Fearless Friday- Why don’t you be the light in someone else’s darkness? As believers we justify walking out life alone because Jesus had friends unwilling or unable to stick with Him. We spiritualize loneliness saying our ‘need’ or someone else’s need should only be for Him. Perhaps we should heed His admonition to His disciples to remain awake? Perhaps this is an example of how we can be friends with others. Once someone begged me to be their friend. The intense need this woman had was unbearable. Over time I watched her blossom and bloom through our friendship. She never became dependent on me for her source of happiness. She just needed some light in her darkness so she could find her way out.
In the family of Christ we should be healthy & mature enough to be friends with others. We should not have to beg for relationship with one another. Is it possible we should see the need of isolation as significant as shelter, food, or water? A possible breeding ground for suicide, sickness & bitterness may be lack of relationship. So, why don’t you light up someone else’s darkness? You might gain a lifelong friend. Love, d
When I was young, I received an invitation into silence frequently from my mom. There were multiple reasons as to why I believed we lived in the country – our address was a Star Route, there was a horse across the road, there were what seemed like a thousand dogs next door, our house sat next to a forest, we had barb wire fence, there was hardly anyone my age nearby and a railroad was within a stone’s throw. We used to go down to the railroad track and fish in the little creek next to it! Believe you me, it was country to me! My sister was almost 8 years older than me so our paths did not cross much so Mom was the one I called on to play when I was bored which was most the time. I do have memories of playing with my mom from Flap Jack all night long to badminton to taking walks but there was the occasion when she told me no for whatever reason. It seems like yesterday and I hear her say, “Donna, why don’t you go sit underneath a tree and do some constructive thinking?” SERIOUSLY Really?
Wow Mom. Disappointed, I would do just what she said – I would literally go sit beneath a tree and think and ponder in the silence the outdoors offered me. I have her to thank for my thinking and my pondering and my wondering. She was a writer and I guess somewhere on the inside of her, she knew how to access that place in me that was called to write.
I hated quiet….but in the quiet I was forced to meet with me. I genuinely like me. I know….weird right? Honestly, I did not like me when I was little but I’m oldER now and I can go to the movies alone, out to eat by myself, take a drive alone, go to the park…it’s so refreshing to like myself. I meet a lot of folks who MUST have the sounds of tv, radio, music or talking around them to feel comfortable…and maybe it’s not the same with everyone…but I think maybe it’s a way to hide out from meeting ourselves…..SO BE BRAVER AND FIND YOURSELF IN THE QUIET 🙂
BE REALLY BRAVE AND Check out my book Woman Come Out of the Cave on Kindle for $4.95 – a walk down memory lane and you get to meet my Mama too!
She refuses to leave. She is clinging to me as if I have something to offer her. Does she not understand that I expect nothing good to come from my life? Does Ruth not see that Your hand is against me?
Yet, she begs. She pleads. She says where I go, she will go and where I live, she will live. She says my people will be her people and You will be her God. She says she will die where I die and that she will not leave my side. Ruth believes and has said over and over that I should hope again!
I do not understand why would she want to travel with me? Why doesn’t she return to her own family? I love her – I do – I just do not understand. Maybe it is because I’m so distraught. All God’s goodness has slipped through my fingers.
The truth is that I’m feeling so very old. To make matters worse, I feel so very alone even with Ruth. I admit my despair. I feel without hope. I have zero expectancy. I have zero confidence. It was so hard when You took Elemelech but did You also have to take my sons too? I’m the victim here!! You have rejected me! Have You truly forsaken me? I feel it is more than I can take. I have no hope of a future yet she clings to me as if everything will be all right. She has hope. She expects. She has a glint in her eyes I admire. I see her willingness to see beyond today. Forgive me. This darkness has taken my attention further from hope than I thought possible. How do I hope again? I realize You did not take my family – I just feel so without purpose now. Who will I care for now? Myself? Is that it? Have I anything to live for?? I’ve nobody to love. What can You do with me, an old widow?? When I left home, I left full of expectancy and confidence of a life to live. Now, here I am coming back empty – I never saw myself as a widow.
