His Journey

Here I am after my first day of classes in Amsterdam and all I can say I know for certain is that this is God’s journey and I feel extra privileged to be a part of it!

Since I departed Pittsburgh on Monday God has been paving the way for me to find His peace and His goodness through it all.  I have learned this lesson before but now it is fresh on my mind again, God always comes through.  I have seen this over and over again since Monday.

God came through when I accidentally over packed my suitcase.  I happen to think 76 pounds is quite light for 6 months’ worth of items but apparently unless I would like to pay $400 I was only allowed 50 pounds!  God knew this was going to happen and He provided me with the kindest lady at the United counter.  She helped me sort out my luggage to the appropriate weight, and one of my kind friends purchased a duffle bag for me to use as my carry-on bag.  Here was the interesting part; I was now stuck with the world’s heaviest duffle bag and the world’s heaviest backpack as my carry-on luggage.  The woman at the ticket counter said this was just fine.  The man at the gate had a different opinion.  Again God knew this was going to happen and I was able to check both of my bags at the gate.  This truly was so critical because there is no way I would have been able to fit either bag on the plane!

I had been praying for months that God would bring friendly people along my path for my trip because I was so fearful to travel by myself.  God really answered this prayer!  God came through and as I was walking to my gate a man came up behind me and offered to carry the world’s heaviest duffle bag for me!  He took it all the way to my gate for me.  I shared with him how he is a true answer to my prayers.

Because I ended up not having a bag to take with me on the plane, I decided to take a little Bible with me so I had something to read on the flight to DC.  It just so happened that the man sitting next to me on the plane pulled out his small Bible too.  When I saw his Bible I was instantly comforted.  I immediately knew we had the best thing to ever have in common with someone: a relationship with God!  Sure enough we had a wonderful conversation the whole flight.  We did not get much reading done, but I sure am thankful he took that Bible out of his bag.  He will never know how God used that to bring me so much comfort and peace on this trip.

We traded contact information and I told him I would keep him updated on my trip.  After getting off the plane I just had to send him an email explaining again how thankful I was that God brought him along my path.  He again was an answer to my prayers.  It just so happens he was the answer to my friend’s prayers as well.  One of my friends wrote me a letter to read on the plane.  When I was settled in on the plane to Amsterdam I opened her note.  I literally could not believe what I read in her note:

I just prayed that God would put someone in your travel time today or tomorrow that you could either be a light to them or they to you or you would both be a light to each other.

After reading this I thanked God for answering this prayer and using this man to be a light on my path to Amsterdam.

Arriving to Amsterdam was so strange for me.  I had never been to a foreign place by myself before.  I was so tired that it just didn’t seem real that I was really here!

Once arriving on the base where I will be staying I experienced quite the culture shock.  A combination of uncomfortableness and homesickness overcame me.  It was in this moment I started to doubt everything.  I thought for sure I made a mistake in coming here.  I thought for sure I was going to go book a flight for home as soon as possible.  I called my sister and she prayed for me.  After we ended our call I noticed an email from my new friend from the plane the day before.  God used the words in His email to get my heart and mind back on track.  The doubts faded and a peace invaded me.  Oh how thankful I am for who God brings into our lives and the way He uses them for such amazing purposes.  I know there is a special reason for this person entering my life.

Now onto today:

During quiet time with the Lord this morning I specifically asked Him to bring me lots of little things throughout the day to comfort me.  Once again God answered this prayer!  When we arrived to class we started with a time of worship.  The very first song we sang just so happens to be one of my favorites and my mother’s favorite as well.  This song always makes me think of my mom and dad.  I was so comforted in knowing God answered my prayer in this special way.  It was in this moment I knew God was going to continue to answer this prayer for me.

The name of this blog is inspired from a verse in Isaiah, 58:12.  The verse says, …you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.  This verse God laid so heavy on my heart.  During class we received our reading materials.  One of the books reminds me of this verse.  Seeing this book not only comforted me but also confirmed that God has me here for a reason!  I am expecting Him to teach me even more about what this verse means specifically for me and why He has laid it so very heavy on my heart.

I know that whatever God does in and through this school is going to be better than anything I can think or imagine.  I am so excited to see God work!  I am so thankful that He has led me to this place for “such a time as this.”

Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers.  I am missing you all so very much!

Until next time,

Diane

Relationship Status: Single with a Husband

In the last two years there has been an underlying theme God has really been working on with me and teaching me about during our quiet time together.

I am His bride, He is my Bridegroom.

