Hanging On to His Coattails with All You’ve Got

kite-1209241__480

A prophetic friend recently wrote the following on Facebook: “I keep seeing a vision of someone trying to get a kite up in the air, and then WHOMP, it nosedives into the ground! I hear the Lord saying, ‘You’ve struggled with believing that you could do the things that My word says you can do. Your old thinking tells you that it’s impossible, and even though you try to go higher, you crash back down into a lack of success. But I say to you, who do you believe: your doubting nature, or Me? I say to you, BELIEVE! JUST BELIEVE! Believe My word, believe My heart for you! As you believe, you’ll tap into a spiritual power of faith that is deposited in your spirit that will cause you to SOAR HIGH without the THUD of crashing! Stop expecting to crash, and get ready to succeed! Stop sabotaging your future. Shift your expectation, and begin to BELIEVE that I am with you and will bring manifestation to the promises spoken over you! Get up into the atmosphere and SOAR HIGHER! I’ve created you to do it!!!!'”

This is a good word, it boosts my faith, and there’s a ton in it for me to really chew on. But I’m going to share my first reaction to it and what I heard the Lord say to me in response.

You see, over the course of the past 5 years, I have come to a place where I don’t trust God like I used to. A very dear friend of mine lost her son to brain cancer 5 years ago. We were praying full of faith for his complete healing, and when he died, everything within me expected him to rise from the dead during his funeral. But he didn’t. And then, just a few years later, another friend, in the same faith circle as the first, found out her daughter had the same kind of cancer. She died a year and a half ago. When my husband was out of work, I feared foreclosure on our house (which didn’t happen). In the past, I would have been so sure that God would miraculously take care of us before anything like foreclosure would happen. This time, it was a real struggle to believe in God’s goodness. I’ve seen how high my faith can soar, only to come crashing down hard enough that I wondered if it would ever be the same again.

So when I read this prophetic word, I thought, “But what if the nosedives have hurt so much that I don’t want to go high anymore? I have a trust issue with God, and I don’t know if I want my faith to be strong again if I’m going to take any more hard blows.” I told my husband, “I love this word, but nosedives hurt so much that it makes trusting His heart for me a little difficult.” He challenged me, “What’s the alternative? Not trying?” When I shared this with Claire, she said she’s told her boys, “no matter what happens in life, no matter how hard things get, hold on to Jesus and don’t ever let go.”

I told God, “A tiny bit of me wants to go back up, but I don’t know the first step.” Then He showed me a mind picture of a woman timidly holding on to Jesus’ coattails, the very end of his clothes, like the woman with the issue of  blood did. He showed me that the reason I’m still holding on is because I remember His faithfulness in the past. I’m standing behind Him, holding on, because I cannot see the future. The future looks cloudy, and I imagine there is just more disappointment there and an unchanged me there. But I have just enough trust left to hold on, because what’s the alternative? Then He asked me, “Do you trust me enough to hold tight to my coattails? Do you have enough resolve to not let go?” The woman with the issue of blood sure did. I’m sure she wasn’t afraid, but if I can sneak up behind him and timidly hold on, I bet that little amount of faith could still let me witness some pretty powerful stuff! Jacob also chose not to let go. He wrestled with the Angel of the Lord and said, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.” He walked away with his hip out of socket, but he and a whole nation were forever blessed.

Sometimes (heck, many times) life hurts even enough to almost crush a person’s faith. I keep coming across people who have decided that even if God never answered another prayer or gave them another blessing, that what Jesus provided for us on the cross was more than enough for them to give their whole lives to serving and loving Him. I’m not sure I can say that myself. I’ve read too many stories about God doing amazing miracles in the Bible and countless times in the lives of people who have lived since Bible times. I believe that God is “the God who performs miracles,” and displays His “power among the peoples.” (Psalm 77:14) My heart longs to see people that I pray for healed, people delivered from addiction and oppression, lame people get up and walk, and dead people rise right before my eyes. That’s the kind of God I serve, and He still does miracles today. I’m sick of only hearing the stories from far away or long ago. I want to experience God’s power personally, over and over again.

I’ve been taught to take prophetic words and see if they line up with what the Bible teaches. If they do, it is a confirmation that the word came from God. In the word above it says, “As you believe, you’ll tap into a spiritual power of faith that is deposited in your spirit that will cause you to SOAR HIGH without the THUD of crashing!” 1 Corinthians 12 says that one of the spiritual gifts is a gift of faith. So the faith the Bible and this word are talking about is a spiritual kind given from God, not something I can produce myself. My job is to believe God and what He says even if my experiences and my “doubting nature” (see above) say something different.

After I was honest with God and He challenged me, I can say that He has assured me that if I believe and won’t let go, He’s going to grow my faith. The cloudy, disappointing picture of the future is slowly being replaced by a new glimmer of hope, hope that is growing like a glorious sunrise. If I don’t let go, I’m going to be blessed just like Jacob and the woman with the issue of blood.

