Your Will–Not Mine.

 

Glory to God

For Your ways are not mine.

Glory to God

For Your thoughts are divine.

Glory to God

That my life belongs to You.

Glory to God

That Your word holds true.

Glory to God

Even when I don’t get my way.

Glory to God

Even when the blessings seem delayed.

Glory to God

Let Your will be done.

Glory to God

Jesus, that you and I are one.

Glory to God

Forever and ever.

Glory to God

Through every endeavor.

Glory to God!

Devotional: Post 4 in the “Faith Like Hannah” series

This is by far the hardest of messages. I feel like God really has been speaking to me in my own personal walk with Him about this post, and I pray that you hear His heart for you, as His daughters–His children.

Several times through my journey with infertility I asked this question to my friends, to God… What do I do if Your answer is “No”? Often, as Christians, we believe that God will “give us the desires of our hearts,” (Psalm 37:4) and while this scripture is true, I believe we take this out of context. If the desires of our hearts are not inline with the will or plan that God has for us, He will not bless it. God only desires to give us the things that will be good for us and are within His plan for our lives which is why we must be in alignment with Him so that we desire the things that He wants for our lives. I think that it is really easy for us to say we have faith in God’s power, but then, we do everything within our power to “force” the desires of our hearts to come to pass. We need to learn to lift the control over what we want God to do for us and to focus on what we can do for His kingdom.

Hannah sets the example for us of lifting our own control over what we want. She knew who she was and her value to God when she went to pray her “vow” at the tabernacle, but she also knew that ultimately the child He would grant her would not be her own. This is why Hannah had the courage to give up the son she so desperately longed for and prayed for because in the depths of her spirit, she knew that her life and Samuel’s life was not her own. She understood that they both belonged to God. (1 Samuel 1: 26-27)

To be a child of God means that we are no longer our own. When we enter the kingdom of God as His inheritor, we must realize our lives now belong to Him. (In reality, we already belong to Him even before salvation. He is our creator.) What better life is there, than the life God has planned for you? He wants to give us our desires, but He desires to give us the things that are healthy for our body, soul, and spirit. So, when God tells us “no” to something we long for, it is important for us to remember that the “no” comes out of His desire to give you what He has planned for your life.

When I heard this from Him during my walk with infertility, I was so scared to give up the control over getting pregnant because I believed that if I gave up the control then it just wouldn’t happen. I believed in this moment that God was telling me “no”.

So what do we do when He tells us “no”?

We praise Him for His goodness. We praise Him for His faithfulness in our lives. We praise Him for the blessings He has given us. We praise Him for His heart for our eternal souls. We praise Him simply for just being God Almighty!  (We, especially, need to praise Him when we don’t “feel” like it) When we get a hold of this, there are no limits to what God will and then can do in our lives because our praise and obedience to Him releases His power within our circumstances.

When we pray and enter into the presence of our Father, we need to be sure we are not always asking something from Him. God does want to give us the things we desire, but not at the expense of our relationship with Him. When we pray, we need to acknowledge who He is, and we need to ultimately desire His kingdom come and His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus gave us the answer of how to pray to God, and there is a reason why the Lord’s prayer starts with “Heavenly Father, Hallowed be your name, Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…” This part of the prayer is the most important which is why it is first. It shows us how to organize our priorities which is to make it all about Him and not ourselves. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” We must make God and our relationship with Him first in our lives and within our thoughts and actions. When we pray His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven it is the most powerful part of our prayer because it invites God into the situation and then it allows for Him to move.

So when or if you are not given the desires of your heart and you feel hurt, sad, and not important, please know that God DOES love you, you ARE important to Him–so important to Him that He protects you even from yourself, and His Holy Spirit is within you to provide you grace, support, comfort, and peace to endure the disappointment. You should then pray for the Holy Spirit to heal your heart and to fill the void of this loss with God’s love, grace, and divine favor and for Him to send you the desire to want what He wants for you.

