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before you erase yourself

This past week, the world got the heavy news that Chester Bennington died. Most of the millennial generation has related to at least one Linkin Park song, even if it was just the collab with Jay-Z. It was almost like the shot heard around the world. Celebrities and common folk around the world felt the world lose this soul. It got my heart starting to think about what leads someone to make the choice to end it. It’s a hard topic for me to talk about because I have struggled with suicidal thoughts since I was a young child. But I think it needs to be talked about. Mental illness is a silent killer, like Carbon Monoxide. It kills you before you realize what is actually poisoning you.

Last year for World Suicide prevention week, I was journaling about why I kept living, even when I felt I couldn’t possibly go on. I ended up writing about all of the reasons I wanted to leave, but still decided somehow to talk myself out of it. I needed something to hear my pain. I needed to stop ignoring the parts of my story that I hide.  Mental illness and past abuse shapes a human. Both things are taboo to talk about. But why? Why should people have to struggle silently because it makes others uncomfortable? The abuse was not any form of comfortable but society still shames people who speak up after being abused. Having a chemical imbalance or different personalities (most likely from your brain coping with abuse) isn’t comfortable. But society still makes people feel like they can’t reach out. I say that to say this: The jokes about Chester Bennington are not funny. They are heartless, thoughtless, and the exact reason what happened to  Chester is happening at an alarming rate.

I’m not going to come at you with stats because, honestly, my heart is broken. Chester was abused as a kid. He struggled with addiction. He was lost. It breaks my heart because I wish there was someone speaking life into his broken places. Abuse and addiction is something that my family carries on their crests. They only know that. It has shaped generations. How many others of you are in that boat?  Are you so numb that you wish to erase yourself completely? What gets you there? I know what got me there. For years I kept those skeletons a secret. I pushed them down and “kept going”.  Eventually they pile up and weigh you down. Nobody spoke life into my dead places until my teenage years, and at that point I was convinced God loved every single human that ever lived, except Marissa Kay Hall-Burkhart.

Can I speak life into you? Can I tell you how LOVELY you are? Can I tell you that the world NEEDS you? Can I tell you that you are LOVED? Because you are LOVELY, the world NEEDS you, every part of you, and most importantly you are LOVED. Dearly loved by so many. Including God.

I believe that the bible is the living word, I believe I find my worth and identity in a beautiful God. When I found Him, I slowly started understanding that my story meant something. I started learning that it didn’t matter what anyone else said, I had worth. No words spoke over me had power. No matter how many times I got ignored, what happened to me still happened. And even though it happened, I was still going to be okay. There is still good all around me.

Suicide may seem like a good idea. Trust me, I know. But it isn’t. You can over come what has happened to you. You can change the course. It’s okay to work to get to better.

So if you need therapy, schedule that session. If you need medicine, fill that bottle. If you need prayer, reach out. Take care of yourself. Your heart, your mind, your body, your spirit, your soul. Overcome this. You are never alone in your struggles.

You are so loved and so needed. Please stay.

bring to life these…dry bones?

Hello, beautiful human! I hope this finds you well. If you’re not well, I hope this finds you and wellness.

This week has been so difficult for me. I have a decision to make and it’s breaking my heart. So on Wednesday I had some really long, good, deep talks with people that have poured into me. Also on Wednesday was Exodus. We worshipped in the beginning, as always. And God was POURING into me. The harder I sang, the more He said. It has been on my heart for a couple of days, and it’s too long to be a facebook post, so here we go!

 

For me I always associate God with bringing the literal dead to life. You know Lazarus, Jesus, ect. But God pointed out something that was so obvious, I have no clue why it was profound.. In Ezekiel 37 it  talks about how the Lord brought to life literal dry bones. But literal life IS NOT all that God can and will restore. He will bring to life the dry bones of situations, finances, health, family, friendship. You see God can make ANYTHING dead, alive. Nothing is impossible for Him.

