Archive | April, 2016

I Don’t Need My Name in Lights

29 Apr

Isaiah 49:16 ESV  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands…

One of my favorite Christian contemporary artist is, Francesca Battistelli. She sings a song, “He Knows My Name.” Here are the words to the chorus:

I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Father’s eyes. Make no mistake, He knows my name. I’m not living for applause, I’m already so adored. It’s all His stage.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be rich and famous. In fact, I don’t know many people that don’t want to be rich and famous. I thought that the lives of the rich and famous were so fabulous. They had lots of money, giant houses, beautiful clothes, beautiful cars, and the best of everything. There used to be a show that came on TV, called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” I wanted to live just like all of them.

I have been able to see the other side of being rich and famous. These people never ever have a moment of peace. Paparazzi is always following them. They can’t even go on vacation without someone following and trying to take pictures of them.

I no longer wish to be rich and famous. I don’t need any of that hype. I like my quaint little life just the way it is.

Like I’ve said before, I was given a lot of grief in high school. I was bullied all the way through high school. I hated just about everyone in high school.

I used to think to myself, “I am going to show them.” “I am going to prove myself to them.” “I will make them pay for what they done.” All of this was before Jesus. I no longer wish them any ill will. I have been tempted to want to rub their faces in a few things, but God kept me humble. Thank You Jesus.

Here awhile back, I got mad at a lady that goes to the same church that I do. Her ministry was featured on TV. It seemed like everyone at church was making a big deal about this.

It really upset me that everyone seemed to care about her ministry. People made comments on Facebook. The link from the local news was put on Facebook.

I couldn’t understand why so many people seemed to care about her ministry. No one seemed to care about the ministry Tracy and I are a part of. I try to send out emails and put it on Facebook asking for donations. No, I don’t want money. If one person can buy one item, that’s one less we have to buy.

Anyway, I got very mad because this lady was getting so much attention. In all actuality, I was jealous. Once God showed me that, I was able to calm down.

God has shown me that I am not here for any kind of publicity. I am here to glorify Him and glorify Him ALONE. I don’t have to be in the newspapers or on TV. He sees me and what I do, and that’s all that matters. I DON’T NEED MY NAME IN LIGHTS.

I have also seen I am a “behind the scenes” type of person. I don’t have to shout out to everyone, Hey, look at me…here I am.” I don’t have to be up front and close to the action. I rather be behind the scenes anyway. I don’t need recognition or validation. My recognition and validation can ONLY come from Jesus!!!!

Anyway, I am famous, I am loved, and I am accepted. My Father is the King of kings. I have access to EVERYTHING that He has. He is EVERYTHING that I ever wanted. He never leaves me, always loves me, and always accepts me…JUST THE WAY I AM!!!!

After all, He does have my name engraved in His palm. If you have ever had a tattoo, you know what this is like. God has my name tattooed in His palm. That goes to show you, I AM SPECIAL!!

Ladies, don’t get caught up in trying to be rich and famous. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED AND WANT IN JESUS CHRIST. HE’S WAITING TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING. HE WILL NEVER EVER LET YOU DOWN!!!! 

Remember, you can have your name engraved in His hand too. He even has the number of hairs on your head counted. He has counted every single strand of hair on your head. I don’t know about you, I believe that is AWESOME!!!!

Let God put your name in the lights of the starts. Let Him make you famous in His eyes. You are here for one reason..glorify God in ALL that you do!!!!

 

Francesca Battistelli – He Knows My Name (Official Video) – YouTube

Getting Myself into My Own Mess

27 Apr

I have learned a lot in the past two and half years. One of my biggest lessons have been how I can get myself into my own mess. I thought it was due to someone or something. Nope, it was me.

It has been hard to learn to take responsibility for my actions. I have wanted to blame others. I have even tried to blame God for some of my actions. I had to realize that it was NO ONE’S fault but my own.

I have to ask myself these questions:

  • Did someone hold a gun to my head to make do what I did?
  • Did someone tie me up?
  • Was I threatened with harm?

I can guarantee you that when I seriously ask myself these questions, the answer will ALWAYS BE NO!!!! I can’t even say, “The devil made me do it.” Nope…not even Satan can make me do something. I have a choice to walk away or to do what he’s suggesting I do. God will also provide me a way out. The key is…I MUST BE WILLING TO TAKE THAT WAY OUT!!!!