To sum up this series…

In order to have faith like Hannah…

  • We MUST know who we are in Christ, and we need to allow His spirit and His word to build our faith.
  • We must praise and worship God when we are walking out the trials and struggles within our life.
  • We must believe in the power of God’s name, and we must speak His name and His word over our lives and our circumstances.
  • Lastly, we must desire His will above our own.

I really hope you hear the heart of your Heavenly Father, and that His words will be seeds planted within your spirit so that He can build deep roots in order to prepare you for what is to come.

Let me pray for you: 

Heavenly Father, glory is your name, and your presence is the most precious blessing that we could ever ask for. Lord, I pray that you hear the desires of your daughter’s hearts. Please bless them with a child, or whatever it is they are longing for. Lord encourage them, send your favor over them, and give them your divine peace and joy while they are waiting for your move. I come against the enemy that would try to steal their peace, destroy their joy with doubt, unbelief, frustration, anger, depression, and hopelessness. We bind up the plans of the enemy and call them null and void through the power of the blood of Jesus that flows over us. Lord, ultimately, we desire your will, and not our own, to be done. Let Your kingdom come, and all for Your glory, Your honor, and for Your praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Scriptures to study: 

Psalm 37:3-7

Matthew 6: 7-13

Matthew 6:33

1 Samuel 1:26-27

Songs of Worship: 

Thy Will Be Done by Hillary Scott

Reckless Love by Cory Asbury

At the Cross by Hillsong Worship

 

 

 

Power in God’s Name

I raise a banner of praise to God in Heaven

His power escalating a drive within me.

Mountains move at the sound of your whisper

Universes appear from the breath that you breathe.

 

Mighty is your citadel that towers over me.

Your thrown of glory shines with brilliance

The pillars of your love proclaiming victory

Your gate nailed to the cross for all to see.

 

The depth of your foundation fortified with righteousness

The cornerstone of eternal faith rests at your right hand.

Your kingdom walls are open– no fear of the enemy.

The hearts of your people pervade the vastness of your land.

 

Every choice you make is intentional.

You are the master of the masterpiece.

You, the God of everything!

Has left your  precious endowment to wash  and cleanse my feet.

 

For you alone are divine!

For you alone are blameless!

For you alone are meritorious!

For you alone should be exalted!

Your name on display for all to see!

Devotional: Post 3 in “Faith Like Hannah” series

There is power in God’s name. There is no greater source of power on Earth. This is exactly the knowledge that Hannah had when she went to the altar to pray for God to give her a son because she knew that he was the only source of Life. He was the only one with the power to create life within her. She was not capable; her husband was not capable. She had no power to make herself conceive a child, or she probably would have done so. The amazing thing about Hannah is that she knows and trusts in the unwavering power of God. She knows that HE is the ONLY author of life.

When I was going through infertility, I struggled with the idea that undergoing fertility treatment was playing God. I wanted a child, but I did not want to go against the plan that God had for my life. As I was preparing to go through IUI, I found myself doubting and second guessing this decision. When I prayed about this with God, He spoke to me so clearly regarding this. He reminded me that He is the only author of life. He is the only one in the universe that can breathe life into existence. He then reminded me that to believe that a doctor can create life within you is claiming that He has the same power as God. After he gave me this truth, I felt more confident and more at peace with the decision that my husband and I made. God even went further to prove His point to me. The first IUI was a failure, and there was no reason why it shouldn’t have worked. I had three strong and viable eggs, my lining was the perfect density, and we timed the IUI on the right date. I rested as instructed, and not one of those eggs were fertilized. On paper, this should have worked. Even the doctor, who is a God fearing man, could not explain why it didn’t. But, I felt God telling me that “see he cannot create life within you.” This is what I really needed to understand in order to fully let go and to let God.

The next month and another round of IUI God answered our five year prayer and ended our infertility struggle. He is so good and so powerful, and His word proves true time and again. Just speaking the name of Jesus creates more victory in your life than any piece of knowledge, any one person, or even yourself.

