Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
She will be speaking about her bookand, and sharing her story. In another room, I will be speaking about abstinence, and sharing my story of purity with young people. I am excited, terrified, and everything in between. It just boggles my mind when I think of what God has prepared for me. It is certainly an adventure!
There is also a global human trafficking conference taking placea in Brazil the same week we will be there, and we have already been asked to be apart of it. I am thrilled. A few years ago, I was at a conference in Atlanta, and was first informed about human trafficking. I have never heard of something so terrible. I remember calling my mom, crying, and telling her that I wanted to bust down doors, and get girls out of there. I have been praying in the quietness in my heart about this for years. I am so excited that God is opening doors, to something big.
I know He has big plans for this girl. It's going to be a wild ride!
Have a wonderful week!
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
As a little girl, I often would daydream about my wedding.
I wanted to wear a yellow wedding dress, carry yellow flowers, and have my bridesmaids all wearing yellow. I was obsessed.
I wanted every girl in the bridal party to wear a different shade of yellow. Goldenrod, saffron, ochre, sunflower, sunburst, buttercream, lemon, straw, daffodil, etc. If you were to name it, I am sure I loved it. Looking back now, I'm sure my sisters and close friends are glad I have changed my mind on that. I can just imagine their eye rolls on the idea of looking like paint sample swatches in front of a church.
I really try hard not to mentally plan my own wedding. But some times, it can be difficult not to. I have been a bridesmaid in ten weddings, helped plan a dozen more, and attended countless others. It has become second nature to form opinions on ideas I like or dislike at weddings.
I want it to all be new and exciting when I plan it. I am waiting for a man, so I should probably wait on planning our wedding.
The one thing I have mentally thought out and planned was the date.
I know. This makes me sound like a crazy, deranged woman. I am well aware. Maybe I have lost my mind.
When I was a young, teenage girl, I fell in love with a day. It was the most perfect fall afternoon. The air was crisp, the sun was warm, the trees were bright and beautiful, showing off their colors. It felt like anything was possible. The day was full of possibility. I was convinced it was magical.
So I looked at a calendar years in advance and saw that it landed on a Saturday, the autumn I would be 25, weeks before my 26th birthday.
October 12, 2013.
I figured it had to be my wedding day. It was meant to be.
There was plenty of time to go to college, graduate, meet a man, date for a while, be engaged for a bit, plan our wedding and lives together, all before that magical date.
So for years, I would eat a cupcake on that day and think of how one day, I would be eating wedding cake with my husband.
Just to be clear, I never booked a church, bought a dress, or did anything to actually plan a wedding. This was all just plans I had made up, and kept floating around in my head. Only a very small handful of people knew how much I loved that day.
I just reminded God every year what was going to happen that day.
Last year on that date, a terrible tragedy occurred. Suddenly that date and all its specialness became an awful reminder of pain. I was furious at God for allowing a beautiful life to be taken from us so unexpectedly. And then I became bitter that He had allowed it to happen on my day.
Between time, God's faithfulness, and constant pursuit, my heart is beginning to heal.
But that date is quickly approaching. I never finished college. I still haven't found a man. And in all honesty, it would be a miracle from heaven if a man asked me out for coffee. I am certainly not getting married in less than two months. I am as single as one could be. This isn't what I had planned at all.
And I think for the first time in forever, I am okay with that.
For years, I planned my life down to the last detail. I said I trusted God and His timing, but the closer the fall of 2013 came, the less there was any proof of that. I wanted to be in control. Honestly, I thought I was.
I became angry and bitter at God when things didn't progress the way I thought they should for my idea of a perfect life.
But in all of my frustration and brokenness, He was teaching me.
One of my favorite verses has become "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9
He has been teaching me so much about how He is in control, not me.
One of my favorite things my dad has said recently was, "Michelle, God has a plan, and you're in it. So stop worrying."
