Standing for Salvation, Standing for Marriage.

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On October 2, 2017 I filed for divorce.
And I just lost half of you right? So let me explain a little bit to you about what Standing for Marriage means to me. My husband and I have been through so many ups and downs and I won’t sugar coat it by leaving out the details, but I will be sharing those progressively throughout this blog. The overhanging story is that there is an enemy in this world. And that enemy is not flesh and blood.
In 2009, my husband and I started dating and moved in together within a month of dating. It was exciting and fun and we loved spending every moment together. We were best friends. But there is an iniquity in my husbands family and that certainly wasn’t quashed by my willingness to follow the ways of the world. My husband has a sexual addiction. He won’t admit it still, but it is a demon that plagues him and his entire bloodline. In August 2009, my then boyfriend, now husband, and soon to be ex husband moved to Colorado to be closer to my family. Within a month of us moving, I found out he had been flirting with and exchanging inappropriate photos with an ex girlfriend. I was devastated. Reeling. Crying in the shower for days and days. I couldn’t look at him the same. It was the most heart wrenching experience that my naïve mind had ever dealt with and I immediately started scouring the internet and racking my own brain to find a solution to a problem that seemed honestly fixable to me. I mean, he had cheated, because there was obviously something he needed that I wasn’t giving him. Let me just stop here for a moment and let you know that the enemy is a liar. And he uses our weak and vulnerable moments to attack. If I had been closer to the Lord then, I would have realized that God never gives us an okay to sin in an attempt to fix a problem. Truly, in that moment, I believed the enemies lies. That there was something wrong with me and that it was something that I could fix. That I, in my own strength, could fix our relationship.
I am horrified and ashamed of myself for what I did. But I will admit it, because it is part of my testimony, and someone out there might be going through something similar and needs to benefit from my experiences. In college, I had had my bi-sexual stints. Being in a very highly sexualized society, where gay excursions are the norm, it was not unusual for someone to try it and like it. So the enemy used this against me. In my own strength, I suggested to my boyfriend that we try it. Let’s just try a threesome. Lets try swinging. Maybe I am not enough woman for you, but me and another woman might be. Or me and another woman and her husband. Lets just give it a shot. Again friends, I am telling you that it is a lie. The enemy is a liar and if you have gone through that heart break, don’t allow the enemy to continue to drag you down into this pit. It’s not a place you want to go to.
This one time “let’s try it” mentality, fueled by my boyfriends sexual addiction, quickly turned into a lifestyle for us. And I hated it. Every single moment of it. My boyfriend daily checking emails, setting up dates, spending time flirting with “couples” and “singles” to try to “find us some friends”. Even writing about it is making my stomach turn. And maybe you aren’t at this place. Maybe this wasn’t even somewhere you considered. I beg you not to. It only leads to destruction. Trust me, because I’ve been down that road. Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death”.
The point of sharing this is to show you that we are human. That I have to own my mistakes just as much as my husband has to own his. But in 2015, after I found out about my husbands newest of many physical and emotional affairs, something in me snapped. I was broken. I had tried all that the world could offer me to fix this and nothing worked. I was powerless to stop this train wreck that was my life. The enemy had even whispered suicidal thoughts to me. It was either that or take it to God. Thank you Jesus, thank you every single day for the rest of my life that you broke through and helped me to take it to God. Romans 6:23b “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Standing for marriage for me started that day in April 2015. Standing on a promise that God made to me that one day, my marriage will be restored and that my husband will be made into a new creation too. I rededicated my life to Christ in 2015. I started reading his word. I started praying. I started hearing his voice in my spirit and listening to it. I started recognizing the enemies voice too and screening out the lies. And one day, God has promised that he will capture my prodigal husbands heart too and do the same thing. That he will make him into a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come”.
Standing for salvation means that one day, God will draw my husband back to himself. Standing for marriage means that I am standing on those promises that my marriage will come back together. And in that order. Because until my husband decides to accept the love of Christ, he will not be able to love or even know what real love is from anyone else. Hence, the current looming divorce. Our marriage covenant has been broken. My husband has a relationship with another woman right now in fact. But God is bigger than man. He is bigger than sin. He conquered sin with the blood of Christ. And when God says He is going to do something, He will do it. When the Lord does the work he has promised to do in this mans heart, the man will know what real love is. And when he knows what real love is, our marriage will be able to be restored. So this for me is what standing for salvation is. That my great big God will reach out His hand and find this prodigal soul wandering on this earth and bring him back into his fold. And when that happens, He will then do the work necessary to create a new covenant marriage that is based on the Rock. And this for me is what standing for marriage is.

