Thursday, October 29, 2015

All Men are Broken

We are all broken or have been broken in our past. Some of the things that have broken us are small and some are large. Yet all of us carry some kind of wound that is in need of healing. We all also have such potential for healing.

I don't know why, but I was listening to a song tonight and I just felt compelled to post the lyrics to it.

Maybe you've been hurt by your father or maybe you've been hurt by someone completely different. Either way this song could apply to you. Broken people break people. Let's break the cycle. How about healed people share their healing with other people!?

God has the power to bring healing to even the most broken situations. He has the power to break every chain that has been placed upon our lives. He's kind of, most positively, definitely, in the business of healing and restoration!!!!!!!!!!!!

All Men are Broken
Misty Edwards
YouTube version

I hear Him singing over you
And some of you I hear him saying your name
Saying your name
He says to you
I'm not like your father
Listen my beloved one

I'm not like your father
'Cause, even the best of them are just broken brothers
Listen my child
Listen to me

I am not like your father
Why are you putting that on me?
Listen, listen
I'm not like your father
I'm not like your father
'Cause, even the best of them are just broken brothers

For all men are broken
And broken men break their children
Who grow up to be broken men
But I'm bigger than that
I'm bigger than that

All men are broken
And broken men break their children
Who grow up to be broken men
But I'm bigger than that
Come to Me
I'm bigger than that

I am not like your father
And some of you have been so afraid of
Repeating the same mistakes that fear has your frozen
But listen, listen
I have the power to change things
And I have the power to make you new
And I have power to rearrange that same old chain
And listen

You're not like your father
It's a new day
It's a new day
You're not like your father
And the sins of your fathers
And their fathers
And their fathers
And their fathers fathers will not be on you
Just keep on
Keep on coming
Keep on coming
Keep on coming
Keep on coming

Listen my beloved one

All men are broken
And broken men break their children
Who grow up to be broken men
But listen
I'm bigger than that

You've got to let your fathers go
Your fathers were broken by their fathers
Who were broken by their fathers
Their fathers and their fathers
On and on and on and on
We're all in this together
There's only one good Father
There's only one good Father
He's the father of all of creation
He's the father of lights
The father of glory
And He loves us so well

And all he says is

Everything is in My hands
It's gonna to be alright
It's gonna to be alright
You're gonna to be ok
No regrets
Everything is in My hands
It's gonna to be alright
You're gonna to be ok
And some of you have been so full of regret
But your babies are my babies
Listen, Your babies are My babies
And I will be the Father
'Cause, Your babies are My babies

I'm gonna to turn it all around
just wait and see
I'm gonna to make everything beautiful
just in time
I am gonna to turn it all around
Just wait and see
No regrets
I am gonna to make everything beautiful
Just in time

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Activating Strength

"Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!"  
2 Peter 1:3 (MSG)

The great thing about life is, we get to choose. Sometimes this means that we walk in the strength of the Lord, in the gifts He has given us. Sometimes that means that we walk in our own strength, surrounded by fears, worries, and frustrations.

Friends, I learned something while in Colorado that has stuck with me ever since. A classmate was praying and said something along the lines of "I pray that God would be with us." One of our leaders commented afterwards that we don't need to pray prayers like this.

God is always with us. He has already given us the strength we need. And the boldness.  And the courage. And the patience. We just need to choose to walk in His strength. We just need to remember that He is with us. He is the Immanuel God. He is with us. Always.

He is a gentlemen to the highest regard. He knows what we need, yet He never forces it on us. He allows us to choose. He allows us to take steps toward Him. This is what makes our love stories with Jesus so amazing. He gently woos us. Sometimes He speaks a little louder. Yet He doesn't force Himself on us. The choice is always up to us. He longs for us to choose Him. He allows us to choose Him. He is waiting for us.

So next time you pray remember that God is already with you. He is just waiting for you to turn to Him. He is waiting for you to walk in His strength. He is just waiting to pour His strength out on you. He wants to do your life with you. He doesn't want you to struggle alone. He wants to be your strength.

Next time you face something insurmountable will you attempt to walk alone or will you walk in the strength of the Lord? Will you activate His strength in your life?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lessons Learned from a Deer

Eight months ago something happened to me that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

I hit a deer.

I was driving home late one night from out of town and a deer came out onto the side of the road. I had about five different thought trains running through my head but in those few seconds I decided it would be best to hit the deer head on rather than swerve and end up off in a ditch somewhere. That is what I ended up doing.

I hit the deer head on.

God is so amazing guys. Truly spectacular.

My car didn't swerve at all when I hit the deer. I pulled over onto the side of the road, saw that my car was pretty smashed, and then I got back in and decided to keep driving home. It turns out that I lost power steering but I didn't know it until I was exiting the highway via an extremely curvy ramp. That was a scary feeling. Somehow I was able to force the wheel in time to make the turn and I made it home safely.

Like I said my car was pretty banged up. I was able to get the car fixed shortly after so that I could drive it again, but I still need to get the car painted.I've been hesitant to do so because I learned something through this accident.

