I know how the story ends!
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (James 1:2).
If this speaks to your current situation, read on. Why in the world would you count it joy when your world is crashing down around you? If there is something IN you, such as an unresolved hurt, lie, or offense present, trials will touch on those places already inside of you, making the problem feel bigger than it really is. God allows the trial to purify those places that He wants to bring greater healing and freedom to. This is an invitation for us to encounter a loving Father in that place and get the healing our heart desires. If the issue is truly someone else’s that is affecting you greatly, the trial allows us to grow up and mature into better mothers and fathers to those around us. To become more like Jesus in our responses, beliefs, and tools of heaven. Count it pure joy, brothers and sisters, when your world feels like it is crashing down because God wants to meet you there and walk with you through the trial, perfecting you in every way.
If you look at my childhood and you look at my anointing, it would make sense that there would be an intense training ground in the process. I have yet to see a SINGLE trial over the past 25 years of walking with Him not turn into a touchpoint where He met me in that broken, hurting, or confused place and did not do a good work. Let God walk with you through it to the other side, and regardless of the circumstances, you will never be the same.
1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me!
Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey.
If we focus on being a perfect parent and handling everything just right, we will surely fail because Jesus is the only perfect human. However, our weaknesses, failures, wounds, and mistakes do not disqualify us from equipping our children with the truth that while we may have blown it, Holy Spirit is never impatient or annoyed with us. While Dad might be distracted or absent, Papa God is always eager for our attention and company. Where Mom may lack, He always provides. Where we stumble, He is able. How will children know this unless we actively teach them about the faithfulness of God? So, the next time you blow it, use it as an opportunity to teach your child how awesome and good Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit really are and that while we try, we are not always like Him, but praise God, He isn’t like us either!
While you may be going through a change, it is a lie that you are alone. On this day, God calls you His. Anchor yourself daily in this truth.
Declare this out loud, “I am not alone. God is with me.” Say it again and again and again until the eyes of your heart get it.
Hosea 2:16 (NIV) – “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’ you will no longer call me ‘my master.'”
Hosea 2:16 (MSG) – “At that time” – this is God’s Message still – “you’ll address me, ‘Dear husband!’ Never again will you address me, ‘My slave-master!’ I’ll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again.”
Someone needs to declare this over themselves today. “YOU ARE THE GOD WHO SEES MY NEED!” Say it until you have faith for it.
As parents, we get to blow on our child’s areas of strength and empower them in their areas of weakness. We have the privilege of helping them unpack what is inside of them by God’s intentional design to impact those around them. The more this is discovered in childhood, the easier adulthood will be because they already have a grid for who they are. You can’t operate successfully unless you know your original design and purpose.
I left my four-month-old twins at home and put my newly pregnant self together for my first moms night out in nearly a year. I was excited to join my mom’s group for a night of carefree laughs. Everything was going great until halfway through our meal when one mom mentioned co-sleeping. Nearly every single mom believed in co-sleeping, and the comments were becoming the law vs. an option. Things were being said like, “If you don’t co-sleep, you are harming their emotional well-being,” and “I feel sorry for the kids whose parents are too selfish to share their bed.” I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I felt shame, judged, and inadequate as a new mother. It did not take long for MY reality to sink back in. I had two four-month-old babies, a husband who woke up at 4:00 AM for work, I was pregnant again with a growing belly, and we had a queen-sized bed. NO! Co-sleeping was not for us. I had to intentionally draw a line in the sand, push back their ‘wisdom,’ and be at peace with what was best for our family. I wished that painful experience with my peers was a rare moment, but I have found in parenting that this is a normal occurrence.
Picture a dad injecting his son with a shot every morning. When asked WHY he was doing it, he replied, “Oh, I was at the hospital the other day. I noticed other parents doing it, so I wanted to be a good dad and give it to my son too.” How absurd, right? What keeps one child alive would actually harm another. We have got to get a hold of this in our parenting in order to parent with their Creator and what He is doing in their lives. No two families are a cookie-cutter of God’s design. We are all unique expressions of what He is doing on earth. The mom raising a missionary does not have the same job as the mom raising the next President of the United States of America. We are all bringing children up in the way they should go according to His plan and the assignment He has for them. We need to break the agreement that our families should fit in, look like everyone else, and the pressure to mold them according to someone else’s expectations. You stand before Him alone and give an account of how well you stewarded what He has given you (not what others expected of you).
I encourage you to pray this out loud, “Jesus, I confess that I have attempted to shape my child into someone else’s image. I ask for Your forgiveness for having my eyes on the fear and pressure of man instead of You. Do You forgive me?” Make sure you are not just asking for forgiveness but receiving it too. Make these declarations out loud over yourself:
I DECLARE I am more than enough for my family.
I DECLARE I do not need to parent like anyone else.
I DECLARE my child does not need to conform to anyone else’s box.
I DECLARE God knows what He is doing with my child.
I DECLARE I will always know what to do because Christ lives inside of me.
I DECLARE partnering with God in my parenting is the best way to raise my child.
Baby Moses was the answer to the Israelites’ plea for help from their bondage that lasted for generations. So, what is God birthing through your child? Time will tell. How you steward the calling on their life is the difference between slavery and freedom for others.
I was so struck while reading Psalm 119:143 – “In my distress and anguish your commandments comfort me.” I was reading commands as in obedience, but as I sat with this longer, the revelation came. What does God command us to do? To praise, not fear, rejoice, and give thanks. Whoa!
Praise – gets our eyes off our circumstances and on Him. We become whatever we set our gaze to.
Not fear – fear sabotages our faith.
Rejoice – means to partner with.
JOY – joy releases a natural chemical in our brain that restores our passion and fight.
Give thanks – focuses on what He has already done (and is capable of doing again).
The nature of distress is extreme anxiety. The nature of anguish is server suffering. God’s COMMANDS bring us back to the reality that He sees. He is in control; He is able; He has done it before and can do it again. Yes, His commands comfort me.
I am UNDONE by the way God is aligning, healing, and setting the youth free. Years of heartbreak and pain are being resolved NOW. There are many 50-year-olds who haven’t tasted the level of breakthrough and freedom God is releasing on this generation. I am seeing it with my very own eyes.