This truth has brought more comfort to my heart than I could ever begin to try to describe to you.  There have been countless nights I start to feel discouraged about being single at a time in my life I thought I would have someone to call my husband.  It is in these moments of discouragement that God has revealed Himself to me as my Husband.  It is true bliss knowing I have a God in Heaven who loves me and pursues me and calls me His bride.  This takes away the discouragement and allows me to embrace the deep joys of this special relationship.

Finding God to be my Husband has been my favorite.  As I was reflecting on this, I realized something extremely encouraging.  It is always so neat when God opens our eyes to understanding how He uses past events to prepare us for future events.

In 33 days I will leaving for Amsterdam to start a new journey with God.  I am beyond excited for the opportunity He has prepared especially for me.  With this journey, I will find myself alone a lot.  I will be alone as I board planes taking me to a foreign place.  I will be alone as I navigate my way through customs, crowded airports, and the streets of Amsterdam.  The more I thought about being alone the more I became worried and upset.  One night as I was praying God reminded me of Isaiah 54:5

For your Maker is your husband—
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
    he is called the God of all the earth.

I started to remember all of the benefits of knowing God as my Husband.  With God as my Husband I am never alone.  He is truly always with me, holding me by my right hand.  This truth comforts me so much and it takes away my fears and worries of starting this new journey because I am not starting it alone, I am starting it with my Husband!

I cannot believe I am writing about a SPIDER

I honestly cannot believe what I am about to write just as much as you wont believe what you are about to read.

I stumbled across a spider web covering the outside of my dining room window.  I panicked knowing a spider would be somewhere close but there was no way to destroy the web so that was that.

One evening I was checking out the web to see if I could see the spider and sure enough I saw a huge, scary spider, eating up all of the insects caught in his web.  I know what some of you are thinking, but I am really not exaggerating this time.  This is a don’t mess with me spider.  I am not even sure how I would go about killing this one, not sure the Ultimate Bug Killer would work on this one!

I cannot get this sight out of my mind, but more importantly I cannot get what God is showing me through this gross spider; especially for this season of my life, out of my mind.

Even now as I sit on my dining room table writing away, my new spider “friend” is eating away all of the insects trapped in his web.

I feel like God put this web and spider at my window for a purpose.  As much as I despise seeing dead insects and a scary spider outside of my window, I cannot help but be reminded each time that this web in a way is protecting me.  Each insect on his web is one less that could potentially end up in my apartment, causing a major meltdown and countless calls to family members for back up as I attempt to kill the BUG!

I am starting to see this spider as a protector and am thankful for his death trap for bugs 🙂  I am sure I would feel drastically different if the spider somehow ended up in my apartment but I am praying so hard that does not happen!!!  

The spider is literally taking care of one of my biggest enemies….bugs!!!

I feel as though God brought this spider in clear view to remind me of what He is doing for me every moment of every day.  In my life, I have a lot more enemies to be concerned with other than bugs.  The great thing though is that God is taking care of all of them for me.  He is literally catching all in His web, shielding me, protecting me, and being my Knight in Shining Armor.  Even if God did allow something to get through I know it would be for His good purpose and will bring glory to Him alone!

I am so thankful to wake up each morning with the reminder fresh in my mind that no matter what I face today, God’s shield is there, protecting me from my enemies.  Thank you Jesus!

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

Live Loved

I was desperate.  My little human mind could not comprehend what love was.  My damaged past led me to believe all love was, was a bunch of abuse.  I knew deep down inside of me that there had to be another definition for love so I posed this question to just about everyone I knew at the time, “What is love?”

I will never forget my sister’s answer to this question as long as I live.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8)

Prior to hearing these words I believed the lie that God did not, could not, would not love me.  This lie was confirmed in my life every time I saw my reflection staring back at me in my mirror.  I tried to hide from the shame but it always poked through.  There was no running away from all I had become.

Once again, hearing God’s truth crushed the lies I was believing.  After reading the words my sister shared with me I sat in awe pondering this love I had never known before:

God’s love fought for me while He was hanging on a cross that bore the weight of my sin and shame.  It should have been me.

His love unlocked me from my cage of sin and shame.

Christ rose from the grave, conquering death and allowing me to live every day of my life with His love wrapped around me.

My response to this love?  Some days it truly paralyzes me.  Some days it causes me to cry tears of joy.  And for all of the days in-between, it excites me to live a life loved.  Because truly that is what you and me are, we are loved.  God’s words say so- His actions prove so.

