Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New website!!!

Hey friends! I have switched to wordpress and am now blogging at www.stephanieclayton.org Please visit me there!

Blessings! Stephanie

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Unworthy...

She Speaks. Dreams in my heart, I stepped forward. Would they pick me? Would I be worthy? Would they tell me it’s my turn?

Aesthetically beautiful proposal in hand about absolutely nothing God called me towards. In the past few months my writing drifted. Washing further out to sea…further away from my calling.

Struggling night and day to keep swimming and reformulating the message God gifted me with into a twisted attempt at appealing to a wider audience. Neglecting everyone and everything God gifted me with along the way. I set my own course.

Tonight, Ann Voskamp spoke about gifts. What have I done with my gifts? The question rips at my heart.

Squandered, I squandered the gifts. Passing up the very blessings God has placed directly in front of me for something different.

We don’t write to publish. We don’t speak to have our face on a poster. It’s the hand of Jesus. We write, we speak as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Sisters, I ask forgiveness.

James 5:16 says this, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I neglected responsibilities to my blog sisters and my bible study sisters. I humbly ask forgiveness. Praying God molds me more to the shape of His hand.

God healed me from many things, yet “striving”, the need to “accomplish”, He did not deliver me until I was willing to ask. Tonight, I stand under the word of God, delivered.

Thank you Jesus for deliverance. Thank you Jesus for forgiveness. We are not only “picked”, but loved, treasured, gifted by God. Thank you Jesus.

I would be honored to pray with you my dearest sisters. No matter what we face, we come open handed to the cross, laying it all down. If there is something I can pray over you today, please let me know by leaving a comment. It is my privilege to pray for you, standing humbly before the Lord knowing that everything we have, everything, is a gift from Him. His and only His. Glory in the Highest TO YOU LORD.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some things just need to die...

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalms 126:5-6

Gardening is not my thing. I always have good intentions, and I love picking out flowers. But the actual work part of it, it’s just not my thing. I don’t like getting my fingernails all dingy, and I really don’t like finding worms in the dirt. Although I love a beautiful garden, I would rather someone else plant and maintain it. Good thing I married a former lawn guy, right?

Psalms 126:6 says that those who go out weeping carrying seed to sew will return singing songs of joy. Well, I can assure you that if I am going into my garden to sew some seed, I am probably whiney weeping because I don’t want to do the work! But as the rest of the verse tells us, we have to do the work to get the harvest!
I want to pull your thoughts to another verse as well, Isaiah 53:4. The Message states it like this, “We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried-our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!” Talk about carrying some sorrow. I can barely carry the bondage of my own sin, and yet He carried the world.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful visuals I carry around is that of Jesus praying in the Garden before His crucifixion, overcome with sorrow. I just imagine Him there prostrate before the Father, begging for some relief from the great pain. He would bear the sin of the world, my sin, and yet He knew this cup of suffering had to pass, so He carried it. He did the work. He sewed the ultimate seed.

He went out weeping, carrying my sin, covered with my shame, and yet He had a seed to sew. A seed of forgiveness that would change my life…all of our lives…forever.
When the time came, He bore my shame at the cross, and I bear it no more. And I fall down on my knees holding my sheaves up to Him, knowing that they are all because of Jesus.

And yet I find myself still stinging with sorrow at times. Prone to guilt, I often carry around my sin longer than I need to. Having repented at the cross, I still carry the guilt.

How about you? Do you found yourself still going out weeping with your seed over past sin and regret? If you do, might I offer you a thought?

Your sin died at the cross. So why do you continue to try and revive it? Some things just need to die. Your sin, your false guilt, it needs to die. Guilt is not from God, conviction is, but not guilt. You are forgiven sister. And while your sin died at the cross, you did not. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior you are raised to walk in new life. It is time to return from the fields of sorrow and guilt singing songs of joy, and carrying the sheaves of blessing with you. Your life has been redeemed from the pit dear sister, and I know you may not “feel” it. But SEW WHAT!!!! You go out and you SEW anyways, knowing that sheaves of blessing WILL come because OUR God, the God we serve, HE IS FAITHFUL!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

His compassions never fail...

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” Lamentations 3:22 NIV

So, currently I am helping with Melissa Taylor's Online Bible Study using Wendy Blight’s Hidden Joy In a Dark Corner. The chapter this week is about quiet time, it is amazing, and I am convicted. Can I just confess that through the past few weeks I have not spent needed time in quiet time, too consumed with my book proposal? I know, it is so silly that in writing a book about how great our God is that I wouldn’t spend needed time with God, but it happens, so I confess.

And I just want to say that I am in love this morning. I am in love with the mercy of the Lord. He truly never leaves or abandons, it is only us that walk away, and when we return to Him, well, He is ever so faithful in His promises.

So, today, I want to do something a bit different. I want to show you how I spent quiet time this morning, unpacking Lamentations 3:22. I hope it speaks to you as much as it spoke to me.

The first of this verse states “because of the Lord’s great love”. In my study bible it shows me that this great love that is spoken of is a covenant love, a love that is faithful to promises. The same love that brought the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, a love that delivers.

And the verse goes on to say that we are not consumed, that “His compassions never fail”.

Alright, now here is where I am going to get tough with the Word of God. Last night we studied Exodus at church, in particular the part where Moses is up on the mountain for 40 days and during this time the Israelites craft and begin worshiping a golden calf. If you read a bit further you find that Moses goes down the mountain, and eventually calls all the people that are for the Lord to Him, and of those that don’t come, many are slaughtered. Wow huh, that’s not a pretty story you can wrap up with a bow, or is it?

The compassions of the Lord never fail. I think we are so quick to take in the loving and compassionate nature of the Lord, but it is much more difficult to accept the concept of His judgment. However, my pastor had an amazing point last night, He NEVER passes judgment without first offering mercy. Time and time again in the Bible, the Lord will judge with a harsh hand, but He NEVER does it without offering mercy at first. It is only those who do not accept His mercy that are dealt with in a harsh manner. This brings us to the ultimate truth, that with Christ, it was finished. He was the final one and only sacrificial lamb, and God offers us unending mercy through Christ should we choose to accept Him.

So, this morning the Lord offers me mercy, I have not been spending enough quiet time. He calls me in to spend time with Him, and because I am obedient, He shows His mercy and meets me right where I am at. His compassion is never ending, His love never fails. He keeps His promises, and in the end He will separate those that have accepted Him from those that do not, plain and simple. But we can rest assured that the moment we put our faithfulness in Him, that NO MATTER WHAT, He forgives, His love never fails, and He doesn’t ever leave or abandon us. The love of the Father for His children is unmistakable, He loves you dear sister, even in your trials, He loves you, and you can choose to find peace and rest in Him.

Friday, July 15, 2011

He is enough for ALL that is you...ALL that is me...

So my blog has been a little blank lately. One reason, I went on vacation this week, which was FANTASTIC! The other reason is that I am working like crazy to polish and finish my book proposal for She Speaks.

And it is here in this place, that I find my heart a bit heavy. From reading the writings of fellow She Speaks sojourners, I notice that we all seem to be in a place of deep digging into our calling. Kind of being pushed to the next level as we prepare for the conference.

Each of us will be stepping off of that airplane, or out of that car, or van, or bus with hopes and dreams. Dreams not our own, because if they were just ours, we would have given up a long time ago…but dreams that God has placed into our hearts. Deep desires, bleeding stories, and jars of tears all coming together into one place hoping for fresh revival on our war weary souls.

Each of us in a place of daring to hope, all of us knowing in our heart of hearts that His love and grace and mercy don’t run out. That He is enough for ALL of us.

And not ALL of us in the sense of the numbers of women, but ALL of us in the sense of our own us-ness. He is enough to fill up ALL of us: the parts of us that want, the parts of us that need, the parts of us that hurt, the parts of us that desire, the parts that are teary eyed, and the parts that are in pain…yes dear…He is enough for ALL of us in all of our own us-ness.

And tonight He gives me, He gives us, this from His Word:

“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over), He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won’t EVER walk out and fail to return.”
Lamentations 3:22-31 The Message

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tangled up forgiveness freedom

Forgiveness. It has always sounded a bit trite to me - that forgiveness is for you, not to person you are forgiving. I have reminded myself of this thought many times. But, it just seems to lay there on the surface, never really moving into my soul. So you can imagine my thought as we began the journey along this chapter about forgiveness. ”Oh great”, I thought, “here we go…forgiveness…blah blah blah”.

Only…this time it was different. Wendy, and the words God has given her…they blew me out of the water. As I read through the chapter, one short sentence captivated me, “Forgiveness set her free”.

Forgiveness and freedom are stuck together like gum in your hair. They get all tangled up, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t separate them. There are too many strands that are binding them together.

What would be the point of Christ dying on the cross to forgive our sins, if it did not lead to freedom? They cannot be separated. His death equaled our life. His suffering equaled our freedom. It is impossible to live in bondage when you fully accept the truth of Christ’s love and forgiveness.

But what about when it comes to us forgiving other people?

