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Finding Purpose in Our Scars

“Well, that will leave a mark!!”

Have you ever injured yourself and thought or said those words to yourself immediately following?  It’s no fun.  Pain that has been inflicted on us, whether intentionally or not, leaves a mark.

Here’s what Merriam Webster says about it:

MARK

-an impression (as a scratch, scar, or stain) made on something :  a distinguishing trait or quality

We all know what a scratch or scar is.  We’ve had them.  We have them now.  Everyone has experienced something in their life that has left a scar.  Whether emotional or physical.  But Merriam calls them a “distinguishing trait” or “quality”.

They are unique to who we are.  We are the only person who has the exact scar that we have.  No one else has what we do and it’s part of what makes us who we are up to this point.  Like it or not.  Would you agree?

 

Scars appear after we’ve been wounded.  Time has passed allowing us to heal all that we can.

The location of that injury will always look a little different.  It may feel a little different.  It may react to sunlight or other outside influences a little different.  But nevertheless, you carry it with you.  Though it may fade, it never goes away.  You will never look the same in that place as you did before your injury.

 

Whether emotional scars, or physical scars…

“He heals the brokenhearted

    and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3

He heals and He binds.  He doesn’t heal and wave a magic wand to make the mark disappear.  He holds it together.  He holds you together, and me, right in that very spot.

 

Ponder these things about scars:

  1.  They indicate survival.  Whatever it is that caused that wound, whether deep or shallow, you have survived the source of that wound.
  2. They make your story unique.  No one has the exact scar that you carry.  Your experience was YOUR experience, not someone else’s to tell.
  3. They spark conversation.  When you recognize someone else who is carrying a similar wound, it’s oftentimes a safe place to share stories.  To encourage.  To laugh at the past.  To cry together.  To be thankful for survival.

Perhaps the most significant truth about our scars is this…

4.  They are something we have in common with our perfect savior.

Jesus has scars.

Physical scars in his hands and feet that came with tremendous emotional and mental anguish.  Your scars give you a connection to Him.  A very personal connection.

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And although Jesus suffered on the cross and bears the physical scars of His horrific earthly death, He suffered at other times too:

*He was distressed when He announced at the last supper that one of his disciples was going to betray him (John 13:21)

*Jesus’ soul is troubled when he predicts his own death (John 12:27)

*His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:38)

*Jesus was troubled and wept when Lazarus died (John 11:33-35)

These experiences brought pain and anguish to Him.  They left a mark.

Take note that despite the fact that Jesus led a perfect, sinless life, He still endured troubling times.  Although our scars are sometimes an indicator of consequences from our own decisions, they aren’t always.  Sometimes, they are just souvenirs we’ve picked up from our life journey.

I can’t help but think that in searching for some purpose in our scars, we are brought closer to Him.  They create common ground with Him.  They help us identify with His humanity.

What are the scars that you carry?

*Hurtful words that left a mark when spoken to you earlier in your life…

*Relationships broken and crumbled that once held great strength…

*Decisions made in your past that had consequences leading you down an unwanted path…

*Ever been physically abused?  Ever been the abusive one?

What is it that ripped through you at one point but has healed since?  What is it that is now healing but still feels fresh when bumped or when you run your hand across it?

The markings on your life, those distinguishing traits, use them as conversation starters with Jesus.  Use them to explore how Jesus may want to use your life to draw others closer to Him.  Use them to foster a sense of thanksgiving every time they are bumped or exposed unexpectantly.

They make up the fabric of who you are and God loves you no matter how or when you acquired those scars.

All scars carry purpose…that is truth…ask the Lord what that may be when you talk to Him.

And thank Him for your survival while you’re at it.

Praying for us all to embrace every part of who we are,

Kellie

 

 

 

 

 

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Be Easy On Yourself

 

I was recently talking with a friend and she said something that resonated deeply with me.

