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Life is not Perfect!

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

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Life is not Perfect!

The pain and heartache
They come and they go
Cutting deep
Wounding the soul

Burdens too much to carry
Spirit weighed down
Living in the here and now
Sorrow abounds

Life is not perfect
Nor was it meant to be
A precursor of something better
A realm yet unseen

The heart it beckons
The spirit it yearns
The soul cries out
This world it spurns

Hope lies beyond
High in the heavens above
A continuous fount of life
God’s river of love

Loving arms of comfort
Sweet prayers from thine lips
Peace for the moment
Grief stands eclipsed

Through mercy and grace
The pain subsides
Where once heartache dwelled
Now joy resides

Alone {Hollyn}

There are days when we just feel alone midst an all-consuming world! However, we can stand firm in the promise that God is with us always…he will never leave you or forsake you. Yes, there will persecution and suffering (John 16:33, John 15:19-20).

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:8

Mansion in Your Mind (NF ~ Mansion)

Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 14:27

tears

Coming from a background of abuse and chaos, secrets which have passed away with those who have left this world, I find myself trapped inside my own mind at times. For years I have covered up the pain, anguish, guilt and shame, but as God has shone his glorious light into my heart, the darkness has fled. There are times where satan reminds me of my past, brings up fears and fantasies that don’t belong in rooms within my mind! Thank you Lord that you have overcome so that I too can do the same, in your strength and power! So blessed to have a God that is bigger than me, a God who loves me in spite of myself, a God who knows me inside and out and chases after me anyway!

“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered,
each to his own home, and to leave Me alone;
and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:32-33

Swinging Pendulum

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Oh, the struggle! Sometimes life is just an uphill battle with plateaus that enable us to rest but for a moment before we must ascend yet again! Seems recently that I have been on a swinging pendulum of emotions…just trying to make each day count for something more than merely existing. Though I am a Christian to the core of my very being, and know that every breath is a blessing sent by God and each day a gift…I feel as though I am spinning my wheels recently.

There truly is a battle beyond what I can see, a battle between good and evil, a battle for my heart, mind and soul! At times, I am oblivious to it, going on my merry way with pep in my step, a smile on my face, and laughter to fill me and to share with those around me. Other times, I am so aware of the battle that it is all I can do to cling to the joy and peace that is God!! This week has been one of those times!

Back and forth I swing, one moment joyous and the next heavy in heart and feeling so lost. I will admit, that I do know God is with me through all the emotional swings and the moments when darkness surrounds and part of me feels dead….and I am ever so thankful that God has settled his spirit within me to keep me moving forward, keeping my eyes fixed on him no matter how I feel!! I realize how great God is in my darkest moments and am so very grateful He is my guide, my hope, my strength and shield, my joy and peace, my ALL!

Feelings can mislead us all, but they can also remind us of the battle we face. It is my prayer that the armor of God will cover us all, keeping us in the refuge and power of the one who can destroy the evil that tries to rip our joy away! May you always seek His face, knowing that despite the swinging pendulum of life…..HE holds YOU tightly in His arms, protecting, guiding, renewing, strengthening, and fighting for us!

All my love and prayer (prayers that my mind rests tonight as well!)

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 14:28

Swinging Pendulum

Back and forth
Tick tock
Life passes by
Ready or not

Emotions swing
To and fro
Battles beyond sight
Struggles of thought

Hold on tight
Wield the Sword
Know the truth
Guard the heart

God is there
Never leaving
Always protecting
Evil is naught

Hold tightly to Him
Renewing strength
Each day is a gift
Be not distraught

Time presses on
Though the pendulum swings
Rest in His arms
In His love be caught

Growing Pains

As another crazy, yet blessed year comes to a close, I find myself glancing back at what I have accomplished, how far I have come, and how much I have grown. I think it is truly amazing how God uses all things to bring growth and glory in my life, and in the lives of all his children (including you!).

This past year, like so many before it, has seen its share of pain and anguish: the death of my father, my uncle, and a close friend, family chaos and fighting (which often sadly occurs when death comes), broken relationship and a shattered heart, an unexpected move, and financial strain. Yet, oddly enough, this year brought beauty, healing, love, and provision through it all.

You see, despite the pain and suffering, God was in it all, working his will, his plan, his glory through all of it. Pain and suffering is a normal part of life and an integral part of spiritual growth.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 5:5-8 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Jesus Christ Himself was not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. Pain and suffering in your life is one way that God prunes you, building you up and making you stronger. Much like a great work out at the gym, there is often pain afterward (even during the workout as you push yourself), but the results are wonderful in the long run if you keep working out and building up muscles that increase your strength. Another example is the olive tree. A farmer must cut (or prune) the branches back in order for the tree to produce a more abundant crop the next season. If it is not pruned, it grows unkempt, producing less fruit, and therefore yielding less profit for the farmer.

John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

You and I are the branches on the tree of life, and if we are not pruned, we tend to not bear the fruit of righteousness, purity, or holiness. We become weak, wild, and unkempt, losing sight of what we are here for–to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord, bringing others into his kingdom, showing the light of God for all to see.

