Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be Encouraged

A broken down car. An unfulfilled dream. A shattered relationship. A lost loved one. An unexpected illness. A disappointment. A failure. A broken heart. It seems the devastation is all around. And whatever form it comes in, you may find yourself at a place where you simply don't know what to do. Your situation seems hopeless. Your circumstance seems impossible. And what's worse, you just don't have the strength to go on.

Someone said to me, "I just need someone to tell me it's going to be okay." I hear ya, friend, I hear ya. Because in the middle of the storm you're weathering, you simply can't do anything but drown in your circumstance. Feeling every piece of your broken situation, the burden seems overwhelming.

My words alone offer no hope. My feeble insight is not life-changing. My story is not yours. Though my pain is real to me, I may not be able to relate to what you're experiencing. Still, I am here to testify.

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8

Whatever you're facing, He's right there with you. He's making a way. Though you're drudging through the mire and muck, He's already helped clear away the brush and brambles that would have prevented you from moving at all.

"My presence will go with you and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14

Oh someone needs to know this! Sister, brother - His presence is with you! Even when you don't feel it. Even when you can't pray. Even when your heart is so downcast within you - He is RIGHT THERE! Ready to give you rest. Lean back against Him, feel His heartbeat, and breathe in His goodness!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all His benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103:2-5

Yes, you read that right. His ways are good and He desires to give you good things. He not only renews you, He redeems you! Oh, praise Him! He forgives and He heals. From the bottom of the depths of the pit you've fallen into, He reaches down not only to restore you but to adorn you with His love and compassion! I need to shout HALLELUJAH!!!

"I am about to do something new, even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18

And there it is. Claim His promise. Whether this is just a brief storm or if this is the fight of your life, you and I both need to be reminded that He is preparing us for His work. He is making a way where there seems to be no way. He is bringing new life where all things seem to have died. He is about to do something new!

Like I said, my words aren't magical but I pray with all of my own broken heart that you can bask in His goodness and give glory to His name even when all you feel is brokenness and pain. He IS faithful!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Real & Raw...A Prayer to Share


(DISCLAIMER: This is real. It's raw. It's from deep within my soul. And ordinarily something that leaves me so vulnerable wouldn't be something I share. But there are too many people who've crossed my path recently who are hurting, and well, this is for you, too. You may be like me - sometimes to a point where you're so broken, so hurt, so blocked, you don't even know what to pray - or how to pray. So this is for you, too.)

I’m trying to fight this feeling I cannot seem to overcome. It’s as if the enemy himself has a grip so tight I cannot escape, let alone breathe. I am held in the vice of my emotions – desire, emptiness, loneliness, brokenness, jealousy, guilt, disappointment, oppression, defiance, insecurity… I simply cannot get free. I want so badly to let go. I want to give up. I want to experience freedom. I want to know peace. On every angle, I can’t seem to make sense of reality. Once again I feel used and rejected. I’ve being taunted by the enemy and he’s seeking to destroy me. If he can’t take me down, he’ll stop at nothing short of devastating my spirit. What’s wrong with me? Why am I not enough? What’s wrong with God? Why is He not enough for me?

God, I need You. Only You. I want You to be enough. My all-in-all. My sufficiency. My source for whatever I need. My strength. I admit my failure. I admit my weakness. I admit my frailty. In my brokenness I come to You. I’m not seeking You in my need, I’m seeking You out of my want. I want You to be my everything. Nothing else. Nothing less. May You be everything to me.

There is no fear in love and perfect love – Your love – drives out fear (I John 4:18). May I allow Your perfect love to drive out all my fears. I am fearful of being alone, unwanted, unloved, unusable, undesirable. Fearful of rejection. Paralyzed by insecurity. Fighting so desperately for something that I can’t even tell what’s real.

I want my heart to only be devoted to You. You and You alone are my heart’s desire. You are my first and one true love. Help me get back to You. I repent to You. I confess my sin and failure to You. I confess every thought, every emotion and every false belief to You. I lay my life on Your altar and beg your forgiveness. Wash me clean. Help me return to You as my first and only love. Help me remember the things I first did with You as my God and my love (Revelation 2:4-5).

