Waiting on the Lord… Wait, What?

I’m not a very patient person. In fact, if you asked any of my family members or close friends, they would tell you with certainty that I am in fact not a patient person at all.

In some ways, this can be helpful. When the Lord tells me to do something, I usually move quickly and act on his command. But what is an impatient girl to do when the command from the Lord is to wait on him?

Wait.. what??

How can I wait on the Lord when I have a hard time even waiting on a bag of popcorn to pop in the microwave?

I’ve been studying the book of Habakkuk for the past year or so and I am blown away by the little nuggets of goodness tucked in the middle of it.

Like this little guy:

“I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1 NLT

Habakkuk had been struggling. He was confused and He honestly spent most of the time in this book complaining to God about his circumstances and the mess he found himself in.

God had responded to his complaint and Habakkuk is ready to stand on God’s words instead of his circumstances.

I think we as impatient followers of Christ can glean some truth from this verse. Habakkuk did four things in this verse that would give him the courage to wait upon the Lord.

Habakkuk chose to climb up to the watch tower.

He decided to elevate himself to a position where he could see the bigger picture. No longer would Habakkuk walk with tunnel vision, he would position himself to see God move near and far.

HAbakkuk Chose to stand guard

He knew that he would need to position himself to stand guard against the enemy’s attacks. In the waiting place, the enemy knows that we are weak and a lot of times wounded and torn. 1 Peter 5:8 says that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. If we are going to make it through the waiting, we must position ourself through prayer and communion with the Father so that we can stand firm against our enemy.

Habakkuk chose to wait upon the lord

Waiting on the Lord is a CHOICE! We can choose to wait on the promises of God. Habakkuk chose to stay positioned even if he would have to wait. He didn’t attach conditions.. He simple resolved within himself to wait upon the Lord.

Habakkuk opened his heart to the lord’s response

Habakkuk decided that he wanted to hear what GOD wanted to say more than just what HE wanted to hear.

Friend, if you and I are going to be able to wait on the Lord when he says to wait we must shift our sight, stand guard, choose to wait and open our hearts.

It’s going to have to be a daily choice. I’m choosing to wait on Him today, knowing that he doesn’t make us wait to punish us or hurt us. It is actually quite the opposite.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. ” 2 Peter 3:8-9 NLT

If it seems as if God is being slow in answering your heart’s cries tonight, I want you to be encouraged by this truth: He isn’t being slow, he is being patient for you. He doesn’t want you to miss what He has for you in this place..

Embrace the wait..It will be worth it.

 

 

 

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Three Reasons Why You Can’t Move Forward

They hurt you. Badly. You feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. You’ve tried to move on and you want to be the bigger person. You want to move forward but you just can’t do it.

You can’t move forward because you keep looking back

“ Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19
It is hard to move forward when the movie reel of what has happened keeps playing over and over again in your head. You can see it like it was yesterday.. the wounds fresh… the cuts are deep. And you keep looking back.
In Genesis, two angels tell Lot and his family to get out of town. It’s a bad scene. The whole town has lost their minds and it isn’t a good place to be. They tell them not to look back. His wife didn’t listen, and when she looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt. She died y’all. Right there on the spot.
When we keep focusing on the past, we can die too. Maybe not a physical death, but dreams, hopes, and joy can die. If we truly want to move forward, we’ve got to stop looking back. God is doing a new thing.. look forward so you don’t miss it.

you can’t move forward because you’re afraid

You can’t deal with something you’re afraid of. Fear is crippling. It binds us up and causes us to do crazy things. Sometimes we can’t move forward because we are just plain scared to. It’s easier to stay in this place. Sure, it may hurt and it may be miserable, but we are used to it. The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt when it got hard on the way to the promised land. They were more comfortable with the idea of going back to bondage, then moving into the unknown before them.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

you can’t move forward because you haven’t forgiven them

I know they hurt you and if I could reach through this screen and give you a hug, I would. Because being hurt by someone is no fun. It can leave us trapped.

“A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” Proverbs 18:19

When we are hurt and don’t forgive, we build up walls. These walls keep us trapped. It is hard to move forward when you’re trapped in the past. We have to choose to forgive so that we can be free. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Make a choice today to forgive them so that you can be free to move forward.

 

 

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How to Pray Bold Prayers

Praying sometimes feels like a task on the to-do list instead of a way to tap into the power of our Heavenly Father.

I grew up in church and was ready to give my weekly prayer requests. Does anyone have an unspoken prayer request? Hands would go up everywhere.