In the midst of my affliction, dare I hope again? Is it possible to expect good again? Am I brave enough to be confident again? I used to work and sell and trade and contribute. Show me…how do I live again? How to hope again?
After all, I am returning at the beginning of harvest….
Do you ever feel without hope? There is ONE Who will not condemn you for your honesty. #BEBRAVER Give it all to Him. Take your thoughts of rejection and pain to the One Who has a renewed purpose for you. Do not give in to the darkness that threatens. There IS a new day and HE DOES have something for you. Just wait and see. Hold on. Don’t turn back. Don’t give in. Don’t turn around and don’t look down. Instead, be watchful and see Him on the horizon. HE will show you how to hope again.
Jesus, I come and I declare I will hope again.
This article composes thoughts from a woman in the Bible (Naomi) regarding her life and her misery as a widow. It includes her unbelief regarding her daughter in law Ruth’s choice to come with her instead of returning home to her own people. I wondered, as I penned this snippet of what the thoughts in her head could have been – if – this is what happens to us as well. Sometimes, it just feels as if we truly have no hope. HOWEVER…….ENTER……JESUS…….LIVING HOPE…….WHO DOES SHOW US HOW TO LIVE AGAIN.
Maybe you feel you are about to blow up because your have so much stress and tension and craziness around you. It is the season to be JOLLY NOT OBNOXIOUS 🙂 So, blow off steam with the devil and leave people out of it. You cannot shift your blame for your bad mood on your friends, family or fast moving job. You cannot allow the accuser to come in and through you -accuse everyone around you for your mood when you alone have control over your heart and mind. The enemy is the one who steals our peace, kills our relationships and destroys our lives. Don’t accuse someone else when your temper is high sky – time to shift gears and come out of agreement with the torment that keeps you bound by anger, frustration and accusations. Why are you pointing the finger while blowing off steam?
Remember when you are in a bad mood – the enemy is happy and when you are at peace – well, the enemy hates it! So, #BeBraver and be in agreement with God and keep your peace. When you keep YOUR PEACE – YOUR HOUSE WILL BE IN PEACE.
Jesus loves you and HE wants us to be like HIM……..not the one who got thrown out of heaven.
Father, we come in Jesus name and we change our mind and come out of agreement with every attitude that is not pleasing to You. Sometimes we just do not even begin to behave right and though by grace we are saved – it is because of Your grace that we can behave and be kind too. We choose your GRACE and as Pastor Bob Phillips used to say years ago: GRACE IS God’s Righteousness And Corresponding Enabling.
WE thank You for Your righteousness and how You enable us to do the right thing when we feel we cannot in Jesus name. Let it be.
Send this to friends who would want to #BeBraver and be encouraged by Blowing off Steam.
Remember how, as a little girl, I idolized my sister just to find the enemy’s hatred? Because of hatred, I suffered abuse for a number of years. My mom chose not to protect me, and I felt I had nowhere to turn for safety. An ugly young child with a strange last name, I was ridiculed by everyone in my class, from 1st grade on up. Though I was an avid reader and a straight A student, I became a tattletale and a teacher’s pet, because I felt like I needed an adult’s approval. I felt rejected at school, as well as at home, and felt like I had no friends. My sisters were all brought up the same way – fear filled. So, what do you do when you feel as if no one likes you, and you feel like you are all alone? How is life when you live on an island in your mind? How to #BeBraver?
I felt like I had no choice but to turn to myself for friendship. On the inside of my heart, I built my own world where I was in control. In my world, I never got hurt. In my heart, I was safe and protected, living inside my dark little cave world where no one could find me. No one could tell me no. No one could tell me I was ugly. No one could tell me I was without worth. No one could reach me expect the enemy.