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Release

Release

“I’m not letting go of my ex-husband. He should have never left us like this.” And God says “Stop holding him!”

I’ve been struggling again with holding him and God made it plain to me once again tonight. I had the thought of “What if he comes walking up and knocks on the door right now?” I would let him in. He would ask me to sit down and then explain to me that God has done a miracle and changed his heart, that he loves the Lord now and that he is not the man he was before. The old man is dead and this new man is now alive. And of course I would be crying and rejoicing, because it is what I am waiting for. It’s my promise finally come to life! But the first thing I said to him was “What about Maria?” And so he tells me he’s ended it and it won’t happen again. That he knows God is calling him home to be my husband and be our children’s dad. So I prayed for us and begged God to keep the temptation from him, to put up blocks and keep him from falling to his sin again. I prayed that God would protect my heart and keep me from bitterness and help me to forgive. And I prayed that God would heal us together back into one flesh and that he would heal both of our broken hearts and put us back together in the way He has designed.

All good prayers, nothing wrong with it, except that once that was all said and done and we hugged and held each other, I asked “What now?” and I felt terribly empty. The truth is that I already have everything I need, because I have the Lord! Whether my husband is home in my arms or not doesn’t matter, so why am I hurting so badly over this?

And all of a sudden it hit me. I want to be in control of my husband. I can’t stand the thought of him out in the world doing everything that he is most certainly doing. I can’t stand that he could pretend to be happy with someone that isn’t the woman God made him to be with. I want to be in control of him and make him come home, so I can keep him on the path that I know is right.

Truthfully, this is NOT my problem to solve! I am not supposed to be in control of my husband! This is GOD’S problem! God is supposed to be the one in control of ME, in control of MY HUSBAND, in control of OUR KIDS! I have been holding onto my bitterness, thinking that somehow it gives me some control. But I need to give the control back to Christ. Lord, I am releasing my control and my desire to be in control back into your hands today.

Instead of trying to take control of Chris and his lifestyle, I RELEASE him into your hands. I RELEASE myself into your hands. You the only one capable of fixing this and you are in control!

Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

God, help me release all of my offenses with him. When he comes home, I don’t want to say “What about this or that?” with doubt. I want to say “Welcome! Tell me about what God did in your life! I would love to know!”

Don’t I know you well enough Lord to be able to see You inside of him when the time is ready?

So if he comes back tomorrow, I want to say “I would love to spend some time together and get to know each other again.” I would love to give him the chance to date me in a safe place where the temptation is minimal. I would love to go to church together and let others see him and tell me if they see God in him. I would love to invite the Lord into our relationship to pick apart at all the problems. His actions will show Gods character in him. Why do I question that?

The thing I need to do more then anything, as God begins a new chapter, is to forget the past and look to the future. God, you will present yourself in the man you promised me. You told me before that he will not be recognizable as the man he once was. So when the time is right, it will be quite clear.

I know we will need to go to counseling as we begin to restore our marriage. I know there is rubble from the past that will still need to be cleaned up, before we can fully move forward into our future, so that we don’t stumble and trip over the same things that broke us the last time, but those things don’t need to be addressed there at the front door. That first interaction, the few that follow, God help me to see You in him and know it is You, so that I don’t have to fear or doubt. Help me to forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead.

Philippians 3:12-14 NLT

 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

He Came for a Moment into the Light

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He came into the light. It was only for a brief moment, but I saw it!

He came to visit us on Naomi’s birthday and came to her birthday party. It was the first time in a long time that my family has been able to see him. They were all friendly as they always have been. It’s hard for a man who blames my family to continue to believe that lie when they are standing in front of him, showing actions different to his beliefs. But I get it. He has to believe that lies or he has to face the guilt, shame, and pride. He isn’t ready for that yet.

