Category: Thirsty Heart Book

THE LONG AWAITED DAY

Have you ever worked so painstakingly hard on what seems to be an unending task? And every time you reach, what you think, is the end you find you must begin again? This scenario describes my book writing adventure.

Almost a decade ago, life in ruins, I literally began penning my hearts journey. It wasn’t my idea but God’s. And He in no uncertain terms, made it clear that I needed to write my story and that I’d better get started.

The first draft, all twenty-two chapters, took about two years to complete. As soon as it was done I knew it needed to be rewritten. Ugh. I ignored it off and on for a few years, and finally finished the second draft. A couple of years later I began and eventually finished the third and final draft, eleven chapters in all.

The journey held so many emotions—so many tears.

At every turn I struggled, wrestling with God over what I viewed as a lack of capabilities. He never agreed with my accusations of myself but continually believed in me. He never let me quit, instead He taught me that in my weakness, if allowed, He would be strong.

Now, on the other side of the adventure I see how writing my story was my medicine. God used it to help heal and strengthen me. When I started writing, my heart, soul and life were shattered. I was empty and dry. Disillusioned with life, marriage and Christianity. Over time, as my heart healed I changed into a whole, full and hydrated person. And yes, thank God, I survived. Living to tell this story! Whew!

The long awaited day is here! The book is finished and it is beautiful. I love the message held within its covers. It is the story of grace and unconditional love. It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and I am so very happy to share it with you.

The book is titled Thirsty Heart:  Nourishment for a Dehydrated Soul. It is available on Amazon for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/ just search the title and author name. There is also a Study Guide that can be used individually, or in a group setting. For more information watch the book trailer at https://vimeo.com/190663730  and visit the website: http://www.thirstyheartbook.com/

Please be  encouraged to never give up—to trust God and let Him be your strength. He is absolutely enough, and He believes in you!

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

 

 

HER OWN SPACE IN MY HEART


Haylie Anne.
Her name means Hero of Grace.

Baby girl would be 32 today. I imagine she’d be a mix of my other two daughters—beautiful, kind, tender hearted, loving, aggressive, God loving—an amazing vibrant woman.

30 years ago I held her for the last time. Sometimes it seems like yesterday.

After she died I wanted another baby so bad, my arms literally ached. One year later I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. It was then I realized, each child has their own space in my heart. He had his place and it was overflowing. Haylie’s place  was still empty. Over time I learned to let Jesus fill this space in my heart.

Today, August 11th, I woke up to that tug of emptiness. Come Jesus.

As I sipped my cup of tea, I reflected on her and the last 30 years—I cried. I am always amazed that there are those moments that I still cry. But then, sweet Jesus reminds me of that place in my heart owned by her. And whispers “it’s okay.”

I am honored that I was chosen to be her mother. This “Hero of Grace” swept through my life and changed me forever. And I am grateful.

The three most dominant things that were gifted to me by her life and death are:

One:  The awareness that everyday—every person—my family, is a gift to enjoy to the fullest. I never know about tomorrow, so I won’t waste today.
Two:  Only Jesus can fill and heal my empty brokenness.
Three:  To live with passion against the enemy of my soul. After Haylie died I was angry at God. I saw myself shaking my fist at Him. In His faithfulness He addressed my anger. He gently said “Why don’t you shake your fist at your enemy, where it will do you some good.” Since then I am beyond passionate to stand in faith for what I believe in, to fight for my family’s destiny and not give in—not one inch, to the plan of darkness that comes to kill, steal and destroy.

In so many ways I have been given beauty for ashes.

Isaiah 61:3 says
To comfort those who mourn
To give them beauty for ashes
Joy for mourning,
Praise for heaviness;
They will be called trees of righteousness—the planting of the Lord, for His glory.

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Look at all this beauty—all these trees! Thankful, I am.

Today please be encouraged to seize the day! Hug your kids, hug your parents! Tell them you love them! And please give Jesus every empty place in your heart. Lastly, stand in faith for your family’s destiny—it’s worth it!

 

 

 

POTENTIAL

 

Do you ever grapple with the truth about your potential?
Take a look at my garden in its current state. Beautiful, right?

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I know it resembles a tremendous amount of weeds, but take a closer look. These “weeds” are all flowering plants that died last year. I am in the process of removing the old flowers off of the dead plants. Why? Because each flower pod contains seeds. 

