Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Beautifully Broken: Psalm 107

Psalm 107: 1-3

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.

Did you know that God – the Creator of Heaven and Earth – values you so much that He wants to have a personal relationship with you?  Do you realize that regardless of your response to Him, He continues to pursue this desire to relate with you?  Do you understand that He will stop at nothing to show you how absolutely and completely LOVED you are?  That He will relentlessly pursue you, calling and patiently awaiting your answer?  Do you realize that, in order to enter into relationship with God – the first thing you have to do is say “Yes”?

If someone would have asked me these questions a little over 3 1/2 years ago, I would not have believed them.  I grew up knowing “who” Jesus was, and that God was in charge.  I grew up being told to pray and to be kind and to love God.  I remember trying to do these things growing up.  I also remember feeling very guilty if I didn’t do these things, and that God was disappointed in me.  I would not have believed that He was continuously pursuing me, regardless of me.  I was always under the assumption that I had to be good enough to get God’s stamp of approval on my life.

Imagine my surprise when someone told me that I would not, COULD NOT, ever be good enough to earn God’s favor!! I could not do enough “good” to earn my way into Heaven either.  This concept did not make sense to me.  Not at first.  But I went with it.  I went with the fact that I didn’t need to understand something in order for it to be true. And I started believing.  I started believing something that I couldn’t wrap my mind around, simply because I wanted to, I NEEDED to.  I desperately needed to believe that God loved me the way that people were telling me He did.  I needed to believe that He was going to do for me that which I could not do for myself.  I could not get sober on my own.  I could not fix my life on my own.  I couldn’t make a single solid decision on my own.  I needed God and I needed to believe that He was going to come through for me!

Slowly, over time, that desperate need to believe that God was who He said He was turned into a solid FAITH and TRUST that God most definitely IS who He says He IS.  Through a period of time engaging in blind faith – taking steps toward a loving relationship with my Creator without fully understanding Him or what I was doing – I found the most incredible peace and serenity begin to weave its way into my life.  I found that the more I stopped trying to figure it out, the more I began to understand this thing called Faith.

Today – I have a Trust in the Lord that runs deep into my soul.  In fact, it is the core of my entire being – my life revolves around my Faith and Trust in our Amazing Lord!  And you know something?  He has never let me down!  He has never walked away from me.  He has never thrown His hands up in the air and given up on me.  He has never left my side.  Not once.  He has proven Himself faithful time and time again.  And for the past 3 1/2 years – He has consistently been doing for me, that which I could never do for myself.

One of the things He is doing in my life right now, is calling me to write.  To write about HIM.  To share His story through the circumstances of my life and the lives of people around me.  He is calling me to share His amazing deeds, His wonderous deeds, His transformational GRACE and LOVE!!  And it is a big job!

I mean – please do NOT mistake me.  I love to write!  I mean, I love love LOVE to write!  I realize that I am not the world’s greatest writer (or even the town’s greatest), but none-the-less, I love to write!  The joy that fills me when I sit down at my computer or with my journals and begin typing whatever God has laid on my heart – that joy is incomparable to few things I have ever known!  But, writing for real is a pretty scary thing.  I cannot contain within my spirit what God is truly calling me to do with Beautifully Broken.  I recognize His hand all over it – and I trust that He will enable me to do that which He has called me to do, but right now it feels like I am standing at the bottom of a mountain that makes Mr. Everest look puny!

A couple of weeks ago, I set my first appointment to meet with one of the people who have stepped out to share their God story with me.  The appointment was set for this morning.  Last night, I was feeling discontent and decided to write in my Praise journal.  This is one of many journals that I write in fairly consistently and I haven’t written in it for a while.  I love this particular journal because it has verses from various Psalms throughout its pages.  Yesterday, it had Psalm 107: 1-3 on the page that I was writing on.  The words jumped off the page at me almost immediately, and I knew that it was related not to the emotions I was struggling with in that moment, but rather to the book that He is writing through me.  It was definite confirmation that I am moving in the right direction.  Especially verse 2:

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

This sentence captures the essence of what Beautifully Broken is all about.  His story, as it is told through our circumstances.  I met with my sweet friend today, and it was nothing less than amazing to sit with her and have her trust me with the fragility of her brokenness.  It has God’s hand all over it.  What is so beautiful in all of this, is how God continues to communicate with me – through a variety of modes.  He is exactly who He says He is, and He is doing exactly what He has said He will do.  And, I – for one, am going to place my absolute trust in Him!