He came back to the house afterwards and it was such a nice visit. He came into the theatre room and played video games with my son and I. Naomi was taking a nap, but when she woke up, she needed to sit with Daddy. It was so awesome getting to spend time together like that as a family.

I had warned him ahead of time that I was leading my Bible Study tonight, so he could stay with the kids if he wanted to, but at 6, I would be downstairs leading my group. He said no, that he would be long gone before then.

My mind wasn’t on him. I was happy he was here with our family, but I was thinking about my Bible Study. I was getting ready for that. At one point, I was sitting in the room with my ex husband and my son and I started praying and thanking God for this time that we get to spend all together and I felt God’s presence so heavily with me.

I am reminded of this vision God had given me months ago. It was that Chris would call to me, while he was in the darkness. I would see and hear him, because I am standing in God’s light and I would walk out to meet Chris, but because I walked away from God to meet him, I was walking into the darkness and I couldn’t hear God’s voice anymore. I used to always be puzzled, especially last year, when I would be spending time with Chris and I couldn’t hear the Lords voice anymore. It’s because I wasn’t standing in God’s will when I was doing those things. I made the plans, then asked God to bless them. Now, I ask God what the plan is and participate in what He is doing. I am standing my ground in the light.

Chris accidentally wandered into the light on 1/20/19. He accidentally stepped into the light, into God’s presence in our home. He saw our family photos hanging on the walls. He was part of those photos. He sat down in the chair he was so used to sitting in before. He played games and laughed with the same old people. We made jokes that we used to make. We enjoyed each others company immensely. And I gave him a real hug when he left. Not a side hug. Not a front hug into his shoulder. No, I gave him a full, wrapping my arms around his neck, smiling ear to ear, so close I could have kissed him hug. I don’t know if it was the right thing to do. Honestly, I don’t know, but I’m being honest with ya’ll. It’s what I did and I believe God uses everything.

When I hugged him, Chris promised to come down the next day. It was Naomi’s actual birthday and he wanted to take his little girl to celebrate again. Knowing him, I wasn’t expecting it to actually happen. I was hopeful though. But just as he was saying that, my Bible Study girls starting pulling into the driveway. “Who is this pulling up here?” He asked. I laughed and said it was either my room mate or my Bible Study ladies and I could see his face go white. He ran. And I mean, not like a polite, discreet, “oh thanks for the good time, gotta go bye” run. No, he didn’t say another word. He took off through the door and sped full speed out of the driveway and down the street. One of my girls came in and said “who the heck was that tearing out of here like a bat out of hell?” and I just had to laugh. My other friend knew “It was Chris, wasn’t it?” and I smiled and laughed and nodded. We prayed for him that night. It was amazing. It was a great night.

Which made the next day terribly difficult. Chris texted to say he wouldn’t be able to come down to visit us, because it was the last day he has to finish getting things done before he leaves. Can I bring the kids up to him instead? I told him no, that I was too busy with work that day and I asked what he meant by leave and then realized he must be talking about his deployment. He said no, he is flying out to Europe. Obviously to see his most recent girlfriend and clearly so that he can spend his birthday with her. My heart was devastated again and I answered his text “Why do you have to say things like that to me?”

Thank you Jesus that I was on the phone with my friend when all of this was happening, because she was able to counsel me through it in that very moment. She told me not to let him know my true feelings, but to take those real feelings to God. In the mean time, my ex husband responded saying that “The information I had was incorrect”, meaning that if I thought he and Maria were finished, I was wrong. He also said that he has not kept any secrets from me or lied to me at all. I will say it again. Thank you Jesus for my friend being on the phone. She coached me and I was able to answer him. “You told me you couldn’t afford the child support.” I wanted to cry and tell him what a horrible mean person he was and that why is he flaunting his infidelities in my face and trying to push me away and all of this. But by talking about the child support instead, he suddenly believed that my care was not for him, but rather for my financial stability.

