Finding Faith, Finding Joy: Accepting the Responsibility of My Faith Brought Me Joy

 

Here’s an large excerpt from my video story – it’s much of it! It’s long, but it’s worth listening to to hear how God showed up for me one night like never before, amazing! I felt for the first time He is truly impressive with how He had to have orchestrated every single event to occur to bring all to pass the way he did. He planned this for a span of over a year to culminate just after my most earnest prayer, and in 10 or 15 minutes, every major prayer request was met.

This came on the heels of my second lowest point while living in England, and after coming to my faith senses that afternoon in terms of owning my responsibility in my relationship to God and the personal responsibility I have to myself, and to God, for my life and success. The wow moments were too big to comprehend, so I just went with them, rolling with the blessing, and received them all, acting the part,  amazed, but unable to comprehend what truly happened because it was too big to get, but God worked it all out to build my faith, supply every need I had over the next months that followed and provided me with a great new friend who would only help me develop my faith even more, Joy.

It was my turn and my time to act. It was upon me this time. It was well time for me to take an active role in my life, making the decisions that would benefit me – carrying me through to the next level, and not leaving me in this low-down, deep place on many levels. This may seem like a “duh” moment for a lot of people.

Despite the dreariness of the day, I’d discerned some bit of distant light I could see outlining and circling some bits of the Channel in the most elegantly fascinating way, and I was able to finally grasp from some recess of hope and personal responsibility within myself that I had to myself and to God that, “He’s not done with me yet.” This was in echo from a verse that I suspect the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that I’d often hear in church from a pastor at my church there, Josh, who used to often say, “God is the same today, yesterday and forever.” The verse never quite made sense to me when I heard it, like what’s so special about that verse that you always repeat it, I wondered? For me, it was the difference between darkness and light, and that day, I got the light.

God, I feel, orchestrates everything in my life to my benefit it seems sometimes. I know that sounds a bit egocentric, but I feel like it’s just true. I see it happen all the time it seems. I am incredibly fortunate that is for certain. I bet if we all looked around, earnestly, we’d be seeing blessings everywhere bounding in our favor too. I hope so.

Deciding to believe was exciting to me. Acting on that belief was another whole story. Head and heart had to align. Spirit had to help. This was a real different scenario. Belief: It seemed burdensome to me. In itself it implies responsibility. Ugh. What more? What was it with me and responsibility? It required that I do my part for once, and not only to walk forward and do what I could do to achieve whatever I needed to, but to believe in all the words of God that I’d ever known that would lift me out of the muck and mire that was my life at the time. I had to believe in what I’d heard. I was not excluded in the benefits and love of God for any reason. “God wishes for all of us to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth in Him,” 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us. His word was the truth, liberty from faulty thinking.

Coming to know God, truly, and letting Him in is what has changed my life finally, and continues to change my life to this day.

Since that day in the park when I decided to truly apply the word of God to my life, I have been being transformed mind, body and spirit when applying it. It can’t help but to work. It empowers me to this day. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” I believe it. It makes sense to me because it’s what I’ve lived, it speaks the truth to me reading it, dividing and discerning what needs division and discernment.

That night, I viewed with my own eyes the orchestration of miraculous events that God made happen. I was literally led along this path that took me into the answer of all of my prayers, but more importantly, and ever so wonderfully, God led me to know that He had heard me, that he was with me, being my helper, my guide, and my Father, a good Father, who showed me that I could trust Him and that He would take care of me. He sure cares. Amen.

I delved into a depth of intimacy that night with God having a messianic encounter with Him unlike any other experience I had ever previously had. I had been delivered from doubt into this awesome divine faith which brought forth from me this earnestness I had never before experienced to such degree. It was incredible. It was tangible in me. I could literally feel my prayer inside of me building up – a literal surge from within me, the internal depths of who I was, God coming up in me to reach me, having connected with me maybe in that very instant. I didn’t know that earnestness existed within me, but I liked it, a lot. It was connected.

I have learned that God wants to show Himself real to me, to all of us, but I, we, must Trust Him. That is one of the things I wanted and needed from Him was for Him to show Himself real to me, as a Father, and he has, time and again, amazingly, and he has continued, too.

God is for everyone! “I wish that none will suffer, and all will come to me. “Everyone who has ears to hear, let him hear.” God is a life changer, and He is real. This is my hope for everyone: is that they come to that relationship with Him where they know him truly, personally, lovingly. It’s impressive how He works to get to know us, to tell you He’s there and listening to you and hopeful for you, in you, to hear Him and see Him and know Him. “He longs to give us every good gift,” Josh used to tell us often, and God also longs to love and be loved by us all, I say. That is His gift, and it’s free.

