Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finding Rest In Being Refined.

RESTORATION: res·to·ra·tion noun \ˌres-tə-ˈrā-shən\
: the act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc.

This is what has been occurring these past two days. And he has used the body of Christ to help me get there. I haven't been able to honestly say, "I feel good" in quite a while since the mind blowing news of my little Abigail's birth defect. Now, happily I can say with full confidence and joy... "I feel GREAT!" On the outside it would appear to some that things are falling apart because of the news of my daughter's birth defect, the news of my mother almost passing, the news of me having to be hospitalized just to get some teeth yanked out. It all felt like too much because it was all happening all at once rather than on separate occasions. This did make it feel like everything was falling apart around me and I got to this place that just left me to my knees just crying out to God (while running around like a chicken with my head cut off) lol... but it wasn't until I felt full restoration until one little Bible study on a Wednesday night at my church. I was encouraged, and uplifted and humbled. It was a beautiful time of healing for me to have the opportunity to share my burdens, and to be honest and open about the pain that I have been experiencing concerning the trials I mentioned above. Honesty is such a beautiful feeling. It's so much better than buying the lies the enemy tries to inject your mind with. Lies like, "Your problems are just too great." "Nobody is going to understand you." "You are alone in this, no one cares." Lies. Lies. LIES. All of that is lies. I am so grateful for God's holy Spirit to guide us and direct us and smooth out our paths so we can tread on level territory.

I have always had this huge struggle with the sin of pride. It has been so very hard for me to humbly ask for or receive any kind of advice or help from anyone. Especially those close to me. I hesitated because I feared rejection, humiliation, isolation, criticism... but what I came to find out is... really, the total opposite is what I received when I chose to reach out to others for help. Satan loves to make us feel like our problems are too great for people to understand or even relate to... almost like our problems are "better" than other people's problems. This is how I realized I had been feeling for all of my life. Because of that wrong attitude, I became my own source of pain and frustration. I was the one that was causing myself to be isolated and became a prisoner inside the walls of a cell I built. It was destructive to my relationship with myself and others. And it hindered my relationship with God. God and I had that relationship but, oh much richer it is when we decide to put feet to our faith and climb up and out of those walls we build.

Restoration found me. And I never have been more thankful. I am beginning to see now some of the reasons behind why God is allowing all of these crazy things to happen in my life now. I would like to share them with you:

1. To increase my faith in God. I thought I had faith before. (Which, I did) BUT... God is bringing me through this difficult time to teach me to rely on him more fully and to test me.

2. To show me my need for help from God's people. Before all of this crazy started happening, I was a very reclusive type of person. It's not that I didn't want to be helped by others but it was the fact that I was too arrogant to receive it. God has allowed these crazy hard things to happen to get me to a place of desperation, because God knew that is exactly what it would take to get me to open up to others... to cry out for help when I otherwise would not.

3. To kill the pride in me. Before these trials, I felt comfortable. I felt like my life was going just great. I felt like I must have been doing everything right because things were going so "perfectly". I even was beginning to buy the lie that I knew more than others, that I was the one that needed to be the one that needed to help others more than having others help me because well, I had a pretty great grasp on things for being so young and all... you know... wise beyond my years. (Sarcasm!!)

4. To be real. Before these trials, I liked to be the one to have everyone think I had it all together. I liked people to think things were smooth as butter, and like the Proverbs 31 woman; could just wear strength and dignity and smile at the future like I hadn't a worry in the world. But truth is... there is no such thing as perfect. Now that God is really allowing me to feel the heat from these fiery trials... it's really cut me down, and broken me to bits... but in a good way. It has helped me realize, wait a minute! I'm human! I cry and believe it or not... when you cut me I bleed!

And lastly, number 5:
To let it go. Before these trials, I had such a major issue with wanting to control God. Yes, you heard that right. What I mean by this is... if I prayed for something... and I didn't get my way, I got upset. Sounds pretty controlling right? Instead of allowing God to move and work in my life however he pleases... I was like a little kid in a candy store..."But Dad! I want it ALL! I never get my way! Why can't I just have what I want?" I had the infamous... me. me. me. attitude. These trials have knocked me to my knees and have caused my hands to fly up in the air in desperation for God to just, "take this". These trials are too great for me to carry and just like with any heavy load... if your try to carry it all at once... your gonna' break and your bound to have to let it go... it's inevitable. Oh but when you do... what relief!

God has returned me to my original condition by repairing me and cleaning up my heart.


I have not "arrived" in any shape, way or form. I have only begun this new round of my faith journey.

My walk with God is more than just a walk because of my trials...

It is a marathon.

Jesus Christ is waiting for me at that finish line and I shall, fight the good fight of faith, and press on.


Because it is worth every drop of sweat to be able to experience the sweet taste of a long hard lesson learned in the end. 

Let. It. Go. 

Whatever "it" is in your life. 

Be refined. 

Embrace it.

So you too, can be restored. 

"I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back." Philippians 3:12-14 

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