He has not forgotten about me. He isn't unaware of my desire to be somebody's Mrs. He knows my desire to be a mommy. He knows more than anyone how badly I want to be in South America, serving. He knows what is best for me, better than I could ever know myself.
The last few years have been amazing. I would not trade them for anything. They have been hard, but God has proved Himself faithful time after time. I have had adventures I never could have imagined or dreamed about. I have grown and been stretched in ways I would have avoided, if I knew what was in store. But I am so thankful for not always getting my way. His way is better. It is best.
I know life is full of disappointments, frustrations, and hurt. We make plans, dream dreams, and have high expectations. It is easy when things don't work out the way we planned, to think that He forgot us, He wasn't aware, or just didn't care. But that is not our God.
So remember, He is working it out for me, and for you. He is faithful, and He is good. He has not forgotten about us. His plans for us are better than even my crazy brain could conjure up. He has this. He knows our dreams and deepest desires. There is no reason to fret and fear. He has this all under control.
Have a wonderful weekend resting in that!
Have you ever planned on something happening, and then it didn't? What did you do? Do you wish you would've done things differently? What verses do you rely on to remind you that He is in control?
Monday, August 19, 2013
I can't have it all. I can't do it all. There just isn't enough time in a week. There just isn't enough energy in my body. I have limits. I am human.
But as I sit here, in the park, the night is quickly approaching, and so I just let my mind wander.
I think of how hard it is to let go sometimes. And how terrifying it is to grab on to something new.
Summer is coming to a close. Autumn is knocking at the door, trying to be patient, but quietly preparing to rush in.
I am thrilled to be doing women's ministry this fall. I have been studying the book I will be teaching, and have been growing more excited every time I open the study and the Word. My heart leaps inside of me as I think of the lives that God will entrust to us to love and care for. My eyes well up with tears, as I think about how the Word renews, restores, and refreshes, and how there are women that will need that.
My heart is sad thinking of what I am giving up. I love my youth group girls. But in this season, I must be obedient, and let go.
I have been honored to serve at a little church plant as their children's director for the last year. I love their excitement as they shout my name, recite all of their memory verses, and laugh with me as they tell stories. I will miss teaching them. I have one more Sunday morning left in Auburn Hills.
I think there is something new for me. Something very different. Something so huge, that it is something only God Himself could orchestrate it. If I tried, my head would blow up. So I will trust in His timing. I beg for His peace, clarity, and that He directs my steps. And I am excited. There are still things to be made official, before any real celebrating and freaking out can occur. :-) But I really believe He knows my heart, He has heard my tears, and He is preparing an adventure just for me.
So, pray I can find my passport. :-)
Sunday, August 11, 2013
I often think, and over think, about if God has called me to do something, what it could be, and how under qualified I am to do whatever it is.
I don't think I am alone.
We often feel like we aren't qualified for life. We believe we're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, or just enough. We let people's opinions resonate in our heads of how we could never do anything amazing. We allow excuses, self doubt, and past failures to keep us shriveled up, and ineffective. So we just live our lives, as though we are not incredible people, with a special, individual plan for each of us, created by the Creator Himself.
I wandered across one of my favorite books (Undaunted by Christine Caine) recently, and I just wanted to share a excerpt on being chosen. (I highly recommend this book! It is so good!)
"The amazing thing is that throughout Scripture and history, it seems that God has chosen the most unlikely and unqualified people to fulfill his plan and purpose on the earth. ... If we allow other people to tell us what we are and are not qualified to do, we will limit what God wants to do with us. We may never get to those who need our help. ... that's how God works. He chooses each of us to do something for him despite our past failures, limitations, and inadequacies."
He doesn't care if you are not qualified, He already is. He cares if you are willing.
She then gives an incredible list of people from the Bible that were not perfect (none of us are!) and still, God used them!
