When You Are On The Right Path

In our world of Starbucks, Hollister clothes and sports cars, we have moments where everything seems to be against us (because nothing is working right or flowing smoothly) and we have moments of perfection, life is perfect and rolling along nicely. When everything is moving smoothly, fitting together like puzzle pieces, we must be doing something right. Right? Perhaps… I am not 100% convinced you can measure how we are doing in life in temporary moments of “easiness” or “hardness”.

What I can measure is where I am and if I am going down the right path with God based on things happening in my life. Scripture says, (1 Peter 5:8) “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” It also says, (Ephesians 6:12) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” In fact, this second verse is so important, it’s also repeated in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. Everything mentioned in Scripture is extremely important but when God takes the time to mention something TWICE, we need to perk up and listen.

warfare 3

Let me give you a rundown of some recent events in my life:

A week ago, during a worship conference on Saturday afternoon, I had a vision of the congregation at that worship conference and above it were two clouds. The one to the left was spinning counter-clockwise and the one to the right was spinning clockwise. They were spinning above the congregation’s head. I knew immediately it was the Holy Spirit stirring things up in or for the people at this conference. In that moment, I didn’t think anything of myself being included since I was there.

All week-long it just stirred in me that something was changing. Change was coming. (I never could pinpoint what though).

Thursday, the Lord spoke again, change is coming. Change is in the air. This day is specific because He had me send an email to some people.

Today (Sunday) we attended our new church for the first time as ‘official members’. (For the last few months its been on our hearts to move churches. After prayer and some physical time off to test the waters, we decided it was in fact time to move.) It’s always a little scary when you are making changes but you want to make sure you are obedient regardless of how it makes us feel. This morning while at this service, we received a public word. Most of the details I won’t repeat here because they are for my family – not the internet. However, within this word being given was “it’s already happening in the spiritual realm”. That totally lined up with what God had already spoken to me! (God always speaks to me in pairs for confirmation). I left church thinking, “it’s great to know we are on the right path!!” It was one of those moments where everything seemed to be lining up and fit perfectly together.

But what happens when we are on the right path spiritually? I’m not talking about the general path of “Jesus living”, but really on the right path. The one that is narrow and you really have to be hearing from God to be where you are. The devil gets pissed off! That’s what happens! Let’s explain it this way. Remember the game where someone is trying to figure out what you chose and you would tell them, “you are getting warmer…. warmer… colder… HOT, you are HOT!”? When we are “cold” for Jesus – the devil has no reason to mess with us. You are not doing anything that could harm is worldly kingdom, and nothing to build God’s Kingdom, so it doesn’t matter. When we are “warmer” for Jesus – the devil might place some small things in your way. Some stumbling blocks to get you to try to quit or make things really, really difficult. But what happens when you are “HOT” for Jesus? What happens when you are exactly where you are supposed to be and he knows you are getting ready to do something MIGHTY for Jesus’ Kingdom? He attacks. Scripture says the devil is like a lion, waiting, ready to devour you (1 Peter 5:8). When you are “warmer” you may get some people thrown in your way or maybe some circumstances. When you are “HOT” for Jesus, the devil takes it up a level. Spiritual warfare becomes more real than it ever has before.

This is what happen to us tonight. We put Kait down for bed around 7pm. At 8pm, I heard the most ill-piercing scream I have ever heard from her. She was not screaming “mommy” or “daddy”. She was screaming in terror. I ran to her bedroom and as I opened the door and turned on the light, she was looking up, following something with her eyes in a circular motion. I knew what she was seeing immediately. My husband and myself began praying through the house, anointing it and explaining to Kait she had nothing to worry about. We reemphasized all she had to do was say Jesus. (She is only 2 years old, not old enough to understand much at this point). We turned on Christian music, turned on a nightlight and placed her back to bed. As we sat back down and revisited everything that had just happen and then began thinking about everything we had been told this week (my previous timeline of events) we agreed we must be exactly where we are supposed to be. The devil isn’t going to mess with those who are not building God’s Kingdom. He will do everything in his power to keep those who ARE building the Kingdom of God from doing it. This is why it’s so important to know who you are in Jesus. To know what is available to you in Jesus and how to use it. We have an entire set of armor at our finger tips!

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I do not post this to say we are “high and mighty” Christians. That is not the case at all. I simply open up my life and share it as an example of the realism of what Scripture says about the devil and what he tries to do. The good news is Jesus wins every time. The power in the name of Jesus is the strongest power you will ever need. You need nothing else. Mark 16:17-18 says, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons…” Luke 10:17 says, “The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” The devil has no authority in the name of Jesus!!!!