There have been people in my life that always want to blame someone else for their problems. They want to blame others for their decisions. Sooner or later, we all need to learn to blame ourselves. I hate to use an old saying, but when we point a finger at someone that we have even more fingers pointing back at us. 

Do you try to blame others for your problems? Do you try to blame others for your own mess? I can guarantee you that there is no else to blame but yourself.

Being Thankful in ALL Circumstances

27 Apr

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

I have definitely learned a lot the last few weeks. One of my lessons have been about being thankful for everything. God has certainly taught me this lesson the hard way. Evidentially, the only way I can learn anything is the hard way.

Tracy is a very hard worker. He tries to find ways to save the company money. He tries to do as many repairs as he can. The more he does himself; the more money we can save.

There are days that he can be gone from daylight to dark. He also has a friend that has his own trucking business. There are days that he will help him out.

I would sit here at home and complain that he wasn’t ever home. I would complain that he was always so busy. It was me, me, me. I didn’t realize that I was being so selfish.

We’ve been looking for drivers for about 3 weeks now. In the last 3 weeks, I have seen just how much he was home. I have been at home, and he has been driving. I’ve been here to answer the phone for any potential employees.

Since we started this, he is gone even more. At least before, he was home every night. I was able to sleep with him 6-8 hours a night. Right now, we may get to sleep in the same bed for just a few hours; except Saturday’s and Sunday’s.

I wasn’t thankful for the money that he tries to save our company. I wasn’t thankful for the long hours that he put in each day. I wasn’t thankful that I had such a hard working husband. I wasn’t thankful for him coming home every night, and that he was coming home to me.

So, now, I am trying my best to be thankful in ALL things. Earlier, I got to thinking about Jesus. When Jesus was led to Calvary, He didn’t say one negative thing. In fact, He barely said anything on that day. He didn’t complain.

There’s another example that I would like to use; my father n law. My father n law had several brain surgeries during his 40’s. He could have shaken his fist at God. He could have complained. I never once heard him blame God or even complain. I never heard him say that he didn’t understand. He prayed and read his Bible every day.

I want to learn to be thankful in all things; good and bad. What good does it do to complain, anyway?! Things could ALWAYS be worse.

Paul said this in Philippians 4:12…I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Yet, Paul didn’t complain. He was afflicted with a thorn in his side. He was persecuted; which included beatings. He was hated. Yet, he never complained. He knew that his strength lied in Jesus.

I really believe we all could learn to be more thankful. I used to journal what I was thankful for on a daily basis. I need to get back to doing that, again. It’s always great to see how God provided for us. Especially, when we receive those unexpected blessings.

So, I would like to challenge you to journal your blessings every day. There are a lot of things that I know that I can intend to forget; clean running water, electricity, medical technology, etc. I would like you to share what your thankful for with me. I’d be glad to do the same. It is always good to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

 

Self Condemnation Part 2

24 Apr

The other day, I wrote how I can self condemn myself. I’d like to add that I have a tendency of self punishment. When I subconsciously think I can’t do something, I will do something to purposely mess it up.

It’s so bad that I don’t realize it when I purposely mess up. This can also cause me to miss God’s will all together. I can pray for God to give me an answer about a certain situation. I mess up. I think me messing up is my answer.

The other night, Tracy and I were discussing parenting. He asked me if I seriously think I can not let my emotions get out of control if we were to have children; through adoption of fostering. So, of course, I second guess myself.

Who doesn’t want to be a good mother?! I don’t think any woman sets out to be a terrible mother. I also know there are no redo’s in parenting. I can’t say, “Oops, I messed up.” The future emotional and mental future of a child is at stake.

Yes, I know I will not be perfect. I told Tracy I wouldn’t turn in one application until I received an answer from God. I am not willing to mess up a child’s life due to my selfishness. I prayed for God to give me a clear answer. 

A couple of days later…I get mad at Tracy for no reason. It was something beyond his control. My anger wasn’t as bad as it has been, but it was bad enough. So, I thought me getting mad at Tracy was God’s way of telling me that us adopting wasn’t in His will. I told myself, “Tracy was right.” “I can’t keep my emotions under control.”

Tracy knew I was really upset that evening. I had cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I know I’ve been wrong before. I just couldn’t see how I could have been so mistaken in God calling us to adopt.

Tracy asked me, “Did you really get an answer?!” “Did you mess up on purpose because you think you can’t do it?” “Did you mess up because you think that you don’t deserve to be a good mother?” Those questions really “hit home.”