 

We were talking about goals and dreams and what may be out in front of us that we want to attain.  We were talking about how to get to those places and how sometimes we have to muddle through other things, let other things go, clear a path etc. before we can reach those goals.  It was wonderful conversation soaked with truth.

I thought we were going to keep talking about big, personal goals and encourage each other to keep pursuing them.  I thought we were going to go big picture.  I was wrong.

 

She said something that rang a bell deep in my heart…

“I’m learning to give myself grace in the small, every day things.  To celebrate those accomplishments, even if they’re small”.

 

Isn’t that good??

Don’t we wait until the BIG thing is checked off of our list before we cut ourselves a break and celebrate?  Before we acknowledge that we’ve accomplished anything at all?  Aren’t women known for being their own worst critics?  For being so focused on the big, giant goals that we push aside the small steps that had to be accomplished before reaching that destination?

 

Here’s what I’m learning the older I get and the more that I make relationships with other women a priority…we are too hard on ourselves.  Way too hard.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

If you struggle simply getting out of bed some mornings because of anxiety or depression, and you actually get up…cut yourself a break.  Acknowledge that you just accomplished something.  It doesn’t matter if it is a “hard” thing to anyone else.  If it is “hard” for you, and you pushed through…give yourself some grace.

 

If you are fighting with your spouse 5 or 6 times a day and you have a day where you only fuss 4…don’t linger over the 4, celebrate the absence of the others.  It’s a small thing that can lead to bigger things.

 

Mothers of young children, I hear many of you voice your desire to have your quiet time in the morning and get in your work-out, shower and start breakfast all before that baby wakes up.  Some of you are drowning with guilt because you haven’t had your child’s 30 day pictures taken like everyone else has (bahahaha..ask me how many times I had my children’s pictures taken when they were babies) and now your child will grow up with low self-esteem because you didn’t document every inch that they grew!  Stop!!! There are more of you than you think only getting a shower every other day and barely managing to feed your husband a bowl of cereal after coming in from a long days work.

 

If you’re that mom and you got out of bed and loved on your children today, celebrate that you took care of what was most important.  If at the end of the day only 1 out of 8 things is ticked off of your to-do list, celebrate the 1 thing and start fresh tomorrow.

 

It’s important to set goals.  To reach for the stars and move forward with vision and purpose.  But, while you move forward, give yourselves some grace and acknowledge that even the small accomplishments are still accomplishments.  It takes plowing through the small things before the big things can be attained.

 

God is in the small things and it’s in those achievements that sometimes our intimacy with Him is more tangible than others.  It’s those small tasks that when achieved, draw out a quiet “yesssssss” and will draw our gaze to our Father, who is so pleased and just tickled, when we include Him in those mini celebrations.

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He sees when we struggle to get out of bed but we do it anyway.  He sees when we are unhappy with our jobs but we go and give it our best anyway.  He sees when our anxiety tells us to stay home but we push through and call that friend anyway.  He sees when we push away the cake in an attempt to care for our bodies.  He sees when that baby has kept you up all night and it’s all that you can do the next day to simply brush your teeth.

 

“…my power is made perfect in weakness…”

 

In our weak moments, let’s let Him in and share that.  We have a tendency to beat ourselves up and assume that God is disappointed when we struggle.  That He is somehow never satisfied with our small steps.  Not so.  It is in our weakness that He has room to work.  It is here that He shines through.  It’s this place that we realize our need for His power and comfort and He delivers.

 

Every.  Single.  Time.

 

Let’s lean in.  Be more like my friend and celebrate the small things.  Celebrate with Him.  He’s right there lending His power to help us push through.  Then, let’s throw a little praise party as we accept the grace that He is handing us!

 

Praying that we give ourselves even a portion of the grace that He longs to give us.  I believe we’d be blown away if we realized the grace He’s made available for you and me.  Blown.  Away.

