Tag Archive | Personal Growth

The Battle is Not Yours, but God’s

“Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord…
Then Jehoshaphat stood… and said,
‘O Lord God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven,
and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations,
and in Your hand is there not power and might,
so that no one is able to withstand You?…
Here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession
which You have given us to inherit…
For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against  us;
nor do we know what to do,
but our eyes are upon You…’
Now all Judah… stood before the Lord.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel… and he said…
‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude,
for the battle is not yours, but God’s…
You will not need to fight in this battle.
Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord,
who is with you…
Do not fear or be dismayed;
tomorrow go out against them,
for the Lord is with you…’
Jehoshaphat stood and said… ‘Believe in the Lord your God,
and you shall be established;
believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.’ ”
2 Chronicles 20, selected verses

The Lord showed me some amazing things through this passage in regards to a battle I am in the middle of. The context behind this verse is King Jeoshaphat was coming up on a battle against the Moabites and Ammonites. There was a great multitude and he was afraid. The battle seemed too big for him and his nation and he did not know what to do. So he feared the Lord and remembered the amazing things God had done in the past and confessed his position of helplessness… and then he waited. Not only did he wait but all of Judah waited and stood before the Lord. And guess what… the Spirit of the Lord came. They waited and God showed up. And God gently reminded them that the battle is not theirs but His. He will fight for them. But they must believe Him. God didn’t ask them to stay inside and just hope for the best. God told them to position themselves so they may see the salvation of the Lord. They still had to go out against the army, but God would show up. And God did show up. In fact He ambushed the armies… no one had escaped.

He will fight for me. This was one of those still small voices moments for me about 2 years ago. God whispered this in my heart and brought the rest to my weary soul that Scripture talks about. In those 2 years I have often tried to take control of the battle myself and in doing so have experienced the weariness, stress, anguish and anger. These emotions come when the battle is clearly too big for me and I don’t know what to do. Instead of fearing the Lord I just keep trying different tactical methods all the while excluding God and just trying to get by on my own. God used this passage in 2 Chronicles 20 to remind me that the battle is not mine, it is God’s. He will fight for me. I just need to recall all the things He has already done and then believe on Him to show up and bring salvation.

Are you in a situation where you feel like you need to muster up all you have and fight for something… maybe to stay home with your kiddos, to earn more money at your job, to convince a loved one to believe your position about something, to instill obedience into your children? Have you been weary trying all you have to get these things to go your way? Are these battles too big for you? Let me encourage you… that battle… it is not your’s, it is God’s. He will fight for you… but you need to let Him. I don’t need to scream and yell and claw tooth and nail to try to get my voice heard and opinions changed and to try to advocate for myself… God will do that for me. I can do my part in sharing my voice and sit back and let God fight for that voice to go where it needs to and to affect what it needs to affect. I just need to stand before Him and believe Him and wait. All the while I will be resting, knowing it’s in His hands.

” ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude,

for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ ” v.15

 

Stuck in a Rut

I am in a rut. Have you ever been there? I know this rut that I’m in is because I am choosing to be there and my choosing is walking in disobedience. Disobedience to some actions I know God is asking me to take, disobedience in my attitude I know God is asking me to change, disobedience in my view of Him and trusting Him and in His promises that I know He is asking me to believe. I am trying to do this thing on my own and it is just digging a deep deep rut.

This morning God showed me a foundation of this rut… my pursuit of Him.

Why do I pursue God? Well… I am pursuing Him (if you could even call it that) to get something for myself. I want the external blessings. I want to pursue Him and walk in obedience so that my marriage will get better, so my husband will start treating me better, so that my kids will be more obedient to me, so that God will provide finances so I won’t have to consider working again, so that a best friend will just pop up on my doorstep for me, so that we will find a church that is awesome and has everything we’re looking for, so that, so that, so that… How selfish is that? If my pursuit of God is dependent on my external circumstances changing and then they don’t… well, it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that equation. I will stop pursuing God. It just simply doesn’t seem worth it. If my life isn’t “feeling” and “looking” any better then what’s the point. After all it is a lot of work to pursue God. To try to mentally remember all the things He’s teaching me and all the areas I’m falling short and then the lists of what I need to do to fix those areas and make them right. And in the midst of that I’m breaking up sibling rivalry, and failing in teaching my daughter to read, and my husband and I just had another fight, and another woman I thought could become a good friend doesn’t have any time for me, and I burned dinner. What’s the point to all of this? Maybe I can do this thing better on my own instead of trying so hard to get things to change by God’s path and it not working.

