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Ann Gant • Poetry

A poem to my first love.

 

By Ann Gant 

 

I love you Lord, and I thank you for the day that I realized that I am nothing without you and everything with you. 

Like David, you are also my strength 

You keep me in awe of you.  

With all that you do 

Some call it miracles from above. 

But you say it's just the way of your unfailing love. 

 

I love you Lord, and I can barely explain without tears.  

Looking back on all the years and all the fears,

You were there for me and I cannot let this kind of love be in vain.  

Father, Counselor, Teacher are all in when I call your name. 

I know that others know you as the same and more.  

 

I love you Lord, that you would consider me as the apple of your eye. 

Most days I'm not sure why. 

Like Job your words are like fire shut up in my bones. 

And it's become the most important thing to me. 

To tell others that you can set them free. 

 

I love  you Lord, and to my end I pray that I am remembered, 

Not just by my words but for sharing yours.  

Let me be known for the love that I have for you, 

and the greater love that you have for me too.  

I've made mistakes 

I don't always have what it takes. 

But through it all every day, 

and in every way Lord, I love you. 

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Ann Gant • Devotional

I don't know about you but God has to constantly remind me of my worth to Him, His love for me and that I have a purpose. One of the reasons that I love Him so much is because He never gets tired of me needing Him.

By Ann Gant

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1 (NIV) 

I don't know about you but God has to constantly remind me of my worth to Him, His love for me and that I have a purpose. One of the reasons that I love Him so much is because He never gets tired of me needing Him.

Early in my marriage as a young wife I was very needy. I wanted my husband to constantly validate my worth. I hated for us to apart or disagree because I was in constant fear that he would stop loving me or even worse leave. I was smothering him.

This frame of mind didn't leave room for open discussions of things he possibly didn't agree with without a flood of tears from me. I was a hot mess.

I put my all into him expecting that His love for me would heal my feelings of loneliness, abandonment, insecurity and low self-worth that I brought into our relationship from my past. After all, wasn't he suppose to complete me?

The answer is no. He couldn't, being only human just like me.

Over time I was drawn to Christ, His word and especially His love. It's been like nothing else I have  ever experienced in this life. Gradually I started putting my great need on to Christ. Now I need Him every day, and every minute of every hour.

Its beautiful! I can love Him all I want! 

I can need Him all I want! He doesn't get tired. He can handle it.

Plus, He is teaching me how to love my husband and others better everyday .

Christ can do the same for you my friend. You can love people but only be Needy with God.

Prayer

Thank you Father that we can let our guard down. We can be vulnerable with you. Your love never fails us. Help us to only be needy with YOU. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Bible Study

This past week we started our book discussion with the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2. We have learned a lot already. We learned how we should see our calling in respect to our relationship with Christ. We are called to be ourselves. We are uniquely designed to fulfill our Father's purpose. Within ourselves He has placed a desire to search for our calling which should always lead us to Him.

This past week we started our book discussion with the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2.We have learned a lot already. We learned what we can expect from the coming chapters.We also learned how we should see our calling in respect to our relationship with Christ. We are called to be ourselves.We are uniquely designed to fulfill our Father's purpose. Within ourselves He has placed a desire to search for our calling which should always lead us to Him. 

The Introduction

The Introduction discusses how to use this book as a guide to taking the right actions to create a life of purpose and passion. It explains how the book offers a toolbox of principles, assessment exercises, strategies, and other resources. 

There are six inventories with key dimensions to your unique design that include: you most-enjoyed skills, core values, preferred roles, personality traits, compelling interests, and spiritual gifts. 

The Introduction also states that the book includes the following tools and topics:

 Enlarging your vision on what you can do. 

A Life Calling Map 

Learning how to make good decisions within God's will for your life.

Consider emotional, physiological, spiritual, and lifestyle issues that can get you stuck.

Motivate yourself to take action. 

Learn how to use your calling successfully.

It was a suggestion that we obtain a journal to record the events of our journey and that we find a couple of friends to join us. 

