Live At The Level Of The Cross

As you know (at least if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time) God seems to speak to me in themes… key words or phrases that are on repeat. Lately, the theme is “where you go I go, what you pray I pray”. While this discussion could go many directions, I was ever so fortunate, to receive a vision from God on this one. Truly, a beautiful vision.

We visited a church this past Sunday of some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. It’s always nice to see people you haven’t seen in a while. During the worship portion, I just decided to close my eyes and see where God would take me. (I encourage you after reading this to close your eyes for a moment and try to envision this yourself!) I saw Jesus in a white robe. He wasn’t facing directly toward me but instead turned to my right about 45 degrees. Rays of sunlight were shining from behind Him, following to be in front of Him. Imagine a forest of trees with rays of light piercing through – same idea. The arms of His robe hung much lower than His actual arm. He stood without a hood of any sort, bearded with dark hair, and His chin slightly lifted up. He had this “smirk” on His face mixed with a smile. His eyes were closed. He looked content if I had to place a word to describe it. All of a sudden, the vision changed. The rays of sunlight stayed exactly the same. The angle of 45 degrees stayed exactly the same. Jesus’ became a wooden cross. The cross was simple, not ornate at all. It was three-dimensional and just standing in mid-air (or so it seemed). Nothing hung on it, it was clean, almost like it had just been built.

“Holy cow…” I thought to my self. The Holy Spirit began to flood my mind with thoughts. Let me sum this up for you:

When we truly “go where I go” or “say what I say” (meaning us to Jesus) then that means just that. Jesus went to the cross. We should follow, by taking up our crosses daily. And we should say the things He said which includes forgiveness. Even some of His last words on the cross stated “forgive them, for they know now what they do”. A man who was in agony – who could have easily been bitter – still showed mercy. Shouldn’t we? Jesus fed the hungry. Shouldn’t we? Jesus never gave in to gossip. Shouldn’t we not give into gossip? You see the point, the list is endless.

We should all strive to live at the level of the cross. Because if we ever had to actually go thought the process of being crucified at the cross, I bet we would never forget it again.

You Went Through It For Someone Else

Throughout being pregnant and now having Kait in my life – I think back to everything I went through with Elijah and I question “why”. Not in a bad way, only, what purpose did God have for everything I went through… Besides my own faith building exercise – I believe we go through things for other people. I am a firm believer that every situation touches more than just you. In a series of events, numerous people are somehow put to the test or given instruction or just rekindled with the Lord in one way or another. When I chose an OBGYN to go to while pregnant with Eli, I chose Tanner Medical Center in Villa Rica. The very first woman I came in contact with there ended up being the very woman I realized a year and a half later would be one of the reasons I went through it all. And for the outcome I was able to be used in, it was all worth it. Every tear. Every moment of disappointment. Every joy filled tear. Every celebration.

Over the year and a half this woman saw us go through the ups and downs of going through a miscarriage, trying again (and succeeding obviously) and going through the pregnancy with Kait. At the end of it all, I had developed an amazing relationship with this woman. I sent her an email thanking her for everything she had done in our stay at the hospital and throughout the 10 months of seeing her. In an email back, she wrote these words:

“You have been truly a reminder and inspiration on how deep our faith and belief in God should be in all things…  …Thank you for pointing out my calling – it has been a long journey to get me here but I am finally fulfilling the will of God for my life.”

Everything I went through – while in the moment some of which was emotionally draining and overly exciting – was absolutely worth it. What we experience is not limited to just us.

To this woman… you are amazing. Your smile brought me through a lot. You made me comfortable in many uncomfortable moments, lol. You stand out above the rest in your calling and you will influence so many others. I pray blessing upon blessing for you and hope God expands His plans for you! I can truly say I love you from the bottom of my heart. You were quite an influence on me and helped me to see silver linings where I only saw nothing. Thank you for being in my life and for being so incredible!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
-Isaiah 41:10

It’s Your Trial. Guilty? or Innocent?

You have gone through the fire. What do I mean by that? I mean you have gone through a trial so testing – you wanted to give up, quit, retreat back, lie, hide, go back to the way things were, anything to get away from the fire that has singed the hair on your arms and body.  Nobody willingly steps into a burning fire standing before them. I recently went through one. A trial (or test) so hot in heat, high in flame, I didn’t know if I would get through it. But I did. Last night during service at church, the Lord gave me this revelation of trials and fire:

You are in the middle of the fire. It’s hot, burning you, it hurts, you are crying, you don’t want to be there and you are not sure how long you can stand it. You want to step back out of the fire (not deal with it) but all that does is put you back to where you were. By staying in the fire, the ugly, hideous sins (whatever your sin is insert it here) are being burned off. Your flesh is burning off layer by layer and falling to the ground. It’s left as ashes. You step through to the other side of the fire. A new layer of skin is created (a new layer of you) which is a glowing ember. A glow that represents the Lord Himself on you, covering you and shining in you. You have been refined. As you turn around and see the ashes that are left, they can never become what they were. You have traded ashes for beauty. 