You see, our forgiveness came with a price tag, the death of God’s one and only son. It was only dismissed because He paid the price. Now that just doesn’t make sense economically, the one who owed nothing paid the price for the one who owed everything. If anyone should have paid the price for sin, it was us, but we did not.

If anyone should have paid the price for Wendy’s rape, it was her rapist. But here’s the thing, God paid the price for her rapist as well. As much as it stings, his price has been paid, just as her price has been paid. And ultimately it’s up to us to accept the offering of forgiveness that He gives us.

Christ did not die out of something that He owed us. He did not owe anyone anything…but he loved us, so he set us free.

You do not owe the one who hurt you anything.

You do not owe God anything, the price He paid for your sin can never be repaid no matter what you do…it cannot be bought or earned.

But…you can spend years trapped in bondage of unforgiveness refusing to follow the example Christ has set for you and staking a claim in your own freedom but refusing to believe it is offered to anyone else. The problem with this arises when you realize that you are also refusing to let yourself go free.

The freedom message of the cross does not choose sides, it floods everyone. There is no wrong or right when it comes to forgiveness, it is love, it just is. It is because it needs to be. It chooses no exclusions, because true love unconditional love, covers all sin.

So how then do you forgive when your heart doesn’t feel the love? When all your heart feels is anger and hate? You choose to let go of the anger. You choose to let the punishment come when judgment comes, knowing that Christ has forgiven you, that you have been blessed with freedom, and that this freedom gift is not to be hoarded, no matter what the circumstances. You offer up your forgiveness as a peace offering you your Lord, not because it gets you into heaven, because it keeps you from living in your own private hell. Forgiveness, it really isn’t just for you, it is for everyone, it is what washes us clean, and it is entangled hopelessly to our freedom.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Perfect, so no one else has to be

This might just be the most gut wrenchingly honest posts I have ever written. I struggle with perfectionism, but not in its traditional form. No, my grammar doesn’t have to be right, nor my spelling, nor my sentence structure when it comes to writing. My house doesn’t have to be clean, and my car could be considered a bio-hazard. But when it comes to living my life, I want to do it perfect, so that no one else has to be.

Following the date rape, I acted perfect, I never told anyone, I was perfect, so no one else had to be. I would save myself, and I would save them as well.

Got married, had two kids, a boy and a girl, perfect, so no one else had to be.

I got depressed, I went to counseling, and I was the perfect counselee, so my counselor wouldn’t have to deal with the messy parts, perfect client, so she didn’t have to be.

In my healing, I had to start this blog, I had to do something good with it, I had to do it perfectly so no one else had to be.

In writing this book, I can’t even sit down and map out the structure, because every time I do, I delete the entire thing, it wasn’t perfect, and I have believed that it has to be.

I have been broken, and open about my brokenness, but I would not be telling the truth if I said that I did it all out of the desire to help others. Some of it was out of knowing that to not admit my brokenness would break me further, so I made myself perfectly broken, so that no one would have to “help” me. I would make myself the most perfectly broken person the world had ever known.

My biggest fear is needing help, and yet that is exactly what this process of writing, healing, humbling, crying, falling has caused me to be. Broken, finally acknowledging that I need my Jesus, not just because He looks good to have around, but because he was broken so I didn’t have to be.

And yet for the first time, I think I am realizing, for reals this time, that Christ was perfect, so I didn’t have to be.

I just may have the subject and title of that book yet, a perfectionists struggle who was perfect so no one else had to be, until she finally realized that there is only one who is perfect, so she doesn’t have to be.

This blog post is not perfect, my book proposal will not be perfect, but I will write it, and I will write it from the gut wrenchingly honest viewpoint of my struggle with perfectionism, and it will not be perfect, because it doesn’t have to be.

Jesus thank you for loving me unperfected. I need you so bad. Thank you for letting me literally fall down off of my bike tonight so that you could speak to my heart. Thank you Jesus. I love you.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

crazy love grace freedom...

With the 4th of July and all, I’ve got freedom on the brain. Galatians 5 tells us that it is for freedom that we have been set free. That the law no longer applies to us, because of the shed blood of Christ Jesus. That to continue to subject ourselves to the law would be ridiculous, as that would completely negate the significance of the sacrifice of Christ.

What kind of freedom is that? At first it sounds crazy…lawless, boundless freedom.
Seems like it would lead to total anarchy, yes? But it doesn’t. Why? Because THIS freedom is faith, expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6).

Faith, believing in what we don’t see…expressed through love, unconditional and everlasting.

Unlike the freedom that the world offers, the freedom that Christ offers in not under any condition of worthiness or for that matter any condition at all. As people, we judge each other for our actions, imperfect as they may be, because in order to have peace we need some kind of laws that govern society. But not so with Christ. His freedom is governed by love.

He knows that if we choose to have faith in Him and trust Him as our Savior that the love from this sacrifice is ultimately all we need to follow in obedience. It doesn’t mean that we will never falter. We will falter, that is for sure. But it does mean that we will seek to follow his commands, and that is what keeps this freedom safe.

Boundaries exist for good reasons on a sinful earth, but as Christians we are not of this world. We are children of God, daughters and sons of the King of Kings. We are called to a higher level of freedom. One that does not need rules set in place, because faith is enough to keep us in the grace. Because He has called us to love others as we love ourselves, to ultimately respect ourselves and others.

The law was done away with. And his sacrifice has remained ultimate. The ultimate sacrifice of freedom for a sinful people, ultimately redeemed by crazy loving grace, bound through faith of children with a Father. A love that exists nowhere else in the universe, a love that binds forever, and seeks freedom as the ultimate sacrificial bargaining chip to allow us to remain in Him.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My child...your sins are forgiven...

Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

He was paralyzed. At the mercy of those who would come when he called. Unable to serve himself. Unable to take care of his basic physical needs. Shame took on a whole new meaning. Things that a 2 year old could do for themselves, he could not. He was different. Life was different for him. He longed to walk like everyone else. And despite all this, he considered himself blessed, because he had friends who cared about him.

The news was spreading like wildfire through the city, that Jesus was back. But what was he going to do? He knew Jesus could heal, but how on earth was he going to get there. Even if he got there, how could he know that Jesus would heal him? Or that the healing he offered would even work? Nothing else had worked.

But this man’s friends cared deeply for him. They were going to get him to Jesus one way or another, even if they had to lower him from the roof. And that’s exactly what they did. Sometimes it takes a willingness to do whatever it takes in order to lead a friend to healing.

With the help of his friends, the man is lowered right in front of Jesus. I wonder what he felt. Was he afraid? Was he embarrassed? How would he even begin to ask Jesus to heal him? He felt so shameful. Would he have to beg?

Before he could even get a word out, Jesus said to him, “My child, your sins are forgiven”. Mark 2:5

What beautiful words. My child, your sins are forgiven.

But the people around him were rather appalled, thinking to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Mark 2:7

And Jesus replies, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Mark 2:8-10

Your sins are forgiven.

The illness of sin is a chronic condition, pervasive, and affecting every member of the human population. It is not an isolated incident, or some type of illness that we can quarantine off. From the day Eve crunched into the first bite of the fleshy apple, the stage was set for drama. Something would have to be done. From this point on, not only would man be destined to suffer physically, but emotionally, and spiritually as well. Paradise lost.

Individuals affected by paralysis of the actual body are few. But paralysis of the soul, an epidemic. Women and men walking around looking as if everything is wonderful, when on the inside their heart is so frozen that it would take a blow dryer straight to the core of the problem to defrost the bitterness.

Jesus knows this. If we were to think that the only thing ailing the man on the mat were his inability to walk, we would be doing him a vast disservice. Because in his heart, he knew he was a sinner. Paralyzed by the bondage of sin ties, just as the rest of us. All too aware that he could never repay Jesus for the healing that was about to pulse through his body, and even more aware that if Jesus saw his heart, he would claim him anything but a man who was worthy of healing.

That is the ultimate question isn’t it? Are any of us worthy of the healing-be it emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual-that Jesus gives? Will there ever come a point in our lives where we can say, okay Jesus, I have done enough things right, now I am worthy of your Holiness to be spread upon my soul.

I don’t know about you, but I am fairly certain that by the time I was a 5 year old, I had done enough things wrong to negate a lifetime of good deed doing. Not that I was a disobedient child, I was really rather easy going. But the point being, we could never earn our salvation. It is impossible. That’s why He died on the cross.

Jesus is the only one who has the power to not only heal our physical bodies, but wipe away the sickness of sin as well. He is the great physician over mind, body, and spirit.

What is it that you doubt about Him?

Are you afraid of healing?

I once read a book title called the courage to heal. The title seemed ridiculous. I wanted to say, “how about those of us who have the courage not to strow our baggage out for everyone to see? Isn’t that courageous?” “How about those of us who have the courage to be strong. How about that?”

I honestly thought it didn’t take a smite of courage to heal. Those who needed healing were weak. It was those of us who kept it all in that were the strong ones. More like the courage to carry the load on your own, that is what it should have been called.

But when the rug was pulled out from under me, I saw the floor of my heart. The reason I held onto my secrets so hard was because I was desperately afraid.