"-Abraham was old (Genesis 17:1, 24:1)
-Sarah was impatient (Genesis 16)
-Noah got drunk (Genesis 9:20-27)
-Miriam was a gossiper (Numbers 12:1-2)
-Jacob was a cheater (Genesis 25-27)
-Jonah ran away (Jonah 1:3)
-David had an affair (2 Samuel 11-12)
-Elijiah was moody (1 Kings 18-19)
-Peter had a temper (John 18:10)
-Paul was a persecutor (Acts 8:3, 9:1-2)
-Martha was a worrier (Luke 10:40-41)
-Thomas doubted (John 11:14-44)"
"...God had a purpose for each of these people. He chose them. He qualified them. He called them, just as he is calling you and me - to go and do in his name. ... Moses and Gideon and Jeremiah would have missed out on their moments in history if they'd been allowed to get by with those excuses. We wouldn't even know their names today. We know who they were because God refused to accept their excuses and insisted they accept his assignment - and then provided them with everything they needed to succeed in it."
A couple weeks ago, I did a video blog that fits in with today's. Check it out here!
So what is God calling you to do, and how can you make a step today towards accomplishing it?
Have a great week!
Monday, July 29, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
I do not know what has happened to me, but I now love animals.
I was the girl last year that had a heart of stone, didn't shed a tear over sad animal commercials, and I certainly didn't care about them. I was quoted as often saying that I hated animals. That was me.
I am not sure what to blame this new lifestyle change on. Maybe it is my new blonde hair, or living with my animal loving roommate, or even nannying for a little girl with the most tender heart. Whatever it is, my heart has grown 3 sizes, and I suddenly love animals.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I currently have the sweetest little girl in my bed. She is four years old, and my very best friend. We are having our very first slumber party at my house.
I think she has been slightly baffled that I am alone in my apartment. She looked for my prince charming in the closets. I am convinced that she thinks I have been hiding a man and babies from her for years. :-)
Before bed, we brushed teeth, put pjs on, read stories, and said our prayers.
She thanked Jesus for her family, me, the beach, and my cool bathroom. It made my heart smile.
A few minutes later, right before she fell asleep, she asked if she could pray again.
She then prayed with such boldness, it made my heart melt.
"Dear Jesus, my Mechelle is all alone at night, all the time, with no one to snuggle. Please send her prince charming to her house. But not my house, because I don't need one, and I don't even live here. I know you know where he is. Tell him to show up now. Well, not right now, because were having a slumber party, and going to sleep. But please make him. And make him have a heart. Amen."
I am thankful that a sweet babe has such incredible faith that Jesus does know where he is, and who he is. What a good reminder.
Also, Jesus, please make him have a heart. I don't want to marry a robot.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
We do not have a dishwasher in our tiny apartment. It drives me batty most days. I just want them to wash themselves.
In theory, doing the dishes is not the worst thing ever.
I just hate it. I hate the dried on food that is almost impossible to get off. I hate that my hands are wet, and I can't continue a texting conversation. I hate that even when I think I washed them all, there are always more. I hate that there isn't much room to let them dry, so a large percentage of counter top is quickly taken. I hate that my feet hurt from standing so long. I hate that I think about dirty dishes sitting in the sink when I am gone.
And now I hate that I sound like a whiny baby.
To be honest, yes I dislike the dishes, and yes, I may be a bit dramatic when it comes to housework, but for some crazy reason, it is one of the sweetest times I spend with Jesus.
He always seems to whisper into my heart when my hands are elbow deep in sudsy water.
I'm not sure why.
Maybe it is because I can't be on my phone or computer, and I have to be still. Maybe it is because He often convicts me of my ridiculous attitude, and reminds me what it means to serve. Maybe it is because He brings to remembrance what love is, and this is one way I can love my roommate. Maybe it is because He puts people on my heart, and I have the sweetest time praying for them. Maybe it is that He gently reminds me what a blessed life I lead, and how I should be thankful.
