Sometimes I Feel Too Broken….

for I am the LORD, who heals you.” ….(Ex 15:26).

Has your life ever felt too broken- too messy? Mine has. Has the enemy ever filled your heart and mind with shame because of it? Yep, that’s been me too.
 
I have learned that brokenness is actually a blessing from the Lord because although He allows us to be broken and walk through painful seasons, He also heals. You see, your brokenness is not a scarlet letter you wear, it is your victors crown that is leading you towards glory. It is a gift from God to make you more like Jesus.
 
Heal-500
After all, isn’t that what you desire as a Christian? To become more and more like the Son of God? Why then do we forget that in order for Jesus to reach His destiny He first had to walk the road of suffering? Truly, this is what the Father used to bring about the greatest blessing in all the world.
 
Why then don’t we believe that God can do the same with our broken moments? I think it’s because we allow the enemy to convince us that brokenness is for failures. So he covers us in a cloud of shame and we live our lives trying to convince ourselves and others that we don’t actually have brokenness. Sadly, there is no healing in this place. There is only bondage. I have watched people, myself included try to hide from brokenness. Eventually, it all comes rushing to the surface. Then, all we’re left with is the after effects of us not dealing with it and that is never pretty.
 
You see my friends, He is the Lord who heals you. That is a promise for you and for me. In order for us to experience His healing, we must first admit our brokenness and be OK with the fact that we have it. When we do, we can find healing from years of anger, control, fear, a critical heart, impatience, and pride. So today, do not hide your brokenness, bring it out into the light and bring it to the Lord who heals you.
 
Abba, you are so good. You walk me through painful seasons, but you do so because you’re trying to heal me. Thank you for healing me. Thank you for making me new. Continue to heal me. I know I can quickly fall back into unhealthy patterns, so today I choose my proclaim my freedom in you instead. Lord, shower your grace upon me, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

It’s Time To Let Go and Move On

Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on…. (Ex 14:15).

Some of us are stuck in the past. I’ve lived there too. I’ve struggled in my life to let things go. I’ve spent a lot of time crying out to God over and over again when what I really should have been doing was letting go and moving on.
 
I get it, sometimes life is unfair and we don’t understand what God is up to. We don’t get why or how or when. Life becomes confusing, painful and injustice comes knocking at our door. Yes, we should mourn painful losses, injustices done to us and difficult seasons, but we must realize that those seasons are not meant to stay. We must pick up our hurt, entrust it to the Lord and move on.
1498191789804
 
I remember I had a dear friend who I trusted and would go to often for counsel and advice. Something deeply painful and unfair happened in my life and so I would call them to talk about it. This friend said to me, ok Heather, I’m going to let you talk about this until the end of the week and then after that, we’re letting it go, no more talking about it. You’ve got to entrust it to God.
 
I remember their statement just kind of hitting me right between the eyes. It challenged and convicted me and if I could be quite honest, it challenged me in a way that, for a moment, at that time made me mad. I was mad because in my own hardness of heart I wanted to keep talking about the wrong done to me. I wanted to vent about what this person had done until I felt like I was satisfied with what came of my situation. Yet, my friend reminded me that we must learn to let our hurts and pains go. We must entrust them to God and leave the results to Him.
 
As the Israelites stood before the Red Sea with Egypt in hot pursuit they kept crying out to Moses. They thought for certain they would die there in the desert as Egypt’s army got closer and closer. As Moses goes before the Lord, He tells Moses something so simple yet so profound. He tells him the same thing my friend did, “Tell the Israelites to move on.”
 
I’m not sure what hurt you’ve been hanging onto for too long, but we’ve all experienced them. If you still have a tight grasp on it, it’s time to let it go. It’s time to give it to God and leave the results to Him. Mourn your losses, yes, but don’t let them keep you in a place of grumbling, complaining and bitterness.
 
Lord, I entrust my life to you. Sometimes life takes difficult turns that don’t make sense. Sometimes people hurt each other. Lord, if I have hurt someone, please show me so I can make things right with them. If I am holding onto hurt please show me so I can let it go. I don’t want to hold onto something that should really be in your hands. Fill my heart today with your grace, I ask, in Jesus name, Amen.

Learning To Trust God When Life Just Isn’t Going Your Way

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter….(Ex 13:17).

