Nothing is Wasted

Sometimes people like to hear a testimony AFTER all the trials are over, but the truth is there’s something intimate and beautiful about the way God brings support DURING the trials and testing. Enter with thanksgiving and praise with your mouth.

Before I go on, please know that if you feel you must go, then no one can stop you. It’s probably better that way and my kids and I won’t hold it against you.

And I think I’ve learned I’d rather find out people’s true colors than to have fake friends. Though it hurts my feelings for a minute, when I lay all my concerns at the feet of Jesus in prayer, HE REALLY DOES deliver healing and draws close to the broken-hearted. The faster I remember to pray the faster He takes the sting out of the actions and words from others and brings peace and healing.

I’m not afraid of my testimony. In fact, God is already using my (our) current situation to help other people. Nothing is wasted.

Over the past year since we got out of an unhealthy situation, God’s been absolutely pouring His blessings all over us. We’ve seen provision like never before.

I often hear people talk about this. Would you rather suffer physical abuse or emotional abuse? (Ummmm…neither one!)

Which is worse?

What kind of question is that?

Both. Both are worse. BOTH are awful!

Instead, what if we ask, “Why don’t more people hold people accountable for how we treat each other?” People don’t want to “intrude” or “it’s none of our business.” Nonsense. That isolation is a trick from the enemy as old as The Garden of Eden. We ARE to be in each others’ business. We are MADE for relationship.

And people all around you are silently screaming to be seen. I pray more have ears to hear the broken-hearted, because I promise they are sitting beside you in church, live next door to you, work beside you, and are in line in front of you (and behind you) as you wait to order coffee.

God increases faith. It’s BEYOND amazing to me every time He does it and in how many ways He does.

I don’t really have words to describe it. He does it in small and big and just… everyday ways. His promises are never empty. The more we trust in HIM and not in a place, what other people say, what seems logical, or my own understanding, the more He gently pries my fingers off control.

We have received prayers, well wishes, counseling, legal help, monetary donations, jobs, and other physical needs met all over the place since we started praying daily, “Lord, what do You want us to do today?” When we gave up “our” plans and stayed in prayer (I think it’s been about 7 years now) every day there is a contentment and fulfillment we can’t explain in words. If you think God is in a hurry to do stuff, look at Noah and the ark and other situations from Bible times. He has nothing to prove to anyone. I can put my trust in a God like that.

We know a lot of people have been praying for us. Many people are not aware but divorce is almost final. Five marriage counselors and almost 18 ½ years… feels like a few lifetimes….

In our culture we worship a marriage certificate more than we care about the health of the marriage, itself. (We probably worship a marriage certificate almost even more than we worship a GPA.)

This idolatry is a scary and not-so-easy-to-detect-sometimes thing.

And also if marriage was “The-End-All-Above-All-Most-Important-Thing-Ever” then why would God have turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt when she turned back? Just something I’ve been thinking about… He went on without her because she turned back when God said not to. The Bible is called The LIVING Word and He still leads us when we pray to Him (no matter what anyone else tells you.)


Our culture only says it’s a broken marriage if people SEE divorce happen.

But, Beautiful Precious You, you may already be all too aware that a marriage is broken SUCH a very, very, very long time before a divorce ever happens. God gave information about divorce to PROTECT women; not to imprison them. God hates divorce because …it’s purely awful and horrible and tears apart something that should have been together …but as we can see in The Bible He NEVER hates divorced people.

We (people) like to judge by if something looks like a “success” to us. But I believe MANY things we don’t call success are actually very successful in the view of eternity.

Going through this heartache, several people (mostly from church if you’d like to know the sad truth about it – but praise God my faith is in HIM and NOT in people) have shown that when we finally tell and they SEE something’s been going on, they will turn their backs on us. But the thing is that it was an extremely emotionally unhealthy atmosphere and we HAD to get out. Our bodies were screaming, telling us to get out long before we did. (We’ve been out just over a year now and my hair is even growing back! I wasn’t aware that the stress of it all had been taking such a toll on my physical health and my daughters’ too. Marriage should not ever be a Death Sentence. I have so much more to say. Maybe someday I’ll write a book. Pray about that with me.)