Failure was never His plan.

Frustration was never His plan.

Ruts were never His plan.

Perfect external circumstances were never His plan.

Easiness was never His plan.

Okay. So God what is your plan? What is the point in all of this? What do I do and where do I go from here?

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”

Psalm 27:4

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
                                                                       To see Your power and Your glory.                                                                        Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.”

Psalm 63:1-8

So what is the point in all of this? Jesus. It has always been Jesus. Jesus never promised an easy life. He promised hardships and exertion and persecution. While I would not say I am being persecuted in the name of Jesus I would say my life does not meet up to the world’s perfect standards or my standards for that matter. So I need to stop pursuing that and instead pursue Jesus, simply for Jesus.

I want my soul to long for Jesus. I don’t want to long for a perfect homeschool day, for a full time gig at home, for a husband who always acts and responds perfectly. Because we live in a sinful fallen world. I will face disappointments EVERY SINGLE DAY. If I long for that then I will constantly be dissatisfied and discontent. But if I long for Jesus. In the morning when I rise if I ask for Jesus, He will show up EVERY SINGLE DAY and Jesus does not disappoint.

Then when I am faced with my little petty trials every day I can turn to Him to receive what He has to give me… strength in the moment to press forward when I want to give up (Phil 4:13, Romans 5:3-5, Isaiah 40:31), contentment when I am wishing for bigger and better or more (2 Peter 1:3-4), patience when the kiddos are pressing every last minute and the lock button on my bathroom door seems to be broken (Phil 4:13), a satisfied belly and a thankful heart when making yet another PB & J sandwich to save a little money (Matt 6:25-34).

No More Spiritual To-Do Lists

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9

When I’ve read this passage in the past I would get stuck on the first verse and turn it into a to-do list. Okay this week I need to work on diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. But God is showing me something great about only claiming to know Him and what growth in Him really looks like. Our church has been focusing on this the past two months as well. That in order to fuel your spiritual growth it is not about a new and exciting bible study or a to-do list of faith virtues or a stronger accountability session or finding a mentor. It is about remembering that we have been cleansed from our old sins (v. 9) . . . And what’s that? It’s the gospel. The good news. The news of Jesus and the power and purpose of His crucifixion and what that means for me.

When I meditate solely on that and remember that and allow that to invade my life then things like brotherly kindness and love and perseverance and self-control begin to flow out of me naturally because I am not barren or unfruitful in my knowledge of Jesus Christ (v. 8). If I am impregnated and fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus then these things are mine and will abound (v. 8)! This is so simple!

“I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2.

I Don’t Know Anything but Jesus

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

I often struggle with wanting to be more mature in specific areas of my Christian walk. I will focus on one thing and think about it constantly for a few weeks and maybe read a book and some articles on it and if I’m really determined I’ll pray for that area a lot. I will find that I do a little better in that area or at least I can pretend well but inevitably my flesh will kick in sooner than later and I find myself filled with discouragement that I am so far in my spiritual maturity and wonder if I will ever be a child of God that grows and pleases Him.

Take for example patience with disciplining my children. I will be convicted about my lack of patience and start praying for God to make me more patient and read some blogs about discipline and maybe start a book or two on discipline and each opportunity I will focus and try really hard to be more patient. I’ll do better for a couple days (or sometimes just a few hours depending on what the day brings!) but inevitably I begin to fail. I become impatient one or two times which opens the floodgates and before I know it I am more impatient than I’ve ever been with the kids! I then feel so discouraged and begin thinking of all the areas I’m failing and how in this world can I ever be a pleasing Christian to God and how will I ever grow and mature in my walk when I have so much to work on!!