I mean seriously, look at the story of Noah. Man kind was on its way out the door straight to an inferno. But God provided the world with Noah. He was by no means perfect but he did as the Lord told him. God brought the drying out bones of man kind back to life. We never really have treated our bones well, but that’s a different message.

What about the story of Jonah? Lord have mercy that man was CRAZY. He straight ran from the call of God and got eaten by a big fish. Only to repent, be spit up, and go and do what God called him to do. God brought Jonah back to a safe life after he faced impending doom. God also brought Ninevah’s dry bones to life. He gave them one more chance, through Jonah, to get their act together.

What about ALL of the judges. Look, humans suck at this whole “doing what we are told for our own good” thing. The Israelites went around and around with God. It was a never ending cycle. Sin, crying for help, God sending a judge, being better, back into sin. Every time they were defeated God faithfully gave them a way to bring life to their situation.

Let’s get SUPER Christian. Look at the story of Jesus. Man kind could not communicate with God. We could not be with Him. We had to sacrifice clean animals. Our situation was the very definition of “dry bones”. We were on the Titanic. The Devil was Rose and we were Jack. The devil thought he had won so he stayed on the door while he thought we would freeze to death. But jokes on him… In THIS version, someone tells Jack there is enough room for him and he lives. Shout out to that person for saving that hot man! Haha. But seriously, Jesus walked up and said “Nah, fam. I’m giving you eternal life. Just trust me and get on that dang door!” (obviously Jesus fooooor sure said this 😉 ). Seriously though, Jesus is the breath of life in everything.

How many times have we felt our situations looked exactly like death. Have we lost our jobs? Has our marriage fallen apart? Has your doctor told you that you have cancer? Have you and your very best friend not been getting along? Have you been in a crazy car accident that flipped your world upside down? Has someone left this world and that left your heart broken and dying? Girl, me too. But the Bible is full of testimonies of situations changing. People getting healed  like the beggar at the well -Acts 3:1-10. Finances arising like the widow that was losing her sons over debt suddenly could pay off all of the debt -2 Kings 4:1-7. Marriages being saved like when Joseph chose to stay with Mary in Matthew. How many lepers were healed in the bible? COUNTLESS. Relationship falling apart? Look at how Joseph and his brothers relationship got better when they were adults in Genesis 50:15-21. How about someone’s death breaking your heart and slowly killing it? Look at how Mary felt while she watched Jesus be beaten and killed. She kept that still voice in her heart alive, and HE ROSE AGAIN!

 

I’m not saying that your life is going to be butterflies, because it’s not. We sin and we face consequences for that. I am saying that nothing is too far gone as long as you have God. Luke 1:37 tells us “For nothing will be impossible with God”.

I am praying for all of those dead situations tonight. I am praying for life, peace, and restoration. You are not alone in the valley of the dry bones. God will call to life your situations if you give it all to Him.

Parking Lots

I grew up going to UAW activities held in parking lots. My daddy was a committee man for the Willow Run GM plant. His local was 735 and my dad was a loved man there. Everyone knew us. There were car shows. There were carnivals. I remember my twin and I in double strollers and there were colors and music everywhere. Man. I loved my dads local and I loved my dads job. One time we got to ride around the safe part of the plant in a golf cart, I was wearing lacey white socks and I cut the back of my leg. I didn’t want to tell my dad because I didn’t want to get off the cart. What memories. I cherish those moments in those parking lots.

Today, that factory is shut down. The local has moved, I’m not even sure it is still running. Those parking lots are empty.  There isn’t anymore carnival with bounce houses. There isn’t anymore race cars with the TIDE logo on the side. That makes me so sad. It took me a few years to even realize the plant closed. I just never drove past it. Then one day I started taking that way and I saw it.

The once paved parking lot that was useful for so many things like parking for work, car shows, and bounce houses, now sits chained up, abandoned, a memory of what was.