Afraid of giving up control.

As long as my problems were safe inside my head I didn’t have to ask for help from anyone else. I didn’t have to admit that I was “hurt-able”. As far as I was concerned, nothing and no one could hurt me.

There is one gigantic problem that comes along with being impermeable to hurt. You become impermeable to love as well.

Never did I encounter this problem more full frontal then when my children were born. They pulled at the love strings tied snuggly around my heart.

If they were able to unravel one, I would quickly panic and try to tie it back up. “But mommy”, they would pull again. It would unravel a little more.

The more and more they pulled the more and more began to escape from my heart. I could hold love back from anyone but them. I could be fake to anyone but them. They had no idea what they were doing, but God did, and they saved my life.

The courage to heal. Rather the necessity to heal. I couldn’t love my children until I was able to escape the dark depression that had clouded my heart for years. And part of escaping this meant allowing my baggage to fall at the foot of the cross.

I would have to accept healing. I would have to relinquish control. This was not something I could do on my own. I would have to lend my wound to the great physician, and allow him to touch me in ways that I had only feared before.

He would have to see the hurt. He would have to see the broken. He would even have to see the sin. He would have to know that I was not perfect. He already knew that anyways, but I would have to admit it. That I had guarded myself from Him.

Could I trust him?

Can you trust Him?

I honestly believe that trusting Him is one of the most crutial steps we must take before we can begin a life filled with the joy of the spirit. We can trust Him to forgive our sins, and yet never trust Him for anything else. We can trust Him to heal the surface, and yet refuse to let Him touch anything else.

Jesus clearly restored the paralyzed man’s ability to walk, but that’s not all. That’s one of the coolest things about Jesus. He can take what we ask for in our limited human minds, and make it so much more. Jesus wanted to see Him run, to fly even.

He freed his soul to move spiritually. No longer was his spirit in paralysis bound by the ties of sin. He was forgiven. Complete freedom. From complete paralysis, to total, unequivocal body – soul – and mind freedom with the power of 6 words from Jesus.

“My child, your sins are forgiven”.

6 powerful little words.

Did you know that these words are for you too?

Proverbs 5:20 says this, “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.”

Healing to their whole body, and penetration to the hardest of hearts. His words do this. Sharper than any double edged sword. Is there anything of His likeness that we have ever seen or heard? Surely not. There are no words on the lips of humans, or Satan’s tongue himself that can do what God’s word can do.

If you feel led, I would love for you to pray this prayer with me…

Sweet Jesus,

You are the lover of our souls. The creator of our very beings. The fiber that binds our flesh together into a soul that breathes life. You are amazing God. We know that there is none like you. There is not another that can heal every single ailment that would bind our hearts, our flesh, our souls, our minds. You father, you are the great physician. I pray in the name of Jesus, that you will forgive me of any sin that continues to bind my heart. Set me free in the name of Jesus. Thank you that you are lover, the keeper of my soul. That you have seen and know every hair on my head, even before I was born. Thank you for loving me exactly the way I am. There is no such thing and fakeness or perfection with you, because you see into my heart of hearts. My soul of souls. Thank you Jesus for making me in your image, so that I can run to you and know you understand, yet also run to you and know that you forgive. Please bind up any part of me that would be afraid to come full frontal to you, because I know that you would never shame me, but only seek to unbind me. Unbind me Lord in the name of Jesus. And leave me unbound in your presence, so that I may experience the great healing that only you can offer.

In Jesus name I pray. Amen.


He is the ultimate healer.

He is different.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Having a rough day...lets go sew some seed...

Sometimes I wonder why some of us SEEM to have it so easy, and some have so much weight that I do not understand how our backs don’t break under it. If it were up to me, I would quickly run over, take this cup of suffering from my sister or brother, and toss it somewhere beyond the eye can see.

But…it is not my own to decide who should carry what, or what should happen to whom. Thank you Lord that you do not consult me on decisions, because I know I would make a mess of everything.

But, I do need to understand that when it comes to your kingdom, that You are sovereign and in control. I need to understand this because when I constantly question the sovereign will of God, I begin to step into His authority, and take that which is not mine to take, because the very thing I might choose to take could be what gives them a life worth living.

And when we get right down to it, isn’t all life worth living...even in the rough times? When it feels life is beyond our greatest control, we become complete in our dependance upon Him. Isn’t that what makes life worth living? Those moments where we can feel ourselves sitting in the palm of the Father, sheltered by the cleft in the rock, able to weather any storm that comes our way, because the Father is with us.

I don’t know about you, but that is what makes it worth it all to me. I don’t know your cup of suffering, or maybe I do. I don’t know the hand that has been dealt to you, and what God is doing with that hand in your life right now.

But I do know this.

That we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). That those who go out with sorrow, carrying seeds to sew, will return carrying sheaves of joy with them (Psalm 126:5-6).

Not just a little smidge of joy, but an entire whopping sheave harvest of joy.

How can this be, you ask. Sheaves of joy from sorrow? It doesn’t make any sense? I agree with you, a lot of things don't make sense.

But sewing requires action, make sense or not. In our sorrow, that is in our tears ,we must choose to sew the seed, the seed being His Word. We must take His Word from the pages to the pavement, acting on every biblical truth we can get our hands on. Because when we sew the word of God, we are promised that it will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

We are promised sheaves of joy, but for a seed to germinate, it must first be sewn. How will you sew the Word of God today? What scripture has He given you in the midst of your tears and sorrows, and will you trust him for it today? Will you believe it today? Will you ask Him for a way to put it into action today?

Then prepare you rooms for the harvest to be brought in, because it will not return void.

Let’s get to sewing sisters, because the seed of His Word, His divine and powerful Word, is just itching to be sewn in your life right now, right this very minute.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's your story?

Hey girls! Just a quick video post to get us pumped up for week 3!



Blessings girls!
Stephanie

Friday, June 10, 2011

Have you been bitten by a dog?

Have you ever been bitten by a dog? I have. And if you have ever been bitten by a dog, you know that despite the fact that hundreds of dogs haven’t bitten you, you will still remember the 1 dog that did bite you. Even if you get over this fear and become a dog lover, you will most likely always keep in the back of your head that incident where the dog bit you.

I kind of liken my circumstances to this. 100’s of people have told me how worthy I am. That I am beautiful. That I am smart. That I am perfect just the way God made me. I have read verse upon verse in the Bible that tell me that God loves me despite my flaws. And yet, I remember the dog bite. I remember the one person, or handful of people, that told me the exact opposite.

We tend to walk around in a state of looking to verify what we already believe. So, if I see a kid get bit by a dog, I might say, “see I told you dog’s bite”.

In the same way we walk around looking to verify our feelings of unworthiness. We might have 5 good things happen to us in one day, but what do we remember? The one time we failed, the one bad thing. What do we dwell on? the one time it went wrong.

I think this speaks a lot into why we have such a hard time believing the truths of the Bible. Because they are not natural to us. They don’t make sense to us. His love is so unbelievably off the charts that we compare it to the others that have known and or “loved” us in our lives, and think that the kind of love Christ speaks of towards us, is impossible. It doesn’t fit into the premade mold we have in our minds.

I know it is hard to believe these things. It would be so nice if just naturally we believed in supernatural love. But sometimes, it’s not natural.

We live in a world where there is good and there is evil. And I can assure you Satan does not want you to grab hold of the truth of God’s word. So, he will put everything he can in your path to confirm the exact opposite: that God doesn’t love you, that He can’t heal you, or doesn’t want to heal you.

One thing I have found helpful is to literally cry out “help me overcome my unbelief”, just as a boy’s father cried to Jesus in Mark 9:24. The other thing is just to repeat the truths of the Bible, of God’s word, and love…over…and over…and over…and over…and over again!!!! Just like you repeat the negative thoughts like a tape in your brain, you have to replace that tape with a new recording, which takes time, BUT IT CAN BE DONE!!!

Praying that God gives you the strength to keep up the fight for freedom girls, freedom always seems to come with a fight, yes? But in the end…as I have said before...it is SOOOOOOOOOOOO worth it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shedding light upon the dingy white...

We are re-doing a lot of things in our house right now. We just put down new laminate floors and in the process we had to take all the doors of the hinges. Well, while they were off, we figured it was as good of time as any to repaint our white doors. After all, with kids, especially artistic ones, sometimes your doors just need a little repainting!

As I stood there painting today, with my new can of fresh crisp white paint, I was amazed at how “unwhite” my doors had become. Look at the difference in this picture. These doors had always looked white to me, that is until I began to put a fresh coat on them…that sure brings perspective!




Swish swish swish, as I stood there listening to the peaceful swish of the brush, feeling rather happy that all I have to do today is paint and enjoy my kiddos, God spoke to my heart.

I suddenly felt myself back in the times of Moses, the Passover, painting the doorframes with blood so that the spirit of death might “pass-over” my home and spare my first born son. And then to the sacrifice of the ultimate sacrificial lamb, Jesus, born to die to take away my sin, so that death and punishment for my sins will pass over me, sparing me from an eternity spent separated from God.