(A side note because it needs to be said: I hear you. Don’t worry, Modern-Day-Pharisee-Bible-Thumpers, I see you wagging your finger at me. And I’m still glad you’re here even with the log in your eye. If you’re trying to keep some kind of score because you feel the need to focus on sin in my life instead of what needs to be done in your life, then yes, I’ll let you know there was sexual sin on both sides, so maybe you can somehow rest a little more knowing that…? But, Beautiful You, there is so much more sin I committed before I was married and didn’t “honor the marriage bed and keep it holy.”  I might write a book on that some day. If it’s not my marriage bed, I didn’t/don’t belong in it, watching it, hearing about it, or reading about it. Neither do you…. Okay, now back to the article.)

God says He is our Deliverer. And even today God is STILL our Deliverer and He helped us WHEN my kids and I finally fasted and prayed for the mountain in front of us to be moved. That mountain moved.

He says faith moves mountains and the wonderful Truth is our faith STILL moves mountains.

He’s brought so many new friends and also support from many friends we’ve known a long time and many we met only online. The more we follow, the more He brings laughter, healing, and ….Deep calls to deep is the best way I can describe it.

A person we met online has believed in what God is doing in our lives about this Alaska homeless place I believe will be for sex-trafficked girl survivors. This place has not yet in existence outside my visions and dreams yet this person has donated an amount every month for over a year now.

In fact it started one month after my kids and I got out. Talk about giving me confirmation that God sees it all!

It may seem like a small thing. It’s not.

This consistent act of faith on this person’s part God has been using to make my faith even stronger. He is more than able to open and close doors to guide us. God has used this one person to be a constant reminder that He is faithful, He still leads, provides, guides, and to remind me that He sees everything and He is more than able no matter what anyone else says.

Please never think that you doing something for someone is not enough. It IS enough. And ONE person CAN make a difference.

Also after many prayers of where to work a couple years ago, my oldest was led to a job where she’s been able to learn more than any other classroom could teach her. She’s found her voice, learned how to deal with unkind customers and others, and found balance of when and how to ask for help when she needs it. This adult life is a constant place of learning more and of deciding to put everything in God’s hands or not. I’ve seen a shy, little girl grow into a bold, God-loving young woman who shares Him in every interaction as she works and serves.

And a few months ago after weeks and weeks of fervent prayer about my youngest, for God to reveal more how to use her talents He gave her, she was led to archery. She’s got a natural talent. The team qualified for Nationals and we received some financial help and we also used all we had to be able to go to Nationals.

Her archery team has now qualified for the World Championship.

A friend just donated toward this, and again, I have to give glory to God as my faith gets stronger. Of course it’s not always through money but He definitely has the ability to open and close doors financially as He guides us. (If you are moved to give to something, then give, and if you aren’t, then don’t. It’s just always that simple.)

Our prayer is if we’re supposed to go, God will provide the way and if we’re not, that’s okay too and we pray for peace either way. It seems most of the team has given up on going because the cost financially looks too high.

But it’s more than that. We are supposed to stay in constant prayer about everything and money is not my god. God is my God. We’re asking for prayers. If we’re not supposed to go, then so be it and if we are then He will provide the way; the hotel, the airfare, food, transportation when we get there, and everything else I’m not thinking to mention. We’ve been told this would be about $1,000 each person.

That maybe sounds kind of silly to go shoot a few arrows.

But it’s SO MUCH more than that. It’s courage, confidence, life-skills, and more.

Whether we go to the archery World Championship or not, only God knows. We’re just asking for peace and His direction.

ALL of this has to do with my testimony.

And all I’ve shared here about my life leads me to this. And I can’t stop thinking about it.

What about YOU?