I had decided God was for me, and there was hope in my heart in that and for me, but that night at church, I was there only in body for the most part. I remember little of what Pastor Robert said that night because I was running my options through my mind continuously, frantically. The reason I went to the park that afternoon had to do with me feeling uncomfortable where I was living and wanting to leave.

So, when I was in church that night, I was trying to figure how I would get out. Would I go home, back to D.C.? There were only two months left before I’d be leaving anyway, and Aunt Judy wouldn’t mind if I came early, I thought. I was going to move to Florida to live with my Aunt Judy after I’d spent Christmas back in Washington with everyone. I could just go back to D.C. or go there, Florida. I needed to get out of where I was though, I thought. That wrongful living space was not going to work at all. Where was I going to find a place though to live for just two months and have to have all the upfront money, etc? It wasn’t worth it, nor was there a likelihood of this even happening. I’m just going to do it, I thought. I’m going leave. This is too much pressure.

Then, it hit me – the fact that I remembered I was supposed to be there until the end of the term. Not only had I given my word I’d be there at least until then, but God had confirmed for me, for weeks on end, that I was, indeed, supposed to be there, and stay there, until the end of the term, and after that I would be moving to Florida. That was all very clear. Very well, then. I would stay, but what was I to do about the living space, the arrangement in which I currently found myself? What would I do? Where would I go? How would it work?

All of this was running through my mind throughout the sermon of which I don’t think I caught ten minutes of that night. Then, at the end of the sermon, there was a prayer and then a suggestion given up by Pastor Robert. I just remember feeling so incredibly humbled and surrendered. I thought how much I wanted to be a part of Pastor Robert’s family – just the love and salvation part, being connected to God, truly. They were all so good and connected to God. I looked over to my right where I saw Pastor Robert’s youngest son and his wife, and thought of Pastors Robert and Virginia and how lovely and surrendered they are, and, though I had been smitten with their older son, Josh, I did not necessarily want to be a part of their family as his wife, but as their equal – as God’s daughter – in that love relationship – in the love of God always – in His family. I wanted that connection.

I humbled myself in prayer. It was as if by no intentional purpose, it just happened upon me. I realized it, feeling so closely connected to God in that moment as I have never been before. It was awesome. The humility had impressed itself upon me, Him, his truth and warmth – I was so deliberately earnest in my prayer and I loved it. It was a first seemingly, at least in feeling alone. I was praying for that somehow too – the truth –to be connected to the love of God – to know for sure that I was being guided and that God would take care of me and provide for me all the things that I needed. To really let go and let God, and to be surrendered to Him in His truth that He would provide every good gift for me.

In my prayer, I felt God was the truth – that that God would somehow provide for me because I did know the truth, and that was that He wanted me there, and that was Him and not me that made that decision well clear. I was trying to escape. However, I do not ever recall thinking maybe He wanted me in that situation still where I’d currently resided. All’s that I knew was that I was very uncomfortable and wanted to be out of there tout suite, so that is for what I prayed. I knew I was supposed to be in England, but I wanted out of where I was. So, that is for what I prayed.

I turned it all over to Him. I told Him that I knew He wanted me to stay there, in England until December, and that I believed that, and, then, in some sort of knowingness, in that, I was able to trust Him. I gave it to Him due to the fact that I earnestly felt like He was in control. I was finally believing and trusting Him. He was running the show, so He needed to help me, and He would. I asked and sincerely hoped in Him that He would do it, and take care of it in His power and time and ability, to have me in a new place – the perfect place, a place for two months that would be good for me, that would be with a Christian housemate, that would have furniture and no down payment, and have the option for only a two month lease, and…it would be affordable, and…for it to be ready by the end of next week. It was a lot to ask, but my part too was being faithful and trusting, and I think that truly began that night.

“You have not because you ask not,” Jesus told us, along with: “Ask anything according to my will, and it will be done unto you.” God loves our faith too. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God.”

I finished praying and felt pretty good. Trustful. After the sermon, Pastor Robert, as he sometimes did, requested from us that we go around and introduce ourselves, or to say, “Hi” to ten new individuals, and I attempted to do so. I didn’t quite make it to ten, or maybe I did, but I did work my way from the back of the church up to the front of the church saying hello and introducing myself to as many as were apparent. Then, as I approached the front and thought to get a prayer with Pastor Robert, he walked away from me, seemingly deliberately so like he was told, “Don’t talk to her!” I kept moving right along. I finally just took a seat upfront, waiting, even trying to discuss with those next to me, but they weren’t having it either. So, I just sat there feeling a little dumb as I was striking-out with people conversation wise, left and right.