Pain and suffering in this life are also motivators for growth. When you get stuck in the mundane routines of life–work, family, home, friends, etc., it is easy to get comfortable and not change or stretch outside of your comfort zone. Going back to the workout example, if you keep doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, you will see results, but eventually they will plateau and your workout routine will be only for maintaining, rather than continued strengthening. Even weight loss will fade if the workout routine stays the same. You have to change things up to see continued results, to build more muscle mass, to thin out more, and to tone consistently.

Spiritual growth is similar. If church and scripture become mundane routines, the same thing day in and day out, you will get stuck, your spiritual growth will plateau. God wants your spiritual growth to excel, to continue to grow each and every day. This means that you have to be forced out of your comfort zone sometimes, and often the only way to get you to do that is through pain and suffering. When life is grand, going smoothly, and you have no worries or stress, God tends to be put on the back seat. Ever notice that your prayer life and devotional time picks up a great deal when there is pain, suffering, trials, or tribulations in your life. That is because during those times, your reliance on God is stronger and more evident. You can’t fix things, make them better, or change them, and thus you seek God, seek His will, His discernment and wisdom to handle all that you are facing. You may even reach out to others in your community–church, work, home, neighborhood–for help and guidance.

Often during the most painful times in our lives, we are forced to take responsibility for our failures and learn how to adapt and change so as to not make the same mistakes next time. Other times, we are confronted with requests that take us out of our cushy comfortable place to become a witness and light for God. It may be that you are asked to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. Perhaps you are being called to share your pain with someone in order to show the glory of God as he brings you through it. Maybe the pain in your life is building perseverance, patience, or other spiritual fruits in your own life. Whatever it may by, God is using the pain and suffering to motivate change and growth in your life.

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Though I faced my share of pain and suffering in 2014, I can look back on each and every moment and see God’s mighty hand at work through the entire event. Through the deaths that came into my life, I was able to find courage and strength to do what was right midst the chaos and family fighting. Though my heart was broken and a relationship ruined, I was given comfort and wisdom midst the storm, making a few of the toughest decisions of my life, which ultimately brought peace to me and my son. Even through the financial difficulties, God changed my view of budgeting, helping me save more than I have before. In the moments of pain and suffering, I didn’t always see his mighty hand at work, but looking back on the year, it is evident he was with me, guiding, building, refining, and growing me into the woman of God he designed.

So, my friends, fret not when you are facing pain, trials, tribulations, or suffering, for in time, God will produce an abundance of fruit, helping you change the old patterns of life, enabling you to grow spiritually! With that said, I look forward to another year and what may come–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Bring it on, for with God, we can all rest assured that good will come, hope will be renewed, and the future will be bright.

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.

God bless and keep you in the coming year and always! May you rejoice midst the pain and suffering, knowing that God is working all things for your good! He is with you always and forever, and will never leave you nor forsake you, providing all you need to face all that comes your way.

In Christ’s Love ❤

Oh to be Held!

If the LORD had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
~ Psalm 94:17-19 ~

Sinking among the waves of emotion
Drowning in a sea of sorrow
Praying for the beacon amidst the darkness
Wanting to be held

Hiding in recesses of my mind
Wandering among thoughts still unknown
Seeking clarity through the storm
Needing to be held

Stumbling through the streets of chaos
Falling to my knees
Hoping for an end to the brokenness
Yearning to be held

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oldtestamentwellness.com

Stuck in the traffic jam of life
Moving in slow motion
Slipping further and further behind
Wishing to be held

Holding it all together
Hitting my head against the wall
Desiring to just let go
Craving to be held

Up or Down

Reality will come! Whether we choose to walk in it or not is a conscious decision each person must make for themselves.  Nothing we hide will remain hidden, nothing we shove on the back burner will be left there, nothing covered up by fake smiles and masks will go unrevealed. God wants us heart and soul, body and mind, and he will do all it takes to strip away the masks, putting a stop to the parade of illusions we tend to paint for ourselves. He wants rip off the band-aids of our wounds, and bring complete healing inside and out. Though the pain of life comes, and often hits pretty hard, it lasts but only a moment, to be replaced by the glorious love, peace and comfort of the One True God!! I am not exempt of putting on a mask to make it through the day, but when the sun sets and my head rests upon the pillow, God speaks his love and truth to my heart, reminding me to stop putting on my best show and to be a living witness to the pain and sorrow that exists in my life and my heart, so that when he brings healing and joy, others will see his marvelous works.

Father God, if it glorifies you, I pray you give me strength to stand in the here and now, to be real with my emotions, bringing you glory through the healing!! I pray that no matter what I or others face, you remind us that you are near, you are here, you are working all things for our good, Father.

May God bless and keep you grounded in reality, showing you peace and joy through your darkest of times. All my love ❤

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed,
and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.
~ Luke 8:17 ~

Painted faces masquerade
Breezes blowing here and there
Effortlessly gliding through life
Not what they appear

Painful scars covered up
Masks to hide the tears
Parading up and down
Don’t reveal the fear

Dancing feet scurry by
Twirling delicately each day
Tiptoeing around the darkness
Desperately seeking a way

Holding tight to illusions
Mirrors of perfection held high
Don’t let anyone see
Pray they just pass by

Streets paved with eggshells
Treading ever so lightly
Lest the world cave in
Never reveal the unsightly

Swinging through the air
Up and down they go
Stepping in front of the curtain
Putting forth the best show