We can use our journals to address the personal application questions at the back of each chapter. The authors also suggested that we write a prayer that expresses our thoughts, hopes and needs. 

Chapter 1-In Search of a Calling

In Chapter One, the authors talk about how all of us have asked the question," What is my purpose in life?" I certainly have asked that question several times over the course of my own life. 

We are looking for our place. Nora Watson in her interview for Stud's Terkel's classic book, "Working" stated that,"Most of us are looking for a calling and not a job." "Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit. 

There is a secular view of calling in which American culture encourages us to look to our work in our sense of purpose and calling. 

We are called to know the caller which is Jesus Christ and our primary calling is to be in a personal relationship with Him. Everything else is considered secondary callings. 

In searching for our individual calling the Bible tells us that we are brought into this world with specific purposes in God's eternal plan. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

God is a God of Possibilities. When He allows us to glimpse our potential, we are often tempted to retreat behind the wall of our perceived limitations. I have been there and done that, telling God all about the reason that I cannot do something that he has asked me to do as though he does not know all about me. 

We are reminded that no matter where you are in life it is never to late to do something of significance with your life. God can use everything in our lives. 

We are invited to experience Grace. Jesus tells us the parable about workers in a vineyard. Workers start at different times but are paid the same wage at the end of the day. The author state that Dallas Willard describes grace as " the action of God bringing to pass in our lives good things which we neither deserve nor can accomplish on our own. 

Chapter 2-Called to Be You 

Discovering your design and your vocational calling can be challenging. Our vocational calling emerges out of our relationship with God. The way that he has designed us includes a special combination of gifts. There has never been anyone like you in human history, and there never will be another you again.

The authors include what they explain as compass principles for finding your vocational calling. 

Life Calling Compass Principles

 One: God calls us to keep our primary calling primary.

Two: God calls us to use our gifts to meet needs in the world. 

-Become needs focused

-All Work can be Sacred

Three: God calls us to proactive stewardship of our gifts.

-Read Jesus' story about the stewardship of our gifts in Matthews 25:14-30.

-Assess your Vocational Fit

     Level One-a person sees his or her work as just a job

     Level Two-Ok work that is of some interest.

     Level Three-people find themselves in enjoyable work that may be satisfying for many years. 

     Level Four-Meaningful-people feel they are contributing to a significant purpose or giving something back. 

     Level Five-vocational integration, a person's work is an expression of who he or she is.

In doing God's work any job, regardless of how well it fits, gives us an opportunity to live our primary calling by being representatives in the workplace. 

In the journey of living your calling, you will discover the trust in this equation: You + God's Power= Enough. 

 

This Week 

Keep recording your answers to the Personal Application Questions in your journal. 

Read Part Two: Creating Your Life Calling Map. This only includes Chapter 3-Mapping Your Design (Assessments).

We  would love to hear what you thought about or what resonated with you from this past weeks reading. Share in comments, Facebook or Twitter. 

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General

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. ( I John 4:18, NKJV)
What are you afraid of? I don't mean a fear of spiders or heights. I mean what scares you to the point that you cannot function at life. An example could be you have a fear of failure so you say no to a great opportunity that you know is from God because you fear you might fail or in some cases you fear you may succeed.

By: Ann

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. ( I John 4:18, NKJV)

What are you afraid of? I don't mean a fear of spiders or heights. I mean what scares you to the point that you cannot function at life. An example could be you have a fear of failure so you say no to a great opportunity that you know is from God because you fear you might fail or in some cases you fear you may succeed.

I have allowed fear to cripple me for many years. At certain points in my life it has kept me from starting and then finishing college, from starting my business, from singing, writing, making friends and a host of other things that are my hearts desires.

How could fear keep me from all of these things you ask? Well the answer is it tormented me. The enemy of my soul used fear to torment and paralyze me by attacking my mind with discouraging thoughts.

When I would try to do the great things that the Lord placed in my heart fear whispered:

"You could never do that"                                                                

"What if you fail?"

"What if they reject you?"

"What if you mess up and everybody sees or hears it?"

