January 1, 2012…that was the day I started this blog. I really had no idea what a blog was other than I felt like God wanted me to start one. What would I write about? I’m not a writer. Will anyone read what I write? Those were the kind of questions that kept filling my head but I did it anyway.
A shocker to me was that the readers came. As time went on I became more comfortable with sharing my thoughts, and oddly the readers still kept coming back. Most of the time I never really paid much attention to the stats or how many people had actually read. People clicked the like button and people commented, over all the blog seemed to be going pretty well.
But then my worst fear happened….
More people I knew in my personal life started reading. People from my personal life had read the blog before but it was starting to get to the point that every time I posted someone would come up to me and say “I read your blog….”
Nothing bad was ever said to me, actually everyone always gave me very sweet and positive comments, but suddenly I found myself afraid to post. I feared that the people I knew in my real life would see what I wrote and think I was weird or something. It was like suddenly the inside of me was out there, exposed for everyone to see.
When people I had never met face to face read what I wrote I was brave but when my real life friends began reading I suddenly felt frozen with fear of what would they think of me.
I never stopped writing but found that t I couldn’t seem to post anything anymore. I would write, then read what I had written and then tell myselft it was too weird or not good enough. When I wasn’t posting I called it writers block but now I call it something else…FEAR.
Now let me tell you about my weekend.
Saturday… Lately God has been leading me in a new direction. It’s far from where I feel I have been since starting this journey with him but the crazy thing is that over the past few weeks…. Or make that months there have been many little poofs of eye opening things that he has sent me that have shown me this is for sure the direction he is sending me. a few weeks ago I even had a moment that I realized WOW I was already there and didn’t even know it! But now I feel as if he wants me to take it farther and that is pretty scary to me. I am not sure how to start or where do I start… how do I do something I know nothing about??? I know this is probably not making any sense and I started this paragraph with Saturday but never started on Saturday uggh! If you could just hang with me a little bit longer I will try my best to spit this out.
Back to Saturday…Saturday morning I was praying… journal by my side… suddenly I find myself on my knees saying… “God how do I do this? What do you want me to do??”
Most of the time when I pray especially when I pray on my knees I lean over my bed and I have this cat that will come on the bed and stand in my face meowing while messing with my hair and stuff. This day as I prayed I heard the pages of my journal turning. I thought it was the cat at first but then I realized it sounded as if he was turning pages one page at a time like a person would turn them. Just as I was coming to the realization that this was not my cat and also that he was nowhere near me I heard the words “open your eyes!” I opened my eyes and right in front of me I see my journal laying open with one paragraph blaring out at me “Not only do you have to go through the door, sometimes you need to go up to it and put your hand on the knob. Don’t be afraid!” The crazy thing about this story is that my whole journal is written in pencil but that one paragraph written on March 10, was written in red ink! I have no idea why on March 10 I wrote one paragraph in red ink, but there it was blaring out at me. And That moment I knew the door to where God was leading me was there for me to go through but I hadn’t actually allowed myself to open the door because I had been afraid to open it!
Sunday…. Sunday I went to church. I’m sitting there and the band starts playing while they are collecting the offering. The words to the song started going through me.. words like, I was unworthy and Jesus you saved me… I really can’t remember the words very well but suddenly from my place in the back of the room I see the place I am in right now and I am in awe of God’s presence and how he has brought me to this place. Memories started pouring in… memories of me in the parking lot of that very church 5 years ago afraid to come in yet there now because Jesus had brought me here. As I sat there I realized I was a part of something way bigger than I could ever have imagined being part of and living a life so drastically different than it used to be.
Fast forward to the sermon. Our youth pastor was sharing his own story of God in his life and he was talking about surrendering. He started talking about how some of us had things that we needed to surrender to God. I felt myself trembling while he spoke and having tears but yet at the same time thinking I had nothing to surrender. At the end of the sermon he said that the alter was open for people to come up if they had something to surrender. I heard God tell me to go up. I was like “go up for what? I have nothing to surrender” God said, “yes you do, your fear of what other people think of you.”
I was like, ”um God you must be mistaken, I don’t care what they think.”
He said, “yes you do, your trembling in fear…(I was) now go up there.”
In my mind I was thinking, “oh God, I can’t go up there in front of all of those people…I’m too scared!”
The struggle went on for what seemed like forever but then the next thing I know I am blubbering at the altar.
I can’t explain how I felt after that but it sure felt good! Something inside of my seemed to break yesterday. Not broken in a bad way but broken somehow in a good sort of way. like a huge weight was lifted off of me.
Yesterday I surrendered my fear of what other people think of me to God. I know today that as long as I carry the weight of that fear I can never ever accomplish anything He wants me to accomplish.
So today I am here fearless. No back reading, no changing words to make this post how I think you my readers and my friends may want to see me… Instead its just what it is… words I am writing for God. I am not quite sure why he wants me to share this stuff but because he wants me to do it I am going to do it. Also since today is Monday and on this blog on Monday it is Music Monday I am going to share a song that is playing while I write this that seems fitting to this post.
