Bible Study Broken faith Knowing God Uncategorized

1 Timothy: It’s Never Too Late to Turn Around and Try Again

Many times I have had a sit down talk with Jackson; made him look into my eyes and said, “God still loves you, buddy. He will never, ever stop loving you.”

This boy of mine has a hard time remembering this. His sin is ever before him – that thorn in his side that has the potential to be his greatest gift when it’s channeled God’s way. But man, that fine line. Sometimes it only takes a split second for his passions to get derailed and take him down a road that he wishes he didn’t travel.

Me too, boy. Me too.

But oh, how he loves Jesus. He’s the same one I found crying in the middle of the night – not sick or scared – but weeping because he couldn’t get over the cross and what Jesus had done for him. Jesus gave for him, the one who loves so much and lives so passionately, but feels like he gets it wrong so often.

You need to know that I get it, Jack. It’s not just you…

He needs to hear that God isn’t looking for perfection. He’s looking for a heart fully surrendered. Jesus came not just for the murderers and thieves. He came for the proud, the gossip, the money lover, and for every last hidden thought and motive that makes us cringe at the thought of exposure. He came for the ones who thought they only needed Him from afar; for the ones who thought that with enough striving they could get by on their own.

You can stop striving, son. 

Instead… abide.Remember that it’s not about the perfect cover up. It’s about exposing our need to His perfect solution. We can search and try and look in a million other places, but nothing else will ever satisfy like Jesus. He loves like no other, He forgives like no other, He provides peace and hope and joy and freedom like no other. No more exhaustion on your own strength, boy. Lean in close and rest in the embrace of the One who has already done it all.

Listen, you’re not too far gone.

Don’t you dare listen to those lies. Jesus’s mercy transforms what the world calls too broken. His grace overflows, smoothing the rough edges and channeling our thorns into great purpose and humble service for Him… if we’ll only let Him. His power equips the weak and strengthens the weary for the task. God uses the most unlikely because our stories reveal His glory.

So son, turn your pride into praise.

It’ll never be about performance. Instead, let your life be marked by worship for the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Worthy is that  Lamb – Friend to sinners; the One who rescued you and refines you; the One who never, ever changes. Embrace His amazing grace, and then make Him the hero of your story.

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:12-14

Girl, now it’s your turn.

You’re not too far gone. Oh, no. In fact, you’re just getting started…

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I am Broken: Jesus was Broken for You

Over the course of the last few weeks, we have seen that if you are human, you are broken. The result of sin is brokenness. Brokenness is something we can’t escape and it manifests itself in various ways, from pride to pain, loss, fear and much much more.

So with Paul, we cry “who can save us from this body of death” and all the brokenness found around us?


He is the beautiful answer to all of the ruined, fragmented pieces of our lives. But the only way he could heal us is by becoming broken for us.

Isaiah 53:4-5 New International Version (NIV)

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

John 19:28-30 New International Version (NIV)

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

These are just a few verses that are well-known verses, that show the great length Jesus went in order to become our salvation and our healer.

He could have left us to our brokenness and sin, but instead, he became one of us. He experienced hunger, thirst, and fatigue. He knew first hand what it was like to be rejected and mocked, to be treated unfairly and even let down by those closest to him. He knew what it was like to have all sorts of evil done against him though he deserved none of it.

Ultimately he was punished for lies, unkindnesses, adulteries, murders, slanders, complaints, perversions, and all other forms of sin that weren’t even his.

And he did this for you and for me!

1. Through his punishments, we receive peace. His punishments should have been ours! We are the ones who sinned and our sin separated us from God. Instead of peace, there was enmity. But Jesus took it all. He took our sins, our punishments, our separation from God, and gave us his peace and righteousness.

Now we can draw near to God, now we can be confident in his love, now we have divine help at all times. Now we have a glorious future.

2. By his wounds, we are healed. Jesus died so we could have peace with God, but his death also brought us healing. It brought us life. Our brokenness was so severe that it affected every part of our being, from our heart to our soul.

If you know yourself at all, you know you can’t fix yourself. But through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we now have the power to fight. We can fight temptation and actually win, we can declare war on the sins that lurk in us and begin to have victory, not because we are strong enough, but because the strength of Jesus has been given to us.