Or what about when one of your friends come up to you and share a big problem they are facing? I’ve been guilty of saying “I’ll be praying for you,” and then forgetting to pray for them that night during my nightly prayer routine (Cue the hand over the face emoji).

Can you relate? If you can then I have good news! There is a better way. What if I told you that your prayer life didn’t have to be routine? It could be life-giving, encouraging and could bring water to your dry, dry soul?

There is a way friend. We can pray bold prayers and see God move mountains every single day!

Understand that prayer is a never-ending conversation with God

I learned at a very young age that prayer was an important part of the daily routine. We said our meal-time prayers and our bed-time prayers every single day. Saying these prayers taught me that it was important to pray daily, but it didn’t teach me to build constant conversations with God. Prayer is more than something to check off of our to-do list.. it is a lifestyle to embrace.

Prayer is more than something to check off of our to-do list.. it is a lifestyle to embrace. Click To Tweet

Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

To pray bold prayers, we must never stop praying. We must develop a habit of praying without stopping. This just means that we will talk to God continually throughout our day.. about every little thing.

Include scripture in your prayers

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12

We have no power on our own. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing. 

But there is good news! God has given us his word as a tool to break chains and to fight against the darkness. In Isaiah God says that he sends his word out and it ALWAYS produces fruit. It WILL PROSPER everywhere he sends it.

We may not have any power, but we serve a God that has endless amounts of power. If his word doesn’t return void, then we can trust that when we add his word to our prayers, we will begin to see his power at work in our lives.

What are some things that you have been praying about but have not seen any improvement? Find a verse that speaks to whatever your need is and begin to add it to your prayers. You don’t have to have it memorized, write it down on an index card and repeat it throughout the day.

One that I like to use when I feel like giving up is Psalm 51:10 that says “Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Say your prayers out loud

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There is power in our words. Have you ever been hurt by what someone has said to you? Or have you ever felt the joy of an encouraging word?

What we speak has the potential to become who we are. 

If our words have power even though we are powerless, how much more power will the word of God have?

We must speak our prayers out loud. Everything has to bow to the name of Jesus. When we use his word and pray in his name, the floodgates of Heaven will be open and he will pour out his blessing on us.

Saying  prayers out loud remind us that He is in control.

There is just something  so encouraging about praying out loud.

If you aren’t used to doing it, it will feel silly at first. Do it anyway. I promise you won’t regret it. Push past the awkward, and watch God move in a bold way as you walk in boldness in your prayer life!

Are you having a hard time praying because you feel like God let you down? Have you been walking through a hard season and don’t know how to pray because of your pain and confusion? I’ve been there and I wrote a devotional just for you! You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

 

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Why it’s Okay to NOT be Okay

We live in an Instagram perfect world. In the culture we live in, it has become increasingly easy to dress up our lives with a pretty filter and witty hashtag. But what do you do when you are really not in a pretty place?

Did you know that it is okay that your are NOT okay? You don’t have to work so hard to look like you have it all together. In fact, Jesus rebuked the ones who did that in the Bible.

 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,[i] and then the outside will become clean, too.” Matthew 23:25-26

Why do we work so hard to clean up our outsides, while inside we are wasting away?

If you are honest, you are falling apart. Life has gotten the best of you and you don’t know where to go from here. Embrace this place… this is the place that God can do his greatest work.

Embrace this place... this is the place that God can do his greatest work. Click To Tweet

But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:16-17 

What if instead of prettying up our lives on the outside, we ran to Jesus with our messy insides?

 

We are not okay… and that is OKAY. Because in this not so okay place, we can lean into Jesus, knowing that he is our comforter and he will work all of this together for our good.

 

 

Are you struggling with the season you are in? Do you feel like you will never move away from this NOT so okay place? You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

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There is Purpose in Your Pain

Painful seasons are not fun. They are filled with emotions… tears… long conversations.. what ifs.. and why nots..
They are exhausting at best.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a no pain button? Like anytime we started to feel emotional or physical pain we would just press the button and it would immediately vanish?? Someone should invent that.. they would make a fortune!
Sadly, no one has, and the pain comes. It comes without warning and there we stand stuck in the middle of so many emotions and hurting like crazy.
Everything inside of us starts screaming, but on the outside we stand freakishly still.
This feeling of pain has been all too close in certain seasons of my life. One thing that it has taught me is that though all of our pains look differently on the outside, on the inside the hurt is very much the same. The raw, ugly, painful feelings are enough to take us under.
We’re not okay.. and if we’re honest this season is harder than we’d like to admit.
But somewhere in the midst of the hard, painful realities, there is Jesus. Somewhere Between the shouting at the circumstances and the screaming at the pain, his face calms the storm.
Seasons of pain are not easy, but I’m finding that the seasons of pain somehow bring peace. The hurt somehow opens our soul to healing. So even though pain is awful, we won’t fight it. We will embrace the feelings now, so that Jesus can bring us freedom from them later.
And maybe, just maybe, the pain will bring purpose.
I know what it is like to be in a painful season. In the most painful season of my life, I found this perfect little book tucked away in the Bible that literally gave me life through the pain. Habakkuk was so relatable to me during the worst time in my life.  If you are going through a hard season you can snag your copy of m Fifteen Day Devotional: Habakkuk… Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion below.
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Three Things Every Wife Should Know