Whatever you’ve been praying about or worried about or talking about or thinking about, if you’re reading this, you’ve been lifted up to Him in prayer too.

Our God STILL hears, and He STILL answers. He STILL opens and closes doors. The winds and the waves STILL know HIS NAME.

He STILL restores what’s been stolen;

Your faith? He is able.

Your joy? He is able.

Peace? HE IS ABLE.

I pray He increases your faith as you put trust in HIM and not what the world says and I pray He helps you to submit all things to Him through prayer asking Him to lead you every day.

He’s got you.

HE IS ABLE.

And NOTHING is wasted.

 

For Somebody Who Needs To Hear.

Beautiful You, please don’t take things so personally. People just don’t know what they don’t know. People sometimes turn their backs on you WHILE you’re going though all the stuff that makes a powerful testimony and that is unfortunate.

But that same testimony you have from it all will someday silence a room and is the very key that will help unlock other people’s prison doors.

Jesus did everything without sin and people still walk away from Him. How much more will it happen to us if it happens to Him?

Lay it down at His feet in prayer (every day if you keep picking it back up.) He sees it all and He understands and He loves you fiercely.

NOTHING is wasted.

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You are NOT damaged goods! YOU are worthwhile!

What if, instead of a one night stand, we call it what it really is?

Instead of a pick up line what if someone had to ask the “real” underlying questions?

Would this change anything?

“Hey, you’re cute. I’m feeling selfish. I know God gave you a beautiful gift and it’s not really for me but I’d like to take some of what He wants you to save for your husband.

Would you please lower your standards and let me tear off a piece of your beautiful wrapping paper? You could just lie to your future husband or act like nothing ever happened with me.

I’m lonely tonight and you don’t even know your husband yet so how about you give some of HIS treasure to ME?”

OR maybe it goes like this:

“Heeyy. What’s up? I’d like to give you some of what is supposed to be my wife’s some day.

I know you’re not my wife but since she’s not here yet, she probably won’t care. I’ll tell her she’s so special later, “blah blah blah…” but I’ll make it sound more meaningful than that, of course. Honestly, you don’t mean enough to me to mention you to my future wife anyway.

Right now, today, you’re the ONLY one I want. But tomorrow, who knows?!

I’d like to steal from your husband and yeah, I know that one day you’ll wish we didn’t do this (and I will too.)  So whatdaya think? Want to?!”

 

There is not enough cologne or make-up to make this be anything other than what it is.

What if we did think about this for what it really is?

I did NOT know I had value. I honestly did not understand that even though my innocence was stolen when I was 9, I STILL had value. Throughout my life, some stole from me and some I gave away; truly not having any understanding that I mattered. That old devil is clever and designs custom-made traps for each of us.