I don't know what it is, but I do know that there are still dishes that need to be washed, and I need to get over myself, and go wash them.
Have a good night.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
I don't really enjoy the thought of airing my dirty laundry, for potentially thousands of people I may not even know, to read on here. I also do not think said people excitedly wake up, sit down with their coffee, open my blog and want to hear that I am a mess. So, I continue to write about God's faithfulness, His provision, and attempting to be content. These are all good things.
I wonder if I am not giving the whole story. I wonder if only sharing the good days has made me look better than I really am. I wonder if Jesus isn't getting all of the glory because people aren't seeing the dark days.
I had a few friends recently tell me they wish they could love people like I do, or follow Jesus so diligently as me, or even just have it all together like Michelle.
I laughed. Out loud.
I am a mess. A hot mess.
There is no goodness inside of me apart from Jesus.
My nature is not to love people, and say kind words of encouragement. My nature is to judge people, think nasty, horrific thoughts toward them, and then justify it.
My nature is not to love Jesus. I fight daily to read my Bible, spend time in prayer, and sometimes just not forget about Him. I often fight with Him, disagree with what He is doing, and sometimes just ignore His voice because I don't want to change what I am doing.
I am selfish to the core. I am a gossip. I can hold a grudge. I watch tv shows I shouldn't. I fake it too often with a smile. My house is almost never really clean. I can be a beast to live with. Love does not come easily to me. I am just a mess of a girl. I am no where near perfect.
Jesus is transforming me. He alone can change my evil heart, and teach it to love. He convicts my soul, and it is His kindness that brings me to repentance. He is renewing my mind, and changing my thoughts. It is His love that can cause real joy to flow from my heart.
So please do not think of me as the girl who has it all together. I am not.
I just have a real Jesus.
I am not perfect, but He is. I am inconsistent, He is always constant. I am a sinner, in need of a Savior, and He is that Savior. I am always in need, He is always faithful and provider. I have dreams of big things, and He is the one who put them in my heart, and is working out the details.
I will try to be more transparent, even when it is difficult. I will share the struggles, along with the victories. I just want to point to Jesus, even on the bad days.
Have a good weekend.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Without being rude or arguing for the sake of arguing, I want to share why it upset me so much.
The title of this woman's blog was "Re-Thinking Waiting On The Lord For Husbands For Our Daughters".
She begins her post by saying, "We told our girls who have heart’s desire to marry that they should, “Wait on the LORD to bring you a husband. It needs to be the right man, and the right time, God’s time.” And while I agree with that teaching in some ways, in other ways it is creating older daughters who are still unmarried at 32." ... "And I know, sometimes even in our best efforts our daughters may still not marry at an early age."
I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting on the Lord, and believing in His perfect timing. I also believe there is nothing wrong with being unmarried at 25, 27, 32, or even 37.
She then states, "We can’t fight the enemy at the gates if our kids don’t have a family, and families start with marriage."
In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Paul talks about single women, and how they can serve more and be more focused on pleasing the Lord, without distractions. Married women have the wonderful gift of serving and taking care of their husbands. One is not better than the other, they are just different.
Because I am single, I am able to travel and love on people in other countries for months at a time, not missing my family. I can share the name of Jesus in downtown Detroit, and not worry that I won't be home in time to fix dinner. I can pour into lives on a weekly basis for hours, loving them, mentoring them, and encouraging them, without a man wanting me home to love and encourage him.
Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely love to have a husband. I dream about my arms being full of curly haired babies. I want to have dinner on the table every night for my family when my man walks in the door. But that isn't my current reality. I am a single girl, sometimes struggling to be content, and in the mean time, serving Jesus and others.
I have seen friends confess Jesus, babies healed, lives transformed, broken families reunited, and people living free, all because of the power of the name of Jesus. That is what will allow us to fight the enemy, and that alone. The battle against the enemy will not be won because people had a lot of babies. Lives will be transformed and the enemy will be defeated because of Jesus.
