2018: Walking In His Fullness

A lot of us experienced quite a bit of turbulence in 2017. The end of my year was quite unsettling and to be honest, left me wondering and questioning if I had heard some things correctly. We all have that and the Lord is perfectly fine with our questions.

He had given me a word to soak on for a good part of 2017 for 2018. That word was “Fullness”. I felt overwhelmed with His goodness with all He was showing me regarding this word. Walking into His Fullness for the New Year; what a great and exciting thing! I know it is still that amazing goodness that we will be walking in because tied to that is His Full Restoration; restoration for all that was lost and/or stolen, especially familial relationships. He is going after His family this year. All those shattered and impossible relationships will find His restoration.

Another part of this truth of walking in His Fullness is that sometimes, it’s experiencing His Presence in the midst of the hard stuff. It doesn’t always mean grief and loss, but Fullness means All Encompassing. We have to understand and experience this so we can fully walk in it. Our final sentence at the end of the day still has to be, “I trust You.”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways My ways…” Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)

 

I had a brief dream the other day that I felt led to share.

In this dream were several people, we were standing and looking around at each other and our surroundings. There was countless people surrounding us, the majority we all knew one way or another. We also had a slight look of uncertainty on our faces, but as we looked, we noticed this giant chain link in our right hands. The Lord immediately gave me a prophetic word to speak to these individuals. He said, “You have held hands with many through many seasons of your life. You will continue to seasonally hold others’ hands, but right now, in this moment, you will know whom I am linking you to. These links are for My Divine Connections, the covenant relationships that will tarry with you as I move you up and onward. You won’t have any question who those people are as I will make it obvious for you.”

This is so important for this New Year! We are going to see the Lord move us at an exponential rate in every aspect of our lives and His preparation in and around us will be in place! Things may seem or feel a bit chaotic, but His Peace will surround you and bring clarity to every moment and situation He is bringing you to and through.

I kept seeing the number 32 yesterday. Anytime that happens, I know the Lord is trying to tell me something and He took me to Isaiah 32:17-18. The verses made think of years 2017 and 2018. For all the things He is bringing us to this year, you will have His perfect Peace.

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 32:17-18 (NIV)

 

 

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When Healing & Maturity Come, So Do Your Dreams!

I’ve had this phrase in my mind for a couple of days and just this morning I was reminded of Joseph’s life (Genesis 37-45). The parts that aren’t typically talked about are what were highlighted to me. Not in a way to dwell on pain, but to look at in a way to bring about revelation and healing.

When he was thrown into the pit, he was young, he experienced abuse, betrayal and stripped of his inheritance. I began to think about what he could have been going through in that dark isolation. Everything he knew and was comfortable with was gone.

He went from a position in his family to a slave for strangers. As he was brought into slavery, any and all dignity was stripped away and put in a place of humiliation. All he had was on display for everyone to see.

He regained some dignity and grabbed a hold of some purpose as a servant, but it didn’t reflect his dreams. Then, in the midst of that, he was thrown into prison; another place of isolation and solitude. In that solitude he found some purpose, but once again, it was not any reflection of the dreams given him.

It took thirteen years from the pit to the palace and for his dreams to come true.

That thirteen-year journey brought forgiveness, understanding, wisdom and maturity.

I often wonder how long it took him to forgive his brothers after what they did to him. Did he forgive them as he journeyed into Egypt? If so, did he experience anger with them again as he stood on the auction block? Maybe at that time, a deeper level of forgiveness came. Not only did he have to process through forgiveness for his brothers, he had to grieve the separation from his father. He had to accept his “new normal”, as a servant which was something much less than he had dreamed.

I’m sure he had questioned the validity of those dreams in the past. Were they really for him? Because nothing about his circumstances had any sliver of those dreams embedded in them. Yet…through all of this, God was with him and had favor on him. He had favor and comfort in the most unfavorable and uncomfortable situations.

When nothing adds up, God is up to something. Because in the midst, finding some purpose in your pain, isolation and service may very well be the time and place to launch you into the court of the king. In that one moment, his service was remembered and instantly his dreams from the past were given breath.

He was finally ready to handle the size of those dreams. He now knew true forgiveness, he knew grief, he knew what isolation and humiliation felt like, pride was gone and through all of those lessons, he learned his identity in The One that created him. He grew in a relationship that in turn reflected the Heavenly Father; his servant heart, humility, wisdom, unconditional love that manifested his dreams from long ago in a way that not only benefited himself, but brought favor and provision upon the entire country.

If you’ve been given big dreams, be ready to go through some big learning experiences. These God-sized dreams are not for our benefit, but for the lives He will use us to reach. It is always about Jesus and the ones that need Him.

Every single thing we go through, will be used for His good! Absolutely nothing is wasted!