Be all I need. Let me give You my heart. Remind me of who You are. Remind me of who I am. Not who I try to be on my own, but who You sovereignly created me to be (Psalm 139). Let me have a heart after You. May my heart be purified to be Your temple, Your dwelling place. I lay myself, my dreams, desires, failures and flaws at Your altar. I seek to know and do only Your will. I know I will put this on the altar 1,000 times and pick it back up 999 times. Help me to resist. To rest. Be still (Psalm 46:19). Secure. In who I am in You. I must abide in You. Apart from You, I can do nothing (John 15:5).

May my soul find rest in You alone, and may my hope come from You (Psalm 62:5). I voice this prayer to You and ask You to hear. Protect my life from the very real and present threat of the enemy (Psalm 64:1). Lift me out of the pit and set my feet on the rock. Help me stand firm and give me a new song to praise You (Psalm 40:1-3). I am making You, Lord, my trust (Psalm 40:4). You are my hiding place. Protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7). Be close to my broken heart and the spirit that is crushed within me (Psalm 34:18).

Help me forget what is behind and strain only toward what is ahead (Phillippians 3:12-14) – even if I don’t understand, see or know. Help me learn to be content in any and every situation – to do everything through You who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12-13). I cannot do it alone. Hold me and all things around me together (Colossians 1:17). Let me live that I may praise You and may Your word sustain me (Psalm 119:175). I claim Your hand to help me because I am choosing Your precepts (Psalm 119:173).



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

It's Thanksgiving Eve and I am enjoying a lazy morning with a delicious cup of dark roast mixed with peppermint mocha creamer. The rain woke me up last night, among other things. Things bearing heavy on my mind.

I have much to be thankful for: home, family, job security, health, provisions for daily needs... So many recent events and situations have helped reshape my perspective as to what's really important and what to place value on. Certainly I've learned that everything on this earth is temporary. It's all just "stuff" and quite frankly, we could all learn to live with a lot less "stuff."

Even so, as preparations are being made for turkey dinners, I am plagued with the knowledge of individuals who will spend tomorrow alone. It seems to me that on a day meant to "give thanks" being in solitude must strip away any feelings of gratitude.

The bible talks of giving thanks...

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. I Chronicles 16:34 (repeated multiple times in scripture)

Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” I Chronicles 16:35


Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. I Chronicles 29:13

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High. Psalm 7:17

(For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.”) A psalm of David. I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 (David's son had just died!)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind... Psalm 107:8 & 15 & 31

I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. Psalm 118:21

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? I Corinthians 10:16


...as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:11 (I saw this lived out as people prayed for our adoption and saw God answer those prayers. MANY gave thanks on our behalf because of our little boy.)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

There are nearly 50 verses that talk of giving thanks, but in most instances the person giving thanks was purely and utterly to thank God for who He is. Not what He had done. Consider David in Psalm 9, giving thanks to the Lord, being glad and rejoicing, singing praise to his name...even in the midst of his grief over his son. Could I sing praise to God and rejoice in the midst of such sorrow?!

The act of giving thanks in scripture wasn't dependent on circumstances. Surely, we are to give thanks for that which we've received. To say "thank you" and show gratitude should be a natural response for blessings or answered prayers. But what about the act of giving thanks to God, no matter what you're facing, whatever is going on around you, even in the quietness of your solitude, when no one else is looking and your soul is grieved within you. Are you thankful then?

When you haven't received the answer to your prayer. When you've not been granted the miracle you've been hoping for. When you haven't been given the blessing you're seeking. When God seems silent. When you feel alone. Can you thank Him for who He is?

See what Psalms 119 says:

"Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees." (vs. 116-117)

"Let me live that I may praise You, and may Your laws sustain me." (vs. 175)

Sustain me and I will live...live to praise Him. What does that mean?