In “Search for Significance,” the author states that we can miss God’s will due to our emotions. This is very true. Emotions can mislead us. I had a doctor once tell me, “Christina, you can’t depend on your feelings.” Now, I know why.

I’m going to keep fighting. That’s all I can say. With God’s help, I will overcome. 


The Shadow of Death

23 Apr

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

I never viewed infertility as a death or a loss. I’ve had a couple of counsellors tell me that I needed to grieve my infertility. As always, I did not heed to their advice.

I felt I was better off just forgetting about it. I thought…”It’s just infertility.” It wasn’t like I had miscarried or experienced the death of a child. I didn’t see the need to deal with it. Like everything else, I put it in the back of my mind-not good!!

Here I am, several years later. Now, I’m trying to deal with this infertility mess. Adoption may not even be an option.

This is when I feel like I waited too long to deal with all my baggage. I didn’t start down this road until I was about 37. The only reason why I started then because I didn’t have a choice. It was either deal with the hurt of the past or literally go insane. So, I chose to start dealing with some of it anyway.

Along the way, God has shown me why He hasn’t given us children before now. It’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t have made a good mother. I used to self condemn myself. I’d say…”I was ugly.” ” No one loved me.” “I did everything wrong.” Just to name a few. I could have; very possibly, done the same to our children. 

I also didn’t know that only true love can come from and through Jesus. I didn’t know that no one can love me like Jesus. I didn’t know that Jesus was and is my everything.

I’ve been praying for God’s will the last few days. I’ve been praying for His will about me and Tracy adopting. I said, “God, help me to put my wants aside.” “Show me in a clear way if this is Your will.” 

God answered this today. I think so anyway; which I’ll tell you about later. It goes back to self condemnation.

I got really mad at Tracy today. It wasn’t nothing he terribly done wrong. Even if he did, it still did not warrant my anger. He’s human too-which I tend to forget, constantly. 

Later today, I was like, “Whoa!!” I believe this is my answer. So, of course, sadness overcame my heart. I began to cry. I finally got on my knees and cried so much until I couldn’t cry anymore. 

My eyes are hurting. My heart is hurting. I am emotionally exhausted. I know that God gave me what perceives to be my answer. 

So, I’m grieving the loss of the child that I’ll never be able to have. You would think by now I’d be used to the idea. I’ve been knowing since I was about 15. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome); which has a whole list of other things it can affect.

Every girl wants to believe that one day she will get to be a momma. I could see myself playing Bible lullabies, teaching them to pray and read the Bible. I could see teaching a little girl not to search for love in an earthly man…only Jesus can love her the way she wants to be loved. I can see Tracy teach a little boy how to treat a lady in a Godly manner. Hearing laughing and giggling Christmas morning because they are “dying” from suspense of what’s under the tree. 

I have dreamed and dreamed. Now, that’s what it was…just a dream. Our wants don’t always line up with what God wants. I am not going to lie. It feels like someone has ripped my heart out of my chest.

Right now, the only thing that is keeping me going is my life verse…I can do ALL things through Christ. (Phil. 4:13). Only Jesus can give me the strength to get through this. 

Please lift me up in prayer as I go through this grieving process.

Self Condemnation

20 Apr

Romans 8:1 ESV  Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

I have been told that I am my own worst enemy; which is very true. I think that I have to punish myself. I will be the first to “beat myself up.” I will condemn myself to no end.

What is condemnation? Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines condemnation as a statement or expression of very strong and definite criticism or disapproval. So, in other words, I am very critical of myself and will put myself down.

I do this because I feel that I am not good enough. While growing up, I was bullied. Children told me some terrible things. I also heard my momma say that she wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, good enough, etc. So, I thought; my momma isn’t good enough; then that must make me not good enough.

Yesterday, I hadn’t been up too long. I just started crying out to the Lord. I told Him that I am tired of being too hard on myself. I am tired of feeling like I need to crucify myself. I am tired of punishing myself.

I don’t want to be this type of person. I don’t want to be negative. After all, God made me in His image; not anyone else’s. So, I finally put what I’ve been learning in OAGW (Overcoming Abuse God’s Way) to good used. In this support group, we are always being told to use God’s truth; which is the Bible, to overcome the lies of Satan. I started searching God’s word for scripture that would help me battle self condemnation. After all, the blood of Christ, I AM WORTH IT. I AM HIS DAUGHTER. I AM A PRINCESS.

