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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To The Ones With A Gentle Spirit

People get so mad.

About everything.

About that this isn’t a full sentence.

Like hate-filled, gossip about you, unfriend you, crucify you, plain and ugly, wish death on you, angry.

They do it about just ….well, about everything.

If you don’t like what someone likes or approve of what a group does, so SO MANY people (and it seems like more all the time) treat you as if they now choose YOU as an enemy.

Precious You, if you’re still reading this and you’re not already writing a hundred word essay about how wrong I am with this blog post, your gentle, warrior spirit is open and please know you’re not the enemy and hear that it’s not about you. Your gentle spirit is a fresh relief from the hostility to anyone with eyes to see. Thank you for being here.

It’s about “lovers of self.” It’s a Biblically prophesied-over, already expected, spiritual war.

And in the middle of it all: is a spirit of pride.

You know the situations I’m talking about.

It happens at work, school, home, in marriages, those you-better-be-at-the-next-family-reunion-or-else (dare I say) celebrations, stores, vacations, church, standing in line, post offices, coffee shops, hospitals, restaurants, wherever you feel led to serve, and everywhere else I didn’t think to mention.

And God tells us to avoid people who are behaving this way.

Check out what 2 Timothy 3:1-9 says about it.

Difficult Times Will Come.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a FORM OF godliness, although they have denied its power; AVOID such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, ALWAYS learning and NEVER ABLE to come to the KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. BUT THEY WILL NOT MAKE FURTHER PROGRESS; for their folly will be obvious to ALL, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

(emphasis, mine.)

Read through that list again.

It’s insane how many of these words fit everyday situations.

The number of prideful, arrogant people — who have no Holy Spirit so they are able to show no grace — seems as if a giant Goliath and the grace-filled people with quiet strength for the battles seem like David.

(But we all know how that story goes. David defeated Goliath so there’s that.

1 Samuel 17:47-50

Verse 47

…All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, AND HE WILL give all of you into our hands.”)

Praise God for people who are after His own heart!

Acts 13:22

But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man AFTER MY OWN HEART. He will do everything I want him to do.’

David’s oldest brother was mad at him telling him he could not do what David KNEW he was there to do. His brother (Eliab) said his (David’s) heart was wicked, BUT GOD SAYS David was a man after GOD’S own heart! Praise God that he listened to what he knew he could do and did not listen to the ones who didn’t believe and who were jealous.

1 Samuel 17:28-32

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

(And then even the king didn’t believe David could do what he knew he was there to do.

1 Samuel 17:33

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

Sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know.)

 

Whatever unkind, without understanding or trying to see things from your side of the world, prideful ways people act toward you, aren’t your burdens to take on yourself.

These aren’t your behaviors and you can gently, gracefully respond (remembering a gentle word turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1.)

And you can boldly say, “NO, thank you. The way you’re talking to me isn’t going to be okay. Maybe we can try again another time.” (But maybe not. YOU get to choose. And I pray you find more healthy boundaries – and enforce them – all the time.)

Whether it’s something that has deeply hurt my feelings or feels as if it’s blocking me somehow from what I know in my spirit that I’m supposed to be doing, God has taught me to stop in the moment, just breathe, and (immediately remember to) ask Him 3 questions in every situation:

(Note: This works SO, so, so much better if I do this BEFORE I get my feelings in the way, but often truthfully it happens after something hurt my heart more than I’d like to admit… because I forgot that this life is not about me and yet again tried to make it about me… but 3 things are:)

Lord, what do You want me to LEARN from this?”

What do You want me to DO with this?”

How can I honor YOU in this?”

We get so offended too easily and take on other people’s angry pride as if it’s something we “should” carry. Because honestly people have become really good, experts even, at trying to make others absorb their unresolved junk in life that they have not (maybe purposefully and perhaps not so much) dealt with. It comes out as heavy artillery in our direction. Some days this is overt and MUCH of the time it’s covert. And people use a thousand different tactics to try to make you accept their stuff. (Rest in the Truth that God sees ALL of it and NOTHING is hidden from Him!)

But it’s not ours to carry.

And if we started to, we can lay it down.

We are to mourn when people mourn and rejoice when people rejoice. (Romans 12:15)

But to carry what they won’t hand over to God is not your responsibility.

It’s theirs.

Like a good coach or employer or father would do, God has purpose in everything He allows us to experience whether we’re too short-sighted sometimes to see it or not.

