holding fast

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
*Psalm 16:6-8 ESV

The path has been quite rocky over this most recent leg of this journey.

Changes left & right have caused me to recenter & stand firm on the unshakeable truth: God alone is my sure foundation.

I have had to take a step back & closely examine what matters most to me, and He has been reshaping me on the inside while the storms swirl around me on the outside.

By the way, a storm is anything that tries to knock you on your Foundation.  It can be a temptation, a spiritual attack, a crossing of a boundary, a sudden loss….any unexpected change, big or small.

God has been quietly prompting me to allow Him to set my boundary lines, and giving me the strength to hold fast to Him as I do.

Boundary #1: God time is in permanent marker in my schedule, wherever & whenever He wants. 

Allowing Him ownership blesses my time, makes me more confident He is with me & more productive at all I do.

Boundary #2: Self care under His direction is not selfish.

This includes enforcing my need for balance. Too much work at a time leaves me exhausted & drained. As part of my work is freelance, I now have boundaries on when I will/will not work which God is helping me reinforce.

Boundary #3: After God, my family is more important.

God didn’t just randomly refer to children as treasures or gifts we were never meant to unwrap. Your spouse is to be your best friend, the one you go to first after God with whatever is bugging you. God wants us to have daily family time, however that can look for your family. Meals, DVD, walking, laughing, worshipping together…. We miss the tight bonds God planned for us when we fail to put family ahead of all else after Him.

Boundary #4: Saying no is to be welcomed when it is enforcing a boundary, and/or following His leading.

I have a hard time with this one, as several people around me like to try and bypass my no. What is urgent to them is to become my urgent project to be immediate dealt with. If I am already working, or on a day off, I need to say no or not yet.  If they can’t accept it, that isn’t my problem. As the Polish saying goes, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!”

The reality is: I am not on call 24/7 to anyone but God or my family.

I suspect I am not the only one who needed to read that truth today. If your ‘no’ is not being respected, then quite honestly the requester is not respecting you. Stand up for yourself, and if you have to, take a stand. I have left a job I was very good at because my employer crossed the boundaries I had clearly set. As much as I hated doing so at the time, it was the best thing I could have done for myself to learn how to enforce my boundaries, knowing God was with me as I did so. No means no.  God will back you for standing firm on a boundary He has helped you set.

Boundary #5: God & I together are free to change, adapt or create new boundaries at any time. I don’t need anyone else’s permission to follow His lead.

Now, if I do something completely out of character or fall into sin, it will become obvious to those around me whether God is in it or not. We are known by our actions & their fruit, not only our words. We are to be considerate & honor one another, and at the same time we are not be someone else’s doormat to be walked all over at their convenience.

I speak from experience that I have learned the difference between serving & being a slave.

I will not head back into the chains God rescued me from.

I had spiritually cowered like Piglet for way too long, being timid and afraid to speak up for myself. Allowing God to direct me into healthier living has enabled me to see that where He wants me to step, in His Presence, will lead me towards becoming the ‘me’ He designed me to become.

Final Thoughts:

I don’t need to apologize when I improve for the better, when Holiness & Love grip me so tight I become broken to be rebuilt into something better & more precious: More His.

My boundaries all lead back to freeing myself to live more fully in the wide open spaces of His love, mercy, grace & Presence, where He is constantly with me.

So the winds will continue to try & sweep me off my feet. Let them come, I say:

Because if I am already on my knees, I will not be shaken.

God’s promise: When I stay close to Him & follow His lead, He’s got me solidly 100% on His grip.

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In His strength, I can stand firm and hold my ground when the storms circle about me.

Hold fast, dear ones.
God knows the way ahead, and the way through.
He’s got you.

come back to life

Let everything bad escape and take the pain with it so you can come back to life.

#TheMercifulScar

I have found that God is truly the only way to leave my past behind, in its icky pain hurt loss filled entirety.

It is one thing to share your hurt with another person, as there is great value in companionship, being heard and receiving love.

Its another thing to bring it to God, who already knew everything in its entirety because He was there at each pain filled moment, and knows how to release and free us from it.

Permanently.

Eternally.

The cool thing after God sets you free? You can go back to your history, recall it and remember it without the emotional baggage soundtrack pushing your buttons.
The fact it happened to you doesn’t change, but you are not stuck in the memory reels on constant rewind, stirring up all the pain hurt frustration anger as it used to every time you tried to revisit.

That is true freedom from a nasty memory.

If you are anything like me, you too may have a tractor trailer filled with pain, regrets, memories you allow to trail behind you, sapping your joy and strength in the now.

But you don’t need to take it with you anymore.

God is waiting to unhitch your baggage from you. He is the key to your freedom.

How do I know?

I have left abandonment, rejection, molestation, rape, self injury, verbal abuse, bullying, labelling, betrayal and intense grief behind me.

How?

God set me free.

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(Image from: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/files/wh6_uploads/images/1310-unlock-past-art.jpg)

Who Jesus sets free is truly free. (John 8:36)

As the Message version puts it, free through and through.

Your mind becomes free to think about current and future things.
Your body becomes free to release its physical stresses.
Your heart is free to love with abandon, no holding back.
You are able to forgive, freeing yourself from what you did and what was done to you.
You are made new.

There are many different tools God uses to set His beloved ones free.

Theophostic and Sozo are the two types of counseling that I have been led through where God led the pathway to freedom through listening, caring believers.

Don’t wait to be set free.

Start your new life today by taking a step away from your past towards God.

He is waiting to break the chains that are harming you and holding you back from all He has for you:

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out––plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else.”

Jer 29:11-13 (Message)