Deafened by the voices in my head, I couldn’t hear anyone tell me yes either. I couldn’t hear anyone say I was pretty, and I could not hear anyone say I had worth. The result was that I grew into a pretty young woman who, by appearance, looked confident and ready to conquer the world. Yet I was afraid of my own shadow because I never confronted my fears – I only ignored them. I lived only according to my own wisdom. But because I looked to myself for everything, I truly could “talk the talk,” but my walk never matched up. It was not until I gave my control over to Another that I began to LIVE for the very first time and learn how to #BeBraver.
Where are you in your world? Do you live alone bombarded by the voices in your head or are you free to beCOME all He intends?
Pray with me – Father, I have lived in fear long enough. I give myself over to You for such a time as this and ask You to take this weakness and turn it into my greatest strength in Jesus name. Let it be.
When I was a teenager, my mom, grandmother and I were driving back from spending a day at the beach. We had a flat tire and pulled off to the side of the road and to wait for help. I got out of the car and an 18-wheeler stopped. A man got out of it and came over to talk to us. I took him around to the back of the car to show him where the tools were, and he made a grab at my breast. It shocked me! Here I was asking for help, and he meant only to hurt me. I was hurt, and I was angry. I remembered having the hammer in my hand and looking at him square in the eye saying, “With friends like you, who needs enemies! It will be a cold day in Georgia before I let you help us!” I was furious, scared and had no idea what to do, because it was now dark and we were stranded. My mom and grandmother came around to the back where we were and I told them what had occurred. They did not believe me. I was devastated. Then, he told my grandmother and mom what he had done. He apologized over and over saying he had been on the road for a very long time and was lonely and had lost control. Unfortunately, the damage had already been accomplished. In that brief encounter, I had decided that my mom did not love me, because she did not believe me, and I had decided that all men wanted to do was hurt me. Long story short, he did go ahead and fix our tire, and we got home safely. My heart was full of fear, and I never dealt with it. I don’t recall ever really discussing that experience of being grabbed with my mom, so the emotions of betrayal were trapped inside of me for a very very long time. I was in my 30s before I came face-to-face with those decisions I had made about my mom and men. It was not God’s way of thinking for me to believe my mom did not love me, and it certainly was not of God for me to believe all men were just out to get me and hurt me. The Lord does not want us to live afraid of men or women. HE has worked on this area of my life for many years. I’ve had significant breakthroughs and been tested severely to be sure my heart is healing.
A couple came into our world a few years ago and they were very loving and hugged and through their personal outreach into our private world, I became more healed than ever before. I was uncomfortable with the hugging and uncomfortable with a man picking me up and hugging me. Listen, he was not crossing boundaries – the Lord was using him to show me just where I was not quite whole. At first I was apprehensive and dismayed and realized their motives were very pure and healthy. I was the one who was doing my best to make sure no one ever crossed my boundaries again. In Christian life, we are taught some very religious rules about touching and for the most part I do believe we do need principles and guidelines to help us maintain purity. But truly, rules in themselves…..law driven principles….can never keep us safe. It is our hearts which must be made whole and be conformed into His image of purity….this is a safe place. There was a confrontation that took place inside of me where I saw my fears and I saw my need for healing. Anyway, over time….the fear left and the Lord had His way in me….healing my heart…dealing with insecurities and my fear of authority ever hurting (touching) me again. I want you to know that God wants NONE of us afraid of Him or those in authority around us. He wants ALL OF US to carry a mantle of authority and if we are afraid of one another…then we will not be able to love one another or receive love.
Pray with me – Thank You for not giving up on me and pursuing me into adulthood to be whole. Thank You that it is Your will that we be fearless and that we love one another. Give us wisdom and give us courage to obey You and Your heart and not our religious boundaries that keep us from receiving or giving Your love that makes us whole in areas no one sees. In Jesus name, let it be.
Send this to friends who would relate to no freedom without confrontation.