Sustain - to endure, bear the weight, to support, to keep a person, mind or spirit from giving way.

Today I hope you can find a reason to be thankful. If you're ready to give up or give in, let Him sustain you. Let Him uphold you. Let Him deliver you. May you live to praise Him as He bears the weight of what you carry; to keep you and your spirit from giving way through whatever circumstance you face. And all the while, give thanks with a grateful heart - not because of what you lack, but because He never does. Because He always is. Because of Who He is. Give thanks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let Go (Part 2)

You may have read the last post and wondered what was going on. I can now make it known that on Friday I accepted a new position at Liberty. What will I be doing? Well...it's a brand new position with Graduate & Online Student Affairs, working as the assistant to the Director, handling student conduct and care issues for graduate and online students, developing a small office into the growing needs of a huge population of students, teaching online classes...and who knows what else!

I'm exchanging my Director's title for an Assistant one. I'm turning in my 12x15 private office for a 10x10 cubicle. I'm relinquishing my staff and personnel to become the supporting staff. I'm choosing business casual and leaving the business suits hanging. I'm pulling out of the "limelight" of class presentations and speaking for special events and handling most communications via the internet.

I admit. It's a really weird feeling. I woke up the day after nearly panicked and praying I hadn't made a mistake. So let me take you through the journey God lead me on.

Wednesday night I thought "No way. I'm not taking it. It's 5 steps backwards in my 'career.' I love my job. I'm good at my job. This isn't for me." And then Thursday morning I started reading in my quiet time and sensing God working on my heart. By the afternoon, I was distraught. I opened up my bible. Psalm 23. "The Lord is..." He is everything I need.

And then I read the phrase in Oswald's devotional: "When Jesus says, "Come," I simply come; when He says, "Let go," I let go; when He says, "Trust God in this matter," I trust."

I sat in my office and couldn't stop crying. As if God was sitting right there with me with His hands around me, I knew. I sensed. I felt. His presence. His peace. His persistence. You know when you hear people say "It was as if I heard the Lord speak to me"? Well, I was having that experience. I didn't hear a voice. I sensed it in my spirit. I knew this was His message for me. "Let go. Trust me. I'm going to take care of you. Leave the details up to me."

And so...I took the job. Probably one of the most difficult decisions for me. Ever. In my heart of hearts I could have made my career at the Career Center. But what I've chosen is to let my number one job be mom. See, the new position will give a different kind of schedule and flexibility and pace that doesn't cause me to have to be the boss of an office or a staff - all things I've thoroughly enjoyed - but all things that have certainly taken away my time and energy from what is most important - my family.

I can tell you, I'm still going through a "grieving" process. This is a huge transition. But already I've seen God blessing my obedience and faith, providing new and different opportunities (more on that to come!).


This is a journey. Thanks for coming along with me. Thank you for your support and prayers. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let Go

"It's one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us." - Oswald Chambers

I've gone through the fire. Literally. I've gone through trials. Defamation. Allegation. Accusation. Testing. Trouble. Obstacles. What I'm facing now isn't a crisis, necessarily. But it's testing to see what I'm made of when no one else knows, when no one is paying attention, when quietly, privately I am walking through this. "This" will make so much more sense in a few days when I can openly share. For now, it has resonated so deeply within me that it seems as though a gong is going off with a ripple effect of vibrations that I'm still not sure I fully understand.

This has been one of life's most monumental weeks for me. Six months after the fire, the house was complete and move in day was just 5 days ago. "How's the house?" everyone asks. It's beautiful. But I need you to know - it's just a house. I've learned to not hold tightly to the things of this world. After God taught me this lesson through the loss of most every worldly possession, He saw fit to test my faith and obedience again.

Here's more from Chambers' (same devotional as above, November 16): "If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time."

So today I found myself asking, "Am I wrapped up in getting noticed? Or making sure God gets noticed?" Reading Oswald's words from today's devotional nailed me at my core: "When Jesus says, "Come," I simply come; when He says, "Let go," I let go; when He says, "Trust God in this matter," I trust.

