Sunday, November 9, 2014

Spiritual stretch marks

Photo cred:  Kerri Weems
Have you ever had those days where it feels like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed?  The very first person that looks at you the wrong way, only makes you want to crawl into a hole and sleep for a long winter's nap?

Everyone has those days.  Outside of coffee cheering you up quickly I have only had one remedy that works effectively.  Stepping outside your comfort zone from the fear of man and step into a deepened fear of the Lord.  When everything on the inside feels undone, and it's been hours since you laughed out loud, and there is something gnawing on the inside that keeps you worn thin, you have to take action.

Every edge of me was frazzled and frayed.
No one likes change.  It's hard, uncomfortable and awkward.  God has changed my perspective on change however.  For me it is more uncomfortable my bury head in the sand.  I would rather attack a problem and deal with it to move past the issue.  God has shown me that His changes are always for my own good and are great opportunities to trust Him more with the places in me that still need a touch of His grace.

I've been the lady who just needed to touch the hem of robe of Jesus.  Spiritually speaking I needed some healing from a low-self esteem that was fed by some false humility.  I'd been wearing myself out a little over the years. Oh I wish we could swap stories and trophies about the things we've learned in the past year.

Ok, I'll start...

Perhaps it's because the dark times, the parts of our hearts that God hasn't touched yet that makes me appreciate the breakthroughs. We all have negative emotions from the past. Once we let go of those emotions, they are supernaturally redeemed and pave the way for the new fresh positive emotions. Perhaps it's in our sadness that God gives us His joy that is only complete when there is such a deep need for it.

New life in your spirit is where you need a makeover. And stretching you out of your comfort zone can bring a fresh filling of God's Spirit. When we look at our own needs through the lens of someone else's God brings a healing that you never knew you needed.

I write what I wrestle with. So journaling helps to sort out my uncomfy thoughts and lay them before the God, who waits with anticipation for us to release our grip on them. Is your past occupying too landscape in your thoughts?  It can do that so easily.

Our hearts are like layers that peel away slowly. This might be uncomfortable to talk about but what I know about comfort zones are they make good festering places for bitterness and unforgiveness bury deep and cover up a lot of guilt and shame.  

Growth takes place in the areas we allow God's healing to enter in.

How long have you been standing on those hills, those hills that feels like a part of you died on? God doesn't leave anything left for dead. He regenerates and restores. He renews and refreshes. God has already taken your place on that hill, stood in for you against your past to get you past those pebbles, stones, or even boulders that keeps tripping you. Only Jesus can bring an avalanche of grace and mercy forth to let all those negative thought patterns slide away.

Let the Spirit breathe truth and new life into those parts that still need the light of His love. What I know about God's love is that it is the most comfortable place you can go and there is always growth where love is sown.

I don't know where you are in all of this. We all have our pasts, we all have been hurt, and some of us have no one to turn to as trusted support that will hear your story. You may be fighting it hard today in pressing back the dark. Maybe you have been afraid to confront your past because it hurts too much. Maybe you just need a good nap. But there is someone reading this right now that needs to know that when you look at your past through the lens of God's unfailing love He will show you not the hurts you have suffered but the places where he wants to heal you to the depths that only HE knows you need.

God is not our accuser.   He is our Healer.

A year ago I prayed a simple prayer that reversed a lot of negative to become a whole lot of positive. This past year has been one full of spiritual stretch marks. And the knowledge I've gained isn't really about how I've learned but how I have applied the disciplines.  Living free a deep spiritual knowledge has brought me long the way in my healing. It took a lot of courage to get outside of myself to take a long hard look.

God has all the courage we need to make His greater changes. Courage is basic to living free and is composed of three parts - fierce hope and fearless faith and God sized love that takes our breathe away.

How do you start this kind of ripple effect that can propel you out of your state of feeling stuck and momentum towards God in a positive way? You simple lay your soul before God and ask how you need to change. In praying that you are opening yourself up to what takes more of the Holy Spirit to accomplish.  The Holy Spirit has been waiting to have His way in you. You have to make the first move to step out to find out. If you have to, even use your hands to reach out, stretching them towards heaven.

There is a part in a movie "The Croods" that hits me every time. If you haven't seen this movie, watch it. It's all about breathing in courage and conquering one fear one step at a time. The story line is of a  caveman family where the dad leads a survivalist trek across unknown territory with a courage he needed but never knew he had until he had to use it to save his family.  He has to go way out of his comfort zone to find it by conquering fears and gaining strength and confidence along the way. His daughter, Eve, has an intense hunger for courage and is a bit of a risk taker.  The part that speaks to me is at the first of the movie where she simply reaches to touch a outside world that she always believed existed.

I like reaching for God's way of courage.

We all have fears, we all have a past, we all are fearful of moving out of our comfort zones. But friends let me tell you it is the best way to live free because what you find at the end of your fear is more courage than you could ever need.  Let your hand reach out to find freedom from the hurts, the words, the pain, and plaguing problems as you reach for God's answers. Don't be afraid and get sucked back into darkness because of doubt that it's not for you too. Breaking free of your past is worth it. Every part of freedom is waiting to reach through from the other side and give you a gentle tug to the heart.

It's one thing to know freedom, but it's a whole new level to live free. Healing is what's quietly waiting for you and comes in the most unsuspecting way. Trusting God with those hurt places lets the breath of God invade your life....breathe in His healing that awaits...take in the light of His love in His living Word.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." Isaiah 61:1

Letting the Holy Spirit have His way in you is the surest way out of a dark place and receive the light of God's healing.  God will bring more rejuvenation and a joy you've longed for.  

It's running in the rhythm of His grace, His divine tempo for you.  What is stopping you?
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