Marriage is such a sweet gift from the Lord, but can we be real for a minute?? Marriage isn’t always easy. Marriage is the merging of two imperfect people and so it will not always seem perfect. With so many moving factors in a marriage, how can a wife continue to be the wife God has called her to be?

God is your first love

I love a fairy tale ending. I’ve always believed in love. When I met my husband, he swooped me off of my feet… like movie style love. We had a whirlwind romance. We met, dated, got engaged, and then married all within six months. I was smitten y’all.

As much as I love my husband, and as much as he loves me, he is not my first love. We were created to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and then our neighbor as ourself. When we elevate our husband above our first love, things will feel out of order.

You husband won’t complete you

You’ve heard the cliche…. “You complete me.” Or how about “He’s my better half?” When we view our husbands as someone who completes us, we will always be asking them to fill a void that they were not created to fill. Our husbands should be our partners, but not our other halves.

Our husbands should be our partners, but not our other halves. Click To Tweet

We are only made whole through Jesus. When we are looking to him for everything we need, then everything our husband does becomes a fun little bonus.



 

Wives were created to encourage

Being a wife is hard. Sometimes our husbands make dumb decisions. Sometimes they are less than romantic, and marriage is less than glamorous. It is so easy as a wife to begin to try to fix or change our husbands. “If he would just do it this way…” “If you would have listened to me to begin with…” “I told you so…”

God created the woman to be a helper for her man. We were created to help him as he walks in his purpose. So many times we think we are helping, when in reality we are controlling (ouch.) As a wife, we must remember that our job is to love and encourage through grace and humility, knowing that God will sort out their imperfections.

So go forth pretty lady and love your man. Encourage him in his calling. Support him in his purpose.

Marriage is a blessing. Enjoy the journey.

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3 Things I’ve Learned about Pain

Pain is no fun… like absolutely none at all. It is excruciating and unpredictable… The last four months have been filled with pain that I’ve never known before and they have taught me a lot about what pain is, what it isn’t and how to cope.

I know I can’t be the only person who has been betrayed, broken, and bruised. If you have been in a painful place or are now, I hope these three things I have learned will help you through this season!

Pain is unpredictable

If you had told me six months ago that I would be in this place of pain, I would have probably laughed. The pain that I am feeling is the direct result of being betrayed by the person I trusted the most. I knew they would have never hurt me, but somehow they did.

I would have told you that there was absolutely no possible way that this person would break my heart and I would have been wrong.

The truth is that pain comes without warning.. It’s unpredictable, unpreventable and undeniable. And so… the pain comes when we least expect it and it shatters everything that we thought we knew. Crushes it right to the core..

In painful seasons all we can do is cling to verses like

 “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

Pain makes it hard to pray…

The first month after realizing I had been betrayed it was so hard to pray about it. God had a purpose and I knew he would get me through it but I wasn’t ready to let him..

I was mad…I was hurting.. I was crying.. I was shaking.. I was numb..

I wasn’t okay by any stretch of the imagination. I remember saying things like “I know God has a plan and that he is going to work this out for my good.” but in my heart I wasn’t so sure.

There was nothing I could do to fix it and that was okay.

God gave me my time… He held me when I didn’t know what to pray and he waited for me to be ready for healing. Eventually that day came… It wasn’t overnight.. It was more than a month after the pain started and I finally found myself in that place.. I found myself saying “Lord heal me from the hurt they caused.” and he began to heal me… but that took time too! It was another two months after that until I was finally able to choose to forgive the people who had hurt me.. and I’m sure it will be another few months or years before I am completely healed because….

 Pain is a process…

When you have been hurt deeply and pain becomes such a big part of your heart, it is a process to get to the other side..

There is no right answer.. there is no ten step program to quicken your healing process. There is only Jesus. The process is long and unsteady, but Jesus is stable and secure throughout the journey.