And the list goes on and on. Then like a movie the deceiver would show me what these scenarios would look like. I would be instantly overcome with fear. My heart would beat hard and fast in my chest sounding like beating drums.

It seemed my only relief would come when I began to console myself with excuses.

"Well now is not really a good time anyway."

"I already have a lot going on."

"They already have people in place for that so they don't need me.

Sound familiar?

Finally, I prayed and confessed to God that I had been trying to handle one of the biggest thorns in my flesh on my own. Then I was led to the scripture in I John 4:18.

There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

What is the perfect love that casts out fear? God's love. God's love is perfect. That is what it took for me to overcome the hold that fear had on me.

The knowledge and understanding of the Lord's great love for us reassures both you and me that we don't have anything to fear. He knows our hopes and dreams. He is the one who them in our hearts. He loves us and wants us to prosper.

So now when I am trying to do something that I believe is God's will and fear tries to torment me again I focus on what is true and real (Philipians 4:8).

I remember that God is with me in every situation (Joshua 1:9).

I remind myself that there is no fear in love (I John 4:18).

I remember that I can trust the Lord with every detail of my life (Proverbs 3:5-6).

You can be delivered from the torment of fear also.

You can go back to school.

You can love again.

You can make friends.

You can start that ministry.

Focus on God's love for you and trust that He intends to work out His will for your life.

 

Prayer

Father, fear tries to take hold of us when we try to accomplish your purpose in our lives. Help us to remember Your great love for us and help us to use it to reassure ourselves and others that we can go forward with our dreams without fear. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources

Check out our bookstore to review these suggested books on fear.

Start by John Acuff

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Fearless by Max Lucado


 Getting it in Your Spirit

What is fear keeping you from accomplishing in your life? Pray and ask God to reveal the difference between things that you are not doing because of fear and legitimate excuses.  I'll be posting more scripture references and resources on fear tomorrow so check back. You can also post a comment on what you have not started because of fear so you can get some encouragement or what you did accomplish after God delivered you from fear to encourage someone else.

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General

Welcome to my online home. I am so excited that you are here. I am very thankful for this early Christmas present from God to me to you. I pray that this site will be a place where you can come to get a boost of encouragement, learn something new or meet and inspire other women as well.

Welcome to my online home. I am so excited that you are here.  I am very thankful for this early Christmas present from God to me to you. I pray that this site will be a place where you can come to get a boost of encouragement, learn something new or meet and inspire other women as well.  

My inspiration comes from a time in my life when I found myself at a place where I was giving up on my life. I wasn't suicidal but I just did not feel valuable. I was falling apart on the inside but I was acting like a pillar of strength on the outside.  I had every reason to be happy. I beat myself up for not being more grateful for my wonderful life. After all I have a loving husband and four beautiful kids. I live in a beautiful home and I had a great job. But still there always seemed to be something missing.

I started thinking that I needed to do more so I could feel more accomplished. When people asked what I was up to I could feel better about myself by rattling off a large list of things that I had going on. In 2007 our fourth child was born. I became a mother again to another beautiful daughter. My son was born 16 years prior so I was a little rusty on being a mommy to a new born. Instead of cutting myself some slack I put being a mommy on my running list of things that I was not doing well. Then I began to feel worthless.

I shared my feelings with a few women and soon found that I wasn't the only woman that felt this way. Some of us have been looking for our worth in a man, a job, our children, our looks, material things or our accomplishments. This mentality sets us up for failure. I found though that this is because it is not meant for me or you to expect people or things to fulfill us.

I stopped going to church and for a while and I felt like maybe God wasn't listening to me. But no matter how dark things seemed I continued to pray, read my Bible and books that pertained to my situation. After some time I could feel myself feeling better as I allowed God's love to penetrate my heart. He began showing me things every day to remind me of how special I am to Him.

Ironically, the very things that I thought would break me are the things that have me so in awe of God. He has been so creative in the ways that He inspires me. He tells me that I am valuable and I have a purpose. This message seems to be in every song, scripture, book, sermon and every intimate word that is spoken to me. He speaks to my fears, my insecurity, and my feelings of abandonment.

