It’s You!

“I will give you treasures from the darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name”………Isa.45:3

I was surrounded by darkness the night I fell to my knees.  There was a light shining from the corner of my room but the pain pouring out of my wounded heart left me trapped in darkness.  I was crying tears different from any others that have ever fallen from my eyes.  Each one that slid down my cheek felt like poison.  I thought my life would end that night not from anything other than a completely crushed spirit.  Truth was not one part of my heart could handle another dose of abuse.  I believed there was no way out of this “cage” of darkness I found myself in that night. 

As I sobbed, I was overcome with the idea to pray to God.  This could not have been my idea after all, here I was a dirty, lost girl who had not only turned her back on God but completely shut Him out as I barely held on to the bars of my cage that held me captive in sin and darkness.   

I convinced myself prayer was certainly not going to work. “God is not going to hear your cry for help.  Think about what you have done and who you have become. God does not care to hear from you.  It is too late, you are too damaged for Him to fix.  He wants you to pay for all of the awful things you have done.  He cannot care for someone who has become what you have become; a shameful disgrace.”  These thoughts were truly the soundtrack playing in my head on repeat and someone kept turning up the volume.  

In an instant, God’s Spirit took over and turned down the volume on the lies running rampant through my mind.  With silence filling the room, I began to pray with the only words I was able to muster up from the shattered mess of my heart, “Please God, help me.  I keep going back to him and I know I have to stop but I can’t do it.  Please God, please do it all for me.”

To my complete surprise God took the shame filled puddle of tears I was knelt in that night and surrounded me with His grace.  His love came down for me and shattered each bar holding me in my cage.  I truly found God when I felt Him kiss my heart with the words I had searched for my whole life from anyone other than Him, “I love you Diane”.  In that moment I knew these words were true and came directly from God’s heart to mine.      

For the first time in my life the words “I love you” were not an empty phrase used to convince me of something I never felt.  Instead His love showed me that when I was sinning He was working.  When I was refusing to let Him in He was waiting patiently for me to come back to Him.  When my room was filling with darkness His Light found me.  When I cried out He heard me and didn’t call out my shame but instead called me by my name.  When I asked Him to do it all for me He did more than I could ever think or imagine.  

God replaced the lies that locked me in a cage with His truth that unlocked the darkness of that cage and brought me into His glorious light. 

Truth is we can all relate with these dark cages of fear, abuse, depression, loneliness, sin.  God wants me to share a secret with you, one that Satan does not want you to hear, God Himself is holding the key to set you free he just needs you to cry out for help.  No matter how dark your cage or how trapped you feel God’s love is always able to unlock your cage and bring you into His light.   

Before I encountered God’s infinite love for me that dreary night I would have never believed the very words I just wrote to you.  God has done a miracle in my life.  It is my sincere prayer that as you soak in what God has done in my life you open your heart to receive the many treasures He is preparing from the darkness you have found yourself in.

 

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Muddy Flowers

During my run this morning I was tiptoeing through a pile of mud praying I would not accidentally slide and fall in only to be completely mud covered.  Mid tip-toe I noticed a beautiful sight indeed.  In the midst of this dark pile of mud vibrant indigo flowers were making their way above the mud.  Instantly I was reminded of the following words directly from one of the most impact-full songs ever introduced to me, “Beautiful Things” by Gungor.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

Today these indigo flowers were more to me than just a sign of spring as they would be to most.  When I saw these flowers I was instantly reminded of the perfect way God took my dirt and turned it into His beautiful garden.   I thought of the ground I was living on just four short years ago.  These thoughts are not something that brings back joyous, pleasant memories for me.  This time in my life was the absolute worst; a complete nightmare.  I thought the dark dirt beneath my feet was going to swallow me up and take my life completely.  This is what desperation looked like to me.  During this time I lost the only hope I had for a beautiful garden, God Himself.  I believed I could never find God’s love and presence and help in my life ever again.  If you only knew what my “dirt” was you would have thought the same.

God graciously surprised me during this time in my life.  He looked beyond my dirt and saw the flowers desiring to peek above.  God opened my eyes to see His mighty hand pulling me out of the trap I was in.  He made Himself known to me in such a powerful way.  The surprises continue today; I am constantly overcome with the love He has for me in different ways.  Today He graced me with His love by bringing these flowers along my path to remind me of what He alone has done in my life.  This love He brings me is something I still to this day cannot fully explain to you, there are just no words this side of Heaven.  I made a mess of my life and continue to, but God continues to see the flowers not the mess.

After sulking in this timeless reminder God taught me something new that I want to leave you with.