‘More of Me’ by Colton Dixon I hope you enjoy it.
So today’s post was about giving away fear and surrendering to God’s will, who knows what it will be the next time, but I plan to keep writing here as long as God wants me to write.. no matter who is reading 😀
What do you need to surrender? Like me, maybe you can’t see it either. If you want to know just talk to God he’ll show ya.
Happy Music Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and are well on your way to having a great week.
At the time you are reading this I should be on a plane on my way to Haiti…that is if I have this scheduled to post correctly.
It seems like I am finding myself traveling a whole lot lately to a lot of places I never would have believed I would ever be going to just a few short years ago.
On July 21, 2011 I wrote the words ‘I’m all in’ inside the front cover ofmy Bible.
Every since that day God has been taking me places I never dreamed I would go. Today its Haiti He’s taking me to but when I say God takes me places I don’t just mean places that I can travel to by car or plane.
I’m talking about places we can travel to by just living in His love.
Those places that He takes you to that are anywhere you happen to be and sometimes you are there without ever even leaving home.
Do you know what I mean?
The places that you feel as if you are soaring and make you feel as if you could touch the sky because your so high.
Places like when you sit out on your porch and notice that there are hundreds of different sounds, plants and animals, and you notice things like how the sky is always changing and how it never ever looks the same way twice.
Sunrises and sunsets that make you want to cry because they are so beautiful.
Places like a broken heart mended and now so full of love it feels as if it could break again but this time it would break in a good way because it is so full of love it feels as if it just may burst any second, so full it could spill over and over and never run out.
Places like when you realize that you have a job you never expected yourself to be doing but you love it so much you actually look forward to going to work.
And the reading…. you always loved to read but you now read a book that you used to think was boring and you now realize it was never a boring book in the first place: And the words … words so precious you hold on to them tightly knowing that the one who wrote them loves you more than you ever dreamed you could ever be loved.
I could go on and on and on and on forever and ever and ever and ever but I will just stop here for now and just say. ‘Living In God’s love is really really a wonderful place to live.” ❤
This week’s Music Monday song is ‘Touch the Sky‘ by Hillsong United. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this song because it pretty much speaks for itself and also for me the words in it are so true of what happened in my life, “I touched the sky when my knees hit the ground”
I hope you love this song as much as I do.
My heart beating, my soul breathing I found my life when I laid it down Upward falling, spirit soaring I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground
Find me here at Your feet again Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender Come sweep me up in Your love again And my soul will dance On the wings of forever
Do you have a song that touches you? If so write a blog post about it then join the link up blog hop below. You can also add the blog hop to your own post by getting the code below and then encourage your readers to join the blog hop too!
Have a wonderful week and I am looking forward to seeing all of your songs when I get home!
I awakened to the sound of my Lord calling to me, the words, “don’t hold back, be strong and courageous, and bold!” were flowing through my head. A rooster crowed as I pulled the blankets tighter around me, the window had been left open from the night before, allowing not only the sounds of the outdoors to come in, but also the coolness of the morning air.
During my sleep I had forgotten where I was, but it was only an instant before the sleep was lifted to the sound of the rooster crowing once again and once again the words going though my head, ‘don’t hold back, be strong and courageous and bold!‘ and also the realization that I was not in Missouri today.
Today I had awakened in El Salvador.
‘Don’t hold back, be strong and courageous, and bold!’
I had done it and nowI was really here right in the middle of where God had called me to be and as I lay there listening to the sounds of nature, the memories of the past two days flooded my mind. Plane rides, a spectacular sunrise, bus rides, new friends, a spirit filled church and new Compassion center ‘Casa de Pan‘ and their leaders Carlos and Candy, a powerful prayer, an afternoon in the home of Elba and Nelson and so much more.
Feelings of joy so filled my heart and a little while later as I went for a walk it struck me that though I was far away from my home in Missouri for some reason I still felt as if I were somehow at home in this place too. Maybe it was because as I walked this morning I knew that I wasn’t ever walking alone because I had Jesus walking along beside me. He had brought me here and now He was showing me the sights, sounds and people of this beautiful place. He was also showing me that no matter where He leads, He will go with me giving me the amazing peace of being at home as I rest in Him.
After my walk as I returned to my room I saw some of the ladies outside on the porch, each of them sitting in their own private presence with the Lord. Suddenly the thought occurred to me that though each lady sat alone, they were not alone at all. It struck me that He was with each individual lady and yet He was still also here with me. Somehow I felt united with them and somehow also a part to their own special time with the Lord, even though it was still private to each one of us in our own individual way.
It also stuck me that we had all came to this place strangers but yet now we were like a family, how is it that I felt comfortable with a bunch of strangers as if I had known them forever? It could only be because we were all sisters in Christ.
