Ask The Question…(repost)

pHave you ever asked the question?  You know the scariest question you will ever ask God.

God, who do you say that I am?

Who am I to you?

How do you really feel about me?

Now think about that.  If you have not ever done this, it is an essential part of who you are as a human being.  To hear from your Creator who He says that you are and what you mean to Him is the most powerful experience I have ever had.

Some people have a hard time quieting their minds and bodies long enough to really listen.  Even if you are someone who practices this, it can be a challenge.  If you never have but are going to try it, then please know that it takes time.  It isn’t something that you ring the service bell for and God comes running to see what it is you need.  He longs for us to stop and spend time with Him.  He desires to speak into us our very existence and how He feels about us.

I have to say the first time I asked, I was so afraid.  I kept trying to figure out why it was so hard.  Then I asked myself the question, “What are you afraid of Jennifer?”

As soon as I had asked myself this question, I knew that I was afraid I would see disappointment on His face.  It was overwhelmingly unbearable to even think about.  I could not seem to move forward until I dealt with this fear.  I took it to Him.  The fear seemed to be too big, like it eclipsed everything and left the truth in the shadows.

I asked Him for help.  I knew it could not be done in my own strength.  So I had to surrender all my insecurities and really trust Him and trust that His heart is for me not against me.  Once I surrendered that, there was no question about how He truly feels about me.  I felt like I could look up straight into His eyes.  I was met with adoration and an unconditional love that to try to describe with words would cheapen it into something less than what it really was.  I felt like a bride on my wedding day and my groom looking at me like I am the only cherished and treasured thing in his life.  Something changed in me.  I will never forget that moment.

He began to speak to me with and without words.  I knew things by the feeling I had in response to such a love.  There is something irrefutable about who you are in the absolute core of your being when you hear from your God, who He says that you are.  It makes all the other voices, responses from others and even what your past directly reflects about you, take a backseat.  It has made it so much easier for me when my past, or my accuser comes to try and act they have a place to treat me badly, or as though I am less than….I can just say “I am not for sale!  I have been bought and paid for.  If you have an issue with that then you can talk to the guy who purchased it.”

The truest thing about me is that moment when Jesus is gazing into my eyes as though I am His beloved cherished and adored bride.  He would lay down His life for me to get to keep mine.  I am nothing less than how much He loves me.  I am worth nothing less than what my purchaser has paid for me.

Please take the time… to ask the question!

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Remind Me Again….Who Am I???

me water effectOnce again time to revisit…

We should be able to spend a lifetime discovering who we are.  I feel like I spent a lot of that time running from who I was…or at least who I let others, or events tell me I was.  We do not realize how much we seek approval from others.  If someone does not respond to us in the way we had hoped, for some reason we believe that we are less than.  I did that for a big part of my life.  I couldn’t figure out why I could not just get it right, or do better.  It started out as not being able to be a better little girl, daughter, sister, teenager, mother, wife, woman and then just a better human being.  I failed.  Over and over again.  My story and my perceived response from the people around me kept repeating, “you’re doing it wrong!  You are missing the mark.  If you could just try harder and tone back who you are then maybe you could be worthy of a better response. You could be worthy of love.”

I didn’t know that I was seeking some sort of identity and validation in that approval.  I know now that I can not get my life, my worth, or my purpose from any person.  The only one I can get my life from is God.  He is the one who created me.  It wasn’t until I heard Him say to me, “I am God.  Creator of all things.  I created you Jennifer for relationship.  I want to know you.  I want you to know Me.  Nothing that this world can do to you, or that you can do, can change what I created you for, from before the foundations of the earth.  All throughout my Word I speak to you, inviting you into many relationships with me.  So many ways I want to love you.  I am God.  You are My friend, My sister, My servant, My blessed creation, My beloved daughter, My chosen bride and sometimes you are the clay in My hands as I transform you even more into the freedom of your true identity in Me.  No matter what happens…..you are still Jennifer.  You are Mine….just as I  created you to be.”

And that changed everything…

Prejudice????

Happy People

I have always known that the color of a persons skin has never mattered to me.  I don’t even notice.  I only see a person.  I am finding out however, I am prejudice against idiocy, cruelty, bullying, selfishness and mean/hater people.  While those are much more justifiable (in my opinion) I do not want to be prejudice.  I don’t care if you believe in God or Jesus, but I want to be like that.  I want to only see people and the beauty in their humanity.  Jesus didn’t only feed the believers.  He didn’t only speak to or heal a select group among the masses.  He certainly didn’t die for only the uncruel nice people.  God was the first one to ever advocate for freedom of choice…He gave us all a free will and still chooses to love us no matter what we choose.  He loves.  I want my first reaction to be love.  Right now it is not.
I want to look at someone and know that they have a story.  I don’t know what has happened to them in their life to shape who they are or what they believe about themselves and/or everybody else.  I don’t know why they made the decision they just made.  I know many people have judged me for things I have said or done.  What I have been through isn’t an excuse but in times of my life it has shaped how I react.  I can not say that I could make the perfect and right choice in every situation.  I do not know what someone else has lived through.  I can not begin to see through their eyes.  I can not begin to be in a place to judge or condemn them.  I want my first reaction to be love.

