Apr 122016
 

Well, those unfulfilled expectations snuck up and bit me in the booty.  Again.  And here’s some more transparency for you.  It was a morning of self pity.  And I couldn’t seem to shake it.  It was a morning of the nasty word “defeat”.  And it resonated all too well.   It was a morning of where my word for the month “hope” was no where in sight.  And I needed.  to.  hear.  good.  words.  from.  God.

After tries and tries of marketing my book in various ways I recognized I hadn’t talked with God about how He would desire for me to “get the book out there”.  I felt a nudge from the Spirit a couple months ago to go about marketing in quite a strange, seemingly not productive way.  When I asked the Lord what He would have me do with this stack of books that had been sitting for a year in my closet, I heard the phrase “One book at a time”.  Hmmm….and after making sure the Lord knew how non grand scale of reach this would have, I obeyed.  And I have been relying on Him.  Each week.  Asking Him, “Who this week, Lord?”  And He has been faithful every week to bring a name to mind.  And the Lord has been asking me to cook up His recipe; excluding my own “logic ingredients” and including many cups of “courage, humble, listen and obey ingredients”.  And I have been absolutely amazed at how He is strengthening my faith and allowing me to “taste and see that the Lord is good” with these mini miracle cakes which come out of the oven each week.

So why am I in a state of self pity when from the paragraph above it would seem all is well?  And I am glad you asked because I will tell you.  One of the names I believed I was to send a book to was a famous female Christian author and speaker who I have followed and adored for years.  Even though I peed my pants a little when I felt this nudge of the Spirit, I pushed through the fear.  I wrote a lengthy letter to her and sent off the book.  (This was even more of an accomplishment if you know me because you have never and probably will never receive anything from me if it is getting there by the post office.)  There was hope, though, in sending this off.  I thought to myself, “Yes, this is going to be the “one book at a time” person who will read my book, love it, respond to my letter to ask if I would come speak with her at her next venture.  Good thinkin Lord!”

And so I got a letter in the mail today.  With the return address of the above author’s ministry name listed.  I literally held my breath as I opened it.  But as soon as my breath was held, it was let out quickly with a breath of defeat. It was written by her “correspondence team”.  A form letter.  Lifeless words filled my heart as my eyes took it all in.  And the “D words” settled down deep.  Devastated.  Defeated.  Done.

I cried a little.  Then looked to my God to support me in my self pity state.  He was good to me.  My devotional for the day talked about how self pity is not walking in trust in God.  And if we feel self pity the thing to combat it is to give Jesus praise and thanks because we can’t have self pity at the same time as when we are thanking God.  So I decided to do this.  (Although it was more than hard.)  And then I flipped the scriptures and said, “Lord, I need a word from you to give me hope and comfort.”  And praise.  God.  Wouldn’t you know He was so good to have me flip open to the very scripture He gave me to send and write to the author I had just been so disappointed by.  It was as if He was saying, “You heard me right, you are on the right track, be patient, I still have plans for you.”  And then He went one step further-the Spirit highlighted the words “learned to acclaim you” in the scripture.  I looked up the word “acclaim” in the dictionary and it means “to praise”.      He said to my heart, “You are blessed today because you are learning to praise Me even when it’s hard-you just did that.  The scripture doesn’t say “blessed are those who acclaim” but “blessed are those who LEARN to acclaim”.   I am teaching you how to praise Me.”

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence  Psalm 89:15

God continued to speak love into me as He as I flipped open to this verse:

Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us Hebrews 12:1

And if that wasn’t enough goodness of God to fill me with encouragement and hope, I put on a new work out DVD and had to smile as the instructor said, “Let’s punch out defeat this morning!  Don’t quit.  Finish the race strong!!”

So whatever you find yourself disappointed by, discouraged by, defeated by this morning, get off of the self pity train and jump on the thank and praise God train.  Let’s finish the race strong because we KNOW His timing is perfect and His plans are BIG.  Continue on in patience and perseverance the race with Jesus my friends and we WONT be disappointed in the end!

What can you thank and praise God for today as you “learn to acclaim/praise” Him?

What unanswered decision, defeat, disappointment, or unfulfilled expectation do you need to trust Jesus and fix your eyes on Him as you “run with patience”?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 052013
 

I was driving down the freeway, alone in my car, screaming at the devil.

This sounds like a snapshot out of a film.  But this was me.  Last week.

For a split moment I feared sharing this with you.  I thought, “I’m a hypocrite.”  But then I realized, No.  This is me being real.

In my post last week, I wrote about us facing various challenges.  The Lord will strengthen us to face our challenges and they can be part of His best for us.

I absolutely believe this.  It’s still true.  But sometimes, how we work this out is not always pretty.

I’m currently struggling with intense fear and pressure about a handful of life’s changes.  My husband was gone all of last week.  His travel has been going on for years now.  It was about 2 years ago, I finally put the pattern together.  When my husband leaves, the devil works over-time on me.

This past week, I felt weak, insecure and anxious.  I was trying to focus on the Lord giving me strength.  Him giving me peace.  But my guard wasn’t up.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

The lion showed up in full force, and I was almost crushed.

He came at me with guilt, shame and comparison.  These were the lies the devil was trying to fill my mind with this past week:

  • You’re not a good enough wife.  You can’t handle the challenges that come with the one you married.
  • You should feel ashamed because you feel jealous of your husband’s opportunities.
  • You’re a bad mom because you feel weak, lose your patience, and don’t want to be with your kids sometimes.
  • You’re weak because you have zero energy to keep up with normal tasks while your husband is gone.
  • You’re a failure as a writer because you can’t live out what you write.  You’re not making an impact, so why do it.
  • Everyone else has it together.  Everyone else can handle their kids.  Everyone else can be joyful through their challenges.
  • Everyone else has more faith than you.

All of them.  Straight. Up. Lies.

Towards the end of the week, I found myself alone in my car for a bit.  It felt more and more difficult to pray as the week went on.  As I drove, I tried connecting with God about everything I had been battling.

As I began to pour out my heart to the Lord… I was filled with anger.

Anger at the devil.

In that moment, I remembered my therapist having told me in the past, it’s ok to get mad at the devil.  In fact, anger instead of apathy is appropriate when we realize what he’s trying to do to us.

I then began yelling out loud in my car at the devil.  “I hate you.  I will not fall for your tactics.  You are defeated in Jesus Christ.  You have NO power over me!”

“Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7

Through this outburst in my car, the devil’s choke-hold on me was released and I was free to finish my week.  Still tired.  But not crushed.

If you feel worried about me, please don’t.  My marriage is strong.  I love my husband.  I adore my kids.  I love the life the Lord has blessed me with.

But this spiritual battle is real.  It wasn’t pretty how I handled last week.  That’s ok.  One thing is for sure: whenever we recognize the devil’s lies, we have the power to resist him through Jesus.  

And sometimes, we need to get a little angry at the devil for the lies he tries to get us to believe.

Have you had times where the devil was trying to get you to believe lies about yourself?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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