When I reached my room, I sat down on the porch and I opened my Bible, it just so happened to open to the page that held this scripture – Romans 1:11-12 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
When I saw those words suddenly I was reassured of what I had know all along…I knew God had this whole trip planned out and I knew that we were all here because we were each brought here by Him. I also knew that I was prepared because He had prepared me and I knew without a doubt that I was ready to totally dive into whatever God had planned for this day.
‘Don’t hold back, be strong and courageous, and bold!’
This is the day that the Lord has made…I am so glad as I rejoice in it!.
Journal entry 9/14/15
My journal entry made me think of the song by Francesca Battistelli called ‘Holy Spirit’ So today I am sharing it for Music Monday.
There’s nothing worth more that would ever come close, No thing can compare, You’re our living Hope, Your presence, Lord.
I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves, When my heart becomes free and my shame is undone, Your presence, Lord.
Holy Spirit You are welcome here, Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our hearts long for, To be overcome by Your presence, Lord. Your presence Lord
What song moved you this week? Write a blog post about it and then come back here and put your link in below. Have wonderful week!
I can’t believe its already another Monday morning! It seems as if time sure does seem to be flying soooooo fast anymore! As you know every Monday I try to post a song that moved me during the past week. ‘Try‘ was the magic word in that past sentence because I have totally missed posting the last 2 Music Mondays. I think I may have a very good reason as to why I have missed the last 2 Music Mondays, tell me if you agree 🙂 The first Music Monday I missed because I was in El Salvador and then this past Monday I think my head and heart may have still been in El Salvador.
Since returning home I have had a really hard time getting back into my life here. I can’t really explain it but it’s almost as if some of the things that used to seem important to me now seem somehow a little silly. There were so many things that just touched my heart while I was there in a way that I feel as if I never will forget them, and truthfully I hope I never do forget what I experienced during my trip. Though I don’t want to forget, the problem right now is that many of those things are still whirling in my mind and the processing of those thoughts has been a hard thing for me to do. It just seems like I am getting nowhere fast in the processing. Its not anything bad, its just a lot is on my mind and I feel as if my brain might be on some sort of overload.
I came home from El Salvador wanting to tell everyone right away all about my trip, but yet it’s all so hard to explain. I have journals that are full of notes I’ve written and I have also started about 4 blog posts. I thought by now I would have posted all sorts of stories on my blog but so far I have only posted one story (Unexpected Loan Payback – Day 1 Casa de Pan). Everything is still a jumbled of thoughts in my mind at the moment and it feels as if my thoughts seem almost as if they are too personal to share; but yet I also know that I did not experience all if this to keep quiet about it either. I am pretty sure that at some point with God’s help I will be able pull my thoughts together.
For right now I will share this small tidbit of information from the last day of the trip.
Our last day in El Salvador our van pulled up to a Compassion project and we were met once again by children who were lined up waiting to greet us. They were playing instruments and blowing whistles. By the way…I feel I must mention that who ever had the idea that hundreds of children should all blow whistles all at once inside of a large echoing room must have never heard the sound of hundreds of children blowing whistles all at once inside of an echoing room 😀 I think my ears are still ringing and that is one experience from this trip I will NEVER forget 😀 Even though it was quite painful (just kidding… well maybe not) they were so cute and having so much fun! They were once again another one of those blessings that just seemed to be happening one right after another all week long.
We eventually made our way to the front of the church and as we stood there looking back at the faces of those happy children the song ‘Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)’ by Hillsong United was playing.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
I had heard the song before but had never heard it in the way as I was hearing it right then. It was the last day of the trip and by then I had already seen God moving in such a big way throughout the whole trip and it was at that moment I realized that God had led me here to this place, and He was right there, right now and I was standing in His presence.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders...
He had led me to this place
Let me walk upon the waters…
I had walked upon the waters to get here
Wherever You would call me…
He had called me to be right here, right now
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander…
I was deeper than I could ever imagine and knew at that moment If He took me even deeper I would go
And my faith will be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior…
Ya…. ❤ At that moment I stood right there in the middle of the presence of my Savior
I will call upon your name, keep my eyes above the waves, my soul will rest in your embrace, I am yours and you are mine.
Since I have been home it seems like every time I turn on the radio this song is playing and then this morning in church we sang it. Once again I was taken back to standing in that church in El Salvador but this time I realized that though the song reminded me of where I stood a week and a half ago, today I was standing in my own church, and once again He had taken me deeper than I could ever wander and my faith really has been made stronger. As I stood there in the presence of my Savior I called upon his name, He keeps my eyes above the waves, while my soul rests in His embrace, because I truly know I am His and He is mine ❤
Thank you Jesus.
What song moved you this past week?
May God’s peace be with you as you walk with Him into this week,
This is Luis Antonio Ventura Rodriguez.
Luis’ birthday is February 7, 2008. He is 7 years old. Luis lives with his mother. His duties at home include helping in the kitchen, running errands and cleaning. There are 2 children in the family. His mother is employed as a farmer.
