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loved by the Father

A journey of being loved by the Father.

A Gentleman

Recently I read Matthew 19:26, in this verse it states that with God all things are possible.  After reading this, I began thinking about situations in my friends and families’ lives.  These situations had a common dominator, people are making decisions in their lives that are destructive.  These decisions are hurting others in their lives.  And my thought after reading this verse was, “God, you have the power to make people change.  Why don’t you?  It would create less hurt.”

God’s answer to me was the answer of a gentleman.  He said “because I do not force myself on others.”  I am glad I serve a God who is a gentleman.  Because let’s face it I do not do well if someone forces a decision on me, nor do most people.  And if God would force us to make decisions or if he made all our decisions then we would just be mere puppets.

God has given us choice.  He allows to choose if we are going to accept the gift of grace that He offers us.  As much as I wish these individuals who are making these destructive decisions, would see God’s grace and what freedom they could have if they would allow God change their heart.  I can not make this choice for them or I can not make them make a different choice.  The only I can do is love these people and show them what unconditional love looks like.  God’s love is what changes hearts.  And we should build relationships with others in the context of showing His love.  A saying that we use at work fits well with this.  “No significant change happens outside a significant relationship.”  So who do you need to spend time with to show the love of a heavenly Father who loves them more they could imagine?

Hurt

Who will hurt for the little girl
that has been hurt so many times?

Who will hurt for the little girl
that sees the abuse and represses it to move on?

Who will hurt for the little girl
that sees hope in the future but doesn’t believe she deserves that hope?

Who will hurt for the little girl
that is crying out?

Who will hurt for the little girl
that wants to look past her past and not live in it?

Who will hurt for the little girl
that doesn’t believe she deserves what she has been given and what she will be given in the future?

Who will hold the little girl the next time she has been hurt?
I will.

Who said I will?
Me, Your Father, and I always will and always have whether you knew it or not. Your not alone despite your belief. 

This poem I wrote when I was in college as I started to began to deal with affects of my past.  Sometimes we need to just know that God is there holding us in the midst of pain and the tough times in life.  It is in this comfort, He gives us peace for the situation we are going through.  It is in His unconditional love for us that we have the strength to keep going.  And the hope for a better future.  In His love, healing happens if we allow Him to heal that hurt.  So whatever your going through know that you have a Heavenly Father that loves you more than you can imagine.  And He wants to walk through this journey called life with you.  We are not created to live life alone.  

Dreams

Last week my Pastor was preaching on the woman at the well (John 4:1-18).  He was talking about her history and where she was at that point in her life.  This woman was ridiculed by people in her community.  Because of this she would go to the well when no one else was there.

One thing that my Pastor brought up was this woman may have quit dreaming and thinking that her future could be better than what it was.  But one day Jesus met her at the well and changed her life.  My Pastor then asked us “did you quit dreaming.”  This question got me thinking.  I realized in the last couple years I somewhat quit dreaming. And when I did dream I would think of a reason why it wouldn’t work.  I also had become complacent in my life especially professionally.  I put my own ceiling on my career and my life.  But by doing this I put limits of myself and on God.

But with some changes in the last couple, this has caused me to start dreaming again.  And  this week, I was challenged to reflect over the last couple years and where my mindset was at that time.  This reflection has made to start dreaming with limits because I serve a God who is limitless.  I am no longer going to look at my dreams through the lens of my past failures and hurts.  I am excited to dream again and continue making my dreams come true.

What dreams are you not pursuing because of your past, your current circumstances or the limits you put on yourself?  So start dreaming, let the Father run with your dreams and take you to places you never imagined.

 

 

Restlessness

Part of having a blog of this nature, is being transparent and vulnerable with others.  I do not talk about my struggles in this area of my life very often let alone for all the world to see.  But I know this is something that God wants me to share with you all.

In the last month, I have been feeling a restlessness about my singleness.  Most days I am happy single, love where I am at in life and would not want it any other way.  But this restlessness kept coming back off and on this last month. This was more than usual.   New Years eve this year it all came to a head for me.  I was feeling lonely and just sick of being single(I watched a Hallmark movie which didn’t help my feelings).  Tired of doing life alone as a single woman.  Instead of continuing to ruminate in it, I decided to have a heart to heart with God that night before I feel asleep.  I laid in my bed with my journal and just poured my heart out to God.  I wrote about the feelings that I was having for about the last month or so.  And just gave it to Him and let Him love on me.  Did this change my singleness? No.  And yes I am sure I am still going to struggle with this from time to time.  But by the end of writing several pages, I felt loved by my Father and not lonely.