When I start searching Gods’ word for truth, He will definitely show me the scripture I need. God has a way of doing that. I found several scripture. I had my life coach tell me to read Psalm 103. Here are a few that I wrote down: 1 John 3:20, Romans 8:34, John 8:11, Psalm 34:22, and Isaiah 43:25. There are many more promises that God gives us in His word.

I am going to choose to longer to condemn myself. That’s why Jesus died on the cross; for my condemnation-even self condemnation. ALL OF MY SINS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR BY JESUS!!!! I will fight against the lies of Satan with God’s truth.

I AM A CHILD OF THE EVERLASTING KING; THE ALPHA AND OMEGA, PRINCE OF PEACE, LORD OF LORDS, KING OF KINGS, MY SHELTER, MY REFUGE, MY STRENGTH, MY FORTRESS, LOVE, COMPASSION, PEACE, MERCY, FAITHFUL, A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS: JESUS IS SO MUCH MORE TOO. I could never list all the qualities of God.

So, do you ever punish yourself? Do you beat yourself up over something that was done in the past? Daughter, remember, ALL of your sins have been paid for; yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Don’t let Satan get you bogged down in the misery of guilt and shame. It’s like this saying, “Satan calls us by our sin, God calls us by our name.” I can tell you that Satan knows how to get to you. That’s why we must meditate and memorize scripture to fight against the spiritual forces that come to us on a daily basis.

 

 

My View of God Is Obscured

3 Apr

I ask myself…How can I doubt God?! I know that He created me. I know how much He loves me. Yet, I still struggle with God on a daily basis.

How can He always love me?! How is it that He will never leave me or abandon me?! How can He love someone like me?! I know all the Bible answers, but that doesn’t always help.

I wasn’t really taught about God when I was growing up. I know I would go to church with my uncle. I believe I went to VBS (vacation Bible school). I was part of a religion from 12 yrs old to 17 yrs old. During that time, I still didn’t learn anything about the trinity…God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This “religion” was more wrapped up in telling you what you could and couldn’t do and what you could and couldn’t wear. Some actually think they are the only ones going to heaven. 

So, it’s not like my mind isn’t warped enough from emotional and mental trauma. I have the teachings of this “religion” in my head. Thank God, He sent us to a teacher instead of a preacher. Yes, the Holy Spirit always works through Him to show us something that we need to do better or change.

I have learned more in 10 yrs than I did in 7 yrs. The Bible isn’t picked apart for anyone’s convenience. Our pastor teaches line by line; verse by verse. Our pastor tells us what the Bible says; not what man says.

Anyway, people don’t understand what abuse has to do with spirituality. It has a lot to do with it. Being emotionally, mentally, verbally, and sexually abuse has a lot to do with spirituality. I have an obscure view of God.

Why do I have an obscure view of God when I’m a Bible believing Jesus follower? I’m not too sure myself, but I will try to explain it the best way possible.

People I trusted touched me in ways I didn’t like. I was made to feel not good enough when I was bullied in school. I thought I was ugly. When I gave myself away, guys only wanted one thing. My daddy doesn’t want anything to do with me. I’ve been abandoned and neglected by those that I loved and trusted.

At times, this is how I see God. What did I do so wrong? Why am I being punished? What have I done so wrong? What have I done so wrong for my daddy to disown me? Why was I treated like trash and discarded like no one cared?

If all these people that I loved and trusted hurt me, why should God be any different? What makes God love me? What makes me special? How do I know God won’t get tired of me? How do I know God won’t leave me or abandon me? Will God throw me away? Will God quit loving me? These are just a few questions.

Like I said earlier, “I know all of the Biblical and theological answers.” I know how this is going to sound. There are times I need more than that. I need to see God up close and personal. 

Earlier today, Tracy and I were talking. We were talking about me struggling with my emotions and my faith. After we got done talking, our momma bird started singing. Every year, the same bird comes to the light on our front patio. She built her a nest on top of the light. She lays her eggs in that nest. Her nest is hidden away from predators and bad weather. She is able to protect her babies.

God takes care of even the birds. Surely, He’ll take care of me. I was made to worship God. This is what I mean by seeing or experiencing God up close and personal. During the day, the birds sing. At night, I see the jet black sky. That’s when I see God up close and personal.

Women that have been abused don’t want to hear we are too far long in our faith to think like that. It’s a daily struggle. Yes, eventually, the struggle won’t be so hard. Right now, some days are just harder than others. 
Pray for me as I continue in my healing and recovery.