As part of Compassion’s ministry, Luis participates in church activities and Bible class. He is also in kindergarten where his performance is average. Soccer, playing with cars and running are his favorite activities.
You may not be able to change the whole world but you can most definitely make a difference in this one child’s life and I can promise you that sponsoring him it will also make a difference in your own life. What have you got to lose?? For about the same price as a cup of coffee each day you can make a difference in Luis’ life, Please consider what that means.
If you would like to know more, you can leave me a message and I will send you more information.
Today I was doing my Bible study ‘He Speaks to Me’ by Priscilla Shirer‘ and I came across a part that really struck me. It was about emotion and how we can get really excited about things and allow our emotions to get in the way. It talked about how sometimes we got so caught up in our emotion that we may say yes to a project that the Holy Spirit hadn’t planned for us to participate in at that time. You can Read the rest of this post by clicking here and you will be directed to my new blog A Journey to a Masterpiece. While your there please sign up and follow my new blog, this blog will be deleted soon.
Today I was doing my Bible study ‘He Speaks to Me’ by Priscilla Shirer‘ and I came across a part that really struck me. It was about emotion and how we can get really excited about things and allow our emotions to get in the way. It talked about how sometimes we get so caught up in our emotion that we may say yes to a project that the Holy Spirit hadn’t planned for us to participate in at that time.
I am not sure that I ever thought of this before, but now that I have read this, I can see how true that could be. I also know how easy it is to feel flattered when someone asks me to do something and there have been times that I just wanted to immediately say yes. I can also see how there may be times when we weren’t even asked to be a part of something but we might try to finagle our way in because we really want to be a part of it. And then we also have those times that we may invite ourselves just because we think we are the only one who could possibly do it right.
I then had the thought….If it’s not God’s plan for me to participate and I decide to participate anyway what could the consequences end up being?
If God has a plan for each and every one of us and we are off doing things that he didn’t plan on us participating in, who is going to do what he has planned for us to do? Also who might we be pushing out of the way that God had planned to be there in the first place?
Are we capable of messing up the God’s plan? Or slowing it down? Or does God just rethink his plan eventually allowing us to see in the end that we were not where we were supposed to be and allow us to learn a lesson the hard way.
I am a little embarrassed to say that there have been times that I have jumped in where God did not plan for me to be… and I have done this on more than one occasion.
I think we all have times that we really want to be a part of something we were not supposed to be a part of or we think our way is the best way of doing something. But the truth is we need to pray about everything we do, AlWAYS. Period. Because God’s way is the only way that will work in the end.
Unfortunately there are going to be times that we may want to be invited, but will realize that we were not invited by the Holy Spirit to participate; and those are the times we need to just step back and let go.
Each and every one of us has a job to do, and sometimes the first part of that job may be to just let go. I have a feeling that once we let go and realize we were not invited to that project, we will soon find out we were invited somewhere even better than we could have ever have imagined.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in 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
She walked into the building trembling inside, trying to trust even though the fear was overwhelming. The urge to bolt was strong, if she could just sit in the back she would feel much better.
She suddenly felt like she needed to share her secret, if she told it maybe she could just sit in the back and get a grip on the fear that was plaguing her right now. To share a side of herself in person with someone who might not understand would be hard to do, but at the moment it sounded easier than the alternative. Besides she was in church, it should be safe to share what she was feeling at church. So she made the decision to confide in a friend the fear she was feeling, laying her heart out vulnerable as her secret was told
What happened next hit her like a punch to the stomach. She had been hoping for relief but instead she was met with annoyance and anger as the words “you need to realize you are not the only person with stuff going on” were said to her along with the story of how badly this person’s day had been going so far. Suddenly she felt embarrassed and ashamed. She felt ashamed for being so selfish, and embarrassed for being so weak. She wished she could take it back, wished she had listened to the voice inside that had warned her to keep her mouth shut.
The feeling to bolt from the room was now stronger than ever as she wondered what was wrong with her and why couldn’t she couldn’t just get a grip on herself?
If God was here, why did she feel so alone at this moment, in the one place where she usually felt Him the most? Wasn’t this a place that she was supposed to feel safe?
Though she wanted to run away, something stopped her and her stubborn side kicked in. With every fiber of strength she had left she walked to the front of the room and sat down on the front row. She swallowed the lump in her throat and pushed back the tears that were threatening to pour down any second and she made the decision that no matter how she felt she had to do this. She was tired of running, she was tired of hiding. God had never failed her before and she knew he wasn’t going to fail her this time either.
The service started and after the first song she suddenly remembered that she had forgotten to silence the sound on her phone. She pulled her phone from her purse to turn it off and as she hit the volume button a text message flashed across the screen. The message said ‘I love you!! I read what you wrote, this morning, I have been down the same road…I see why God sent us here, because we need each other! You are a blessing to so many people and I will be praying for you all this morning!’