Last night my husband and I were talking about things we had been disappointed by this past year in our lives. Both of us expressed disappointment in getting passed up for opportunities that came our way. At the time, all the right cards were in place, but then, someone else was chosen or something else happened. Quite frankly it didn’t make sense and it caused us both to question what God was doing. Looking back though, we can see how God had something better. We just couldn’t see it at the time.
Exodus-13-17-18
 
Has that ever happened to you? You get passed up for the job you’re more than qualified for, overlooked for the opportunity you’ve been preparing for so many years or you thought that God was calling you into something only to find that doors just kept getting shut? Yeah, I’ve been there. That was kind of the story of my life for about a solid year. It was terribly frustrating as one door after another kept getting shut and I wondered what in the world God was up to.
 
As the Israelites left Egypt God did not take them the shorter way but instructed them to walk along the desert road around by the Red Sea. Was this a longer route? Absolutely, but God was protecting them from something that maybe at the time, they didn’t fully understand. You see, for me, that’s what God was doing. Every no was really just His protection as He kept leading me on that long road towards His very best.
 
Don’t get discouraged if the cards just aren’t falling in your favor. Trust that God is up to something and believe that it’s for your good. Be willing to walk with Him on the longer route and let go of your need to have things in your way and in your time. Trust me, I know how hard that is, but truly, He is the giver of every good gift and His timing is far better than our own.
 
Lord, that year you took me through was so hard. In fact, I didn’t really like that at all. It was painful and challenging. But, ultimately, I see now just how much you were protecting me. Thank you for protecting me from stepping into something that wasn’t your best. Now I think I finally understand what it means to trust you. Thank you for providing for me, in Jesus name, Amen.

Walking Back Into Captivity

And on that very day the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions…. (Ex 12:51).

Can you imagine Israel’s excitement as they left Egypt? Egypt’s oppression was the only thing they had ever known and now, by God’s miraculous power they were leaving Egypt. The place of their captivity.
 
It wasn’t long after leaving that they wanted to return. Life got hard in the desert and the Israelites started grumbling before Moses trying to convince themselves that they never should have left Egypt to begin with. Has that ever happened to you? It has for me. God has led me into something and because it got hard I started to question it and wished I could go back to what life was like before. Even if that was a place of oppression for me.
The-Path-to-Freedom-495x400
 
Quite honestly, sometimes it’s hard for us to see that those places we clung to in our past, the ones that God led us out of were places of oppression. Especially when life gets hard and you expected God to just automatically bless your new path.
 
When I stepped out in faith and left the job I was working, the community I was living in and the home that I enjoyed I fully expected God to bless my life right away. I had no idea His next step for me was to be thrust into the desert. I kept thinking….if I could just go back….but God made that not possible and for that I’m thankful.
 
You see, the problem is not with God, it’s with us. We place these unhealthy expectations on Him then get mad at Him when He doesn’t follow through the way we want Him to. I’m only saying this because I’ve seen it in my own heart.
 
Sometimes the place God wants us in the desert. If we didn’t go there we’d treat Him far too much like a Genie in a bottle, expecting Him to fill us with automatic blessings as soon as we respond in faith. The desert is not for your destruction, trust me, it is for your good. Give Him praise in all things and don’t go back to the place of your oppression. Freedom awaits you as you trust God for deliverance.
 
Lord, thank you for desert seasons. I don’t like them, but you use them. Thank you for using those seasons to make me more like you. I know in my stubbornness I’ve been quick to want to go back to the places of oppression in my life, please forgive me and help me to trust you instead, in Jesus name, Amen.

Get Ready….Your Deliverer Is Coming

Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt…(Ex 12:17).

Before the Israelites were freed from Egypt God gave them very specific instructions. He told them that they would be freed and gave them things to do in preparation for their deliverance. Israel acted on faith, trusted God and prepared themselves for their deliverance.
Unknown-10
 
What about you? Are you preparing yourself as well for your deliverance? Is God speaking into your life? Do you know His voice when He calls so that you can respond in obedience when He does make the path clear before you?
 
I cannot tell you how many times my stubborn heart and will has kept me in bondage. It is sickening to think about the countless times I have allowed the enemy to suck me into places of fear and control. Therefore, I’m not able to see the good God does have for me, no hear His voice to respond when He calls.
 
You see, this was Pharoah’s problem. His heart was so hard towards God that he refused to listen, heed and obey. Yet, the Israelites, on this occasion did not respond that way. They responded instead with courage and obedience. When the time came and they were freed, they were ready, because they listened and obeyed God’s call. In order for us to hear God’s call, we must have hearts that are soft towards Him. We must be willing to lay aside our need to be in control to trust in HIs unfailing love.
 