First, God's protection over my life is amazing. I didn't suffer any aches or pains from the impact. I was completely fine. I have known several people who have had pretty severe injuries from colliding with a deer, as severe as death. I was completely fine. God was watching over me.

So my next statement may seem a little strange....but I honestly believe that God put that deer in my path.

I needed it. I was headed down a dangerous path.

You see I met a guy two months before that who seemed great. We started dating. It was good at first but it turned out to be the worst experience of my life. He was verbally and emotionally abuse. He kept pushing me to do things that I didn't want to do.

I didn't realize it at the time. He had begun to pull me away from those close to me. He demanded too much of my time and of myself. I had/have very unique boundaries for dating. He "honored" those but he pushed in so many other ways that it got to the point where it was a joke to say that my boundaries were still intact. Although I still had them what had happened was actually worse.

I felt trapped and I didn't know how to get out. I prayed and asked God for help. I was confused. He told me that the truth would come to light, whether it was what I wanted to hear or not. I kept trying to get away, but I wasn't brave enough. I wasn't strong enough on my own. My words came, but they were ignored. They were belittled and I felt like I had to stay. So I did. I was trapped.

Then one day I hit a deer.

As I drove home I specifically felt God telling me that He had protected me yet allowed this to happen to show me that if I remained on this path it would lead to destruction. It would end badly. It would be far worse than my car was after the impact. He was using the deer as a wake-up call. A cry to get me out.

In that moment it was like a light bulb came on, in another room. I could feel truth beginning to set in, but it hadn't quite hit me yet. A week later God literally flipped the switch on my personal light and I was able to see the truth. I was able to see the situation for what it was and I got out. As fast as I could.

I got my car fixed soon after. I got a new hood and a new fender. The frame was pushed back into place. I bought parts that didn't match my car's paint color however and I didn't get them painted yet.

I was relating the restoration of my car in terms of my personal restoration. I was set free. The pieces were beginning to be put back into place. However the healing process from a situation like this doesn't happen over night. I was in the process of receiving healing.

I wanted my car to be a reminder to me of that journey. So I let the colors remain unmatched. I was still healing. I am still healing. Although that relationship only lasted two months it did a lot of damage. Just like that deer. The impact was brief yet the results were quite damaging. Over the course of these last eight months I have experienced so much healing. Enough that I was ready to paint my car a few months back. The paint color doesn't match perfectly however. My scars will remain. Not in a bad way, but in a way that says 'look what God has done in my life. I was (and still am) a broken individual in need of a Savior. God came through. He brought healing yet I will never forget what happened.'

I'm so thankful for my collision with a deer. It helped me get back to where I needed to be. I am so much stronger now. I have tools to fight. I also have an increased awareness of the difficulties individuals in abusive relationships have in getting out. It is hard. It is so hard. Yet freedom is possible. Healing and restoration are possible.

What hurt have you gone through in your life? What scars do you have? It can be hard not to be frustrated or embarrassed at the sight of scars. Don't let them get you down. Let them be reminders. Reminders of where you have been and what you have overcome. Today you are so much stronger. Healing and
restoration are possible!

"It ain't a dead end if it takes you somewhere you needed to go." -from the movie Unconditional

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hello Southwest Publishing!

Today marks an anniversary for me.

Exactly one year ago today I started my job at Southwest Publishing and Mailing Corporation.

This job, like every other job I have had is a God kind of job. He opened the door for me to walk in and He gave me the boldness to continue to go back day after day.

If you follow my blog you'll know that November of 2013 I felt like God was asking me to jump off of the cliff into the great unknown with Him. That specifically meant that I quit my job of five years at Billy Vanilly Cupcakes and took a month to just seek His face and trust Him. I didn't have a job lined up when I left Billy Vanilly. I had an idea of a field I was headed into but that was it.

My last position at Billy Vanilly allowed me to work in the office paying bills and organizing information. I was really enjoying this, especially as I was going to school at the time for a business degree. So when my month of rest was over I applied at a few places. I had never heard of Southwest when I saw the advertisement, but the job description sounded right up my alley. I prayed, got an okay, and then I applied. The next day I got an email from the guy doing the hiring to set up an interview.

Before I began to search for jobs I prayed and asked God for a few specifics in my new job. I wanted to work in an office. I really didn't want to have to wear a uniform (I definitely had to at my previous jobs). I wanted to have weekends off as I had worked pretty much every weekend at my previous jobs. I also asked God to allow me to make the same amount of money that I had made when I left Billy Vanilly. I wasn't too sure if he would answer that one as I would be starting at the bottom of the ladder.

When I went to my interview I told God that it would be a big sign to me if this was the place He wanted me if they would allow me to work more than the sixteen hours they had posted. If they were really strict about the hours it wouldn't work for me.

In my interview I was immediately told that the position could actually be long term rather than a one semester internship. I was also told that I had to at least work sixteen hours, but I would be more than welcome to work more than that if I wanted. After more discussion I felt pretty peaceful when I walked out of the interview. I did my best and God would take care of the rest if that was where He wanted me.