Let’s never take for granted Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf.

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I am Broken: I am Free

For His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.” – Psalm 103:11-13 

A broken life that had truly been redeemed is free. I have often talked about how my shame is planted by guilt, nourished by memories, and watered by secrecy.  My heart has many times needed full healing, plain and simple. As you deal with the brokenness of your life you often find the roots of your pain are much deeper than you thought. The Master Gardener was the only One who could truly tend to the roots you dig up.  Although I have experienced a lot of victory and breakthrough, certain triggers still occur, and shame seems to always try to rear its ugly head in my life.

I came to know Christ at an early age, but life…well, life happened.  I rebelled in my 20’s that while I loved God and wanted to serve God, I didn’t. I was tired, my heart felt heavy…I was exhausted. When I had returned to God’s will around age 28 or so; the Lord’s mercy had once again went before me and as a good Father does, He wanted to deal with an area of my life that was full of guilt and shame. I was carrying a heavy suitcase and didn’t feel I was fully cultivating a good relationship with God, like He had intended.  The bag was weighing me down because it contained past regrets, old memories, and fears about my future.

Carrying this around had almost become a habit to me, and I couldn’t even remember the exact time or spot I chose to pick it up.  I was moving, but just creeping forward. All this baggage kept me from running the race. To every fruit in our lives, good or bad, there is always a root and I knew this was a deep root God needed to tend to.  It was time to drop the bag and run.  I sat with God and wept. I told Him I wanted to hand over the shame, every part of it and walk in the life-giving freedom Jesus had died for me to have. I knew God sent His son, a gift, and He was enough.  What He did was big enough for me, and brokenness and shame were no longer calling the shots.

This battle I was facing in my mind could only be fought and overcome through applying His Word to every single moment as they came. 

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.  

John 8:10-11 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? 11 “No, Lord,” she said,…And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

John 8 is one of my favorite New Testament stories.  When I read I visualize what I am reading.  If we’re honest, we all in a sense can relate to the woman in John 8.  While we don’t deal with physical accusers necessarily, many people deal with mental accusations.  In this passage, she is caught and exposed in the act of sin by many accusers and brought to center stage for the punishment the law states she deserves. She must have felt so hopeless, embarrassed, so alone.

This exposure was actually her gateway to Grace as she was thrown at the very feet of the One who could not only save her life but save her soul. As the people gathered to stone her, Jesus takes the way of compassion by coming down to her level and writing in the dirt.  Here, he quiets her accusers and tells her she is fully forgiven and to go and sin no more.  As thoughts of condemnation from your accusers come into your mind come to taunt you, follow the model of Jesus.  Answer them with the Word, know you’re forgiven and move forward to live your life with Christ.

The antidote to shame is TRUTH.   A formula for shame breaking is found in Psalm 103.  David sets the stage and opens up the Psalm acknowledging truth and proclaiming it.  He says “Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul, and all the deepest parts of me, BLESS HIS NAME!” And forget not all His benefits. He, who FORGIVES all of your sins and who heals ALL of your diseases. He, who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”

Psalm 103:11 “For His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

This scripture proclaims the LIMITLESS love of God toward us. I once heard a pastor say, “How do you describe a rose to a blind person? How do you describe Handle’s Hallelujah Chorus to a deaf person? How do you describe the thrill of down hill skiing to one who has never walked? How do you describe the impeccable, infinite love of God to impure, finite humans?”

Psalm 103 speaks of this Love. David attempts to portray it with a visual, stating that its higher than the Heavens.  He says your sins have been completely removed as far as the East is from the West, meaning they’re untraceable, gone, forgiven. Life changes when instead of running for forgiveness, you run from a place of forgiveness. His Love is unfailing and will chase us all the days of our lives. I’m so grateful for this Love that doesn’t give up! May we accept and receive this free gift today and truly walk in it’s benefits.

Psalm 103:13 “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Knowing the nature of God is so vital in our walk with Him. We live in the overflow of who we really believe God to be. 

This is why it is so important we walk in the Word and believe the Truth. In Matthew Henry’s commentary, he says, “The Scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge, and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them; pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.”