She goes on to say, "Biologically speaking, this is alarming (age of marriage rising) as we are all well aware that the older a woman gets, the fewer children she will have, and if she waits until she’s 40+ to marry, the chances of her having any children are rare indeed."
Do not be quick to forget who our God is. He is the Great I Am. He is the one who caused a woman in her 90's (Sarah- Genesis 17:17) to give birth to Isaac, the son of promise. He is the one who gave a baby boy to a woman who for years was barren. (Hannah- 1Samuel 1) He is also the Almighty who placed a baby in the womb of a virgin! (Mary- Matthew 1:18)
I have been told I need to 'hurry up" for a couple of years now. I know that my biological clock is beginning to tick, but even more, I know the One who causes it to tick. He alone is the one that opens and closes wombs. If one day He chooses to give me eight babes, or an empty house, He will still be good, and He will still be God. My ultimate goal in life is not to have a home full of children. It is to honor Jesus.
She then finishes up with, "Prayer is essential, yes, but we can’t leave it at that. (We) can’t just sit back and wait for the LORD to supernaturally bring a wonderful young man into the lives of our daughters..."
In her blog she recommends parents trying new churches with their daughters to look for a husband, having people over for cookouts, and encourages parents to find their son-in-law.
I have often wondered what kind of man my parents would pick for me. I'm sure he would be wonderful, and handsome. But as much as my parents love me, they don't know what I truly need. The man they pick could just be a good actor. He may appear to be a man that loves Jesus, or he could just know what to say, and not say. I want the man that God chooses for me. Our God knows the heart, thoughts, and intentions of man. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, "But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”"
Prayer is so important. James 5:16 says, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." I believe God hears our prayers, and honors them, in His timing. His Word says that He works all things together for good for those that love Him, and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) I believe that He is working this out. The Bible also reminds us in a few places not to worry. So I will choose not to worry, and believe that God knows what is best for me.
Our God's very nature is that He is supernatural. Everything He does screams that. Creation is just the beginning of His handiwork. The entire Bible tells of Him making the blind see, calming the storms with His voice, calling down fire from heaven, freeing an entire nation from captivity, and changing water to wine, just to name a few. John 21:25 says, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." It is natural to His being to perform miracles, do things that only He can, and bring glory to His name.
I am learning that waiting is not a passive thing. Sitting at home and knitting is not necessarily the best way to meet your husband. But, it is not outside the realm of possibilities for God to send him to your front door. Do the things you love. Be involved in the areas you are passionate about. Go on adventures. Serve the least of these. Don't put your life on hold waiting on him to show up. Don't be waiting for him to ring the doorbell, meet him on the front porch.
I will continue to serve whether or not I have a husband by my side, or a baby on my hip. I will strive to honor Jesus, even when it is difficult. And I will seek to find contentment in whatever state I am in, because of Jesus.
I hope you know my heart was not to be hurtful, but to really just share where I was coming from.
You can read her full blog post here.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
I am a weird girl. I have been known to say off the wall, unexpected things. I often make situations embarrassing and awkward. That's just me. That's how I am.
One of my favorite times I stuck my foot in my mouth was five years ago.
I knew I was going to be working at the church's kids day camp that summer. The pastor's son had recently moved back to the area, and would be running it. His lovely wife was standing in the lobby after church.
I had never met her before, but I kinda knew who she was. She had never seen me before, and didn't have a clue who I was.
So naturally, when I walked up to her and said something awkward, she didn't know what to do with me.
"Hello. You don't know me. I'm Michelle. Were going to be working together this summer. And I know we are going to become the best of friends."
Well, that was five years ago, and she hasn't gotten rid of me yet. She also still doesn't really know what to do with me. :)
She has been one of my biggest fans, my voice of reason, my fellow gilmore girl enthusiast, my thrift store partner in crime, my encourager, my painting partner, and one of the best listeners I have ever met.