He was taken aback. I know he was hoping I would have cared more, but in the same moment, he was trying very hard to push me away. I get it. He can’t face the shame and the guilt and the pride. He can’t face the truth or reconcile the lies he believes (or is trying desperately to believe) with the actions he is seeing from me. If he doesn’t have these lies as truth, then he comes out looking like some kind of monster and he can’t face that part of himself. His response was to try to start a fight with me about how much money he back owes on child support. The conversation fell flat.

It stung me for about 13 seconds. Then I got over it. Then I thought about it a little more that evening for maybe 14 minutes. Then I got over it again. Then I took myself out to see a movie and God spoke to me even in that! All I can do is laugh about it now and praise God. God has finally allowed me to put this all in his hands.

Literally, that night I saw the rope that was holding me back to the past. It was only just a final little silk string, but I took the scissors and I cut it. As soon as I did, I saw the golden rope of hope before me spread out across the sky and it was like a beautiful tapestry woven out before me. The future is so beautiful and I am not holding onto the past anymore.

A few nights later, I asked God to give me His hands and I felt him put them out for me. Into his hands, I put my past, present, and future. I also put my desires for my husband in His hands and asked him to please take them away from me. He took them and told me “I will give this back to you when the time is right.”

Brothers and sisters, I am free! I am free! I do still love Chris. God has put this regardless love in my heart that no matter what, will not fade. I want him to be happy and filled with the Spirit. I was good for him. I want the Lord for him. But it is not consuming me anymore. It’s not consuming my heart and my desires anymore. I almost didn’t even write this blog, because I feel so completely content right now, that it seemed there wasn’t a point. I am writing it, because I feel God has called me to write it, for the sake of someone who needs it.

I also heard God tell me a few days later that “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven”. He kept repeating it to me again and again and then I read it that morning in my Bible Study. Romans 1:18-19 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

God let Chris wander into the light. He spent time in it. He lingered. He hung out in God’s presence and he enjoyed himself. The truth was made plain to him. God made it plain to him. But now he is choosing to suppress the truth with his wickedness. Instead of embracing the truth, he ran back into his sin. He pushed me away as hard as he could and flew to Europe to continue another affair. It’s so reminiscent of how the divorce began. But this is the beginning of the end. I felt God telling me yesterday that it has begun. It is right now. God’s wrath is upon this man. This is the beginning of the end. Thank you Jesus. Your son is going to return home. Amen!

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Claiming His Promises

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“2019 is the year of Salvation. The year the prodigal comes home.”

I was getting ready for church on Wednesday January 9th.

God had asked me on January 3rd, 2019 to take a giant leap of faith.

First, he told me that He is recalculating and has decided to change the pace. I told him of course that yes, whatever He thinks is right, I am going to follow and trust Him, but why is he doing this? He told me He can trust me with this. He asked me to take this leap of faith on January 3rd. The moment I said yes, and I did it, God confirmed it to me with immediate financial blessing, with verses, signs, dreams, and through the words of trusted advisers.

As I was getting ready on January 9th, God was speaking with his still small voice to me. I was listening and talking with him, but after a few minutes I said “Lord, wait please just a minute. You’ve been speaking to me with your still small voice and you know that I trust you Lord and will faithfully follow where you lead me, but you’ve asked me to take this big risk. Please, could you speak plainly to me in a loud audible voice.” I heard nothing, so I forgot about the request and decided to trust in the Lord’s small voice anyways.

My pastor stood on the stage on Wednesday, January 9th and the first thing he said was “You know the story of the prodigal son. God has given me a word that 2019 is the year of salvation. The year the prodigal comes home.” I wept. It was God speaking plainly to mean in the loud audible voice I had asked for. Goodbye fear and doubt!

I am claiming it now. In boldness! The Lord has given me five words for 2019! Transformed, Renewed, Revived, Breakthrough, and Restored. The Lord has given me many visions over the years, in 2017 and 2018 for the journey I am on and Chris is on and the miracles God is doing. I am seeing those continue and come to fulfillment in 2019 and 2020.

By August 2019 the chains of sin will be broken from Chris and his desire will be for the Lord. He will be Transformed.

The definition of transformed is “make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of”.