Yes, He is absolutely wholeheartedly testing me on that statement. "Let go," He was saying to me. Would I trust? Would I really take this step of faith? Would I walk away from the limelight and what appears to most as something that doesn't make sense? Taking a step backwards, letting go, trusting God...that's where I'm at.

And I'm here to tell you the journey is only just beginning. I don't know where He's leading or what He's doing. But I know that whether a simple act of obedience or a giant leap of faith, the power of God IS being produced in this weak, but willing, vessel!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Is Me

No really. It's time we have a heart to heart. 

You've seen me on stage. You've heard me belt ballads. You've seen me raise my hands in praise. You've watched me give speeches and presentations. You've seen me poised and posed in front of most crowds. Depending on how long you've known me, you may have been one of the "lucky" ones who watched me turn and smile and walk across stage in my heels and evening gown. (For those who didn't see my pageant days, you may now be having an "ah-ha" moment as things are starting to make sense about me.)

For the most part, I'm an open book. I've put my life out there because so many feel they know me that I felt they really needed to know me. But as one recently said of my blogs "You share your business without telling all your business." Thanks. I like to think it's a skill I've perfected. I'm good at hiding things. I'm good at painting on the smile (after all, I was first runner up to Miss America...indirectly, but that's another story for another day!).

What you don't see - and may never - are the insecurities deep down in my soul. And why on earth would I be sharing this with you and exposing my vulnerabilities?!

Being "on stage" or "in the public eye" for my job, church, and ministry are somewhat by choice and somewhat by design. But because of these "positions" people have ideas about me. I've heard everything from "She has it all together" to "I can't believe how fake she is." We've talked about this before - the comments about my outfits, hair, makeup, weight, the image others have of me and the perceived image they think I have of myself.

Today I'm here to share something profound. Are you ready? Here it is...

I AM HUMAN.

A life. A heart. A soul. A daughter. A wife. A mother. A sister. A sinner. A leader. A servant. A dominant personality. A people person. A people pleaser. A wounded soldier. A scarred believer. A guilty prisoner. A set-free captive. A God-seeker.

Who I am at my core is who God made me to be. There are parts of my personality I can work on and pray through, and there are other strands of my DNA that are just a part of my makeup.

I say things I regret. I do things I wish I could take back. I hurt people. I disappoint others. I fail. I fall. I aim to please and sometimes drastically miss the mark. I seek to serve and sometimes unknowingly ignore a need.

A dear friend handed me Beth Moore's "So Long Insecurity." I'm barely through the second chapter and she's hit me square between the eyes. Oh, this book is for me. This quote sums me up to a tee:

"We need a place we can go when, as much as we loathe it, we are needy and hysterical. I don't know about you, but I need someone who will love me when I hate myself. And yes, someone who will love me again and again until I kiss this terrestrial sod goodbye." - Beth Moore

That's it. That's me. I want to know someone will love me even when I hate myself. I'm needy. I can be hysterical. (Boy oh boy, can I be hysterical.) I've been guilty of looking for my security in all the wrong places. I've known my strength should come from the Lord, but sometimes I've had my own pity party in my weakness.

I beg of you - hear me on this - don't look at me and judge. Don't look at anyone and judge. Whether you have this idea of someone who seemingly has everything together or if you're casting the stone on someone's sin, please look deeper. Just stop to think that behind whatever exterior you see there is probably an insecurity, a wound, a scar shoved down so deep you might not even be able to touch it.

Here's what else you need to know. I am drawn to people but if what you like about me is "me" then I will surely disappoint you. (Do I need to repeat the list about all the ways I fail?!) But here's what else I can tell you. I give you my heart. My broken, shattered, even powdered heart. I've put myself out there and I've been crushed to the point of being pulverized. I've given of myself only to be rejected and betrayed. Why. Not I, but Christ...