Luke 12:48 “…from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” “

Gen. 45:5, 7-8 “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…….But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God…”

Rom. 8:28 “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Finding Me

Nemo

I never thought the loss of my Mother would become a journey of finding myself. I was the square peg in a round-holed world, never comfortable in my own skin and unsure of life around me. But, Grief finds the deepest, darkest parts of your soul and brings them into existence.

In the midst of the heartbreak, everything is veiled in those initial moments. All emotions are acceptable and even vile at times. You think and feel things that would have likely appalled your former self. I say old self because after a great loss, you won’t ever be the same. Your life’s trajectory has permanently changed and now it’s up to you on navigating this “new normal”.
Most are blessed with a strong family to come along side and help each other through a loss. Or, you have an amazing few friends willing to sit with you as you fall apart. My friends, the ones there, I think felt lost too. What can you possibly say to someone who just lost their Mother?! You don’t want to be THAT person who says something stupid. We’ve all seen those lists on the Internet, “What NOT to Say at a Funeral”, “Dumb Things to Say to Grieving People”, etc. I’m sure their loss for words created some distance, but I’m convinced I did plenty of pushing away and pretending. I mean, who wants to talk about the elephant in the room?! I could pen a list of “Ridiculous Lies Grieving People Tell” with Number One being “I’m Okay, just taking it a day at a time.” That right there is the telltale of someone NOT dealing at all. Well, I’ll take that back. That’s a fairly broad statement. Some are likely truthful in their grief. I will say that I was not. I was trying to say and feel what I thought I should, but my emotional thermometer was shattered. I didn’t know how or what I felt most days. And, most of those days it was inevitable something would set off that emotional avalanche. Little things like going to the grocery store would wreck me because it was certain I would see someone there with their Mom; smiling, joking, enjoying their time together. Insert instantaneous repulsive thought of, “I hate those people!” followed within a nanosecond later, an onslaught of tears rushing down my cheeks to where I couldn’t read my list. My thoughts then turned to “Quick! Put on the sunglasses! Pull yourself together, Woman! You’re making others uncomfortable!”

Realizing I wasn’t allowing myself to have normal emotions was one small eye opener on my inability to grieve this overwhelming loss. I say small because this journey of “stuffing and surviving” went of for a few years. During that time I endured many more losses and injuries which added to my mess of emotions.

Three years later, I was still putting on my “All is Good” puppet show, but every little reminder of my Mom completely broke me apart emotionally. In the midst of those moments I found myself saying, “It’s been three years! Why is it still so fresh?”
Emotions stay fresh; wounds stay open and get infected when you don’t care for them properly.

Case in point.
2011 came, employment status changed, financial security changed, house changed, location changed, me: unrecognizably shattered. And, for the first time in three years, I fell to my knees and cried out to God.
For many of us immature people, it’s easy to blame God. Our point of view of Him is that He is supposed to be in control of all things. I was so angry at God. I was fuming that He didn’t heal this beautiful Woman. For all the things in her life NOT easy, she still pointed to Christ. He was her Daddy, her Best Friend, her everything. She was a Prayer Warrior like none I’ve ever seen or known. Her wisdom, unmatched, and her glowing smile lit up rooms wherever she went. So, Why? I don’t know. We have to recognize we live in a fallen world and there are things that just are what they are. Death is one of those things. We have to choose to keep living. I chose to live, if for no one else, my amazing husband and our children. To carry on what my Mom taught; standing up after getting knocked down, brush off and start again.

The smoke and mirrors were gone now so it was time to stop running my mouth and start listening and let the Lord work on me. What an incredible journey it’s been! I’m still broken, but I’ve fallen in love with Jesus all over again! I now have a deeper understanding of my Mother’s love for Him. I also look at my cracks and I see and feel my Heavenly Father’s unconditional love and Grace. Only He can bring us up from the deepest darkest pits and make us better than before. I was in agony, He gave me Peace. I felt alone and rejected, he showed me His love and acceptance. I struggled with forgiveness, He gave me Mercy and Grace. I felt all my wounds and He healed them.

mosaic

I would like to think I would have found myself some other way, but I’m not too convinced. I relied on my Mom’s faith and wisdom instead of seeking Him and His wisdom. I’ve learned a lot about my past by reflecting on it and seeing how Mom lived her life in the midst of her storms. And, in her death, I found new life. I found who Christ really is. I found Joy. I found who I was created to be.

So, on what would be your 62nd birthday, Mom, I say Thank you once more. Thank you for being the willing vessel to give birth to me, again. Thank you for teaching and showing me Jesus. Even through our failures, He was, He is and He will always be ALL we ever need.
I love you, Forever

Mom1
Jenette Elizabeth
1953-2008