Kellie

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Sometimes Tears Are Necessary

                            Image result for Psalm 126:5-6 green

Years ago, my husband was doing some contracting work on a home and he fell off of the roof landing on his head.  He was working alone (which we had a long talk about later).  After he woke up,  I got a phone call from him telling me that “something has happened” and “I don’t know where I am” and again repeating “I think something has happened”.  Before he spit out his second sentence I already had my shoes on and both my children were being shuffled out the door so that we could get to him quickly.  I feared he would wander off and get lost!  I calmly told him to sit down and stay put so I could call 911.
After that call, I burst into tears for about 30 seconds, took a few breaths, and sucked it back up like a big girl does.
Have you ever had your mind reeling with fresh news but you know that you can’t cry just yet?  Ever gotten a middle of the night call that a loved one is on the way to the hospital but you’ve got to get the details before you can have a mini break down?  Ever taken a call at work which would require you to tie up lose ends before exiting to sit with a loved one?  I got one of those calls lately.
What do we do in those times?  We hold it together until we scoot behind the wheel of our cars, punch in our GPS where we need to go so that we can let it do the work for us, and belt out a good cry!  We may whale and sob and keep our eyes open just enough to see the road for about a minute but then it’s time to take a few breaths and suck it back up.  Am I right?
Those moments where we have to get the stuff done before the cry, do you get a headache holding it in?  Boy I do!!  I can only hold it for so long before I NEED to have a good cry.  And sometimes, a good cry isn’t a long, drawn out thing, sometimes it’s just allowing it to come through for a brief moment to release pressure and then all is good!
Also, do you ever get mad at yourself because a cry just came out of nowhere?  Like you thought you had held it all together just fine until you have to talk to someone about what you’re having for dinner and suddenly you feel it just well up in your throat and burst through your eyes and nose?  Almost like a mini explosion just under the surface of your face has occurred and you have absolutely no control when it comes to holding it back.
UGGHHHHHH!!
The older I get, the more I realize how freeing it can be to just go with it.  To realize that even if I am in a good place mentally and emotionally that sometimes my physical body is still going to react to whatever it is I am going through.
It’s good.
If you are ever looking for at least one thing to be thankful for in this life, be thankful for this…God knit our bodies together so intricately that He put things in place to help us when we need to release.  When we need to de-stress.  When we need to blow.
Tears.
I did a little research on tears.
Studies have been done and tears were tested and compared between those who cried because of emotional stress and those that cried while slicing an onion.  The people who cried over some type of sadness or stress had much higher levels of stress inducing hormones in their tears than those who were with the vegetables.  As our stress increases, certain hormone levels increase and having a cry can be our bodies natural way of disposing of that overload of hormonal yuck.
Also, did you know that tears contain a natural painkiller called leucine enkephalin?  That when this is released, it can actually ease pain and work to improve our moods?  It gives a whole new perspective on why we may feel better after a good cry.
It’s things like this that make me in awe of God all over again.  That He would construct our bodies in such a way as to feel such deep emotion, to have the ability to compartmentalize if necessary, and then to supply our need of having a release from it all.
What about you?
Were you raised to think that it’s not lady-like to cry when you’re upset?  Or when someone has hurt you?  Were you taught that if you cry you are simply weak or that “tough girls don’t cry”?
It’s ok friends.  Male AND female.  Our bodies were designed with a pressure guage and sometimes no matter how hard we try to hold on to that handle and keep in the steam, we need to let it go.  It’s healthy.  It’s a natural healer.  It’s cleansing.
Let’s agree that if we need to take a moment to open the valve and let the stress stream out of us for even a minute or two, we will not apologize.  If we have to do it in the car or in a bathroom stall or even with our head buried in a pillow, it’s ok.  It’s ok!  The key is to listen to our bodies and give in to it.
Tears are a gift.  And sometimes they are necessary to our well-being.  We were built that way…on purpose.

Praying for those who have held it in way too long, it’s time to let it go.