Dead in his sin and ready to be alive in you. His form and appearance has been alive and “happy”. He will be broken down to the bottom. Dead. He came for my daughters birthday yesterday. He and my son and I played a drawing game. His prompt was to draw “Me in the future”. He drew a tombstone with RIP on it. He doesn’t realize how symbolic that is. He is about to be dead to his sin. In one of those visions, God had shown that he was ripping the demon from this mans back and that his body would fall to the ground dead. No, he won’t be physically dead, but completely at the end of his abilities. He will be alone, broken, and in desperate need. Dead.

Transformed. It will happen over the course of this year. As he is serving in Afghanistan. As he is seeing sadness and war. As he is experiencing life without love. And then coming home to see he has no better life to come home to. His wife and family are not rejoicing and picking him up after a long hard deployment. He will see his brothers in arms and their families, but his will be gone. No one rejoices for his homecoming. He will be broken. Transformed to the bottom.

In September 2019, You will Renew him. You will stand his dry bones up from the dust.

Ezekiel 37:4-8 “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.”

He will be renewed. You will stand up his body, he will be covered in flesh, but be a lifeless, hollow shell. In September, you will renew him. In the vision, God picked him up and stood his lifeless body on its feet.

Some synonyms to renew: return to, pick up again, take up again, come back to, reopen, begin again, start again, restart

You will restart with his hollow shell. Removing the heart of stone to replace it with a heart of flesh. He will soften for his family. He will absolutely soften for You, Lord. This is when I will see his consistent support financially. He will begin to tithe. He will begin to attend church again. His heart will lean towards You.

In October 2019, you will revive him. He will fall in love and say yes to you. He will be baptized then and be filled with your Spirit! You will breathe your Spirit into him and revive him with your Holy CPR. In the vision, the Lord stood before his body and actually blew on Chris. The Spirit filled his nostrils, his ears, his eyes, his mouth. It sunk into his pores and filled him with life. His body breathed.

Ezekiel 37:9-10 “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army.”

Revive means to restore to life or consciousness.

In late October and early November 2019, there will be breakthrough. Our relationship will come back to life and we will finally see each other in truth and love each other, as we each love the Lord. I will not idolize Chris. He will not have his adulterous desires anymore. We will love each other as we love and pursue You. We will pour into one another from the fullness of our love that is being poured out from You, Lord.

Breakthrough has several definitions. An act or instance of moving through or beyond an obstacle.

He will break through the obstacle of divorce. In the vision, it was the divorce, like a wall that came up between us, protecting me and the kids from him and the consequences of his sins. When he is ready, he will break through the wall and come back into our arms. He will be on the other side with us and with the Lord.

In that sense, I really like this other definition too. An offensive military assault that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line.

And in January 2020 we will be restored. We will remarry. Restore defined is to give back or return. You, Lord, will return us to one another again. You will put us back into each others hands. You will restore the marriage.

Another definition is to bring back to or put back into a former or original state. Renew.

You will put our marriage back into its original state. We will love each other again. We will be married again. Our marriage will be restored as you promised. January 2020.

And we will be living out the fruition of this leap of faith that God has asked me to take by February 2020.

God, I am claiming these promises, right now and out loud. I claim victory. I know you will make these things all come to pass and I wait in anxious expectation. I am telling this mountain right now to jump and I expect it to. No more doubts or fear. You are victorious and I am victorious through Christ who paid the price and died for me. Amen

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Where your treasure is

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Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

There was a young man who invited his older friend to dinner in his home.

They laughed and enjoyed each other’s company, discussing work and life. The young man pointed excitedly to a glittering piece of plastic adorning his mantle. The trophy showed a runner and read “1st place” in carved lettering. He explained about months of hard work, waking up early to run, eating healthy, and training for the race. It was a hard fought victory that paid off!

His guest laughed, admiring the trophy. “I have one of those too.” His host was a little taken aback. This older man was in poor health and quite out of shape. His guest explained. “Mine was a hard fought victory too, but in the end I got the price down from $5 to $2!” They both laughed.

The older gentleman went home that night and the next morning, the young man received a call. His friend had passed in the night from a heart attack. His heart swelled with pain, especially a few days later when his friends widow arrived with a small gift bag. Inside was his friends matching trophy. He placed it proudly on the mantle beside his own, making sure to leave the “$5” orange sticker in its place.