My sister remembered another time when she was a little girl, and my dad got angry over something she did. He beat her so black and blue she could barely walk. If she had gone to school the next day, the authorities would have taken Daddy away and locked him up for a long time. She admits that she had a sassy mouth and that was part of the problem. She challenged his authority, and he did not know any other way to express his displeasure, other than to treat her the way he had been treated. She had no relationship with our dad. Am I excusing our Dad? No, I’m not excusing. However, when you enter into that mature place in the LORD, you identify the reasons people do what they do. She knows he was wrong to treat her in that manner, and she was bound up by fear and intimidation and anger and self-hatred for most of her life, simply because that was how she was treated. She did not know any other way to respond to his behavior. She became an intimidating, challenging, manipulating. Condemned for years by her own self image, she was set free by the love of God, and the unceasing mercy of His steadfast faithfulness in her life. JESUS loved my sister out from her cave. She is now a person who is non-condemning and more empathetic to the tears and frustrations of others.
When you receive the love and forgiveness of our Father in heaven, you learn how to give it out as well.
What kind of season are you in right now? Are you in a season of pain because of a wounded heart or are you in a kaleidoscope of fear? Are you discouraged or feel beat up? Has God been showing you some things about your heart that He would like to change? Did you know that every change He desires to make is for our own good? He wanted to heal Sandy’s heart. God did not want her living her entire life with a wounded heart! Just as He healed Sandy, He is also concerned about you! Have you have experienced a difficulty that has caused you great pain or sorrow? Maybe you are grieving due to the loss of a loved one? Maybe you are confused from an act of betrayal? Maybe you feel rejected, and would rather no one know the truth of how you feel on the inside. Be assured that God knows and God cares, and He will not leave you as you walk through the experiences of life and in time HE makes us all TO #BEBRAVER as we become BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL!
Do you feel discouraged or beat up? Briefly express to the Lord how you feel in this season and why. Be sure and write it down so that you can see where you were/are and where you are headed.
Pray with me
I do feel discouraged and beat up and need to be renewed according to Your Spirit. Help me feel alive again. Show me how to cast off this discouragement and despair and cause me to enter into life again! I need You Jesus! Help me! I admit that my heart has been wounded time after time, and I am so afraid to trust anyone. It is difficult for me to believe You have good plans for me and want me to enjoy life. So, Lord, come and change my distorted view of You. I forgive all those people who have offended me. I admit I responded to their abuse by letting it strongly hold me in a non-forgiving attitude all of these years. I release them and I release myself from my own unforgiving heart in Jesus name. I choose to FORGIVE!! I love You Jesus and need You to lead me into Truth and love and trust again. Lead me through this season God, and take me to the other side. Walk with me through this pain, so that I can be set free. I love You and as I learn how to #BEBRAVER, I look forward to living life BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL!
Send this to friends who need to see their own beauty.
My siblings grew up under the shelter of pain, rejection, beatings and misunderstandings. We were not the Christ filled, love centered home. We had a daddy who had grown up in the depression in a household where you got three bullets and a gun and your grocery store was located in the nearby forest. If you came back with only 1 bullet, the rule was that you had to also come back with two rabbits. Dad had been brought up by a mom who had been married and divorced nine times before her death at 91. So, he never knew the loving kindness of a father figure. He only knew the betrayal and abandonment of one woman and nine men. Our dad was a drill instructor in the navy, back when beating the troops was just a part of the day-to-day training. Our mom was born in obscurity and embarrassment and poverty. Because of her own shame, rejection and abandonment issues, she rarely stood up to the violence and anger alcohol brought into the home. So, it is understandable that all my sisters knew how to give was the very thing they had been given – abuse. Our parents had each been a victim of hate and us kids too had each been a victim of hate.
But we did not have to remain victims. There is a place inside where you grab hold of Truth and become victorious. You must decide today to #BEBRAVER than ever and get free from your past. Your past does not have to be your today. Your parent’s abuse is not your today. Grab hold of God and let God’s Truth give you a new today. Today, you turn to victory in Jesus name. Let it be.