I just sat there waiting for another housemate figuring he’d be awhile. Then, I looked to my right and saw a pretty woman, about my age, whom I’d not previously seen. “I’ll talk to her,” I thought. “Introduce myself, and, say, hi”. So, I did.

Upon my going over to her and making my introduction, she identified me as being who I am – that is, she indicated that she recognized me from the internet, that I’m a teacher, etc. I was perplexed for a moment still not knowing how she would know these things about me because I wasn’t online like that, and then I recalled as she finally mentioned the housemate situation – she remembered me from the site photo I’d posted online along with my profile for the accommodation request I had filled out over a year prior to that, when I was still in the U.S. looking for an accommodation over there. Wow. Okay. That was amazing.

How bizarre. I’d never seen a photo of her though, because I guess she hadn’t posted it, but she was the one who’d contacted me originally. We’d chatted on the phone then, and she sounded great, but the place where she and her housemate, Karine, lived was too far for me to get to work on time, and the bus route would not have gotten me to work when I needed to be. So, because I didn’t have enough money for a vehicle and no bus accommodation working for my advantage, I had to say “no” as being the answer at the time.

I think now of the orchestration of events of our lives. God is so lovingly amazing with his worth and working things out to our good and benefit. His timing is also perfect. It’s amazing. I know I keep using that word. His transitions are miraculous, really, how He knows all this. These aren’t chance meetings. There are no coincidences. God is in orchestration mode all the time working it out in and for us. For His will to be accomplished in us! For Him to know us and make us known to Him, for Him loving us and us loving Him.

When Joy informed me of what she had, I found it quite amazing, all of it, putting it all together. I barely took any time to express deliberately the amazing connection that was occurring, the divine connection that God was creating, had created, had been creating, all this time, His will, coming together, bringing us together, His two daughters (once again over a year later) who’d prayed for Him to help them in her own need in her own way and He quickly made it happen. His expediency is impressive too! Actually, impressive is a word often used by me to describe God. God is incredibly impressive to me!!

From there, in my desperation, and the poor interpersonal skills I had, I quickly made mention of my need, again, for the same thing. I pounced on the opportunity to share with her again my need for a housemate. She, interestingly, also informed me of the same thing! I loved it. She said that she had just been praying that afternoon for a Christian housemate – and here I was. Wow. She expressed that she’d gotten “Holy Spirit tingles” about it all as we were talking, and to her that was the recognition that it was okay that we’d be housemates. How fantastic was that!?? Wow!

She was more mature than I was in terms of Godliness and knowingness and recognizing appropriately what was going on instead of going through all the motions as I always had, and felt I was. I was just desperate feeling, and on top it of it all, not allowing it in. It was inconceivable in some ways what’d transpired, really, too much to make understood. Not knowing how, I just bumbled through it all. I was like a new-comer to all of this. Oh, the God of the universe just so clearly answered our prayers and needs, and also reunited us over a year later to bring us together once again and to make us housemates, after all, and He’s had this planned out for over a year? Oh, okay…J Wow. God is so amazing.

God uses everything, doesn’t He? We had to have had that first meeting in order to have had this second chance to occur in order for us to have had our needs to be met over a year later, when it was more appropriate and timely for us both. Wow. I couldn’t have seen that one coming. I had no intention of working on a room mate as I “helloed” everyone I passed by. God was ushering me along to get me where he wanted me – to talk to Joy – I love it! Also, he was using Pastor Robert as a conduit to get me, us, together, again. It was great!! What a God. What a Father. God is such a good dad, helping, coming to our rescues, yet again, knowing, and allowing for all of this to come to pass, resting us in Him, for us to see that He is trustworthy. Amen.

Trying to act wowed, when it was really too much to take in and comprehend is where I was when interacting with Joy. I didn’t know how to respond other than to say wow and act surprised and wowed, but it was a wow. It was amazing. I wasn’t realizing the will of God in any of it at the time. I was dumbfounded!. I would have been profoundly overwhelmed and expressive in gratitude and solemnness if I really thought about what was happening between us. Totally cool and awesome it was, but how do you comprehend that, truly? Overwhelmed would be a more fully appropriate feeling to consume all of what was about to happen. Awe-inspired. All that God does is amazing. How resplendent really.

In any event, we were to be housemates, and I could move in in a couple of weeks I found out after I called her a day or two later. And, it turned out to be okay to stay in my other place longer because my housemate about whom I was concerned would be going on vacation and would be gone the whole time. Excellent. So, I was relieved by that. Also, I would be able to afford it. I did not need to put a down payment. I would be able to stay for only two months. It was going to be in a supportive environment, and it was fully furnished. What else? That was it! Perfect, God, just perfect. Check, check, check. You are so great. Thank you, Lord.

