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Friday, 22 August 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: Fear.

Last week I started a multi-part post on the season of trust I am currently in (post here). This week I am continuing with the undeniable and crippling fear that set in after my act of obedience. 

I've written before on the readiness of devil; striking anywhere God is hard at work. Immediately after hearing from, and listening to my instructions from the Lord the doubt and uncertainty set in. 

My biggest fears were certainly financial. While we certainly could get by on my husbands wage, other factors played in adding to the difficulty of living on a single wage. 

To add to that there was a looming feeling of disappointing those who were closest to me. I was perplexed about what my next moves should be, or even if there should be a next move.

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10

This verse from Isaiah says so elegantly what my soul needed to hear. "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." God is always with us. He always has our best interest at heart. We are His children and He is our faithful father, He would never lead us astray.

The fear did not evaporate immediately, but I had a new weapon in my arsenal. A constant reminder that God would not forsake me, He would not lead me down a path of destruction. A great deal of patience (which I will shed light on next week) has been necessary for this season, and thus it has been easy for uncertainties to continue creeping in.

My prayer on this day is that all would have faith in the Lord. That we would constantly be reminded of His greatness, of His plan, and of His promise to be with us always, strengthening us and carrying us through weakness and uncertainty. Amen!

Have a safe and blessed long weekend!


Monday, 11 August 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: I will trust in You.

I am currently in a season of life that is whole heartedly focused on trusting the Lord. It's on my heart to share this season and this trust, as it has been so life altering for me. Over the next three of four Friday's I will be unwrapping this season of trust, and all the trials that have come with. Enjoy!

"Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

A few weeks ago, after much prayer and several mornings of tear filled commutes to work I decided I needed to end my current employment arrangements. I had spent six months in the position, and while the people I worked with were lovely and I really couldn't complain, I was completely unfulfilled and unchallenged. 

It wasn't an easy decision. I had so many reservations. Was this the right choice? Would we struggle financially? What would I do once I'd quit? Should I find a new job? Should I go back to school? 

I was completely and utterly terrified; but, for the first time I felt 100% positive that I knew what God wanted me to do. He wanted me to quit. 

I obeyed. It felt liberating, freeing, empowering. 

Unfortunately, like all instances where the Lord is hard at work, the devil isn't far behind. Next friday I am going to share the period of fear that followed my act of obedience.

My prayer for this week is that we would have hearts and ears that are open to the Lord in all seasons. That we would be patient and focused; never being distracted long enough to miss a cue from our heavenly Father. Amen!

Have a blessed weekend friends.


Friday, 8 August 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: Wives.

The day has finally arrived; the second wedding of the summer! I'm so thrilled to be able to celebrate the love between two dear friends and God.
In case you missed the posts on the first wedding, you can see them here and here.
"Wives submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22
The act of submission is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "yielding to governance or authority." Personally, this definition causes me to put walls up. The "no one can tell me what to do, you're not the boss of me" walls. The truth is, this is a common misconception. Ignorance to the multiple definitions of the word submit, or submission, causes us to assume that the apostle Paul is conveying to us that we must obey our husbands as if we were slaves.
Submission, like love, has several different biblical definitions. The particular submission that Paul is talking about in this verse: Hupotasso. Hupotasso is a Greek word meaning "to yield to one's advice."
I've always viewed marriage as a sort of "team." Where challenges are met together, and evils are defeated by a united force. On any team you have a captain; the captain is the leader, and a good leader leads by example, they empower their teammates, sacrifice personal glory and advise. They don't enslave, or degrade, or suppress. A good teammate on the other hand respects their captain, they trust their judgment and likewise sacrifice personal glory.
When Paul tells us to submit to our husbands he isn't suggesting that we should become salves. He is encouraging us to trust, respect and sacrifice for them.

The love birds! Photo credit: Barnett Photography.

My prayer this week is for the couple of the day! That they would always remember to submit humbly, through respect, trust and selfishness. That they would empower each other daily. That they would love, forgive and cherish one another always and fearlessly pursue God. That they would practice patience, both with each other and themselves and that they would grow with Christ at the center of their marriage. That they would keep their eyes on Him through all things, never looking outward. I pray every blessing on these two, forever and for always. Amen!

Have a blessed weekend friends! Check back for the wedding recap next week!

xo, A

Friday, 1 August 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: Comparison.

I recently watched a three part series by Andy Stanley called The Comparison Trap. It may have been the most life changing sermon series I have ever watched. I'm sure that it resonated with me so strongly because comparison tends to devour me. It robs me of my happiness and sucks the life from me.
"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30
The premise of the series is that "there is no win in comparison." Those six words challenged me. They challenged me in ways, and on levels that I could not even imagine. I've always fueled myself comparatively. Whether I was competing with myself, or with someone else, I always wanted to be better. Faster. Smarter. Thinner. Stronger. Funnier. Prettier. More successful. The more I believed I was these things, the better I felt. But when I wasn't, emotional and psychological chaos set in.

Photo source: Pinterest
Stanley hits on some topics that a lot of people wouldn't. He enters "unsafe" territory (one of the main reasons I enjoy his series so much). Early on in the series he poses a number of questions, one of them being "who would you secretly enjoy seeing fail?" Wow. Now, if you're a normal human being, one or many names just probably popped into your head. That doesn't make you evil, but it certainly shows the evil that has the potential to live, grow and strangle all of us if we let it.
The truth of the comparison game is that God compares us to no one. He's created each of us to run our own race, to fight different battles and have different triumphs. Instead of expending energy comparing our lives to others, we should be focusing on living God's will. We need to take our cues from God, not from the world.
Stanley leaves us with these words; arguably as challenging as the first, "celebrate what God gives others and leverage what God has given you." Imagine the changes we would see if we celebrated for others, if we expressed positivity rather than envy and jealousy; emotions that rot us to the core.
My prayer today is that we would all be freed from "the comparison trap." Regardless of faith, or relationship with God, we could all benefit from being freed of this heavy, life-sucking cycle. I pray that we would learn to celebrate others triumphs and talents, and leverage our own for God's kingdom.  Amen.
Do you find that comparison is an issue in your life? Marriage? Relationship's? Leave me a comment below!
Have a blessed and safe weekend friends! Enjoy your extra day off!
xo, A