What is the purpose of my stand? At the beginning, I would have confidently told you that marriage restoration was my reason. I realize now that this goal was an idol. A piece of shiny gold plastic to place on the mantle for all to see. What is my real reason for running? Is it really just to get that prize at the end? Or could there be something more to this race?

Philippians 3:2 (Message translation) says, “Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances.”

Heres the thing. I can put this shiny gold thing up the mantle and have the appearance of a runner who has won a race. In my old marriage, I put the marriage up on the mantle to show the appearance of a pretty family, all put together in our white picket fence. Something I have learned is that appearances don’t matter. I could have the trophy and not have done any of the work to earn it and I have nothing. In fact, the word tells us that those who gain by short cutting will lose everything.

Job 27:16-17 says it like this, “Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay, what he lays up the righteous will wear, and the innocent will divide his silver.”

Proverbs 13:22 says “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.”

I have to understand in my stand that my goal is not the trophy. I am not doing all of this work, training, exercising, getting up early, eating right, running so that I can get a piece of plastic. The plastic is a trophy to remind me of the victory. I am doing it for the victory.

In my life, I am not standing for my marriage for the sake of the prize – the restored marriage. Though that trophy is nice and will look great on my mantle and I will proudly display it when it is won, my reason for this race must be something more.

My reason that I run this race is for the relationship with Christ. For myself. For those around me who will be impacted by my journey. Because I love the Lord.

When I am in training, my Spirit is becoming strengthened. My relationship with the Lord is growing deeper. Just like our runner is becoming more fit. His body is becoming strong through his training. This stand is Spiritual training.

Paul goes on in Philippians 3 to say, “The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials…The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’srighteousness.

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.”

The fact is, as the young man learned in our story, this piece of plastic was pretty valueless in the scheme of things. It meant much to him, but by itself, was worth practically nothing and could be purchased by anyone. The value of it came in the work put in to accomplish the goal. The trophy was a reminder of that accomplishment – the journey. The growth. The work it took to get to the victory is what mattered. Not the reminder on the mantle.

And don’t make a mistake. I want the trophy, my marriage restored. I would love to win this race. I am fully confident that with Christ, I will. But I realize that I am not running this race for that trophy. This race is being run for me and my relationship with the Lord. This race has given me a beautiful love with the Lord. I am running, even if I never get the trophy at the end, because I love the Lord. Because of the spiritual growth. Because of our relationship. Because of His plans for my life.

And another thing to remember is that our runner, in the end, had his physical health. We will at the end of our stand have our spiritual health, but easily we could lose focus and forget our routines and lose it. With that trophy adoring his mantle, the runner could easily be satisfied and give up his training and become the same as his guest.

Lets not only run the race towards restoration, growing Spiritually as we run, but let’s set our minds to continue even after the victory is won. Let’s make sure that the trophy adorning the mantle at the end of this race will inspire us to keep going on to win new victories, not leave us content and lazy.

Like Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7, I want to say that “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Kept the faith.

Not just run for a goal, but run for my growing relationship with the Lord. Not just win my victory and put my prize on the mantle, but keep my faith and Spiritual growth by continuing to pursue Christ all the days of my life.

Israel’s Battle

 

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Israel opened her eyes, pushing aside a bit of the dirt beneath her feet. She breathed out a sigh as a drop of sweat slipped between the creases in her eyebrows. “My victory is in Jesus name.” She clenched her fist and then she stood. The dust of the floor whipped around her feet. The chain metal clinked as she rose. She shook her long brown hair behind her head and pulled a helmet into its proper place. Her fist clenched tighter around the sword and she sunk it into its sheath on her belt.

Then she knelt down and pressed her hands against her Bible. “This is how I fight my battles.” And she closed her eyes tightly and turned her head toward heaven.

“You told me to get out of your way. You told me, once you had moved me, to be still and know that you are God. You are in control. I gave you my precious seed. I gave you what meant the most to me. I gave it to you Lord, because you promised to plant it and make it grow. I’m still mourning it’s burial, but I know it wasn’t a funeral. I know you are working in the places I can’t see. Now you’re calling me to the front line. Not to fight, but to stand firm and shout insults at the enemy and watch as you slaughter him. I still trust you! I am going.”