His mercy and compassion toward us is great, like a father to a child. I want to say, walking without the suitcase has been so much greater.  A beautiful exchange took place and I not only put the suitcase down but traded it for better things, like joy, hope, peace, and forgiveness.  I pray you receive this Love today, and walk in the fruit that comes from it…true identity, rest and acceptance in Christ.  He is for you, He loves you with a love that cannot be measured, and He says to you today, too, BE FREE + GO + RUN and sin no more.” He is for you! 

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I am Broken: I Have a Redeemer

When My son Jack was born. He was the most frail and beautiful thing I had ever seen. I remember the pride and terror that I had when I realized this tiny boy was mine. dependent on me for everything.

He was amazing.

He was tiny.

He was mine.

I was now a mom.

As an unmarried mother, I wrestled with the idea of God’s love for me and an actual belief in God’s love for me.

A positive pregnancy test months earlier had set off a string of new realities in my life, one of which was a strong feeling of my own lack of worth. I had messed up. I had disappointed people I loved. I was on my way to being a mom when I was barely able to take care of myself.

I was no longer the “good girl”.

And I wondered, sometimes out loud, if God still loved me.

Pain mixed with a little shock, a ton of remorse, and lots of uncertainty left me feeling unlovable, nonredeemable, and out of God’s good graces. It felt as if I had traveled to the ends of the earth and was there alone, in the dark, and in the cold. While I had always believed that God loved me during those days of new motherhood, sometimes I didn’t feel it.

But apparently during one of those lonely, dark, cold moments, I reached for my Bible and searched for reassurance of God’s love for me. All of my life I had been taught to believe that He loved me no matter what. I just wanted proof. I needed a reminder that I could rest in and rehearse so that I wouldn’t forget or doubt the reality of His love in my life.

I found one verse of assurance and wrote it down on a sheet of notebook paper. That one verse became two, then five, then over time became two pages of Scriptures that reminded me that God loved me. I kept those pieces of notebook paper with me at all times – folded up in my pocket or in my purse or in my diaper bag.

Recently, I thought about those pieces of paper and dug them out of an old drawer. They were still intact even though they’d yellowed with time. I remember how difficult it was to accept God’s love for me when I felt that I didn’t deserve it.

But here’s what I was reminded of as I allowed God’s Word to remind me of the truth — God gave Himself for me to redeem me from every lawless deed.

The little ones.

The big ones.

Every single one.

I now know that whether we are a new Christian or even if we’ve been a Christian for awhile, we need his redeeming love every single day. But we must accept that love and live in light of Christ’s sacrifice for us.  Sometimes that means walking with Him in daily obedience in small ways. Other times, that means accepting His love and forgiveness as we seek to recover from the consequences of our sin.

In either case, God’s work in us is a work of sanctification. He teaches us as we walk with Him and as we study the truth in His Word.

John 17:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

What it means to be holy, set apart as sacred, and consecrated to His purposes.

We just have to choose to believe that His redeeming work is still at work in us — no matter how far we think we may have fallen. And as we believe and act out that belief, He changes us.

The key is to believe.

Believe that you are loved — because you are.

1 John 3:1 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.

Believe that God redeems — because He does.

Galatians 3:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Believe that God will produce good works in you — because He can. 

Philippians 1:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

And regardless of what is in your past or facing you now in your present, believe that God is never ceasing in His grace, mercy, and compassion. The redeeming work of the cross is available to you and me each and every day.

Years later, that Son is now 18 and graduated high school. While I remember the struggle of his younger years, it doesn’t define my life — the redeeming work of God does. My life is marked by His goodness, His kindness, His mercy, and His never-ending love. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that He makes beautiful the broken because I’ve seen Him do that for me.

Search out the truth of God’s Word. Choose to believe what it says over how you feel. Then act as if you really do believe His Word is true.

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I am Broken: Boast in the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

It happened to be one of those Sunday mornings.

You know the ones.

After getting up a little too late and rushing through mine and Jackson’s bath and Daniel’s shower. Throwing together an outfit that fits and does not look too bad. Getting breakfast and arguing with Jackson about what he is wearing, running a brush through my hair and spending less than five minutes on makeup. Sliding into church and sitting down already exhausted for Sunday school. And then I see them, the perfect family all in matching clothes.

