Author: ballebrina

Let the children come.

Short on volunteers for the summer, I ended up taking a shift in the nursery this morning at my church. This morning, one of the little girls wanted nothing to do with leaving her mom. I knelt down beside her, looked in her worried eyes, and felt compelled to say, we’re going to have a lot of fun this morning! But tears are okay here, too.” I saw her mom visibly relax, reassured that her daughter’s distress was not a burden to me or the rest of the nursery staff. All emotions were welcome here. And though the child didn’t have words to convey a response, I could tell her little heart was comforted by kindness for she let me pick her up and hold her as she cried when her momma left to go to the service upstairs, and she held me tight as she buried her tiny face into my shoulder.

Sometimes the kingdom of God looks like holding the little ones and telling them that their tears are okay. As I reflected on those words I spoke over her, the Holy Spirit whispered how incredibly true they were. Not just in that moment with the babies, but with God. How in my own tears, the Father pulls me close and let’s me rest my weary head on His shoulder. That he whispers, “I’ll hold you as long as you need and as long as you’ll let me.” When the world is scary and moving and shifting and changing, He delights when we see that His arms are a place of safety and security.

I ended up holding the same little girl for the entirety of the hour—each time I even knelt down to see if she wanted to play she would cling to my arm and tears would begin to form in her sweet little eyes again. So I held her and swayed with her and spoke words over her she may be too young to understand but that I know will plant seeds of truth in her heart as she grows. “You are so brave.”

And isn’t that what God does? He speaks the language of love into our identities, and he patiently speaks the truths we desperately need until they settle in our souls as the truth about who we are.

In all honesty, I didn’t really want to volunteer this week. It was my second to last Sunday before moving across the country for grad school. But the moment someone reached out and asked if I would be willing to serve with the babies, I felt in my spirit God had a desire to meet me there. So eagerly, I said yes. And He met me there so, so sweetly. So tenderly. He reminded me that the kingdom of God belongs to those who come to him like little children. As I prepare to move and head into a new season where familiarity and earthly comforts will be stripped, I will need to remember the arms of the One who brings comfort and whose words pour forth the identity I so long to hear: daughter, highly favored, called. Who scoops me up in His arms when my vantage point is too close to the ground to feel safe. And I hope you see yourself in this story, too. How God who loves you is patient with you. He is not burdened by your feelings of sadness, of being overwhelmed, of loneliness, of fear. No He kneels down beside you and whispers, ” your tears are okay here. I will hold you as long as you need and as long as you’ll let me.” Rest easy today, friends.

The promise is in the process

As I think back on the last couple days, the word lavish keeps rising up in my heart.  I looked up the definition for better understanding; one of its meanings is to bestow something generously and extravagantly.

Wow lavishing me was exactly what God did this weekend.  In all honesty, I have been overwhelmed lately with feeling stuck, and disconnected, and exhausted.  Though my faith grounds me in each hard moment, in this season my heart has lacked the fullness of joy that is promised in Him.  This week I hit a place of crying out, telling God I needed to see that I was not forgotten, that He was still working on my behalf.  He is a good Father.  I had full faith He would show up because a good Father is a comforter. And He did.

On Saturday, I got to attend the Live Salted conference in Seattle.  Being in a room with hundreds of other young adult women who were there to worship and learn, I felt a wave of expectancy and strength surrounded by a multitude of Christ centered women.  Spaces of community and praise have been largely lacking in my life, so being in an environment like this was a true gift, but God had so much more to give me on this day.

I must preface this by telling you I love the holy spirit.  We talk about everything, he and I.  I left my house the morning of the conference telling him that while I love to speak with and spend time with him, I have been feeling so lonely in a human sense.  This year has been a strange one.  Lots of transition, lots of sanctification, not a lot of like minded people around me to share the burdens and the triumphs of life with.  So I told God it would mean a ton for him to speak to me through other people that day, if nothing more than for a moment of meaningful human interaction with other people who wholeheartedly love the Lord.  That was my hopeful prayer answered one hundred times over.  While the conference itself was amazing, it is the personal ways in which God met me that I will never forget.