Kait is peacefully sleeping now. I believe if she has the ability to see the demonic side – she has the ability to see the angelic side. And tonight, her room is filled with mighty angels!

So Long Insecurity

Tonight, I begin a journey I have long tried to put off. My insecurity of becoming fat, overweight, larger than I want to be (however you want to put it) controls me. I’m better than I used to be but I’m not quite there. My self-image of myself is sometimes great! I feel like a woman who could take on the world, one who is pretty and stunning, smart and funny. For today, I have a great set of legs and biceps that are starting to pop nicely. Other days, I am a woman who should wear a potato sack. My stomach is way too bloated to wear that shirt and a skirt… forget about it. Can’t have a mushroom top. Because I don’t feel like I look the part of a confident woman, I am not confident today. I stay in my sulky, sad mind which translates to my body language. If I had it my way, I would wear jeans and sweatshirt today. That hides everything I need to hide.

so long insecurity

This back and forth with myself is time-consuming, stressful both in body and mind, and just not worth it. It’s not healthy for me to be back and forth like I am. Throughout the last two years, I have had to accept days when my stomach was 5 months bloated and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it because of what I now know to be an intestinal infection. But this has gone one for years. At least 10 years at this point. I had my moments when I would cry and break down asking God to “fix it”. Then I had my more genuine moments of asking God to “help me through it”. But at the heart of the matter, we are not genuine enough until we get to the point of really being willing to get rid of it. As long as there a little bit of us in it, it’s not all God’s.

I can recall confiding in someone years ago that I didn’t want to lose my obsession and perspective of my body and weight because if I did, I might lose control of everything and become huge. Messed up huh? I know you are reading this saying one of two things: 1. I feel the same way! or 2. Is this chick nuts? I also know there are some people right now who are judging me and my thoughts because you don’t see me as fat. Please hold your thoughts to yourself. My “fat” is not your “fat”. My “mirror reflection” is not your “mirror reflection”. My mind and your mind probably do not break down thoughts the same way because we are two different people.

Tonight, I finally pulled out a book from my shelf I have had for two years now. “So Long Insecurity, Devotional Journal” by Beth Moore. It was a gift from my sister but until now I wasn’t ready. It’s true what they say, until someone wants to help themselves, you can’t force it. For many, many years now I have lived in my own personal prison. Every day a battle in my mind of how I feel, what I look like, and allowing those emotions to dictate what sort of day I will have. It’s okay to have emotions — it’s not okay for emotions to have you. As I crack open these first few pages, I read, “It is God’s will for you to have your dignity and security restored.” This goes hand in hand with what happen when I was leaving the gym today. I’ve put a lot of muscle on. Muscle is heavy and makes me feel “heavy” which is translated as fat in my brain. I feel “thick” and I don’t like it but I know it’s healthier to muscle on your frame. As I walked across the parking lot back to the office, for the first time, I prayed this prayer:

Jesus, help me to accept me for me. For the way you made me. Help me to be the best I can be, to be as fit as I can be, for me. Help me to love who I am physically.

It’s one of the most honest moments I have had with Him in a while on this subject. To be honest, it’s one of the most honest moments I have had with myself.

After the introduction of the book, the first devotion of this journal opens with Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) — “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat and worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

We are the trees, planted next to the riverbank, the LIVING WATER (Jesus). Because we always have access to this there is no reason for me to be worried, specifically about this process. I can’t say 100% I am ready for this process and transformation because I know it’s going to be uncomfortable. I know I will face battles and have to keep facing them until I win if I want to overcome this insecurity of mine.

But this is faith right? Having trust that Jesus is going to get me through this. This is a step in faith to make my life better. I am facing faith – it’s scary and it’s a blind pathway for me right now. Hopefully, as I walk along this path, the lights come up and I see a new mirror at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s to facing my faith.

happy girls

When Positive Test Results Trump Negative Test Results – The Meds Version

If you haven’t already, you can catch up on what I’m talking about here: When Positive Test Results Trump Negative Test Results

I just want to give a testimony of how good God really is! To remedy this, I was prescribed the following:

Neomycin: Take (2) Pills, 3x’s a Day, for 14 Days
Xifaxan: Take (1) Pill, 3x’s a Day, for 14 DaysAlign (OTC Probiotic): (1) Pill, 1x a Day, for Minimum of 3 Months, Preferably At Least 6 Months
(10) Pills A Day For 14 Days (ewe!)