I stared at the spot that had not been painted on my door, the spot that I once thought was white, but now looked dingy surrounded by the pure brightness of the glossy new white finish that consumed the rest of the door. I stared at it, because that spot was me. Dingy, dirty, broken, consumed with that unloveable feeling, and longing for healing. Oh, I had been saved mind you when I was at middle school church camp. My sins have been covered by the blood of the lamb for eternity. But what I had once seen as white, now all the sudden appeared a little dingy in the light of his grace.

There were spots that I had refused to let him touch. Dingy white spots, that had been covered, but not yet realized the fullness of the new coat of paint. I had put a barrier over those spots, refusing to acknowledge that He could heal them, and even refusing to allow him access.

Dearest friend, I know that there are spots which we would rather cover up, because they just seem too dingy against the white perfectedness that is Christ. But He didn’t come to save the perfect people, because, oh yea, there ARE NONE!!!! He came to save the lost and broken. Don’t hide your heart from Him any longer, just like he protected the firstborn way back in Moses day…and was faithful to set the captives free. He remains faithful…let his blood wash over you sister…let Him clothe you in that white princess dress…and set this captive heart free!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

beautiful things...

Hey girls! If you all are hopping over from Melissa Taylor’s page…let me give you a big southern girl welcome!!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog…it’s a work in progress, a lot like me!

I started this page about a year and a half ago, and it’s original name was “Journey of Healing”. It began out of me seriously needing some support from some sisters in Christ who were going through the same things that I was. At the time I began writing I was still somewhat buried in the throes of depression and still grieving strongly over the loss of my perfectionistic image.

You see, admitting that I was a victim of date rape was hard for me. I had worked for 10 plus years to mask the fact that I had been violated, because I believed like so many survivors do, that it was my fault.

In that 10 years a lost much of who I was, as I just kind of walked around morphing into whatever the next person wanted me to be. Not letting anyone in to see my true self, that was TOO dangerous.

But eventually, the Stephanie that lived underneath the perfection got lonely. She started to cry out in the form of panic attacks, and explosive anger and control, depression, overachieving, and lying to cover anything up that might not have lived up to my expectations of myself.

Something had to give. And give it did. I was like a whale who’s gigantic blow-hole finally exploded and the gush of water that came out shocked me and others around me…I won’t lie…it was scary.

But…sitting here now…I know why…and it was more than worth it.

I know that so many of you think that you are not able to heal…that God is not capable of healing you. LIES! I tell you! LIES! Is healing an emotional process…YES!!!! Will they feel a little overwhelming at times…YES!!! Do you need someone like a counselor to walk the journey with you…YES!!! Is it possible…YES!!! Is it for you…YES!!!

I wanted to share this song with you…because I believe that out of the ashes…out of all of our pain…He makes beautiful things…beautiful beautiful things. You are beautiful dearest sister…believe it or not…you are beautiful!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Are you willing? Then chase, pursue, love, and give relentlessly, and be healed…

Mark 1: 40-42 NLT “A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.

Have you ever wanted something for someone so bad that it made you angry?

I desperately wanted my husband to get a job that he had applied for. He deserved it, he wanted it, in my mind he was the best person for the job. But…because of something completely ridiculous, he didn’t get it. It flew all over me! Anger…feeling like this is so unfair…and yet compassionate for Him…I hated to see him feel rejected. If I could have done anything to take his pain away and give him that job, I would have. But all I could say to him was, “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be honey”. And love him, and be there for him.

It is so hard for us to see someone that we love and care about hurt, knowing that oftentimes all we can offer them is our love, presence, and prayers, and ride out the storm with them.

I find the verses above from Mark so interesting. What fascinates me the most is that in my NLT bible there is a star by the word compassion, which relates you to the note that reads “some texts say moved with anger”.

Moved with compassionate anger, Jesus reach out and touched him.
Instantly the man was healed.

I believe He feels the same compassionate anger for you. Anger because you are His child, and it upsets Him to see you hurting. And compassion because He loves you so deeply and dearly.

I know at times it seems as if healing will never come, and that He doesn’t hear our cries. But this is not true…lie...POP!

He is faithful. His loves endures forever dear sister, and He sees you right where you are at. Not only does he see you, but he hurts for you, he is angered over your pain, and he longs to heal you. He will heal you.

I know you may be tired, and feel like giving up. But, ohhhhhh nooooo you don’t! Relentlessly pursue Him dear sister! Chase after all that healing with all your heart, soul, and mind and do not stop until your “leprosy” disappears!!!!


Are you willing? Then chase, pursue, love, and give relentlessly, and be healed…

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thought stopping strategies

I am no stranger to panic. In fact the very reason that I sought counseling for myself in the first place was because I was having uncontrollable panic attacks. I just wanted to share with you a few things that helped me stop a panic attack, or even stop the downward thought spiral. These techniques are very simple and most of them can be used anytime, and anywhere.

1. Mindful noticing – it is as simple and as complicated at that. Oftentimes we get stuck in our minds either increasing the panic, or causing the downward though spiral to continue to descend. The reason mindful noticing works is because it throws a kink in the cycle. There are several ways to use this technique:

a. Whatever is surrounding you, notice it. Describe it, fully. Name it out
loud if you are alone. For example: I am sitting in my office, I am sitting in a burgundy chair, and the chair feels hard against my back. The keys on the keyboard feel slick. They are black. I have a silver bracelet dangling from my arm. I will count the crosses on this bracelet, there are 9. The metal feels cold. Etc, etc, etc. Keep doing this until you begin to calm.

b. Pick up a piece of fruit. Describe it fully and completely. As you eat it, notice the textures, chew slowly, notice the taste, etc, until you begin to calm.

c. Close your eyes and breathe slow and deep, notice every sensation you feel. Do not judge it, simply notice it. From the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Notice how the surface you are laying or sitting on feels, continue to do this until you begin to calm.

2. The rubber band technique – I love this one! Sounds crazy but works! Place a rubber band around your wrist. Where it everywhere you go. When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, pop yourself on the wrist with your rubber band and in your mind or out loud say “stop”. This technique is a behavioral and aversive technique. The idea is that eventually you will stop thinking these thoughts to avoid the pop! Also the sensation of the pop on your skin is usually enough to jolt you out of the negative thought cycle. Sounds crazy I know, but it TOTALLY works!

3. Verbal thought stopping and scripture. When you start the negative thought cycle, say as loudly as possible “STOP”! Refocus your thoughts, and refute the negative thoughts and lies with scriptural truth. I know the scriptural truth may not be something you “believe” at first, but over time you will come to believe it. You have spent years in these negative thought patterns, repeating them to yourself over and over again. It may also take several times of repeating scripture to yourself over and over again for you to begin to believe it. But, eventually, with practice you will replace those lies with truth! And the truth will set you free dear sister!

Lastly, I want to encourage you to seek individual counseling if you feel that is where the Lord is leading you. I avoided talking about my pain for years, and it wasn’t easy when I finally started talking about it in therapy. But it was so worth it.

Individual counseling from a Christian counselor was invaluable to me, she led me closer to the Lord, and with her guidance and His healing...it changed my life. I also continue to take an anti-anxiety medication. Which I was totally against at first, but it has made all the difference in the world. When you have been hurt or abused and spend years in certain thought patterns the chemicals of your brain get imbalanced. Medication can help to correct that imbalance. If you had high blood pressure you would take medication for that right? Same story with anxiety or depression, sometimes medication is needed, and there is nothing wrong with that!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who is this they call I AM...

I AM. The most powerful two words ever spoken in history. The very name of God. Spoken out of the burning bush to Moses, and then later spoken again by Jesus immediately before his arrest. I AM.

He is HaShem. The name.

What do the words “I AM” mean to you? Is it merely an expression used to describe a condition? I am sick. Or I am tired. Or I am happy. Or I am worthy. We throw around “I am” so flippantly that it begins to lose its poignancy. Oftentimes we don’t even recognize its definitive factors that speak to define the very essence of what a person is, has been, or will become. It is a passing phrase, as is much in modern day society.

The things we describe ourselves as using “I am”, are often not really “who” we are. If we were to use I am in its most basic definition, the only thing that we could call ourselves as Christians are the sons and daughters of the Most High God.
One of the simplest things that we could call ourselves, yet one of the most complicated mysteries that could ever occur on the face of the earth. That through the Son of God’s death on a cross, we could be called sons and daughters of God. So underserving, so unworthy, and yet we are heirs.

How does that happen? Does it even make sense?

Of course it doesn’t, it makes absolutely no sense at all. And what if it did? What if God did set out some criteria that made sense to us as humans? That a certain amount of good works would do it. Would we like that better? Certainly it would be a lot easier to wrap our heads around, but we would cry out as children do that “this is unfair”. We would wonder who gets to decide what a “good work” is and what it is not. We would argue, and call God harsh for His forceful and decisive hand.

No…instead he made it a mystery. Something that makes absolutely no sense. Crazy love. Love that surpasses all understanding. And I rather enjoy it that way.