While the Salt conference is not a particularly charismatic gathering,  they certainly leave space for the spirit to move.  I absolutely loved the boldness and the openness and the faith with which one girl got onstage and shared a few words of knowledge as we transitioned from a preaching lesson into a time of worship and prayer.  One word in particular nailed itself to my heart and I knew without hesitation it was for me.  Though the exact words are lost in that powerful moment, I do remember parts that stood out.  She said, “someone here has been going through a season of transition for eight months.  And you feel frustrated… I’m here to tell you not to doubt God but to doubt your doubts.” The specificity of eight months caught my attention.  How the holy spirit hit me with those words like a heavy weight solidified the thought that this word was mine from Him.  In a season of feeling particularly anonymous, God sees me. My heart was racing and I was burning up hot in a way that can only be described as a supernatural exchange between heaven and my heart.

During worship, I went to the front of the sanctuary for prayer and though I can’t explain why, I found myself weeping as the prayer of a lady I did not know covered me.  Sometimes, we all need someone to stand in the gap with us and God, to fill the cracks in our foundation with intercession and comfort.  A few of her prayers were especially seared into me and I wrote them down later. She spoke of the promise being in the process, and the process as part of the plan on the way to the promise.  The last eight months have felt something like the Israelites wandering the desert, and all the while the holy land is in their sights.  The promise is visible, but unreachable.  But in this time of prayer it occurred to me that the provision I need for the journey toward my own personal promises from God are being provided in the process of waiting and walking blindly by faith.

She spoke also of the oil of the spirit, of the promise, and how it is pressed out by holy pressure.  I am all too familiar with the pressure.  As she prayed, with tears streaming down my cheeks, I felt the weights of fear and of doubt and of insignificance lift and the peace of God rest on me in their place.  I felt myself being prayed straight into his heart.  Her words were powerful, full of wisdom, and most importantly they were personal: they were God’s words to me.  And I felt a renewed sense of strength as my heart grappled with the truth that every part of me is tethered to the goodness and the plans he has for me and that he won’t let me miss it.

After the lunch break, they raffled off the three prizes.  One amazing thing Live Salted does at their conferences is a feminine hygiene drive to donate to local organizations that help women experiencing homelessness.  Any person who brought products got raffle tickets for different giveaways.  At any rate, I got some tickets and put a few into each of the different raffles (hoping especially that I might win an incredibly cute jean jacket!)  You guys, no joke.  At the time of the live raffle, I won every. single. one. It was slightly embarrassing and quite shocking.  I made my friend go up to the stage to get some stuff.  (Later, I did have a divine opportunity to give some of the won items away and to speak encouragement to another girl in attendance which was amazing).  As the raffle finished and the conference continued, I asked God why I had just won ALL THREE raffles when there were lots of deserving girls in the room.  His words were like honey to my soul when I felt him telling me that He wanted to show me that not only did he love me, he loves me lavishly. That not only does he see me, He singles me out from a crowd.  Let me speak truth to you today; He has that very same love and those very same intentions toward you too.

I am overwhelmed by all the ways God tangibly reminded me of his extravagant love this weekend.  I pray that each and every person who reads this begins to know the love of God not just intellectually or theologically, but experientially.  For anyone who is also in a season of waiting, or wandering, or wilderness, God is so for you and the promises are coming. They are coming.

What Jury Duty Taught me

Earlier this month I served on jury duty for the first time.  Although many people dread being summoned, I have always been mildly intrigued with the judicial system and thought it would be a cool experience to engage in.  So it was a mini celebration for me when the blue jury card showed up in the mail at the end of last year.

Going into the courthouse, I had very little idea what to expect.  I waited in line with hundreds of other sleepy eyed people early on a Monday morning to go through security, orientation, and then to receive our court assignments.  In the afternoon, a court official lead sixty other selected jurors and I to a courtroom for our assigned case.  As we walked in, I immediately saw the convicted person in the room too.  He was sitting next to his lawyer in handcuffs.  They accompanied by a couple of armed guards.  It was somewhat uncomfortable, actually, even unsettling as we sat facing the man who some of us would determine his fate.  It was hard to look at him; it was hard to look away.

Without disclosing the details, the case I was on was a criminal case.  Listening to the judge read off the crimes, it felt a bit like sitting in a real life scene from a trial in Law and Order.  I found my eyes drifting often to the defendant to see if I could glean any sense of who he is outside of the charges brought against him.  I pray that whether imprisoned or let go at the end of his trial, he finds true freedom for his soul in the transforming love of Jesus who has already died to cover any transgressions he may have committed.

