and on the threshold of the doorway was a feather. This *feather symbolizing that Mom had crossed the threshold into eternity and that I along with my family were and are under God’s care and protection.

red-cardinal-two

Sunday, New Year’s Day, it was just Dad and I left at the house. Dad and I were eating breakfast and watching the birds come to eat at the feeders on Dad’s deck. Then, for just a few moments three red cardinals appeared on the deck. Again, another reminder that God was and is with us. The last three years Jim and I have lost someone of significance this time of year. The first being his dad losing his battle to cancer, the second being Jim’s favorite aunt and the third was my mom going home. For me, those three cardinals represented these three precious people that had and will continue to have a great influence on my life.

To Live Fearless

april-fearless-pose

Mom may have fought in silence but in her silence she taught me the true meaning of what it means to live fearlessly in the days ahead. No matter the battle that is put before us God is with us. When we acknowledge God’s presence in the battle we are able to face the fight ahead of us and fear less.

I have adopted this “Fearless” motto for my journey ahead of me. It is through my faith through Christ Jesus that will give me the courage and strength to face whatever is before me. I can hear  my sweet mama singing the  lyrics below  from the hymn, I Know Who Holds Tomorrow in her soprano voice.  I know she didn’t worry about the future in her fight because she knew who was walking with her and she walked fearlessly each day.

I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Jacqueline Ward Daniel Hill November 2, 1943-December 27, 2016

Jacqueline Ward Daniel Hill
November 2, 1943-December 27, 2016

*I have a collection of feathers all the same coloring that I have found in my path over time. They are always found in places in my path where you wouldn’t think a feather would fall. The feather found on the threshold of the funeral home is probably the most precious one yet.

Divine Appointment

 

Not A Morning Person

I hate mornings

  It is early morning. Jim and Drew are up reading the paper together and talking current events.  Jim tells Drew to go to the bedroom to see if I am interested in getting up. Drew very carefully tip toes into the bedroom. He approaches the bed like a special forces soldier would approach the enemy. He evaluates the situation of how to approach me. Does he stand at the bedroom door and ask if  I am interested in getting up. Or, does he slowly approach the bed and nudge me awake. If he does the latter, he may not fare too well. Sometimes, it is like waking a bear out of hibernation.  You see, I have never really been a morning person.

Jim heard a comedian one time talking about people who are not morning people. The comedian compared it to being like evolution. First, they get up and they are in the ‘Reptile Phase”.  Thirty minutes later “we have speach”.  By noon, “they are walking erect.” The family knows not to approach them during those primative earlier moments. Instead, non-morning people need time. As the morning progresses they gradually become human. 

Now, do not get me wrong. If I have to be somewhere like a job, classes or event, I will get up. I may not seem human but if I was meant to pop out of bed, we would sleep in toasters. 

Garfield sleep in toasters

The Awakening

Awakening

For the last seven weeks, I have been leading a Bible Study group through Priscilla Shirer’s,  Armor of God.  From the beginning, she has led us through Ephesians 6 and how we need to put our armor on each day. Each week we would learn and discuss a different  piece of armor and how we should put it on and apply it to our lives.

Priscilla goes on through the study about how God can change us from the inside out. When we align our lives with God’s WORD our hearts change. Not only do our hearts change but our desires change and how we live in the world changes.  It is a matter of  putting our trust in God, taking a faith step to where God is calling us into deep waters, and putting our armor on every single day just as we dress for the day.

God Corner part three

As each week has passed, I have seen where my desires have changed.  There seems to be more contentment in my life. Each day I  am excited to see what God has planned for me.

What Is Different?

Change ahead

Several weeks ago I had to go on some very strong medication for an MS episode. This medication really messed with my sleep and appetite. I wasn’t sleeping full nights. Instead, it was like I was taking naps and then I would be up. On these sleepless nights, I found myself moving to the family room to the recliner as not to wake Jim from his sleep. During this time, I found myself doing a lot of talking with my FATHER.  It was through these middle of night conversations where God really began his work on me.

Over time, I was able to go to bed and sleep. However, I still could not sleep all night and certainly not sleep in late. Then, it happened! I woke up at four o’clock AM. And, I didn’t just wake up but I WOKE up! My eyes came open and there was this tug for me to get out of bed. There was anticipation like a kid ready to see their gifts on Christmas morning. Thus, I quietly got out of bed, threw my bathrobe on and grabbed my Bible and went back to the family room. Once again, I was talking to my FATHER.