Kellie

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When “Mother’s Day” Is Hard

Sometimes Mother’s Day is tough.

Being a mom isn’t always fun, some days it’s just hard.  Unfortunately, some of those hard days or seasons may fall on or around Mother’s Day.  I know they have for me.

I’ve had a Mother’s Day or two that I faced with dread.  I’ve been in the trenches, battling for the well-being of my children, struggling to hold my ground as the parent when a child was trying to take over and show me who they thought was really the boss.  I’ve had a Mother’s Day or two where I fought with a child over disobedience or disrespect and had to wake up on this special day questioning my parenting skills.   Wondering where I was going wrong.  Playing over and over in my head the strong words that were exchanged a mere 24 hours earlier in my home.

If you look at social media today, you’ll only see the good stuff.  It’s easy to look and compare and envy and wonder why your child would rather be somewhere else.  Why these other families seem to have it all together.   It’s easy to question if you’ve been left out of those parenting classes that your friends on social media obviously attended.

HA!

Moms, don’t fall for it!  Don’t let yourself tumble into the trench and spend your energy questioning what you are doing wrong.  Just don’t.  At least not on Mother’s Day.

Parenting is hard, beautiful, messy and sometimes even a breeze!  It can be rewarding and exhausting all at the same time.  Especially during times of adolescence for your children, or those high school years where they are trying to find their own way, and for those of us who were “gifted” with a strong willed child, well…it can be hard, beautiful messy and a breeze all within 5 minutes of any given day!!

Real talk.

Have you ever wanted to give it up?  To tell that pre-teen to stop threatening to move out and just get on with it?  Does it ever look easier to let that 14 or 15 year old just GO ON and be someone else’s child to raise because you’ve “done all you can” and you’re just over it!

We were there at my house.  I’m telling you, parenting a strong headed child is exhausting and after so many years with everything seeming to be a battle, it would have been much easier on our family to just let the child go!

But…that’s not what a mom is called to do is it?  We’re given this child to raise and unless they walk out on their own, we need to be in the business of hanging on, of persevering, of sticking it out.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12

Moms, your worth is not found in how well your child is behaving.

Your value as a mother is not to be judged on the basis of whether your kid likes you on any given day.  Your worth is found in who YOU belong too.  In being a child of God.

Think of it this way…as God’s children…If He looked on us and judged His own worth based on our actions, where would He be?  What kind of self-esteem would He have.  What kind of father do you think He’d think He was?

Do you see what I’m saying?

We are to love our children unconditionally, guide them towards what is right and good and keep on loving them no matter how they respond to our efforts.

Isn’t this what God does with us?

His worth is based on who He is.  Our worth is based on whose we are.  Nothing else.

That is good news!!

Being a mother is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

This is where we find our joy on Mother’s Day moms!  In that He hung this title on us, on purpose, for a purpose.

Image result for moms finding rest in god

 

Yes, if your children are around, celebrate.  Celebrate big!  But don’t let what took place the day before wrap you in a wet blanket.

And if your children are not around, celebrate you!  Do something you enjoy.  Eat the cake.  Drink the coffee.  Take the long walk.  Talk to Jesus about what’s on your heart and soak up the rest that only He can offer.

Our job is a privilege and children are a blessing…even if it some days it doesn’t feel like it.

Enjoy your day moms, it’s all yours!

Praying for those weary moms tonight,

Kellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Chill Out Daughter”-Love, God

Have you ever thought you knew just exactly where God was taking you and before you knew it, you were nowhere near that place?  Maybe you can see it coming and it looks so “good”, it looks so “right” and it just “makes sense” that that’s the door which will open and you shall walk through it and you shall be light and salt and you shall be ever so pleasing to the Lord but before you know it, you are nowhere near that door you were waiting to open for you?   In fact, you aren’t even in the same building.

