Before Jesus left His disciples in John 14, He assured them of His intentions and His return. He didn't want them to worry about His absence so he encouraged them with what He had in store. I know I'm not Jesus. I don't have the credentials to promise a heavenly mansion, but I'm confident in Christ over the earthly direction we're going. Surprising update: I will be interviewed on Cynthia McCutcheon's "My Journey Of Faith" radio. The live broadcast will air tomorrow at 2:30 pm EST. I'd love for you to show your support and tune in.
In the meantime, designing in Wordpress has me a little stumped but I'm plowing through (need your continued prayers!) If you remember a few posts back, a prayerful plea went out for vision casters. Actually, I love Holley Gerth's description better...a Dream Team! I have a dream (and no, this is not inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. - smile). It's a simple dream.: encourage women. Point them to Christ in the tough trenches of life. I need those willing to capture the vision and dream big with me! Are you willing? If so, let me know through email. Blessings!
The family visits of my past never quite ended with peace
and laughter. Mostly stress, chaos and turmoil ruled the discussions and a
tension headache ended my goodbyes. To my blessed surprise the other day on vacation, I sat joyously around three
generations reminiscing over the details of stories long forgotten. I felt
Families aren’t always a joy to be around when being around
them hasn’t always been a joy. But God has a way of redeeming the lost
memories and bringing closure to the past hurts caused by sibling rivalries,
parental neglect, family disappointments, estrangements or even loss caused by
a death in the family. My encouragement: don’t give up on Him, because He hasn’t
given up on the family connection.
He “sets the solitary in families; He brings out those
who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land” (Psalm
68:6-NKJV). Be open to His process of healing and restoration. It took the next
generation to connect me to my past. I pray God’s faithfulness connects you to
yours and it causes joy to rewrite the stories long forgotten in you.
Who doesn’t dream of her wedding day? And with an entire
industry devoted to making those dreams come true in the details, it’s no
wonder a girl dreams big. From garter to garnish, designer dresses to decadent
desserts, caterers, jewelers, banquet hall staff, clergy, event and wedding
planners alike make it their life’s mission to ensure “happily ever after” gets
packaged with the “I Do!”
But once the gifts have been opened, the honeymoon bags unpacked and life settles into its normal pace, many women find dream weddings
don’t guarantee a perfect marriage. What do you do when every year becomes less
blissful and more painful? What do you do when the option of marital counseling
falls on deaf ears? What do you do when the man you promised your heart to
doesn’t want anything to do with his “I Do” promise? What do you do with the
anguish, the isolation, the neglect and the increasingly loveless existence?
Where is your comfort, brokenhearted wife?
I don’t claim to have all the answers. I do know who does.
That’s not a trite response, but a covenant promise from the Lover of your
A few years back, Dan and I hit the darkest point ever in
our marriage. A slow accumulation of past baggage, life’s mounting
disappointments and how we communicated our true feelings kept tensions thick.
Deep down, he feared losing his best friend; I feared losing my way back into
our marriage. Love had nothing to do with our situation; unresolved hurts did.
We needed help. We cried out for help. We sought help. Help
was NOT easy. Never is. Even if it means you get help for yourself, get it. You
are of no value TO yourself when you find no value IN yourself.
Surround yourself with accountability. When we isolate, we
vacillate. We second guess God’s irrefutable words for insults, slights and
slams to our character. When He says we were “fearfully and wonderfully made,”
that does NOT mean we are “good-for-nothing” women. We need to remember God speaks
truth over us and He uses trusted vessels such as counselors, clergy, friends
and loved ones to carry out His noble cause. It’s when we feel less-than
surrounded in our own home we need to cling to this promise...
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present
trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Set your affection aright. Nadia (name change) just
epitomizes godly character. Though her husband is diagnosed with a
degenerative, neurological disease which causes him to become verbally abusive
at times, this 80+ year old sweetheart continues to bless and pray for his
salvation. When it becomes particularly difficult, she sets her gaze upon Jesus
who loves her. It doesn’t stop the tears from flowing, but she finds comfort in
Christ for her broken heart. It is that same comfort which gives her the unconditional
love she needs to love her man without conditions.
I pray, like He did for Zion, that “the Lord will look with
compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands
like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing…Hear me, you who know what is right, you
people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be
terrified by their insults” (Isaiah 51: 3, 7).