This is my prayer for you.

I pray that through this site you will experience the Lord this way as well. I pray that you are encouraged and inspired and feel better than ever before about your worth and purpose in Christ. I hope that you become overwhelmed by His unfailing love for you.  I pray that Christ would use me to stir up His Gift on the inside of you and make you shine from the inside out.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Reflection:

How does God speak to you? Throughout your day be intentional at looking and listening for Him. I guarantee that He will make you smile. He wants you to know how special you are and how much He loves you. Maybe His voice will be in a song or in a special scripture that you know is just for you. Record how He inspires you in a journal so you can refer back to it. I would love to hear about how the Lord speaks to you or inspires you. Please feel free to leave a comment or join me on Facebook.

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Bible Study

Welcome to our online reading of Live Your Calling by Kevin & Kay Marie Brennfleck. I am so excited that we are starting this book. I am looking forward to us learning more about our spiritual gifts, talents and skills and how they can be applied to our callings in work and volunteer opportunities.

Welcome to our online reading of Live Your Calling by Kevin & Kay Marie Brennfleck. I am so excited that we are starting this book. I am looking forward to us learning more about our spiritual gifts, talents and skills and how they can be applied to our callings in work and volunteer opportunities.

This book is meant to provide us with direction and not for us to come away with knowing exactly what we are to do although some of us might. But I know that there are those of us that may be just starting out in careers and there are those of us that are starting over after being laid off.

Also this can be for people that just always had a feeling that they were meant to do more for the Lord but just need a better understanding of what their gifts are and where to use them.  Obviously we have to pray without ceasing and listen for the Lord's direction. The Bible is our ultimate instruction guide on everything we do.

The reading outline below is a guide. There is no specific reading schedule or chapter requirement each week. All you need to do is read the book and be ready to discuss it during the month. We will discuss the book in blog comments, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter.

The book is available in our Finding Ourselves in Christ Bookstore through our affiliate program with Amazon and can be ordered in print, but it is also offered in Kindle ebook format.  You can find it on Amazon, in Christian bookstores, or even possibly at your local library.

 

Week 1:  Monday, February 2, 2015

Read:  Introduction, Part One: Called For a Purpose- Chapters 1 & 2

 

Week 2: Monday, February 9, 2015

Read: Part Two: Creating Your Life Calling Map-Chapter 3 (Complete Assessments)

 

 

Week 3: Starting Monday, February 16, 2015

Read: Part Three: Envisioning Your God-Sized Calling-Chapters 4-6

 

Week 4: Monday, February 23, 2015

 Read: Part Four: Making Decisions within The Will of God- Chapters 7 & 8

 

Week 5: Monday, March 2, 2015

Read: Part Five: Transforming Vision into Action-Chapters 8 & 9

 

Week 6: Monday March 9, 2015

Read: Part Six-Overcoming Obstacles to Living Your Calling- Chapters 11-14

 

Week 7: Monday March 16, 2015

Read: Part Six-Overcoming Obstacles to Living Your Calling-Chapters 15-Epilogue: Seize the Day

 

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Calling

I recently saw a movie called, The Family That Preys. The story line included a lot of family drama but lessons were learned and good prevailed in the end. But what I loved about the movie was the music, specifically the song that played at the end.

It was a song originally by, Lee Ann Womack, called "I Hope You Dance" but this version was sung by Gladys Knight. Please watch the video at the end of the post to be inspired for 2015.

 

I recently saw a movie called, The Family That Preys. The story line included a lot of family drama but lessons were learned and good prevailed in the end. But what I loved about the movie was the music, specifically the song that played at the end.

It was a song originally by, Lee Ann Womack, called "I Hope You Dance" but this version was sung by Gladys Knight. 

As I do when I hear a song that I love, I rushed to find it on Google, ITunes or Spotify so that I could hear it again and put it in my music library.

The words to the song are encouraging and inspiring.  Ultimately what I received from it was that we should never give up on faith and our sense of wonder at the world around us. God has given us so much beauty in the world and if we don't pay attention we can miss it.