Her life points to Jesus, in a real and honest way. She is such a wonderful and godly wife and mother. And she gave me the best fake nephew and niece this fake Auntie has ever wished for.
So happy 5 years of fab friendship dearest Si. I am so thankful for all of our chats, laughs, and most of all, you.
I am so glad I was so awkward five years ago. :)
Sunday, May 26, 2013
She also is my friend that keeps me informed on baby Nestor. (Look for an update on him later this week!)
I was telling her how lately, my heart is often conflicted with where I am, and where I want to be.
She then said the most profound thing to me.
When I got off the call with her, I thought of the song that says, "Where you go, I'll go, Where you stay, I'll stay..."
I want to be wherever He has me. I want to be content in whatever state I am in. I want to follow, even when I am uncertain. And, I just want to know His voice.
What are some ways you have learned to tune into His voice?
Have a good night.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Memorial Day weekend is upon us.
For many, this means the start of all things summertime.
Warmer weather, hopefully. (It was 88 three days ago, and 36 last night. I currently have weather whiplash.) Yard work and house work are at the top of many to do lists. Church softball leagues are beginning. Plans are being made for weekends away at the cabin on the lake. Kids are finishing the school year. Floral dresses, swim suits, and sandals are being worked into every day wardrobes. Days of sunshine and beaches are in the near future.
This summer I am focusing on a couple dreams. I am believing that He is working things out for my good, in His timing. I am excited about some newly developed desires He has placed on my heart. I am trusting He will bring them to completion, even though I am scared and nervous.
This summer may get a little topsy turvy as I trust Him in new and unknown situations. I may learn a lot, and they may be hard lessons. I am anticipating growth this summer as I believe Him to be faithful in things that don't make any sense.
So, I ask earnestly for your prayers. Please join me in prayer for productivity, to be filled with God's Word, to be obedient even when it is difficult, and above all, to shine Jesus in everything I say and do.
I know I am being vague. Please trust me that when the timing is right, I will share big things.
Trust and believe with me that He greater things are yet to come.
Have a sweet weekend.
Don't forget to remember the brave men and women we celebrate and thank for our freedom this weekend.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
This is a repost from another blog I write for. This subject was very much on my heart this morning, so I thought it would be fitting to share it on here today.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
As Christians, we have been given a specific 'to do' list in Isaiah 61. We are told to proclaim the good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release prisoners from darkness, proclaim God's favor, comfort those who mourn, and provide for those who grieve.
When I first read these verses, honestly, I was overwhelmed. How can I do this? I don't know what this looks like. Is this even possible?
And then, I remembered, Jesus did all of this for me. He gave me the ultimate good news, the Gospel. He bound up heartaches buried so deep no else even knew they were there. He set me free from sin, death, my flesh, the grave, and Hell. He released me from the darkness of this world. He has poured out so much favor on me, it doesn't even make sense. He has comforted me in times when life fell apart. He was always there. He gave me grace and mercy when I didn't deserve it, and could never have earned it.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The only way to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task is to remember what Jesus did for us, and realize we have everything we need to pour it back out unto others. He has given us the perfect example, and the power to complete this 'to do' list.
So, what does this look like practically? I don't believe we have all been called to move to a third world country and start an orphanage, to walk the streets of Detroit and feed the homeless, or even to be a shoulder to cry on for every broken heart. God has placed you and me in this exact time and place for a purpose. There are broken people in every corner of this world, in offices, schools, homes, streets, hospitals, funeral homes, and even in churches. We are commanded to love them as Jesus loves them, care for them, and share the good news.
How can we do this?
-Preach the good news to the poor. How can you share Jesus with someone who doesn't know Him? Where may it be uncomfortable to share the Good News? Who are the poor, oppressed, and afflicted in your life, and in the world?
-Bind up the brokenhearted. How can you use your past heartaches and pain to help heal another? Will this help you realize your brokenness has value?
