Needed: Open-Heart Surgery

Symptoms:

Offended, Inability to form meaningful relationships, Stony (impenetrable to the word of God and wise counsel), Calloused, Unable to love genuinely, Lacks empathy, Incapable of making a sound judgment without being overly emotional

Diagnosis:

Broken, Unhealthy heart

Cause:

Issues of life can leave our hearts broken and unhealthy. The state of the world adds fuels the fire because we are surrounded by so much negativity. If we aren’t careful, our hearts can become molded by outward carnal influence instead of positive spiritual influence. The things we experience can shape our perspective and hinder our ability to love. I know this all too well. I’ve experienced plenty of heartache in my life. Some time ago, I found myself wounded and in a place, I thought I would never be in. As a result, I became leery of people. I didn’t want to be involved with anything that involved connecting with others. This was unlike me because I have always been a very relational person. Yet, I found myself putting up walls that would ensure that my heart would be safe from any future trauma. I began to push people away and categorize them. I stopped sharing intimate parts of my life and was very careful about who I communicated with. For a while, I was so overtaken by my emotions that my responses were quite impulsive and I was unable to make sound decisions void of my feelings. It was a slow fade. The process started inwardly and gradually seeped into other areas of my life. I lost interest in anything that involved people. I decided to focus solely on my family and my immediate circle. There was no longer a desire to invest and build any other relationships. In my mind, it became obvious that the general standard of loyalty differed greatly from mines.
Throughout this process, I felt a spiritual disconnect and I knew the reason why. I had allowed my hurt to change my heart. Also, I had left room for anger and other unhealthy things to come in. I knew I had to do something.

Treatment:

What did I do? I went to the Father and laid it all on the table. I was honest about my feelings and the state I was in. I told Him all about my hurt and how I allowed it to change me. I also had spiritually strong friends who helped me navigate through my emotions and to share my heart with. They held me accountable when I didn’t want to forgive and address my issues. It became ugly at times but I had to get my healing. I began to pray Psalm 139:23-24, ” Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. I had to give the Great Physician permission to perform open-heart surgery on me and the work started. He began to show me the state of my heart. It was worse than I thought. I knew the only way for me to restore its health was to do my part and be transparent with the Lord. I also had to keep my mind on good and positive things. Constantly, my spirit was fed the word of God and I continued to speak it over myself until my heart began to change.

The Prognosis (Outcome):

Heart issues can greatly affect our relationship with God and spiritual growth. Sometimes, we can be unaware that a problem exists. Therefore, we must constantly ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those deep, hidden things to us. Once revelation occurs, we have to willing to be honest and take responsibility for our role in our own destruction. Since then, I have continued the internal work. Although I am not quite where I would like to be, I am grateful for the progress made. I want to have a heart that is malleable to the word of God and full of love. I want to be able to freely give of myself without reservation and think clearly. Currently, I am still recovering. God is answering my prayers daily and my healing is continuing. I am getting better and learning a lot about myself as a person. Most importantly, I am growing in my relationship with Him.

Friends, our Father knows what it means to be broken. Our broken hearts aren’t a surprise to Him. Psalm 51:17 tells us that He will not despise our broken and contrite hearts. He invites us to come and bring our brokenness to Him so He can heal us to wholeness. When I think of our Father waiting on us, I envision a surgeon in His surgical attire who has just scrubbed in and put His gloves on. He is standing with hands up ready for us to lie down on the table. Once we lie down in humble submission, the work begins. I can see the nurse, the Holy Spirit, in the room. He is passing the Father all the right instruments to get the job done and monitoring our vitals as well as our progress the entire time. Don’t you know that the Father is ready to perform open-heart surgery and remove anything that is stopping our hearts from functioning the way He intended? He wants us to love the way He loves and be free to experience the fullness of Him.

Our God is the one who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

Let Him Do It For You! Get Your Healing!

©️ FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Not Just Stories

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Have you ever felt as if you knew someone based solely on what you have heard without ever meeting them? I have. Such can be problematic due to the error that comes with human communication. Ultimately, the best thing would be for us to get to know someone ourselves. The same was true back in the day of Jesus. Many people had heard about Him by word of mouth. Yet, those that came to know Him for themselves were the ones whose lives were truly changed.