“God provides above and beyond what we could ever hope for or imagine.” He did. He had provided a place for me before I even left church that night, with every need met, and He gave me Joy who is great too. He is incredible like that.

You know what’s interesting too? Having seen all of the moves and the upheavals that I’d endured while I was there, I no longer wondered why. It was seemingly clear. Though I chose to move to or from a couple of different places for conveniences sake, I had experienced difficulties in others that led me moving from place to place. From a county ordinance, to a financial distress, to a stinky room, to an offensive gesture, I moved right along so that I could get finally get to be with Joy – where God had ultimately intended me to be. He sets everything up that is brilliant. I was finally able to reconcile why all the moves. Why things were “not working out,” they were working out. They just didn’t look that way. We know that looks can be sometimes be deceiving, so despite what the circumstances are, as long as we are walking with God, we should keep trusting Him for the best, because He’s working it out.

In all things, give thanks, I’m reminded of from I Thess 5:8. Things were working out, I just couldn’t see how when I was going through them. That’s where the trust bit comes in and the obedience to giving thanks in all things because God is orchestrating behind the scenes for our own good.

I learned a lot about God through this circumstance. I learned that he hears me. He responds and cares about me. The most important thing to me, and the sacred one, He is my holy father. I learned that I am important. I learned that God orchestrates things. That we ask and we receive, that we seek and we find, that we knock and the doors open wide when we ask according to His will. I learned that he directs our paths and meets our needs. He sets up meetings. He uses others to help us along. He orchestrates. I learned that he uses things that we may deem as bad or wrong to move us to another direction where He wants us to be because otherwise we might not go to where we need to go and we might stay where we need not be. I realized that He gives us Godly connections: friends that love us and help us along the way. I realized that I am His family, his loving daughter, the most important thing. I am his holy daughter whom he loves very much. And, I realize that He does it, He does it through His son, Jesus Christ, through the movement of the Holy Spirit in and upon us, and through us, along with the help of others he calls angels and I’ve called friends, as well as all the heavenly angels He has set up for us in heavenly places to cause us not to fall or stumble, and if we do, they assist us in getting up.

He loves us very much, and He wishes to show up for us and in us, but we have to invite Him first because as our father, a holy father, He is also a gentleman, and we need to ask Him in, to Help us. This then gives us a chance too to see His work, which I love witnessing, and to acknowledge Him and to thank Him as we build a real relationship with Him, the heavenly Father, and to get to know Him and Jesus and the Holy Spirit through all of our circumstances.

I have learned the lows are where real sincerity begins, for me. Through the trials we become close, centered, realize what we need and want, and are serious about going about it, about figuring it out. I have realized that this low in that time was for a purpose – to center me – to build me – to build a foundation for me, and that was on God. On Him I stand. He got me to trust and led me to believe, a God gift in deed. God was building me up by bringing me down. That day was foundational for me. The falling down, the picking myself up, trusting myself and God, then giving my pieces to God and trusting in Him. Then, He sorted everything out, marvelously. 🙂

More on the video and/or audio series.

Enjoy. Holly

src=”https://transparency247.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/joy-2.mp3″%5D%5B/audio%5D

If you want to watch on video, other Youtube options. Hope you can get past the looks on my face:)

Holly

Lightening Struck – My prayer answered for direction

My prayer one afternoon was to be struck with lightening, and without harm, for me to know what God’s will was for my life – would I stay in England or leave? Wanting to leave, I felt to stay, but I did not want to stay. More than either, what I wanted is to know what God wanted, for sure. I wanted to know He was with me. I have come to find that if I believe God is with me, I can handle anything – if I know the path I’m on is His.

I know God is with us whether we make our bed in hell or heaven, but because I felt like I’d been in hell already there, I was looking to depart. If I knew He was with me, and it was His will for me to continue on, I would be able to do so with grace.

Praying my desperate prayer for confirmation, I felt badly right afterwards, for wasting God’s time. Like, what a stupid prayer. Just face up to your responsibilities and do it, if that is what you feel you are to do! Well, He was merciful toward me, and He did not strike me down, but I had my prayer answered. Lightening struck, and I stayed.

Work was better than ever, but more “problems” pursued personally with living situations, but God used everyone of them to show me Himself in my circumstances, only making things better and better every time and growing me and drawing me more closely to Him. Incredible situations presented where I was able to find Him loving me as a Father, Jesus as my brother, and the Holy Spirit as my gentle peace followed by an ever increasing faith in Him. That was the best gift, well, knowing He really cared for me and loves me was the best, and is, but having circumstance after circumstance show me that He Is, and He Is for and with me.

What a great time in my life. All the struggles to find Him. All worth it.

Full story below on podcast.