The next time someone does or says something that hurts you, I’m asking you to pray these 3 things because we have been PROMISED we can cast all our cares on Him.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast ALL your anxiety ON HIM

BECAUSE HE CARES for YOU.

Are you doing your part? Every day? Casting your cares?

Carrying that junk that others have been trying to pile on you is way heavy.

And it needs to go.

Train Wreck (aka that was me)

When I see the pain in the world and the choices people make heading in the wrong direction it’s just too much for my human heart to handle. I’m so glad I don’t have God’s job because there’s no way I could do it.

I remember a sweet friend, years after we’d met, describing to me the way she used to see my life back then. She exhaled, “It was like watching a train wreck.”

She just lived life with me and she didn’t hate me. She loved me and was my friend when I needed her most.

I had no idea she saw my life and the things I was doing as a train wreck. I just knew she called me her friend.

People are hurting. Everywhere. Every day. People are hurting at work, school, maybe in your own home, in your neighborhood, church, and think about all the people we sometimes overlook like when you’re just out running errands; at the bank, checking out at the grocery store, getting coffee or lunch, or maybe in the car beside you at the stop sign.

What if you prayed over each person connected to your life every day?

What if you did?

In the morning say a prayer over your day asking God to touch and bless the lives of all the people you see, talk to on the phone, and even your online acquaintances, and don’t forget your enemies.

People just need you to be kind and pray and ask God to lead the way out of the dark tunnel (and everyone has dark tunnel times.)  They don’t need you to hit them over the head with a Bible. People need to know what love looks like in every day life.

Just call or text. Send an email when someone comes to your mind. Just say you were thinking of them. Take coffee or chocolate. Just say, “I love you; but not in a creepy way. I love you with a Jesus kind of love.” Or you could say, “I love you more than cheese.” (Because that’s A LOT!)

It’s not like people go around with a sign saying, “Hey, I’m missing something and you know what that is. I need Jesus but I don’t really know Him and because of whatever reasons you aren’t sharing Him with me so I’m still stumbling all over myself and crashing into everything. Please stop staring at me and talking about me and start lifting me up when you pray. I need help.”

Or maybe they do have signs. And maybe they are screaming for help. Lord, PLEASE help us listen better.

It’s okay to need help.

Jesus never, EVER said to live this life on your own. He says to lean on Him, follow Him, speak His name and He will be near you, fix your eyes on Him, and that He loves you no matter what.

Praise God He’s bigger than problems, broken relationships, the world, and life, itself.

1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

 

The world lies. Forties are sexy and fun! There’s no “over the hill” about it.

You stole pieces of me and left me broken and afraid (Sexual molestation)

I was 9 years old.

You stole pieces of me and left me broken and afraid. I believed the lies that I was nothing. I believed that this was all I was good for. You belong in prison and you know it.

You took my innocence and my confidence. You are the lowest of low people and you have NO excuses for what you did. You say it’s because someone molested you so you molested others? That’s a bunch of lies!

You molested ME and I would NEVER hurt another person this way.

There IS a choice. It can stop with YOU.

I matter. You should have seen that I matter. You should have been someone good in my life. Instead you are someone who wrecked into my life and made me feel like nothing.

If you repent and are baptized and go to Heaven, that’s great. As for this life, you belong in prison. I forgive you because my heart needs to be free to love on other people and help them heal. I forgive you because God says to. I forgive you because you are so broken that you don’t even realize what you’ve done to so many people. I feel sorry for you.

You made me afraid for so many years. I thought you would come after me. You don’t even know that part. All those years I spent afraid that you would come after me, I now realize you were thinking nothing about me AND you were still molesting other kids and sleeping with anyone of “legal” age who would have sex with you. The damage you did was still happening and you just lived care free.

You are nothing but a coward. You will answer to God FOR EVERY THOUGHT you had about me and you will also answer just the same for all the other kids you molested. Yes, you have to answer to Him. He’s my Daddy and He is NOT happy about the way you think about me and what you’ve done.

Thank you for inspiring me to write this. I know it will help so many people.

See?

That’s the thing.

God is using the very thing that you used against me to help other people heal. I am NOT afraid anymore. I am very worthwhile and I matter.

And now I will spend the rest of my life telling other people that they matter.

Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now — life for many people.  -Genesis 50:20

I forgive you and, NO, you may NEVER be around my children. I forgive you. I’m not stupid.

Sincerely, Me

~

Let me tell you something.