She looked at her phone stunned and then she knew she had just seen the hands of Jesus right there on it’s screen.
She sat there lost in thought for a few moments when she suddenly realized the pastor was getting ready to pray and he was asking the same question he asks the congregation every week, “Does anyone in the room have something on their heart that is hard to share today? Just raise your hand and I will put it on my personal prayer list,” Her hand went up along with other hands in the room.
As a prayer for the room was said, a sudden peace like no other began washing over her.
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us.
God was here…
Calm and reassurance began taking place of the fear she had felt only moments before, the words ‘you are not alone’ filled her mind as her heart became entwined with the other hearts in the room.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
God’s power was present in a huge way that day as she realized that YES it was true, she was not the only person with stuff going on. We all have ‘stuff” and God had brought them all together in that place to be there for one another.
The church is a place for the hurting and the broken people. It is a place where all can come together as one and lay our burden down and rest our weary heads. The church is a place that has been built on love, God’s love and there is always plenty of His love to go around.
God can wipe our tears and answer each and every single prayer. He answers the spoken and unspoken requests and His peace flows in abundance and is free for anyone who wishes to partake in it.
Last night was a blessing that I almost missed because I was afraid….
Last night I was supposed to work the Compassion table at the Josh Wilson Carry Me Tour. When I first signed up to work at the concert it was scheduled to be held in Florissant Missouri. If you listen to the news you have probably heard of the rioting that has been going on in Ferguson which is in Florissant. For some reason the fact that the concert was in Ferguson hadn’t really crossed my mind yet… so that was not the reason I was afraid.
The reason I was afraid was because at the last minute they switched the concert to a place that is really far away from where I live and that I had never been to before. The concert was switched to Wentzville Missouri at the last minute because of the rioting going on in Ferguson the people in charge of the tour decided that it would be much safer in Wentzville. Wentzville Missouri is about an hour and 15 minutes away from my house and it would be really late when the concert was over. I was nervous about driving home so far in the dark by myself and to top matters off it was pouring down rain and I can not see well at night driving in the rain. So there I was faced at the last minute with going to somewhere I have never been before, in the dark and in the rain. About 4 hours before I was supposed to be there I decided I was not going to go. It just did not seem like a very smart thing to do.
After I made my decision that I was not going to the concert it still would not leave my mind. My common sense kept saying I should stay home where it was safe but no matter how much I tried to ignore it I I kept getting this nudge to go. I even prayed about it and I still heard go, but I kept saying, “no your just feeling that way because you just want to go and you also feel guilty for cancelling” and I still decided to stay home.
About 2 hours before the time I was scheduled to be there another of my advocate friends sent me a text message that asked if I had signed up to work that night. I told her yes I had signed up but that I could not go because of the rain and the dark and my not being able to see in it issues.
After her message no matter what I did I could not rest. Finally I was like okay I know the Holy Spirit is telling me to go. I then said, ‘OK God if you really want me to go I will go, but seriously this is crazy going out on a pouring down rainy night to a place I have never been in the dark! I threw myself together and got in my car and took off.
When I left my house it was still light outside but it was pouring down rain so hard I could barely see to drive in the daylight but I kept going and it kept getting darker from the rain clouds and raining harder and harder. But then about 30 miles into my drive I noticed the rain was letting up just a little bit. The man on the radio giving the weather forecast said it was supposed to keep raining all night. Against my own better judgement I still kept going. My brain said this is dumb by oddly I felt more at peace going than I did staying at home where it was ‘safe’.
About another 10 miles of driving and I drove out of the rain. Go figure… LOL! so I laughed and said to God, “Now if you can just make it not rain anymore tonight.” I will admit I said that sarcastically never actually believing that he would.
You guessed it….It was dry the rest of my trip there…
Once I got to the concert I met up with the rest of those who were helping and we set up our table of child sponsorship packets from Compassion International and talked to people who had questions about child sponsorship.
There were 3 music artists for this concert, Dan Bremnas, Citizen Way and headlining the tour was Josh Wilson. Not only did we work at the Compassion table but we were also able to hear and watch a lot of the concert.
This next part is kinda cool, funny and a little bit embarrassing all rolled into one. I am a HUGE HUGE Josh Wilson fan. His story and his songs hit close to home for me in so many ways. A lot of the time we don’t get to see the entertainment when we go to these events but I was soooo hoping I would get to at least catch a glimpse of some of Josh’s part of the concert. I am sure you can imagine I was really excited I would be able to do that. When we first got there to work we were met by Becca who was the organizer and our leader for the night. She was such a sweet girl with a southern accent and her personality was so contagious, she seemed to just radiate joy. I knew Josh Wilson’s wife’s name was Becca and it did not take me to long before I realized yep she was THE Becca, Josh’s wife. Oh goodness I was hanging out with Josh Wilsons wife (star struck) 😉
About halfway through the performance we do a packet pass with the audience. One of the music artists got on stage and told his story about his Compassion child. We had been told to stand at the top of the isles until we were called down to the front by the stage to pass packets. We had been told that some of the ‘guys’ would come out to help us when it was time to pass packets so I was standing in my isle and a young ‘guy” came up to the same isle as me with child packets in his hands. I started talking to him because we were sharing the same isle. We talked about nothing big, just chit chat about how we would split the isle, etc….