In fact, each pod has enough seeds in it, that when sown, will produce 20-30 flowering plants. Therefore, each dried up plant has the potential to produce about 150 new plants.

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It’s a really long process of retrieving the pods and separating the seeds. There’s no rushing it. Believe me, I’ve tried and end up losing valuable seeds.

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The above photo shows the abundance of pods and seeds retrieved in a six foot space. Imagine their potential!

To the natural eye this garden looks useless. Only the Gardener sees its potential. With the proper process, these seeds will produce a beautiful, extravagant garden.

We are all in process. It may be a tedious and sometimes long process but well worth the effort.

Today, please be encouraged to know that you have great potential. Parts of your life may resemble a lifeless garden but Jesus, the Master Gardener, knows your potential.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

A Heart-Style of Thanksgiving

I love the Thanksgiving holiday, one of my favorite traditions is what my family does after the meal. We go around the table and express what and who we are thankful for.
(This post is reblog from a few years back. Sorry for not posting very often, but I do have a good reason! I’ve been consumed with working on my book, Thirsty Heart. And I have great news! The book and the Thirsty Heart Study Guide are in publication and will be ready for purchase in the next few months! Now back to the rest of the blog…)

God in his immeasurable goodness takes thanksgiving to the highest level. It’s not about a meal—it’s about thousands of meals. It’s not about gathering yearly, but gathering daily. Especially, it’s not about telling each other and God how thankful we are once a year, just as we’ve finished an abundant meal. 

Life lived in relationship with God is about having a thankful heart—daily—in good times and in bad. Essentially, thanksgiving is a heart-style as well as a lifestyle.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 truthfully tells us,

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life? Here’s your answer—give thanks.

Why does God want us to give thanks for everything? Why is this heart-style His will?

One attribute I adore about God is His infinite wisdom. God knows everything beginning to end. The reason He wants us to live a life of gratitude is because He knows and understands what thankfulness accomplishes in our heart and life.

My biggest revelation about living a heart-style of thanksgiving is the fact that thankfulness in hard times causes our heart to stay soft towards God. When we are thankful, there is no room to blame God.

A few years back my family, to put it mildly, experienced somewhat of a car crisis. I prayed for a newer car for quite a while—expecting God, my provider, to hear and answer my prayer. The answer was long in coming—really long in coming.

God showed me that I must thank Him for not having a car. Thank Him for the season—thank Him for His grace in this season—thank Him for being good and faithful, no matter what I’m going through or what my life looks like.

Prior to learning thankfulness in that season, I found myself questioning Him, whining, grumbling and yes, complaining about my car situation. He showed me was my heart attitude was one of blame towards Him, not only blame but one of unbelief. Ouch, this grieved me!

You see thankfulness causes our heart to be tender and trusting—of faith. Instead of irritably wondering what’s going on—when will God come through and worse why and how could He do such a thing, or allow such suffering in my life—which would be unbelief.

A heart-style of thanksgiving releases us in to the abundant life Jesus came to give us. (John 10:10) Gratitude is in essence putting on rose-colored glasses.

A heart-style of thanksgiving causes praise to abound in and through us, changing our perspective on life. It brings Philippians 4:11-12 to life;

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.

Not only does thanksgiving cause us not to blame God—changing our unbelief to faith, but it releases miracles and brings salvation. Even Jesus Himself gave thanks to God, and every time He did—the miraculous followed. (John 6:11, John11:41, Luke 22:17.19)

The foremost aspect of a heart-style of thanksgiving is the very fact that it brings us into a deeper relationship with God and His Son. In Philippians 4:11-12, Paul says He’s learned the secret of contentment—the secret is not thanksgiving—it’s Jesus. Thanksgiving paves the way to make Jesus what He should be in our lives—the main thing—Lord of all.

Please be encouraged to make thanksgiving your heart-style, therefore causing your heart to overflow with the Love of God—Jesus Himself.

What Qualifies Us for Parenthood?

I’ve been pondering the art of motherhood, and really struggled to put words together that would bless and encourage Moms (and Dads) this Mothers/Fathers Day season.

Why the struggle? Well, if you know me at all, then you know I don’t like to sugar coat, and I tend to way over think things. So my brutally honest and over thought out approach to life didn’t seem to be a good way to write about parenthood on Mothers Day. (I know Mother’s Day has passed, I’ve been trying to write this blog for a week now!). Nonetheless I feel urged by the Lord, to write about the subject.