How do these people pull off looking like they have their acts together week after week?

My friend across the aisle smiled and waved, and I shot back the best “church smile” I could muster as sweat beads slowly dripped down my back. As the Sunday school teacher began to teach, I desperately wanted to prepare my heart for worship. I wanted to have it all together and give my best to Jesus. But all I could think about was the impatience, anger, and harsh words that had hijacked our morning.

The five minute drive to church had humbled us. Apologies were offered and forgiveness was extended. But sitting in Sunday School dressed in our best and trying to pretend like nothing had happened – left me feeling like an imposter.

Man, we’re broken. 

When we head into church I see it. The communion table set. The Lord’s Supper, really?… today of all days?! I instantly felt so unworthy.





In my pride, I had wanted our family to walk through those church doors that morning looking like we had our act together. I wanted to be strong instead of weak. I wanted to be polished instead of falling apart. I wanted to settle in on that Sunday morning – and every day for that matter – feeling pretty great about myself and all that I had accomplished. But the church isn’t a perfect place full of perfect people.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

It’s a place for the sick to come and find hope – not in their own wisdom, status, or performance – but in the person and work of Jesus.

It’s where the truth of who He is trumps our flaws and failures; where we worship Him for the depth of His forgiveness and the newness of His mercies.

It’s where the broken are welcomed and where the weary can find rest; where His wisdom reigns over the hardness of our hearts and the loud voices of the world.

It’s where once again we can find the end of ourselves at the foot of the cross, humbled by His sacrifice and amazed by His transforming power in us.

It’s where we can be filled up to go out and proclaim to a lost world that it isn’t us – but rather Him – who has done it all.





This is Christ. Hallelujah, this is Christ in us!

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It is actually the verse that is the anchor verse for my book. We have to drop that pride and realize that we are weak and need God’s grace. But it doesn’t stop there, we need share our weaknesses with others because they can see what God has done for us.

In what areas are you tempted to boast in yourself instead of the Lord? Like Paul, where is God calling you to speak up and boldly make much of Him?

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I am Broken: But not so Much God Can’t Fix Me

In the book, Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis shares a story about one of his favorite teachers, who was a brilliant teacher and personal friend of Lewis’s father, Mr. Kirkpatrick was the one who taught Lewis how to be a merciless debater by building a strong logical case, one that would be hard, if not impossible, to defeat. A staunch atheist, Mr. Kirkpatrick wanted to strengthen Lewis in his own beliefs.

Yet years later through Christ’s grace and deep friendships with Christians, C.S. Lewis began questioning his atheism and within a few years, became a Christian himself. Because of his early training by Mr. Kirkpatrick, Lewis was an amazing debater and God used his former training for good as C.S. Lewis became one of the greatest defenders of the Christian faith in the 20th century.

Genesis 50:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

In some ways, I feel Paul is a little bit like C.S. Lewis before Lewis became a Christian. Both men were very well educated and trained at a young age to defend their “beliefs” and oppose the opposite side. Both men were all-stars in their worlds of academics with high expectations from those who trained them.

Galatians 1:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Paul was the Jew of all Jews. He was the elite. He had the education and the pedigree… and he knew it.

Because of the pride in his heart, Paul was blinded to the truth.

He was a man of religious deeds and was an amazing religious rule-keeper. So focused on being right and persecuting those he felt were wrong, Paul missed the big picture of what God was doing in the world…redeeming it through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,

We see how God had set Paul apart from birth, preparing him all along the way for the exact purpose of being one of the greatest defenders of the Christian faith of all time.

Nothing from Paul’s past was unused.

The pride that had driven him to be the best, the most worthy and the moralist, now was replaced with God’s grace. God in his amazing redemption used all of Paul’s past experiences, failures, and zealous pride to break him and then equip him to be the very man to build His church – the very church Paul once persecuted.

What a powerful reminder to all of us today: NO ONE is too broken for God’s redemptive grace!

If God can take a man like Paul – a man who was filled with pride, who hated Christians and even killed them – and turn his life around, how can we ever doubt He can’t do it again?

