Using Disappointments

The last week has been chaotic. Along with everyone else I’ve watched this pandemic of the Corona virus unfold.

I’m not afraid of getting the virus myself, but I don’t want to spread it to those around me who are vulnerable.

The big issue I’ve had is the disappointment.

I know why things are getting closed and cancelled but the knowledge of the why doesn’t take away the sadness of not being able to do so many things.

Seeing my best friend in a new state. Cancelled.

Disneyland with my husband for two days. Cancelled

Warriors tickets that you bought 7months ago. Cancelled

Conference with your family. Cancelled

Even my working in the classroom was suddenly halted.

The unknown of future plans for the summer and beyond is a lot to deal with too.

Yesterday I was a complete grump. My poor husband looked at me so many times moping around just laying in my disappointment.

I went for a drive.

As I was driving I started bringing my disappointments to God. In frustration I spewed, “His banner over me is…” and paused. Two words came to my mind.

Disappointment?

Love?

This sobered my mind I’m so many ways. I started realizing that even though things felt cancelled, truth is they are delayed for now. Worst case scenario, they don’t get rescheduled, what God is doing now is what’s important.

He’s uniting us in ways beyond what we have imagined. He’s pausing things and allowing some to fully rest and seek Him. He’s giving us opportunity after opportunity to creatively love people in our communities that we tend to skip over. He’s giving us opportunities to truly be a neighbor, think of new ways to do our jobs, and sit down to get to some of those dreams we neglect in the busy lives we live.

Dear Sojourner,

I want to encourage you to pray. No matter where you are, of or when the visits has effected you, we need to pray for this world. If you have the time off, look at it as an adventure. Find ways to deliver joy and peace to those around you instead of fear and panic. Do things that you’ve been wanting to do, when you got the time. Clean your house. Make that recipe. Catch up with that loved one. Work on art. Look up new things on YouTube and learn something. Write that book, blog, article. Let this pause be divine. We will get through this victoriously because we are putting our faith over fear.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”
‭‭The Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

💛 Mo

Through the Darkness

Two years ago I️ woke up to what would intensify an incredibly hard season. Trying to formulate the words of see you later to my dad was difficult. Seeing the pain from my brother was heartbreaking. The anxiety and grief was becoming a beast I️ couldn’t face alone.

I️ remember hoping that I’d never lose a close family member or friend until I was married, so that I️ could be comforted by my spouse. Yet 2 years ago I️ was single and faced 2 great deaths. This is something I’m thankful for. The road I️ was on seemed to head to more sadness, but the hand that held mine was sure.

It may sound crazy but there are days I️ miss that season. When you trust God and can’t find even a hint of satisfaction on anything else but Him His presence and faithfulness are so evident.

People often say I’m strong yet I️ feel so weak. The strength they see is something that is beyond me. When I️ chose to forgive my dad I️ had to rely on God. When I️ hasn’t seen my dad in 9 years and I️ chose to go see him because he was dying, I️ had to rely on God. When I️ had to see not only him but my grandpa die in the same week, I️ had to rely on God.

Even in the darkest seasons. The ones where anxiety seems to rule and depression greets you in the morning. In seasons where bitterness encases your heart. When it’s hard to forgive. The secret is found in going through those valid feelings with God. The natural thing we do is try to fix it ourselves. Yet God wants us to go with and through.

I️ know I️ wouldn’t have made it through all of the without Him. Every prayer from every person doesn’t go unnoticed. Even today I’m thankful for each prayer for my family during that season. I️ know there are more times than I️ can count that they carried me through.

Dear Sojourners,

Forgiveness is possible. Redemption is real. Guidance from Our Daddy is necessary.

Dad I️ know you’re enjoying heaven. I️ miss you but thankfully one day, we will be united again.

I Prayed for You 

They say that life comes in seasons. There are times of long joyful sunny days that fade into perfect nights like summer and times of incredible growth and warmth like spring.  These are the seasons where God is everywhere. When singing and thanking Him is inevitable. When we dance before Him and go to sleep with a smile on our faces. 