Will you choose to walk through it?

For me, this hits strongly. My recent trial will never be again. My ashes remained in that fire and my new beauty is glowing with God‘s radiance. I’m His ember. If you don’t want that ember to die out – you must continue to feed oxygen to it (scripture, prayer and worship with God). Otherwise you become a cold piece of coal. Who would want that?

My Horrible Morning

I woke up this morning excited to go to work because my sister was visiting with my new niece Ms. Isabella Mae Freeman. (I’ll add a picture further down so you can see how adorable she is!) I had my bags in hand, walked out the front door, clicked the “unlock” button on my key fob… nothing. I thought “oh well, battery must be dead.” I went inside and grabbed my spare key fob, hit “unlock”… nothing. I knew I had a problem What are the odds of BOTH batteries going dead at the same time?! Not to mention, one had just been changed 4 months ago.

The way my jeep operates is when you hit lock on the key fob or manually within the jeep, my alarm arms. Unlocking it manually doesn’t disarm the alarm. Only the key fob does. I knew what I was facing (this happen in December when my fob really did have a dead battery and we found out the hard way in The Depot parking lot in downtown Rockmart! lol) I unlocked the jeep manually – off the alarm goes. LOUD LOUD LOUD! No one would ever dare steal my jeep! I pop the hood, take the socket/wrench (that my husband so nicely walked me through because I’m clueless on cars!) and began disassembling the negative battery terminal. No big deal… I’ll leave them off for a minute – put them back on and BAM! It will be fixed.

Not quite.

I called my brother-in-law (at 7am! sorry!) and asked him exactly what did he do when it happen the first time. (He was at The Depot with me that night and tended to my jeep among 4 other men who stood around watching, haha, quite funny looking back!) He told me to take the positive off and let it sit a minute. Ok, did that… Put the terminals back on and BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! off the alarm goes. At this point I can see my neighbors peeking through doors and blinds because it’s 7am and I’m waking them all up!!!

I called a Dodge Dealer and did everything they told me to do. Nothing. I looked in my manual for some sort of supernatural clue on what to do. Nothing. I finally called into work (it’s 7:40 by this point) and tell them what happen and I wouldn’t be in today. I go inside and just start sobbing. Thoughts of, “what’s wrong with it?” “how much is this going to cost?” start swelling in my head. After some research – many people had reported their key fobs needing to be replaced. Awesome! It’s just a key issue then! Not the $600 (price of part only) modulator in my alarm system! I called to check on a price of the keys. ONE KEY = $150 + $50 charge to program it to my jeep. On top of that… the jeep has to be at the dealership for this to happen. (Not happening, lol). After the shock wore off, I began to sob again. What was I going to do? How would we afford it?

You have to understand that mentally, it’s been a hard week for me because our dog – Cassanova – hasn’t been doing well. His prednisone dose had to be increased this week and you can tell he is uncomfortable at times. Not to mention his difficulty in breathing is extremely apparent in his snoring and wheezing. Emotionally, I had had enough.

I had turned the radio on for Cassanova because I had found a ride to work and I leave the radio on for him. I began putting some make up on using the mirror in our dining room. I looked myself in the mirror and thought to myself – “You have a choice in how you deal with this. God has always provided EVERYTHING ever needed both physically and financially. He will provide a solution or he will provide the money to fix it.” I decided to take some time and spend it with Cassanova since he was being needy. As I laid on the floor petting Cassanova over and over again Chris Tomlin‘s new song came on. The lyrics were talking about God as our healer. How ironic right? I’m petting my dog who has cancer and lyrics are speaking of our Healer! Petting Cassanova with me left arm I just raised my right arm up as much as I could, shut my eyes and meditated on God. I thanked Him for everything I could think of. The song that came on after it was a song by Mandisa. She was singing about how everything we go through only makes us stronger and it’s all for a purpose. Again! I start sobbing. The song finished and I had this overwhelming feeling to go try the jeep again. (Those feelings are God speaking to you!) So I did. And it worked! Both key fobs were working, I was able to reset the alarm and drive my car again.

Absolutely bizarre.

Or is it?

I think God has a sense of humor and does things where no one can question who “took care of the problem”. In this case – it’s LITERALLY a God thing.

Galatians 3:5 (Msg)
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God.

My adorable niece!