We can take our very heartbeats for granted. No matter what, we can never give up because hopefully when one door closes another will open.

 We'll reach crossroads in life where things may be hard or confusing and we will have to decide to sit it out and give up on our dreams or take the risk and keep going. We can't always look for the easy route or run away from something because of fear.

This is my wish for us for the New Year.

I know that there are a lot of us that have chosen in the past to sit out on life because it became hard to push forward but I am hoping that you will read these words and listen to the song and allow it to encourage you to get up and try again.

I dedicate this song to you for 2015. I hope you'll dance.

(Please see the video at the bottom of the lyrics).

 

I Hope You Dance

Written By: Lee Ann Womack

Sung By: Gladys Knight

(See Video at the bottom of this screen to hear the song)

 

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,

May you never take one single breath for granted,

GOD forbid love ever leaves you empty handed,

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,

Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

 

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

 

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,

Never settle for the path of least resistance

Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',

Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,

When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

 

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,

Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

 

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,

Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

 

Dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance..

 

 

 

 

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General

For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19a, NLT)
Sometimes we don't see it because we are not looking. Circumstances can certainly make us miss the great things that the Lord is doing in our lives. There are some things in my own life that are not going quite the way that I would want them too. But in the midst of all of these things I am still so in awe of God because I can still see His hand working in my life.

By: Ann

For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?  (Isaiah 43:19a, NLT)

I have a 6 year old daughter. Like most children her age she loves attention and approval from her father and me on everything she does. Not long ago she sang with her first grade class in a program at school.

As she was performing in the program the lights were very bright on stage. She could barely see me and her father out in the crowd but she kept looking for us until she could. When there was applause she listened to hear our voices above the crowd.

In the middle of singing her first song she started to wave at us. Some of the other 1st graders waved at their parents also but some of them started crying. They all were still very cute.

The thing that seemed most common among them is that whether they were crying, waving or actually singing most of them were looking out in the crowd for whoever was there to support them. 

This reminded me of my relationship with Christ. I have to learn to look for God that way. Regardless of my circumstances or how hard it may be for me to see Him I have to always look or as the Bible says seek Him. I have to look for His approval, His attention and His reassurance that I am doing okay.

I have to stay reminded that the Lord is doing something great in my life right now? He is doing a new thing. Maybe it doesn't seem that way but He is. The scripture above says He has already begun. Then the question is asked, do you not see it?

Sometimes we don't see it because we are not looking. Circumstances can certainly make us miss the great things that the Lord is doing in our lives. There are some things in my own life that are not going quite the way that I would want them too. But in the midst of all of these things I am still so in awe of God because I can still see His hand working in my life.

I am not saying that the Lord is just going around making every rough situation disappear, although I wouldn't mind that. But He is changing me within the situation.

I have found when I focus on issues in my life they blind me. All I can see is the pain. All I see is what I don't have and what I feel I need. All I see is what could or would happen if God doesn't fix it the way that I have asked him to.

When I focus on issues I dismiss the fact that although money was tighter than tight last month we still paid our bills. We still have a warm place to sleep and food to eat.

When I am distracted by issues I miss hearing God is my daughter's laugh.  

The Lord is doing something great with my situation or He is doing something great in me. Sometimes He is even doing them both at the same time and either way I don't want to miss Him.

In small ways He whispers that everything is going to be okay. He says it through the birds singing so beautiful outside of my window in the morning.

He says it through my husband's warm embrace.

He says it through my friend sending me a text saying that she loves me and hopes that I have an awesome day.

When I focus on issues instead of looking out for messages from the Lord I miss the fact that even now there is not all pain, all tears or all lack. But I have to be intentional in looking for God, in looking for joy, for laughter, for hope. If not my thoughts will be devoured by everything that is wrong.

Maybe your brand new thing is like mine, maybe God is offering you a different way to react to situations you face in life. Maybe instead of looking at and focusing on situations he wants our first reaction to be like my daughters, he wants us to look for Him whether things are good or bad.

Listen, we have already cried all of the tears that we can. We have stayed up all night pacing back and forth and we have changed nothing.