I was driving along today thinking about how sad it made me. I kinda related to that parking lot, as silly as that sounds. I used to feel so useful, so helpful, so colorful, and thriving. Then life took over. My economy tanked and all of those good qualities left me, it felt like. Nobody came around anymore. Nobody needed the goods and services I had inside of me. Its in those moments I battle with the “am I really doing any good by being here? Is my life really that valuable?” and it’s in those moments I tell myself no. I’m not doing any good, and it’s not valuable. I’m not the only one that feels like an abandoned parking lot, am I? Is this setting with you right now? Are you saying “FINALLY! Someone gets it!”. Well, you’re not alone.

Like most people, I suffer alone. I don’t talk about the thoughts that truly kept me up at night. But God had been desperately trying to call me. I had been feeling so useless, I wasn’t listening to the one that calls me “useful”.

The verse I was thinking of when I saw the plant today was Ezekiel 36:26, to be fair, I think God gave it to me because I haven’t read that book in a while. This verse is all about God’s desire for our lives. It says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”. God’s desire isn’t for us to be an abandoned parking lot. God’s desire for us is to be an out pouring of love and joy. Figuratively, He desires us to be the car show and the bounce houses and the double strollers riding through sounds of laughter and music.

WE sell our factories and put up a vacant sign. We stop reading our word and we stop living as God calls us to. In Deuteronomy 30:3-9 it tells us of all the promises that come from God. All of the restoration. It tells us of the heart changes in your life. It says “God will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you”. That doesn’t come for free, In verse 10 it says we must obey God, we must give God our entire heart, mind, and soul. Holding nothing back. Notice it says ENTIRE and to hold NOTHING back. That means those thoughts that creep up and separate us from God’s will and perfect love. Because what God can do with those negative thoughts is astounding. He uses them as payment for that parking lot. He takes the bad thoughts and paves over the cracks in the parking lot.

When we walk in the perfect will of God, even in our imperfectness, things change. Tough times come, but they don’t take you out. The weather comes in like a hurricane, but the weather waters the trees and the grass. God keeps our parking lots unbroken. When we walk with Him the bad doesn’t sting. The storms can be good. God is so wonderful, that even when we mess up, all we have to do is to call upon His name and He beings the hard work. He gets out the cement, puts on his coveralls, gets down on His knees and HE works for you. The king of kings does LABOR on your behalf.

I know my visuals are far fetched, but Jensen Franklin uses a pizza box.

Praying for anyone tonight that feels like the Willow Run GM plant. Your good days are not in the past. Your life isn’t abandoned or closed up. God is ready to work for you. You are bounce houses and double strollers. You are car shows and music. You can radiate life and joy. Your best days are yet to come.

 

Ezekiel 36:26-29 – 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.

Deuteronomy 30:3-10 MSG – 3 God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. 4 No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there 5 and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed. It will be yours again. He will give you a good life and make you more numerous than your ancestors. 6 God, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children’s hearts, freeing you to love God, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live. 7 God, your God, will put all these curses on your enemies who hated you and were out to get you. 8 And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all his commandments that I’m commanding you today. 9 God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, God will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for your ancestors. 10 But only if you listen obediently to God, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back.

 

“ugh. ugly. retake that! delete that!”

Alright, I’m not one that LOVES fluffy Christian stuff. Because the Bible is anything but cute and cuddly. Souls are at stake here. But I want to pause on that and talk about something I see as a youth leader, and as a girl in the world. That is self image.

I have teenagers and friends that are so harsh on themselves(I should probably note I also am very hard on Marissa). Every out of place hair, every pore, every extra pound; they all seem to take away a little bit of our confidence one by one. Then one day you hate every picture you’re in. You have to approve tags on facebook so that your crush doesn’t see the bad pictures your mom got of you on Christmas. You won’t take a picture without a filter. I know all the things in this book, the book of self hate, because sometimes I think I wrote it. But am I really the only one? I don’t think so, and God has put that on my heart ever since my divorce. So I’m going to tackle this today. Have a seat, grab a snack, and really take in what I have to say, please.