Do you have a God story you feel called to share with me?  Please feel free to comment to this post, including your email, and I will be in touch with you!  I cannot wait to get as many stories as possible on the pages of this book – all FOR GOD’S GLORY!!

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Beautifully Broken – it begins

I have been sitting with this idea of Beautifully Broken for about 7 months.  I have been mulling it around in my mind, but I haven’t taken any real steps with the book. Why?  Fear.  Fear of the process of writing a book.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of having no idea what I’m doing.  Fear that I’m not good enough.  Fear that I don’t have what it takes to be a writer.  Fear of no one liking my words enough to buy my book.  Fear says to me, “Who do you think you are?  You think you can write a book?  You think you can be an author and speaker?  Look at all the important people who do that for a living. Who would ever want to read a book written by a nobody like you?”  Sound familiar?  Satan is the father of lies!  And he is filling my heart and mind with them right now.  And up until this point, I have been letting him!  You see, that’s the thing about Satan.  He needs permission to work in our lives.  We have to give him a foothold, something he can use to work his way into our minds and take root there.  Satan loves to attack the mind.  He loves to create confusion and doubt, and FEAR.  It’s his favorite thing to do, especially when someone has felt the calling from God.  Satan will do anything and everything he can to try and thwart God’s perfect plan!  No more! I am confronting the fears with Truth, right now.  Right this very minute!

1.  Fear of the process of writing a book.

I have no idea what it takes to write a book, which is why God has placed some beautiful people in my life to guide me in this area.  I have a friend who has offered to be of support in whatever way I need her to be.  I will take her up on her offer. God places others in our life to sharpen us.  To support and encourage us.  To edify and build us up.  I don’t have to do this alone!

Proverbs 27:17  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. 

 

2.  Fear of rejection.

I must face this one head-on.  I will be rejected.  There.  I said it.  Someone, maybe many someones will reject me. But the One who matters will never reject me.  He will never forsake me.  So, even when I do get rejected, He will be there with me, to catch me, to strengthen me, to keep me moving forward!

Psalm 37:23-24  The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

 

3.  Fear of having no idea what I’m doing.

God loves this one.  He calls the foolish to make fools of those who think they are wise.  He calls the weak to shame the strong.  He is the One in the driver’s seat.  He is the One making this happen, not me.  He loves that I don’t know what I’m doing.  That way, I won’t be able to take any of the credit once He finishes His work!

Psalm 115:1 Not to usLordnot to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

4. Fear that I’m not good enough.

I don’t have to be good enough.  In fact I pray I am never good enough.  Because God is good enough.  And if I am feeling like I’m good enough, then why would I lean on Him??


Psalm 16:2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

 

5. Fear that I don’t have what it takes to be a writer.

These fears seem to have a common theme.  I worry that I can’t do it.  The Truth??

Philippians 4: 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 

6.  Fear of no one liking my words enough to buy my book.

So what?  So what if no one buys my book?  If my life is the only life changed by the process of writing this book, that will be enough.  Everything beyond that is a bonus!  My words are to be used to build up, strengthen, and encourage others on their walk with the Lord.  It is not mine to decide who needs these words.  Nope. That job belongs to God!

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

So, basically, it is time to step out past my fears and into the world of authoring a book. Maybe it will just be a book of pages I print by myself and staple together.  Maybe it will be a book that is just shared with friends and family.  Maybe it will be just for me.  Maybe it will get published.  I have no idea what the future holds!  What I do know is that God has opened a door for me to walk through.  He has revealed that this book is going to be a compilation of stories of REAL people who have walked through REAL brokenness, and found God’s BEAUTY in its midst!!  Thank You Jesus!!!

 

     

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