May we never forget we serve an amazing God who redeems the religiously prideful just as He does the lost. No one is too far out of reach for our Lord to touch with His amazing love and grace!

Let us take courage and find delight in the mighty way God worked through Paul’s life to redeem his past and bring hope for his future! Just as God extended redemption to Paul, He does for us, too. God takes our sins, our past misunderstandings, our previous training and brings purpose to it all.

May we not be afraid of our pasts and the sins we wish we could erase, but rather allow God to redeem them for His glory just like He did in Paul’s life!

Spend time praying today for the “Saul” in your life, asking God to intervene in this person’s life and redeem their past for Jesus’ glory! And have hope sweet friend, God turned Saul into Paul and He can do it again!

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I am Broken: Waiting on God(infertility and loss)

Looking at woman of the Bible and waiting, I often think of Sarah and Hannah. Sarah and Hannah both waited on God for children. It is hard for women to deal with issues of having children be it infertility or miscarriages because it is so painful, emotionally draining, and all consuming. Many have been waiting all their life to finally have children, only to be met with the a bitter disappointment.

There are a number of women in the Bible who experienced infertility: Rachael (Gen. 30),  Manoah’s wife (Judges 13), Hannah (1 Sam. 1), Michel (2 Sam. 6), and Sarah.

Sarah had gone 90 years without having any children. That was a lot of waiting. I imagine there were tears and heartache. We know there was a lack of trust in God’s faithfulness and goodness as she gave her maidservant to her husband in order to obtain a child. Perhaps by the time she was 90 she had resigned herself to the fact that she was never going to be a mother. We know she was wrong.

In this study we chose to focus on Sarah because in the midst of her infertility story we read a very important truth…

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

The answer is, “Of course not!” The Lord can do anything according to his will.

He can heal bodies in ways that baffle doctors. He can give children to couples who never thought it was possible.

But there is something else that the Lord can do. Something, perhaps, even more miraculous. He can give real joy and contentment in the midst of pain.

Expecting the Impossible

Contentment and joy in the midst of difficulty and suffering – something as unlikely as the barren womb conceiving a baby – can seem like an impossibility. But remember that with God nothing is impossible.

His power is stronger than any suffering. He can heal the sick, raise the dead, and change the heart of a sinner. He is able to give contentment and joy to the brokenhearted because He can create something out of nothing.

We must draw close to Him in order to lay our hands on it. We must trust the promises He gives in his Word. We must come to Him with our hurts in prayer, and we must praise Him in the midst of tears because He is worthy.

Then, when we are near, we can wait – expecting what we may have thought was impossible. In your affliction I want to encourage you to wait confidently for God to work in your life. I pray that He brings to you a joy that sits deep in your heart and a contentment that rests on the truth that God is good all the time.

A while back, my father gave me some advice that I have often returned to. He said, “If God has laid a calling on your heart, He will find a way to make it happen.” You do not have to worry that the calling will expire or disappear. It may not be according to the timeline you imagined or look the way you envisioned, but the seeds God plants in your heart will grow into what He intends if you can remain faithful and patient.

We all have stories of brokenness and hopefully redemption of loss coupled with learning to trust God’s goodness.

I married an amazing man who seemed to be made to be an awesome dad. He is cheerful, loving and has a child like spirit. He loves kids and uncle Dan is every kids favorite person to play with. When we married I had a 8 year old who loves Daniel and to Jack Daniel is his dad. But he had never had one of his own. after we where married. I got pregnant and Daniel was ecstatic. then we found out it was twins and it was even more excitement. Then came the news that they had no heartbeat. The dark emptiness of this loss set in.

Everything felt so hopeless.

So broken.

So impossibly sad.

The doctors appointments, the tests, the waiting, it was all we ever thought about. I knew God had called Daniel to be a dad. Why wasn’t it working? The I realized he already was.

Infertility and loss are socially taboo – they aren’t topics that most people are comfortable discussing in casual conversation. At some point, I realized if I didn’t step out I would have become isolated, not just socially, but I would also pulled away from God. Anger and hurt had sprung from situation. The emotions that accompanied the loss — grief, anger, doubt, jealousy, depression, and isolation. My sweet husband and family did their best to support me and pushed me to trust God’s plan.