 

An Emotional Affair…

holding pinkiesWe are talking about emotional affairs. People seem to think that just because there is no sex involved that it is ok. Whether you are a man, or a woman an emotional affair can sneak up on you.

Being a woman I try to be careful to not interpret male emotions.  I try to make sure that I do not expect men to be women.  God created us with distinct differences so that they could come together and make one whole unit.  I have worked with women regarding emotional affairs.  But one thing that I think is across the board no matter male, or female that we must recognize…sex, whether you have it or not, is emotional to both men and women.  We tend to think that just because we have not done the physical act that we have not united ourselves to another.  That is where we have to be watchful.  God’s design for sex, unity, marriage is 1 + 1 = 1.  With in that final one is actually 3, husband, wife and God.  We forget we are dealing with a supernatural force.  Just like when we put money, people, work, or whatever it may be before God we are committing adultery, at least that is what the bible says that God says.  God is always looking at our hearts.  He said if you have looked on a woman with lust then you have already committed adultery.  I am not saying that in a condemning way and neither is God.  It is to reveal the way the enemy has snuck in and tricked us into thinking it is ok when really it is stealing something from us.  I like to show women that it is easy to look at that passage and think we are not being spoken to as women, but really if you look at the heart of it women can just as easily say, if you have given your heart, or emotions over to a man who is not God, or your husband, then you have committed adultery in your heart.  But again I do not believe those are gender specific.  Either way, God is trying to get us to see what is taking place in our hearts not just physically.

We are first married to God.  We are the Bride of Christ.  We put no other gods, or anything before Him, or in His rightful place.  Again, this is not meant to feel condemning.

A personal example…I, myself, am dealing with my own heart and God right now.  I have a business that is thriving beyond what I had imagined so quickly.  God is blessing it everyday.  But I am trying to find the balance.  I am being romanced by success and have slowly noticed God taking a backseat because I have no time.  I am not having a physical affair but both God and my husband can feel an absence of my heart…..to be really real with you, so do I.  I am even missing myself.  My point here is that no matter what it is your enemy is going to try to break up the unity you have with your God and with your spouse.  He will trick and sneak and you will not even notice it is there until you find that you are grasping to keep hold of that thing that used to make you feel good.   Going to God’s word helps to put that truth in front of us so that the lie can be exposed not to condemn.

When walking with women through ending an emotional affair we have to recognize they have given over a part of themselves that doesn’t belong to them.  They took what was God’s or their husband’s and gave it to and/or tied themselves to someone else.  Recognizing what really has taken place and then renouncing those ties…cutting them off and giving them back to God and then asking God to heal.  Then place the work, blood and power of the cross between you and them and all the spirits, or evil devices that come against you is a great place to start.

You may find that placing the work, blood and power of the cross between you two at first feels harsh, or unnecessary because you feel no ill will toward them.  But the reality is you are not fighting a battle between flesh and blood but against principalities and powers.  So far the only thing on record that can defeat principalities and powers is the work, blood, and power of the cross.  It will also help you with those ties that will try to still give the illusion that they are there.  Jesus gave us the perfect example of that when He laid His life down for His bride, the church……the ones who were crucifying Him.  He still chose to be married knowing that His bride was being deceived and that He was suffering at her hand.

It is a lot like coaching a teen boys football team.  Over and over again they let their running back get clobbered because the line is not doing what they are supposed to.  In order to coach the linebackers you have to give them a bigger picture about what is taking place.  The minute you give them the example … that the running back is their mom and they are their dad.  What would happen if you were not where you were supposed to be, doing what your are supposed to do?  Then your mom would be standing there alone with the entire opposing team coming after her to take her out.  Now, it doesn’t matter if they are from a great home, or a broken home with an absent father.  Every boy on that team gets exactly what it looks like and how important their commitment to their position is to the team…the unit.  I can give that same example but I am the linebacker these last few months.  I am leaving my husband vulnerable to getting taken out by his opposition if I am not where I am supposed to be in our unit(y) and that includes my relationship with God.

I hope you can feel safe here and not feel condemned.  We are all getting tested, weighted, attacked and taken out.  But we need each other.  We need different perspectives of the same story.  We need others to hold us up when we can not stand and we need to know that we will always be pointed back to God’s deepest heart for us.  Nothing that I will share about what you are struggling with is not anything I am not, on some level, fighting against too.

What you heard isn’t necessarily what he said….

fire-heartI think something must be in the air as of late.  I have had to really concentrate to make sure that what I heard my husband say is actually what he said and not just what I heard.  Does that make sense?

It can hit me in either my wounded places, other places where I am struggling, or just get randomly filtered enough to distort what he is trying to say.  Lately I am really struggling with that.  I have to make a conscious effort to not be offended or carry around something that is not mine to carry.  I have to be extra aware that I do not put something on him that is not his either.

