Beauty from Ashes…

Short, sweet and to the point…….

A few months ago I was asked to share my testimony at the Angie Smith conference the SBCV just had. I initially was going to say no as I was honestly a bit ‘scared.’ It was a seemingly daunting thought to stand up in front of 800+ women and ‘speak’ this testimony of mine… speak it is much much different than simply writing it. However, I came to the decision that how dare I squash an opportunity to point to the hope and unfailing love of our Savior. So, I did it. And can I tell you that when you are obedient to the Lord and do something that solely honors and glorifies Him, He will indeed give you an unexplainable peace in the midst of what could be an overwhelming moment. He will give you an opportunity that seems so undeserved.
IMG_6424This was a moment where I completely stepped aside and allowed the Lord to use me and speak through me. #lifechanging My hearts prayer in this opportunity was no one would see me or hear my story but instead hear a love story of Jesus Christ.
I share this to say, if you are in the midst of something that seems unbearable…hold fast my friend. He is there. He is faithful.
A time will come in your journey that causes you to realize that when you wept uncontrollably, when it didn’t seem light was at the end of the tunnel, when all else seemed to fail: The One you know remained, He did indeed remain. Because He is faithful and He does redeem and He does in fact use you for His glory. Even when you think it’s impossible, hope peeks thru.
Don’t give up friend, no matter where you are in the storm; you are loved and thought of…even in that moment you don’t think you can breathe….He is there. He is there waiting to breathe new life into the place that looks like it is beyond repair.
He loves you. He will mend you. He will make you whole. He is a good God. He is a faithful God.
He is a Redeemer, a Rescuer, a Mighty Fortress.
He is our God.

If you’d like to hear my testimony here is the video:

A Confession…

I have a confession to make….and it’s something that I have realized after attending an incredible leadership conference in Houston, Texas 2 weeks ago.  I was given an amazing opportunity to be a part of this conference for women in their 20’s and 30’s (I barely made it in..heehee) who speak, teach, or write in ministry.  It was something Beth Moore created through her brand new Entrusted study and I will say it was the best conference I have ever been to.  I have been unpacking everything in my mind I learned from that weekend and wrestling with trying to put it into words.  I had prayed it would be a weekend that would greatly impact me and I went into it with great anticipation asking the Lord to speak to me.  He did and I’m changed.

So back to that confession.  This isn’t exactly what I expected to come out of this weekend but it’s exactly what the Lord knew would.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”  Proverbs 19:21  

 I am confessing that I’ve been lying to myself for a while now.  I so desperately wanted to believe that I was only concerned with what the Lord thought of me and what He had for me. (which is the way it should be..)  However, I realized that’s not what was happening as much as I tried to convince myself it was.  I’ve been yearning so badly for ‘normal.’  I ached for people to look at me like they used to, treat me like they used to.  I longed for people to trust me again, for friends to want to be around me again, for everyone to know that I am changed, that I am transformed, that I am different.   And once again, what people thought began to consume me more than my longing for Christ did.  And when even the littlest hint happened that this wasn’t the case, that someone questioned me or I saw someone look at me different, it stung and it stung hard.  I was overdoing it – trying to make sure everyone liked me, not wanting to upset anyone, clinging to friendships as if I was terrified to lose them because I’d already lost so many and so on– I was working hard going into overdrive trying to prove myself to be good.  It was becoming exhausting.   And finally, as I was sitting in my Houston Texas hotel room I heard……………”Stop.”

I sat captivated listening at this conference and one of the things Beth Moore said was, “I need nothing but Jesus.”  Simple statement? Yes. Basic statement?  No kidding….  Profound for me in that very moment?  Absolutely.   Not another thing on this planet is worth anything to me if my heart isn’t fixed on the very One who made it.   My moments with the Lord, my time in private that I have with Him will manifest itself in every part of my being, every part of my life when I let it.  I can tell you that I have never ever felt this supernatural peace and contentment about life that I do after that weekend.  My eyes and my heart are solely fixed on the One who rescued me, the One who transformed me and the One who is going to use me solely for His glory.  The rest of life falls into place from that.  I can say with 100% authenticity that I am not concerned with anyone or anything else.  Will people still question me? Yes.  Will some not like me?  For sure.  Do I want people to like me?  Do I want friends?  Sure I do but it doesn’t’ complete me nor am I consumed with it.  My job is to seek the Lord.  My job is to love Him with all of my heart.  He will unquestionably take care of everything else.  Everything else.  When I allow Him to come in and transform me, when I find my full confidence and identity in Him, it will pour out of every bit of me and other peoples response, positive or negative, to that is not my concern.  OH THE FREEDOM IN THAT!

The Lord spoke to me in that hotel room.  I felt His presence and it was as though He was saying –Stop it!  Just stop it!  Rest in Me.  Rest in Me and be who I’m calling you to be.  That is it!–  I imagined Him cupping my face in His hands, looking at me in the eyes and saying “keep focused right here and don’t look left or right.”

I cannot go back and rewrite my story.  All I can do is bring what I’ve got, surrender it to the Almighty and allow Him to use me!  I walked away from that weekend fully believing that the Lords not done with me.  In fact, He is just getting started.  He is going to use me and my story for His glory.  I can say with certainty that I have now officially shut the door on the last chapter of my life.  I am coming out of the rubble, dusting myself off and ready to walk boldly ahead fixated on His eyes, resting in His Word, trusting in His faithfulness.  My prayer each day is to never ever forget this feeling of peace and contentment I have right now.  It changed me, it calmed me, it renewed me.  My desire is to have a passion for Jesus Christ that compels the people around me – that they see Christ in me before they see me in me.  I want nothing else.

Dear One, you too can rest in Him and experience supernatural peace.  You too need nothing but Jesus. May you grasp how WIDE, how LONG, how HIGH and how DEEP His love is for you. May you be filled with the fullness of the Almighty!

“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.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.”Ephesians 3:17-20

**And just a little side note—super cool experience on my Houston trip meeting Lysa Terkeurst in the airport! 16716035_10210147124609453_4445207022607605631_o