Eventually we were called to come down and stand in front of the stage, I was standing now in front of the stage with my new friend standing right beside me. The music Artist on the stage talked about what was involved in sponsoring a child and then he said “if you sponsor a child tonight you will also get a free CD from this man right here,” as he points to my new friend and he says, “Josh Wilson.” Thankfully no one could hear what was going on in my head… OH MY GOSH! I had hoped to maybe catch a glimpse of him singing but I had done even better! Though it was short lived I HAD JUST BEEN HANGING OUT WITH JOSH WILSON! lol cool! I can be such a ding dong at times why did I not know that it was him in the first place??. In my defense he did have on glasses which he did not wear on stage and it was dark in the room with bright blinding lights swooping around….at least that’s my story and I’m gonna stick to it 😀
After the packet pass we went back to the table and I was thinking if someone had told me I was talking to Josh Wilson I would never have been able to speak to him.. I am so shy and I would have been star struck and tongue tied.
I got to thinking later about that…Wondering why do I act like that? When I did not know who he was he was just a normal guy just like I am a normal girl. Both of us were doing our job. Why in my mind did I put him up on a pedestal? I am so glad I did not know it was him when I talked to him because I really love that I got to meet him and see who he really was.
I think maybe there is a lesson in here somewhere… There is always a lesson, huh.
A lot happened last night; There was this one other thing that happened that I want to tell you about. When we first got there and were setting out child packets a packet of a little girl in a pink dress from Haiti jumped out at me. I just had to pick up her packet from the table and look at it. Her birthday just so happened to be July 2 which is my anniversary too. I kept thinking maybe I should sponsor her but then also at the same time that I should not. All night long every time someone would come to the table I would hope they picked her because for some reason I was really wanted her to have a sponsor but nobody took her. Right before the packet pass that I just told you about we were each given a stack of packets that we would hand out, with hers staying behind on the table.
As we were heading into the auditorium and I walked away from the table I felt the urge to grab her packet from the table and I did. I put her packet it on top my stack that I had in my hands knowing fully that she was the first one I would hand out, and she was.
I didn’t think anything else about her packet after that until right at the end of the night a lady came to the table to bring her payment for the child she was sponsoring and I noticed …she had HER! The little girl in the hot pink dress! The lady and her own little girl were so excited to sponsor her and she looked to be close in age as the little girl who was sponsoring her. I could feel God speaking in my heart right then and I knew at that moment that all of this had been planned out way before this night had ever even started.
The rest of the evening went really well. We had 38 children who now have new sponsors so that was pretty awesome!
After the concert I got in my car to go home and it was still NOT raining even though on the radio they kept saying that it was raining. Guess what?… I never saw so much as a sprinkle on my way home.
Do you see what happened here?? God had me covered. He wanted me to go and as always when God asks, he will work out the details. Something else… whenever God asks us to do something and we answer yes there is usually always a blessing somehow tied to it. I had a wonderful pile of blessings sprinkled throughout my night. Blessings I would have missed had I not gone. I am so glad I did 🙂
Josh and Becca Wilson
If you are interested in knowing more about child sponsorship through Compassion you can click HERE.
Thanks so much for reading today,
If you would like to read the rest of the posts in this series you can click the picture below
Most of my childhood life was spent moving around the country. Sometimes our family moved twice a year and one year we moved three times! I was always a bit of on outcast because I never seemed to talk or dress the same as the other kids. A lot of the time I was picked on and I hated gym class because I was always picked last for the teams or made fun of because I was not really much of an athlete.
Friends where something I did not have a whole lot of and usually if I did make a friend it was with the new kids or the ones like me that nobody else liked. It was really hard moving around and I never really became to close to anyone and I never really had a whole lot of self confidence and I never felt like anything was permanent. The feeling of nothing being permanent was a good thing though because if I did not like where we were I always could count on that we would be moving again soon.
At the beginning of my 9th grade year of school we finally moved somewhere that we stayed for 3 whole years. Things started the same way for me in this town as all the rest, nobody wanted to be friends with me so since I had a brother I hung out with him and his friends. Because I hung out with the boys soon the girls in the neighborhood decided I was chasing after their boyfriends and so one day they decided to send a little boy as their messenger to invite me to come up to a little get together that they had planned… His exact words to me where “Terri, those girls up there are paying me a donut to tell you to come up there and they said they are going to kick you’re ass.”
Like I said earlier I never really had a lot of confidence and a fight was not really something I ever had any practice at either but I think something inside of me snapped that day, because I went up there. I soon arrived at the top of the street where about 6 girls and most of the neighborhood kids were waiting for me, I remember being petrified but determined not to show it. Still to this day I can hardly believe I went.