How Suffering Perfects

So, what I think now is that I must start being obedient again whether or not I agree with my promptings. I fail and succeed at that, but I’m not new at this, and what an incredible gift, honor and privilege it is to be in tune with, and guided by, the Holy Spirit.

“He learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

This verse in Hebrews came to mind today as I had been suffering from both hurting my knee and missing an appointment to have fun because I had failed to following the leadings of the Holy Spirit. I hope this doesn’t sound crazy!

If Jesus had to be made perfect through suffering, I might have to too. These are called the “learning the hard way” folks. 🙂  I’d like to be obedient from now on, instead. No more suffering, small or large!

Today while I was praying, whining a bit, I heard, “Walk.” Now let me say I am not crazy nor do I have schizophrenia, but I often get little directions, like Holy Spirit cues. Many times I follow them and many times I don’t.  Today, I did not obey the cues on a couple of circumstances, and this morning, as I was suffering from hurting my knee while running, I felt I’d been a disappointment again, and gone on a did what I wanted to do without respecting what I was told to do.

I first of all delayed the instruction to walk a bit b/c I had things to get out before proceeding with my day. I guess God was bored with my lamenting and whaling about my past I am working through and trying to heal. “Forget about those things which are past, and heal. Press on! Get outsides and get some fresh air!” may be what he wanted for me instead. Clear your head. Fretting only causes harm according to the bible in Psalm 37:8. I am just really trying to work through some stuff and was letting it all out this a.m. and rebuking and releasing and binding up. The whole works. God was not into that, maybe. Walking happened, eventually.

So, I finish up at where I figured was a good enough spot, got my workout clothes on and headed for the bridge. I got to just about where I would cross the street and head up, and I hear, “Back.” Not wanting to turn back b/c I was coming to the best part of my walk – the water with the sunshine on it in the early morning – I proceeded. I began to smile because I knew what to expect and was so excited to see the early morning sun and to look over the beautiful Stuart waterway. I pressed on. I got to the top, and lingered a bit while aweing the beauty gratefully before I headed back. I did not want to go back the ugly roadway, so I walked through town, defying again.

I began to feel like this walk was way too long. I had plans that morning and felt I might have blown it. My legs were feeling strong enough so I thought I’d run a bit. I was good, but then felt something in my knee collapse a bit. Ouch! It brought me to a halt. I walked from there, almost home.

I return only to find out that the date I had planned on going on this a.m. to meet people for biking would expire in terms of my timing. I was to leave at 8:25 to be there on time, and I walked in at 8:25. I blew that! I got ready anyway. I jumped in the shower, and rushed to make it. I would not make it. My bike was a block away, I had to fill the tires, put on my bike rack and get it loaded. I also wanted to eat breakfast.  I just decided If I had to go alone, that would be acceptable, but not preferred.

Felt disappointed and bothered for God b/c of my response and lack of surrendering. He tries to help me, and I fouled it up! Mad! I was suffering in a way from what I just judged someone of doing to me, too. Oh how we are always reaping what we sow.

Well, I felt once I saw the time and realize my error I was living the verse in the bible that talks about Jesus learning obedience through what he suffered. By not listening, I not only hurt my knee, but blew my chance and fun with others I thought. Pissed a little. Disappointed at me for God. Not sure if he feels that. Now just thought he is infinitely patient so maybe he doesn’t feel disappointed, if he knows we’ll be obedient eventually? Not sure. May need a bit more patience with myself too, but need to step it up, too. I knew better!

Anyway, a hurt knee and missed biking tour were my morning sufferings! Bummer. It was a great day for a bike ride. I was pissed and disappointed at myself. Felt bad for God, like why do you put up with me? I hate disobedience in my students, and I do it, too, still – doing what I want to do and/or just overriding what I’m led to do by the Holy Spirit because I logically reason out of my instruction. I do obey too, a lot, but not always.

I made it to the preserve and there were no bikers around. I hit the trail and headed out to find who I was to meet. I’d never been on a trail like that – so broad and a secluded, long ride through the scrub at  Seabranch Presereve State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/seabranch-preserve-state-park. The bike trail extended way beyond that. I found my people in Peck Lake Park, eventually, gladly, too, about 15 – 20 minutes into the ride, but missed the end result of that walking path which looks very pretty, below.

Jupiter Group Obedient

 

Was so glad God had mercy on me, and I was able to successfully find them at a good spot, despite my being about 30 minutes late. Glad to have found them. It was a good time. It was a beautiful, breezy morning where I met new people, caught up with who I already knew, rode 18 miles (I’m on day 4 of committing to fitness:), and got to take in all new nature sights of 1 Preserve, 2 different parks, I hammock and a tortoise encounter. I opted not to join them for lunch being that I’d just filled up prior to the ride, and I headed home, instead.