As the time drew closer to five am, I thought that since I was up I would make Jim breakfast. On this particular morning, he got up (he has always been an early riser) and as he approached the kitchen, he had to check to make sure he wasn’t sleep walking and/or dreaming. The reason he had to check was because he found on the table chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, a glass of milk and orange juice. And, my brother and sisters he found that I had cleaned up the mess I had made while making breakfast. Though he looked a little puzzled, he liked the special treatment and I know he wasn’t thinking; this is nice but it won’t last long. Well, he is still chewing on those thoughts as each morning since he has had breakfast on the table.

Drew and Jim

Our son, Drew usually calls Jim once a week to have their father and son chats. It works well for them to have an early morning phone call and talk while getting ready for work. It is also a tradition they started when we were raising Drew. Every morning, Drew and Jim would get up early (letting sleeping dogs lie) and would have devotional time, read the newspaper together, talk about current events, school and have breakfast together.

On this particular morning, Drew called as he usually does once a week. Jim’s phone rang just we were sitting down to say the blessing.  I told Jim to go ahead and answer because I know how important those phone calls are. As Jim answered he said; um, Drew can I call you back in about fifteen minutes? Mom has breakfast ready and we were just about to eat.  At that very moment you could hear dead silence. I could tell just from what I was seeing on my side of the table that Drew had gone into shock on the other end. I know he was wondering what his dad had done with his mom.

Divine Appointment

Appointment with God

When I look at my life I see a potter at a wheel shaping the clay pot and making changing on the clay pot from time to time. This is what my FATHER had done and is doing  in these last few weeks. This girl who has not been a morning person her entire life. The wife and mom whose family had to plan a combat strategy to wake her is now getting up every morning at 4:30 grabbing her Bible and going to the Family room for her morning talk with her FATHER.

Yes, there have been a couple of mornings where I have been tempted to turn the alarm clock off and roll over to go back to sleep. Yet, the Holy Spirit has a hold of my heart. He has been changing me from the inside out.

The Results

Bible opened

Out of this divine appointment, God has put before me new steps that he wants me to take. Some of these results are as follows:

I’ve become more disciplined in conversations with God and starting my day with his WORD.  My Bible study usually took place later in the day. 

It had been a while since I had really sat down and wrote thoughts of encouragement to share with other. I am back to writing again. Thoughts and ideas are just flooding my mind. 

I have created a prayer wall in my laundry room. There I place the names of my Bible Study group, the church activities, and other prayer request on the wall. During the day, I will retreat in there and have prayer time putting prayer request of others into my FATHER’S hands.

I have a chair by one of the family room windows that I enjoy especially in the Spring when the birds are out and the flowers in bloom.. I have created this little corner in my Family room to be my ‘God Corner.’ It is here where I read, work on Bible Study, write and reflect on God’s WORD.  During these times, I will have some sort of praise and worship music on and all other media is turned off.

God Corner

It is out of these moments of reflection where I have began posting on Facebook in the early mornings little reflections, devotional type things in hopes to encourage someone who needs encouraging. I also post an evening reflection.

God Corner four

Each morning, I message my Bible Study sisters in Christ a scripture, thought for the day and a praise song to get their day going. Since we are doing the Armor of God, I try to send something that fits in with that week’s study.

My desires have changed. My perspective on things have changed. I seem to have more patience these days.

It is also through this divine appointment that Jim and I have become closer as a couple in our faith walk as a couple and individuals. We have shared with one another how we can look back and see the hand of God at work in all that we have experienced; the good, the bad and the ugly.  We become more and more grateful for God’s provision every day.

There are some mornings I am already up before the alarm goes off because I am so excited to talk to my FATHER and see what blessings he has planned for me for the day.

heart and light

And, yes, Jim is still getting breakfast every morning.  Speaking of Jim getting breakfast every morning, my Bible Study group has asked if Jim is suspicious of me  being up early and making him breakfast.  My response was that I think of the seen in the movie, War Room where Tony has come home from business and Elizabeth knows he has been tempted on the business trip but she covers him with grace. Tony is suspicious of her being so nice and switches the dinner plates. I told them I wondered how many times Jim has switched the breakfast plates when I have not been looking in the last couple of weeks.

My Encouragement To You

Heart

 Are you like I was not a morning person. You dread hearing that alarm clock go off in the mornings? Maybe your family has to plan a combat strategy to get you up out of bed. Are you looking for contentment, peace that surpasses all understanding and want to seek the purpose and plan God has for you?

