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!

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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!

Slaves to Sin to Slaves to Him

Are you aware that there are approximately 27-36 million slaves in the world today?  That is 27-36 million lives controlled and exploited every day.

Kidnapped.

Set up.

Raped.  Over and over again. All day, All night.

Beaten.

Threatened.

Killed.

My heart breaks for these slaves, victims, of such a horrendous injustice.

When I first learned about this injustice of human trafficking my heart kept breaking and praying for these victims but it was not until about a year ago that my heart started breaking and praying for the other slaves.

I wonder how many other slaves are in the world today.  These would be the lives that are slaves to sin.  The pimps the johns.  The lives that have let evil reign in their hearts and choose to violate and exploit innocent lives every day.  

The truth is, our battle is not against these slaves to sin (Ephesians 6:12).  Sometimes I am tempted to see these slaves to sin for what they do instead of seeing them for who God created them to be.  Their actions are inexcusable.  God will deal with them in His perfect way in His perfect time.  It is my job to love these lives just as God Himself loves these lives.  I have learned that when it seems impossible to love someone, you can love them by praying for them.

In 2015 I am challenging myself to not forget about these other slaves as I pray.  I challenge you as well to pray for these lives caught in the grasp of sin.  As God continues to set them free, it is my hope that one year there will be fewer and fewer slaves to sin and more slaves to Christ.  I will keep on praying until 27-36 million becomes ZERO.

DIVE redux

Last year, God laid the word DIVE on my heart.   I was so ready to dive into all God had for me in 2014.  Or so I thought.  In reality those words that came out of my mouth were ready but the words in my heart were not.  There were so many parts of my heart I was not ready to give up to God.  I wanted to hold onto worldly things because they brought me a false sense of comfort and happiness.  I thought I knew what was best or what should happen next in my life.  I prayed almost every day that God would do whatever He wanted in and through me, but it was all conditional.  How could I ever dive into what God has for me when I was weighed down by all of this yuck in my heart?

As I sit here and look back at the past year I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the work God did in my heart the very last month of 2014.  It was not easy or fun, but I realized there were so many little walls forming in my heart around the “things” I simply did not want Him to control.  After this realization I cried out to God.  I let down these walls and let God’s grace wash through.  During this process, God reminded me that there is much joy to be found while surrendering to Him.  The joy for me was knowing that God waited patiently for me to let Him into this corner of my heart.   The joy continues knowing my heart is now ready to dive into all God has for me.  I know His plan for me is better than anything I can think of or imagine.  This year I want to embrace the joy that is found as I continue to let God in to every crevice of my heart to work out His purpose for my life.

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Something New

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

These verses have kindly interrupted my life in the last couple of months.  I was eager for God to teach me what He wanted me to learn through these words.  Being the first day of a new year it seems so appropriate to share what it is He is teaching me.

In 2014 there have been more times than I can count where I have cried out, “I cannot do this.”  There were a lot of times in the past year where I wanted to give up.  I wanted to follow the ways of the world because it was easier.  I failed a lot.  I failed so much I felt like the world’s biggest failure.  How did I get here?  In this wilderness of sin and lies.

No matter what kind of wilderness you are trying to find your way out of right now, God is there.  Making a way.  He is making a way for you to find Him.  (Jeremiah 29:14)  He is making a way for you to know Him (Psalm 46:10)  He is making a way for you to take your, “I cannot do this” and turn it into “He can.”  (Exodus 14:14)  God loves us so much so that when there was no way, He made a way for us to spend eternity with Him through the gift of His Son.  (John 14:6)

Even though I found myself in a place I wasn’t expecting to be in this past year, today I can have hope that God is making a way for me.  There is a journey to be had in this wilderness.  One where I find His hand in mine.  As I journey with God into this new year, all my heart can truly know is that He has been EVERYTHING to me and will continue to be.

It is my sincere prayer for 2015 that we would not let our circumstances keep us from perceiving the marvelous things God is doing in us, with us, through us, and for us.