You cannot do anything for your deliverance but you must do something to display it, you must work out what God has worked in.
This is me working out my feelings…
Lord these feelings of emotion keep taking over me. Seemingly overwhelming and a bit uncontrollable. I was doing so well with my weight loss and then I got lost… lost in the wilderness of emotions and feelings.
I know my outside actions are in conflict with your truth and love yet I am still struggling to run to you instead of chocolate.
Our world is crazy busy and filled with so much uncertainty and yet we constantly run to worldly things for our comfort and security.
Food, alcohol, sex, drugs and people seem to be the world’s comfort.
As believers we are supposed to be different and set apart yet we all struggle with addiction and separation from you Father.
Hurt, broken and beat down I come to you for love, guidance and strength to reach toward heaven instead of numbing the pain with things.
I know, I know… be still and know I am God!
Maybe its the be still part I struggle with the most. Once I close my journal and finish praying the world begins to come at me faster than the speed of light. Being pulled in a million and one directions, surrounding to make the right choices can be difficult.
Your peace is known to surpass all understanding and yet I can’t get still long enough to allow its power to fall upon my life.
So, here I sit ready and willing to take the day by storm with you by my side. Guiding my path and choices.
Some days emotional words are all I have to share… wisdom may come in the morning
As a young girl I was told it’s a man’s world and that no matter what I said or did I could not change this simple fact. In the military there were clear duties that were off-limits to women and to be honest it was a battle not worth of fighting. Each time I have felt the glass ceiling pressing down on my potential I was quick to fight and prove my worth. The more I fought the more I struggled with my worth and ability.
If I was designed to sit back and take orders then why is it so hard for me to keep my mouth shut?
I have often wondered if I am in defiance and not obeying his direction and guidance on my life. Time and time again I see the church pushing women to sit and be quiet. If they want to lead they can lead children or women. When I have challenged this teaching I have been given reference to men leading the “church” in the bible yet as I have been reading in the Gospels I have found time and time again how Jesus relationships with women was NOT one of superiority but one of love, acceptance and equality. The only recorded account of anyone challenging Jesus was a women in Mark and Jesus responded by healing her possessed daughter.
If Jesus saw women as worthy and fitting for leadership then why does the “church” put restrictions on their ability and worth?
There is a generation of young women with new and exciting ideas about the church. They do not desire to break up the “good ol’ boys club” instead they want to be invited to the table to discuss the future of a dying generation of believers. They want to be engaging and they want their gifts and talents to be used for His kingdom. The sad truth is if these young leaders are not asked to join the discussion they will begin to engage in leadership discussions in other groups and forums… leaving the church behind.
As we look in from the invisible bars placed before us we are saddened and wonder if we even belong in the church at all. We think about leaving often because we want to learn and grow in new and deeper ways. Sometimes women’s ministry teas and scrap-booking just does not appeal to us. So then what? We find ourselves seeking and looking to other avenues and we wonder why God placed a stronger desire and ability to lead within us if His church continually refuses to ask us to join the conversation.
From the outside looking in it seems much easier to walk away… engaging Jesus alone and learning to live in personal relationship vice corporate worship. The thought of walking away seems scary and freeing at all the same time and the sad truth is this situation has me perplexed and questioning my own beliefs about leadership.
Today, I am honored to have a guest post from Renee Fisher, a gift writer and speaker. I have had the pleasure of following Renee’s blog Devotional Diva for a few years along with reading her books. She has been a guest speaker at Praise and Coffee and has an amazing heart for twenty-somethings. I hope and pray this post and her new e-book Loves Me Not blesses you! ~Ronel
Why? Regardless if you’re single, married, divorced, or separated– the heart is only one fourth of God’s greatest commandment.
Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Isn’t it interesting that we as people emphasize the heart more than the soul, mind, and strength?
I wonder how it would feel it someone told me, “Don’t forget to guard your soul” or “Renee, guard your mind!” I’ve honestly never heard anyone tell me that before.
Maybe we think of these things, but don’t say them.
In a culture that is obsessed with following the heart, it’s no wonder why people experience heartbreak.
Heartache runs rampant and so does broken relationships. Thankfully, there is someone who stands waiting with a heart-shaped key–his name is Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith–and this includes all our relationships.
When we choose to put God first, to seek Him first even above our own heart, soul, mind, and strength–we are blessed. Maybe don’t get that perfect relationship we think we want, but that’s because if we allow the Holy Spirit to come and live inside–our desires change.
That is when we have the relationships we need.
God knows our desires, our needs.
I recently wrote a book entitled Loves Me Not (link coming soon), and I’d love for you to read it!