It turns out that God wanted me at Southwest Publishing. He answered every single one of my prayers. I even started at Exactly what I made when I left my last job. He answered more prayers that I can't actually remember right now. He's just good. Sooooo good.

I had a hard time adjusting to life at Southwest Publishing because the environment is night and day different from a cupcake store. On my first day filling out paperwork I heard over the intercom the name of someone that I used to go to church with. I was thrilled when it really turned out to be him, especially because Southwest can be considered a rough place to work and there are not very many people who desire to follow Jesus there. 

Let's just say Southwest was nothing like I expected.At times at the beginning I would walk around the plant and I was just amazed at God's hand at work. I have been through some rather horrible situations in life that I would never wish on anyone else. Because of those a place like Southwest, with a lot of rough characters, especially men, would have terrified me, if it hadn't been for God's healing in my life. This job has been a sign to me that God has healed me. I am not the quiet and terrified girl that I used to be. I am a bold woman of God. I have had incredible opportunities to share my faith with my co-workers. I have opportunities to become friends with people I never would have expected to be friends with. God is incredible.

This job has also been a big part in opening the door for me to enter the field of social work. If I hadn't begun this journey and taken this job I would not be where I am today. God is good. Soooo good. He has blessed me beyond words. Southwest Publishing is a place I never expected to be, yet I love it so much. I wouldn't trade it for anything and I plan to be here a while (if God lets me stay!).

Thank you Jesus for being there to catch me when I jumped off the cliff into the unknown. Your ocean is

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Goooood Year

 Hello friends! It's been a while since I've written on here. About six months to be exact. I've had plenty to talk about, I just haven't been able to write. I just checked and I have about four different blog posts I started and never finished. I'm finishing this one. ;-)

 I love God. I love how He works in my life, even when I don't actually like it. Make sense!? Earlier in the year I made the statement that 2014 was going to be a good year. I didn't know what exactly that was going to entail, I just knew it was going to be big. Oooh boy was it!

I switched jobs in 2014. If you remember from an older post I really felt like God was telling me to quit my job at the cupcake store and jump off of the cliff into the unknown with him. I didn't know what He had next. I just knew I was supposed to jump. It has turned out incredibly in that. I'm going to share specifics about my job at Southwest Publishing later but God blessed me Over and Above what I was expecting, just like He always does. ;-)

I switched majors in 2014. I've been going to school since I started at Washburn for business. My new job, which is in accounting and office work, has helped me to decide that I don't want to remain in this field for a career. After much prayer and counsel I decided to switch to Social Work. It's only been a semester of those classes, but I already believe this is exactly where God wants me. My heart matches up with what Social Work is about. Every day I went to class confirmed this to me. It's been so beautiful! Again, I love how God works. I have two and a half years left of college instead of one year because of this major switch, however I know it will be worth it in the end. My schooling is not on a typical schedule, but when has anything in my life been typical?

I had my first boyfriend AND my first breakup in 2014. It did not go the way I wanted it to at all. I have so much to say about that experience. I've learned so much. It was rough, extremely rough. I was frustrated with God about the whole experience, but He revealed truth to me which has completely changed my perspective. First and foremost it has revealed to me once again how great God's protection is over my life. He has a full-time job watching over me. The biggest thing I could share to something else from this is to watch out for red flags. Do not discard them. Don't freak out about every little thing, but if words and actions do not line up there is most likely a reason for that. Truth and respect are vital in a relationship. If God is speaking, do not discard His words. He speaks in so many different ways and He often uses other people. Listen when that happens. Take it to God, but know that He has placed other people in your life for a reason. We often can't think clearly when we are in certain situations and others can see what we can't see. Relationships are a beautiful thing and the people God has placed in our life are beautiful. Make sure to remember to thank them for the difference they make in your life!! 

I filled out a FAFSA in 2014. That may seem a little small to some, but it was huge for me. It was a letting go of pride for me. I always wanted to finish school debt free, but I became too focused on my own accomplishment in this. I got caught up in what I was doing, not what God was doing. So I felt like God was telling me to let go of some pride and apply for financial aid. I wouldn't have been able to go full-time without it, but I soooo did not want to receive any loans. However, I decided it was time to look into them. As I stepped out in this I found out that I am receiving a Federal Pell Grant. It is for this upcoming semester AND last semester. Since I pay as I go this means that I got a check back in the mail which I can apply to next semester. The amount is enough that I will be going full-time next semester and I still don't have to use any loans. Wow. The deadline for financial aid for the year is February 15th, and I filled this out in November. Wayyy behind schedule. However, God is so incredible and has blessed me financially time and time again. It's amazing really. He blows my mind every day. Every single day.

These are just a few of the things that happened in my life in 2014. The big things. I have so many little things that happened as well. I have a few things that are beginning now or changing for 2015 which I may share in due time. I don't know what the future is, but I know that it is good. Despite the hard, God's plan is good. He has my best in store. My plans include good, which sometimes turn to bad. However God's plan is best. Because He knows all. I only see today, and maybe tomorrow. He sees the whole story. He knows. I can trust in Him. :)

Happy 2015!! I can't wait to see what it holds for me AND for you!!

Thankful for this beautiful family!