Selah

Pause and mediate.

Happy New Year to you all! 2013 is coming to a closing and I have to say that God has blown me away this year. God blows my mind on a regular basis and this past year is no different.

My Pastor encouraged us all to look back at the past year and count our blessings, to remember all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed upon us. He also suggested that it could take a really long time to do this. He is right.

God is always moving, always flowing and always transforming all He comes into contact with. I want to be in His presence regularly so that I may continue to be transformed by His love.

I began my walk with Jesus in 2007 and can’t believe the ways He has changed this life. I never would have thought that I would be where I am today. Not in a million years. Never did I think that I would find such peace, healing, forgiveness or true love, but I have.

As I am typing this I am feeling that a lot of people think that this all means that my life is easy and stress free. This is not the case. Things have been touch, there has been ample stress and uncertainties this past year. Changes came, life was tossed upside-down, we laughed, we cried, we argued and we tasted defeat. There is no getting away from these things, we live in a broken world. There was a distinct difference this year though, our faith had grown. We questioned how things would pan out, we felt the tightening of anxieties and lashed out at one another in the midst of it all. The difference was that we then turned to God and brought it before His feet. We looked to each other and apologized for any wrong doing, explained our feelings and we held accountable in love. We looked to our mentors, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and friends for encouragement, support and prayer. These were the things that made the biggest difference.

These may seem like small changes to some, pointless changes to others, and I know that there are those that know exactly what a huge impact these changes can make.

God has always provided for me, even when I was His enemy. When looking back at the gutter I crawled out of, I can see how easily my life could have ended short. I can now appreciate the miracles that took place. The miracles that made it possible for me to be with you here today, sharing my story. I can look back to the years since I found Jesus and how He has always come through, even though my faith was but a sliver. He worked mightily in those small spaces I gave to Him. This is how my faith has been built. I have never really been an all or nothing person. I am guarded, cautious and have thick walls that have been difficult to tear down.

Ezekiel 36:26 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

This world is not my home. I am not going to be here for an eternity. Storms will come, things will fall apart, financial struggles will come, jobs will be lost, people will fail. This is the way of this world. My defenses naturally rise and my heart naturally hardens. I choose to let God in and to let Him work instead. This choice has enabled God to do the work He has planned. This choice has given me the opportunity to really see His work. Rather than sitting back, struggling and fighting to make things work the way I think they should, I give up control. I choose to follow my Creator’s lead and He has never steered me wrong.  In fact, He has performed miracles of all size.

When we have experienced a loss of income, God has provided food, clothing and shelter in ways I would never have thought. When we have experienced a failure, God has used it to bless another and build us up in the experience of it. These are just a few examples.

Psalms 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

If I had to choose one thing to take away from this year, it is just that. Wait on the Lord in all things, be thankful for each day and each person He brings to you, God will always bring you to a place where He can be exalted.

Love each and every person you meet, only God knows their heart. He has created them just as He has created you, with purpose.

Let go. I am still learning this on many levels. I am not a leader. I am a servant. I choose to serve those around me and to purpose my life to be in line with God’s will for it. I want to be an example of God’s love.

I want to help to end the misconceptions around Christianity. I want everyone to know that we all fall short, none of us deserve God’s Grace. None of us. He gives it to us because He created us to have a relationship with Him and there are no pre-requisites for that. Forget what others have told you, drop your misconceptions and ask God if He wants your heart. The answer will always be YES!

You won’t regret it.

God Flow

As my relationship with Christ deepens I become more aware of how His work flows. I can see how some life events can burst forth this flow of God’s love and transformation.

God has blessed been blessing me with a peek at the work He is doing in this world.

One event that can seem like such a curse in that moment you are enduring the storms. I have found that if you can stand still for just a moment, you may catch a glimpse of His power stretching out beyond your moment, beyond your small space in this world. You can see how those around are being touched by His Spirit. A simple word, a small prayer, an act of kindness that normally never would be.

Believers and Unbelievers alike can be changed and transformed by God’s touch if you allow His light to shine.

As my blended family dealt with drama, stress and rejection, I was able to sit back and watch Him flow. I was touched by how everyone in my little family allowed themselves to be human and express their feeling, but to also know when to be silent and offer kindness and love.

I heard of other’s being touched by the acceptance and love that flowed from our home, even when our flesh was screaming for justice!

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Despite the slaps in the face we were receiving from all side. The pressure was cooking our emotions, they were raw, they were tired, they were done. Despite all the adversity, we all chose to grow in some way, we all chose to react differently. That was God. Only the Holy Spirit can bear this fruit in such a place.

Helping hands extended, manipulations brought to a halt, we were real.

This is not to say that emotions didn’t flow, this is not to say that words came out when they shouldn’t have. We are all still human. There was a distinct difference this time. Jesus was working in us through this trial. We leaned back on our faith and let Him bring us through it and we were all the better because of it.

The ripples of His work spread as we shared and chose differently and let Jesus lead the way through.

My only prayer is that we can continue to do that each time life’s storms come to our homes. What a better place this would be.