Whether this part of my life will ever change, I am okay with this because I know who God says who I am!  And He has an amazing journey planned for me.  I also know that I would rather be in God’s will and be single than being out of His will and be married or in a relationship.  And no circumstance or feelings I am experiencing will change that. This is a beautiful fact.  This New Years eve I have learned to embrace my feelings but in that then give it to God rather than ruminate on it.  I also relearned no circumstance or feeling is going to change who God says I am.

 

The Waiting Place

This is something that I wrote a little over 3 years ago.  Thought I would share this with y’all.

God has been teaching me patience and to wait on his timing.  Until recently, I feel like I was in the waiting place(according to Dr. Seuss) for a long time and in many ways I am still in the waiting place.  Excerpt from Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss:

“You can get so confused

that you’ll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or a No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.”

It is in this waiting place that we often get impatient and frustrated with God and life. And  we ruin what God may have in store for us.  Granted God can use all situations even if its not in His plan for His glory.  But where we may end up might not be as good as God intended us to be.  We humans have a way of getting in the way of God because we think that we know best for us.  But in reality the creature(us) does not see the whole picture like the Creator(God) does.  So how can we know what is best for us over the Creator that created us into existance.

Sometimes we need to stay in this waiting place for God to prepare us for something greater than we can imagine.  The waiting place is not an easy place to be but it is in that waiting place we can experience the peace and love of our Creator.  Even though we may have no idea what is going to happen next.  In uncertain times there can be peace and joy because we have our Creator walking beside us in life.  Do I have life all figured out?  Nor will I ever on this earth but I do know that I am a child of God.  Who has a God that loves me more than I can imagine and fathom.  (It still amazes me that God would love me and that He wants a personal relationship with me with millions of people on this earth.)  And I would rather be in the waiting place with my Creator than on my own.  We need to sit back allow God to do the work and be ready to follow His calling for our lives out of the waiting place.

Ordinary Moments

This morning we had some snow and ice.  While ice is beautiful to look at, it can be dangerous.  Through out the morning my roommate’s dog, Neah, wanted to go outside.  I would go to the door and open it for Neah to go outside. But she would just stand there, look at it and refuse to go outside .  After a few times of repeating this process, I became annoyed.

As I continued to drip pretzels in chocolate, I wondered what life lesson I could learn from Neah.  The thought came to me I wonder how many times we do this to God.  How many times has He asked me to go ahead and trust him on something.  But I just stood there, look at it and refused to trust Him because I was scared.  Or how many times has He showed me something beautiful ahead in my life but for this beautiful thing to happen in my life I had to change or step out in faith.   But I didn’t do this because I did not want to go through the pain of change or I thought I knew better for myself.

Sometimes in life God wants to show us something in life’s simplest moments.  We just have to pay attention or we will miss them.  What does God want teach you in your ordinary moments?

Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” – The Christian Recorder of March 1862

I remember hearing this saying as a child and I am sure I used it several times myself.  But as an adult, I started to think about the meaning and the implication of this saying.  Reality is that words can hurt and can be painful.  And once said they can not be unsaid.

This week there was a wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee that destroyed many acres of forest, homes and businesses.  There was a lot of damage done by this fire and the damage will take a long time to clean up from.  While fire is something that can be so beautiful it can be so devastating also.  I liken this to our words we say.  Words can be used to encourage and build up others or ourselves.  But they can also be used to tear down and hurt others.  And if words are used to tear down and hurt others, the affects can be there for many years.  Sometimes we replay those words ourselves and we still hear them many years later.   In many cases healing can take many years.  James talks about this very thing.

“A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!” – James 3:3-10

When speaking to others, we should be speak with purpose.  This purpose would be to speak in love to others and to point others to our Father.

 

Good Good Father

“I love you, Marilyn!  You are my daughter.  I have chosen you.  I have loved you before you were born.  Nothing changes this love – nothing you do, nothing that has been done to you and nothing you struggle with.  No matter how many times you doubt me, no matter how many times you don’t trust me or no matter how many walls you think you have between you and me. I am your Father! I love you more than you can imagine!”

It seems this is a reminder God has to give me every once in a while.  As someone once told me sometimes we have be reminded of the simple things over and over again in our relationship with God.  One of these lessons for me is that He loves unconditionally and He is not going to let me down or hurt me.

