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I know it is Monday, but you’re not in it alone!
“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ And God said, “I will be with you.'” Exodus 3:11-12
Point to ponder while you wander…No matter what the outlook is for Monday or the week in general. He will be with you.
So you got this!
So I’ve been on a faith journey that has required me to be vulnerable and take some interesting steps. I had the realization that if I want the life God has for me…the good one from Jeremiah 29:11, I have to run down the dock and jump into the deep end. Go all in!
If you’ve been around a while…that’s not how I roll. I have played around the edges of the lake…maybe tiptoed in to my knees…but never gotten my hair wet.
I went to the city I hear calling my name and I found my tribe, aka my church. Praise Jesus!
When that happened yesterday, I knew that this city is now MY city. I am compelled to pray for her and love her and love her people. I am compelled! I feel it in the core of who I am.
Even though I haven’t moved here yet. Don’t have a job yet. Don’t have a place to live yet. Don’t know when I’m moving here. But I know I am home.
Strangest feeling ever, BTW!
Anyway…yesterday at my church…I was talking to a woman and telling her what was going on. Her eyes got very big and she said, “You are sooo brave. I could never do what you’re doing.”
I am brave? Really?
I did not feel brave. I felt crazy. I am in one of the biggest and most expensive cities in the US by myself to do a fact finding mission to move here. All completely on faith that God is telling me I should move here.
But I left there confessing and declaring “I AM BRAVE.”
So thank you, Maple, for telling me who I am, when I couldn’t see myself clearly.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” Joshua 1:6 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander…God is constantly speaking to us, revealing who He is and what’s on His heart, but sometimes we’re so in the weeds of our day to day that we miss Him. He’s also inviting us to partner with Him. But He’ll never force us. We are given a choice to partner with Him or go our own way.
As scary and hard as it is to leave my warm comfortable place. I trust Him. And He is worth the risk.
And honestly, right now, in this hard and scary place, I feel like Sleeping Beauty who has just been awakened with a kiss by King Jesus. 💋
”Jesus replied to him, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will (fully) understand it later.‘” John 13:7 AMP
Often we are asked to obey, trust, or act in faith without having a clue as to why we are being asked to do or not to do something. But we need to remember that Jesus was there in the beginning and He’ll be there at the end, and all that knowledge and wisdom is being used to encourage us to live abundant and full lives.
I know it’s difficult to step out. It was for the disciples too. They spent a lot of their time asking what? and why? questions of Jesus.
It’s not easy for me either. But I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I’d been brave enough to step out.
Point to ponder while you wander…Joshua walked around Jericho every day for 7 days…and it probably didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him. He was a military commander not a band leader. But he obeyed….and the walls came down. He fully understood as he watched the walls crumble. God did something amazing for him and his people. But he would have missed it if He hadn’t obeyed.
So let’s do it! Let’s be bold and courageous!
Let’s face it…some days just suck.
There are days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Days when the traffic is not just bad it’s ridiculous and stupid. Days when your head is pounding or you stub your toe, not once, not twice, but three stupid times. Yes the exact same toe. Days when you didn’t get enough sleep and they won’t let you nap at work. Days when you lock your house keys in your house or your car keys in your car. Days where your dreams were dashed, or you realized the thing you were hoping for just isn’t going to happen.
Those are the days when you need to stand strong. Play your favorite worship song and dance like a fool until you smile. Better yet, declare outloud who you are and your promises until you are fully convinced! Remind yourself that you are the beloved child of God & He is for you not against you. Declare that He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called by His name. If it’s not good yet, then God’s not finished yet. The Lord is faithful TO ME. He LOVES ME.
His promises can lay dormant until you declare them in your life. DECLARE TRUTH!
Point to ponder while you wander… You’ve survived 100% of the hard days you’ve previously encountered. Don’t let a rough day steal your joy, your peace, or your promises.
Here’s a little tune by Sugarland to help you Stand Back Up.
I’m having a rough time with one particular condescending co-worker. After a meeting with him I need to walk for a minute and readjust my attitude. Then I read this… sigh. How do I work that magic of my best self coming out in the face of being condescended to?
Proof I need Jesus more every day.
Matthew 5:43-47 The Message Version
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”
Love is always the right answer. I know that. Be kind. Don’t puff myself up. Be patient. Remembering that in the moment and choosing to act on it…that’s maturity in Christ.
Right now my emotional stability is continually fluctuating. And my intellectual pride really detests being talked down to like I am an idiot. I am not am idiot. I may not understand something. I may not know something. But I am always willing to learn.
But these are just excuses and rationalizations.
I should not behave like a toddler.
The Fruit of the Spirit should be kicking in…Self-control and Love.
But I need to choose to respond in love. Just like I need to choose joy in the face of trials like condescending co-workers. Just like I need to choose to maintain peace in the face of stress.