The girls began accusing me of stealing their boyfriends and other things that were not true and I remember telling them, “You all won’t talk to me so I hang out with my brother and his friends, and I don’t want your boyfriends!” I can’t remember a whole lot more of the conversation but what I do remember is that nobody laid a hand on me that day. I acted tough, they acted tough and I walked away with my dignity and a new sense of bravery. The following day I was riding my bike down the street and one of those tough girls called me over and asked me to come to her house and hang out. I did and from that day on we became friends and I became one of them. It felt so good to be a part of a group.
I went on to become a real jerk after that day. It was a time in my life that I figured out that acting tough kept me safe from being picked on. All my years of being a nice person never got me anywhere except shoved around and picked on and now here I was acting like a meany and people “liked” me. Being liked was what I always wanted. I see it now but did not see it then …I still never really fit in and I am not sure if I was really ‘liked’ it was more like I was just left alone because they were scared to pick on me. I still never was that popular girl everyone wanted to hang out with first and I usually was still chosen last for most things.
When I was 17 years old I met my husband who I am still married to and began my life as an adult. Over the years as I grew older I feel as if I did a pretty good job of raising my children but no matter how good I was at something I never ever had that feeling that I fit in or was good enough. I had friends but I stayed on guard never letting anyone get to close. I always seemed to have a feeling of insecurity following me around that I could not shake.
In the early 1990’s I was running a very successful Tupperware business. I had moved up in the company to an Executive manager position, had earned a company car, won many awards and was in the top 10 managers in our region. On the outside life was good but inside I cringed at my success. I did not like being on stage in the spotlight. I really never tried to be successful it just seemed to happen. I loved Tupperware and told people how much I liked it so they bought it, they booked parties and the people at the parties would decide to join me in the business. I remember at the time just being shocked each week at our sales. I would be excited at how well it was going but at the same time I would be scared to death because the more successful my business became the more I had to be on stage at our meeting each week which really made me sick with fear.
You would think that success would have given me more confidence but instead I think what happened is I saw myself standing alongside people who I thought were really good, people who I looked up to and I did not feel worthy at all to be standing alongside of them. Each week I would go on stage with a smile on my face while fear trembled inside of me.
Eventually one day the fear finally caught up to me. I was standing in front of a group of people at one of my Tupperware demonstrations and my ears began to roar. I barely remember anything much after that except for me standing in front of everyone telling them about a product, ears roaring, my heart racing and all the sudden feelings terror inside of me so strong that I wanted to run and hide. Run and Hide is exactly what I did…. I looked at my hostess and said, “I don’t fee so well’ as I excused myself to go into the bathroom where I stayed for the next 30 minutes sitting on the edge of her bathtub trying to pull myself together. I remember thinking I was going to die in there because I could not breathe, I was sweating and my heart was pounding so hard in fear I thought I would have a heart attack. I did not know it at the time but that was my first panic attack of many more to come in my life. I did eventually come out of the bathroom and I told the guests that I had a stomach bug of some sort and went home.
From that day forward I feared being in front of people because I just knew in my mind that it would happen again, the fear snowballed and eventually I quit selling Tupperware and found a job driving a school bus where I did not have to be in the spot light ever.
I spent about the next 15 years of my life staying away from social occasions. My panic filtered into many life things like baby showers, weddings and funerals, I still went to what I had to go to but I spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom and always sat by the door at most events so I could escape easily if I panicked. It eventually got to where I could not even go with friends shopping unless I was the driver of the car. I had to be the one in control. If I was not in control I would panic and end up making up the ‘I am sick lie’ and leave. Eventually I found myself running out of meetings at work, and avoiding most social occasions It just kept getting worse and worse to the point that I would get an upset stomach so when I said I was sick I truly was physically sick now too. I lived this nightmare alone, I never told anyone except my husband, one friend and also my doctor who diagnosed me with social anxiety and gave me medicine that did not help.
I went on like this for many years and then….I discovered wine…..
I never was much of a drinker but it just so happened one day I connected that drinking helped take the edge off my panic, actually it took a lot of the edge off. When I drank I became a social butterfly. It did not take much just a few sips before I went to the gathering and I would be fine, but the problem was I never could stop at just a few sips.
When I drank I was bold, I was free and did not care what anyone thought about me. It drowned out a lot of things one being my common sense. What I did not realize at the time is that the drinking did not fix a thing. It just masked things. No matter how I tried to cover it I was still the same person I had always been. I still hurting from all the years of rejection and I was still afraid of people. I had no trust in people or confidence that someone could actually like me for who I was.