What Paul writes here in 1 Corinthians is so encouraging and convicting. “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” If I keep my focus on Christ and His crucifixion and solely focus my time and energy and study on Him then I will naturally become more like Him. We can only resemble God’s character when we study it and know it. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7a. Not the fear of impatience is the beginning of knowledge or the fear of unkindness or unfaithfulness, etc. But the fear of the Lord.

And there is no disappointment in the knowledge of God. No days of discouragement. The more I learn about Him and what His death on the cross means for me the more encouraged I am and I begin to naturally live out the reality. I need to stop trying so hard to live holy because it’s not my strength or resolve that makes me holy anyways it’s Jesus’ death on the cross and His blood that makes me holy. Instead of feeling like this Christian walk is so hard and I’m never going to get anywhere I need to be encouraged that that’s never what it’s been about. If I focus my eyes on Jesus “the author and perfecter of (my) faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and less on me and my strength and my capabilities and my growth then this walk will no longer be exhausting and filled with feelings of failure but instead will be joyful and victorious. Praise God for what He did on the cross!!

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 1 Corinthians 2: 1-4

My Best Tip for Housework

Over the last few months I have been trying out various schedules and plans on how to keep up with homemaking now that we are homeschooling on a daily basis for the majority of our morning hours and now that we have added our fourth child leading to minimal time for basic homemaking (laundry, cooking, cleaning and tidying up). While I still haven’t settled on one plan/routine in particular that I really like I have found one thing that is changing my life! This was an idea straight from God’s mind that He knew would bless me and maybe you!

Two years ago I asked for an iPod Nano for my birthday and also bought an armband in the hopes I could use it for running. Well my days of running are pretty slim to none and my expensive iPod began to collect dust. I began wondering how I could make use of it again for a different purpose. I was enjoying listening to some podcasts in the kitchen on either my iHome or my bluetooth speaker connected to our tv but I found that during my homemaking times I would be all over the house moving around and had to keep pausing what I was listening to. One day it dawned on me to strap on my iPod and plug in some headphones and listen as I moved about. Thank you God!!! It sounds so simple and maybe obvious to some of you but it was a revelation to me. Now on most days I actually look forward to my time for homemaking so I can listen to my podcasts and audiobooks. I have so many books I want to read and just don’t have time to and this is a great way to get it in.

So here’s what it looks like for me. I usually reserve the folding of laundry, cleaning dishes and dinner prep, cleaning the house (sweep/mop, bathrooms, etc.) and any kind of decluttering chores for our afternoon rest time. So I put the kids to their allotted places and strap my iPod on and get started!

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Someone else there to keep me company on laundry day!

I love listening to:

Charles Stanley‘s podcast
Chuck Swindoll‘s Insight for Living podcast
James Macdonald‘s Walk in the Word podcast
Dr. Vernon McGee‘s Through the Bible podcast

Loyal Books has free audiobooks for download. They are a lot of classical novels which is a good way to catch up on your Jane Austen books!

Overdrive is connected to your local library account where you can check out audiobooks and download them onto your device. They have a pretty big selection of current books so you can catch up on your Hunger Games series! I am not able to put these on my iPod because it is an app and my Nano does not have app capabilities but I can put it on my iPhone and plug in my headphones there and listen.

Here is the armband I have for my iPod and I love it.

Listen and enjoy and let the homemaking begin!! And don’t forget to turn the baby monitor volume on high in case your littlest one wakes up for a feeding! I learned this the hard way!!!

Receiving Strength for the Task

“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11

Have you ever been asked of God to do something that by yourself you thought there’s no way I can do this. I am not strong enough or I already have too much on my plate or I’m too old for this or whatever it might be that hinders you from obedience to the task or even belief that the task can be accomplished or that God’s even asking it of you.

