Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
This verse has not always been an easy one for me. Some days it’s still not. As a child I was sexually, physically, and emotionally abused for two years by a teenager in the church we were attending. During the time of the abuse, I was told by a Sunday School teacher that if we are truly children of God and love him no harm will ever come to us.
The abuse took place almost 30 years ago, and yet I still have a problem with trust. I have a hard time trusting God, my husband, friends, etc. I spent quite a bit of time in counseling this summer to deal with the abuse and my trust issues.
I can’t quite say I’m totally ready to trust everything everyone says to me, which may not be a real bad thing. However, I am learning to trust in the Lord my God, who has used my abuse for good.
So, how did this change come about? First of all, in Proverbs 3:5 Solomon tells us to Trust in the LORD with all your heart. It sounds easy doesn’t it, until some trial or circumstance comes against us. I know when situations arise I start to doubt and freak out that God is not really there for me.
Yet, verse 5 goes on to say, “and lean not on your own understanding.” WOW!!!! What a concept! At 10 years old when the abuse started, I had no idea how this could be good. All I could think about was how to stop this from happening. I felt helpless and that no one was there for me, even God.
Growing up I still went to church and 2 years after the abuse started, God moved my family to a different church. Things got better, because I was no longer in the same church or home of the teen. Yet, with not telling anyone about the abuse until I was 22, I found myself serving God, but not trusting Him to really care for me.
I didn’t realize how it could be used for good until this past summer when I asked my pastor’s wife, my mom, if I could give my testimony during a Ladies Night Out. As I told about 20 women what had happened as a child and how God has completely renewed my relationship with my husband, and the forgiveness I offered towards the people I saw a lady, I didn’t know, who was just bawling. She came up to me afterwards and expressed how brave she thought I was to give such a testimony. She then proceeded to tell me that she was abused as a child the way I was by her own father. The lasting effects of abuse took a toll on her marriage and family. Yet now she feels that she could put her trust in God and He could help with the turmoil. I saw her recently and she told me that she has gotten help and God is really using her.
I had no idea that almost 30 years later that God cold turn something horrible into something good. Recently, I’ve felt that I need to tell people more of my testimony. I also feel that God is leading me to help those who have been abused. I do not know how yet, but Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”
Sometimes trust is like faith in the way that sometimes it is hard for me to say, “Ok, God, I place my trust in You in this situation. I know that You know what is best for me. I may not understand, but I will trust You. You said in Your word that You direct my path, and no matter where that leads I will place my trust in You and learn from it.”
I want to challenge you this week to place the trial, circumstance that may arise, or even a past pain in the hand of Jesus and trust Him to take care of it. It may not be overnight, but praise Him and thank Him for the difficult time and when the end finally comes around, let Him use you to minister to someone else.
A little while back, I discovered a fun little blog. Inspiring, easy to relate to, informative, fun, and with a sewing theme! Seams Inspired quickly became one of my favorite blogs. Before long, Larri was here commenting on our posts, and just like that I had made a new friend.
One day, Larri posted a picture of her mug rug. It had little gnomes all over it and was just adorable! I commented on her post that I had never heard of a mug rug and that I loved the fabric… Next thing you know I’m being asked for my address so she could make me one of my own and send it to me.
Now, let me explain to you how God was in this. Because as simple as it all seems to just accept a gift from a new friend this was really a lesson for me.
Recently, I was hurt deeply. I felt as though someone was trying to “buy” my friendship. It got to the point that with every gift I felt more obligated, and trust me the gifts were frequent. I eventually dreaded accepting anything, and the friendship ended for quite a few reasons.
After this, I felt awkward accepting anything from anyone. I felt pressured as though if someone gave me a gift, I owed them something more than a thank you or simple gift in return. Even a birthday gift from my husband made me feel as though I was in an emotional debt.
My new friend didn’t know anything about this. She just wanted to simply bless me with a little something to brighten my mornings. Why should I steal her blessing because of my lame attitude towards gifts that I simply needed to get over?
With prayer, I was able to trust God and email her my address. With even more prayer, I try to not feel indebted every time I see my mug rug. And through grace, I have found forgiveness from the Lord for taking for granted the fact that there are people out there who understand the true meaning of the gift God gives us in friendship, and want nothing more than that. The give and take, the pulling together, the caring, the laughs, and the tears. The good and the bad without criticism or judgement.