If there are great seasons then there must also be not so great seasons. You know those seasons where you find yourself doubting more than thanking. Those seasons when you don’t know what’s going on but the growth is slower and the fruit starts dying. Fall isn’t that bad but things just seem off. It’s the calm before the winter  strom.  

I’ve tried to write this blog several times in the last month and a half. To say that these last two months have been hard would be an understatement. From coming home from traveling for most of the month of March I was excited to be back home and have some family time but right when things seemed to slow down is the right time for a spiritual earthquake to happen. 

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” 

 Winter comes when family members make choices that devastate you, close ones are dying, you’re forgetting who you are and Who God is. No matter what  seeds you plant it feels like something  everything is preventing them from growing. Life then throws fears, circumstances, waves of anxiety, and you find yourself waking up in knots of dread and despair. You question your very identity. You wonder what’s wrong. God’s voice isn’t as loud as it’s been previously. You feel like you’re coming undone or worse being sifted. 

Sifted: v. to go through especially to sort out what is useful or valuable. 

The last two months I’ve felt sifted. I’ve found myself question of my God is really as good as He says? Yes. He is. But maybe it’s me. I’ve done something to take away value so now he’s sifting me, removing me from those that are more valuable. I’ve felt doomed. Seeing people I love and respect go down paths they never wanted to left me feeling like I was doomed to become someone I didn’t want to be. Like I would wake up one day a bad person. That it was fate, inevitable. I was born to be doomed. There are other people that just weren’t born with the same doom destination as I was but I just had to accept the sifting … Ever been there? 

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” 

As much as these thoughts swirled screamed and demanded my attention there was another thought.

Hope. 

At the beginning of this year I felt that God was going to take me through this journey of reclaiming ground that I once surrendered to the enemy. This reminder sparked something that fueled me to start fighting. I realized that in these moments I believed that God was the loving Father and everything else the Bible says he is, to everyone else but he wasn’t that to me. I had believed lies for so long that God just had bad things for me because that’s what I deserved. My heart broke when I realized that when I agreed with these lies I was calling the only one who has been pure truth, love, satisfaction in my life a liar. To believe that he wanted me sifted because he was done, fed up, tired of me was to believe that everything he has ever said was a lie. I was done with self pity. So I stood up and started fighting, believing that Jesus was fighting with me. 

When you fight you have to have a weapon, not just protection

About a week ago I was walking in target with my mom and I just started crying. I remember telling my mom that through everything that has been going on, I’ve seen my greatest dream fade to my greatest fear. I found myself being afraid of something that I had desired for so long because I didn’t want to mess it up. I was once again scared that I was doomed in everything that I would try. Afraid that God wasn’t on my side. That’s when I remembered Simon. 

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭31-32‬ NLT)

It’s so true, satan asks to do things to us to prove to God that we are not as faithful, loving, pure, righteous, etc. he demands to have us. Too often this is at the forefront of our mind. We worry that God has lifted his hand and given us over to satan’s tactics forever. We forget that 1. satan has to ask permission from God. We see this repeatedly in the Bible. Look at Job: Satan went to God first before he took Job’s possessions and struck him with sickness. Even in Revelation 12 we see that the accuser of our brothers (satan) accuses us day and night before our God. 2. Jesus prays for us! Oh the comfort and joy found in the simple words, “I have prayed for you”. Not only do we have a Holy Spirit inside of us who knows what we need in the moments that we don’t even know but we have a savior who takes time to pray for us. How can I continue to believe that I am doomed and God is done when Jesus took time to pray for me? 

What do you need to reclaim? What are you choosing to believe about God that is not in His character? How are you choosing to fight for a new perspective? Choose to believe that God loves you so much that he sent his son to save you, give you grace, and pray for you. God loves you so much that he gave you his spirit to guide you and know you better than yourself so that he too could pray for you. You are in good hands. Your name is on the most important prayer list. Regardless of the past or the present you will thrive because though the enemy has demanded you, Jesus has prayed for you so that your faith will not fail and once you turn back to him you will strengthen those around you. 

  
Check out Revelation 12, Luke 22, John 17