Change your mind and not longer listen to be a victim of hate…
As a little girl I found out that no matter what I did to please my sister, it was never enough. It was my heart’s desire for her to love me. Inside my mind were the thoughts of the enemy saying to me how much my sister did not want me and how much I was unwanted by everyone in our family. All these were lies. I did whatever I could to get her attention and gain her acceptance. My heart desperately wanted to be with my sister. My thoughts lead me into wanting to be her tag-a-long, because I wanted her to accept and love me! Unfortunately, no matter how I attempted to show her how much I loved her, it never worked. The enemy had poisoned her mind toward me and without realizing it, she wanted nothing to do with me and so no matter what I did to “make her love me”, it was never enough. She was a victim and I was too.
Before I go on, I want to explain to you that her hate for me was an unseen enemy who planted and lived and desired to destroy not just me but her as well. Think about it. She believed she hated me and because she hated me, I believed lie number 1: I had no worth. And that just served to add to my growing belief about lie number 2: no one loved me. Now, listen, this was not a plot just against me – this was a plot against her. The hate she felt toward me was also how she felt about herself and it was not really how she felt….it was a system put in place by an enemy….if darkness can convince us we have no worth, then we will live as if we have none. This woman – my sister – overcame this darkness and she has tremendous worth and sees my worth and EVEN sees the worth of those who seem to hate her. WOW. What a turn around.
This mentality of believing I had no worth and that no one loved me ruled my life, until I dealt with it at the cross. This is the same cross my sister came to that changed her from a vessel of hatred to a vessel of love. However, because I was thirty when I actually committed to living my life in Him, that mindset of hatred was my safe place for the first thirty years of my life. Those feelings toward myself did not just magically leave my heart. Because of the graciousness of the Lord, the Holy Spirit enabled me to believe Him, and what He said in His Word, about others and myself, and slowly but surely my mind changed. As I grew in the Truth about myself, I also grew in the Truth about what He said about my family. The Lord gave me understanding on the whys and the hows regarding our childhood. I began to understand that though she had chosen those thoughts toward me, she was not my enemy. She too had been a victim of the enemy, just like I had been, and only needed a revelation of God’s love to turn her around. Somehow in my heart I just knew she would one day choose Him and receive His great and wonderful love for her, and that would dispel the awful hatred she had toward me. Slowly but surely I embraced his Word of Truth for me, and one of them was a key to learning how to love my sister even when she seemingly had hatred in her heart towards me.
2 Tim 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
God did not want me to be afraid! God does not want you afraid! After the Lord showed me this scripture, I had to begin to let go of fear, and I had to learn how to embrace courage! Can you embrace courage today? Can you become #Braver? Unfortunately, I had lived under the rule of fear for so long, that it was not an easy process. Fear was a best friend and it was very very difficult to embrace another attitude. But it was not impossible. I realized that fear was why my sister had not loved me! She too had been afraid of love, and she did not really truly know how to love because she had not experienced pure love either. The truth was that neither one of us knew how to love or be loved. Do you? Love and forgiveness go hand in hand. Can you forgive? Then you can love. Can you be forgiven? Then you can receive love. God gave me a picture of my sister’s heart one day, and I could see her desire to be loved, and I could see her loneliness and her fear of abandonment and all the other junk from OUR past. The Lord brought compassion for her. No longer did I take it personal when she seemed to shun or reject me, because I knew it truly had nothing to do with me! It wasn’t personal! This was an all out war for HER SOUL TOO that the enemy had begun in her very early in her life, and I just happened to be a victim of it, not the reason for it. We had both individually been a victim of hate.
Are you a victim of hate? You do not have to remain one.
Father, I pray you will come and reveal truth and let Your perception go deep within the one reading. Let your LOVE and YOUR sound mind and your power embrace this reader and let today be a new day to begin the process of freedom in Jesus name.
Send this to friends who would relate to being a victim of hate.