My fellow daughter, what is it that keeps you from embracing the fullness of the” I AM”? What keeps you from embracing the fullness that you are His daughter?

That you captivate him.

That he is enamored with you.


What keeps you from taking in the full harvest of His love? Is it something that someone said to you, or something that they did to you?

So easily accepted are the lies, because to our human minds they make sense to us, no matter how twisted or jaded they are. How much more difficult it is to accept the divine truth that you are dearly loved no matter what? That there is not a shred of anything that could keep you from the love of Christ.

Now that is just crazy. Senseless. Unbelievable…almost.

But TRUE.

His love is one of the most simplistic yet complicated things on this earth, a crazy juxtaposition of faith meets fantasy in a land of truth. And for one time in your life, what seems too good to be true…IS.

Monday, May 30, 2011

And the winner is...

Last night I was snoozing lazily to dreamland when I awoke to a knocking sound. Literally, it sounded like someone was knocking on the door. Then as clear as day, I felt the Lord move in my spirit that it was Him who had awakened me and that I needed to pray.

Oh Lord, I am so tired I thought, I complained, I whined. And then, with reluctant obedience, I got down and prayed.

The moment my knees hit the floor, the tears started flowing. I am a bit shamed to admit that I had to quickly scroll through Facbook on my phone before I started praying. I saw the post by Melissa Taylor that we are getting close to 3000 signed up. She posed the question, could it be that 3000 will be set free? Could it be, not 2500, but 3000! Immediately, I knew why I was awake.

3000 Lord Jesus. Give me a heart for these 3000 women. Give me the words that they need to hear. Give Melissa the wisdom and guidance as a leader on this mass Exodus from bondage. Give dear Wendy sheer and delightful joy that not in spite of, but because of one of her most difficult moments in life, God will set the captives free. 3000 Lord Jesus. Could it be?

I have a book by Sheila Walsh that is titled "amazing things happen when a woman trusts God". What a loveley title to a book, yes? But that phrase is so much more than beautiful words...it is truth.

Tonight I used a random number selector and selected 5 winners. They are KJ, Hilda Quintanilla, Tava, MarryAnn, and peggyanncposs. Congratulations girls! If you will pleae message me your mailing address at stephkevinryan@hotmail.com, Proverbs 31 will get these mailed out ASAP!

But...I also couldn't help but select 5 more...God pulled me a bit further to the number 10. So the other five winners are...LNT, Shirley Ann, Christ1, prteyes, and the Anonymous who spoke about her 14 year old daughter being victimized by a 32 year old (anonymous, I would also like to pay for you to have conference calls if you are able to participate). Please message me your mailing address at stephkevinryan@hotmail.com!

Congratulations to all 10 of who will be recieving a book, but even more so, congratulations to the 85 of you who left comments. Comments that tore and ripped at my heart strings, or made me LOL, had me crying, or smiling ear to ear! I want you to know that I have written every single name down, even the anonymous ones, and am praying for you.

God has seen every tear you have shed, and the bible tells us that He collects them in a jar. He has not forgotten your tears, and he asks you one more time, will you let down your nets?

I love you all dearly! Thank you for the opportunity to listen to your stories! I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you more! I hope you will be on the conference calls. I will be a guest on the first and second call, so excited!!! Blessings and Love! Stephanie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let down your nets...


As I was perusing Lisa Harper’s book, “Untamed”, I came across her discussion of an old familiar story. It is from the book of Luke, Chapter 5.

Jesus is preaching on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, actually preaching from a boat that Peter was sitting in. Jesus taught, and when He was finished, He asked Peter to let down his net to catch some fish.

Peter, who had been working hard all night and the day before to catch fish, I am sure wanted to smack Jesus. I would totally want to say “dude, I know you are the Messiah and all, but I am a fisherman, and I tell you, that the fish just aren’t for catching today.

But reluctantly Peter says, “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again”.
I wonder how many of us feel like Peter right now. Lord, I am the one who is in the midst of this trauma. I am the one who survived the abuse. I am the one having to make it work on one income. I am the one who has to console my children after their father died, and the one who cries silently alone after they go to sleep. I am the expert on my pain. Who are you Jesus to know how to heal it? You have no idea.

Could it be possible that Jesus is speaking to you, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets…” Luke 5:4

Will we be obedient and trusting enough to let them down, one more time. Even though we have been fishing for answers for years, trying to heal for years, hurting, hemorrhaging, and bleeding for years…fishing for decades having caught nothing…will we let them down? One last time will you go deeper still, and let the nets down?

“And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, Oh Lord, please leave me-I’m too much of a sinner to be around you. For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him….Jesus replied to Simon, don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people! And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.” Luke 5:8-11

So once again, He asks you, are you willing to let down your nets?



Hidden Joy Video Blog - Your 2 am person!!!

What's up HJ girls!!!! I am so excited for week 1 of Hidden Joy! I just wanted to drop you all a quick vlog about your "2 am person". What is a 2 am person you say? Well watch this vlog and find out! Much love and blessings!!! Stephanie






video

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More replies!!! :)

Fiona Carney…Oh girl…I have spent some time in fear as well…it rears its ugly head up every now and then for all of us I think! But you are right, God can drive those little foxes right away! He is very good! Thank you dear sister! I look forward to getting to know you better.

Merrie! Amen. If it is anything I want all of us girls to be cities on a hill, proclaiming God’s freedom to anyone who may still be held captive around us!
Anonymous, I am so excited, giddy pretty much, too!

Joyce Chika, Praying too! And I am sooooo excited! Praying that you see your “burning bush” (what God is calling you to) and that you are fearless and relentless in your pursuit of His will!

Carrie! Yay for blessings! And yay for all 2500, okay well now 2700 of us!!!
Tammy Frost, so looking forward to doing this study with you sister!

PINKSSSS!!!!!! I am so excited that you are signed up too!!!! We must do coffee…and SOON!

Jodi Escapule, I just want to say thank you for being so gut wrenchingly honest here. I can tell you that my journal as I was going through the healing process was full of hateful words toward myself…cuss words, and I don’t even cuss. Praying that through this study you are able to replace that junk with truth!!!!!! That God loves you, created you fearfully, and wonderfully, and that is NOTHING to HATE!

Marisha, I so hear you girl! There are often times when I have wanted to do a study, but God said not right now, and then times when I didn’t want to do a study, and God said RIGHT NOW! LOL! Praying for God’s guidance as you make your decision.

Tina, so excited too!!! Yes all Glory to Him because we are mere dust without Him!

LNT, please private message me at stephkevinryan@hotmail.com or on my facebook page, it’s under Stephanie Clayton. I have some news you don’t want to miss out on!

Anonymous, deeper still, may that be the cry of all of our hearts!

Phyliss, I wanted to cry at the first of your post, and then jump up in praise at the end! A walking miracle!!!! God is SOOOOO awesome!!!

Amanda, thank you for sharing this wonderful prayer…beautiful…

Elise, so excited too!!! And yes, I am believing God is going to do an amazing work beyond our wildest expectations, not just for her, or for her, or for her, or for her, BUT FOR ALL OF US! AMEN!

Anonymous! Me too! Running from the dark to the light!!!

Janice, so glad you are going to be a part of this study!

Tiffany, finding freedom from our past is not an easy journey, but SOOOOO worth it! Hang on for a wild but wildly awesome ride girl!

Cathy, thank you!!! Your comment brought tears to my eyes! I know the internet can be an awful place, but it is what we make it right! So glad it can be used for God’s glory!!!

Cindy, me too!

Kim, I am so sorry to hear about your father. I don’t know if you have perused Melissa Taylor’s blog much, but she recently lost her mother and has written several moving posts about this. I am praying for God’s guidance for you dearest sister, and that you will find comfort and peace. Grieving takes time, is a process, and no one persons journey is like anothers. Most importantly, please don’t impose a timeline on yourself, there is no such thing as an appropriate time period. When the time is right, you will come to peace, but rest assured you are in God’s hands, and He will never let you go dearest sister.

Maryann, so glad God led you too this study! Look forward to getting to know you more!

6 Happy Hearts, a funk, oh girl, I have spent many a time there! Praying the funk passes quickly and that this bible study leads you closer and closer to the Father!

Anonymous, I am so sorry dearest sister, but please know you did not fall to Satan’s lies that you should blame yourself. It is not yours or your daughters fault. Please private message me at stephkevinryan@hotmail.com. I would like to help you get signed up for the conference calls, as there will be a mother and daughter on the call with a similar situation.

Angie!!!! I am so pumped up! Here we go!!! Freedom here we come!!!

Replies!!!

I am so overwhelmed right now by the goodness, no GREATNESS, of God! I am floored by all the comments! Some have me laughing, some have me crying, some have me saying, yep, me too!

My blog is not set up to reply to comments. So...I figured I would just take a couple of posts to list replies. I replied to as many as I could this morning...and will reply to the rest tonight and as they come in.

Thank you all so much, your stories are amazing! Praying for each and every one of you by name!


Psalm 56:8-11 "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?"


Just4us3, I would love for you to do the study too! God’s hand is so evident in this study…it’s an awesome thing!