I don’t feel urged to write about parenthood because I’m an expert, just the opposite.

My 33 years of experience have mainly taught me that I don’t know much about parenting.

I’m sure this sounds strange. But truthfully I only really know two things about parenting. Can you see why I was conflicted in writing about this subject?

On Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest we only see the pretty part of parenting. Where people look like experts, with no real struggles.

The real issues of parenthood press us to the point where we realize we are not qualified for this role in life. Because truthfully we don’t know what the H (heck) we are doing!

If I were to put a Mom resume together, I could list a thousand amazing things and still not be qualified.

So what qualifies us?

Jesus.

Jesus is our resume.

The number one thing I know about parenting is this:  I am the most qualified, the most accomplished Mom when I realize how much I need Jesus—when I trust my kids to the work of grace—to the work of the cross.

In situations involving our children, my husband and I can talk, fret and discuss the issue for hours, and we always reach the same conclusion. And this is the second thing I know—that Jesus is enough.

Yes, all my years of parenting humbly bring me to the truth of these two conclusions.

1. Jesus, not my skills or knowledge qualifies me, and you, to be an excellent parent.

2. Jesus fills in every gap, His love, faithfulness, mercy and grace are enough for every parenting situation.

Please be encouraged to give yourself a breaklife is messy. We are all in process. It’s not about getting through life perfectly. It’s about relationship with Jesus—living in His grace and love. He does not expect perfection just submission. And when we realize only He can qualify us—the pressure is off—we find rest and freedom.

Following are a portion of lyrics from a song I love, titled Touch the Sky, by Hillsong United.

     My heart beating,
my soul breathing.
     I found my life when
I laid it down.
Upward falling,
spirit soaring.
I touch the sky when
my knees hit the ground.

Treasure these truths…

1. We find life and it’s answers for parenting, and any other situation, as we lay everything down.

2. In Jesus there are no mistakes, His grace causes us to only fall upward.

3. We reach our highest when we bow our lowest.

Link to the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1RQciil7B0&sns=em

Here are some pics of my wonderful Mothers Day. We had a rooftop party, with good conversation, great food prepared by my kids and we might even of Danced! This is us on a good day. My kids are no where near perfect, but they are all masterpieces.

  My daughter beautifully set up the rooftop of her downtown Meridian apartment

 The cooks

 The gangs almost all here, my oldest son and his family didn’t make it    So cute

  The Boys explored

Most of the Forests are fearless

I got to dance with my sons and my husband  My baby!

  Baby Robin held by auntie Maddie, talking to uncle Trent

  The newlyweds

  Me and my love

  Robin and her Mama Kaila

 Five of my seven kids!

Thanks for reading!

Ignore Almost Everything

True faith ignores everything . . . except God’s Word and its truth.

This one statement will change the way we do life.

I know you might be thinking this is so elementary, but that’s just the point—it’s so easy—so fundamental that we forget to make it the standard we choose to live by.

All day—every day, words and thoughts flood our mind, emotions and heart. I challenge you to consider this one thought and to make it your standard.

Standard? I understand this is a huge statement but if we intentionally apply this concept to our life everything will transform. The way we perceive God and our self, will take a turn, and we will begin to walk out the life Jesus died to give us (John 10:10).

Words like destiny and purpose will begin to have real meaning. We can stop listening to words from our past. Negative people and their opinions will fade. We will control our emotions—they will stop controlling us. Our heart will swell with possibilities and dreams—we will no longer just read about the impossible—but we will do the impossible.

Mark 4:37-41 recently arrested my heart. The story is—Jesus and the disciples (my catechism teacher used to call them the dirty dozen) anyway, they are on the ocean, in a boat and a horrible storm hits. The disciples are really scared and begin to panic. Jesus on the other hand is asleep, on a pillow, in the stern of the boat. In their anxiety they wake Him saying “Don’t you care that we are perishing?”

Who can relate to this story? I sure can! We get all worried and call out to Jesus . . . JESUS!! There’s a storm! Where are you???

Awesome, peaceful Jesus wakes up and says to the wind and sea “Peace be still.” The wind ceased its threats, and a great calm settled on them.