Hobe Sound BikingHolly Tamiara River

After I got back from biking, I had a little ice cream and decided to head to the beach. Could use some cold water on my hot body, and it was beautiful beach weather. I jumped in the shower yet again and headed to the beach. Not having enough water or having good, cold water, I thought I’d pop into the store to get some when I was guided not to. But it’s hot and I will drink all this water and would like cold water too was what I reasoned with myself, like it was me against me. I went in against my will.

As I left, I felt grieved – I was disobedient, again, not trusting my instruction, I was swayed this time with reason, not desire, but a little bit of both.  I was heavy, feeling I’d grieved the Holy Spirit and didn’t quite understand. Perhaps I could have bought water at the beach.

Yes, it was small, but we know about the little foxes. If you have kids, think about even the littlest of things you tell them to do for their own good and they think they know better or want more, so they just defy you and do what they want to. It’s annoying and bothersome, at least to me! So, I get to the beach, no water to buy, make my way to a spot and start reading only to have my umbrella blow flat. It is not staying properly poofed-up for shading! I put it down and continue to read after smathering myself all over with sunscreen.

No time later, and here comes the rain! I put my umbrella back up, but I was literally holding it with one hand and reading with the other for about 25 – 30 minutes. Luckily it was not cumbersome at all. I finished a whole article on Neaderthals and a debate about their perceived intelligence. I rarely finish long articles, so I was glad to be stuck, and it pertains to my work a little, so it was relevant.  Shortly after the rain stopped, I’d finished the article, took in the wind and sun for about another 2 minutes and headed out. I packed up and saw my sweating cold water bottle, hardly having any water out of it, and figured I blew it, again. ISo much for my logic. God knows.

So, what I think now is that I must start being obedient again whether or not I agree with my promptings. I fail and succeed at that, but I’m not new at this, and what an incredible gift, honor and privilege it is to be in tune with, and guided by, the Holy Spirit. Its really awesome when you think about it!!

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths,” the bible says. God, our Father, is hear to help us and lead us and direct us in all of our ways – even to get water or not!

In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him

Every little thing matters, and he cares about us and is here to help us. It makes me sad to think how helpful he is and when I don’t listen, I’m grieved. So, despite my mess-ups, I have been reminded to listen because not listening takes me from his protection and the best he has for me!

It is a good reminder too, to be obedient, and to please him in that. God desires obedience more than sacrifice. I Samuel 15:22.

I thought about when I left the beach this evening how we are to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. My thought with that is to just be obedient to his promptings. That is honoring him. Why would He keep giving us what we clearly disobey or disregard or distrust? I have learned enough to know He is helping me at all times, and He has reminded me, today. So, thanks for the trials, Father!  Remembering. Thank you. One more thing – in considering I am able to hear from the Holy Spirit, what a blessing and an honor. Thank you, Lord, for that. Thank you for honoring me with your presence and ever present help and aid. I love you!!

What a WOW too, when you really consider we are guided by the Holy Spirit as born again believers. I love it. I am grateful to be reminded of this tremendous! blessing.

Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered. Not sure what all he went through before he became obedient b/c that is not quite clear, but I have felt this before today even. It’s time to listen more reverently and obediently!!

I have learned when I follow the Holy Spirit it is actually more exciting because you never know what’s going to happen and/or it can spare you hurt, time and money lost or any unnecessary evil. Either way, it’s always good to walk in obedience because God has our best interest in mind in all ways.

Holly

Giving Out of My Poverty

God is faithful to give to you when you give to him. Giving with a pure heart brought me a great reward, pretty much immediately! God is so good.

 

One Sunday at church, while living in England, as I got ready to get out of my car, I thought to get some money for the offering. I only had 5 pounds on me – the equivalent of about $7.50. I didn’t have much money anyway those days despite that being all I had on me. I was on the verge of moving into a new place and money was tight. I thought I’d just give what I had.

My reality of, “this is really all I have to give” actually hit me, and brought me to a place of humility. I felt like crying. I felt so poor. I had so little. There was some sort of humility to that evening I remembered feeling in my car seeing all that I really had and feeling truly poor for the first time in my life.

My finances at that time had to do in part with the Lord having recently blessed me, having opened up for me a good place to live the last couple of months I’d be living in England. The rent I was to pay was a little over my budget, but I had wanted out of where I was living and was given the opportunity to do so, so I took it gratefully. I was broke.

The offering bag came by. I popped in the 5 pounds I had, and left it at that.

After church ended, Joy, the woman with whom I’d be living, approached me. I can’t remember what was said other than she informed me out of the blue what I found to be the deliberate reward from God for me having given to Him in the offering what I could.