Jesus is always there to call on. Holy Spirit is always there with His Fruit of the Spirit. Abba is always there loving me (and you) and believing in me (and you).
So I need this reminder every Monday: Choose love today, Jill.
Point to ponder while you wander…is verse 48: “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
I had intentions of a completly different (and fun) song today, but I felt like I needed to post Because of You by Kelly Clarkson. The video is powerful, please watch it before reading on.
I have 2 words of encouragement today; one for the kids who feel this way and one for the parents. Both are encouraging so please keep reading, and remember there’s always hope.
Message 1: For the Kids
I understand the feelings behind this song. As kids, we suffered from our parents bad choices. Those choices may still be affecting you now. If that’s you today, I’m praying for you to forgive your parents and any other care giver who hurt you.
This forgiveness releases you from the bondage of the past. This forgiveness is so you can move forward and be whole. This forgiveness is the very thing Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
If you hold on to this anger and hurt it becomes bitterness! That’s why Jesus demanded you to forgive others. Not as a law…but as a freedom for YOU from bondage.
Unforgiveness hurts you. Poisons you. NOT the person you’re holding a grudge against.
Please hear my heart here!
I watched someone I love dearly eaten alive by bitterness towards his father. And I’ll be honest, his hatred was justified. His father was a cruel man that came far too close to beating his mother to death. This is horrendous. No child should have to see that!
I also watched bitterness taint the most joyful, hilarious, and downright blast of a woman I ever knew. I watched this amazing woman age rapidly after she lost her joy. She became sullen, negative, and bitter. People began to avoid her, which multiplied the bitterness into cancer. And I lost her.
“A joyful cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.” Proverbs 17:27 TPT
Don’t let yourself be tainted. Don’t let yourself grow bitterness. Confess your anger and bitterness to God. Speak out loud that you forgive whomever your bitter towards, whether they are still alive or not. Whetherthey deserve it or not. And anytime that hurt/anger/resentment/disgust/sadness begins to rise…you say it again. And you keep saying it until it stops rising up.
“Eyes that focus on what is beautiful bring joy to the heart, and hearing a good report refreshes and strengthens the inner being.” Proverbs 15:30 TPT
God NEVER wanted you to be hurt or have a rough childhood. But people make choices that affect others. He DOES want to heal you. He wants you to be whole.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
Please forgive so you can be free!
On an a personal note about my parental units…I love my parents, but they are flawed. They made mistakes and bad choices that handicapped me in some ways. But I have forgiven them for that crap, and moved forward into adulthood. I yearn to see them become all they were designed to be. When I forgave them, it felt like a million pounds was lifted from my shoulders. I felt free. And for the first time I was able to love my parents right where they were at. I was able to see them clearly, with God’s eyes.
“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”” Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT
Message 2: For the Parents
“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.” Matthew 12:31 (See also Mark 3:28)
You made mistakes as a parent. No one parents without making mistakes. You need to forgive yourself. I’m praying for you to come to the place where you choose to forgive yourself, even if you don’t deserve it.
If you are caught in a web of unforgiveness/bitterness for what happened to you as a child and guilt for repeating the cycle, please please please, forgive your parents and forgive yourself.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:1-2
The man I mentioned above who hated his father became an alcoholic who beat his wife. He repeated the cycle. Years later, he refused to receive the forgiveness of his ex-wife and children. He refused to forgive himself. The guilt he felt about repeating the cycle became self-hatred and he died at a mere 60 years old. I lost him. It was a devastating loss of a man with the kindest softest heart, a generous people person, and a jokester who made me belly laugh more times than I can count. My heart broke that he couldn’t forgive himself, and couldn’t receive healing before he died.
If you’re reading this it’s not too late for you! Come to Jesus and confess your mistakes and receive His forgiveness and forgive yourself. You getting help and becoming whole is the best way to show your kids it’s possible. Healing is possible. Restoration is possible. Breaking the cycle is possible!
If there is a chance for reconciliation and restoration of relationship, you should offer an apology, without expctation. This could help THEM heal. But understand that they may not be ready or able to forgive you. That’s okay. You should still forgive yourself.
Even if you don’t deserve it, forgive yourself anyway. Even if the situation is bad enough that your children can’t or won’t forgive you, forgive yourself anyway. Even if they are repeating your mistakes, forgive yourself anyway. Then pray for them to repeat your good choices, to seek help and to forgive themselves as well.
Point to ponder while you wander…”Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from deathand crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:1-5 NLT
A Monday reminder of how Jesus sees you:
“Oh my beloved, you are striking–lovely even in weakness. When I see your beauty, I see a radiant city, where we will dwell as one. More pleasing than any pleasure, more delightful than any delight, you have ravished my heart. Even hosts of angels stand in awe of you.” Song of Songs 6:4 TPT
Point to ponder while you wander…Jesus sees your beauty and calls you lovely even in your weakness.