As the day moved forward, we learned that the case was expected to last close to a month between all of the arguments, witness testimonies, and deliberations.  I could tangibly feel tension in the pews where we jurors sat.  For a lot of us, that meant almost an entire month of unpaid time off from working (save for the $10 a day paid by the county for serving).  For me, like may others, the thought of losing an entire month of income brought up a lot of anxiety.

During the “voir dire” process, the judge, the prosecuting lawyer, and the defending lawyer asked us potential jurors lots of questions to slowly whittle down the panel from sixty people to fifteen.  The fifteen jurors chosen at the end would then serve on the case until a verdict has been determined.

As person after person gave various excuses for dismissal, I started to feel nervous.  Now only forty or so people were left in the selection pool after many had been released on the premise of scheduling conflicts, financial hardship, or bias due to personal experiences related to the charges… and this was all before the lawyers even began the further in depth questioning process.

Sitting in my seat, I felt internal pressure rising as I calculated the money I would lose taking all those days off of work.  So I, too, raised my number card and stated that I could not pull off the finances to participate in the trial.  I have a feeling the judge pitied me… I was by far the youngest juror in the room, and I’m preparing financially to move across the country soon.  I could see something like sympathy in her eyes when I asked for dismissal.  And the court released me from the case.

I was relieved, but there was a stirring in my heart that felt… unsettled.  On my drive home I talked to God from the privacy of my car and asked why I was doubting my decision to request dismissal.  During the thirty minute drive home the answer came to me: at least for those moments in the courtroom, I did not trust God.  I did not trust Him to remove me from a situation I perceived I needed to escape.  I did not give God an opportunity to be God, to handle the situation His way.  Instead, I jumped ahead of His leading without asking Him first if He wanted me to get off the case in the first place.  It seems like a little thing, but the implications are huge.  How can I faithfully pursue his leading in the big things if I refuse to wait on His voice in these small moments?  It was a wake up call to say the least.

And I felt his Spirit ministering to mine, reminding me that if I had been picked to serve on that case, He would have taken care of anything I needed financially and otherwise.  I have always been a fiercely independent child.  It has taken some pretty sizable trials for God to begin rewiring the parts of me that fear surrendering to His perfect provision and loving intentions toward me.  Cliche as it may be, I am learning to “let go and let God”.  However that day in court, instead of resting in the truth of His character— provider and good Father—- I allowed myself to be filled with anxiety; I took matters into my own hands in order to get released from the case.  Instead, I should have prayerfully waited and trusted God’s will to play out in the choices of the lawyers to either keep or dismiss me.  While I was relieved at my dismissal, that feeling of relief was not accompanied by peace because I acted on my own anxiety and not from the will of God which is to trust him in all things.  

Driving home, it occurred to me that in hastily trying to get removed from the case, I may have missed something God wanted to teach me in that courtroom, even if it meant being out of work for another day or another month.  But in His goodness, God still taught me a lot through the experience of jury duty.  He revealed yet another layer in my soul that clings to the security of things other than to Him.  In this case, money.  Slowly, very slowly, and gently, He is teaching me another way to live.  One that sometimes feels financially riskier, but it is so much more secure in the safety of His love.  In the spirit of practicing this new way, I even took a purposeful day off of work last week to spend quality time with my dad rock climbing 🙂

Remaining in the fold of the Father’s provision is the most secure place I can ever reside.  He can provide for me better than I could ever provide for myself.

God, 

Show me how to trust you fully.  How to take matters out of my own hands and place them into yours.  You say you work all things for the good of those who love you, and I trust you with the outcomes of my life as I surrender the pieces to you.  You are the safest place.  May I never stifle your work by taking things into my own hands and running ahead of your leading.  I love you and I’m sorry  for all the times I choose not to believe in the goodness of your character.  Thank your for your forgiveness that never runs out and for your grace which covers over the places where I lack.  Lead me today into a greater dependence on you as I learn to walk into all you have for me. 

Eyes to See.

As the old year fades into the new year, I find myself filled with eager expectation.  But  in the anticipation for things to come in 2019 there are also many questions.  This year I am working in a new and unexpected job with kids, and even more unexpected is the growing space in my heart for the someday possibility of motherhood.  Sometime before September, I will be moving across the country to a place where I know no one.  I will be starting grad school; I will be stepping into a deeper layer of the passion I believe God gave me to give back to the world.