The time that followed my miscarriage turned out to be one of the richest spiritual times in my life. I learned to lean in deeply to God and to trust Him to care for me. I began to pour my energy into focusing on my relationship with Him and my family. My faith grew. My marriage strengthened. My depression faded. I began to see His goodness all around me. It’s so ironic: my loss led to such a fertile spiritual time. While the personal and spiritual redemption I experienced was incredible on its own. I was given a passion for vacation Bible school. To write, direct and be a part of teaching all children of God and His love.

God had taken my brokenness and redeemed it. And it was perfect.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

My hands were surrendered, and my heart was open.

It’s been 9 years since We had a miscarriage and God allowed me to trust in His way in my life. I’ve learned that God writes the best stories, but first we must hand Him the pen.

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul is sharing his story with us in hopes of encouraging the weary hearted. He knows in this fallen world that we will experience:

  • External Chaos: We are afflicted in every way. The pressures of life are overwhelming.
  • Internal Confusion: We are perplexed. Sometimes circumstances just do not seem to make sense.
  • Undeserved Criticism: We are persecuted. We often face rejection, misunderstanding, and abuse.
  • Unexpected Catastrophe: We are struck down. This wicked world wounds us, and it’s hard to keep walking.

Paul wants us to know that brokenness is not the end of our story. My sister, God is not through with you yet. If you invite Him into your pain, He will step in and give you:

  • Help: Your Protector will never allow this world to crush you.
  • Hope: He will give you peace that surpasses understanding.
  • Healing: He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will restore you.
  • Heaven: This fallen world is just a temporary camp. He is preparing a permanent home for you with no more pain or sorrow.

God wants to strengthen you, shine His glory through you, and transform your mess into a ministry of encouragement to others.

With hands extended and hearts full, we will brightly display God’s redemption to the watching world.

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I am Broken: Fear Not

Fear can be caused by almost anything. It can be triggered through people, hardship, loss, the past, and the unknown of the future. Fear is that feeling of anxiety or dread concerning the outcome of something; that your needs or desires will not be met.

I recently came to realize that fear starts where faith ends. I have an amazing ability to conjure up all kinds of anxiety-inducing scenarios, many of which could easily send me into a panic, and most of which don’t even come true.  Crazy, isn’t it?

God has given us many passages of Scripture that encourage us to not be afraid. There is even a Christian myth that says that there are 365 verses on fear in the Bible, one for every day of the week. This is not true. In the KJV, for example, the words “fear not” or “be not afraid” only occur 184 times. But we don’t need 365 “fear nots.” If God had said it only one time that would have been enough.

Let’s look at our verse for today and see some of the reasons why we do not be to be fearful.

1. He is YOUR God.

  “… be not dismayed, for I am your God;” – Isaiah 41:10

God created all things by His Word and sustains all things through His power. He makes animals speak (Num. 22) and summons bees (Is.7). He parts seas and makes the sun stand still. He is so pure and holy that no one can look at Him and live (Ex. 33:20). He awakens dead hearts and gives life (Ez. 36). This awesome God is not just God, He is YOUR God.

Through faith in Jesus Christ you can claim Him and He claims you. He cares for those for whom Jesus suffered. He protects those for whom Jesus died. As members of His family we are completely safe and taken care.

What reasons do we have to be afraid? Always remember Romans 8:31:

What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

2. God is with you.

“… fear not, for I am with you;”  

Have you ever asked yourself why you get afraid?

Sometimes it is because we look at the situation that we are in and feel exposed or alone, without control or help. We feel lost and we don’t know what to do or where to turn. A part of God’s greatness is that He is omnipresent, meaning that He is everywhere at the same time. He is not limited by time or space.

In John 14:23 Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

He makes his home in every believer, protecting, teaching, and guiding. He is not just hanging around. He is not just there but distracted like many of us are when we are around our family but also on our phones. Despite all that is going on He is focused 100% on His child – that’s you and me! He is completely aware of our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our weaknesses, and our strengths. He knows it all – every held back tear and every little sigh. He is there to uplift and guide, to teach and correct.   

The more we let these truths sink into our hearts, the more fear will be replaced with divine peace.