And she rose up from her knees and pushed all the sweat that had beaded on her forehead aside. A breath of air braced her as she pulled the curtain of her tent back. It was time. She stepped into the chill of the cloudy day. One other tent stood beside her and the woman inside stepped out also. They’re eyes met and they both smiled, determined blazes filling their eyes.

Israel walked forward and all of her fears fell away from her with each step that she took. She felt herself getting lighter and lighter, almost like she could float. As she walked, her friend blazed a trail beside her too. Soon though, Israel was aware of another. Then another. Friends. Allies. They weren’t alone. What was one, became two. Two became five. Five turned into fifteen. Then forty. Then hundreds. Israel couldn’t see the number anymore, but she heard the roar of an army all around her. She knew she was far from alone. That all of these people had joined her to fight alongside her. To die if necessary, but to be obedient to God’s calling in their lives. Somehow, her faith had sparked a fire that had jumped from heart to heart.

Fear was replaced with courage. Tears of sorrow were replaced with tears of joy. Doubt was replaced with faith. Overwhelming faith. God was really with them. He was with her. She could hear him in the roar of the army around her. She could feel him in the brace of the air that whipped her. She could see him in the sky above her. A shining rainbow, twinkling just above the horizon of the distant cliffs. And she knew He had somehow, miraculously, assembled this army around her. He was using her! Just like he had promised all those years ago to. He was keeping every single promise to her and she knew.

“It’s only a matter of time, sweet daughter. Just be patient. I will do what I promised to do.”

A smile cracked across her lips and she looked to the sky. “Thank you!” she shouted as she charged forward towards the front lines, shouts of strength around her as they followed. Die if she must, but she knew God was working and His plans for her were best.

“And you won’t have to fight this battle. Just stand firm and see my glory come. I will fight for you.”

TheLordWillFight

 

He is moving

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I haven’t written in a while, but I need to update yall. Truthfully, I don’t even know what to say, except that God is incredibly strong and He is at work. I do see it!

Saturday was horrible and amazing all rolled into one. Chris was going to see the kids for the first time this whole summer. Since May 20. I was scared and worried about the kids. He wanted to take them to the amusement park in Denver and was going to drive down to pick them up (an hour between he and I) and take them all the way back to go, then bring them home afterwards. I really thought it was a ploy. Either he was going to come to the house and hang out for 6 hours or he was going to take them back up so they could meet his girlfriend. Either way was scary, because God has told me to “Remain in hiding”. I’m not supposed to see Chris at all right now.

I had a dream Friday night. In the dream, I drove up with my sister, a friend from high school, and two other friends that I couldn’t see their faces but I know they were friends. We all went into his apartment which overwhelmed him, because he wasn’t expecting all those people. He asked me to come out alone so he could show me something and I went. He started showing me the apartment building and we were walking through some café place when a woman called out to him and he said oh and went and gave her a hug. Another woman came behind him and hugged him and he hugged her back too. I mouthed across the room to him “is that Emily?” And he said yes and I ran. He called when I was on the elevator and said where am I? He and Emily are coming to see the kids. I said no absolutely not and ran to his room and loaded my kids and all the friends into the car to run away. While I was in the apartment though, I felt God telling me to let this go and let her meet them. I woke up from the dream.

I went to my prayer room and started praying. I asked God “she is going to have to meet them isn’t she?” and I got a verse in Proverbs 23:10 – 11, titled “Saying 11”

Do not move an ancient boundary stone

or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,

for their Defender is strong;

he will take up their case against you.

So I remembered that the boundary we set for our children was that we would not go out with a person of the opposite sex with our kids unless it was in a group setting. Not that my kids won’t meet her, but that it would be only on these terms. And I realized that I have been trying to protect my kids by moving the boundary stones out further to keep them protected better and that God was asking me to give this up and let God protect them. So I said okay. I will give up control and lay my kids on the alter and know that God is protecting them. I was scared, but I trust God and know he will protect them. Really, that is one of the hardest sacrifices God has asked me to make yet, and one of the quickest decisions of “yes!” that I have ever answered. He is building my trust in Him!