I certainly have a number of times and may even be facing this right now.

This is such an encouraging little excerpt from Scripture. This is from Abraham and Sarah who God had promised children more numerous than the stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5) and as the majority of their years were filled with barrenness they certainly had time to doubt God’s promise over their life. I’m sure based on this Hebrews passage that as Sarah’s age grew older she did question and doubt how she could hold up in a pregnancy so late in life. How would she have strength to make it through delivery? (Remember there were no epidurals and delivery aids back then!) And how would she have the energy to raise a young child in such an old age? I’m sure this was a great temptation to doubt God’s promise or at least her ability to fulfill His promise over her. BUT SHE RECEIVED STRENGTH TO CONCEIVE SEED, AND SHE BORE A CHILD. God met her where she was at and provided for her need and fear.

God will not promise something for us and ask something of us without supplying us the strength to accomplish it.

Are you weary and exhausted today and wondering how in the world you’re going to do it? He will give you strength … open your heart and receive it.

God is good all the time.

Reading List 2015

Here is my list for 2015. I did not do so well on my list in 2014 and much had to do with working full time for the first 5 months followed by my 4th pregnancy and a move to a new city! We had a lot of changes in 2014 and I fell greatly behind in blogging as well as reading. I have high hopes for 2015 although it’s almost the end of February and I am only just now putting up my list! This time I put the blame on having a newborn on January 8th : ) it’s always something right! Well… here goes!

I should also preface by saying that God has really brought to my attention my need to focus on my marriage. I have spent the last few years reading a lot of parenting books which have been significantly helpful but there are some areas in my marriage that need some real work and I am making 2015 a focus on that as far as my reading goes.

Fiction:

Marriage:

Bible Study:

Book Review: Beth Moore A Woman’s Heart

photo credit

This was a phenomenal bible study. Every single one of Beth Moore’s bible studies are phenomenal. God has really gifted her to teach among women it is just amazing. This is a revised study and I actually had already completed the first one about 8 years ago. A lot has changed in 8 years. There were some points that I remember really standing out to me then that really stood out to me again now but there was so much more this time. This bible study and this particular time in my life and just God doing what He’s doing in me has really changed me. I also absolutely love watching her videos that accompany the bible studies. I cry at EVERY SINGLE video. Her passion, her sincerity, her compassion is so moving. She gets it and she wants everyone to get it and God is using her. Here are some of the incredible things the Lord taught me through her and this study:

God pursued Adam AFTER his disobedience (from the Viewer Guide Introduction). God didn’t stand back waiting for Adam to suck up the courage to confess to God about his sin. No. God pursued Adam. “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9. When I sin and am afraid to come to God and think if I just ignore Him and continue on it may eventually just go unnoticed but God is greater than that. He pursues me. He pursues you. When you and I sin He comes after us because He loves us so much and wants us to repent and restore our relationship together.

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (from the Viewer Guide Session 7). Jesus always lives to make intercession for His people. Christ thrives on interceding for us. What do you live for? This is what Christ lives for. Jesus and God are talking about us. They are carefully thinking through the plan for our lives. Nothing that happens to us is haphazard but is carefully thought out. And they love us so much. “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:28. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.” Psalm 139:17-18.

  • In Romans 8:28 when it says “according to the will of God” the Greek word for will is “boule” which means: “will, project, intention, as the result of reflections; counsel… deliberation and reflection”… denotes the final result of inner deliberation. Her point here is that Jesus and God are reflecting and deliberating what our will is. Again she reiterates in the video that nothing that happens in our life is haphazard but carefully deliberated and reflected on and then decided on. This is profound and incredibly deepens my trust in God that He loves me and cares about everything that He allows to happen in my life.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (from the Viewer Guide Session 10). She pointed out in talking about where the final tabernacle will be that when we get to heaven notice how God ordered these things. He begins with no more death… then sorrow… then crying… then pain. It is in order of worse things to more tolerable things. Of course in heaven we would expect there to be no more death… and of course we would assume no more sorrow. But there’s probably going to be some crying right? Nope. Well, then there’s going to be some kind of pain right? Physical? Emotional? NOPE… NOT EVEN ANY PAIN. How incredible is that?!?!?! If you have never longed for heaven before then that truth surely should put the longing within you. I know for me this verse and her pointing this out has significantly impacted my desire and longing for heaven. Praise God.