Debbie, you are absolutely right…Jesus is our one steadfast and unfailing hope in each and every storm. Our one place of rest and solace. I am praying for you and your daughter, it has to be so difficult to watch her knowing that she will have to find her way in her own time, and that sometimes that process can be painful. But…like you said, He will bring beauty from the ashes, and His timing is always perfect. We just have to lean into Him and trust…

KJ, thrilled with you…it is so cool to be in the midst of the awesomeness of God!!!

Kristi…wow…you have such an amazing testimony…every single one of us are broken in one way or another…rejoicing with you that God uses parts…even the broken ones! I am praying for you and your mother as you both continue to heal…what a blessing that the two of you have each other! That is awesome! I so look forward to getting to know you more throughout this study…God Bless to you to girly!!!

KitKatRN, hitting the pit is rough, but so thankful we have a Jesus that never walks blindly past the pit, that refuses to let us stay there, and always reaches out His hand to pull us out, lock eyes with Him dear sister, and so glad you are going to be a part of this study…praying we ALL experience some amazing growth!

Prteyes, I wish I could see your face, and those pretty eyes. But I know that Jesus does…and that He looks into his beautiful daughters eyes and tells her how much He loves her. Oh to be one with Christ in His suffering, sometimes it seems as if we know this suffering all to well… I don’t understand, or even pretend to understand why we face some of the things we do in this life. Sometimes it seems as if we beg and beg and beg for God to take this cup of suffering from us, and He does not. We are left blindly asking why? I wish I could answer the why’s for you. But I do know that God is good, I do know that He loves you, and I do know that if He has the power to raise Christ from the dead, that there is not a single aspect of our lives that he is not powerful enough to bring back to life. Praying for you dearest sister, that some relief from his illness will come, and that God will heal according to His timing and will. Hang on girl, don’t give up, and thank you sweet sister for sharing your story, I promise you there is someone else reading your comment that identifies and finds peace in the fact that they are not alone, all because you trusted God and shared. You may be down sweet sister, but you will rise. The sun will shine again. I have battled hard with depression myself, and it was only a few short years ago, that nights were spent on the floor crying in agony, I tell you this so that you will know that it does get better, hang on dear sister…it does get better.

Melissa Taylor…I am praying with you dearest sister. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this study. Clearly God is using you in such amazing ways. You are meeting a need that has been gasping for air for a while now, providing a safe place for all of us who so desperately need healing. Thank you dearest sister, from the bottom of my heart. And thank you JESUS for Melissa! I love you girl!

Sandy! I am so thrilled that you are a part of this study too. I think the path is well worn for all of us in that we give Him things then quickly run to take them back, over and over and over again. I wonder if He gets the giggles out of watching us run back and forth franticly!!! LOL! Praying that this will be the time that many of us are able to lay it down and for once, not run to pick it back up!

Paula, I am so sorry to hear about your marriage…this has got to be such a difficult time for you. Praying for much healing and blessings through this study. God bless to you too dearest sister!!!

Kim! Yayyyy! I am so glad you are enjoying the book. I think all of us could use to trust Him more!!!

Amy, your comment made me smile! That is what this study is all about! WANTING freedom, because WANTING it is half of the battle sometimes! You are in a good place dearest sister! Praying more and more freedom for all of us!!!

SuzanneStock…don’t you know Jesus is up there jumping up and down at all of us climbing aboard that freedom train!!!! Yay God! So glad you are enjoying the book, I think we will all find that some of the parts are difficult to get through, but on the other side, there is freedom!!!!!

1stlovedbygod, I love your name, first loved by God! You are so loved by God!!! Let those chains of bondage begin to fall!!!

Sandi, therapy was a HUGE part of my own healing. I was also blessed to be part of a Bible Study similar to this, but on a much smaller scale during my own individual therapy. I cannot tell you how beneficial it was to do both!

Shirley! So glad you are claiming truth and joining the journey! Amen sister!!!

Heather, I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child, praying for you and your aunt, for healing that abounds…

The Tulloss Family, love your comment about “not sure what God has in store”. I think we all live much of our lives in that very spot, but trusting Him!

Brenda, abuse is abuse dear sister. I am so sorry for what you have endured, but so joyful that you will be a part of this study…

Christ1, what a beautiful comment. You trust God dearest sister, what beauty there is in that. Praying for you girly as we begin this journey together…

Peggyanncposs, AMEN dearest sister!!! He will raise you girl! No doubts! There is nothing on this earth that we can endure that could require more than raising the dead! Praying blessings beyond measure for you sister, for our suffering we receive a DOUBLE PORTION of joy!!!

Anonymous and Nance! So looking forward to doing the study with you!

Anonymous, that is so very thoughtful of you to think of your friend. I too have a friend I walked the healing journey with, and it meant so much to the both of us. Still does, knowing we can always go to each other in the tough times, giggle together and be silly, and go together in front of the Lord in prayer.

Swr4Him, Amen girl! I am studying Exodus right now In preparation for a book I am hoping to get published on freedom! Onward we go on the freedom journey sister!

Jennifer Dormany, excited and ready with you! Don’t you know we have Satan shaking in his boots with all of us ready to drop those chains!!!

Gallerhea, it is not to late! For a book, or for freedom!!! Praying for provision as well.

Jen, I love that…find what we want…plus extra goodness…the double portion!!!

Nite Owl, HOW COOL IS THAT!!! I am praising God with you sister! Looking forward to getting to know you better as we travel this journey together! God is sooooooooooooo good!

Hilda Quintanilla, It always cracks me up when God does that, throws something in our face so many times that we can’t possibly ignore it! It just makes me smile to know that God cares about us that much!

Danitza, Amen girl! Lock eyes with the Father, all beautiful you are to Him my darling!!! Your savior!!!

Shirley Ann…your strength is amazing dearest sister. I am praying healing and peace for your heart, body, spirit, and mind. Praying for His provision in every aspect and all things. Much love and hugs!!!

Marilyn, I love what you said about you carrying Him in your heart and Him carrying you in every circumstance! Beautiful! And so much truth in that statement!

Mrs. V, praying for God’s provision!

Jennifer sears carter, How cool for you to do this study with your 16 year old daughter!! That is awesome!!

Anonymous, yes dear sister, I will join you in the poolside reading!!! Love me some summertime!!!

LeAnn, I lead a survivors of sexual abuse group and suggested this study to them as well! I think it is a great study for finding freedom in Christ!!! So thankful for Melissa and Wendy for their awesome leadership! And so thankful for you for what you are doing for your fellow survivor sisters!

Michele Caseca, I love that! Dark corners into aisles of joy! AMEN!

Friday, May 27, 2011

TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED!!!!

That is how many women are signed up for the Hidden Joy bible study.

2500 women, bent in reverence at the foot of the cross.

2500 women needing them some JESUS! NOW!

2500 women on their knees, Jesus brushing the ash from under their eyes.

2500 chains of bondage clanking, shattering, and hitting the ground.

2500 captives...set free.

2500 of God's image bearing princesses lifting their eyes and locking with His.

2500 breathless from the mercy and grace flowing freely at the foot of the throne.

250,000,000,000,000 tears in a jar. He has seen every single one. He has felt with you, every single one.

2500 women SEEN and HEARD by their beautiful Savior.

2500 women singing JESUS! Worthy is the LAMB! We lift you HIGHER JESUS! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Thank you Jesus for every single woman you will set free through this study. Thank you for bringing us together.

WE ARE NOT ALONE!!!

You have seen every tear. You have heard every cry. You have felt every earth shattering event that tore them to the core. You were there. You are still there. You never ever stopped loving each and every one of them.

God may every single one of us fall hard at the throne of your grace. Falling so deeply in love with you that we can’t see straight.

Thank you Jesus.

Will you be the next one? The next one that holds your broken chains of bondage high for the world to see?

Will you let Him set you free? If you have been thinking about doing the Hidden Joy study, but are still hesitant, is it time to put your trust in Him?

HEAR THIS AT A YELL, A TEARFUL LOVING YELL!

IF I KNOW ANYTHING!!!! I KNOW THAT MY JESUS IS FAITHFUL!!! HE WILL SET YOU FREE GIRLFRIEND!

I am giving away 5 copies of Wendy Blight’s “Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner” to 5 women who are ready to take the next step.

What do you have to do to win, you ask?

The first part is simple. Leave a comment.

The second part requires a bit more. Make a commitment in your heart that you want freedom. That you are willing to walk through Melissa Taylor’s online bible study for the next couple of months…committing yourself wholeheartedly to the process of healing.

I will be using a random number selector to select the 5 winners…I wish I could give everyone that comments a book! But I do assure you that I will pray for every single individual that comments on this post, that one way or another, if you commit to the study that God will provide for you a book! And I am having faith that He will!
Will you have faith with me? It’s time girl…take the next step. He won’t let you fall.

You have until Monday night at 9:00 pm CST to comment...and I will announce the winners Tuesday morning!