Until we do, we will live in places of deep captivity, held there by our own stubborn will. Sometimes we get angry with God over the things in our life that are not going well, when quite frankly, the only person to blame is ourselves. This is humbling, but when we realize that the buck falls with us, we can move forward in repentance, seeking the Lord for a changed heart and mind.
 
Listen, heed and obey. Take time each day to set aside with God to be still before Him. As you come to Him, not with expectations, but simply to receive His love, He’ll instruct you on how you can be free. Do not harden your heart before Him, stay soft and tender in His grace.
 
Lord, I am yours. My life, everything that I hold in my hands really just belongs to you. You are such a good and faithful God. Why would I ever doubt you? Fill my heart with your grace and may my heart stay soft before you, in Jesus name, Amen.

When I’ve Let My Heart Grow Hard It Always Hurts Those Around Me….

So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go…(Ex 9:35).

Be careful not to let your heart grow hard. Pharaoh was so prideful and so consumed with self that he didn’t see how badly his hard heart was affecting nearly everyone around him, but this is what a hard heart does. It does not just infect you, but those who are closest to you. It permeates every part of your life, seeking to destroy not only you but those you love the most.
I’ve had moments in life when my heart started to grow cold and hard towards someone. Quite honestly, at the time, because of how slow the progression was I didn’t even notice how hard my heart had gotten. At the time I would have told you that my heart wasn’t hard. I would have told you I was praying to the Lord that it wouldn’t, therefore, I was certain it was still soft. But, if I could be quite honest, it was very hard.
Unknown-9
Now, looking back I see how the slow progression started to take my heart away. The only way for us to not give into such hardness of heart is to let other people into our lives who can speak hard truths. People who will help us see our blind spots and love us towards truth. People who aren’t afraid to tell us that, maybe, we don’t have life all together like we thought we did. You see, whenever we invite this kind of feedback into our lives, we have a fighting chance to overcome the slow progression of a hard heart. If we are willing to receiving their counsel, humble ourselves and repent.
That’s what I had to do. I had to get to the bottom of my hard heart so that God could soften it. I had to let Him into a place that, honestly, to some degree, I felt like I deserved to be because of how I was treated. Yet, no hard heart is ever justifiable. Truly, Jesus compels us to “love one another.”
Therefore, be careful not to let your heart grow hard because if you do, it will seek to steal your joy and the joy of those around you.
Lord, I want to live with a heart that is soft towards you and others. I don’t want to live as a woman who holds grudges and stores up anger towards others. Abba, please bring people into my life who can speak hard truths and keep me on your path. I long to walk in the fullness of your grace, in Jesus name, Amen.

Sometimes I Just Don’t Want to Let Go and Trust God….

“Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding”….. (Ex 7:14).

Has your heart ever been unyielding towards God? Mine has. In fact, just yesterday I sensed a strong desire within me to remain stubborn and unyielding towards the Spirit.
 
Quite frankly, the reason my heart was resisting yielding to the Lord was that I just wanted to be in control. I have noticed in my life that this type of control only causes division in relationships and distances me from people I love the most. Mostly, because when I try to control situations, I end up trying to control them.
 
God keeps sending Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh until he yields to God. The Lord will do this in our life. He’ll keep sending difficult circumstances, not because He’s mean, but because He’s trying to awaken our hearts to repentance. He’s trying to loosen our grip on the things we have loved and held onto too tightly out of our own fears. Yesterday, as I was doing an inventory of my heart I realized the driving force behind my thoughts and feelings was really just fear. I reached out to a friend to ask them to pray for me because I knew this attitude was not from the Lord.
972bd0_1f4b8664ddf54c7090ebe65e65e77e21~mv2
 
In fact, if we could all be quite honest, we live in these places too. The place where our deepest fears are pressed and the Lord keeps taking us back until we choose to yield to His Spirit. I have found, at least for me, I hear this voice that says, “but if you don’t hang on, something bad might happen.” Yet, I have found when I let go and entrust my situations to God, although they don’t always turn out how I would want them they are always working for my growth in becoming more and more like Jesus.
 
Abba, I surrender my fears to you today. Thank you for taking me somewhere in my heart yesterday that was hard for me. Please forgive me for how I responded out of fear and impressed my own fears upon my husband. Lord, I want to be like you. I don’t want to be that old woman because I am a new woman in Christ. Fill me with your love, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.