I wanted to focus solely on heartbreak and how to find healing God’s way. If you or anyone you know is currently experiencing a broken relationship or a breakup–I encourage you to pick up the eBook for only $2.99. (I will send over the link once its live on Amazon and Barnes and Noble).
Here are a few benefits you will gain from reading this book:
+ Why Guarding Your Heart Isn’t Enough
+ Can Men and Women Be “Just Friends”?
+ Desperate Singles
+ Breaking Up With “The One”
+ Why Changing Your Significant Other Won’t Work
+ The Right Way To Breakup
+ How To Handle A Breakup
+ How To Be Your Own (Single) Person
+ Why Breakups Are Hard
+ He (Jesus) Loves You!
Relationships are very important to me.
God had me wait over twelve years to meet my husband. I kissed a lot of frogs, and did things I’m not proud of–and it wasn’t until I met Marc I realized just how unhealthy I was living. I can’t wait for you to read it and be encouraged.
A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Star. Learn more about Renee at www.devotionaldiva.com.
It is in the details of life that our true selves are revealed.
It is not a blog I write or something I teach in bible study that is the true reflection of myself. In my heart and in my actions lays my true self. This is a very humbling thing to admit especially when I can sense I need to clean up a mess I made or clear up the words I have spoken to or about someone.
Sometimes we think what we are saying or doing is for the benefit of someone we care for but in reality we are just overstepping our boundaries and putting our hands on something God is already working on in someone’s life.
In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically. -John MacArthur
Discernment is not an excuse to be hurtful or judgmental to our brothers and sisters. Taking time to ask yourself, ”am I trying to prove I am right or am I trying to understand?” can help decipher your intentions. In all honesty sometimes I just want to be right… but being right at the expense of a relationship is not healthy or worth it whether I am right or not!
Taking time to understand ourselves and listen for his guidance can be difficult but waiting is certainly better than allowing seeds of bitterness to be planted. Once those seeds have been planted we have to do the hard work of pull the weeds and tending to the soil. Forgiveness softens the soil and prepares it for a new crop but weeds kill the crops.
Learning this lesson in relationships and discipleship is NEVER easy but ignoring the signs of discord can be even worse.
I am not sure about you but I definitely have some weeds to pull and soil to tend to in my garden. May you find strength and direction in your garden today.
Doing the hard work is always worth the beautiful harvest in Spring.
Climbing through our trials of despair and uncertainty can be challenging and at times make us feel useless. We begin to grasp at the branches above longing for a life line to pull us to safety. What are we reaching for? Are we reaching for the source of all power and goodness or are we reaching for man to pull us to safety?
It can be far to easy to make (wo)man our focal point because (s)he is closest to us… but can it become a barrier to connection with our true source of life? There is a fine line been accountability and dependence.
Who do we run to when we are in trouble? Who’s words and wisdom do we grasp at when we are struggling? Who do we run to for answers? Yes, (wo)man can give us sound Godly advice and wisdom! But why NOT go to the source of all things first?
The madness swirling in our minds can made it hard to get quiet and sit with him yet as we begin to build healthy habits it will begin to make sense and become easier. There will be a moment of clarity and calm that comes from just sitting and listening. Not doing or reading more… just sitting and embracing the beauty of the day that lays ahead.
The walls surrounding our hearts need to be broken down and unlike a “real” wall that would need a sledge-hammer our walls sometimes need quiet, still and peaceful moments of allowing him to chisel away at our hard abused exterior. The process of breaking down will not be easy or painless but as we submit to his love it will all begin to make sense.
We all have the ability to have a connection and relationship of depth and meaning but first we have to admit we need it and want it… We will continue to struggle with the same habits and/or relational issue until we begin the process of healing and discovery.
Accountability is someone walking along side use for connection, encouragement and inspiration.
Dependence in (wo)man is seeking answers from someone other than God.
Do you have a friend for the journey?
Are you seeking God first?
Taking the time to process can be lonely yet as we learn more about ourselves we will begin to understand why things keeping happening over and over again. The process will begin to make use stronger and will help us grow and mature in our walks. The beauty is that one day will be will able to walk alongside someone else learning to navigate their own journey with him.
That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 The Message
May your path begin to make sense in the process of learning, growing and letting go!
Before we can move forward in our lives we must first do the hard work of looking back on our past. If we continue to press forward without doing the hard work of healing from our past even if it was not traumatic we will NEVER be able to fully embrace our purpose or reach our full potential in life.
We must first look back before we can begin to move forward…. what does that look like?
Writing about what life was like as a child can be an adventure. As I have been seeking to learn to redefine my life with more play I have realized one of my favorite things to do as a child was pretend I was an adult. This innocent act of childhood play has transitioned me into an adult women who is very driven to succeed and has a hard time embracing the little moments of life.
