FED up! 


‘And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.’ Ezekiel 36:26 NLT


I am FED up! This acronym popped in my head as I was getting tired of myself yesterday. Tired of struggling with the same issues, tired of doing the same things over and over again and being so tired I am not even expecting different results anymore. I decided that I needed to become FED up with my behaviour and know that this is not part of my new identity in Christ. This is old actions that repeat to the tune of this is getting old already. FED arose from Finances, Exercise and Diet. These have been areas of a lifelong struggle of a lack of discipline but I felt God say this is the end of it Deanna, you need to submit this to me (ALL of It, all the ugly emotions and the I can do it attitude and the belittling words to yourself and the lack of discipline and and…) to do a heart change and not just a temporary behaviour change that you have mustered up.

‘For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:13

I must have been skipping past the ‘through’ things and just thinking I could do everything on my own. As I look around me and listen to people and see how the world is changing and moving so quickly, I am once again reminded how crucial it is to know who we are in Christ. We need to know our identity and live from that place. We need to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God or really what is left when things happen to us and circumstances are difficult and our world changes, sometimes in a moment. A lot of people have asked me lately how is it different being a Christian than not, being married as one and not and my defining answer is that when we don’t know God, we are the end of ourselves. There is no other hope, nothing to look toward, no divine guidance, no grace or mercy. We think we have to know the answers and this is a tremendous pressure because truly we DO NOT know all the answers. But God does. Even if we don’t hear one immediately or get the one we want, He Always knows best.

One thing I do know as I get older is I do not know a lot. This is very humbling but also very freeing. It helps me to trust the One that made the Universe, the One that loves me and is for me not against me, to know the best thing for me. It liberates me to love the others around me without needing to feel like I always need their answers but I can point them to the One that does. I can’t remember where I heard or read this the other day but we think faith needs to be pretty to be effective. It is quite the opposite, He wants us to come with all of our sin and realness and ugly emotions, He will meet us where we are at.

Timothy Keller said, “As we adore God and He delights in us, it is the greatest experience of love. If we built our whole life on someone else, we are not free to love them because we need them to affirm us and for them to be ok. We will use them to get value out of them. But, when we are loved by God, we are liberated to love others freely and do what God made us to do. We don’t expect others to fill us.”

No person, place, thing, role, job, title, activity or idea will ever fill the brokenness or longing or sense of purpose like the maker of your heart and identity will. Oh there is temporary pleasure,  as they say sin is fun for a time. Or worldly success but sometimes at a cost. There is genuine fun and delight but the deep longing or desires can lurk under the surface unfulfilled if we try to fill them with things other than God.

If we don’t have our identity rooted in the solid foundation of God and what Jesus did for us we can flounder and what we think is our identity is rocked by; 

One relationship or lack of relationship

One injury

One job loss

A death

Words from others

Trauma

Financial loss

Please hear my heart, I know all of these situations cause heartache and I have experienced most of them, but knowing God and who we are in Him gives a reason to hope. It allows us to trust that He will meet us in our pain and can give purpose to it. He is the steady in our uncertain and when we believe how He loves us we know there is a greater plan. 

So how does this align with being FED up? We sometimes have to come to the end of ourselves to ignite a desire to change. It is in these places we see our need for God. I know renewing my mind with truth in the areas that I have believed is how I will get my freedom. Launching from a place of identity rather than lack, will create sticking places for truth to land. 

How are you renewing your mind today? What lies are you believing that create repetitive patterns in your life? 

Here are a few verses to get you started in God’s truth. Read them, declare them and believe. 

I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4)

I am a child of God (Galatians 3:26 John 1:12,13)

I can resist the enemy (James 4:7)

I am a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)

I have the ability to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19)


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Unfailing Kindness

I love this stage of life that I am in. Although it has taken me a while to embrace it and to be present in it, not thinking there is something I have to do or somewhere I have to be every waking minute, I appreciate everything about it. I get to spend time with my God and my family. I get to write and I get to minister to others. I now am working but very part-time, enough to bless a couple of people a week and take the pressure off our finances as I do that. It creates opportunities for stories and to listen. It is a place I know I won’t be in forever but for now I celebrate the possibilities.