In Hannah’s 2nd prayer at the tabernacle, she glorified God by claiming who He is and recognizing all He has done, all He is doing, and will do. She follows through with her faith, and she gives up the son she desperately longed for. Again, what a testimony she has! What an example of faith and of motherhood. We must always recognize who God is and give Him the glory for when He answers our prayers.

Scriptures to study: 

1 Samuel 2: 1-10

Exodus 33:12-18

Please allow me to pray for you:

Heavenly Father, Your name is above all names! Your name is victorious, and it brings life to the dead, and light to the darkness. We as your daughters in Christ surrender our hearts to you. Thank you Lord for the work you are doing within our lives. Thank you for all you have brought us through, and for the many blessings you have given us. Lord, we believe in your almighty power, and we stand in faith that your kingdom will come. Lord, we desire to glorify your name and to further your kingdom here on earth. Please grant us your presence. Please do not allow us to take one step without your presence with us, so that others will know that we are your daughters. We ask Lord for your hand to be upon our health, finances, and relationships as we are walking through this valley. We ask all of this in the sweet, precious name of Jesus, Amen!

Songs of Worship:

“Break Every Chain” by Tasha Cobbs

“What A Beautiful Name It Is” by Hillsong Worship

“No Other Name” by Hillsong Worship

Praise Him in the Valley

Clouded with the hope of darkness

Nothing can be seen

The weight of my heart a fortress

Even still, I need to believe.

Struggling to find a breath

The walls collapsing around me

The strength of despair is death

He is there even if I cannot see.

This is the valley

The mountains towering above me

Like giants taunting my faith

Even still, I need to receive.

Praise Him in the darkness!

Praise Him to kill the giants!

Praise Him to detonate the weight!

Praise Him, even if you must wait.

 

Praise the Lord through the valley

His hand will guide your feet

His light will diffuse the darkness

His Spirit will fill your dream.

Praise Him in the valley… Easier said than done, right? I don’t know about you, but for me, this particular message was very difficult for me to hear while I was going through infertility. Nothing within my body felt like “praising or exalting” the Lord. (If I am being honest) I wish I could say that I praised Him, had faith in Him, and fully trusted Him and His word, but for most of the time, I resented His love, His praise, His word, and lost trust in His desire to take care of me. This may sound harsh, and it is meant to because the pain of infertility is very real. It is very unwelcoming, and it knows no bounds. It is a mixture of fear, guilt, insecurity, pain (physical and emotional), devastation, and the absolute worst, is the loneliness.  I can’t even tell you how many times I told my husband that I just feel alone in this walk. I didn’t “feel” God with me, nor did I feel like my husband could really understand—and to some degree he couldn’t.

This is a walk only you and God can fully know and understand, but what a beautiful opportunity He is giving you!

Today, I want to encourage you on your walk through the valley, which may or may not be infertility. Maybe this walk is cancer, the loss of a child, the loss of a husband or wife, the loss of hope period. One thing I do know for sure now that I am on the other side of this journey is that one, you are never alone. God will never leave you nor forsake you.Two, God brings us through the valleys to prepare us for something more. Three, He uses your valley to reach someone else, to bring glory to His name and to His kingdom. And four, He uses the valley to mature your faith in Him—drawing you closer to Him.

Who else on earth besides His children have the same luxury of knowing that God is with you always? His love for you never wanes.No matter the struggle, the hurt, the anger, the sin… He will ALWAYS love you and desire to give you the things that you need and even sometimes, the things that you want. Just think about all the things you desire to give your future children or current children. So much more, God wants to give to you.

But the biggest reason for why I felt like I could not praise Him through the valley is simply this. I just couldn’t “feel” it. I couldn’t “feel” hope. I couldn’t “feel” joy. I couldn’t “feel” His presence, and what I could feel was so strong that it overshadowed this one simple truth. Hope, joy, faith, love… these are not “feelings.” These are decisions you make—especially when you can’t “feel” it. Joyce Meyer recently stated in her podcast series “We Can Do It” that at the beginning of your walk with Christ, when you are still a baby Christian, you are able to feel everything. Maybe, God allows this to occur to further draw you in to Him. Kind of like a new relationship. The first six months are pure bliss. You feel so in-love, and so strongly desire the others company. At least this is how I felt when I first met my husband. I remember my aunt telling me that this is the “honeymoon” phase, and it won’t last. And boy was she right! Now, 14 years later, after walking through 11 years of marriage, the first five of those years dealing with my husband’s drinking problem, and the last 4 of those years walking through infertility, I know for certain that love is NOT a feeling. Can you feel love? Yes, but more than anything, love is a decision. The most beautiful decision one can make is to love even when you don’t feel it. Joyce Meyer continues to say that God won’t allow you to always “feel” things because real spiritual maturity comes from believing—especially when you don’t feel anything. But it takes time learning the character of God, spending time in His word and in His presence to fully trust the decision without the feelings.

I am thankful that I am learning this now because how much more powerful are we going to be when we decide to believe even when we don’t feel it. And I tell you ladies, when we make that decision, God WILL move in our situations.

Let me pray for you:

Heavenly Father, thank you for your wisdom, thank you for deciding to love me and my sisters in Christ. What a beautiful thing it is to be loved by you! Lord I ask that you will give us strength to walk through the valleys you place before us. Help us, Lord, to know you are with us even if we cannot feel you near. Hear the hearts of my sisters Lord. Heal their pain. Lord I come against the spirits of unbelief, fear, and hopelessness. In the name of Jesus, you must flee by the power of Christ within us. Lord we praise your most holy name! Glory to God in the Highest for you have over come every obstacle, leveled every mountain, tamed every Giant, and shown your light on all darkness FOREVER! We love you Jesus. In your most Holy name, Amen!

These are a few worship songs to get you started “praising Him in the valley.”

Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel Music 

Even So Come by Kristian Stanfill 

Oceans by Hillsong United 

Faith Like Hannah

“Destiny”

Life is a purpose. But what is it?

Us mortals ask this question at least 10 times in our whole life or more.

Do we ever know our Destiny?

Do we ever find out what or why God put us on Earth?

Yes! All we need to do is ask.

He will reveal his plan.

Praise and follow the Son of Man.

He knows the decisions you will make

A year from now

A month from now

The next five minutes.

He created you

And all of you.

He knows why you were put here on Earth.

And because He is the one who put you here

You are guaranteed to have the best purpose and greatest destiny

To live for.

As I mentioned in my first post, God gave me the vision for this blog during my walk with infertility, and at that time, I could not fathom allowing God to use me. I was broken, down hearted, angry, despaired, frustrated, and completely devoid of faith. Sounds exactly like someone God would use, right? I wish I could say that I praised God in this valley and never gave up faith in Him, but like all of you, I am human. Don’t get me wrong, I did at the beginning trust God, praised His name, went to church, joined a life group, started volunteering in the nursery, and studied the word. But as the time went on, days turned into weeks, weeks to months, months to years, and eventually doubt, fear, and bitterness set in. I found myself on the bathroom floor in deep depression, tears rolling down my cheeks, and all the voices of others flooding through my mind of “when are you going to have kids” “You’ve been married for years and no kids?” “you would make a great mom, you should have kids” “all in God’s timing” “if it is His plan, it will happen” I can’t even begin to tell you the depths of my pain and sorrow at this moment. I wanted to die—Honestly. I had been on Clomid for 2 years with no success. A lot of my friends were having children, and babies seemed to be surrounding me everywhere I looked. I felt ashamed that I was struggling with my faith and angry with God.

If you have ever walked this path or are currently in this struggle, you know the overwhelming sadness and longing for something that you simply have no power or control over. I am here to share with you the story of Hannah. There are many stories of women in the Bible that struggled with infertility, and in fact, when I was in the midst of dealing with infertility, I made it a point to look at these stories to help build my faith, but none struck a cord with me like Hannah’s. In 1 Samuel 1: 1-18,  Samuel sets up Hannah’s story by giving you the background of her situation. She was married to Elkanah, and he also had another wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had children, and Hannah did not. Often, Peninnah would chastise Hannah about not having children. There are many lessons God is illustrating with this story, but the one I want to focus on today is faith in the midst of humiliation, embarrassment, and chastisement. The story continues with an annual trip to Shiloh to place His sacrifice to the Lord at the Tabernacle, and during this celebration, they would have a feast. He would serve meat to Peninnah and her children first—as was the custom. Then, he would give Hannah the choicest portion of meat because she was Elkanah’s favorite which made Peninnah jealous. This favoritism that Hannah received made her the target of Peninnah’s chastisement, and she (Peninnah) would taunt her about her bareness. During this time, a woman who was barren was an embarrassment to her husband. A woman’s purpose was to provide heirs to their husband’s line, and Hannah could not fulfill her “purpose”.

Have you ever felt as if you cannot fulfill your purpose?

This is exactly how I felt in the middle of my journey with infertility. I felt my sole purpose on earth was to bare children. I was a woman, and I could not do the one thing only a woman can do. Like it states in the Bible, this was a societal expectation of women, and especially in the south where I am from, there is the same attitude and expectation of women. However, today,  this view is changing, and the societal expectation on women is NOT just to bare children. But, this feeling and weight of expectation is still harbored in the comments and voices of others. “Are you going to have kids?” “My, it has been 10 years since you married! Why don’t you have children?” “Don’t you just love children? You should have a baby” “You don’t want to wait too long… your clock is ticking” While most of these comments are innocently asked or stated, and often the person asking does not mean to be insensitive, but when you are in the thick of it, these comments are like adding 20 pound weights to your already heavy load. Hannah understood this weight, but she does something so cool and courageous. She lifts this weight up to God, and she allows him to take it from her. How does she do this? She gets real with God. She prays and pours out her heart. All the anguish, fears, doubts, insecurities, anger, and she tells him exactly what she feels and believes. What is even more awesome, God hears her because her heart is pure, and her desire is for His will to be done.

“Once after a sacrificial mean at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting in his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow, ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.’ As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. ‘Must you come here drunk?’ he demanded. ‘Throw away your wine!’ ‘Oh no sir!’ she replied. ‘I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.’ ‘In that case,’ Eli said, ‘go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.’ ‘Oh, thank you, sir!’ she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.” 1 Samuel 1: 9-18.

What a powerful moment. Hannah in her deepest low was able to surrender her desire for a child with God, and she FULLY trusted him. What an amazing testimony she has! God is not afraid of your doubt, your fear, your anger. He wants you to release this to Him. Even if your sorrow and despair is aimed at Him. He is the God of creation. He is the author of life. He desires to give you what your heart longs for. He does what He says He does. Put your complete faith in Him. He will come through for you. This walk of infertility is not in vain, and there is a purpose of this struggle for your life and for the future of God’s kingdom.

Over the course of the next week, I want to encourage you to pour out your heart to the Lord. Get real with Him and with yourself. Get down to the root of your hurt, disappointment, and loss of faith. He will respond, and when we are finally real with the Lord, He is then able to move. When we surrender our weight to Him, He will move mountains. Maybe not in our timeline, or in the way we want or expect, but He is a God that fulfills the promises he makes to His people.

Be encouraged to know that your destiny lies within Him not in your ability to have children. You are worth more than jewels. You are set apart. You are placed in the secret places of the Most High. You are very valuable to Him. You are His treasure.

I hope you hear God’s heart through these words, and my heart, as one that has and is walking this journey with you. You are not alone. God will never leave you nor forsake you. He is right here with His arms open wide. Let his love wrap around you and surrender.

Let me pray for you:

Lord Jesus, God of Heaven’s Armies, please hear the hearts of your daughters. I pray that you will touch their hearts and heal their bodies. Take the weight of chastisement, depression, fear, unworthiness, low self-esteem, sorrow, and pain. We bind up the spirit of fear, doubt and unbelief. Lord what we bind in Your name on Earth is now bound in Heaven. Thank you for your Holy Spirit within us. Lord, replace these things with your love, words of affirmation, confirmation of our identity in you, Your unfailing Faith, hope, patience, and joy. Leave your daughters with peace—peace that passes all understanding. Thank you Lord Jesus for being true to your word. Thank you Lord that by His stripes we are healed. Thank you for allowing us to put our trust in you and that you hear the desires of our hearts. Lord Jesus, your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, All for your glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus Name, Amen!

When I think back on the years I went through infertility, these songs come to mind. I hope they bless and encourage you today and this week! Happy New Year!

“Gonna Be Worth It”by Rita Springer

“Never Once” by Mat Redman

“Way Maker”by Michael W. Smith

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” Romans 8:14

Faith that overflows like the overwhelming joy of forgiveness

A CRIMSON ROBE cleansing the sins of the unrighteousness

An inheritance of peace like the dove of Christ

Rejoice in the one who brings us power and life

Trust in His holy foundation as the mason does the stone

Praise Him for never leaving us alone

The Life, The Way, and The Truth

This is the journey Christ calls for me and you.

As this is my first post, and I am new to the blogging world, I wanted to set the foundation and purpose of my blog. A few years ago God had planted a little seed within my heart to start a blog devotional, and at the time, I was in the midst of infertility. My faith in God was waning, and I was not in the right place or mind to adhere to this calling. To be honest, I was angry with God because I wanted a child, and he was not operating in my timeline. Praise Him that He knows the right time and place for all things. Thankfully, God did not leave me in this place, and I am so grateful, for His mercies are new each day. His forgiveness is vast, and His love is eternal. He is a God of faithfulness, and He does what He says.

Now that I am two years out from my hard journey of infertility and I am blessedly exhausted from chasing two babies under the age of three, (PRAISE THE LORD!) God has reminded me of this little seed that he planted within my heart, and it has now grown to the point that it can no longer be ignored.

First and foremost, this blog’s foundation will be set in Christ, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”-1 Corinthians 3:11. He is the way, the truth, and the life, (John 14:6)and the words on this screen would be meaningless within my own power and strength. He is the only reason why we have an inheritance in God’s kingdom, and this blog will be devoted to further glorifying His name.

I invite you on this journey with me. He has called us all to be His disciples, and he wants us all to live knowing full well who we are in Him. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Alpha, Omega, Beginning, and End.Through Him came the universe and all of creation, including me and you. He so desperately wants an intimate relationship with you. Will you allow him into your heart? 

When God asked me to write this blog devotional, he revealed to me the name I was to call it. When I got the name, I decided to look up the meaning of the words because I wanted to fully understand what He had up His sleeve.

Crimson means a deep, rich red inclining to purple. When I read this definition my heart immediately responded with awe, and my English teacher mind knew that the color purple, within literature, means royalty and power. Crimson is also the color of royalty and nobility. In the Elizabethan period, this is the color that the nobility and royalty would wear to signify to others their status within the kingdom. At the point of salvation, when you acknowledge and accept Jesus as Lord, you are set apart in His kingdom, clothed with the crimson blood of Jesus. It marks your eternal identity in Him.

Robe means an outward, loose fitted clothing that is worn for ceremonial purposes. Once I read this definition, I began to realize the full picture of what He was revealing to me. A robe is meant to be worn outwardly so that others can see, and a robe usually covers from the shoulders to your feet–a full covering. This is the outward appearance of our Christian walk. It sets us apart from the world. But, a robe is loose fitting meaning the person wearing the robe has room to grow.

Both definitions signify that a growth process is taking place. Crimson inclining to purple–person at the point of salvation evolving into the person God has called them to be. An inheritor of His kingdom–a child of His family. Royalty. Robe an outward garment meant for others to see–loose fitting so that there is room to grow. We must always know through this journey with God who we are. We are His children, called for His purpose, and to bring Him glory in this fallen world. And, that we are always growing, learning, and being shaped into the person God has called us to be.

At my church, our purpose is connecting people to their God given purpose. This is my heart for this blog and for you.

So will you join me in this journey? Will you put on your Crimson Robe?

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