Let's try a new thing. Let do what we can, give the problems over to the Lord and be patient as He works them out as He sees fit.

Keep looking for Him. He's there.

Prayer

Father forgive us for worrying more than praying. It hasn't done us any good. Our hands are tied and there is nothing that we can do. We understand that sometimes you allow this to teach us to look for you first in all situations. We love you. We honor you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. I Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)

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

Reflection

Go out of your way this week to stop, look and listen for the brand-new thing that the Lord is doing in your life?   I would love to hear about it. Join the conversation on Facebook.

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General

I don't really remember when it started but it seems that it was always there. I have struggled many years with feelings of low self-esteem, fear, anxiety, insecurity and loneliness. I thought at one point that I would never get passed these things and they would always consume my life. Then there was God

 

Coffee for Your Heart 150

 

http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love -Happily linking up today with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart.

 

A Foolish Thing

By Ann

I Corinthians 1:26-31 (NIV)

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29 so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. 31 As the Scriptures say, "The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done."

 

I don't really remember when it started but it seems that it was always there. I have struggled many years with feelings of low self-esteem, fear, anxiety, insecurity and loneliness. I thought at one point that I would never get passed these things and they would always consume my life. Then there was God.

As a child I suffered being abandoned by my mother at two months old. My father died before I was born. I was taken in by my grandparents. My grandmother died of tuberculosis when I was about ten so my grandfather raised me until I was a young adult and then he died too.

I am an only child. My mother was also an only child so there are no aunts, uncles or cousins. I am not sure about my father's family but no one ever reached out to me so as far as I knew there was just me. My grandmother's sister had a couple of kids who had children that were my grand cousins I think but we lost touch. So as you can imagine I became a bit of a loner.

Eventually when I was about 16 years old I gave my life to Christ and He has been relentless in proving to me how much He loves me. Unfortunately and in spite of His pursuit I still took it upon myself to fill the voids that I had in life with the wrong things and the wrong people.

I got to a point that I was almost willing to do anything to be a part of somebody's family. I called other people's parents dad and mom. I called other people's sisters and brothers my sister and brother.

 I did things that were against my own morals and even more importantly against God to try and earn love from people that did not have my best interest at heart. Somehow it was always revealed that I was not a real part of their family. I was extra hard on myself because I was always trying to prove that I belonged.

Eventually God blessed me with a husband and family of my own. Then a few years ago I seemed to hit rock bottom in my life. On the outside things seemed perfect. I was very active in church. I sang on the choir. My husband was an usher. All of our kids were doing well. I was pregnant with our fourth child and everything was wonderful.  

After our daughter was born I slipped into a secret depression. It was a secret because I felt I could never let anyone know that I was not doing a good job handling being a mother again. People started coming to our family for help with different situations. I was happy to help but sadly I also used these circumstances to keep the focus shifted away from my own emotional demise.  

At some point the illusion started slipping away. Things seemed to fall apart all around me. Then there was a moment that there was nobody but me and God. This led to many days that I just cried, sobbed and whined to the Lord.

 I told him that I felt lonely and abandoned. I was tired of feeling like I was never good enough and that I would never be worthy enough to be used. I had put great expectations on my friend and family to make me feel whole and all of my efforts to feel whole through people and things had been in vain.

After my confession to God and through the tears I felt an overwhelming amount of God's love. It seemed after that moment every sermon, book and devotional that I read was about God's great unfailing love for me. As I prayed and read my Bible I allowed His words to possess my heart and mind. I started being deliberate in looking for scriptures, books, music, sermons and anything else that spoke to my soul about God's love for me.

That's how I learned that He is a father to the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5)

Once when I was reading my Bible and searching the scriptures I found the passage, I Corinthians 1:26-31 and it really touched my heart. It revealed to me that I had a misconception about what I need to be or have to be used and loved by God. I matter to Him just the way that I am. He has blessed me with a beautiful family and a few good friends but even if I never had any of that He is more than enough and I am enough because I have Him.