Will you believe just enough with me that He can ignite your faith once again? Let’s hold on to him with a tight fist and soar once again. Whether we crash or not, He’s trustworthy!

 

Advertisements

You Are More

After telling my redemption story, I wanted to share this poem a friend of mine wrote, so you can see there is hope, freedom, and life on the other side of a failed marriage. If your marriage has ended in divorce know that you too can have a redemption story, because nothing is impossible with our God.

You Are More…

My Story of Abuse and Recovery

by Leanna Green

She listens to the things he says to her everyday.

A beautiful woman now turned to gray.

Lost in his image of her, but it started long before him. 

Her mother’s words engraved in her head,  

She’s been branded from birth with no self worth.

Her mother always acting like she’s the one who’s wrong,

Like she’s crazy and has nothing good in her, all she is is wrong.

So is this man right, or is her mother delusional and lost within her own fight?

 

 

She believes in a Savior.

Knows that Jesus is the only one that can save her.

Goes to church every Sunday.

But she feels so trapped, doesn’t know where to turn.

Can’t run away because he holds her mind captive.

Will this ever end?

 

 

Alone in this mess, because she is too afraid to let anyone in.

She hides it well; behind her smile she has a horrifying story to tell.

He spits in her face telling her she’s worthless.

His actions make her have to pay such a high cost.

She’s so scared and lost.

Just wants to do what’s right, but she’s walking through fog with no lights on

And has no directional in sight.

So confused. Help her Lord she can’t do this on her own.

 

 

He strikes her with his words; he strikes her with his fist.

Hits her, always sorry after it’s been done.

But he never means it, because it’s the same ending everyday.

So much damage has been done.

The next day it’s right back to the same old thing…

She just falls to the floor, because she’s so tired of being missed.

Missed by the people she prayed would see.

See the pain underneath her painted on smile within her misery.

She doesn’t know what to do anymore,

Just lost and broken, shattered on the floor.

 

 

He can’t stand his own reflection, so he deflects it on her,

Making her feel as if she is the one who’s wrong.

This has been going on for so long.

She prays to God every night for direction and some insight.

She married him, so isn’t she supposed to stay?

This isn’t that black and white.

Is it?

Isn’t there some other way?

She has a little girl who looks up to her now.

She doesn’t want her to grow up thinking that this is okay.

 

 

She finally gets the courage to walk away.

Sitting in her room holding her baby girl, sobbing,

Praying to God that He will be with her

And help her to continue to do what she needs to to be free

From this prison that she’s been in for so long.

Praying that God would remove his voice from her head and replace it with His.

Make him loosen his grip so her soul could be cleansed.

And find herself again.

Find her worth.

Become more than she’s ever been told.

 

 

Forgiveness she has now found.

Because in order to be free, she had to send all the hate away and just let it be.

Forgiving the man that hurt her and the mother who she could never please.

This was the only way.

She’s worth so much more than the lies she’s been told.

Her mind starts to become clear.

She finally doesn’t have to live in anymore fear.

 

 

A new voice in her head

Telling her not to listen to the awful things they have said.

Taking her hand and telling her how beautiful she is inside and out.

Her mind starts to become clear with so much less doubt.

God took her pain and used it for her good.

She put down what she thought was good and picked up what was best,

Knowing now that’s what she deserves.

Nothing but the best.

 

 

This man is unlike any other.

He saw her beauty inside and out.

Helped her erase all of the built up doubt.

With God and this man she started to understand.

They were wrong, and she was not to blame.

She is a beautiful woman that was unrightfully put to shame.

 

 

Understanding now her worth,

Nothing can stop her.

She is going to change this earth.

Her voice will resonate through the minds of

People who are still stuck where she was.

She will change their minds

And help them to no longer live in their own personal hells.

Showing them the God who saved her from hers.

Helping them see there is more than

Just living and accepting the lies they’ve been told.

With Jesus she is going to save so many souls.

 

 

I know this story all to well, because that woman I speak of is me.

And now I will help others to see.

There is a life beyond the pain.

There is a life beyond the lies you’ve been told.

Come walk with Jesus and free your soul.

 

stickers that won’t stick

“The stickers only stick if they matter to you.”imag0517315235

I sat down to read Max Lucado’s book You Are Special to my two youngest boys. In the story the townspeople go around giving each other these stickers, either plain ones or stars, depending on how pretty or talented they were or what they could do. We finished the book, and they ran off to conquer the newest foe in the battle. I sat there, reminded of how recently I had seen a comment on facebook that was directed at me. Immediately following that, I could feel the pull of that rejection tainting my other interactions with thoughts of that “sticker” that was put on me. Oh, how we hurt one another with stickers that we put on each other. Labels that stick and cause us to believe lies about ourselves, our children, or our marriages. Even labels we put on ourselves when we compare ourselves to other people.