In light of so many recent and upcoming transitions, I find phrases such as, “who?”, “where?”, “how?”, and “how long?” peppered throughout my conversations with God.  As I listen in silence, I get the sense that He is preparing the very chapter of my life that I am praying into.  And pretty soon, it will all begin unfolding before my very eyes, an epic story that I get the privilege of being a part of.  And I am enveloped in peace knowing that though I do not know the answers, there is no striving.  I must simply watch and wait with a prayerful heart and ready feet for the whispered “go” I am waiting for from the Lord.

“Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning these things.  And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent the to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has send us to You, saying, ‘Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?'”

And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 

“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”  Luke 7:18-23

In Luke 7:18-23,  John the Baptist sent out two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?”  Jesus did not immediately reply to the questions of the disciples.  Instead he began to heal people, to cleanse lepers, to cast out demons from the oppressed.  He then told the messengers sent by John, “Report back what you have seen…”

I want to focus on this word seen for a moment.  God is alwaymoving.  It is not a matter of if, but how.  Oftentimes in our hurried disposition, we are praying and asking God all these questions about what He is doing without stopping to look around and see that the very answers we are waiting for are already in motion around us.  I think sometimes God is silent because He wants us to be too. To be silent, and to watch with eyes wide open.  “Be still and know…” (ps. 46:10).  God might not seem to be talking, but he is moving.  So in times when his voice simply seems silent, let’s resolve ourselves to turning not only our ears toward God’s directions but our eyes as well.  Chances are, something that is stirring in the immediate world around you is a glimpse into what He is currently working together for your good.  Be patient, dear one, for what God is knitting together in secret will soon be birthed into a beautiful fulfillment of the promises he has spoken over your life.

And so in 2019, I am letting all of this shape my prayers.  I am learning that listening for answers isn’t the only way they come.  So I am watching for them too.  May we keep our ears open, but also our eyes peeled, for all the miraculous ways He shows up to meet us in our questions this year.

Politics and the Church

In light of all that’s happening in the world around us today, this topic has been heavy on my heart.  Believe me, I’ve been guilty of it too, getting caught up in heated debates and drawing lines in the sand, staking my position of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in the issues of this world.

But here is where we— yes I include myself in this statement— have been failing as a church.  We’ve been rallying behind people and positions and protests, when the truth of the matter is we’ve lost sight of the One it’s all about.  And lately I’ve been feeling entirely convicted for all the times I have stood with a party when I should have been standing with the church.

Let’s stop making it about politics, and start making it about Jesus.

It’s not about being republicans or democrats, no our call is to be followers of Christ.  When our social media and even our hearts are filled with stabs at the “other side”, it sends a message that being right is more important than love. And if the church is divided, how will the world ever see what it means to be united as a one body?

Because when our focus is on the president who holds office for four years, that means our eyes are not fixed on the king who reigns forever.

While I understand that we live in a time of political outrage and unrest, here is the truth:  Our country has harbored vast suffering in poverty, in homelessness, in schools and education, in Healthcare affordability long before any policies have been installed this year.  Now, let the suffering you’ve been made aware of be a wake up call to do something.

This is a challenge to stop pointing fingers and to start looking inwardly to how we as advocates for the Gospel can be a light in the areas we see darkness.  Because if we’re being honest, when has a heated Facebook post contributed to anything more than strife?  Darkness doesn’t flee at the sound of angry shouting from the sidelines, no it runs when the light starts to walk boldly and confidently through it.
This is a call to Christians to stop shouting and to start shining.

When was the last time you did something to help someone affected by a policy you’re angry about? And policies aside, when was the last time you stepped into the gap of someone’s needs simply because that’s what Jesus did when he walked the earth?

If we as the body of Christ aren’t rallying around local people and doing all we can to help those in need whether it be illness, joblessness, homelessness, or oppression then there really isn’t room to for us to criticize policies.
God never said to leave it to the government to fix a broken world.  No, He commissioned US for that because He knew that the rulers, the politicians, the governments, the influencers of this world would simply never be able to meet the needs of the thousands who are bleeding and broken in our own backyards.