The disciples’ fear began to drain away and a new sort of fear arose—The Fear of the Lord—an awe, a wonder and the reality of who this amazing man—Jesus, really was. “Who can this be, even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

But that’s not the end of this story. No, Jesus now turns to the disciples and says “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” In other words “Why did you panic? After all you have seen me do—you still don’t believe? ”

I would have been thinking “No faith? Jesus—I turned to you, called on you to rebuke the storm” forgetting to mention I called to Him in panic!

In this faith strengthening journey, that I’m on, Jesus is making it clear—relationship is my base—calling on Jesus is always the bottom line. The shift that’s happening for me is realizing this relationship empowers me (and you) with faith and if we will choose not to waver—our possibilities are endless.

So instead of our first reaction to a storm being fear and calling on Jesus in worry, we can stand in the face of the storm and do business with it—this act of obedience is a display of our faith in who Jesus is. And it releases Him to do His part—calm the storm.

This is where ignoring everything but God’s Word comes in. We must ignore our feelings, disregard nay sayers, shut the mouth of the lying accuser and listen to Gods Word only.

We have been commanded to rebuke storms (hardships), speak to mountains (obstacles), and lay hands on the sick. And when we obey and do acts of faith such as these, we must expect the storms to calm, the mountain to be cast into the sea and the sick to be healed.

Power to impact the natural realm has been given to us—we do it by taking direct authority in the spiritual realm.

Simple.

Some of you might need a paradigm shift to live this way (I did), or maybe just a nudge to your faith—a reminder of your authority and position in Christ. Because Jesus overcame—we are over comers.  He’s victorious—we are victorious. Because Jesus was beat and crucified we are healed and saved.

Be encouraged today to strengthen your faith and to ignore everything except—God’s Word.

John 14:12
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

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Just Do It

When we read these words we think of Nike right? Did you know these words come straight from the Bible? Yep, 1 Chronicles 28:20

Be strong and of good courage, and do it, do not fear or be dismayed, for the LORD God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you

What has God asked you to do?

Whatever it is, He is saying don’t be afraid, be full of courage and just Do It! I Am with you—I love you, I believe in you. I will strengthen you—sustain you, I’ll never leave you and if I Am for you who could ever stand against you?

If you don’t feel strong or courageous remember in your weakness, as you lean into Him, His grace is sufficient.

What’s more—God wants to make you great. True fact stated in 1 Chronicles 29:12

Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

God is no respecter of persons if His Word says; it is in His hand to make great and strengthen all—then that means you!

So go ahead don’t hesitate, ask God to strengthen you and make you great!

Just a word of encouragement today, to accept God’s gifts of strength and courage. Just Do It—be all He has created you to be! (or at least start to move in that direction!)

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Fortify Your Faith

Do you ever marvel at the countless times our heart and soul need encouragement, reassurance or a simple reminder of God’s faithfulness? I do. The baffling truth is—human nature always causes us to forget God’s faithfulness and revert to old thought patterns of doubt and self-reliance. This is one reason we must daily fortify our faith. We don’t read our Bible and pray everyday out of religious routine, we do it because we need continual downloads of truth that strengthen our belief—drawing us nearer to Jesus.

I’ve been in a huge battle, a battle that’s generations old, not just on my side of the family but on my husband’s side as well. I mentioned in a recent blog, the victory I’ve had over the fear of lack and lack its self. I truly believe it’s been defeated, but of course it regularly tries to remind me otherwise. This week is one of those times.

What did I do?
First, I ‘ll tell you what I didn’t do, I did not agree with it—I’m choosing not to listen to lies and accusations.
Second, praying and reading the truth and choosing to believe it!
Third, asked for help. I have two friends who live hundreds of miles away—they always have my back. With assurance I sent out an email asking for prayer. We never have to fight our battles by our self. Both replied with encouragement, one friend sent the following response. With her permission I’m sharing it with you, it was too good not to!

As you read it let your faith be fortified. It’s written by Cathy Brookshire, my friend, sojourner, mentor and sister.

“Remember – Jesus asks you to find Him today – in the moment and to be thankful – right now – for His presence and His provision.

It is always when we start living in the past or the future when “old friends” [fear, worry, doubt] come to visit.

Is the manna He has given enough for today? Will He provide the necessary manna tomorrow? The Israelites didn’t know. . . so they had to put their trust in God, believe God, rest in today’s provision and trust if there was no manna in the morning then God was going to do a new thing.