Yes, they heard of the miracles He had performed. Yes, they heard of His teachings. As a result, some were intrigued and wanted to learn more about Him. Likewise, others used the stories they heard to persecute Him. Today, we see the same thing happening in the world around us. Some still doubt Him simply because they believe in only what they see. In John 20:29, Jesus tells the disciples, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Why? Because it is only by faith that we can receive the gift of salvation and come to know Him as the only, true Savior. These stories should increase our faith in Him and be powerful tools to share the gospel with others. The beauty of His story is that it does not change. Its power does not diminish or take away from who He is. His story reaches its fullest potential when we make it ours and lead lives that lift Him and draw others to Him.

John 12: 32 KJV  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Yes, we have heard of Him healing the sick and raising the dead. Has He been a healer to you? If so, you know Him in an even more personal way that has made Him real to you. That is the power of the gospel. It IS NOT just stories. Romans 1:16 tells us that “it is the power of God unto salvation for all those who believe”.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Therefore, we SHALL NOT be ashamed to share it with as many people as possible. Do not sit down on His word and what He has done for you! Let it come alive in our life so it may come to life for someone else. 

From a Seed to Full Bloom

Photo by Khanh Le on Pexels.com

Dear Beloved,

What vision has God planted in your heart? What has He gifted you to do? What interests you? What do you find yourself doing naturally? Get your finger on that one thing. What is it? What if that one thing is all it you need to launch change the trajectory of your life? What if that one thing had the potential to improve the quality of life of those around? Why do you think God planted that seed of greatness in you? God intended for that seed to be nurtured and cultivated. He planned for that seed to germinate and reach it’s full potential. He planned for that seed to sprout and give hope for the future. He planned for that seed bring Him glory. Don’t you know that everything that seed needs to grow is already on the inside of you. It just needs the right conditions to prosper.

What does your seed need? It needs the water of the Holy Spirit. It needs the light of God’s truth and the manna of His word. Then, it has to be planted in the right soil and positioned to receive what it needs. Take heart. The droughts and dark seasons in your life were only for preparation. That’s why you’re still here. Stay put. Stay rooted and grounded. The rain and the sunshine are coming. You will reach full bloom. Then, your beauty will be a reflection of His glory in the earth.

As stated in Isaiah 60:1-2:

1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

Bloom, my beloved. Stretch out into full bloom. Bloom.

© FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

When…

When darkness falls,

When things are still,

When I’ve put up walls to hide what’s real,

When all seems lost and winds blow to and fro,

When I’m backed up in a corner with nowhere to go,

When deceitful lies bring tears to my eyes,

When it becomes far too much to hide the pain inside,

When I feel I’m losing and see no possibility to win,

You breath life into my soul and it lives again.

When my body is weak and all strength is gone,

The sufficiency of your sweet grace helps me carry on.

When I’ve lived all the life you’ve planned for me to live,

I’ll be forever rested in your bosom for it’s to you my spirit I’ll give.

When that day comes,

Oh what a day.

I’ll stand face to face with the one to whom I’ve prayed.

There’ll be no more sorrow, no not one,

For my work down here will all be done.

Oh what peace, what joy, what hope shall I behold,

And be it all yielded forevermore unto the one who saved my soul.

When…

© FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

Reblogged from Made of Still

This post is all about the joy of the Lord is my strength The Bible tells us that “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). This is a very popular verse that people can quote effortlessly. It is a verse that has been incorporated into various Christian songs. In this blog post, […]

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

Tears

Photo by Mateus Souza on Pexels.com

My heart has been broken,
My heart has been filled with joy.

My heart has been played with,
As if it were a toy.

My life has been shaken by grief and strained,
My feelings discarded as if they were spare change.

I’ve lain my head in sorrow,
I’ve lain my head in pain.

I’ve felt like I was suffocating,
And would never breathe again.

I have been up,
Lord knows I have been down.

I have smiled,
And I have frowned.

Some have asked me, “What’s in those tears?”,
Many times I couldn’t answer because even I was not clear.

Science says its water, electrolytes, mucus, fat, and proteins,
Some even say their purpose is to moisten and clean.

I guess that could be true because after I let them go, it helps me,
Or they even leave me feeling lighter and more much free.

I could talk forever about all the times I cried,
But the one thing I can tell you is the Father’s been by my side.

He is always there to answer my every cry and call,
Because He is the one who loves me and catches every tear that falls.

©FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Fighting for Us

The past two weeks, I’ve had to watch my children walk through a very familiar place. They have been in situations where they’ve had to choose their responses and choose their battles. Have you been there? I have many times. Each time, I’ve learned something new about myself and have had to decide whether to respond in anger or walk away. The truth is I’ve been on both sides. I am guilty of doing both. At times, I’ve chosen to operate in my anger as well as humble myself. Although both of them have been tough, I can admit that walking away has been the most rewarding. It has left me in a place of solace with my dignity intact. Also, I’ve been able to experience the delivering power of God and His great concern for His children.

The enemy would have us to believe that walking away is cowardice but I beg to differ. It takes more to restrain yourself than to act out in rage. He knows what we have to lose and the risk that comes with operating in our flesh. So, he uses his vices to distract us, catch us off guard, and trigger us to the point of irrationality. Therefore, we have to be spiritually aware at all times. Most importantly, we need to be able to decide if the battle is ours or the Lord’s.

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

In Exodus 14:13, “Moses tell the people to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”. Today, my friends I echo this same declaration to you in the face of opposition. He is faithful to fight for and deliver us. What are the “Egyptians” in your life? If you allow God to move on your behalf, His word promises you shall NOT see them again.

Why? Because we have a Father who fights for us, constantly waging war against the powers of darkness. and deems us victorious in ALL things.

Armor Up: Part 1

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

Ephesians 6: 10-18 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Last Sunday, I heard a message titled,” Built to Last, Dressed to Win”. The reference text came from Ephesians 6:10-17 and focused on the whole armor of God. I would love to go through each piece of the armor. However, I want to focus more on the topic of spiritual warfare. Friends, we are engaged in battle whether we realize it or not. We are fighting for our peace, health(physical, mental, and emotional), families, salvation, faith, and so much more. 

    The truth is we are so enthralled in the natural that we often fail to recognize that a whole new level of warfare is taking place in the spiritual realm. Ephesians 6 and verse 12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. We have a real enemy; it is not one of flesh. Our enemy is Satan. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He comes to steal our joy, peace, and anything else he can get our hands on. That is why we must not be unaware of the enemy’s schemes as instructed in 2 Corinthians 2:11. We cannot afford to be distracted by anything that will keep us from being vigilant and aware of what the enemy sends our way. The Father desires for us to be skillful soldiers in His army. He has given us everything we need to be victorious. He wants us to be able to stand our ground when the enemy comes and tries to invade our lives. 

      One of the things that I love about God is that He is always looking out for us, His children. It’s part of His character as a good father. He prepares us even when we are unaware. I heard that word Sunday morning; the same evening, the enemy attempted to attack my family. Immediately, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Armor Up!” and began to remind me of the seed of the word planted in my heart earlier in the day. Although I was a bit baffled, a great sense of peace came over me. My initial response was not to get upset or respond in my flesh. I resolved to hold my peace and stand still to see the salvation of the Lord. That has been my position until this day. When we understand that our enemy is not people but the one behind the scenes orchestrating the attack, we can cover ourselves in what God has given us. We can remain in godly character in the face of opposition. We can pray for those who wrong us and love them anyway. We can allow God to work on our behalf and lead us by the still waters. We can rest in green pastures. 

What battles are you fighting today, my friend? Are you a good soldier? Or have you resorted to fighting in your might and power? Let me tell you. You won’t last in your self. We can only withstand the fiery darts of the enemy in the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to be strong in the Lord and HIS mighty power. Ephesians 6:11 goes on to instruct us to put on the FULL ARMOR of GOD so that we will be able to stand. 

Armor Up, Christian Soldier! Armor Up!

© FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Trust His Plans

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All of my life, I have been a planner and an overachiever. By the time I was in high school, I had at least the first 20 years of my life mapped out. I would graduate from high school, attend a 4-year university, go to medical school, and become an Ob/Gyn. Thereafter, I would buy a home and travel the rest of my life. How many of you know that my life now resembles less than 50% of the way I planned it? Where was my husband and children? What about my 18-year teaching career and all of the other things I have done in my life? Good question! They were not originally part of my plan. However, they have by far brought the most joy out of me and my life.