When we find ourselves in the midst of sin and shame, as hard as it is to believe, we have a way out.  It is Christ’s love.  His love will find you wherever you are.  All you have to do is believe His truth, that He died for you and rose from the grave so that you can live the life you were always intended to live with Him.

Sometimes choosing love is hard, He chose to share that love with you and me when His cross struck the ground, His innocent body nailed, and His perfect blood shed.

There will never be words I can express to my Savior that will even come close to the thankfulness I have in my heart for all He has done for me.  I believe all I can do to show my thanks and love is to live my life, perfectly loved by Him.  For when I do, no shame will ever be found, just His love for the whole world to see.  I know the power His love holds, do you?

I pray today, as you remember all Christ has done for you that you take the time to pray and seek this amazing love He has for you.

My Calling is Your Heart

Of all of the writings I have ever posted on here…this is probably the one I am most excited about!  I have been struggling with this concept of a calling since I returned from India in 2013.  I had this amazing idea of what a calling meant but I just was not convinced that this was from God.  Because my mind is so crazy sometimes, I was certain this revelation was a product of my craziness not God’s faithfulness.

I just love the way God works.  He really does do all things in His perfect timing.  This idea first crossed my mind on March 31, 2014 and I have been praying for God to confirm this idea to me ever since.  Almost exactly one year later I was able to attend International Justice Mission’s Annual Global Prayer Gathering.  1400 children of God gathered together with the heroes who serve on the front lines in the battle against the world’s most heinous injustices imaginable to pray, bold prayers to God in Heaven.  The only way I can describe this event to you is as if it was a sliver of Heaven came to Earth as we raised our voices together for those who have no voice in this fight to the Only One who not only hears our petitions but also answers in ways that we could never imagine.

Hearing countless stories of answered prayer was not only encouraging, but also humbling.  This work we do in life is not us, it is all God, it was good to be reminded of this timeless truth.

I never thought I would find the confirmation I was earnestly seeking at this conference, but God had a purpose for me walking through the doors of that auditorium and confirmation was a part of His plan.  I could have just jumped up with joy as I heard the following words from one of the first speakers of the weekend:

“He has placed something of His heart in us.”

With those words came my confirmation that my idea was indeed God’s idea all along.  And that is why I am so excited!  I cannot wait to share what God has laid on my heart with you.  I pray as you read you are encouraged, jump with joy if you must and thank God in Heaven for His marvelous ways!

I will start from the beginning-ish.

I found myself out of a very traumatic event in my life.  This event left me with a shattered heart.  Each piece held so much pain, shame, betrayal, and horror.  Long story short, God Himself healed my broken heart, binding up each and every wound.  (Psalm 147:3)  There are sorrow and joy-filled tear stains on the page of my Bible where this verse lays.  I am so thankful to God.  After begging, and pleading, and crying to Him to heal my broken heart, He did just that!

A couple months after receiving this new heart from God, my friend invited me to a Bible Study.  The study was on Nehemiah.  The speaker for this study asked us to pray the following prayer:

“God, please break my heart for what breaks yours.”

She warned us that when we pray this prayer, God will answer.  This request left me confused.  I had just begged and pleaded with God to heal my broken heart, and now with my healed heart I was supposed to ask Him to break it?  This just did not make much sense to me.  I went home that night asking God to help me understand.

Not fully comprehending this prayer, I prayed from the most humble part of my heart:

God, my heart is supposed to break for what breaks yours, if my heart is not already breaking, please break it for what breaks yours.  Amen.

Slowly God started to show me exactly what broke my heart.  These breaks were very different from the shattering ones I had faced many years ago.  When my heart was broken viciously by someone I was left feeling dead inside.  This newly broken heart from God was quite different, it left me feeling alive inside!  When my heart was broken by the wrong one, I felt hopeless.  When my heart was broken by the right One, I was filled with hope for this brokenness.

Shortly after all of these “broken heart” prayers and revelations I read in Genesis where the Bible tells us The Lord’s heart was filled with pain (Gen. 6:6).  I had read this verse many times but when I read it this time in that moment, the words touched my heart in a new way and I could not help but to cry!  This verse reminded me that when my heart was broken, God’s was too.  I desire for my heart to continue to break because His does too.

I truly believe God has prepared for each of us a piece of His broken heart.  This piece is just for you.  It is the best piece for you.  Everything you have been through has been preparing you for this broken piece.  God knew you would have this piece before you were born.  How amazing.  Our hearts are broken by a piece of God’s.  He loves us so much and has created us for a perfect purpose in Him that He gently gives us a piece of His heart that is breaking not for any other reason than this:

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  1 Peter 4:13 KJV

We will not be broken forever.  There will be joy throughout the breaks and there will be exceedingly more when Christ’s glory is revealed.

Bottom Line: Our calling in this life is the broken piece of God’s heart given to us.  When we let Him place something of His heart in us, we are accepting this brokenness, this call, because we know God is going to bring healing to a heart that was broken by the wrong hands.  We know we will see His glory through and through.

I do not know if this makes sense to anyone other than me.  But I feel so compelled to share this so I am convinced it will make sense to at least one other heart out there.

Give us courage to pray a bold prayer of brokenness.  Give us a willing spirit to accept your brokenness, our calling.  Give us Your power to do every single thing You desire for us to do.

Thank you Jesus for just being all powerful-You 🙂

Naked.

I have been reading through Genesis.  This is one of my favorite books in the Bible.  I probably say this about every book in the Bible, but really Genesis is so good!  Every time I start to read Genesis I have to say my expectations are not very high.  I go into this time of Bible study thinking I have already read these stories so many times why bother reading them…yet again.

Thankfully I pray before I read and ask God to open my heart to what He has prepared for me and I ask Him to show me something new.  I tell you He does every single time.  I end up leaving that time of Bible study so filled with joy because I have learned something new when I least expected to.

So, today in my reading this is what God has really laid on my heart in a new way:

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  Genesis 3:10

In the chapter before we find a stark contrast to this verse.  In chapter 2 verse 25, the Bible tells us Adam and Eve were both naked and they felt no shame.

What could have possibly happened in just 10 verses to bring that shame?

Satan happened.  Satan deceived Eve, she fell right into his trap and she chose disobedience to God.  In an instant that perfect communion with God was shattered with the shame of their nakedness.

Why did this nakedness bring so much shame?  Their nakedness exposed the truth of what they did.  They disobeyed.  They did the one thing God asked them not to do.  They had the opportunity to choose obedience but instead chose disobedience.

Today, are we afraid to be naked?  I know this word sounds uncomfortable, but I am not talking about taking our clothes off.  I am talking about taking the lies, the sin, the pain, the torment, the doubt, the (insert other here) OFF.

Sometimes I would rather cover myself up with all of these things I was never intended to wear.  I worry that if I take all of these things off, people would see me for what I really feel I am sometimes, a shameful disgrace.  Truth is: Choosing to take off these things exposes the truth of what God has done for me, and you.  

This is something I want everyone to see!  Despite our wrong choices that truly break His heart, Christ surprises us with His love for us.  I would never expect to have fellowship with God after all I have done, but God wants me to be loved by Him and He shows me this love by choosing to send His only Son to die for me all the while knowing the true state of my heart was to choose sin, not Him.  (Romans 5:8).  Knowing this amazing love can help us to remove each piece of shame, exposing the life with Christ we were meant to live.

How incredible that God cared enough for Adam and Eve to provide them with “garments of skin” for clothing to cover the shame of what they had done.  (Gen.3:21) God still cares so much for you and me.  He knows the shame we are going to find ourselves covered in from time to time, but He provides us with a new set of clothing.  This is the clothing I always want to be wearing.  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

Pink Bulldozers

How did these walls get here?

Where did they come from?

You really think you can do that Diane, think again.

Who do you think you are?  Failure, that is all you really are.

Stop trying to look smart, you are dumb.

It is like each lie is piled high.

The piles turn into walls keeping me in a dark pit.

But for every lie there is a truth.

A truth that brings life, light, joy.

The truth crushes these walls.

The truth lights the way to get out of the pit.

When I feel lies, doubt, and confusion stacking up in my life, and I get to the point where I am ready to cry out to God for help, I picture God bringing the truth I need to crush these lies…on a pink bulldozer.

I know that sounds a little crazy, but what can I say, I am a visual person, and I like the color pink!

And in an instant, God reminds my heart of His truth.

You really think you can do that Diane, think again. (Philippians 4:13)

Who do you think you are?  Failure, that is all you really are.  Know all you really are is Mine.  (Isaiah 43:1)

Stop trying to look smart, you are dumb.  Start embracing My image reflected in You.  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Pink bulldozer or not, God wants to crush each lie building up in your heart with His truth.  He wants to lift you out of that dark pit you have found yourself in.

It may not be easy to get there, but I can assure you, one of the best places to be in life, is hand-in-hand with God, standing over the rubble of where those walls once were. Psalm 40:2

Jesus, please keep bulldozing the yucky parts of our hearts!