-Proclaim freedom for the captives. How can you be a voice for those who are enslaved, captive, and carried away? What can you do to raise awareness for the captives in our world?
-Release prisoners from darkness. How can you bring light to addicts of all sorts: body image, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, pornography, gambling, etc.? How can you help someone break free from the darkness of depression, anxiety, bitterness, cynicism, insecurity, worry, self hate, and the lies from Satan?
-Proclaim God's favor. How does your life show that you have God's favor? Do you recognize it yourself? Do you share what He has done for you with others?
-Comfort all who mourn. How can you be available to listen when someone's life falls apart? In what ways can you be a comfort to someone?
-Provide for those who grieve. What can you do to be a help to someone who is grieving? How can you make their life easier in a time of pain? How can you cultivate joy, beauty, and praise in their lives?
What does this look like today for you?
Have a great day. Love, Michelle
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Almost every Friday night for the last 21 months, K and I have done something together. We have had picnics, gone to movies, sat on my couch while reading magazines, gone out to dinner, or ordered from Hungry Howies. It just became assumed that Friday nights was time together. It was never the plan to do it every week, but I am so glad it happened that way. Somewhere in there, we became best friends.
When K and I first became friends, she had never been inside of a church, not even for a wedding. That was just the way she was raised. It was such a contrast to the way I was raised. I have a hard time remembering a week of my life that I wasn't in church.
I never wanted to force Jesus, church, or my beliefs on her. So, I tried to live my life in a way that pointed to Jesus and His love, I answered any question she had, but most of all, I began to pray fervently.
I prayed almost every day for 21 months. I memorized Isaiah 59:1 "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."
I begged God to soften her heart, and give her the desire to know Him. I rejoiced every time she had a question about Jesus, church, religion, or the Bible. I prayed even more. I sobbed when I drove home one particular night, knowing she was beginning to understand. I asked God to make clear opportunities in conversations to share Him.
She started to attend church with her boss pretty regularly around the beginning of the year. My heart leaped inside of me.
One day a few weeks ago, she told me she had been thinking about my future husband, and so she stopped everything and prayed for him. There are not enough words to express how much that blessed my heart. I had no idea she was beginning to pray, let alone, pray for my husband.
Last week she asked me if I would be at church when she gets baptized. I agreed, but told her, only after we had a serious conversation about some things beforehand.
So tonight, we went to dinner, we caught up after a busy week, and then we sat down on the couch. Bible in lap, I began to go over the plan of salvation. I wanted to know that she understood the Gospel, and wasn't just getting baptized just to get baptized. I wanted to make sure she knew baptism does not wash away sins, or get us into heaven. It is just a step of obedience in following Jesus. I wanted her to know that the Bible is truth, and that we can go to it for everything. Religions and denominations may not have the answers, but Jesus and His Word always will. She stopped me a couple times to clarify as I read and explained things, but at the end of our conversation, I asked her if she had accepted Jesus, confessed her sins, and believed in her heart yet.
She looked at me with big, tearful eyes, and told me she had. She couldn't remember the exact day this winter, but she had accepted Jesus as her Savior.
Between tears, I told her of how I had prayed for her for months and months to know Jesus in a real way, and how faithful He was. I told her that Jesus is the most important thing in my life. He brings hope, peace, everlasting life, love, joy, and so much more. There is nothing more I could ever want for my friends, then to know my real Jesus.
So, rejoice with me today. My heart is full.
God is so faithful. His timing is perfect.
His arm is not too short to save. His ear is not too hard of hearing.
He saves. He hears.
Thank you for all of your prayers the last couple of years. You may not know my friends, or even me, but I know people are praying.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b.
Please continue to pray for K as she is a baby believer, and is beginning to sort out her faith.
I cannot wait to share more stories in the future, of things I am trusting and believing He is working out. What a faithful God we serve.
Have a nice weekend.