Sometimes we think that our garden has to be free of mud for God to be able to use us.  We cannot volunteer in that ministry that has been tugging on our hearts because our dirt is getting in the way.  We cannot talk with that person who God has brought along our path because we cannot possibly offer them anything other than dirt.  We let the dirt keep us from becoming all God has for us.

In this life, there will be dirt there is no way to get around this.  However, there will also be flowers springing out of this dirt.  God does not wait until there is no dirt to bring the flowers of His love, beauty, and grace into our lives.  God uses the dirt to grow each of us into the precious child He has carefully planned and perfectly created us to be.  We cannot wait until the mud dries up and disappears, if you do you will find you will be waiting forever.  We must let God in right where we are mud and all to let the flowers finally spring up all around us.   His beauty is found in our dirt filled garden and is meant to be shared with others whom need Him most.

Ecclesiastes 3:11:  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 

Back to the Throne of my Heart

Oh how I have missed you.  

I have been waiting patiently for you.

Waiting for you to come back to Me.

I will welcome you with loving arms.

Do not be afraid.

You cannot possibly understand how hard it is.

Hard to reach out to you and have you turn the other way.

As though you were looking.

Looking for someone else

Something else

Anything else to bring you what it is you were searching for.

You could not see 

Understand

Believe 

Know that what you were looking for was always right there,

Next to you.

Next to you with arms stretched out.

Waiting for you to grab a hold of My hand.

I was longing for this moment.

Now that I find your hand in Mine, 

I can only hope you never let go.

Welcome back my precious one 

Welcome back to the very spot you were created for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I stand hand in hand with You I am complete.

Oh how I longed for this moment.

This moment in other ways.

I tried it all.

I wanted to be complete, never knowing in You is where I would find myself.

Where I would find the me You created me to be.

Welcome back.

Back to where I find my hand in Yours.

Back to where You are always intended to be:

On the throne of my heart.

It is YOU

I am so thankful that God is my Teacher.  He is constantly showing me more and more of His perfect truth and for that I am so very thankful!  Please Father, please keep on teaching me!

Each day we live our lives we are waiting for something.

A husband, wife.  A  job.  A baby.  A family.  A good report from the doctor.  An apology.

When we put all of our attention into the item we are waiting for we become obsessed.  Life is a waiting game, but our winning prize is not any of the items listed above or other ones harboring in your heart right now.  When we make these items our prize we can just go ahead and call them idols not items.

We get caught up in these idols don’t we?  We start to believe we need them.  Like something we find when we obtain any of these idols will be the thing to bring us joy, peace, happiness, hope.  This may be the case temporarily but these idols will never bring a lasting anything to your very being.

The something we are really waiting for in life among the midst of all of these idols Lord is You alone.  My soul does not find satisfaction in obtaining anything in life other than Your sweet presence.  

In God’s Word we do not find evidence to support waiting for idols, quite the contrary we find encouragement to wait for God alone.  (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 33:20, Psalm 130:5, Lamentations 3:26)  The Bible over and over again tells us to wait for the Lord.

The Lord says, “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.  I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall 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 meditate in His temple.  Psalm 27:4

These verses have helped my heart understand what it truly is that I am waiting for, eternity with my Savior.  It is my prayer that as you live your life waiting you find what you may not even know your heart is truly longing for: a right relationship with the Lover of your soul, God himself.  In this relationship is where we have personal and intimate communion with Him.  I can promise you in this relationship is where you will find the prize we were intended to wait for through life: God Himself beckoning us heavenward in Christ Jesus.  As we wait, God too is waiting for us to welcome Him back to the throne of our hearts.  

The inspiration for this post came from my very own, real struggle of waiting for a husband.  I made my desire for a husband an idol in my life.  I would think more about having a husband one day than having a relationship with God today.  I knew what to tell myself when this desire interrupted my life, “God is your Husband Diane, you do not need a man, you have God.”  I would repeat God’s truth over and over again until I seemed content that God was enough for me.  One day, as I was driving along God finally helped my heart feel His truth as He whispered these beautiful words into my heart, (and they are here to stay): I am your Husband Diane, desire Me as I desire you.  I am waiting for you to share your life with Me, to dance with Me, to be My bride.  My Spirit will kiss your heart and you will hold My hand in yours every day you live your life waiting to spend eternity in My Glorious Presence.  Isaiah 54:5

Thank You Jesus!!

 

DIVE

Have you ever heard of people choosing a word for the new year? Some ladies I know decided to choose a word of 2013. I loved this idea. Their word seemed to be something God was teaching them at that time or something He gently laid on their heart. I really wanted a word too. I tried to figure out what one word I would choose. The problem was I discovered a list of about 40 + words that God was really working on with me. I did not want to choose one just to say I had a word for 2013, so I started off 2013 wordless or word-full I guess.