She happened to tell me that she would be taking off 50 pounds off of my rent. “What?”  I was surprised. That was so phenomenal!

I was wowed by what she had just told me. It was like God deliberately just blessing me for what I’d done. I gave God what I could without even the thought of receiving anything in return, and He then blessed me right away in my efforts for what I gave in prompt return giving me back what I needed, a 50 pound reduction in rent. Wow.

It was neat to see Him in action like that. I love how He works, and with such expediency too. It’s amazing.

Remembering that I felt humbled, I feel it was the Holy Spirit upon me somehow showering me with grace to give, a humility-filled heart. I was blessed by my “poorness” that night, as Matthew 5:3 states, and mine was the Kingdom of Heaven.”

God gave me back an immediate 10 fold increase for that month of a blessing on what I had given to Him – over the next three months it would total a 30 fold increase totaling 150 pounds from my meager 5 pound offering. Thank you, Lord, God. That is so awesome.

He allowed Joy to help me too in the process. She could have also had excuses for why she needed the money, too. I found out later that she got the prompting to reduce 50 pounds from my rent while in church that evening, but listening and following through is the key. So glad she did. Thank you, Lord, Thank you, Joy!

Amen.

It’s important to follow through. You never know who you’re going to bless or how you will be blessed if you follow through on an action. It’s good to follow through though because God is trustworthy and He’s always got the best plan for us all.

It shows that when we honor God, He may use others to honor us somehow, too.  Ultimately, it’s all from God though, isn’t it? 🙂 God was letting me know He was honoring me in doing what I could. He was being faithful to my giving.

There is a story in the bible about a widow who gave all that she had to live on – who gave out of her poverty, and, in that, Jesus tells us that she gave more than all those who gave out of there surplus, though theirs was clearly more, financially. This story is recounted in Matthew 12:44.

Being willing and faithful to give what we can is important. Whether it be of money or of time. God will provide the assistance we need. Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” We can trust that. He finds a way to give us back what we have given Him. I believe God uses many different circumstances to build our faith in Him too – to find Him working in our lives, to see Him. It’s so delightful to find Him working on our behalf. It is beautiful to see Him here, caring enough to show Himself. I feel like, “Who am I?” But I, like others, am His. I am His beloved daughter. I love that. If we did not know His word, I believe that we would likely have less opportunity to see Him gloriously working in our lives, although I didn’t know that bible verse before about giving out of your poverty before I did that.

I believe that God was developing my relationship with Him more, too, there during that time, clearly. That instance provided an opportunity for God to show me that He is with me, taking care of my needs, helping me through others, and providing for me help in my time of need. I’m reminded too that the poor state of my finances has often allowed me to “see” the “kingdom of heaven” it seems to me. I love that. It makes sense that Jesus said that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” I get it. I get to see God’s gifts manifesting to me in so many ways in my need. I love it, still.

Luke 6:38 tells us, to “give, and it will be given to you.” God is our provider, our Jehovah Jireh. He will see us through. We can always give something, even if it’s just a little. God will restore us and may even increase what we have given by 30 fold!!

 

 

 

I thank you so much, Lord, and I love you, and thank you for helping me always, for showing me too through my circumstances that you are here helping me, caring for me and loving me in all that I need.

Thank you.

Halleleuia.

Holly

When Speaking Your Truth Causes You to Lose Your Dad, but God Trumps Your Reality

My Story Based on Malachi 4:6, and how God’s word did not return to Him Void, like it says in Isaiah 55:11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. . .
That would be Malachi 4:6 for me and dad:)
Awesome 🙂

My devastating reality of speaking the truth came into being. When I spoke my truth to my dad my biggest fear was realized, that he would no longer have a relationship with me, and that was the case – “I think it better we no longer speak,” was all I got to in response to an email I sent him, after the bit about me having “Crossed a line.”

Well, that got me requesting prayer at church one afternoon soon where someone prayed over me and for my dad Malachi 4:6.

“He will turn the heart of the father to the children, and the heart of the children to the father.”

What followed was indeed miraculous, and grace showered upon me like it was being poured out from heaven upon my head – days later – out of no where. Bizarre, and beautiful.

Love and compassion flooded in me washing my “bad” thoughts about my dad away, and leaving nothing but good. God worked his miracle working power in this circumstance of my heart, and, I found out later, my dad’s.

God is such a marvelous Father – loving us so much. Even know I was the one with the bitterness in me toward my dad for his lack of x,y,z that he failed to do, I wasn’t the one who was consoled. God gave me His grace to love my dad! I LOVE THAT! Heart emoji.

Listen and learn of the grace of God, healing me and my dad forever more. He’s so good!