It sounds really silly doesn’t it? But that is how I lived for many years. I became a social person I knew lots of people but I just could not attend anything social that I would involve having to sit in a room with other people that would notice me leaving unless I drank or if I did not drink I sat on pins and needles trying hard to keep myself composed. Over the years I was also a Realtor. I know this makes no sense but I could meet with strangers to look at homes and actually had moments that others would probably think I was a very outgoing person. Around the office I was friendly with everyone and even managed to teach a website building class at another real estate office but most of the time if you were to put me in a room for a meeting and I would fall apart in seconds and be running out of the room.
Since 2010 I have been learning to trust again. I have found confidence in Jesus. I have gone into meetings and had him take over my fear allowing me to do what he calls me to do. There is so much more I left out of the story on my journey begins page because it is a crazy story and I will tell you some of it is not very pretty, but the outcome thankfully is pretty. I am not bold enough to put it out here on my blog yet but what I can tell you is that many times over these past 4 ½ years I have made a lot of huge mistakes that I was sure God would never forgive me for but he did forgive me and I have learned so much about his redeeming love, his mercy and his grace.
Over this past year I have had a lot of health issues and a lot of instances that I felt sad over my mobility issues I felt afraid sometimes and lonely. As I told in another post I kept my sad feelings to myself and my closest friends the ones I had let ‘in’ seemed to be going away. Let me make it clear that no friends dumped me or anything they just have their own lives going on but because of my past I gradually I began to feel those old feelings of rejection creeping in and my confidence started going down again. that coupled with the pain in my legs just made a recipe of sadness inside. To top that off one day about 6 months ago I found myself running out of a Bible study class having a panic attack. After that first attack and it happened again and again until eventually I quit going to Bible study class. It made no sense at all why I would act this way because I am in a whole church of people who love me and I love that class and wanted to be a part of it really bad. Oddly I only had panic attacks when I was a participant in class, If I was in teaching a class I never would feel that way. It sounds crazy I know….
I actually worry about hitting the send button on this post because it will let anyone who reads it see the real me… it’s really hard for me sometimes to allow people to see the real me. I am not very brave, I am weak, and I am not always right where God would like me to be. I know when I am strong that it is only due to his power.
Today at church our pastor gave a very powerful message about forgiveness. I realized something while he was speaking…I think I have been carrying around feelings of rejection and anger for a very long time. I realized I had put my hope in people when my hope really belongs in Jesus though I do believe that God puts people in our lives to help him and also sometimes they help hold us accountable to him. If not for some of the people he put in my life who obeyed him and were there for me holding me accountable to God I am not sure I would have gotten as far as I am now.
I have a friend who is very humble, this friend was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I was trying to quit drinking. I know that my friend will say that it was all God…My friend will be right because it is all God, I never could do a thing without God’s strength, but I also know that in the beginning, I would have caved so much more easily had I not had a live person to hold me accountable and remind me that God loved me.
I got to thinking today why doesn’t God just wave a magic wand and just fix it all? After all he is God and he can do anything right?? I think He wants us to help him do his work; He wants our loyalty, our faithfulness to him. He wants us to be able to give up our own life plans to do his plan. If we do not take care of what he puts right in front of us we can never be at peace because it’s up to us to show others the HOPE that only he can give… He puts hope right in front of us to give away when he gives us someone who needs him. He is the hope among all the hurting and suffering people and we have a job to do. We pass that hope along and I am so very thankful that someone took the time and helped to show me the hope I have in Jesus.
I started this post talking about my past and how I still get old feelings of rejection inside even when I know in my heart that I am really an okay person. I think that the enemy knows my weaknesses so he gets to me where he knows he can hurt me the most. Thankfully I now know my weaknesses and by knowing that it makes me stronger. I also know I am a child of the King and he loves me and guess what!? NOBODY can ever take that away from me.
Today after the sermon my pastor offered the chance for everyone to give their lives to Jesus. He also offered those who had already given their lives to Jesus a chance to start over again. Today I found all of my past insecurities boiling up to the surface and I found myself forgiving all those past hurts from many years ago, things I never even realized I had been carrying around for 30+ years . I found myself asking once again for God to make me new and told him I wanted to start over and one more time I asked Jesus to be my savior. I am not sure how many times it will take but if I have to start over every single day for the rest of my life 20 times a day then that is what I will have to do.
I know my blog post today is very long and all over the place If you are still here reading you will be happy to know that it is almost over but not before I tell you that your past does not have to define who you are today. You can rise above it. It may try come back once in a while but you can choose not to revisit it. There is no reason to ever look back because you are not going backwards, you are going forward. Remember most of all that you are loved and worth so much more than you can ever imagine.
Thank you for reading,
If you have never asked Jesus to be your savior and would like to have him come and help you change your life, all you have to do is ask. Ask him to forgive you of your past sin and then tell him you would like to live the rest of your life with him leading you. If you have said that prayer before and need reminding as I did then say it again and again. If you said it for the first time let me know, I would love to hear about it. Also don’t ever forget you are loved and adored by the creator of the universe. That is a pretty awesome feeling isn’t it? ❤
Here is a really good song by Francesca Battistelli I think you will enjoy.
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