Last year, my favorite part of New Year’s Day was writing about my favorite verses that God used in my life in 2012.  I had all intentions of writing about the verses that came alive to me in 2013.  As I sat down to write…ONE WORD simply would not leave me alone.  DIVE.

Why dive?

I followed God to India this past June.  This trip was all Him.  I was nowhere to be found in His perfect will for my life.  I was blown away by what God did in India, and what He is doing right now as my fingers move along my keyboard.  I was so honored that He let me witness His work in India.  It was a privilege I do not think I can ever find the words to describe to you this side of Heaven.

After coming home from India, I learned very quickly I left something behind.  My heart is with sixty precious princesses of the Most High King.   Some days I did not know what to do with my heart being somewhere I am not.  All I could do was dive into God’s word.  All I could do is trust in Him.  So I did.  I struggled through not knowing what to do and found myself holding onto God’s sovereign hand.

One day as I was traveling hand in hand with God, He whispered in my ear, “India was your diving board into My ocean.”

In His ocean is where His words come alive to me.  Every single one of them.  The ones that melt my heart and make me feel like His most prized possession are found to be true while leaping into His ocean.  The ones that leave me breathless and tearful are found to be treasured possessions of mine while in His ocean.  The best example of this ocean to date was found in India.  Not only did His words come alive to me right before my eyes, they also came alive to the ones who needed Him the most, and found Him in that moment!

In life, I find myself on the ledge of the diving board more often than not.  I am consumed with fear, afraid of the unknown.  As I stand on the ledge taking a peek what lies below, I wonder if I am truly courageous enough to finally jump.  Going to India proved that with the power that comes from God’s hand alone, I am able to DIVE into His desires for me.

As I look over the past year, I am filled with joy remembering the moments I dove hand in hand with God into His will for my life.  I can only desire the same for 2014.  I want to fearlessly DIVE into all He has for me.  I am thankful that when I find His courage to dive wherever He is leading there will always be His Words welcoming me.

Thank you Jesus for diving hand in hand with me!

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I Am No One’s Prize

When you look at me, what is it you see?
Do you see the chance for me to be your Mrs.
Or do you see Jesus’ love through and through?

I am no one’s prize,
I am just His princess.

Looking to me for everything you need
Is just as silly as me looking to you
as everything I need.

I look to my King in Heaven
and I ask you to do the same,
but if you are too concerned
with an empty prize here on Earth
Please walk a different path as me

I am no one’s prize,
I am just His princess.

Yes, I sure can be a Mrs. one day,
but I only want what He wants for me.
I am not concerned with a diamonded ring,
my favorite accessory will always be His love in me.

Will you stop looking to me as a prize you can win?
Will you see me as His princess?
I am His first, not yours.
I will never be all you need,
You need to find Him before you find me.

Remember, I am no one’s prize,
I am just His princess.

Song of Solomon 2:16 My darling, I am yours,
and you are mine,…

Live for the Unobvious.

motivation: n. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

intention: n. a determination to act in a certain way.

These words have been heavy on my heart lately.  I found myself reading something I wrote almost a year ago.  I could honestly feel my heart smiling greater and greater as each word was passing me by.  The reason for the smiles was that ALL of the words on those pages written back then were confirming the thoughts I had been having these past couple of months about what God is laying on my heart to do.  And then, all of a sudden, out of absolutely nowhere I saw, boldly written, on the page….THIS IS THE OBVIOUS, DESIRE THE UNOBVIOUS IN LIFE, NOT THE OBVIOUS.  Would my motivation behind writing those words confirm what I have been feeling all along?  Would my intentions prove to be enough to hold onto the glimmer of hope that these words were supporting what God is truly laying on my heart?

obvious: adj. easily discovered, seen, or understood.

As I obsess over the definition of obvious, I think I was a little off a year ago.  You see the things I was passionately writing about were surely not obvious.  The words on those pages were not easily discovered.  I had to take off my worldly glasses to find these words.  I had to dive so deep into God’s Word to understand what I was writing that sometimes I would find myself waking up with my face in my Bible (thank goodness I do not drool when I sleep).

No, these words God so perfectly laid on my heart were not obvious.  Truly it took twenty-five years and counting for them to “appear before me”.

I believe with all of my heart that we were created for more than something easily discovered.  I believe though that what matters is our motivation to be who we were created to be, and with that, our intentions too.  God wants our intentions to be pure; He wants Himself to be the ONLY thing behind our motivation for doing anything at all.

This is so important for me to remember.  It is not about what I do–obvious or not.  It is all about making sure my intentions and motivation is lined up with God’s truth.  It is about intentionally getting out of the way so that God can work through me.  For then, only, will God’s love be easily discovered, seen, and understood to every single person He places across my path who need Him most.

Acts 1:8