3. God will help you.

“I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Pretty much everything that we are called to do and be we cannot accomplish on our own, and this is good. It should create humility and dependence. Our God is so kind and gracious to give us all the help we could ever need to live out our calling and fight off the attacks of the enemy.

From Adam to the Apostle Paul, fear has been man’s constant enemy. It is a battle that many have to fight daily. Fear is a real foe, but our God is bigger. And the more you know about God, the more fear will keep its distance.

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I am Broken: Be Strong

Moses is one of my absolute favorite Bible characters. He was a man who made many mistakes, had his shortcomings and flaws out on display for everyone to see, felt weak when he needed to be strong, and didn’t feel up to the task when God called him.

I can so relate. I’ve messed up more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve allowed fear to cripple me, hold me back, and cause more sleepless nights than a newborn baby.

And weakness…oh, my goodness.

I’m always praying, asking God to send someone to act or speak for me. Because if I’m flat out honest with you, I just don’t feel like I have what it takes to lead anyone most days. And I thank God I don’t have to do it alone. God is there with me and I have the love and support of my family and Church family.

Moses may have stuttered his words, but I mess mine up more times than I care to share.

Moses wore the label “Speech Impediment,” and I’ve worn the label “Just weird,” which has made both of us want to push someone else in front of us. If only we could hide so others wouldn’t see us up close.

And yet in spite of our weaknesses and brokenness, God chose to use us anyway… and He chooses you too, sweet friend.

In today’s verses, we see Moses at the end of his life. He has learned to walk with God through life’s ups and downs, and he knows this truth first hand: GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU.

When Moses was weak, God made him strong.

When Moses was cowardly, God made him courageous.

It’s amazing to see what Moses was like when God first called him compared to Moses at the end of his life… after he walked closely with God for 40 years.

Because of Moses’s personal relationship with God, he was able to encourage the people of Israel – and most importantly Joshua – challenging them to be strong and courageous. How? By spending time with God, by trusting Him and taking God at His Word… by believing that God would do what He said. Moses learned how to be strong and courageous from trusting God and seeing Him work time and time again in His life.

It was Moses who saw God part the Red Sea and allow the nation of Israel to walk across on dry land.

It was Moses who saw God judge the people of Egypt for their disobedience and captivity of the Israelites.

Because of God’s faithfulness in Moses’s life, Moses was then able to speak into the lives of the next generation and say, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid! Your God goes before you just like He did for me!”

And that’s what we need these days.

We need women in the older generations to give hope to those in the younger generations, saying “Be strong and courageous!”

We need to hear from women who have walked with God and have testimonies of His faithfulness from their personal lives – women who not only know this truth that Moses shares in Deuteronomy 31 but women who have also experienced it!

We need to hear from women who have weathered life’s storms and can testify that what Moses says is true –  Jesus will never leave them for one moment to battle their storms alone.

And so I ask you today: will you be a “Moses” for the next generations? Will you be brave and courageous by sharing from your personal life about God’s faithfulness? Will you share with the “Joshuas” of today about how God has been faithful to you and how His words are true?

Oh, how we need to hear more stories of God’s faithfulness! We need to hear testimonies of how God’s Word is true not only in Bible times but in our day too. We need to be reminded of His faithfulness in the past and His faithfulness in the present.

Moses commands us to be strong and courageous in whatever battle we are facing. Whatever land God is sending us to, we are not to be afraid. Our God is with us. Let’s be strong and courageous together!

Today, please share stories of how you have learned through your walk with God how to be strong and courageous! Share with us how God has been with you in your storms of life and how you have learned to be brave. We need to hear your voice and the testimony God has given you!

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I am Broken: Fear

Have you ever wondered, what might change in our life if we completely surrendered to the fact that God sees us and He hears us? What sin might we walk away from? What fearlessness might we have? What if we truly believed that God keeps his promises? How might we mine the Word of God for His promises? How might we cling to them when things are dry or stormy or dark?”

Have you ever prayed a dangerous prayer of willingness, offering up to God that if He could use someone like you – whatever it is that He’s calling you to – you’d do it?

“Here I am, Lord. Use me.”

You want to be used. You’ve prayed to be used. You may have even walked an aisle at one point, following a clear move of the Spirit, to boldly say “yes” to doing great things for God.