Christian got up then and I asked him does he want to go see his dad still today. He said he wants to go to the amusement park, but can they go next Saturday instead and I was so relieved. I felt like that was immediate confirmation of Gods protection.

I texted Chris to tell him he wants to go next weekend, not this weekend. Chris said okay he still wants to see the kids and he is coming down and will take them jumping at sky zone. I said okay to text when he is on the way. He texted then and said he knows I will say no, but he is going to ask anyways. He thinks I should come. I didn’t answer. I knew I wasn’t supposed to see him, so when he said he was close, I told him to get them from my parents house. He responded okay, but that I will get my child support money when he sees me. I told him no to just leave it with my parents and thank you for that. It helps me a lot. He was angry and said why would I do this to him? He doesn’t want to associate with my family and I am being childish. That I should be adult enough to make my own decisions. I so desperately wanted to tell him that this is my decision and I don’t want to see him, but God has been clear with me that I need to not even let Chris on at all to where I am emotionally or tell him anything of what is happening in my life, so I didn’t. I answered would he prefer my sister bring them to him and he answered no he wants me to meet him.

Then he said he was at my parents and where was I? My dad called and said Chris came to the door and he invited him in, but Chris said no he would wait in his car. Then he took off. I texted and told Chris I was on the way and Chris said to have whoever meet him at the grocery store down the street. He was mad.

I got them to my dad and my dad took them to meet Chris. Amazingly, Chris gave the money to my dad. My dad said he doesn’t hold anything against him and the family cares about him. He’s these kids dad and he should see them. Chris told him this is awkward.

I left my parents. I was going to see a movie, but my aunt called then and said my uncle just passed. I was a crying wreck. I can’t believe it still. I went back to my moms and my sister came over and we all cried together. When Chris arrived to bring them back, I asked my family to deal with him and they got the kids all together and brought them back in. My sister saved me cause I almost answered the door and she swooped in last minute to get it. He told her he would be back Monday. Never discussed that with me, but I didn’t even worry about it, because he lies and he was lying.

The whole day was a ploy for him to try to get what he wants. Started by being kind to manipulate, then angry, then sad, then cutting trying to cut down who I am, then kind again, then trying to plant fear. All of them were tactics and manipulations. None of them worked. I am proud of myself for being strong. I am grateful to God that He gave me the strength and protected me and the kids. And I am seeing God plague him as he said he would. Thank you God, because I know this is all part of God working.

I’ve seen so many more miracles throughout the week since Saturday. I was able to give some really hopeful words to my Aunt who lost her husband suddenly. God reconciled the relationship between me and my ex-sister in law which honestly I did not think was possible! My friends were blessed by encouraging words the Lord gave to me, my sister was strengthened by words the Lord gave me, tonight another friend who lives far from me was encouraged and strengthened. I can’t believe how much God has been doing. And none of it honestly seems to be with Chris, but that is okay. I know he is still drowning in his sin, but my life is not about him. God IS going to do what He promised to do. He WILL save Chris and restore our marriage someday, but right now, I have absolutely no doubts that He is creating the ministry out of me. Right now. In this moment.

Pray for me please. I am leading DivorceCare at my church this semester, starting September 4. I am very excited, but so sad for those who will be joining the class. Divorce is horrible. I can’t imagine something worse and I am still in the middle of this battle. God uses those of us though with the weapons forged through the trials of life, to lift up others going through the same fire. I know He was the one who orchestrated me being a leader in this class and because of that, He will use this for His glory. He is so good!

Love Will Come

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing this! It is complete confirmation to me for where God has placed me in this place in my life! Soulmates meet for they have the same hiding place. AMEN!

Vistas of Hope

Dear Someone,

This letter is for you, you that is desperately seeking love and at the same time desperately avoiding it. You that is searching for a darker place to hide because you sometimes wish you were more than you are right now. You that’s finding it hard to love with a heart that’s hurting. You that’s hoping that you never have to say goodbye to the next person you fall in love with. You that’s desperately seeking for approvals and wherever it comes from. You that’s brutally broken and seeking for another chapter to your story. You that’s feeling hopelessly empty and lonely in that street of life that you have found yourself. This letter is for you!

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