Their trust could not be in the manna – the provision – the whole reason manna was provided was so their trust would be placed on God and God alone and they would find everything they needed in life right there, right in the middle of nothing, right in the middle of the desert.

The Israelites did not need one thing added to their lives because they had the very presence of God. All God wanted them to do was to see Him, know Him, love Him receive His love for themselves and to be satisfied in Him to taste and see that He is good.

God is asking us the same question: “Am I enough?” My circumstances do not ever have to change – only my heart – only my perspective – if God is with me then I am satisfied. I am whole. I am healed. I am provided for. I am cared for. I am loved. I can not stay the same if I choose to sit in His presence. I am changed. I am transformed. I have no need. Everything that is not of Him has to flee.

Today I choose God. Today I choose satisfaction in Jesus. Today I choose rest in His presence. Today I choose peace that surpasses understanding, as I hand over every prayer/need. Today I choose to be loved and to have His love fill me, heal me make me whole.

God is looking for His people to put their trust in Him and Him alone. . .come Lord and may Your presence be enough to satisfy our souls.”

Please be encouraged today to make Jesus enough—to trust in Him—not in what He provides!

Romans 4:20-21 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

What’s Dead in Your Life?

In this season of renewed faith, my heart is stirring—swelling with the possibilities of the concept found in Ezekiel 37. It by no means is a new idea, but as we know, the distractions of weak faith can cause a forgetfulness to settle on us—keeping us from remembering the tools God has provided for us to live successfully. And seriously, if we will apply these concepts—our life will change.

First let me give you a little insight as to what’s happening in Ezekiel 37. God takes Ezekiel to a valley of dry dead bones—this was not just a few dead bodies but a whole valley full, and asks him a question, He says, “Can these bones live?” What God is really asking Ezekiel is “Do you believe—do you have the faith to believe what’s dead can come to life?”

Such a simple question, but so deep and personal.

God is looking into our eyes—into our heart—asking you and I “Do you believe the dry bones in your life can live?”

Ezekiel’s answer to God’s question is an awesome response of faith—he turns the responsibility of such a miracle back to the Miracle Maker Himself and says “Only you know, sovereign Lord” Essentially “I trust in You and your sovereignty—you are good—you can do anything—just say the word—just look in that direction and it’ll be done.”

When our faith in God takes the hand of expectancy and partners with the truth of His Word—we’d better brace our self, because that’s all it takes for mountains to move—for miracles to happen. Faith stemming from a relationship of complete dependency on God—will bring breakthrough.

Whenever God asks us a question like this it’s rhetorical—He’s not searching for an answer, but stirring our hope—nudging our belief and expectancy—arousing our faith!

Next, God lets Ezekiel know what is required of him. Yes, we must do our part—faith is an action word. The Lord God instructed him to prophesy and say “Oh dry bones hear the Word of the Lord” I love this! All we have to do is first believe, then speak/pray God’s Word to the things in our life that are dehydrated, empty or dead. Tell the dry bones to give heed to the truth—tell them how big our God is.

Ezekiel writes, “So I prophesied as I was commanded” and when he did there was a noise, a rattling as the bones came together, as sinew and flesh covered them.

But that was not all, the bones came together but they were still void of life. This is the picture of believers today—lots of movement, but no life—a lot of information—tons of knowledge, but no knowing of God the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is the cause of the dehydration—this is why faith is weak—we need to put away our rules and come into relationship.

In verse 9, the Lord tells Ezekiel

“Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”

The meaning of the word breath is spirit. We must speak to the Spirit of God—inviting Him to come breathe life into lifelessness.

Lastly Ezekiel responds to the Lord (a response on our part is always necessary) he says So I prophesied, just as he commanded me.” And when he did what was commanded the breath entered the dead and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army!

Everyday, all day we are faced with something or someone needing life. We can speak, pray and prophesy into our own personal life, our spouse and marriage, our kids, family and churches, into those who need God, into our businesses and work place, into hopes and dreams that are dormant. We can breathe words of life into relationships, finances, health, bad character, weaknesses and addictions—the possibilities are endless!

When we speak life and when the Holy Spirit breathes His breath into a person or situation it’s the act of inflating what was deflated. What’s deflated and dead in your life?