I recently finished reading the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament.  I can’t help but admire Nehemiah’s servant leadership, and the example he sets for taking care of the immediate needs of the people around Him.  Chapter 5 especially stood out to me:

17 I asked for nothing, even though I regularly fed 150 Jewish officials at my table, besides all the visitors from other lands! 18 The provisions I paid for each day included one ox, six choice sheep or goats, and a large number of poultry. And every ten days we needed a large supply of all kinds of wine. Yet I refused to claim the governor’s food allowance because the people already carried a heavy burden.”

Nehemiah regularly fed the people around him, pulling from his own portion of wealth, never asking for anything in return.  “Yet I refused to claim the governor’s food allowance…” Nehemiah did not rely on the government to step in and to fill a need he saw.  No, Nehemiah saw a need and immediately gave generously with what he already possessed.  Don’t misinterpret this to think I justify complacency or even tyranny in our world’s leaders.  But we cannot wait for the people high up to bring relief to a dead and dying world lest we be just as guilty if not more for the suffering bodies and souls around us.

So let’s spend less energy analyzing those in power and more time using the power we have to help others.  Less time sharing Facebook articles and more time sharing the Good News.  It’s time to look at ourselves, our opinions, and our postings.  If they don’t point back to Jesus, then they’re not worth it. What is the point in causing division? A house divided will not stand and in the same way, a body with limbs cut off cannot operate in its full ability.  We need to stop fighting amongst our brothers and sisters and start uniting under a common faith.  This is a plea for Christians to wake up, to see the danger of allowing worldly debates to stick a wedge between the body.  Instead of trying to alienate those of different opinions, let’s remember our real purpose here on Earth.  And it is not to recruit people to a political party.  Our calling is so much higher that that, it is to be a witness of God’s truth about redemption on earth and eternity in heaven.

15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.          

Matthew 16:15-16

We need to start holding each other to a higher standard of witnessing.  Stop preaching against people we dislike and start advocating for Jesus.  If we’re fighting petty battles based off the opinions we hold, then we’re missing the whole point of the war we’re in.  It’s not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual evil (Ephesians 6:12).

If our span on earth is limited, then we as Christians need to use the precious time we have being the hands and feet of Jesus and meeting the needs of people around us.  It’s not just lives at stake anymore, but eternities.  Does that not spark a sense of urgency in your soul?  I don’t want to say I follow Jesus and spend my life sleepwalking and blind, believing that simply writing or sharing a post online is what God meant when He said, “feed my sheep”.

Less arguing.  Less division.  Less opinions.  More truth.  More love.  More doing.  More light.

More Jesus.

2016 reflections

This year has been a year of so many things.  Of growth, yes, and of discovering God’s purpose for placing me here on the earth.  I have learned patience and the beauty of remaining faithful when walking through the wilderness, holding onto hope of the promised land at the end of a desert season.

I have found refuge in the words of Numbers 13-14, that in the face of adversity, overcoming the impossible is possible with God, and I can do so with a different spirit.  That I can wait in such awe and expectation of the Lord there is no room in my heart for fear.  And how incredible that has been; He has broken chains of fear and chased enemy strongholds out of my heart, out of my head, and out of my path.

And it has been interesting to see how this time last year, I was sitting with the word ‘hospitality’ resonating in my heart and all the unexpected ways that word has worked to shape the direction of my journey throughout the last twelve months.

I have been much like a slightly wandering sheep this year, learning more and more how to recognize the voice of the Shepard and how to follow it back to the safety and rest of green pastures.  And God, has that been sweet.  It has been twelve months of reassurance in my ability to hear and to decipher the still small voice of my Father and the faithful role that voice plays in my life.

But I have also felt the ache of His silence, learning to trust Him even when I don’t hear Him.  It is in those times, when I send up desperate prayers into the night and only silence echoes in return, that my questions turn into lessons of trusting the presence of God, although He is silent, above my fleeting, human emotions.  It has been a year of tough decisions where His plan has needed to take precedence over how I feel in each moment in time.

This has been a year of learning that people don’t always come through.  Community is a picture of Christ, but it is not inherently Christ Himself.  He is helping me to feel disappointment in vulnerable ways, and to not allow aching wounds to harden my heart but to mold it.