 

I hit a cross roads a few years ago in my life.  That sweet space where my children were outgrowing their need for me and I had some options about how I was going to spend the rest of my working days.  I went back to school, started working in a profession I had always wanted to try, and found after a couple of years in that it wasn’t where I wanted to spend the next 15+ years.

 

So…alas I was at another cross roads.  That occupation was reaching a place where I could place a period or a comma and after praying and searching my heart I decided to put a period.  It was the right move, it just caused my life to hit return a couple of times so that a new paragraph could start.

This is where I thought I knew what to do next.  Ha!

After much prayer and seeking counsel from those who know me best, I realized that I could best serve God in a corporate environment.  Send me Lord!  I’ll be salt and light and I’m old enough now that I know what I believe and why I believe it and you can really use me out there in the world.  I’m ready to go!

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His purpose prevails.  Ya’ll that is GOOD news!

After multiple job applications were filled out, recommendations were made on my behalf at several locations and interviews were even had, it became evident that I had it all wrong.  Frankly, I was exhausted at the amount of time I was spending trying to figure out which direction to place my efforts and I had made the decision to just sit tight and wait on the Lord.  Did you hear me say I was exhausted??

 

Within 48 hours of deciding to sit tight, my phone rang with an opportunity I DID NOT GO LOOKING FOR to work where I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE to do things I’VE NEVER DONE with people I DID NOT KNOW.  Instead of getting all nervous and anxious about this, I GOT EXCITED!!  It was a choice I had to make early on as my guts were dying to twist up inside of me but I told them NO (sometimes we have to remind our guts who’s really in charge)!!

It was obvious God had orchestrated this opportunity and following Him along on this ride called life is exciting!  It’s exciting because no matter how high up the coaster track He takes us, He is right there with us and has nothing in mind but to take us places that are for our good and His glory!  I knew I was right where He would have me be and there is no better feeling than when we grasp and sense that He has plans for us that He intends to follow through with, no matter how hard we work to figure them out for ourselves.  No better feeling.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

I thought I’d work out in the public, I now work with a bunch of Christians.

I thought I’d work in my hometown, I now work 25 minutes away.

I thought I’d be using my post-high school education, that’s gone out the window.

I thought I had a grasp on where I was headed.  No.

One thing Christians can count on is that following Jesus is ALWAYS…interesting. 

How about you?  Has there been a time in your life that you fought hard to stay on First Avenue but in hindsight, you ended up on West 53rd Street?  Did you clamor to stay in that relationship and ultimately end up single and happier than you’ve ever been?  Have you stressed yourself out over an unexpected move or an unseen lay-off and later found that God had you the whole time?  That He actually knew what He was doing?  Even though He tells us He has good for us, did you doubt His plan?

 

I ask these questions because I’ve been a Christ follower for a long time.  You would think that by now this question of whether or not He is ultimately in control and has my good in mind would’ve been settled a long time ago.  I’m here to tell you that I have to re-learn it from time to time.

Been there?

I have story after story over my life that I can look back and see the providence of God even though I was a nervous wreck and each time I reflect on those times, I tell myself to chill out!  Not to let myself get knocked off my feet so easily when the unexpected comes.

That He’s got this.

 

I must have some chill.

We must have some chill.

Know what I mean?

If I put my child into a new school system because I know it’s the best place for them, I want them to trust my actions and walk in with a fresh hair cut and a smile, not sweaty palms and a doubting attitude of my love for them.

If my child wants 30 people to show up for their birthday party and only 8 come, I want him to embrace those 8 and take advantage of the smaller crowd.  Get to know the ones who came and trust that those were the friends meant to be there.

If my grown child is looking for a job, I want them to talk to their heavenly father daily about it, get out there and push on doors, and trust that the right job will open up at the right time.  In the meantime, maybe use their spare time to grow closer to God, to invest in some relationships or take on a DIY project.

I get it, it’s easier said than done.  I just lived through this.  But, can we do this?  Can we trust Him a little more today than yesterday?  Can we look back at the stories of His faithfulness in our lives and make the decision to believe that HE’S GOT THIS?  Can we do these things with some chill?