John 8:31-32 says, “If you abide in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

The little guy in the story sees that the stickers don’t stick on his friend, and he wants what she has. So she sends him to his maker. And the truth of HIS words set him free from the stickers put on him.

“The stickers only stick if they matter to you.

The more you trust my love,

the less you care about their stickers.”

His love, His words, His truth- it’s what sets us free from the labels given to us, free from the lies we believe. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out all fear.”

Fear of not being enough

Fear of not being able to change

Fear of not being accepted…

Because of HIS love we are enough; we are becoming more and more like Him; we are accepted exactly the way we are. And as we become more sure in His love, we find the stickers don’t stick as much. We don’t believe the lies. We are free from the labels as we trust in His love for us.

 

/thrive/

Untitled-design-1-1024x683.jpg

Claire is a guest writer at Raising Generations Today. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

Have you ever heard the phrase “going from strength to strength?”  I found it in the definition of the word thrive.
I hear that word a lot in my circles. We want to thrive in our lives. We don’t want to just get through our days feeling like they are passing us by. In our lives as wives, mothers, in our jobs, in our ministries, and in our relationships, we want to thrive….read more here

 

Our Redemption Story: Epilogue – Final Thoughts

Prologue, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

I have my husband’s full support and permission in sharing the details of our story. He and I are completely different people now and are eager to share our story of redemption, because our desire is that God would use it to give others hope.

Sometimes people ask me how I could ever forgive my husband for what he did, or they say if they were in that situation, they’d file for divorce. I say, first of all, you don’t know what you would do until you are in that situation. Maybe it’s because of my personality; I’m an extremely loyal person. However, I’d like to contribute it to two things. Grace. Lots of grace. Because of God’s grace, unforgiveness was never in my heart. Because of his grace, I was always able to see the man my husband really is. Over the years, I’ve had to joy of watching him become who I always knew he was. The second reason is that Will was repentant. He hated that he was in this bondage and wanted desperately to get free. When you see someone you love struggle but want to be free, it’s pretty easy to come along side of them and be supportive in their journey to freedom.

Don’t get me wrong, I was hurt. Sometimes there are still layers that are pealed back, and I find myself reliving some of the emotion. I need to make a choice to work through that and not be bitter with him about it. At times, when I have prayed with other women who are going through something similar, I have taken their burden upon my shoulders in an unhealthy way. I have not just prayed fervently for them, but my heart hurts for them in such a way that it feels like it’s happening to me all over again. I need to be really careful and not let my emotions rule. I need to keep my mind on Jesus so I can keep my peace.

The biggest struggle I had was not unforgiveness, but trust. For years and years, if Will was late coming home from work, my mind would wander, and I would convince myself he wouldn’t be home until the middle of the night. I would text, and if he didn’t answer, I’d have such bad anxiety. If one of us were going through a hard time and depression had set in, I’d think he’d resort to his old ways as a way of escape. One day when he was late coming home, I thought, “oh no, did he get into an accident?” Later, I joyfully shared with a friend who had gone through a similar thing that that had been the first time I didn’t think his lateness had to do with his addiction. It took me eight years to reach that point.

I realize that ours is a miracle story. Not many people who separate get back together. If you are in a relationship where your spouse is deep in sin in a way that affects you and your family, I beg you to set up some healthy boundaries. You cannot control the other person’s actions, but please stop condoning them. You are a woman of strength. With God’s help, you can stand up for what is right and say, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Boundaries may include being in charge of finances for a while, taking your family to church even when your husband won’t go, getting counseling, setting up an intervention, seeking wisdom from a pastor, separation, getting a restraining order. Whatever boundaries you feel God is leading you to set up, don’t give up. Don’t give in to lowering your standards. Don’t give up on fervently praying. You can find some helpful prayer points in these two previous posts and in the book The Power of a Praying® Wife. And don’t let shame prevent you from seeking godly counsel. Sharing the truth can help to set you and your spouse free.

As I look back over all the years and growth we’ve had together, I’m so thankful for the character we developed during that time. We both strongly believe there isn’t any storm we can’t handle together through prayer and with God’s help. I’m thankful that I know how to fight and believe for things that my eyes cannot yet see. I’ve seen time after time how prayer has caused mountains to move for us or our hearts to become soft until we’ve moved toward where God is leading. And the man I married? I’ve seen him believe the things about himself that I always saw in him. I’ve seen him live those things. He has transformed before my very eyes and is no longer deep in despair. He has learned to love me deeply, cherish me, make me feel so loved and needed, and so much more. I think this experience taught him how to truly love. Men are called to lay down their lives for their wives like Christ did for the church. Though he isn’t perfect at it, I’ve seen him practice this many times in our marriage over the past few years. I have grown to really respect him. Where there once was shame, I am now so proud of him. He’s human, but he knows how to follow hard after God and how to keep his heart soft and moldable. Our prayer is that our story of God’s redemptive power would break chains and bring hope to many people. We don’t take pride in our reconciliation, but say, “to God be the glory, great things he has done!”