And one of the most valuable lessons I am still learning is how to praise God even whilst in the prison cell of pain.  It is a humbling form of worship, one that acknowledges the sovereignty of the Lord amidst the seasons of this life that so acutely hurt.

I have learned and I have failed again and again how to be gracious.  How to not let my tongue get away from the sweet, healing essence of one who is slow to speak.  My mouth is all too often a reflection of a heart left unchecked as it stores up bitterness and pridefulness in days and weeks and months of unmet expectations and a war between the identity God gives me and feeling altogether unchosen, set aside, and unimportant to people who love me but are altogether human too.

I have rather reluctantly admitted to myself the judgmental spirit that battles the kindness for people God has fostered in my heart since my younger years.

And in the pits of loneliness I have heard the sweet whispers of grace from the Father who truly means it when He says we are never alone.

As I reflect back on 2016, I have learned how to reconcile my bitterness with God’s holiness as He gently reminds me that grudges are not mine to hold.

And I wait in nervous anticipation for the year to come, knowing but still unsure of the almost unbelievably awesome things God has in store for this daughter who too often doubts herself but is assured in the love of her Father.  It is a promised season of rebuilding.  Of recoloring the world which has all but dulled in its hues over the fall and winters months of this past year.  What is coming is a gift from a Father who loves me— A gift I feel undeserving of but reluctantly I take it anyways.  He is giving me the desires of my heart, the adventurous, spontaneous, noteworthy life I have always dreamed of yet never realized until now that despite its obvious appeal, it still takes courage to say yes even though I know without a doubt He goes with me.  It is a time where I am tasting and seeing that the Lord is so, so good, that He weaves His plans through my life even before I have the slightest inkling of what He is up to.  And when I least expect it, He reveals the work He has done just for me, and these shared gifts of His precious plans are reminders that I am not forgotten.  In fact, I am more than not forgotten; He watches me with delight, passion, and fierce protection.

There is pain, there is uncertainty, there is beauty, and above all, there is Jesus.  And as I close 2016 and open 2017, I will take all of it if only I can have him too.

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putting doubt and fear to rest

We have been given an identity of intrinsic beauty, far more captivating than even the nature that enthralls us.  Creation displays the glory of God, but only WE bear His image.  How cool is that!?  And this spring break, sitting atop Angels Landing overlooking the canyon in Zion, I was absolutely humbled by the thought that God sees infinitely more in me than in the amazing views that I stared out at.  However, this idea extends far beyond the internal implications of its message.  To embrace this abiding truth is to realize the power and the potential you have for kingdom work.  Security in your identity through Christ allows you to be used that much more fully by God and for His purpose.  What are you passionate about?  What ideas make you feel alive?  Chances are, God has already long ago planted seeds in your heart for the work He wants to accomplish through you.  You were made for a unique purpose, and there is work to be done here on earth that He specifically chose you for.  You are chosen. Singled out. Set apart. YOU play an irreplaceable role in changing lives, and hearts, and places, and the weight of your influence is amplified through the power of Christ in you.  Lately, I’ve been tossing around the ideas of doubt and fear in my mind.  The invaluable pattern that has come to light is that in times of heightened spiritual awakeness is also when I experience the most acute concentration of fear in my life.  And doubt in my identity.  But through scripture, conversation, and experience, I am beginning to recognize this back and forth battle of fear and doubt as a tool the devil uses in attempts to overpower God’s whispers of love with accusations of inadequacy.  The louder I allow God’s voice to become, the louder the Enemy’s becomes as well.  So in those moments when that broken record of self-condemnation plays in your mind, or when it seems as if your outsides circumstances affirm those lies at every turn, I encourage you to open your eyes and see that those lies are Satan’s desperate attempts to thwart the incredible things that he knows you have the ability to accomplish.  Because he is INTIMIDATED by you and all you can do!  So that doubt and fear you’re facing?  This is a reminder that you were created with a spirit of courage, and that God has paved His path for you with victory.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
There is glory waiting on the horizon, even if you can’t yet see it; the sky cycles through periods of darkness, but the sun never fails to rise again.  And how much more constant is God’s faithfulness than the sun!  You are capable, you are powerful, and you are hand picked for a purpose that has eternal significance. My prayer today is that you would rebuke any lies that you are believing about who you are or what you can do through Christ, for He has immeasurably more in store for you than you could ever imagine.