Just writing this post was one more step towards healing…
What about you? Have you ever had trouble with something so simple that you felt silly? Did you get past it?
There is something very important to me that I have been praying to happen for a very long time. I know it is something God would love to see happen also, so it’s not as if I’m praying for something out of His will. Why it has not happened, I do not know, but this is just where it’s at for now.
A few weeks ago I was praying about this special subject. “God, I know you can make this happen. I know it’s in your hands. But why not now? Why can’t I just be patient? I need this to be much simpler.” I could sense his reply, “It’s coming, I promise.”
My next thought was so horrible,
“I’ll believe it when I see it.”
What in the world was wrong with me? I know I’m human, but c’mon! Talk about lack of respect, I wanted to slap myself in the face! What kind of jerk am I talking to God like that? Doubting His statement! It’s not like He’s even able to lie, so why would I second guess Him? Ugh…
Faith. It’s rather tricky, isn’t it? Since that prayer a few weeks ago, I’ve been telling myself everyday… I WILL see it, so I MUST believe it.There’s no “Well, maybe, if God is up to it, my prayer will come to pass. I know he said he’d do it, but, you know, he might be busy…” It’s simply “He said it. I believe it. That settles it.”
When? I’m not sure. Actually, the element of surprise excites me. But he tells me it’s coming, so I’ll be on my toes. Ready for the prayer of a lifetime to be answered. Until then, will you pray with me for this very special unspoken request? Pretty please and thank you!
Some of you may be wondering:
How can I have a legacy that carries on when I have such an un-Godly past behind me? Doesn’t that leave me marred somehow?
We’ve all done things. Some of us more so than others. But then we came to know Jesus, and he washed all of those sins away.
Now that you’re on your new found path, you stress. But why?
Um, maybe because my past is troubling me…
I’ve struggled with this myself before. I used to always worried that I was unworthy or incapable of teaching my children the ways of the Lord because I was not always pure. But there are a few things I want to point out to you that helped me…
Nothing in your past has anything to do with the legacy you will pass down unless you allow it to. So stand tall, hold your head high, and teach your children the way they need to be taught. Never hold back or feel insecure. Tell them all about our Father and be confident.
After all, if you’re not confident, why would they want what you have? Be the example!
I just wanted to let you know how wonderful Your plan is turning out for me. You took this woman of little confidence and a whole lot of shyness and You’re showing her just what she can do if she just seeks You. Things are definitely a little scary, but in the same sense they are exciting.
It is our desire to do this unto You, to let every woman and mommy know that if they put all their trust in You and just seek your face in prayer and give You all the glory in all You do for us. That they, too, can step out in Your boldness.
I also wanted to thank You for sending me a partner that is funny, smart, intelligent and Godly, I know with Your help and Your hand upon us we will do just fine. Stepping out in faith, Lord, is all a part of our growth in You… Who cares if i can’t even sew, I’m sure You have pulled Your people up from greater tragedy. And after all, I am willing to learn… I pray for guidance in all you have laid out before us, for Your plan to go exactly the way you designed it… A beautiful tapestry just waiting to be laid out for your Glory.
There’s lot’s here to learn from my new partner. And I believe if we don’t let go of Your hand we will do just great together. The two of us walking beside You while You lead us thru another era of our lives… Thank You Lord, and I look forward to working with You… After all you are the CEO and manager of our new business… You’re also the banker and any other job we may need You to handle… But most of all You’re the One we seek counseling from… I pray we call on You first in all we do. Once again I give You thanks, And get ready for some business calls, I’m sure we will be needing you…
Every morning I begin to pray as soon as I wake up. I don’t wait til I’m up and out of bed. I immediately thank God for waking me up to a new day first thing. Then, as I’ve stated before, I declare that this IS the day the Lord has made and that I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. I CHOOSE to have a good day.
Yesterday morning, my eyes began to flutter open, and I began to pray. And out of no where, I started CHOOSING AND REFUSING.
“I REFUSE to be depressed. I REFUSE to be down on myself. I REFUSE to be negative. I REFUSE to not be all that I can be. I REFUSE to be in pain. I REFUSE to give the devil an inch. I REFUSE to lose. I REFUSE to give in. I REFUSE to give up. I REFUSE!”