Playing seems like just another task to accomplish.
Did I not play anything else as a child?
Music was big to me as a child.. I would dance around my room and get lost in the moment until a friend who took dance class began to reshape my thoughts of dance. Going to her recitals and dance performances made me long for the conformity of a dance class with instruction, precision and the “right” way to dance. These thoughts took something freeing and fun and turned it into performing.*
Cooking was a huge part of my adolescence. My parents taught me to cook and in high school I began making meals. I just loved the process and presenting it to my family and friends. After I got married and my son was born cooking began to be a task on my to-do list.*
What in me strives for conformity?
Acceptance is a huge deal for me and I have often wondered where this was birthed and then feed with negativity. My brother and I are close in age and I can see how at times we fought for attention but can that really be what caused me to strive for acceptance? Could something so simple and normal as having a sibling cause acceptance “issues”?
The further I dig and the further I question I begin to see the need for acceptance is not an earthy issue but a heavenly issue.
God made me to crave connection with Him (and my family). But the only perfect connection that is possible is with God… if I am willing to accept it! I also need to accept my family just as they are and NOT for whom I think they should or should not be.
This battle of acceptance and feeling like we fit will NEVER be fulfilled this side of heaven.
Do we even understand this completely?
Our separation from God will always leave us longing for acceptance and connection. Yet the things we seek in this world for connection and acceptance will sometimes push us further from God. So then what? How do we fully embrace acceptance, love and connection?
Acceptance of self.
Acceptance of love.
Acceptance of belonging.
Letting go of what was not or what could have been and embracing what is…
We can go back and resolve our past hurts and hangups… but we are NOT supposed to stay stuck in them, instead we need to acknowledge them and learn to move past them.
I often wondering if there is anyway to make the situations that were wrong in our past right… but without those mistakes would I even seek to better understand myself and why I am the way I am? Or would I be oblivious to the impact my life can actually have if I am present in today.
Healing my inner child is about acknowledging when my irrational and selfish feelings and emotions are my inner child wanting to get her way. Once I recognize these feelings I can quiet the chaos in my head that wants to send me flying off the deep end to destructive and unhealthy behavior.
Strength and healing is found in acknowledging the inner child exists and she is not going anywhere. As we begin to get stronger the impact of her feelings will begin to have less of an effect on my outward expression of the battling ragging inside of me.
Despite anything that was done to us as children we have the power of Christ to find healing, acceptance and love. We can NOT change the words that cut into our souls. We can NOT change any abuse we may have been exposed to in our childhood. We may NOT be able to change the feelings of abandonment or neglect BUT God can make us feel whole.
As you begin to write your own stories you will be able to release the pain and hurt of your past so you can begin to engage the gift of your present and your future!
*The expereince NOT the people shaped my thinking.
Staring mesmerized by all the delicious candy calling my name is tempting. Instead of walking away I begin the process of talking myself out of getting anything. At first I rationalize all my healthy eating or how I could go workout to make up for enjoying any number of things in the candy ale. I finally gain enough strength and courage to walk away when my son says, “Oh, I know what you’re going to get?! Can I share your chips and dip mom?”
Again temptation smacks me in the face!
The never-ending cycle of trying to avoid my trigger foods can be so overwhelming. It’s just food right? Maybe to some people it is just food but to me it is my comfort.
My girlfriend and accountability partner asked me last night why it is that I want those things so bad so I sat and wrote this morning… “Mindless eating gives me the feeling of abandon and freedom. The feeling of going crazy and letting go of perfection feels GREAT!”
As I read back my words I knew it was time to get a handle on my addiction and own my feelings. My striving for perfection has only been as a wife, mother, employee, ministry leader and friend. The striving for perfection is about earning love and acceptance. I honestly am not sure when I began this unhealthy behavior but I know it has been apart of my life for far too long.
There is a part of me that wishing my striving for perfection would transcend my own body and eating. Although I have been down that path before… I went through a season in my life when it was all about myself and I worked out like crazy. I got skinny the healthy way yet closed myself off from the outside world. This is the first time I have ventured into this journey while trying to maintain balance.
The conditions in life will NEVER be perfect for any new habit or change. I will have set backs and I will stumble and fall. The more I realize unhealthy food is an addiction to me I feel like I am coming to terms with this new way of living. Living wholehearted is not just about loving people and loving myself it is about becoming a healthy person; mind, body and soul.
Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” -J.K. Rowling
I left the store without buying anything for myself and instead got a frozen yogurt with my son. This small victory felt amazing! I am going to celebrate it and I am going to continue processing my need for perfection. Sometimes I wish it would all just come together over night but I know this process is about more than just food. As I continue to dive deeper into the depth of my soul I will try my best to be vulnerable and share what I am learning.