Coffee on God

God bought me coffee. I think that’s really neat! I know it was Him. God knew I wanted special coffee, my little craving and desire, and He ordered my steps to get it, he ordered another to buy it, and he allowed for a little love note to accompany it. God orchestrated every bit of it, the fellow’s steps, the long wait, the conversation. He had it all in mind – orchestrating every bit of it so He could tell me, “Hi honey. I am here with and for you, and I love you. Here’s some coffee on me. Relax Enjoy. I love you, Holly.” Jesus and God.

Most importantly, God just wants a relationship with us and often uses our life circumstances to get out attention and to show Himself real.

This story reflects much of how God has built a relationship with me over the years, and it has been through lack, but he has always shown up and made a way for me for even seeming insignificant matters and desires. He cares about every little aspect of who we are.

If you’d rather hear a podcast of this, go to: https://www.hollycobrien.com/audio-files.html. Search Coffee on God.

I went to get a coffee one night after much deliberation as to the matter. I shouldn’t have, I thought, in my mind because money was tight then, and even two bucks on a frivolous craving wasn’t justified.

I don’t recall why I didn’t just make coffee. Maybe I didn’t have any, but that would be odd. I was always with coffee, a favorite of mine. I must have just wanted a hazelnut latte or coffee, but having felt it out of the question financially, I nixed it. But the feeling would not go away, in my spirit, it was okay. I was sensing, “Go, it’s okay.” So, I finally relented. I went to Dunkin’ Donuts.

When I got there, there were two people in front of me of French descent. I waited. As I did, a fellow came in behind me, waiting too, and we began chatting, eventually, as he struck up a conversation with me.

He informed me of his having just come from a men’s retreat – a religious retreat of sorts. I listened and we chatted a long time about the retreat and the Lord, and I think he seemed to want to try and win me over for God or something, but I convinced him I already knew Him, and we shared on some level some of our respect for Him and love, the awe. Due to the unnaturally long wait in front of us we’d chatted quite a bit.

It was my turn, finally. Before I got to the counter though, he handed to me a chip, a silver chip like they give out in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), but instead of it insisting I had a certain number of years or months clean/sober, I saw that it had on it a cross, and around it, it informed me: “God loves you.” On the other side it informed me also to “Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and you will be saved.” Romans 10:9-10. Wow. Okay. I smiled, thinking for the first time that that is why God wanted me to go get a coffee. He wanted to tell me He loves me. I smile. I think how neat that is.

Then, I got up to the counter and I ordered my drink. When the lady asked if that would be all, the fellow behind me with whom I’d been speaking, chimed in saying, “That isn’t all. I’d also like a (so and so, whatever he ordered), and I will be paying for both of our drinks.” Well, if that wasn’t God showing up in the circumstance! He was doubling up on the blessings for me. Thank you, Lord. I love it, still.

I told the fellow he was a blessing to me. I didn’t go into the details about my shortage of money or the story behind me even getting up there with all the mental deliberations behind that, but just went on to thank him, expressing my gratitude for his kindness, informing him it meant a lot, as it did, and then I went on to my table to drink my free coffee, and to work on my work.

That incident was a way for God to relay to me, through another person, that He clearly loves me, and that He’s got my back, and my coffee!! He showed me personally that cares about the littlest of things of our lives, like a coffee craving. He apparently finds ways, too, to show us that he loves us, and is for us. God was informing me He is here in all of my circumstances, and He knows what is going on. I like that He cares in all-ways! It was a new, simple and special way for me to see God showing me how He loves me. Thanks, Lord.

God bought me coffee. I think that’s really neat! I know it was Him. God knew I wanted special coffee, my little craving and desire, and He ordered my steps to get it, he ordered another to buy it, and he allowed for a little love note to accompany it. God orchestrated every bit of it, the fellow’s steps, the long wait, the conversation. He had it all in mind – orchestrating it all so He could tell me, “Hi honey. I am here with and for you, and I love you. Here’s some coffee on me. Relax Enjoy. I love you, Holly.” Jesus and God.

The End.

Thank  you. I love you.

 

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

3 You search out my path and my lying down

and are acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before a word is on my tongue,

behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. Psalm 139: 1-4

Podcast: Bottom Dropped Out of My Car – An Interesting Answered Prayer

I have retained my abhorrence of being poor for some time – keeping the reality of it to myself. I never really cared much about it or even thought much about it. I never really felt poor, but it had become an issue to me, however, since living in England.

CAR TROUBLE, NO TROUBLE AT ALL
2012

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​This story is about when the “bottom dropped out of my car” in an answer to a prayer to God when He showed me he would help me and cover me when I couldn’t afford to  help myself financially at this time. He’s so good! (13:55)