I may have missed my latest adventure if not for this season. I was running to the store to pick up some things to love on people this Valentine’s day when this moment was captured. An elderly couple were unloading their groceries in front of me, he very slowly, when all of a sudden she stepped in and starting throwing the items at him to the conveyor belt. Oh my that tickled me and I couldn’t help myself, I said to her, good throw! She shuffled back to me with a smile and said, “67 years of this and he’s getting slow and I have trouble being patient.” I said, well done, that is amazing. You have made it this far. I asked her if they were going to celebrate today. “Well, a little bit, ” she said, “we will go out for supper. We have coupons from the kids and that helps.”

I then asked her if they had children and she proceeded with joy to tell me the plethora of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren they have been blessed with. Her eyes lit up as she shared stories. What a delight she was! It was just a few moments and I giggled all the way home thinking of her throwing those items (by the way, he was a good catch for a slow guy) and I thought for a brief moment of time she forgot her frustration. Sometimes that is all it takes for someone to feel the love of God.tulips

 

I know it is Valentine’s and there is so much hype around this day and difficult feelings and expectations and disappointments. As one of my wise, single friends said, “I just make sure everyone feels loved. You shouldn’t save all the love for one day.” Amen.

It does make us become more intentional to share with those we love though. In that sense the hype is worth it. As with most things, it is what we make it right? My prayer for all on this day that focuses on love, of whom God is the Creator and is Love Himself, is that they would know Him better through loving or being loved. That they are drawn by His unfailing kindness. He is extravagant in His love, get in it.

I pray that all wounds that have skewed hearts or broken them or caused rejection will experience healing on this day. I pray for no landing places for the hurts and rejection and strength to not choose to dwell there. As another wise friend of mine said (yes all my friends are wise lol ) “Rejection doesn’t feel like a choice when it hits your heart so fast, but we do choose to harbour the thought and let it grow into an offense or to rebuke, renounce and repent of feeling offended.” I pray you will choose to let God heal that place.

I pray for hearts that are hurting from loss, that they will be comforted today. I pray for those that do have a special someone to share with to not take that for granted and to celebrate well. I pray that we will give love away, even in a small measure. Even if it is to stop and listen in a grocery store.

I read this the other day, I believe it was someone who had been married for decades, Love is not about give and take, it is about give and give. What can you do to give love away today? Or how did you? I would love if you would share.

John 13:34 ,”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

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All we need is…

loveapple-570965_6401Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

LOVE! There is nothing more telling to me that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine than seeing what He says about love, and watching how we all try to execute this. Our broken brand of this mission is tainted with our wounds, disappointments, rejections, shame, guilt, insecurities and lack. I failed in at least half of these directives about love just today and I haven’t even left my house yet.

But God…

He is love. He is the model of love. If we know Him, we are a demonstration of what His love did for us. He sent His only Son to die for us. Who does that? GOD did! And when we do choose Him, He gives us a new nature, one that is powered by the Holy Spirit to execute the kind of love that He showed us. Our mission is grand, to love the Lord with all of us and to love our neighbour as ourself, but it is not impossible with Him, despite our brokenness.

It keeps no record of wrongs…this is the portion that jumped out at me as I read this familiar love chapter from Corinthians today.  Ironically, I am co-leading a women’s bible study about the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst and it is all about rejection. Rejection hijacks our normal emotions and we absolutely keep a record of wrongs within all of the jabs of rejection that we have experienced if we don’t allow God to heal these wounds.

When our son was smaller he would often scrape his knees when he was playing. No sooner did one wound start healing and scabbing over, when another one would happen in the same place. The scabs showed the healings were happening but were insignificant as another owie ripped the scab off and irritated the sore. We had to watch that they didn’t get infected.

This is often what happens with unhealed rejection in our lives. Escalated emotions during an incident of rejection is a good indicator of past unhealed hurt. An antidote for this is acceptance. As Lysa Terkeurst says,”Acceptance is like an antibiotic that prevents past rejections from turning into present day infections. The need for belonging runs deep.” She also says that, “No amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts. Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing the lies with truth.”

Rejection changes what you believe about yourself and so if you don’t inject God’s truth in those places, it can be a festering wound waiting for the next scraping. Belonging comes from God. His love is like a balm to the soul. His truth goes deep to our roots.

The word tells us in Colossians 3:14. “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Love is something we do, not something we feel. It is a choice. Love is something God does for us, He brings fullness to our empty places. Lysa says,” I can choose to bring my emptiness or God’s fullness into any situation I face. It saves us from begging for scraps of love.”