There are so many more amazing things I learned through this study but those were the 3 that really stuck out to me and changed me the most. I would highly recommend anybody anywhere at any time… no wait, right now, not anytime… choose now to do this study and watch the videos (or you can listen to the audio but seeing her emotion and passion in real life is so much more moving). May God be glorified in our pursuits of Him!

Garage Sale Crockpot – A Gift From God?

This morning God very sweetly nudged me and brought something to my mind that brought some great conviction. I shared with my family yesterday how excited I was at my garage sale find last week. The very day before I found this delicious recipe for some seasoned carrots that I wanted to make. However, the recipe was for the carrots in a small crockpot. I only have the giant crockpot for big meals and roasts so I began thinking how I wanted a smaller crockpot for side dishes and dips and what nots. So I thought to myself (this was Friday) that maybe on Saturday I could check out a few garage sales and hope to find one or else maybe try the thrift store next week. So that day passes and Saturday morning rolls around and lo and behold our next door neighbors are having a garage sale (this means I do not need to wait until all 3 kiddos are awake and fed and then pack them in the car to get to the sales) so I walked over all by myself and what was sitting there right in the middle of the first table? A small crockpot!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I snatched it right up, gave my cash and walked home beaming!

Now stuff like this happens to me ALL THE TIME! And here’s what I attribute to it. Adam and I have always lived on one income ever since we were married so we have had 7 years of practicing living a frugal life. Now that we have 3 kiddos and are homeschooling and still on one income the intensity of our frugality continues to increase. I have really enjoyed this being an aspect of our lives although of course there are the temptations of thinking about what we could do on a double income but either way we know we are where the Lord wants us and He will honor that. With this frugal life I have always pinched pennies and we’ve held back on a lot of things because of finances. This is a part of the excitement for me because I do love a good bargain and used things so it’s always fun to see what you can find for so little!

Now I’ve always wondered what God had in store for us for our years of trying our hardest to be good stewards of our finances. We have learned some wonderful lessons along the way that I know have been blessings from our situation and secretly I’ve wondered if some day we will have loads of money and that will be God’s way of blessing us for our years of stewardship… haha! Not likely but sometimes a thought in the back of my mind. Well this is what God has been showing me… He blesses my desires for stewardship to Him by placing sales and deals just for me all over the place… hence the crockpot at the garage sale! I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved and how many wonderful things (books, clothes, food, decorations, shoes, etc., etc.) God has allowed us to add into our home when we never thought possible. Now here’s where the conviction kicker came. Whenever I excitedly share with someone my new find… I share just that… MY new find. I don’t say… guess what God brought to me at the garage sale this morning! He allowed me to see it like this. Wouldn’t our feelings be hurt if we continually showered little gifts to our children (surprise candies or presents or new books, etc.) all over the place and all the time and they never once acknowledged us as the giver? What if Amelia came downstairs and said mom! look what I found! This brand new dolly! Isn’t that great! and then just went on with her day. Of course I would find joy in her joy in the little present but one day when she begins to wonder where all those things came from and realizes it was from me I think it would hurt my feelings if she never said thank you and always told people about the things SHE found when she was little. I pictured God beaming at me beaming at His surprise and then feeling a bit sad when I completely left Him out while sharing with others about MY find. Oh how I wish I was better at this! How I wish I would consistently give Him the glory and Him the praise! What a testament to others about how uniquely personal and caring and loving our God is that He would be in the little things like a crockpot find at a garage sale. That may make all the difference in how an unbeliever might view our great God.