Let me encourage you to start today. You can start by reading Ephesians 6 and learning how to put on your armor every day and step out in faith to fulfill your purpose. Next, make a Divine Appointment to meet with your FATHER every day. Turn off the media, turn on some praise and worship music, open your Bible, open the eyes of your heart and listen to the words God whispers to you. As you begin doing this you will find as time goes on that you are not going to want to miss that Divine Appointment. You are going to be like  a little kid on Christmas morning anticipating running into the family room to see what is waiting for you.

cropped-10622860_10152622922226740_1934228684971941411_n.jpg

” Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing perfect will.”

Romans 12:1-2

God is good! All the time!

Have a blessed day!

 

The Peace That Surpasses All Understanding

April’s Testimony on God’s Peace
(February 29, 2016)

Bible with heart

It is Day Five of Week Four of Priscilla Shirer’s Bible Study, Armor of God. On this particular day there is a place to reflect and write about someone who has a peace-filled life. The assignment is to reflect on their qualities, how do they display this peace and how you have seen this peace protect the person from the enemy.

cup of tea

Yet, as usual, I have my own drumbeat I would like to reflect out of this week’s lessons and lesson on peace. As I sit here typing, early Spring breezes are flowing through my screen door, birds are singing, favorite tunes are playing softly in the background, and, as usual, Smokey is sitting at my feet quietly looking up at me with his dark brown eyes. This is one afternoon I don’t think it could be any more peaceful. I definitely hear my Father’s voice in all that is going on around me. Yes, in the midst of it being Monday and a ‘Leap Day’, Jesus is ever present and accounted for in this very room I sit.

Smokey Monm's Day

As I reflect over this week’s lessons on ‘peace’, I have to go back a little further than just this week. Two years ago I was sitting in this very room searching for that peace only God can give. I knew it existed. I had experienced it before. Yet, my humanness took over. It was there and then where the only thing I felt was the chaos of the world swirling into warp speed. Gasping for air, I was crying out to God seeking his guidance and his peace. The more the world spun the more I searched scriptures, sought wisdom, sought help and clung to the cloak of my Lord and Savior.
Life for me at that moment was going through the motions, being emotional and just trying to get through one day at a time. Yet, somewhere in the midst of the chaos, I felt a tug on my heart. It was the Holy Spirit telling me there was hope.

cropped-girl-looking-at-the-moon2.jpg

It was a slow process but I began to sit and really listen to what the Holy Spirit was saying to me. I knew I had to be like Mary and simply sit down at the feet of Jesus and listen to His small still voice. In the midst of these meetings, He began to heal me and lead me to healing waters.

water ripple

It has been in these healing waters where I have experienced an inner peace that I cannot explain. I have been a believer most of my life. Yet, there was that little piece of humanness that interfered with that peace only God can give. And, the enemy knew it and used it as a weapon against me.
This afternoon, I sit here where I sat two years ago spinning in a world of chaos. I am sitting here with a smile on my face, a smile in my heart and so thankful for so many things and for the many ways God has used these last couple years to mold me. It is like a slow fade in a movie scene.

slow fade

As I reflect, I see where God was at work even on what I thought was the hardest of days. He had a plan and just like the potter spinning the pottery on the wheel, he took me for a spin. Then, little by little he began to chisel away the hurt, the questions, the frustrations and the world I was caught up in.

potter's clay picture two.

In this reflection, I see how God has taught me every step of the way and he is still teaching me what it means to walk in His peace, live in His peace and to seek Him in all that I do. I have learned to smile more, be thankful for the life God has given me. Yes, I have even become thankful for the obstacles, the afflictions and whatever the world brings me. In each every little detail that happens, God’s hand is at work.

eye of love

You see, I had to change my perspective. I had to change how I looked at things and life. God reached his hand out to me and said; “trust ME”, “allow me to lead”, ” I can show you a peace like no other.” I placed my hand into His, re-dedicated myself to Him, allowed to Him to lead me and it has become the most beautiful dance anyone could ever imagine. I’m gracefully and peacefully dancing with my Heavenly Father.

Angels dancing

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
(Isaiah 52:7 ESV)

(Dedicated to Women’s Ministries at Macedonia Baptist Church, Owensboro, Kentucky)

 WHO AM I

CASTING CROWNS

#ArmorOfGodStudy

Healing Waters

storm

In my distress I called the LORD:

and he answered me.  From deep in the realm

of the dead I called for help, and you heard my cry.