I’m going to try better next time.  Less worry, more thankfulness through the process.

One thing I know too, no matter how well or horrible I do this, I will be met with grace.  When our motives are in the right place, He parents us with gentleness.

Ya’ll, He’s just the sweetest.

Praying we trust Him more with each new day,

Kellie

 

 

 

 

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A Crisis of Faith

Got your attention didn’t I?

Recently I wrestled with knowing God can but not knowing if He would (fill in the blank).  I caught myself wanting to “name it and claim it” when I was unsure of what God was doing.

And I’m NEVER sure of what He is doing.  He doesn’t inform like that.  Not typically.

If I’m being honest, it messed with me.  Big.  Time.  I’ve struggled with this before but after this go around…I think I just might, just maybe, possibly be learning something about placing my faith soley and simply in one place.  No matter the situation.

 

Doesn’t that sound so simple?  Placing our faith in only one thing?  Isn’t that like God?  To love us so much as to not make things too complicated for us?

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…”

I John 3:1

 

The definition of faith according to Merriam Webster is this:

a (1) :  belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :  belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

b (1) :  firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return (2) :  complete trust

 

Faith-I see nothing here that says that our believing will accomplish anything tangible.  What I see is that to have faith is to simply believe.  The crisis comes when we try to spread our belief all around instead of keeping it concentrated on HIM.

 

The Bible tells us in Hebrews  “ Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” NIV or “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” The Message

 

This confidence…hope…assurance…trust

Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that these precious expressions of our faith are to be placed in that we see in front of us.  That if we wrap up our desires in fancy words then what we are so focused on will simply come to pass because we believe it will.  That this is how faith is played out, expressing a sense of done-ness to that thing that we want done and telling God at the end of our sentence, that since we’ve got faith, it shall be done.

Wrong.

We’ve lost our focus.

That thing or this person or the situation has taken over our vision.  It has consumed us and distracted us from the One who has all of it in His hands.  We’ve got to turn our necks back up.  That’s where we are to place our faith.  Not in anything we can see, but in the One who is invisible.

Enter crisis.

 

Merriam Webster defines crisis as this:

a :  an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially :  one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome a financialcrisis the nation’s energy crisis

b :  a situation that has reached a critical phase the environmental crisis the unemployment crisis

 

 

This is where we can have a crisis of faith.  We’ve all been there.  I was just there recently.

Twisted guts, headaches, even nausea.   I love God.  I believe in Him.  I believe He will allow only what is good for Him and me to occur in my life.  But the crisis, the sense of urgency in my circumstances, were a huge distraction for me.  They took my eyes off of the One who has it all under control and had my mind racing over things that I had very little control over.

Wow!  Do you see it?  I had put myself front and center of my little world leaving myself exposed for the enemy to come in and knock me out at the knees!

Been there?  Yeah, not a great place to be.

Honestly, this is selfish thinking.  Who am I to believe that this thing that I need will be done to the degree in which I have faith?

Crisis.  This is part of life.  A cycle that will come and go.  Oh, you may not experience the same one over and over again but they will come.  They will be hurled your way from every direction until you die.  Guarantee it!  And your faith will be tested.  And sometimes you’ll pass the test.  And sometimes you won’t.

The goal is to move our necks upward, even if they’re stiff from the stress and knotted muscles, and keep our gaze on the only One that deserves to have our faith placed in it.  Our eyes aren’t made to look two directions at one time.  One way.  Fix them there.

His Will

 

 

He loves us ladies.  And He has nothing left to prove to us.  He’s done that already.  Let’s cheer each other on to keep our faith, our belief that “HE CAN”, front and center and the question of “but WILL He?” linger in the background so that it doesn’t trip us up.

  • Faith is a loaded word and can be an ongoing conversation…would love to hear from you on this.  What helps to build your faith?  How would you define what faith is?

