Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Lord My Provider

     Over the past week or so, the Lord has been consistently reminding me that He is the Provider of all my needs. First, I was hired about two weeks ago as an online tutor. I had applied for the job over six months ago, and I had honestly forgotten about it until I received an email saying I had been removed from the waiting list. Since I haven't been working at all summer, this is obviously a major blessing. It feels as though a huge burden has been lifted. I can now work from home, take care of my daughter, and contribute to our family's finances.

     Second, I am going to be able to go on a short vacation with my family. I am specifically excited about this because I will be spending a few days making memories with my sister. This will also be Autumn's first vacation. I am a little concerned about how she is going to act on the trip since she is going to have to sit still for several hours in the car. But I am sure that with a little patience, everything will be fine.

     So I am working on contemplating God's goodness and trying to focus on being truly thankful. This week I am committing to thanking God for His blessings with my whole heart. I want to notice and acknowledge all of His blessings not just the big ones.

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your Name, O Most High
Psalm 9:1-2

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Who I am Hates Who I've Been

     Lately, I have been struggling with some of my old demons. Old patterns, habits, and thoughts that I thought were conquered have been creeping into my head. I hear these whispered lies in my head that crush my heart and push me toward a spiral of untruths. I hear whispers of

"You're worthless."

"You're insignificant."

"You will always be viewed as the bad kid."

"You wont make a difference."

"You don't matter."

     I thought I had overcome these lies and that I wouldn't struggle with these feelings any longer, but I haven't. I still carry around my past and my sin nature. As I have grown older, I have learned that often times my feelings do not correspond with reality. I know the truth, but these feelings slowly creep up on me. If I do not dispel these lies immediately then they grow and rise to a shriek. They remind me of who I was and scream at me that I am insignificant.

     During my teenage years, I bought into these lies and I allowed myself to be held in emotional bondage. But, in that dark time the Lord taught me one of the most beautiful and precious lessons of my life: I am valuable because the Lord has declared me to be valuable. The value of something can be determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. 1 Peter 1:18-19 proclaims "knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." I am valuable because the God of the universe purchased me with His blood. What an awesome thought! Christ paid for my life to free me from sin and that makes me inherently valuable.

     Galatians 5:1 reminds me that "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." So I have been freed from these deceptive and errant thoughts. When I allow these thoughts to occupy my mind then I am essentially binding myself up. Ii may feel like a captive to my past, but in reality, I am free. The only one holding me in bondage is my own thoughts.

     So lately I have been trying to focus on who I am in Christ. When Christ looks at me, He sses a child that He has redeemed. I must remember God's promise when He said, "For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more" (Heb. 8:12). While people may remember my childhood attitude and my rebellious spirit, God has chosen to forget my sin. In the grand scheme of things, how God views me is all that matters. That is what I must remember and the truth to which I must cling.