Love in its fullness is…heart-598048_640

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18, 19

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8

I think you get the idea. In the New International version of the bible, love is mentioned 551 times. I think God was trying to tell us something significant about putting on who He is. As you know from the start of this post, walking in love is not an easy thing to do but we are called to do it. We need to practice walking in love. It not only is an antidote for rejection but for all of the hurts that may be contained in our hearts. He is not finished with us yet and the more we act like Him by being loving, the more we resemble His heart to others that don’t know Him yet.

How does your love reflect God’s heart? What parts of your heart do you need Him to bring healing and correction with truth? How are you bringing God’s fullness to situations? How have your hurts broken the mission of leading others to know Him? What will you do to seek the healing God longs to give you?

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Wounds Unveiled

Jeremiah 6:wound14 & 8:11 “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace, they say when there is no peace.”

Jeremiah 6:15,16, “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”

Jeremiah was calling God’s people back to God but they didn’t like his condemnation of their sins and so chose to ignore that and listened instead to predictions of peace. God had called Jeremiah to warn them as he rose up with vengeance for their conduct. Sin cannot be removed by denying its existence. God gave this warning so that the people could confess and walk in His ways. He does that for us today. Do you have areas of your life that need a touch from God? An area that you need to press in further for full reconciliation?

Are you walking wounded? I believe this is a time that God is calling His people to account, to press into those areas that need healing and reconciliation and not walk around as though without power. Christ in us, the hope of glory! Are you walking in the fullness of what this means? Hear me when I say, I am included in this list and am not pointing fingers. I have heard it said on a few occasions lately, what would my life look like if I was walking in the fullness of what Christ did for me?

I have been praying specifically for revelation in some areas of my life to live this out. I was asked the question recently, What have you been believing if you continue to have the same behaviour even when it is not working? This caused me to press in deep. This was a no peeling layers question, it was a deep cutting to the root one. It was the beginning of a beautiful unraveling; albeit a painful one, that will take consistent hard work with the Holy Spirit to break it off. God knew my heart was ready. The lie: I am unworthy to be loved by people or God, I have to earn it. The truth: I am loved and nothing I have done or haven’t done or will do, will change that. Deception: I have the gift of generosity but the enemy has twisted it into my shame and believing I have to earn people’s love and being generous with all things was the means to do it.

carnivalmaskI have also been deceived into thinking that shame was healed because I did not search to the bottom of the wound. You know when you pass over the surface and it seems enough…peace where there is not peace. I know there are layers and it is a process. I have previously called process the swear word of life but have come to realize that it is just life and we will always be in process until the day of Christ Jesus. My root wound was rejection and my trying to earn love and favour from God and people was my heart’s way to protect itself from that. Performance has been so integrated into my behaviour because of this that even in my path of healing, it still reared its ugly head sometimes in the middle of true generosity. The issues at hand were mainly my spending and my eating.

So this is my call to account. I know this is not every pathway to healing, to display our wounds and behaviours but I feel this is part of the process for me to be able to walk in the fullness of God’s power and life in me. This life is so much bigger than my struggles. I want the pain I have lived and caused to be used for God’s good and His glory. The enemy cannot have this power anymore, I have given it to him too long.

My husband, son and I are currently reading ‘Do Hard Things’ by Alex & Brett Harris – A Teenage rebellion against low expectations. Little did I know it was not just for my son’s benefit. I am discovering that I had low expectations of what God can do because I had not studied His character enough. I had low expectations that my deeply-rooted behaviour could not change because I have taken easy paths in my life often, trying to create peace where there wasn’t any really. I had low expectations of who I am in Christ because my wounds got in the way of fully believing my identity to be true. I had low expectations of the magnitude of our God because my identity did not have a solid foundation in him but I have just taken snippets of truth here and there and let my emotions rule me. I had low expectations of this all because I had not fully surrendered all of my heart to Him.

My word is Trust this year and this is what God is requiring me to do, give Him my heart so He can make it whole. Trust in the Lord with ALL my heart…oh yeah, that is what it says in Proverbs. Where are you withholding your heart from God? What behaviours are you continuing to do and expecting different results?  Take up this call to account and seek healing, forgive, do the hard things, choose peace in the midst of circumstances, ask Him to remove the blinders of your own deception and trust Him with the outcome.

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