I wanted to share this song with each of you. It is Natalie Grant’s “Your Great Name”. May this be my prayer for each of you…the enemy will LEAVE at the sound of HIS GREAT NAME!



For more information on the study, please visit Melissa Taylor's blog. Her strength, honesty, and joy amidst the storms never ceases to amaze me.

For the amazing author of “Hidden Joy”, Wendy Blight’s website, and to read her AMAZING prayer for this study…please click here.

To swish through the peaceful fields of gold and jump off the negative train of thought, visit my fellow dear sister Samantha Reed’s website here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

He uses parts...even the broken ones...

I still remember like it was yesterday…the day I went in to talk about “it”.

What would I call it when I talked about it? Would I have to use the “r” word?

I couldn’t tell her about the sweat, about the touching, about the body parts. What was I going to call the body parts?

They made me cringe just thinking about them. It was as if they were just that. Just body parts. Not even attached to a man or a woman. Just parts that existed. Parts that existed to inflict emotional pain. He did not touch me, He touched parts. He did not hurt me, he hurt parts. He did not rape me, He raped parts. Just parts, that’s it. Nameless, faceless parts in a truck that night. Parts that I left there, and never wanted to talk about again. Buried parts. Parts that I hated. Parts that I despised. Parts that I could never forgive myself for.

That day I talked about it for the first time. The parts. For the first time the parts of me that had never been seen before were now exposed. And when the air hit the wound…it stung…big time.

Over time, my counselor helped me clean the wound, and Jesus began the long process that still continues of healing the wound. It certainly didn’t happen overnight…but somehow Jesus brought me to the point where I could breathe again.

The very parts of my life that Satan had used to bind me to the rock of shame, are now the parts that bind me to the rock of my Savior.

And starting May 29th, God will again astonish me with His use of broken parts as I begin Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study using Wendy Blight‘s book “Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner”.

Two years ago…if you ever would have told me that “God could use this”. I would have wanted to slap you. How could God ever use such pain?

My dear sister, I don’t know the answer to "how", or to all the questions we ask about the “why”. But, I do know this. You have a choice. To allow God to take the pain and draw you closer to Him, or to allow it to drive a stake through the core of your heart, never allowing Him to come in.

It’s risky I know. But if there is one thing I know about my Jesus, it is that His word is true. And He tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

He’s got you girl…with His right hand He WILL uphold you.

I would love it if you would consider joining me as part of the “Hidden Joy” Bible Study. All you have to do is click here to sign up!

God has already showed His hand in this study in so many ways…don’t let fear hold you back one more day…it’s time to plunge into the His swimming pool of healing…He will teach you how to swim!


Friday, May 20, 2011

because i never had the option not to...

I have been asked multiple times how I forgave. I have racked my brain for an intelligent sounding answer to this question...some wisdom I could impart that would provoke freedom.

But all I have is this...I forgave because there was never an option not to.

Maybe I'm to tender...maybe I'm so bitter that I don't even know it...but honestly...the thought of not forgiving him never entered my mind. I hated myself so much for what happened that to blame it on anyone else would have been too much for me.

For me...it was never him that I had to forgive...it was myself.

I blamed me for everything that happened. That made it rather easy to cloak my true self in shame...because if anyone ever saw what had happened to me...I was sure they would hate me too. I was damaged goods. Broken.

I have been through therapy...I have received much healing...and honestly...I still struggle with believing it wasn't my fault. But I know that's not true. To live each day to the fullest...to accept His love as real...his sacrifice as true...I forgive myself....because there was never an option not to.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the sneak attack!

I really had no intentions of talking about it. Panic attacks, yes, I have those. But that is it.

I had no intentions of talking about it, but God did.
Have you ever gone up to the attic or into storage to look for something, and you end up finding something you never even remembered putting there? That’s kind of what happened to me. I had put that memory into storage, and really didn’t remember putting it there. It wasn’t like it was this constant memory that plagued me for the ten years that would go by before I talked about it. I barely even knew it was there. Except for the symptoms, I certainly was experiencing some symptoms.

I went into the storage facilities of my mind trying to locate a reason for the anxiety that was troubling me, but what I found was a huge surprise (even though I was the one who had stored it there in the first place). It was that dirty dusty box in the back corner that had been covered up with mountains of perfected looking sunshine-ey accomplishment boxes.

I didn’t go into counseling looking for healing, but somehow healing found me. It was kind of like a sneak attack. I am certain I would have never gone into counseling under any circumstances other than the ones I did - that it was a bonus point in my techniques of counseling class, and that I only had pesky panic attacks to deal with – I felt as if there were no “real” issues.

A sneak attack of healing – that rained down out of a corner box containing a thunderstorm that was soon to erupt. Maybe that is part of the reason why we can’t see into the future…because if we could…we might not go…the road would look to bumpy…and even though we saw sunshine at the end…the clouds would look to scary. So we would choose to stay right where we are at, never moving an inch.

That’s the beauty of the Lord…of our Savior…even when we weren’t looking for healing, He was. He saved us before we even knew we needed to be saved. Is it possible that the circumstances you are facing right now could be a sneak attack of healing in the making?

Monday, May 16, 2011

I seem to have misplaced my princess dress....




God…where is my princess dress? I seem to have misplaced it among the baggage I have been carrying. I just cannot find it. And what about my tiara, it fell down, and I stepped on it. Now, it’s all crooked, and when I place it on my head it just falls off. Didn’t you call me a daughter of the most high King? God I don’t understand? If I am a princess, why am I having to deal with all this?

I should have royal servents to carry my baggage, and a personal organizer to keep everything in its place. If my crown gets broken, you should give me a new one.

Where are you Jesus? What have you done with my princess dress. Give it back God! I want it now. You promised me that you loved me! Give me back my princess dress now God! I need it now!

Do you see this God? Do you see the clothes I have on? All my messiness is out in front of the world to see God. I can’t stand it if they see me in this. I don’t want them to know who I really am. I am so messed up God. I am ugly. I am dirty. I am stained. Give me back the princess dress God, it is the only thing that makes me feel worthwhile. Where have you hidden it? Why have you taken it from me? I don’t understand.

How many times have you felt this way?

So ugly, so stained, so broken and hurt that there is nothing about you that could possibly be appealing to anyone, much less to God.

Frantically we look for things to cover it all up, the perfect princess dress to hide all of our flaws. If Jesus died for our sins, we are washed in his blood and forgiven anyways right? So why should we not have a princess dress right now that shows the world how clean He has made us?

We cry out over and over, that it’s not fair. That if he really loved us he wouldn’t let us continue to get dirty, to experience pain, to fall flat on our faces in the mud, to wear the filthy rags of sin that tainted us before we gave our lives to him.

Why God? Why do you let me continue to suffer?

Tough questions aren’t they. But my dearest sister, there is a princess dress for you.

A perfect beautiful princess dress. I like to think mine is a size 2, my pre-baby size, and that when I get to heaven it will fit perfectly! HA!

What would happen if he gave it to you know?

Would you drag it through the mud of shame? Would you break the string of pearls in anger because your husband left you for another woman? Would you step on the skirt and rip off the lace as you became overconfident and ran a bit too fast. Would you sit on the floor in brokeness, crying because of pain that was unavoidable…mascara stains dripping all the way down to your beautiful neckline?

Your princess dress was not made for this world. Here and now, it would get torn to shreds. It is far too beautiful to even begin to grace the tumultuous battles of this world.

You have a princess dress, dear sister, but in the meantime...there is NOTHING TO KEEP YOU FROM HIM! Beauty from ashes girl! There is hope and healing for every broken place, hope where we learn to find that His promises are true, that all lovely you are to Him my darling...

Could it be that the brokenness of today, fashions and forms the very beauty of the dress that awaits?....

Linking up today with my fellow princess sisters at www.findingheaventoday.blogspot.com :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

courage to heal...

There is a courage component involved in healing. Lately, I have been studying Moses. If God helped him to lead the Israelites to freedom, surely reading about him can help me on my road to freedom, right?

I’m only through the first few chapters, but I wanted to share something that is burning in my heart about to burst through my chest!

If you ever read Exodus, you will notice that the Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart, repeatedly, so that he would continue to resist freeing the Israelites.
I have sat here wondering why the Lord would do this. Why wouldn’t He just soften Pharaoh’s heart and let the people go!!!

I am no biblical scholar, that is FOR SURE, but I have a few ideas. I will share one.
If Pharaoh would have immediately released the captives the moment Moses threw down his staff and it turned into a snake, what would have happened?

Well, for one thing, Moses would not have learned to trust God like he did. Moses was forced to trust God over and over again, for bigger and bigger things, as Pharaoh continued to resist. God proved himself faithful to Moses over and over again, because He knew what was coming. He knew that soon, Moses would have to have faith to part the red sea…

Sometimes healing feels like this doesn’t it, like an impossible task, nothing short of parting the red sea…a miracle. Often we want God to part the sea immediately so that we can go dashing through to the other side. But…if He did, could it be possible that He would be cutting us tremendously short?

Learning to trust God is no small task, He knows this, so He allows baby steps, not because He needs them, but because we need them.