cost-of-prescriptionsYeah, that’s a lot of antibiotics. When we did the math, I am taking in 4500 mg of antibiotics A DAY for 14 days! This must be a seriously, severe infection. But then came the speed bump in this process. I was told these antibiotics were expensive if my insurance didn’t cover them. I figured expensive like $150. My insurance agreed to cover the Neomycin, but not the Xifaxan. It needed a pre-authorization. I told God, I wasn’t worried. He would work it out. My GI spoke with my insurance company and insurance decided they would not cover this prescription. But God showed up in a mighty way – but I didn’t know JUST how mighty until today. I received a phone call from Walgreens. Apparently, my GI called them and worked something out through some sort of discount program. I really don’t know all of the details, but it was such a blessing to not have to pay $150… or so I thought. Here’s the way the math has worked out on cost of these antibiotics:

Original Cost: $116/total
My Cost: $10/total

Original Cost: $30/month
My Cost: $30/month

Original Cost: $1854
My Cost: $30/total

That is the God I serve!! Thank you Jesus for modern-day miracles. To HIM be every bit of the glory! Have faith and it will happen. God always takes care of HIS kids!

Facing Faith Part 3

A synopsis of Genesis 15:
Genesis 15 – In this chapter, the Lord makes an agreement with Abram. The Lord says to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward”. Abram is promised a child from the Lord, a true son of his own blood as his heir. The Lord also promises beyond the very thing Abram brings up and promises to give him “offspring” greater than the count of the stars.

The hardest part about faith is the “blind” part. You hear people say all the time, “faith is believing without seeing” or “faith is taking one step at a time”. In theory, it sounds great! In reality, it’s scary as crap. When you have a mortgage payment to pay, you have made a little money but not enough because you are working every hour you can and it’s still not enough, you have given God what is His and you think… “faith is believing without seeing – I will be able to make this payment”. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, lol. What about when we have our hearts set on something like Abram and Sarai did. They wanted a child. Their age, body and everything around them said no – but God was saying yes. To the woman reading this that thinks you can’t have a child with your husband because the doctor said it was not ‘medically possible’… With Jesus, you can. To the man reading this that wants to have a child with your wife but the doctor says you are infertile… With Jesus, you can be healed. With Jesus and in the name of Jesus – all things are possible (Luke 1:37). This is what Abram discovered. God made a promise to him – and He kept it. Not only did God make a promise to Abram, He made a covenant with Him that he would have many, many descendants. As many as the stars in the sky. (He even tells him to count them!) I would look at Jesus and think, “you have lost your mind!” 🙂

But Abram believed Him and scripture says, “and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.”. Our faith helps us to be righteous.

Today I struggle with my own battle of faith – one the Holy Spirit so softly encouraged me to change my perspective on. For a year and half now, I have struggled with (what we think to be) digestive issues. It started off as a little constipation and we went through the use of Miralax, laxatives, magnesium, clean eating, etc over the course of the next year. I had a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy performed in October of 2013. Besides having a “floppy colon” everything was fine. In the last 3-4 months it has gotten so bad, I am having some tests ran and going to see a second GI specialist. I have gained 7 pounds for no reason (I workout 4-5 days a week and don’t eat bad) and my stomach is gradually distending more and more. My clothes are beginning to not fit – I even took a pregnancy test! (it’s negative). I do not exaggerate when I tell you I took a photo of myself the other day in a sun dress and compared it to pregnancy pictures. I looked identical in both stomach wise – and I was 5 months pregnant in one. It’s frustrating and hard and difficult to deal with. Today, on my way home, I called my mom and told her I had enough. I had seriously had enough.

I knew I wanted to have some prayer time – but I had it planned out that instead of complaining to anyone else, I was going to complain to Jesus. He and I could just have a mini session for me to let all of my complaints out of my system. So I go into my prayer room, close my eyes and prepare myself to start venting… and then the Holy Spirit spoke.

“You are going through this for a reason” There was a quick vision of a timeline showing the amount of time I had been dealing with this.

When the Lord goes out of His way to make sure I know I am going through this for a reason – it must be a really good reason. However, being honest, I am struggling to mirror Abram with believing for the Lord to count me as righteous because of my faith tonight. Because truthfully, it’s wavering. Of course my mind starts wondering at this point, well what is it for? An experience to share with someone else? Are they going to find something else through all of the testing I am going to go through? Etc. Etc.

Facing Faith Challenge: The next time you find yourself wavering in your faith – find a verse from the Bible – write it down and place it where you will constantly see it. Every time you have a moment of doubt, look at the verse and change your perspective.

You can have doubt or you can have faith, but there is not enough room for both.

Facing Faith