 

Blessings,

Kellie

 

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Finding Strength Through Intimacy

Have you ever needed to talk to someone to get something off your chest and your spouse or bff just weren’t going to satisfy that need?  Ever felt like no one really knows you?  At least not all of you?

We crave it.

We were built for it.

We need it.

Intimacy.

  1. 1:  a state marked by emotional closeness

  2. 2:  a quality suggesting closeness or warmth

  3. 3:  something that is very personal or private

God created us.  He created that need for intimacy within us.  He longs to fill it for us.

He created a God sized hole in our spirit that only He can fill.  That’s why when we try to fill that emptiness with other things or other people, they don’t stick.  They can’t satisfy long-term.  HE wants that spot!

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:16 kjv

I liken that intimacy, that closeness, to having a tiny infant in my arms.

When my babies were newborns, I swaddled them up in one of those cloth carriers that would allow me to be hands free while they rested against my chest.  I had a living, breathing human-being strapped right against me.  What a responsibility!

I stayed away from cigarette smoke, cursing and harsh noises and odors.  I spoke softly, giving thought to what I would say since my lips were only inches away from those small ears.  I kept my hands clean and sanitized for fear of leaving traces of germs or illness on that baby.  I talked to them throughout my day, whispering “I love you so much”.  Introducing them to smells and informative sentences like “now this is what red velvet cake smells like and It’s your daddy’s favorite” or “I hope this song I’m wooing you with is something you sing to your own children”.

I took the presence of that baby very seriously.  I didn’t want to grieve it.  To make it uncomfortable.  To cause it pain or disappointment in me.  I took the intimacy of having my babies so close, where they felt my heart beat, as a privilege that not all were afforded.  I tried not to take that for granted.

God doesn’t need us to be His life-giver and protector and to introduce Him to new things like a child, but, we need to remember that just as those babies are held against us, His Holy Spirit is even closer.  It’s not outside of us, but inside.

Intimacy with God

Super natural strength…

This privilege that we have…this gift…this responsibility…this is where our strength abides as believers.  We were created in His image and were gifted His Holy Spirit to help guide and move us.  He is more powerful, more discerning, and stronger than we could ever be and He desires to be intimately involved in our lives, filling us up to over-flowing with Himself.

Ever done something on His behalf that you thought you would never be able to do?

Ever had a conversation with someone and wondered later where those words came from?

Ever done that thing that seemed out of character for you but was the right call?

That was His spirit, working through you, pushing, strengthening, filling you with boldness and courage.

This privilege comes with responsibility.

Who likes to be told that we could grieve God?  No one.

Who needs to be reminded that it’s possible?  All of us.

 

“Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.”

Ephesians 4:30 The Message

 

 

Goodness, we don’t like to talk about this do we?  We like comfortable.  We like encouragement.  We like pats on the back  and “sometimes you just have to’s” and “I couldn’t help myselves” and “everybody else is doing it”

I love how The Message puts this verse “…His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life…”  Sometimes I think that we forget this.  That as believers in Christ, His Holy Spirit is dwelling IN us.  Another way to think about it is that He sees what we see and hears what we hear.

I’m completely awestruck by His design!

Are you?

Let’s take a deep breath today and acknowledge His handy work.  The craftsmanship that went into building us as only He could do.  The fact that this need we have for intimacy isn’t just an impossible desire that we have to go through life with, but that He offers the solution in Himself.

Let this be a reminder…

**He longs to be closer than any other

**He wants to share with us His strength and help us do hard things

**He is holy

**What an honor it is to be called His

This.

Ponder this and see if your heart rate doesn’t go up a little bit.

Reflect & Respond

**As believers are we keenly aware that the Holy Spirit dwells in us 24 hours a day?

**What can we do to honor His presence in our lives?  How can we flesh that knowledge out into our day-to-day living?

Praying that we draw our strength from Him and represent Him well,

Kellie