But I wouldn’t change my past because everything in my life has brought me to this place where I will spend the rest of my time telling you that YOU MATTER.

~~~> If people stole some of your beautiful gift OR even if you voluntarily gave it away, you are NOT damaged goods! YOU are worthwhile! <~~~

Check this out.

Recently we replaced the broken face on a phone. About 2 weeks later we noticed it was cracked again. We took it and paid for a new protective cover for the broken phone.

When the guy walked to the counter with the phone, it went like this, “We have never put a cover on an already cracked phone before.”

Just because the phone has a broken part does not mean we want to trash the rest of it.

We want to cover it with protection so that it does not get more broken.

Just like when we mess up, we don’t want to KEEP messing up and making bad choices.  We want to “cover” our lives in prayer and protection.

When we are in a car wreck and the bumper is crushed and the tire busted, we don’t smash out the windows and slash the other tires.

We don’t hope for another wreck.

We try to avoid more damage to the car.

Purity is beautiful. YOU are beautiful.

All of your story matters. And God will take all the broken pieces and make them into something worth sharing. It’s called your testimony. And it’s really important.

When you see people giving themselves away, it’s very likely that they do not know their worth in Christ yet. Saying a prayer for God to show them their worth in Him can help change the world.

[Note: I wrote this as if a guy is speaking to a girl (or a girl to a guy) but if you’re having a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender, I’m here to tell you that you matter and you STILL are giving away (or people are stealing) something that does NOT belong to them. You don’t have to prove something.

Please don’t let people treat you as if you are less than the beautiful person you are.]

[Note 2: This story can be read as a woman speaking or a man speaking pick up lines.

The value is the same. It does not change. We ALL matter. And we are not supposed to be using each other because God has a better plan.

When we understand the reasons WHY to (or not to) do something, it makes a whole lot more sense than just telling someone to (or not to) do it.]

[Important: THIS is not FOR or AGAINST political stuff.

A sin is a sin. I’m not going to argue with people about what sin is. Our conscience shows us that. Usually when we are healthy we realize something is a sin and we hide it (like Adam and Eve hid in the Garden of Eden) or we may even become belligerent about it, trying to justify it to people. The Holy Spirit will convict our hearts to show us what is better for us and when He does this, we want Him to lead us more. When we know better, we do better.

God made sex. And He made it to be a beautiful part of a relationship. We messed it up.

But just because it’s been messed up, doesn’t mean to KEEP messing it up.

Purity is beautiful.]

You are NOT damaged goods! YOU are worthwhile!

You are NOT damaged goods! YOU are worthwhile!

Just maybe

My prayer tonight is for the grade school kids and middle school kids to be included in service for the community and church because when they are told they’re “too young” for so long; too young to help, too young to serve, only ages 15 and up can help with cleaning up someone’s yard etc. maybe we’re missing something.

I believe it’s damaging to young spirits to keep hearing they are too young to DO SOMETHING great.

When they are young and want to serve but are not given jobs (and I’m talking about jobs they are very able to do; like pick up in the auditorium, pick up someone’s yard, maybe lead a Sunday morning class FOR 3rd graders BY 3rd graders…) by the time they are “old enough” by church or community standards, they are many times not even interested anymore.

Then we’ve heard churches ask, “What happened to the 19 to 30 year olds? Where are they?”

They were given a Senior graduation celebration, moved away from their parents and everything they knew, went out into the world (many times to college) came back to visit their “home” church congregation only to find they are no longer welcome in their own youth group because they are now “too old” for the “youth group” and don’t feel there is a welcoming place they fit anymore. “Yay! You’re a Senior! Feel loved? Good because when you come back there is another surprise!”

We have an idea.

What if we include them when they’re young and WANT to help and maybe when they’re older they’ll STILL want to help?

What if we create a class where college age kids (and older) are welcome to come and go as they grow up? What if it was a place they knew they were welcome ANY time they were in town? What if they KNEW when they came “home” they’d have a welcoming place instead of feeling “out of place?!” What if that place was a place they could unload all their worries and concerns they’re having out in the world instead of it only being a class where they don’t feel welcome to speak what’s really on their minds?

I don’t begin to know all the answers but I know some.

And when I’m married to a guy
who is a preacher’s kid (just like the kids sitting in Bible class)
who messed up,
who went to prison,
who served God and asked God to grow his faith WHILE he was in prison,
who now lives a life of faith,
and has been equipped with eyes and a heart for the kid who feels alone and may be heading down the same kind of path,
and knows how to help teens be included,
but yet he’s shut out because he has a criminal record but did NOTHING against a child…
I can’t help but think MAYBE he’s part of the solution but nobody opens their eyes to see the treasure God has placed right in front of them.

Maybe…

JUST MAYBE he’s the VERY RIGHT person the teens and parents should hear from.

Nothing.

IMG_2798 iiaafb nothing

See this picture?

It’s a bunch of “nothing.”

It’s a bunch of dead autumn leaves soaked by rain.

They may LOOK like nothing but when the leaves break down they become part of something bigger and help other things grow.

I may have felt like “nothing” but I have a Jesus Who says I’m VERY SOMETHING (even when I’m broken down.)

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