I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this.  For what ever reason it has been really powerful lately.  So I thought I better slip in some time and blog about it.

It reminds me of the texts on my phone.  I can either read it and think “sheesh what a jerk”, or I can stop and read the text from the perspective of this is a man who loves me and is in love with me.  That changes everything.

In order to do that I have to keep my simple truths in front of me.

1.   My God is for me not against me.

2.   His heart toward me is good.

3.   My husband is for me not against me.

4.   His heart for me is good.

5.   We both have the same enemy and it is not each other.

If there is any tension taking place in your marriage, or even your relationship with
God.  Please check and make sure that what you heard is what he (He) was really saying.

Mirror Mirror…..

Orate Mirror in the Corner of a RoomWhat do you see when you look in the mirror?

If you have been brave enough to ask the question we spoke about in the last blog….

God, who do you say that I am?

Who am I to you?

How do you really feel about me?

what do you see?

Do you see everything you are not?

Do you see everything you do not like?

I used to see someone I hated.  It used to cause me physical pain to look at myself in the mirror.  Even worse when I saw a picture of myself.  I didn’t just hate myself, I loathed myself.  If I knew a worse word I would try to use it.  I do not even know how to describe it but it was really bad.  It would paralyze me at times where I almost could not leave my house.  I felt like I had to apologize to people who were going to see me.  Many times it was about my weight but even when my weight wasn’t any issue there was something about me that was always less than.  My whole world kept telling me the same thing everyday.  I was less than….

Then there was my story.  There was always the common thread through out my story that always pointed out not only was I less than but it seemed to have a gauge that told my exactly how much less than I was, whether that be as a friend, sister, mother, daughter, or even just a human being.  It seemed to follow me around everywhere I turned.  I even hated my reflection in windows and such.  Ugh!

I think that played a huge part in my fear about asking God my question(s).  I knew how disappointed I was at my own reflection.  I really could not see anything else.  In the not so recent past I have had to choose to learn how to look in the mirror and when all the less thans began their list and the gauge is on over tilt, I have to say,

No I am not!

I have to choose to side with God and not His enemy about who I am.  For so many years I can not believe I chose to side with God’s enemy about who I am.  I had to really fight to have freedom here.  I did not realize that in those moments I was actually taking the enemy’s side over God’s about my identity.  When God asks you to love what He loves it has to start with you.  I never really allowed myself the right to be loved the way God was trying to love me.  Who am I to think I have the right to tell God He is wrong about me.  I am the created one.

I am not exactly sure who this blog was for.  Maybe it was just for me.  It is good to remember.  It is an ongoing struggle for me still but I am wiser to what comes against me these days.  That helps a lot.  I had to type it out.  If it is for you please know that I am praying for you.  You have a God who is madly in love with you.  You have a bridegroom who is looking into your eyes as though you are His only cherished and treasured thing in His life.  My prayer is that who you see in your reflection is the same as who He sees through His eyes.  You may not feel completely worthy of His love but He is worthy of you….all of you.

The really twisted thing is…..your enemy sees what God sees too…..that is why he is trying so hard to make you think otherwise.

Who Am I???

Wow it has been a while.  Running my own business and being mom while my husband travels during the week is a lot on my plate.  I get to steal away a moment and blog.  It is late at night and I almost feel sneaky…. like I am getting away with something.  Silly I know but regardless it is what I feel like.  Keeping it short and sweet.

We should be able to spend a lifetime discovering who we are.  I feel like I spent a lot of that time running from who I was…or at least who I let others or events tell me I was.  We do not realize how much we seek approval from others.  If someone does not respond to us in the way we had hoped, for some reason we believe that we are less than.  I did that for a big part of my life.  I couldn’t figure out why I could not just get it right or do better.  It started out as not being able to be a better little girl, daughter, sister, teenager, mother, wife, woman and then just a better human being.  I failed.  Over and over again.  My story and my perceived response from the people around me kept repeating, “you’re doing it wrong!  You are missing the mark.  If you could just try harder and tone back who you are then maybe you could be worthy of a better response. You could be worthy of love.”

I didn’t know that I was seeking some sort of identity and validation in that approval.  I know now that I can not get my life, my worth, or my purpose from any person.  The only one I can get my life from is God.  He is the one who created me.  It wasn’t until I heard Him say to me, “I am God.  Creator of all things.  I created you Jennifer for relationship.  I want to know you.  I want you to know Me.  Nothing that this world can do to you, or that you can do, can change what I created you for, from before the foundations of the earth.  All throughout my Word I speak to you, inviting you into many relationships with me.  So many ways I want to love you.  I am God.  You are My friend, My sister, My servant, My blessed creation, My beloved daughter, My chosen bride and sometimes you are the clay in My hands as I transform you even more into the freedom of your true identity in Me.  No matter what happens…..you are still Jennifer.  You are Mine….just as I  created you to be.”

And that changed everything…