“Not to us, O Lord, Not to us but to Your name be the glory for ever and ever Amen!” Psalm 115:1

Fear of Vulnerability

This morning during my quiet time God did exactly this:

He sent to me “one of those gentle eruptions of grace that the Lord sends so quietly, so nonchalantly, so impishly into our lives, but which have the power to explode our inhumanities in our faces and to set within us a clean, new heart.”

That is on page 19 from an amazing book I began reading last week and have not been able to make it past the first chapter. The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason. It is one of those books that you just begin underlining the crucial points that stand out to you and before you know it you’ve basically been underlining every sentence on the page : ) As I said I have not made it past the first chapter because I am continually re-reading and meditating on the amazing things he has to say about the mystery of marriage from God’s plan but I would already recommend this book for anyone who is married or who is engaged.

Anyways, what was this gentle eruption of grace? The realization of my fear of vulnerability. For about the last year God has been working on my attitude in my marriage. For this past year I had been thinking the root of our challenges and my inability to move forward in certain areas was solely dependent upon my pride. But what kept getting to me in the last year that I realized this morning is my setback always came when I began to open up to vulnerability and in one way or another whether intentional or not I was hurt. The moment the hurt came it set me right back to the heart of my struggles… bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, disappointment, etc. I had been thinking that I was continuing to be too prideful and that was why I was being set back. While I know pride is still a part of these issues, God showed me that my #1 set back is a fear of vulnerability.

I have a fear of opening myself up completely and laying myself completely bare with no armor to attack an onslaught from ocurring.      A fear of being hurt by the person who is supposed to do the opposite for me … who is supposed to love me and cherish me and protect me from getting hurt and comfort me when I am hurt. There is great fear and hesitation in being hurt by this person and a complementary fear of unforgiveness. A fear of wondering how could I possibly forgive my husband if he hurts me when I am vulnerable? I am afraid of not being able to do that so my protective nature says then to just not be vulnerable. That’s the appropriate solution right?

I know all this to be true because it is this fear and the experience of my fear being a reality in the past that has brought me to the place I am at today. The place of feeling like I am at war with the one who is supposed to be standing beside me and in this war I wear my full armor… bitterness, anger, regret, arrows from my mouth of unkind words and sometimes even worse… silence. My armor that is supposed to protect me from feeling hurt but instead leaves me distant and empty.

What would have happened to God’s great plan of salvation if Jesus decided to close up because the words people shot at him and the whips he was beaten with just hurt him too much emotionally that He decided it was better to just walk away. If Jesus is our example and by God’s great grace He has given us an ability through the Holy Spirit to walk in the same light that Jesus walked in, then this is what He expects of me. And He is fully prepared to help me journey through this. He doesn’t sit in Heaven on His throne with a stern look on His face ready to slash me down if I fail or if I hesitate because I’m scared. No, no, no. God is compassionate. The youth pastor from Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs this past weekend gave a great example of God’s compassion. Instead of Jesus rolling his eyes at Thomas when he doubted Jesus’ resurrection He went straight up to Thomas and told him to do the exact thing he needed to do in order to believe… touch my hands and my feet Thomas, it is Me, the Great I Am. How compassionate is He?!?!?! We can have freedom to lay ourselves bare and admit how hard these things are and God will walk alongside us and help us through our fear.

I have to trust God to help me open up and be vulnerable again. I need to depend with all my being on God to heal my hurts that will inevitably occur with vulnerability and to tap into the grace He provides to forgive my husband when he hurts me … intentionally or not. It is not my husband who needs to be my comforter but God… who will never disappoint me or take advantage of my vulnerability.

And the wonderful thing is… my husband is a great example of where God wants me to be. Talk about iron sharpening iron. While he may sometimes be the cause of my pain. He is strong in the area of forgiveness and moving forward in vulnerability when he is hurt. Sometimes I think about him doing this and just wonder how he does it? How come he doesn’t respond the way I do? He must have super strength or be oblivious to the pain he should be experiencing. But that’s the beauty and they mystery of marriage that God designed… He partnered me with someone who can be my example and encourage me to become this woman God created me to be. Isn’t God good!