 I am not abandoned or alone. I am loved and cherished. I am called. I am the foolish thing that the passage talks about that will show the world that regardless of what I lack I can boast. But my boasting will be in the Lord and not in myself.

These days I am so excited about the things that the Lord is doing through me. I am amazed that He chose someone that didn't think she had much to offer.

The Lord has also chosen you to be a "foolish thing." You think that you lack so much and everybody else has the Midas touch but if you look at the scriptures God specializes in using people that are not up to par in the world's eyes.

Moses had trouble speaking, David was an adulterer, and the woman at the well had been married multiple times. Maybe He has already told you what He wants you to do. If He has don't let anything stop you. If he hasn't told you seek Him for your answer. You have what it takes. You are smart, beautiful and able through Him. He is preparing you and giving you everything you need. You are not alone. Trust Him.

Prayer

Father we trust you with our lives, with all of the things we are and all of the things that we are not. Use us for Your Glory. Help us to know that we are loved and not alone or abandoned.  Help us to find our worth and purpose in you and not people or things. We know that you can take what little we have and turn it into something beautiful. As we begin to walk in your purpose for our lives we will always remember to boast about the things that You have done. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Related Resources

Happily linking up with holleygerth.com for Coffee for your Heart.

 

Reflection

Are you secretly or in the open not feeling good about who you are? Are you feeling lonely or abandoned or maybe you just feel that nobody is there for you? Take some time to search the scriptures to see what God says about what you mean to Him. Write these scriptures down in your journal or on an index card and refer back to them whenever you feel that you are not enough.  Remember, only God can fill your deepest longings.

Join me on Facebook this week where I will be posting Scriptures to encourage us to feel better about God's love for us and who we are in Christ. I hope you will post some too.  

 

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General

It's Risky but don't Freak Out!
Instead of parting Red Seas and making water come from rocks the Lord did something just as amazing. He did something for us that we needed even more.

 

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I have always been one of those people that love a solid plan. I like things step by step, a-b-c, 1-2-3. But life is not always like that is it? Sometimes you don't know what is around the next corner. You do not know what is going to become of a decision that you have to make.

The Israelites were at this place. They were finally at the edge of the land of milk and honey. The place the Lord had promised them was within their reach. But when they sent out scouts to check out their new home the report that came back was not favorable to them.

 In this land they would have to deal with some unknowns, some risk. They would have to face giants that they could not see themselves defeating. The present inhabitants of the land were greater in number than they were and the lists goes on.

I have been here a countless number of times. Have you? Before the Israelites sought the Lord for deliverance from fear or before they asked for His action plan they began freaking out about what the circumstances looked like.

They allowed their minds to be filled with a thousand reasons why they should not proceed into their destiny. They listened to the 8 scouts that gave a bad report instead of the 2 that said they could do it.

Don't you know that when people give advice it comes mostly from their own fears or experiences? The predictions they gave was as they saw the situation not as God saw it. They projected their own fears onto the people.

That is why we have to seek Godly advice so we do not freak out every time we face anything that looks a little risky.

I hate to say that when I first read about the Israelites I wondered how they could be so afraid after all the miracles that they saw with their own eyes. I mean they saw the Lord part the Red Sea. We don't see those sort of miracles in our time so I wanted to use this as an excuse for not living up to my own potential I guess. But I cannot. We cannot.

Have you forgotten? Like the Israelites, hasn't God done great things in your life as He has in mine? Hasn't he protected you and fought for you? The enemy of your soul tried to destroy you but you are still here. I'm still here.

Life is risky I know. But get out there and follow the path the Lord has set before you.

Instead of parting Red Seas and making water come from rocks the Lord did something just as amazing. He did something for us that we needed even more.

He made us into miracles.  I am a miracle.

And you are a miracle.

So we do not have to panic or be afraid. We serve a God that goes before us and makes sure that although things may not work out as we think they should, He has promised that He will make whatever we do work out for our good.

Prayer

Father, help us to remember not to let fear or panic be a constant in our lives. We want to trust and believe that you go before us in every situation to make sure things work out for our good. Use our lives for your glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

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