There is NOTHING sexy about a 9 year old little girl. There is NOTHING sexy about a 3 year old or a 15 year old for that matter. Some of those years it’s just called puberty, you piece of trash. A 15 year old child is a child. She may have a body starting to look like a woman but her mind is nowhere near ready for sex or a “relationship.”

People who molest and rape children are lower than bill collector scum. They are NOTHING. God can love them and forgive them and that’s way beyond my understanding, because I do not see HOW He can, but that’s because I’m human and I have only limited understanding.

~

POEM – or whatever you want to call it.

Please let me be a kid.

Please let me get to play hide and seek, ride my bike and play on the playground without you looking at me like that. Please let me walk with my friends without worry that you’ll take me from my family or take away my childhood.

Please see that I’m a child of God and know that He’s gonna be really, REALLY mad about what you’re thinking. Please let me be a whole, confident, safe kid and grow to be a person who can help other people in the world find their talents and meet their goals.

Please let me just be a kid.

I only get one opportunity to be a kid and you can help make it a wonderful time or make it the most horrible memory for me.

Please just let me be a kid. Please do not take my pictures. Please do not have wrong intentions toward me. Please don’t bother me.

Please know that if you do anything to me that is against God, you will answer to Him for it. You will stand in God’s presence and He will ask you, “Why?” and you, alone, must tell Him, our Daddy, why you hurt me. I don’t know if He’ll take the excuse that someone touched you so that’s why you can’t control yourself. Please don’t make excuses at all. Please don’t touch me in a way that God would be sad about. Please just let me be healthy and please don’t introduce sex to me when I’m only a child. You don’t have the right to do that. You don’t have the right to hurt me. You don’t have the right to even think the things you are thinking about me.

I can tell. I will tell. If someone isn’t smart enough to help or hear me, then I will tell another grown up and another and another until someone is smart enough to help me get away from you. You do not have the right to make me a dirty, little secret. You do not have the right to take away my innocence.

I’m bigger than you. I’m braver than you. I’m braver because I pray for you now. I pray that you feel loved on enough at home and by God to not ever bully or hurt other people.

Please, please just let me be a kid. -Kerri Valor

The Secret of the Enemy

The bank account is negative. For the first time in my life, I have peace anyway (both are rare; the peace I have and the negative account. Though there’s not always much in there when it’s positive…)

I used to lie in bed in the morning and worry. I’d worry over money. I’d cry over money. I’d try to figure out how we can make enough to pay everything AND stay home with our kids because for us, that’s a ministry in itself. We both knew when we got married that we’d give up some stuff and I’d stay home with our kids. For OUR family that is the way it is.

It’s not wrong or right.

Just the way it is for us.

So I’ve worked some years by keeping other people’s kids and several years as a crossing guard for the school district and now also for our photography company God’s allowed us to start.

But every single day I’d worry over money. It never occurred to me HOW much it was a worry until we started to give 10% of our income. And we did that PURELY on faith. We do NOT have EXTRA and honestly it’s not supposed to come from EXTRA anyway. It’s supposed to be your FIRST money. We’ve made a commitment to do this now and though we mess up sometimes, we’re sticking to it for the rest of our lives. Period.

I challenge you to try it for one month. With happiness and obedience. Just TRY it. There is NOTHING like it I’ve ever known. The peace that your heart and mind have. The unexplainable peace. It’s not of this world. You may never go back. This is the beginning of the best times in my whole life, Jack! I can already tell you this and we’ve only done it for a few months.

NOW instead of lying in bed worrying about money every morning, I have changed my habit. Before my feet hit the floor I ask God to show me what He wants me to do today.

Get it? Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Ask God what He wants you to do every day -AND GO DO IT- and everything else will be taken care of.

My friend pointed out something about me not worrying over money anymore. She said that satan tries to hurt us by using stuff he knows will get to us and now he’s not happy that he can’t get to us by using money this way.

If I’m so worried over money, he’s got my attention and I’m not able to focus on the important stuff God is putting in front of me today.

The enemy wants to WASTE your TIME. Because that’s all you have. Time. And the moments of your life are numbered. If satan can waste your time, ESPECIALLY when you don’t even realize he’s stealing from you, he’s done what he set out to do today.

THAT is the secret of the enemy. Now you know. Whatever you’re worrying over today, I’m praying for peace and focus for you right now. You have really important stuff to do. Ask God what that He wants you to do today and then go and do it.