In the last year, I have learned He is a good Father.  This started with a conversation with my pastor.   In a conversation, my pastor brought up that I see my heavenly Father through the same lens as my earthly father.  Realizing this made realize that I do not see my heavenly Father the way I should.  Yes, there were many times I trusted Him and there were many times I had faith in Him.  But then there were many other times I would try to do life on my own.  Because I thought I had to because of the earthly father figures in my life who have let me down or have hurt me.  It boiled down to me thinking I could only depend on myself.  And this created a very independent spirit in me.  While being independent is not entirely wrong, it is not always conducive when you’re in a relationship. Especially with your Creator.  There were many times I would (and still do) mess things up in life because I thought I could or had to do it on my own.

As I worked through this part of my journey this year, there were times it seemed like I was never going to get it.  But then there was a point where I realized I had started to grasp this.  I was in an interview (for my current job) when I was asked what was one thing God has taught me in the last year.  The only thing that came to my mind was that He is a good Father.  As I told the interviewer my answer, there was the start of tears in my eyes of joy.  It was in that moment I realized I believed these words He had been telling me over and over again in the last year!

I know I will need to be reminded of as I continue to deepen my relationship with my heavenly Father.  I know there will be times that I try to rely on myself and not on my Heavenly Father because that is my tendency.  But in those moments I am reminded His grace is there for me and will continue to be there.

This song is something I have held onto in the last year as I have walked this part of my journey.  Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin ft. Pat Barrett

Hope

A  family that is close to my heart lost someone this week.  This man died doing what he loved.  He loved the Lord and he shared this with others he met.  This challenged me to think am I doing what I was created for and what in my life stands in the way of my relationship with my Creator.

In college, it became clear to me what my passion in my life is and what drives me to get up in the morning.  My passion is to help people see the light at the end of their tunnel or to be the lantern in the tunnel until they reach the next lantern.  This light I am referring to is hope.  Hope will get you through a lot.  Hope is what you turn to when life is messy and you are not sure what to do next.

We can count on Lord God to provide the best hope for us because He is sovereign and sees the whole picture.  This does not mean that life will always be smooth sailing and we wouldn’t any trials along the way.  Because we will and when we do if you have a relationship with your Creator – Lord God then we do not have to do life alone.  Doing life alone is hard and a life filled a void that only your Creator can fill.  And life is hard sometimes even when you are doing life with your Creator.  But you don’t need to do life alone and He provides hope in His promises in the toughest moments.

Are you doing what you love?  Are you in the purpose you have been created for by our Creator?  And what hope can you offer to others in your life?

 

God thoughts

Ever wonder what God’s thoughts are when He is creating the world? Well I did a little while ago on the way to work. It went like this.
“I am going to create to give this woman a compassion for others. So one day she can use that compassion to help those in need and she is going to make an amazing mom. She is going to resilient so she can have the courage to make it through the craziness life sends her way. And I am going to give her a love for football to distress.”


“I am going to place this creek here. Because without it here there would not be enough of water in the area to provide for all the animals and the plants. And this is going to provide a peaceful place for one of my created beings to find rest.”


“I am going to give this dog a desire to protect those he loves but also is gentle with a child. And he is going to love chewing on wood and dig holes for fun!”


“With this man, he is going to love compute numbers and design things. So he can create a bridge that is safe to drive over in his community. And he is going to be silly and goofy so when his little girl wants him to dance; he does it and he doesn’t care how he looks. He just wants to make her happy in that moment!”

“I can’t wait to paint the sunset because I know it’s Marilyn’s favorite time of the day! And it’s her reminder that I love her.”


“This tree is going to be a home for animals but I am going to add these beautiful flowers that are pink with a white center. So someone can come along and enjoy the beauty of this tree in the busyness of life.”


“I am going to put this colorful rainbow in the sky so my daughter and son can smile and find joy in the midst of life’s roughest moments.  It is my reminder to them of my promises and that I am sovereign over all on this earth.”

I could go on and on with this and it is fun to think what God’s thoughts might be. It amazes me that God’s creative inspiration doesn’t run dry.  Each person, animal, plant, snowflake, sunrise, etc are all different. There is no two created beings or things exactly the same! This thought alone blows my mind let alone the other amazing things God does!

But I also know another thing He created was a redemption plan for mankind. When we deserved spiritual death, God sent Jesus to take our sins so that we may have eternal life and freedom! And all we have to do is accept this gift.

Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Marilyn

I took this picture last week while I was on vacation in Cottonwood, Arizona.

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