The only real change comes from the grace of God (video excerpt).
I forgot today was Father’s Day until I went in to church this morning. And, I forgot I made this video too (among others), in honor of God’s amazing work in my life, until I was making lunch and thinking about my dad and God, and the gratitude for the healing work the word of the Lord brought to my life-long hurts, and severed relationship I had with my dad, and how the Lord healed all, miraculously through His grace, one afternoon after a prayer by a prayer partner in Life Church (England church which helped to change my life).
May you love your Father in heaven with your whole heart, and know His great love for you, and may He heal your relationship with your father or child, as he has mine through the word of Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
In honor of my Father in Heaven and my dad, in heaven. I am so grateful for the marvelous relationships I have with you, and was able to have, even if only, truly, for a short time.
Our last Christmas together. A good reunion, 2009.
Tonight I went for a run. It was late. After about 1/2 mile I felt to finish, but I didn’t want to. I’d hardly run at all. I kept going. I turned around after I’d gone a little over a mile. I was deep in the woods. It was getting dark. I got scared. I began to think bad thoughts. I changed them and began to pray and began to sing praises of thanks for being protected. I was still scared. I was reminded of the importance of listening to God’s direction, of being obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered.
Obedience is not only for our benefit, say, but it is also protective, and still beneficial, because it may prevent us from suffering.
We may get the benefits of whatever God has for us when we listen, and follow, but we may also suffer when we are disobedient. Luckily tonight I was granted mercy, and got a lesson out of it and no more suffering other than the panic I felt while running.
May we have ears to hear and walk in obedience that we may not suffer.
Hebrews 5: 7 – 10
7Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him; 10Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
I’ve often wonder why people lose their faith, and figured it must be because they never really gave God a real shot – they never had the really hard trials of life and got to the other side where they knew it was the hand of God that got them there.
So, 13 years ago, Lent, I chose to give us cigarettes (19 years), alcohol (19 years), weed (15ish years). I thought if I could do it for 40 days, that would be a good start, and I may be home free. This was part of my desire to really be repentant though – I think I had been baptized earlier that year and thought to see if I might go back to weed again, if God would still love me, but everything in me told me not to, but I did instead – only because when I voiced it one day, the weed showed up another, and I decided to go for it. What a horrible move! I think I started on everything again, too. Well, all hell broke loose after that time in many awful ways, I got boils on my face, a first, my brother and I had the worst fights of our life – we weren’t prone to fighting, and it was awful! And, a terror stuck through my house that I will not go into.
While at a friend’s house “partying” one night as my norm, I inquired as to what lent was. When he told me, I thought I could certainly use that – being repentant. I had been really “bad” lately, and I needed to do that.
I gave up everything. The first two weeks were a bear, but I made it through and made it through to the 40 days. I thought if went back after that, I was an idiot. I’d already been baptized, and had long striven to be free of drugs, alcohol and smokes, everything, and, lent proved my way out of that mess again, and I desperately needed it.
I stayed clean and free of that.
I used to go to AA on and off, but I guess in my heart never felt like an alcoholic though I drank like one most times. My thinking – it was a bad habit, and yes, it was. My belief too was this was between me and God. If I could get that worked out, and believe He really loved me, I wouldn’t need to drink, nor would I need AA. Something like that.
At any rate, I never went back to AA, and though in the past 13 years I have had 6 drinks on 4 different occasions, I am free.
Grace Permanently Changes Us
What I have come to know is that the grace of God is what changes us permanently. Now, he will give us over to our ways, if we choose to persist in those as referenced in Romans 1:24, but I fought for so long to be free, and I am. There was such a desire in me to be pure, yet I had lived in bondage for so long that it was tremendously hard to stay free for any length of time – I always knew I would go back because mentally I hadn’t worked out my issues, even with years of sobriety at different times. However, once we are free, we are free indeed!
Jesus Christ came as grace and truth, John 1;17. I had my aunt say some years back, “There but the grace of God go I.” I never understood that statement truly when I heard it in AA, but knowing what I did then, and having experienced his freeing grace in other circumstances in my life, I knew what it meant, finally, that day it came from her lips.
Living the Resurrected Life – Glory to Glory
So, Easter Sunday – the Resurrection. The old man is gone, all things have been made new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 more fully reads: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
I feel the reason I don’t go back to my old ways, other than they are death, and I lived the terror they ushered in after I went back, is because I have experienced the resurrection life since then.
I’ve often wonder why people lose their faith, and figured it must be because they never really gave God a real shot – they never had the really hard trials of life and got to the other side where they knew it was the hand of God that got them there.
That is what I believe keeps me believing. I trusted in the hard times. I sought God. I did my part. God presented Himself as real to me. I have stayed a believer because of these many trials that have showed me God – where God let me find Him. “Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find.” Matthew 7:7.
My point in telling you all of this today – just to give a shout of to the Lord – to Jesus, the savior of my life. He is real. God is real. They are here for us – Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly.
I thought this morning also about this limitation I feel in myself, and from where it’s come. I’m not speaking of it here today because I have only just realized it, but I know that it’s just another level, another hump I give to God now that I’ve recognized it – to lay at the cross, and to be an overcomer even of it to usher in the next level of glory. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:8. Keeping my eyes focused on Jesus, not myself, will usher in with the Spirit of the Lord, to the next level of glory in my life.
As I wrap myself as a cocoon in the word of the Lord to transform my mind, and body during this next season of my life, I trust I will transform again to the next glorified state to come. I feel this so completely right now.
So, my friends, embrace the resurrected life – usher in the Spirit of the Lord – the risen Christ had died for us and been raised that we might live fully these beautiful, wonderful lives we’ve been given.
Happy Easter. May you come to know the risen Christ in your life and your family’s. The old things are gone, behold, all things have been made new!
Thank you for reading. May you become one in the risen Christ.
This is a lengthy recount of how God miraculously prayed through me for a person I’d never met before to “provide everything I needed.” I’d later meet her that day. This story is about earnest prayer, seeking God through His word, being obedient to Him, and having Him answer prayers so specific and measured you know it is Him. This is one of the many ways God has used my “poor circumstances” to make himself known and real to me. He is marvelous and wonderful. For the rest of the story, my video ran out, you may listen to an audio podcast on http://www.hollycobrien.com. May you be blessed and grow closer as you listen. John 17:20 Jesus Prays for All Believers: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”
May you believe and know God as your Heavenly Father and Christ as your brother and the Holy Spirit as your friend and helper. Amen.
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 overa 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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!