Are you willing to take the first step towards healing in your life? If so, you might consider, prayerfully, signing up for Melissa Taylor’s online bible study on Wendy Blight’s book “Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner”. You can read and find out more at www.melissataylor.org.

I promise you, He will not let you down dear sister. It takes time, yes, but He will not let you down.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the nesting in the flux

Sometimes I feel as if I live in a constant state of flux between what I see and can’t see. Heavily involved in an ever present battle of the wills to consult my flesh or consult the Father. So many things are yet to be, and so many have come to pass, yet my heart remains anxious for what is to come.
Will it be what I wanted?
Will I want more?
Will the state of flux overwhelm me and will I tire of waiting, leading to a cold, distant, hardened heart?
One thing I never tire of is the knowledge that God is faithful. He has proved Himself to me time and time again.
Yet in the flux, I doubt.
The truth gets mangled somewhere in between my brain and my heart, and emotions and abandonment fears start building a nest. They hope to lay hatch-able eggs of hurry induced self reliance. Baby bird-lings that will eat up trust in Christ, and take flight on an undesirable path.
So I must chase off the abandonment fears, the raw, untried emotions, with biblical truth. Faith in the Father that trusts in the “I AM”-ness of Jesus. The flux may continue to press, but the only thing I pray the Lord allows to hatch is more faith and trust in Him.

Linking up to Word Women Wednesday today at www.thehouseofbelonging.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Melissa Taylor: Devo and Bible Study

Good morning! I just wanted to take a minute to tell you about a devotion that is running on Proverbs 31 Ministries today. It is Melissa Taylor's story of surviving sexual abuse, and one of the most beautiful testaments of freedom I have ever had the privilege of reading. Please drop by and visit here if you have time, I know you will be blessed by what you read!

Also, she is starting an online bible study soon using Wendy Blight's book "Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The transforming power of God's Story." Melissa's website is www.melissataylor.org. Here you can sign up for the Bible Study and find out more about the book itself. It is a wonderful study for anyone seeking to live a little more in freedom! I know that applies to me! Ha!

And also, Melissa has asked me to sit in on one of the conference calls she will be offering along with the study. I will be talking about sexual abuse/assault from a counseling as well as survivors perspective. I am SOOOOOOO EXCITED! So be sure you sign up for the conference calls as well! There is a fee for these calls, but please don't let that hinder you! You just let me know and I will be more than happy to help you with that fee!

Love and Blessings, and hope to join many of you in this journey to living in more and more freedom! Amen to that!

Stephanie

Monday, May 9, 2011

I AM...

Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?...” (Exodus 3:11)
God replies “I AM WHO I AM”…(Exodus 3:14)
A fearful heart protests…I AM.
A lonely cry whales out…I AM.
A baby breathes her last…I AM.
Innocence it taken…I AM.
Blood hits the floor…I AM.
Flesh fades away…I AM.
Chains hit the ground…I AM.
A mommy sings a lullaby…I AM.
A family sits down to dinner…I AM.
A princess finds her castle…I AM.
She grasps a nail pierced hand…I AM.
Yes Lord, my ears have heard, but now my eyes have seen…YOU ARE I AM.
Well done my good and faithful servant…I AM.






Saturday, May 7, 2011

What is the status of your bondage? Freedom is made to walk in.

There is a place in between the fallen world, and the realms of heaven where prayers are answered.

It’s no where we can walk to, or see with our eyes. It’s not contained in a church or some sort of magical cave that we can go to and have a holy experience. Rather, it is a space that exists separately for each one of us. No ones journey to the space is the same, and no ones experience the same. But for each of us who have received Christ as our Savior, the Holy Sprit is inside of us, and he can lead us to this place.

A place where steel chains of bondage fall freely, and the good kind of chill bumps on the back of your neck exist in abundance. It is a space where time stands still, and the world seems to stop moving. A space where love flows freely, and time ceases to exist…for a moment.

Sometimes I wish I could stay here. In the space where I meet Jesus, and I wonder why it must ebb and flow. Why my mountaintop can’t move around with me through my day. And I am reminded that this is a glimpse of what heaven will be like, and my home there is not ready for me yet. So, I must go about the work He has for me here.

For a while, I found weariness in this. Just the mundane average things of the world, that don’t seem to cause my heart to jump out of my body. Why must I be here Lord?

He reminds me that my time on earth is limited, and that this is how He uses us. That this is how He loves others, through us. That He gives me glimpses of the mountaintops so that I may be renewed and do the work.

“Don’t be weary my daughter.,” He speaks. “This is what you were made for, the mountaintops yes, but for now, I want you in the molehill”.

So what is the state of your bondage? Does it seem to disappear in the moments where His heart envelops yours, only to reclasp tightly to your skin the moment the emotions fade?

Just because the overwhelming emotion isn’t there, doesn’t mean He isn’t there. Your prayers are still answered, you are just as free as you cook dinner, as you go to work, as you clean the house, as you are when you are lost in the sanctuary of your church singing worship. The space between earth and heaven exists in you, freedom exists in you.

Stand up and walk in it. Not just when you feel it, but even more so when you don’t. Before you know it, the chains will be broken, not just in the chill bumpy moments, but also in the hill bumpy moments.

What is the state of your bondage? Broken, sometimes it just takes courage not to tie it back on.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just what is it all about anyways...

Do you ever wonder…just what is life really all about? So you were hoping I would have the answer? I don’t. But, I do know what is was about this weekend.

Going to church with my husband. Sitting next to him soaking up God’s word and praising the Lord…pure bliss.

Watching Mary Poppins with my kiddos, giggling and snuggling…a piece of heaven.

Relaxing with my computer and a warm cup of coffee on a cloudy cold May day…calming.

Cleaning the house…strangely soothing, when completed that is.

Stawberries and blueberries with Eagle Brand milk drizzled on top…scrumptious.

Sitting with my Jesus, and loving life, wanting nothing more…contentment.

Bliss, heaven, calm, soothing, scrumptious, contentment in Jesus…yep…that’s what it’s all about.

Linking up with Michelle at Graceful today!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

dishonorable discharge...

Dishonorable discharge. I really haven’t ever heard this word accept when speaking of the military. But when I came across the word dishonor in the Bible this morning, I wondered what it actually meant. In the context of the verse I believe it meant “disgrace”, but there was another definition that surprised and struck me. It was that of being sexually assaulted, being “dishonored”.
I cannot think of a more appropriate word…dishonor. She was raped…she was seduced into child pornography…she was touched by a family member…in every case…she was DISHONORED. The sacred, the innocence, was treated with violence…and now she feels dirty.

I constantly stand in amazement of how the dirty sin of the perpetrator somehow transfers over to the victim. The transaction is sickly strange. The perpetrator makes a withdrawal out of the victim’s innocence and confidence bank… and then deposits a double portion of shame, fear, guilt, and doubt to replace the balance.
Victims often feel as if their only option is to draw from their own bank account, and given that their bank account was hijacked, they draw from feelings of dishonor. But what if there was another bank account…one that has been set aside for them since the beginning of time. An account full of unconditional love, forgiveness, restoration, freedom, and grace. An account that has no withdrawal fees, and there is no way it can ever be overdrafted.

Isaiah 61:7 says “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.”
Christ has an inheritance for you beyond all comprehension. And the best news it has a double portion of my favorite thing, EVERLASTING JOY!
Dishonor…I think we might as well give it a “dishonorable discharge”, because there is no reason to continue to honor a bank account of lies. Instead, let’s honor the truth – and dive into the bank account of Jesus’ crazy love!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

sevices added

Services Added
Let me introduce you to Mr. Bill. He is a wonderful man who has been dealt a tumultuous deck of cards. When I met him, he was living in a car with his young son. His house? Too infested with rats to live in.

If I was Mr. Bill, I imagine that I would give that rotten landlord a piece of my mind for not taking care of a house that should be condemned and accepting rent for something that is nothing more than 4 walls. Yet…Mr. Bill pays his rent every month, and does not speak one harsh word against anyone.
Mr. Bill meets all of his and his son’s needs on an amount of money that I use to pay a cell phone and car payment each month. I don’t know how he does it, but his son is never hungry, and he is at school every day. The love he has for his son, it just pours out of his eyes into a pool on the table that I am sitting at. And I watch in amazement as I see a glimpse of Jesus.

I’m not quite sure, but, I wonder if he can read? He seems to have a difficult time understanding all the technical paperwork required to receive assistance, but his Bible, he reads it daily. That’s my Jesus, even if a person isn’t able to read, they can read his word and soak in every element of content.
As part of my job I am supposed to fill out a form called
“services added”. Kind of a laundry list of services that I have offered to clients.
Mr. Bill, I think today, this should be your form to fill out. You added way more services to my heart today than I could ever offer you in terms of worldly measures. Empathy…understanding…peace amidst a storm…faith that surpasses all understanding…unconditional love. Mr. Bill, you showed me all of these today. Not in a fake kind of way like I have seen before, but in the most real glimpse of Jesus dwelling in a man’s soul that I have ever seen.
Thank you Mr. Bill, for services added.