Seeking acceptance on my journey to recovery!
What does it mean to be BRAVE?
To be brave is to be bold and courageous; willingness to sacrifice life and limb for your country’s freedom, right?
Is there bravery in everyday life?
I see bravery in the face of our wounded soldiers, but I also see bravery in the face of those struggling to get a grip of their lives after dealing with great loss. Bravery is more than a willingness to sacrifice… it’s a willingness to pick yourself up off the ground after life has knocked the wind out of you.
Bravery is standing up for yourself when someone else is belittling you or talking down to you at work or in your family.
Bravery is being different and standing out from the crowd.
Bravery is admitting your are imperfect, insecure and struggling to heal.
Bravery is saying the things no one wants to say but everyone longs to hear.
Bravery is admitting weakness yet courageously standing up despite their struggles.
We can wake and be brave each and everyday just by getting real and not hiding our feelings. Being brave and courageous means being vulnerable and not allowing your vulnerability to keep yourself hidden from those who love you. Standing up and shouting from the rooftops that you are flawed, insecure and need connection is bravery.
What is your truth?
What is your reality?
What are you hiding from?
What is holding you back?
Letting your walls fall down and giving others a glimpse of the real you is the most brave thing you can do. Sharing your wounds and struggles makes you real and available for connection. We can NOT do this thing called life locked away hiding from ourselves or the world. Our pain, struggles and lives can be the thing to pull others from the depth of depression and despair.
So, reach out and be brave today!
Embrace who you are inside and reach out and touch someone else’s life.
may get hurt will get hurt but through each painful experience you will become stronger and more bold.
Are you being brave?
Just when I thought I was beginning to heal and find hope and strength my heart sinks to the pit of my stomach. The pain and realization of reality hits me like a ton of bricks. Why God? Why would you birth in me these dreams and desires yet leave me to feel defeated and broken?
Despite knowing my worthiness is not hinged on what I have or do not have this loneliness and despairing feeling just wont leave me.
I could ask a million times and the answer will most certainly remain the same…
Looking within I can see so many lessons I can learn yet each and every time I think I felt your healing power someone comes and rips the band-aid and the bleeding begins slowly at first and then like an ocean wave crashing to the shore it becomes unbearable and debilitating.
Will I EVER know why?
Will I EVER truly be healed?
The pain does seem to last a little less yet it still holds enough power to stop me dead in my tracks.
Releasing control and trusting in the process is so darn hard yet if I continue to hold tight to my own dreams and desires I can NEVER fully embrace the things you are bringing my way.
The balancing act of trusting yet controlling is simply impossible.
So, here I sit again admitting the feelings of defeat and yet trusting in your process for me.
Trust in Me.
Trust in the process.
that stupid word is on a never ending loop in my head.
You would think I would get “it” yet here I am again not trusting and not believing in your process or purpose for my life.
The pain of the reality will fade and I will again pick up the pieces of my broken heart.
I will NEVER give up on this process because I can have hope that one day this sting of pain and defeat will not be so debilitating to me and my life.
Until then I will continue to be honest and real. Life is difficult. We will deal with pain. We will not understand why things happen or why they do not happen.
But life without you is much more painful and unexplainable.
Sitting and resting in your presence and trusting you will heal my broken heart yet again.
The pain of rejection and criticism is enough to cause us to crawl into a cave never to be seen again.
Shame keeps us disconnected from those who love us even when we need them the most.
Fear keeps us stuck in life unable to move forward or take any chances.
If we are going to live by feelings then we might as well all throw in the towel and STOP living all together.
You see life will bring us pain and rejection.
Life is painful and will disappoint.
We are NOT promised and easy and fulfilling life.
Each day we will need to step out in faith trusting we will become stronger with each step we take.
We can trust He will NEVER drop us or leave us behind… no matter what we think, do or say.
We will fail.
We will struggle.
We will feel the pain of defeat.
We will make mistakes.
We will lose someone we love.
We will be talked about.
We will be fired.
We will let people down.
We can get back up and try again.
We can be determined to NOT give into our feelings.
We can taste the feeling of success and accomplishment again…
BUT first we must get up and dust ourselves off and START living despite our lack of motivation and inspiration.
The possibilities are endless today.
We have the power to do and believe!
We are worth it!
We are LOVED!
We are appreciated!
We are strong!
We are able!
We can have VICTORY over the feelings of defeat, depression, inability, shame, disgrace and humiliation.
NEVER give up on yourself because you CAN succeed but first you have to get up and try again!