“I CHOOSE to be happy. I CHOOSE to have an awesome day. I CHOOSE to be victorious. I CHOOSE to walk in the authority God has entrusted me with. I CHOOSE to have joy. I CHOOSE to be positive. I CHOOSE to be all that God called me to be. I CHOOSE to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. I CHOOSE to represent my Father. I CHOOSE to be the head and not the tail. I CHOOSE to be the lender and not the borrower. I CHOOSE to be blessed. I CHOOSE!”
I had never done this before, but my spirit man took over. It was like I all of a sudden realized that I have a voice. I have a choice. I mean, I knew this to an extent, but it struck me and I became forceful in my declarations. I should have been doing this all along, but it is never too late to CHOOSE and REFUSE.
Take a moment in your life to CHOOSE and REFUSE. You have the power in your tongue. Use it.
I cannot emphasize enough just how cool I believe this really is!!!
Little did I know that my little guy was going to be used, once again, to minister to me. You may remember that on Monday I posted about taking a leap of faith and how God spoke to me by watching Tommy jump off the couch.
Well, fast forward to this morning. I’m stressed. I’m scared. I’m worried. My Dad is going in for another surgery tomorrow. I’ve been praying all morning for peace. I went in to do some dishes when I heard my son sing “Hahahahahahaha” as in the verse from “The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength”. I couldn’t help but grin a little.
“Why didn’t I think of that? Duh Angie!”
Needless to say, I’ve been singing it for the last couple of hours.
What about you? How have your children ministered to you lately?
I love this song on Air 1.
“Be strong in the Lord, and never give up hope! You’re gonna do great things, I already know! God has His hand on you. Don’t live your life in fear. Forgive and forget, but don’t forget while you’re here, to take the time to pray. These are the words I would say.”
When I hear these words, I take them personally. I struggle daily, with the walk that God has me on. It’s scary, sometimes, not knowing EXACTLY what it is, that you’re supposed to be doing. I especially have to remind myself to “never give up hope”. I desperately want to do His will and not mine.
So read the words above, again, and this time, take them to YOUR heart!
You’re gonna do great things!
As I’m typing this, my 3 year old is jumping off of the love seat onto pillows that he has gathered into a pile on the floor. (My husband hates when he does this, but I let him. Shh… 😉 ) He has no worry, no fear, and is completely enthralled in pure giddiness. (If that’s not a word, I just made it up… Because it perfectly describes him right now!)
I feel as though I could use a lesson from my little guy. Lately, I feel like God is gearing me up for something. Some of it I know already, but I just feel like there is more. I’m amped up and very excited… but also scared. The unknown kind of freaks me out a little. Like when you’re expecting your first child and you have no idea what it would truly be like to be a mother, but you think you do. You feel all that wonder and adoration for someone you’ve never officially met and have only felt growing within you. You worry, “What if I mess this up? What if I fail?” but at the same time “Thank you Lord for this wonderful opportunity, I will be eternally grateful!”
That’s where I am now…
I just glanced over to my little boy again and he is laughing hysterically, jumping into the air, and falling semi-gracefully on his cushions. With each leap he takes I feel God speaking to me… “It’s your turn Angie. I’ll be here for you to land on. Trust me. Jump! Have faith!”
What about you? Is there anything you need to leap into with faith right now? Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you.
1, 2, 3…. JUMP!!!
Sorry, but I’m going to do a little bragging in this post… I’m really hoping I don’t come across as rude, a jerk, or
proud too proudful…
Since a little before I began this blog, as I mentioned in my “Why So Sticky?“, I’ve been just stopping when I feel the need and praising. I pray with my children more. I sing when the mood hits. I make it clear before them that Mommy is in love with Jesus and that it is a good thing to be. That praise does not have to be hidden. In fact, it shouldn’t be. That time for quiet prayer and Bible reading is not always allotted, so to pray where you are and read when you can.
Immediately I saw a change in them. But these last few weeks they’ve taken me by surprise. My 2 year old, who rarely speaks unless he’s in the mood, talks quite a bit about Jesus. He even sings, “Jesus” when playing with his toys. My 3 1/2 year old prays for just about anything. I even once had him come up to me randomly and say “Thank Jesus, Mommy!” The cutest is when he uses the 4 month old’s jumper as a “Microphone” and sings songs about the Lord.
This has been quite a motivator for me. To know that they are learning more by my actions has me thinking, “Hmm, I need to do this more…” and more importantly… “I should probably do less of some of this other stuff…”
How about you? Have you taken the Sticky Hands Challenge? If so, what changes and impressions have you seen?