Jonah 2: 1-2

Late summer of 2014 I found myself sitting in a counselor’s office.  I sat on the sofa of this counselor’s office in tears, broken and completely drained.  Just as Jonah found himself sitting in the belly of a big fish I had felt like I had been swallowed into the belly of a big fish. I was crying out to God.  Yes, I believed in God and had been trying to find solace in him. Yet, emotionally and spiritually I had hit bottom.

water ripple

Fast Forward

The first of this year I found myself sitting on the very sofa that I landed on in late Summer of 2014. Yet, this time as I talked with my counselor, I had a smile on my face, renewed energy and I had found the girl God created me to be. As my appointment came to a close, my counselor asked if I thought I needed to come back.  She felt as though I had been healed and saw a renewed spirit in me. How did I make the change of sitting in the belly of a big fish to crawling out of the belly and seeing hope again?  The answer is simple. God.  In the midst of working through the tunnel of darkness, he called me to go to healing waters. These healing waters were located in the Baptist church across the street from my neighborhood.

It has been through a lot of prayer on my part and prayers of fellow believers that has brought me to healing. Not only was it prayer warriors but it was the unconditional love extended to me by this community of believers that helped me to continue to crawl out of that tunnel of darkness.  Along with the  prayer, love and support of family and friends I was actually immersed in healing water. In other words, I choose to be baptized by immersion. It was in the midst of coming up out of the water where I felt the embrace of the Holy Spirit. I came up to a new page, a new heart and a healing that I had needed for so long. My heart began to beat again.

waiting

Do You Know Someone Who Is Broken?

There are people out there that are sitting in a room feeling broken. They are sitting in the belly of a big fish wanting to get out but they don’t know how to even begin. I encourage you that if you know someone like this to pray for them.  Not only pray for them but to love them unconditionally and let them know they have a God who loves them very much. Remind them that no matter what is going on or has happened that their heart can be healed.  Maybe, God is leading you to lead them to healing waters. 

bowing before God

Are You Broken?

Maybe, it is you, the reader that for some reason God brought you to my page. You are hurting and all you can see is darkness surrounding you. Please do not be discouraged. There is hope for you. There is nothing you are going through and/or you have done that God can’t change. Your Father in heaven loves you so much. I encourage you to lift your hands up, cry out to God just as Jonah did  and ask God to lead you to healing waters.  These healing waters may include getting back into church, finding a group of believers that will pray with you and for you. Healing waters may include seeking wise counsel to lead you to new light.  Maybe,  you need to ask Christ into your life and allow him to heal you from the inside out and/or be immersed in the healing waters of the Holy Spirit.  In the words of Danny Gokey; “tell your heart to beat again.”

seeking the heart

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and you men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31

Take time to listen to the video below:

The Person I’ve Become

girl looking in the mirror

This morning I looked in the mirror and wonder who I’ve become;

How can I be loved after all I have done?

The choices I’ve made;

The things I’ve done are making me numb.

crying

Then a voice within tells me that He is not done;

For I am His and He is with me;

Bible with heart

I pulled out the Good Book and turn the unworn pages;

I read how God sent His SON;

Christ on the cross

 God sent His only begotten SON;

So I can change the person I’ve become.

heart and light

The words flowed  through my heart how through HIS death

I’m a forgiven one.

These precious words began to sink in;

He tells me to confess my sins;

And, to invite Him in.

Together, we will begin again.

God sent His only begotten Son

So I can change the person I’ve become.

girl smiling in the mirror

This morning I looked in the mirror;

And, I see the person I’ve become.

Jesus walking

I’ve chosen to walk with God’s Son;

And, now I am a forgiven one!

Bible opened

I pull out the good book whose pages are now worn;

I read how I must tell everyone that HE is the ONE!

God sent His only begotten SON;

So I  can change the person I have become.

girl looking in a table mirror

Maybe you’ve looked in the mirror and seen the person you’ve become;

Because of the the things you have done;

You are completely numb.

Let me encourage you to reach for the Good Book;

As you read, take a long hard look.

seeking the heart

Let the words flow through your heart;

Through His death you are a forgiven one;

You are given a new start!

God sent His only begotten SON

So you can change the person you’ve become.

eye of love

Let His precious words soak in;

Begin to confess your sins and invite Him in;

And, with Him know you can begin again.

cropped-10622860_10152622922226740_1934228684971941411_n.jpg

Choose to walk with His Son;

You’re now a forgiven one.

Then, go out and tell everyone that He is the ONE!

God sent His only begotten SON

You can change the person you’ve become.

girl looking in the mirror

This morning I looked in the mirror;

I see the person I’ve become;

I am a person who walks with the ONE!

God sent His only begotten Son;

So I could change to be the person I’ve become!

Written By April Hawkins

October 15, 2015

John 3 16

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