Will you prophesy and speak to your circumstances—will you tell the Breath of God to breathe His life to those situations around you—as commanded? It would be crazy not to!

What would stop you?

Fear of disappointment?

Weak faith?

If so—be encouraged to stir yourself—start by prophesying to your thirsty faith! Speak the Word to your unbelief and watch it form—speak to the Breath of God to invade your faith and heart—then listen for the signs of life!

As you listen for the signs of life keep three things in mind…

1. Seek Him first—eyes on the Miracle Maker not the miracle

2. Patience—don’t waste the wait with worry

3. Remember—the devil’s main objective is to rob you of your faith—resist him!

Ezekiel 37:1-10,  The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”  Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Our Current Trial

What trial are you currently in? I want to share with you the one I just went through. As I eluded in my last blog Embrace the Unknown, God was calling me to step out onto the waters of the unknown. He wasn’t calming the storm before me—He wasn’t changing my circumstance then asking me to come. No, the wind was blowing and the waves were tossing!

The funny thing (it’s funny now) is the trail I was in was nothing I hadn’t experienced before. I’ve been in literal devastation—and lived tell of God’s faithfulness. In one summer not only did my childhood hero—my brother—die, but my two-year old daughter as well (read about it here Hero of Grace—Finding Treasure). Many times my marriage dangled by a mere thread. I’ve had three miscarriages, and been on the verge of death myself. We’ve lost our home and our business-starting over many times. I’ve had three of my dear sons walk away from the Lord—very heartbreaking—to say the least. I’ve been disowned by my family. And these are just the major events after marriage.

So I’m no stranger to suffering, what was so different about my current trial? I believe it was different because this time I knew (sort of) what I was fighting for. And as I look back over all the years, I see I was always fighting for the same thing.

It was a fight for my faith.

Your current trial is a fight for your faith.

For about the last year I’ve been in a season of purposefully strengthening my faith—my goal is to be fully convinced without wavering, (Romans 4:20). Therefore in this trial I was fighting to believe God’s Word and the devil was fighting for his ground of unbelief in my heart. God was purposing to remove a deeper layer of fear in my life—namely the fear-of-lack. Fear rooted it’s self in my life when I was a child. It makes sense—God’s plan for my life is that I’d be a person of deep, unwavering faith—the devil’s plan—just the opposite—fear.

Throughout my years of suffering I could feel God’s comfort, and even when the sea of the unknown tossed, as I remember it now, I felt I was in the boat. This time He stood out on the frenzied ocean, extending His hand, asking me to step out on a sea of unknown waters—to trust Him even as it raged.

I’m sure He’s always wanted this scenario and every battle I’ve fought has brought me nearer to this. And while I’m embarrassed to just now, decades after becoming a Christian, come to this place, on the other hand God is ecstatic with me!

I really thought I failed in this current trial, because my head continually bobbed in and out of the water. The heavy hand of the enemy’s oppression—the spirit of unbelief—continually tried to push my head under. I couldn’t sleep and when I did, I’d wake in panic. Worry overwhelming me like never before. The difference was—I fought tooth and nail to believe God’s promises. The harder I fought the heavier it got. Some days I sat all day just reading the Word or listening to worship music, continually praying—determined to own what I claim to believe.

I felt like I wavered, (I’m always way harder on myself than God is). He told me I won the battle the moment I determined to believe—the moment I chose to sit all day reading His Word instead of escaping by sleeping or watching a movie.

The bummer to pressing in while in battle with the enemy is that he presses harder. But God came running to save me the moment I began to falter. And in His faithful love He waited, watching and interceding for my success, holding back breakthrough—until just the right hour, knowing stronger unwavering faith was my real need.

What’s your real need? Breakthrough or stronger faith?

Have you ever read the book of Job? God allowed catastrophes (plural) to strike him. In it the enemy of his soul had a plan, which was to steal Job’s faith and get Him to curse God. God’s plan for Job was that he would not just know about Him but for Job to actually know Him, making God Lord of all—this meant Job’s faith would have to be foolproof.

Over the years God has delivered me from many aspects of fear and I’m very happy to say I am now on the other side of this battle—the fear-of-lack and the spirit of lack its self are broken off my life! You have got to love the faithfulness of God!

This is my song of thanksgiving to God! Psalm 34:1-7,

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord. The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.

Please be encouraged in your current trial to understand it’s more about your faith than your need.

James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.