Sometimes we just need to calm down, sit down, and pray. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately concerning this blog.
(Bear with me while I explain something. I promise encouragement is coming your way!)
I was beginning to lose focus with this blog, knowing I needed to build a platform for my writing career and that involves having a regular schedule and followers. But…
I didn’t start blogging in 2016 to have a large number of followers. I simply wanted to be obedient to God when He opened my heart to the idea while I was walking by the lake that summer.
I believe God has called me to be an encourager. And when it came to this blog, I felt like I could encourage you by helping you to see tiny snapshots of how much God loves you and to remind you through His Word that He is always with you.
And I knew I needed to pull back the curtains of my own life, so you could take a peek and see the times I fell flat on my face or skinned my knees in all my imperfect attempts of following our perfect Jesus. That way you would know you’re not alone in your imperfections either. (Do you see someone WAY ahead of you in the “Imperfect People” line? That’s me waving at you!)
But I want to get out of line and come back and talk to you for a minute. (My first grade teacher would shake her head and probably want to send another “talks too much” note home to my mom.)
If you’re struggling with something right now, I want to come along side of you and wrap my arm around you, give you a squeeze, and remind you that you’re going to make it because your Father in Heaven never leaves you and has great plans for you. Seriously. Those aren’t just words. Those are His promises. (Hebrews 13:5, Jeremiah 29:11.)
If you’re beating yourself up because you goofed, I’m going to nod and tell you I understand. Not only have I messed up (ahem, on a daily basis I might add), but I also beat myself up for a loooong time over some of the things I’ve done in the past. But I’d like to tell you that you and I don’t have to live that way. We can tell our Heavenly Father we’re sorry, ask Him to forgive us, and He will (1 John 1:9). We can lift our eyes to Him and take His hand as He holds us up (Isaiah 41:10). Then we can collapse into His arms, take a nice, deep breath, and enjoy what THAT feels like. That, my dear friend, is perfect love and freedom.
But maybe you’re standing in this line and you’re confused and all sorts of negative thoughts keep replaying in your mind and you feel like you’re being squeezed in a really bad way. I want to pray with you in the powerful name of Jesus Christ and rebuke the enemy who wants nothing more than to fill your head with trash and keep you running in circles. And when the squeezing stops, the heaviness is gone, and the devil has fled (James 4:7), I want to remind you to think about all the lovely things God has given us (Philippians 4:8) and that Jesus wants you to have an abundant life. (John 10:10.)
If you feel alone, lost, frightened, or overwhelmed…well I’d like to take you in my arms and just hold you for awhile, allowing you to cry. (Just so you know, I’ll probably cry with you.) And I would pray that God Himself would take you in His arms, help you to understand how He delights in you, and that you would hear Him singing over you. (Zephaniah 3:17.)
In fact, I’m going to pray that for every one of you as I return to my place in line…that you will all know how much God delights in you!
Just try not to laugh too loud when I trip and wipeout before I get there. 🙂
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV.)
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8 NIV.)