Now, let me be honest. I sometimes wonder what my life as a doctor would have been like because I have always been intrigued by science and the human body. That is the reason I decided to pursue a degree in Biology. It is also why I taught science for 18 years. When I think about how God’s plan for my life has evolved since I was 14 years old, I am very grateful. I may not have become a doctor but I have taught numerous students who have become doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, lawyers, teachers, artists, and so much more. I have been blessed to attend graduations, weddings, baptisms, and baby dedications. Would I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people of all ages and pour into them? Maybe in some other capacity but I am so grateful for what God has done.

I think sometimes we tend to get so focused on what could have been that we forget to live in the moment and recognize what God is currently doing in our lives. When we do, we miss out on the joy of living in the “now” of God’s plan and all of the valuable lessons that He is teaching us. Yes, I could have been a successful physician. Yes, I could have been around the world and back by now. Yes, I may have even had more money than I do right now. But was that God’s plan for my life? If it was, He would have brought it to pass. That is why is so important to not lean to our understanding and to seek Him in every way, so He can direct our paths as instructed in Proverbs 3:5-6. Only He knows what lies ahead and the plans He ultimately has for us. As His children, we have to learn and believe it with our whole hearts. We have to learn to be content in any and every circumstance. We have to be intentional in our gratitude for the life He has blessed us with, even if it doesn’t look like what we imagined.
When we shift the posture of our hearts, our eyes will shift too. We start to see things differently. Then, we can live in expectation and excitement about what lies ahead of us even when fear tries to creep in and rob us of trusting God.

Do you have anything in your life that seems to cause you to worry instead of hope for the future? What do you fear? Maybe things don’t necessarily look like you wanted them to. Don’t lose hope. Don’t allow the enemy to cause you to fall into his trap. He knows your future. So, he desperately desires to distract you from the promises of God. If so, ask God to restore your hope and give you a glimpse of what’s to come. He will do it. Don’t worry about where you are going because God is already there and He has good plans for you.

Rest in His promise found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

Be blessed!

©️ 2022 FREE. All Right Reserved.

Worthy

God has a way of opening our understanding by using the things of this world. As a child, I would watch the women in my life settle for less in life and relationships. I could never understand how women who I saw as strong and beautiful could allow a man to devalue or mistreat them. As I got older and began to grow into a young woman, I become more and more intentional about what I wanted the landscape of my life to look like. I was determined to not allow anyone, let alone a man to define me as a person or mistreat me.

Although I didn’t see a lot of examples of healthy relationships growing up, God allowed me to see the right way things should be. The more I observed and got into His word, I began to picture what that could look like in my own life. By the time I’d met my husband, I was certain about my expectations in a romantic relationship and was determined to have nothing less. If we aren’t sure of what we want and what God desires for us to have, there is no way we will aspire to live out our divine purpose in every area of our lives. We not only have to knowledgeable of what God desires for us but we must also believe that we are worthy and capable of having it.

I had to learn to love myself and see myself as worthy of the best. That was a process for me because for a long time I allowed the enemy to feed me all of the reasons I wasn’t worthy of love. Isn’t that just like him? He is a liar. He is a thief. He is a deceiver. If we allow him an inch to roll out his lies out in front of us, he will make them a mile long. If we aren’t careful, we will entertain those lies long enough for them to appear as truth. One day, I decided that I was either going to feed myself death or truth. What was I eating? The bread of life or the dish of death. In order for me to flourish, I couldn’t partake of both.

I think we have to examine ourselves daily and take inventory of our lives. How does the life we are living compare to the one God intends for us to have? Sometimes, we can become so desensitized by the cares of this world that we can become disillusioned. We can fall into thinking we are on the right track only to find that we are so far from the truth. I don’t know about you but I’ve often found myself in places spiritually that I didn’t care to be. I had to shake myself. I had to remind myself of who and whose I am. I have a Father who fully knows ad loves me. He knows my faults and failures. He knows strengths and victories. He knows that I am unworthy of His love. Yet, He gives it so freely, unbiased, and abundantly. Why? Because He sees me as worthy of it all inspite of me. He has that same perspective of you, Dear Friend.

If He would go to such great depths to bring us back to Himself, we must be very valuable. So, if the Father of all creation thinks so highly of us, why should we believe less. We must be worthy. Yet, we must know this and grab hold of this truth because our very lives depend in it.

Beloved. you are so worth it. You are W-O-R-T-H-Y.

©️ FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: