Not Alone

Worked out this morning…not just for my body but for my mind and soul specifically. Having some personal challenges lately and thought a boost to the endorphins would be a good idea.While on the eliptical, “Home” by Phillip Phillips came on my playlist. These lyrics struck me…
“…settle down, it’ll all be clear. 

Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear. Trouble, it might drag you down. 

You get lost you will always be found. 

Just know you’re not alone…”
http://youtu.be/OTg1n95–KE

The struggle is real. The enemy wants to get me down in the midst of the challenges I face. But God reminds me that I am not ALONE. He is right here with me in the midst of ALL of it.
So I share this with YOU as a reminder that YOU are not alone in your struggle either.  It might feel like it because your “peeps” aren’t around or your “person” didn’t show up.  Trust me, I understand. Forgive them and fix your eyes back on Jesus. The Author and Perfecter of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2). 

God sees you, hears you and knows exactly what you need. Trust Him to provide a “home” for you.  

There is no place you can get lost to that He cannot find you.
Self-discovery…I don’t like to workout alone. Need to find me some workout buddies!!

REFLECTION:

Are you at home with Jesus while still on earth?

Don’t know Him? Let me know and I would love to pray for you today!! 
Thank you for joining me on my journey. 

Kinita

Tears for Fears

Shout, Shout, let it all out
These are the things we can do without
Come on, I’m talking to you, Come on!!!

Yes, these are the lyrics from an 80’s band that inspired the title of this post by the same name. If you aren’t familiar with them, you might be too young to be reading this blog.

NOTE: some of the following fears are ones I have had personally while others I have shared by permission from friends.

I have a fear of failure.
I have a fear of success.
I have a fear of marriage.
I have a fear of divorce.
I have a fear of staying single forever.
I have a fear of failing my children.
I have a fear of losing it with my children.
I have a fear of failing my husband.
I have a fear of failing my friends.
I have a fear of spiders and other crawly things.
I have a fear of getting into a car accident.
I have a fear of getting cancer.
I have a fear of rejection.
I have a fear of acceptance.
I have a fear of being real in case I get rejected.
I have a fear of peanut butter.
I have a fear of thunderstorms.
I have a fear of the dark.
I have a fear of confined spaces.
I have a fear of death.
I have a fear of heights.
I have a fear of sharks while swimming in fresh water.
I have a fear of underwater things.
I have a fear of financial ruin.
I have a fear of snakes.

Is your fear listed?

Well then….

Shout, shout, let it all out!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I have had a lot of tears for a lot of fears over the years. (I know, too many rhymes!!!). Many a pillow has been soaked, tissues drenched and shoulders anointed with those tears.

There is good news…..

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind”.
Since God doesn’t give us that fear, then it is the Enemy who does. The more space you allow him in your life, the more he will take. Don’t embrace that fear, dear one.

1 John 4:18 says, “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
That Perfect Love is Jesus. It is only by His hand that the fear leaves us. If you are a follower of Jesus, don’t allow that fear to keep you trapped. If you don’t understand what it means to trust in Jesus and you are reading this, perhaps it is God’s way of pursuing you to let you know that you also don’t need to carry that fear around in your soul.

So shout, shout and let it all out. These are the fears we can do without. Come on, I AM talking to you.

You know who you are.

I know who I was when I carried these fears deep in my soul. They kept me trapped and caused me to struggle in just about every situation. I found myself making excuses instead of learning to make a way through those debilitating moments that seemed to go on for months.

Don’t make the same mistake….only you can choose to get free from the fears that keep you trapped.

How, you ask?

tears for fearsConfession and surrender.
Are you a believer? Then stop allowing your fears to rule your life. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
FEAR FREE!!!
The Enemy’s job isn’t to convince us not to believe in God but to keep us bound up in our fear trap so we won’t serve The King of kings and Lord of lords. If he can succeed in keeping us distracted by our fears we do little to nothing for the Kingdom.

The Enemy wants you to think you are a “good for nothing” person. But once you become a follower of Christ, you become a “good for something” person. You are God’s purposes!!
Ephesians 2:10, “you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works that He planned in advance for you to do.” Don’t let fear have more power in your life than Jesus.

How long, dear friend, will you allow your fears to control you?

Will you join me? Will you shout, shout and let it all out? Leave the fear and doubt at the foot of the Cross once and for all and move forward on the path God has for you!!

I need you to be fear-less. I need your help in the Kingdom. You need me to be fear-less. With God’s help we both can be fear-free!!!

BTW – from the list above, did you catch the one about “sharks in fresh water”? Totally unfounded. Sharks live in salt water. Some fears can be dispelled by shear knowledge and information around them.

REFLECTION:

What do you fear?
How do you respond to a fear?
What has helped you get over your fears?

Brokenness Shielded

1 Peter 1:5, “…who through faith are shielded by God’s power”.

My iPad screen shattered. The worst part was that it happened a few days before we left for a vacation and an already expensive week of the summer.

Brokenness Exposed.

Brokenness Exposed.

The shattered glass was held safely behind the screen protector my son insisted I buy a few months prior. (Lesson #1: Parents listen to your tech savvy kids). As I slid my finger across the screen to access my accounts, I felt miniscule shards of glass slipping out from under the on/off button.
With a sick feeling in my gut because of the damage, I talked it over with my husband and decided to get it fixed before leaving on vacation. After paying the $135, I left the store with a brand new screen and a tempered glass screen protector. Not only was I relieved but I was also ready to be even more careful with my treasured device.

A few days later I was still plagued by the whole thing. I kept reliving the whole situation over and over in my mind – from the accident of dropping my iPad, to the unexpected dollar amount, the timing, and the fact that I’m so attached to it. Don’t judge. I know – not healthy.

That’s when the Holy Spirit intervened for some much needed teaching.

Brokenness. We all have it. Whether we want to admit it or not.
Mine is shielded. Not to be mistaken for hidden. There is a difference you know. Let me explain.

If we hide our brokenness (aka. Flaws, weaknesses), we are quicker to get defensive when it is threatened to be exposed. Several blogs ago I shared about having an anger problem. Appropriately titled, “Anger Management”. Back then, I was hiding my brokenness and my struggle. The Enemy knew it and pushed harder on my weaknesses. My flesh followed suit and I sinned in my anger. Leaving shards of pain with my words and sometimes my actions.

With God’s help, I learned that I needed to allow Him to shield my brokenness, allowing Him to protect and guard my heart. So when I did get angry and felt weak, I knew that He was my Shield who was covering me and I could endure whatever the situation at hand.
In essence, He holds my broken pieces together. He will hold yours together too, if you let Him.

Once in awhile, when my spiritual armor (Ephesians 6) is not fitting properly (probably because of unconfessed sin in my life), a small shard of brokenness breaks away and falls into your life.
I am sorry. It is sharp and imperfect and it might make you say more than “ouch” or “eww”. But don’t worry, others have had a front row seat to your brokenness. You may need to ask God to help you love your pieces back into place.

Our brokenness is God’s job to keep together. He is my Shield. Is He yours?
Over the years as the LORD has revealed my brokenness to me, I have come to recognize Him as the more-improved “tempered glass” kind of Shield.

Remember my shattered screen from my iPad? Yes, the store did replace the broken screen and the tempered glass screen protector. When I got home, I noticed a fingerprint that wouldn’t come off. I quickly realized that it was under the protective screen. As I was tempted to get angry, the Holy Spirit calmed me and gave me this idea – the fingerprint would be a reminder of God’s Fingerprint in my life because it is by His Hand I am put back together, shielded and protected.
REFLECTION:

When does your brokenness show up the most?
What or who is your shield?
How do you feel when your brokenness spills out?
How do you respond when your brokenness is exposed?

Thank you for accepting me in my brokenness.

Kinita

He Leads, I Follow

While vacationing at a friend’s cottage for a few days up in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, my devotions were centered around Matthew 11. Specifically verse 28.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

I love how God times His Word to be the exact thing I needed on this vacation. We were entering this vacation after a several exhausting few months for our family. I was continuing the work of recovering from the effects of the Nepal earthquake. We had recently buried my sister after she lost her battle to brain cancer. My first book, “I Am Hagar: Forgotten No More,” was published and released (you can find it on Amazon.com). And a plethera of other situations that required my attention. The ups and downs of my emotions and the hard work I had done to cope has been exhausting, to say the least. This road, amidst it’s great joys and disappointments has been very treacherous!!
Without my supportive and loving husband, my children and friends who have been genuinely walking this journey with me, I think I would have been fit-to-be-tied months ago.

There was actually a time during those weeks where the “ride” seemed fast and furious and left my head spinning. I remember just closing my eyes and asking God to show me where He was in the midst of all this. At that precise moment, He gave me a picture of me sitting on a roller-coaster chair/bench and the lap bar was His arm. As I held on to His arm (the lap bar), I began to stroke it and had peace that He was holding me in place. I was assured that He would not let me go and would see me through to the end. That day (and since) He gave me an inexplicable peace that I was going to make it.

Back to the verse…I love this verse because it is very direct. For those who know me personally, I love direct communication. When I hear indirect communication it makes my brain work harder to have to decipher what looks like hidden meanings.

Jesus says, “Come to Me”….not, take a bunch of detours and then come. Yet, even if we have taken those detours, He still wants us to come to Him. If Nike was the speaker, they would say, “just do it!!”.
“All who are weary and burdened”, I think that everyone reading this and those we know have been weary and burdened at one time or another. I wonder what would happen if all of us who have obeyed this gentle command “Come to Me”, were to share with those who are currently weary and burdened, the Hope and rest they can find in Jesus?
“I will give you rest” is a promise from a promise-keeping God!! The kind of rest we can have in the midst of the fast and furiousness of our lives is uncompromising and available to all of us.

He lead, I followed very close behind.

He lead, I followed very close behind.

Our vacation ended with a day on Mackinaw Island. My time on the island started with a bike ride on a tandem bike with my husband. We rode the 8 miles around Mackinaw Island with the family and had a great time while learning a lot about us and other areas of our lives. Ken was in the front and I in the back. He did all the driving and I was along for the ride. I just held on. When he changed gears and went faster (than I would have liked), my heart raced and my muscle spasms (a result of the earthquake) kicked in with a vengeance. But I held on (perhaps muttering a thing or two under my breath). He would check on me every now and then and my answer was the same everytime. “I’m doing ok”. I’m not sure what He wanted me to say, because I really didn’t have a choice but to keep trusting him.

That gave me the beautiful picture of journeying with Jesus. I am doing ok and I don’t have a choice but to trust Him!!
He is leading, guiding and taking me on the ride of my life. I choose to rest in Him and hold on to see what other great adventures lie ahead. So, no matter how “fast” and “furious” your journey may be right now, know that God will lead you safely through it all.

REFLECTION:

What are you going through right now that needs more faith?
How do you respond when things don’t go your way?
How have you been responding to Jesus’ invitation to “Come to Him”?
Maybe you say that “God is leading” but are you following Him?

Thank you for joining me on this leg of my journey!

Kinita