My life is not my own. What is woven deep down into my genetics is who God created me to be. Flawed and all, He put this life on His earth as someone who seeks to bring Him glory. If what I do hurts you, I'm sorry. If what I say offends you, forgive me. If what you feel is anything less than loved and wanted, sometimes I know not what I do. But hear this: As much as I fail, and fail others, I serve a God who never does. Great is His faithfulness and all glory to Him!

I pray today you see me -  not "me" in my fallen state but the "me" He's created to share what HE can do!

"If a person attracts through his personality, that becomes his appeal. If, however, he is identified with the Lord Himself, then the appeal becomes what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to glory in men, yet Jesus says we are to lift up only Him." - Chambers

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fight or Flight

(This blog is dedicated to those who love to read all of my business without me telling all of my business. You know who you are and you know I love you dearly!)

Fight or flight. It's the natural human response to a lot of things. Fear. Rejection. Pain. Obstacles. Challenges. Trouble. Disaster.

The "fighters" determine not to let the opposition get the best of them. It becomes a part of the challenge to prove yourself not just a fighter, but a winner.

Those in flight aren't making a statement of being a coward. It is just the opposite reaction to flee from the trouble, avoid it at all costs, don't get involved more than you may already be.

I can honestly say I don't have a default. I've had my fair share of reactions to both fight and flight. But in the loneliness of my pain, sin, despair, hurt and confusion, whether I choose to put on the boxing gloves and take on my opponent, or if I do whatever I can to avoid the conflict and confrontation, I am left robbed of any real resolution.

A few months ago I wrote a blog about crying and letting myself finally feel the emotions I had suppressed. Even in my state of "fight" I tend to emotionally detach. Call it a flaw, call it survival. Whether through conditioning or DNA - or maybe a little bit of both - handling the situation has never been a problem for me, but feeling throughout the process hasn't always produced great results so I've built a wall around my heart so as not to get hurt.

But what I'm learning now is that brick by brick I can take down that exterior. Layer by layer I can remove the covering that seeks to protect my wounded and scarred heart. You see, I'm just as guilty of causing myself pain. It's not only the fault of others. In my attempt to flee the situations, I've robbed myself of all emotion and all opportunity to find peace in a resolution. In the battles I've picked to fight, I've usually taken the defensive and not offensive position, still leaving me in a mostly helpless state. This somehow seems to result in me eventually finding myself retreating, left to lick my wounds and console my hurts.

I'm not here to tell you I've figured it out. By no means. I am still very much on this journey. I am guilty. I bear the scarlet letter of my sin. I bear scars. Some tell the story of how deeply I've been wounded by others. Some are reminders of my own self-inflicted injuries. I've endured consequences. Sure, I've always wanted God's will but I haven't always been seeking it. I've been given blessings. Unbelievable blessings.

I'm learning to be real. When I'm honest about my pain and hurt and failures - and yes, even my emotions - I'm realizing that others can be real too. When I allow people to see the faults, flaws and failures it seems to help us all realize we're just one breath away from the enemy's attack. And that, my friends, is where we circle back to fight or flight.

You see, this natural human instinct is built in us for a reason. What I am here to tell you is fleeing your emotions or circumstance is NECESSARY when it is an attack of the enemy. Fighting your opponent - only once suited up with your spiritual armor - is IMPERATIVE for your survival. Flee temptation. Flee the devil. Flee all hints of evil. Fight like your life depends on it (because it does) to protect your heart, your mind, your emotions and, above all, your character.

And remember this - whatever has happened, whatever you've done, however you've stumbled, whatever you've felt, know that God's only response is to run. He runs right to you no matter what you've felt or how you've fallen.

When God Ran

Friday, November 4, 2011

Paralyzed

Paralyzed - To bring to a point of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or the ability to act.

What has stopped you in your tracks? What prevents you from being able to move? What is hindering your ability to act?
"Refusing to act leaves a person paralyzed, exactly where he was previously. But once he acts, he is never the same." - Oswald Chambers

"Come to me..." He says in Matthew 11:28. It means "to act." It requires my action. Just like James 4:8 tells us, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." I must come. I must seek. I must move. In my state of helplessness, there is hope.