 

Each time I found myself saying “God I’m not okay.” I would hear him whisper “I know baby, but you will be.. I’ll hold you until you are.” and he did.. and he does.. and he will until it’s over. He will give me a word to get me through… a friend to hug me when it hurts..  a light to shine into the darkness… a hope when I feel hopeless.

 

Pain will affect us all at some point in our lives because we live in a sinful world. People fail us… family members die… jobs are lost… husbands leave.. children run..  and hurt enters in each time..

The only sure thing in this world is Jesus. Click To Tweet

If you are going through a painful season, I’m so sorry! I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you I know how you feel.. I wish I could tell you that it is all going to be okay.. All I can really do is tell you that Jesus won’t abandon you here. This is not the end of your story.. walk with him.. Let yourself feel the things you feel, hurt the way you do, and let him carry you to the other side.

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How to Find Grace in Hard Seasons

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a hard season? Like no matter what you do you can’t seem to get ahead? I’ve been there. Some seasons in life are harder than others. Sometimes I feel like I’m broken… Something is wrong with me.. I need a reset. Because in this season I missed it somewhere.

But then there’s Jesus. He tells me I haven’t missed it. The ship didn’t sail. I didn’t miss the mark.

Because see, there’s this grace that exudes from the hands of Jesus. This grace knew I’d be in this season and that I would feel this broken… This grace gently carries me above the rising waters.

The grace of Jesus picks me up and carries me when I know I can’t carry myself.

He knew I’d have this season. He knew that in this season, I wouldn’t be able to carry myself through. But he also knew that in this season he would get the chance to do a new thing.. to show me something I desperately needed to see, grace…

So in the hard seasons of life, I’ll raise my white flag and lay down my pride and pick up the grace of my sweet Jesus.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

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Five Verses to Help with Anxiety

Have you ever struggled with anxiety? Big or Small? I have and if I’m honest, it sometimes is a daily struggle. Merriem-Webster defines anxiety as being afraid or nervous especially about what may happen.

Did you catch that??

Being afraid or nervous especially about what MAY happen. MAY… not will… MAY.

Isn’t it crazy that anxiety is caused most of the time by things that haven’t even happened and in all reality may NEVER happen??? I think sometimes we walk in fear because we connect the pain we have felt to the fear of being hurt or damaged again. It’s hard not to be anxious during heavy seasons. Habbakuk understood this. If you want to dig deeper into the story of Habbakuk you can do that here. 🙂

So how do we combat these anxious thoughts? Pray. And then pray some more.

Here are my five favorite verses to pray over my life when I’m anxious.

1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

This verse reminds us to stop and remember that God is listening.

2. “ Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your  life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-4

When we set our mind on things above, and remember that our life is hidden with Christ, we can release the anxious thoughts surrounding our situation.

3. ” Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

It brings peace knowing that God will not let us be shaken in a world that looks hopeless. He will sustain us through each circumstance.

4. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Our minds run wild in the evening hours. I literally speak this verse every night before I go to sleep. It reminds me that God has me and he keeps me wrapped safely in his love.

5. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Sometimes our anxiety stems from the battle we are facing. Speaking Exodus 14:14 over our lives reminds us that God will fight for us… and that takes the pressure of and gives us the freedom to walk in peace.

What is your favorite verse to pray when you are anxious? Leave a comment!

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Following the God of Promise

God is a God of promise. The Bible is filled with promises from our Father. The thing about following a God of promise… it requires faith. Today I was reading in the book of Genesis about Abram, later known as Abraham. Now there is someone who God made a promise to… and a pretty big one. But Abram didn’t see the fruits of that promise for YEARS!

Genesis 12:1-4

” The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Can we just take a minute to talk about the fact that God told Abram to leave basically everything he had ever known, to go into a land he had not yet seen? God said go to the land I WILL SHOW you… WILL SHOW.. Future tense y’all.

Then the God of promises gives Abram a promise.

And Abram went… He left everything he knew to follow God into the unknown trusting in a promise he could not yet see.

We all love promises right? I mean I want to take hold of the promises God has for me… 100% but am I really truly brave enough to leave everything I know to go after promises I cannot tangibly see??

I want to be.. I want to have that kind of faith. What made Abram able to walk out in that kind of faith? He was just a person like you and me. But God stayed close to him. In each new place, God spoke to Abram. God was constantly speaking to him and giving him the words he needed to step out in faith.

What is your promise from God? What is your faith walk? Today take some time to listen to the God of promises. Maybe he wants to speak a new promise over you, or maybe he just wants to reignite a promise in you from long ago. Either way, he is ready to speak over you and walk through each step with you.

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