If you’re like me, you may have even had the perfect ministry scenario match-up already scripted out in your mind. Surely He’d use my most obvious desires and passions, in my most ideal location, to impact the people I like to deal with, and it would all come together in the most efficient, angelic sort of way down to the very last detail, right? Heh.

Boy, does God have a sense of humor.

Facing Goliath definitely wasn’t David’s most desired passion, entering the lion’s den wasn’t Daniel’s most ideal location, reaching the people of Nineveh wasn’t Jonah’s preferred people, and forty years in the desert most certainly wasn’t the Israelites’ most efficient route.

And eloquent speaking before a really intimidating, powerful national leader for sure wasn’t on Moses’ top ten list. Return to Egypt and free the Israelites from slavery? Surely God was confused. In fact, Moses wasn’t asking to be used, and he definitely wasn’t feeling equipped for the task. 

Out of the burning bush he had heard the Lord call His name. “Here I am,”  Moses had answered, not yet knowing Who was calling or what was at stake. But after hearing God’s version of his next assignment, Moses opposed God at every angle as his brokenness surfaced and his fear and weakness overwhelmed him…

Who am I, Lord? 

In Moses’ first forty years he had been somebody – a rescued, protected, provided for, favored, influential prince of Egypt. But one life-altering decision, in Exodus 2, had sent him running for his life and into obscurity for the next forty. Moses went from residing in the palace to herding sheep in the desert – an official, unqualified “nobody” in the eyes of the Egyptians. Surely there’s been a mistake, God. You’re going to use this lowly outcast to do great things for You? I don’t think so. 

But God answered: I will be with you. I’ll do the work. My strong hand will guide you. I will provide for you. It will come to pass and you’ll know without a doubt that I AM was the One who sent you.

No one will listen to somebody like me. 

Fear of man began to overwhelm Moses. He knew the Egyptians were tough, and his comfort zone for the last forty years had to do a whole lot with convincing sheep to follow him instead of people. If his age, occupation, and foreigner-status weren’t enough, then returning to the scene of his crime surely was convincing enough. I’ve lost all respect from these people, God. I’m not your guy.

But God answered: My power will be with you, Moses. I’ll equip you with signs and miracles – not just one, not two… but three of them, just to be sure that they’ll listen. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

I don’t have the right gifts.

As Moses began to break down just exactly what God was asking him to do, his greatest weakness began to stare him in the face and paralyze him with fear. Moses didn’t have the gift of speaking. In fact, God wanted to bring Moses’ greatest weakness to the forefront in what already seemed like an impossible task! With so many cards already stacked against him, Moses knew that he didn’t stand a chance once he opened his mouth. Lord, I can’t speak – never could, never will. I’m so weak. Please… I’m not cut out for this.

But God answered: I made you. I know you. I love you. I will speak for you. “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Someone else is more qualified.

An exhausted Moses objected and pleaded once more, Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”  After all of that? Let’s not forget that the God of heaven is miraculously appearing before Moses in a burning bush. He has already promised signs and wonders, and has patiently reminded Moses over and over that He is Creator, Sustainer, and Lord above all. But in his brokenness, Moses plays the comparison game in one last ditch effort to get out of this thing. Some people are made for things like this, God. Clearly, You’ve made a mistake.

Now before we begin to criticize Moses, don’t you see? This is us.

Like Moses, we get hung up on the mistakes of our past, the limitations of our present, and the impossibilities of our future. We name ourselves broken instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus who came to redeem our sin – past, present, and future – once and for all. We name ourselves inadequate instead of looking to our strong Father who is willing and able to apply His sufficient strength to our present weakness. We name our situation impossible instead walking in the Spirit who lives and longs to do the impossible through broken vessels just like us.

We were never meant to be good enough. We were meant to come to the end of ourselves so that we can be rescued and then rest in the great I AM.

Child of God, He names you chosen.

And He doesn’t make mistakes. God had been faithful to Moses in the past, and He wasn’t about to leave him now…

And He’ll do the same for you.

How are you letting fear and weakness prevent you from doing what God is asking you to do? What’s one way you can rest in God’s faithfulness today as you say “yes” to Him?