By What Do You Measure?

There used to be a time when I considered myself to be an amazing wife, a terrific mother, and the best friend a friend could ask for, but one day I realized I was comparing myself to those around me. Once I used God as my guide, I realized that I fell short and had room for much improvement.

God’s standards are way higher than the worlds and He calls us to be better and never stop striving to be more like Him.

Is there an area of your life that needs some serious tweaking? Go to Him and let Him show you His ways.

New Beginnings

Have you ever had something occur in your life that put you in a position to fight for what was noble, pure and true? The struggle between good and evil. Spiritual warfare at its finest. But as hard as you try, nothing seems to be working. You need a desperate shift. A God ordained incident to turn the tides and let good triumph over evil.

I was right in the middle of a moment like that and Satan was relentless. He was attacking me and my family from every angle possible. Three distinctly different sources attempting to tear me down, break my spirit, and destroy me so that I would give up on the task God was preparing me for.

But what Satan didn’t realize was that God was speaking to me through the entire course of events that were taking place and I was tuned in. His voice prepared me for battle by giving me strength, wisdom and courage to fight.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that not only did Satan have an agenda, but so did God. God allowed Satan to send three people to attack so that He could refine an area I have struggled with for years.

I suffer from codependency. Codependency is when a relationship is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or addiction). It involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of those who suffer from such conditions. Poor boundaries not only contribute to the problem, but they are the reason for it in the first place. My lack of boundaries to protect myself led me to feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and problems for years and it took being manipulated by three people for me to open my eyes to the damage I was allowing others to do to my soul. My dependency created a need to be liked, a fear of being rejected, and a deep desire to be understood. Even though the relationships were painful and abusive, I found it very difficult to break free from the craziness of it all. My desire to help people paralyzed me to stay right in the midst of the very circumstances that were destroying my life.

Thank goodness for Godly friends. Their wisdom opened my eyes to truth and helped me to set some very clear boundaries. Now those boundaries weren’t taken very well by the perpetrators but that doesn’t matter. All I am responsible for is me. I finally understand that in order to break the chains that bind me, I must learn what healthy boundaries look like and stand firm.

Shortly after taking some huge strides and releasing my struggles to God, He surprised me with a huge blessing…we are expecting! I have always dreamed of having a child with a man that really loves me. Someone to share in the joys of pregnancy, the excitement of new life and everything that comes with that. God reached out and transformed me, opening me up to receive not only the blessing of healing, but the blessing of new beginnings as I journey into the next phase of life hand in hand with my Heavenly Father. The One who loves me more than I could have ever imagined and reminds me every day that if I follow Him, He will take me on a path that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams.

If you find yourself relating to my story, first know that God is right there with you. There is a ministry called, “Celebrate Recovery” where you can find healing from hurts and habits. They meet in local churches all over. Another resource that helped me was a book by Pia Mellody called, “Facing Codependence.” As with any issue we face in life, knowledge is the key to gaining wisdom and wisdom is what leads to making better choices.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for each and every heart that is reading this with tears streaming down their face. Wrap your loving arms around them to remind them that you are near. Give them Your knowledge and infinite wisdom to break free from the chains that are destroying them from the inside out. I pray that they feel your presence like never before and find true freedom so that the door to new beginnings flings wide open and allows Your light to shine brighter than the sun!

Change Your Thoughts Challenge

If you know me or have been following my blog for very long, you know that my journey and personal relationship with God has come as a result of some serious pain along the way. As I reflect on how I got to where I am today, I clearly remember one specific thing that changed my life forever.

Several years ago I came to a point in my life where what I was doing was no longer working. You know, those moments where you think you are doing everything right and God hits you upside the head and says, “Is what you are doing building our relationship or just making you look Godly to the world?” Through serious soul searching, I found that He was right. I didn’t feel I was doing stuff to appear Godly, I honestly was doing everything because I thought that was what He wanted of us as Christ followers. You know, attend church, get actively involved in a small group, attend bible study, volunteer somewhere, read His word daily, tithe, the list goes on and on.

It was then that I discovered Christian rock. I know that sounds way too simple to lead to a life change in regards to getting to know Christ personally, but that one small change completely altered life as I knew it. Listening to God on a daily basis is the key to significant growth and God used music to speak to me. As days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, I noticed that my entire thought process had completely changed. I started seeing things through a new lens.

My challenge to you is that for one week you listen to only positive, uplifting music. There are several Christian radio stations in every city so find one that appeals to your style of music. If you listen to internet radio at work or at home, KLOVE is my favorite. I have a feeling that after one week, your choice in music will not only change your attitude, but it will change the way you see the world around you.

Whispers from Above

Why does life have to be so hard? We try to do what is right only for others to see it differently. Then in an attempt to explain our motives, the problem somehow gets even bigger.

For years I have been on a journey with Christ that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. After trusting no one but myself, God stepped in and revealed His heart. Even to this day, His love and understanding shake me to the core.

After a series of events that took place about a month ago, God revealed that the time had come for some dramatic changes to take place. I trusted Him, setting some very clear boundaries. These boundaries weren’t to upset the other party, but to protect my heart from further damage.

As expected, those boundaries created quite an uproar. I then find myself wanting to revert to previous behaviors just to end the madness, but God said to stay, so I am listening. I am trusting Him and following His lead.

After an evening of second guessing myself, which ultimately is me questioning God, I woke up with a sense of peace that I have never felt. And as if that wasn’t enough, God shows up.

A little while ago, I put in the video for a new bible study that begins tomorrow. Instead of the DVD going to the menu for me to select Session 1, it started on its own. So I watched.

These were the words that God shared with me…When someone has ears to hear God’s voice and follow His guidance, He provides an unquenchable thirst for righteousness. He tends to tap that person for help in solving a societal ill. It is the eerie calm before the storm, where God places a quiet whisper of insight into us, then He sits back to watch as a storm of justice begins to build. Once that person follows that initial direction, all bets are off. Their world gets irreversibly rocked as their role in this world takes a radical, justice-focused shift.

It wasn’t until the session ended that I realized I had just watched the last session. I was overwhelmed with such a tremendous sense of love. Not only does He know, but He cares even more that we do and He has a plan.

I don’t know what your being led to do for Christ, but I do know this: He is speaking to each and every one of us in profound ways. He is calling us to step out of our comfort zones and to fight battles that seem impossible from where we are standing. But He is God and He can use anyone He wants to bring justice to the world. It is only our job to obey, no matter the cost!

The words God shared with me came from, “The Power of a Whisper” by Bill Hybels. If you want to hear from God but aren’t sure how, I highly suggest reading this book. The way you see and hear from Him will be forever changed