"The weakest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is liberated the second he acts and God's almighty power is available on his behalf." - O. Chambers

His power - not ours - is made PERFECT in our weakness. His power is available to you - the same power that raised Christ from the grave. With this I can respond, well equipped with my own inabilities perfected in His mighty strength and armed with the power to overcome even death. And so I come. Step by step. No longer paralyzed by my own inhibitions. Ready to move.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Miss Independent

It's true. If you know me, you know me. I can be stubborn. Hard-headed. I am determined. And yes, by nature, independent. Right now, though, Almighty God is stripping away the hard exterior layers of independence and revealing the vulnerable interior of insecurity. At my core I struggle. 

You may admire someone's apparent strength. You may even have a tendency toward jealousy over someone else's life, qualities, possessions or characteristics. You may also be so turned off by someone's demeanor or harsh exterior that you simply can't bear it. But I caution - don't be so quick to judge or be fooled. You've heard the expression what you see is what you get. But maybe in this case what you see and what you get isn't always what's inside.

God is teaching me about my own insecurities and my hard-headed determination to do it myself. (Ahem, yes, independence.)

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me..." Galatians 2:20

Consider Oswald's take on this verse: "These words mean the breaking and collapse of my independence brought about by my own hands, and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus."

Now I'm in trouble. You see, by my own hands I've built the walls of independence. Brick by brick I've constructed my boundary: pride, arrogance, selfishness, deceit, anger, bitterness, misery, worry...the list could go on and on but suffice to say I've created my own little place of independence where I refuse to let anyone in.

So here I am - clenched fists, knuckles white from the death grip I hold on my own independence. But let's be real - what I'm really clinging to are all my insecurities. The voices of my past. The haunting of my mistakes. The guilt of my sin. The reality of my failures. The shame of my pride. And I want to let go. How? One. Finger. At. A. Time. One brick at a time. Relinquishing my control. Until I get to the point that with wrinkled fist and frail hands I am still attempting to let go and Let God.

I'm so thankful it's in these desolate places that the Lord reaches into my soul and redeems my life. Despite my best attempts to isolate myself, He is ever present.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Remade

The Tenth Avenue North song goes..

There's a girl in the corner  
With tear stains on her eyes  
From the places she's wandered  
And the shame she can't hide
She says, "How did I get here?  

I'm not who I once was.  
And I'm crippled by the fear  
That I've fallen too far to love" 

It might as well be my testimony. I can't really say it any better. It's been a few weeks since I've written because what I'm feeling and experiencing is simply too raw and too deep to share. I've been that girl. The one feeling as though the pit I've fallen into was simply too deep for rescuing. Paralyzed by fear. Compelled to pray but at a loss for words. Recounting choices, replaying decisions. Wondering what's next. Seeking direction. Desiring God's will. Praying for peace. Wanting wisdom. 

The song continues:

But don't you know who you are,   
What's been done for you?  
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made, 
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,  
You are more than the problems you create, You've been remade.

Remade. To make new. More than the choices made - good, bad, reactions, in the heat of the moment, or well though out. More than mistakes - failures, setbacks, upset plans, even deliberate sin. A few weeks ago God gave me this verse in Ezekiel 36:26:
 

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

I'm breaking my silence today. Not because I have anything profound to share other than what I've experienced: God is the God of making all things new. Whatever your past. Whatever your mistakes. Whatever your problems. Whatever your failures. No matter what you're facing, He's bigger than your circumstance. Do you know who you are? You are His daughter/His son. His child. He has chosen you and called you by name. Your ransom has been paid. You've been redeemed by His sacrifice.

Call upon Him. Come to Him. Cry out to Him. Confess to Him. Be comforted by Him. Be redeemed by Him. Be made new. I don't know what you're facing but I know if my God can see fit to extend His unconditional love and exceptional mercy to even me, I know He can AND WILL do the same for you.