Here is the thing, God made us in HIS image. A perfect, beautiful, whole image. But mankind experienced a fall. We weren’t able to communicate with God, sickness, death, crime, and poverty plagued us. I firmly believe that the devil has taken full advantage of this fall. Starting with our looks. If we hate ourselves, we hate what God created. Guys, God created us exactly as we are. He knew our height, our weight, our chubby cheeks, our silly teeth, our pores. He was still pleased with what He created. In Ephesians 2 it says that we are God’s workmanship. I’m really tired of differences being made to be ugly. God put His work into each of us. Stop letting society tell you what you are and let God. You are beautiful, you are called to glorious things, there is NO ONE God can ask to do your job but YOU. The world would be dull without messy hair, pimples, big butts, skinny hips, black skin, white skin, puffy red skin. I don’t want to be in a world where everything is perfect. To me, its such a brighter place with everyone’s flaws and perfections.

Another big thing that relates to this is people defining people by their mistakes. People defining themselves by their own mistakes and short comings. Again, I’m a huge offender. I’ve always been honest with my struggles, and what God talks to me about. So here is the thing: You are not defined not by your mistakes, but how you handle the mistakes. We are fallen people. We are not perfect. We have pasts that try to keep us tangled up. We have urges that we can’t seem to control sometimes. But God has called us out of our dark, messy times with the birth, death, and resurrection of His only Begotten Son; Jesus. Romans 6:6 says that our old self died with Christ. Ephesians 5:8 tells me I was in darkness, but now I am in light. I’m not saying to do anything you please, because that is false teaching. I’m telling you to give yourself grace when you fail. Sit down, rearrange your game plan, ask for forgiveness, then go forth knowing you are forgiven and whatever you did is as far as the east is from the west. God knows your heart. He knows when you’re truly repentful, when you truly are struggling.

I guess what I’m saying is take that silly selfie, if your crush doesn’t like you being silly, they don’t deserve you at your fleekiest. Approve those family photos, those are good memories. Love yourself because you deserve self love. Get back up when you trip because it was only a trip, it wasn’t the end of the sidewalk. Above all else believe that God made you and that God makes good things. Believe that grace and mercy will sustain you. Believe people when they tell you you’re awesome. Believe them when they tell you that you’re beautiful.

 

If you’re struggling today with how you feel about yourself, I am praying for you. and I think you’re great.

 

Who I wanna be.

The last 2 years I have spent in the  fire. While in the fire, I have been thinking about the person I want to be.. Deeper than being a pastor, deeper than being a wife and mother. I have been think about how I want to react. How I want to minister. How I want to carry myself.

I think these thoughts come along for everyone, no matter who they are. Eventually you reach the age where you are too old to not care about it, but too young to actually know. It’s a weird phase, and my weird phase has come with lots of trail. Here is what I have concluded…

 

I want to be the woman that reacts in grace and mercy. When my husband had other women he wanted, I reacted opposite of that. I was angry and I was bitter. Almost 2 years later, and I realize that. I’m sorry for that. I came out of that fire smelling like smoke. Even though I smelled of the battle I was in, I came out refined. I came out knowing unconditional love. I am able to offer that now. I also learned you can be disappointed in someone but still love them the exact same and still think the same about them. Regardless of what action they may have made.

I want to be a woman that people can come to. I want to be the person that they know will show love. No matter the situation, I want to be able to love fiercely, just as Jesus did.

I want to be an honest woman, not a blunt woman. I want to speak with an honest and loving tone. I want to always tell the truth, but never with the intention to hurt someone. My tongue is a weapon, and I want to use it better.

I want to be a humble woman. I am doing very well in life right now, not in every way, but in a lot of ways. I am like an arrow that just got shot from a bow. But I want to remember that at one point, I was being held back, I was facing resistance, I was in bondage. I never want to go back there, but I never want to forget that. That is a part of my story that will help the most.

I want to minister like Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Paul got down on other peoples level to make Jesus relatable and real for them. I want to face any human, any crowd and be able to bring them to the cross. Bring them to a moment where God will do the most significant work in their hearts.

I want to forgive as quick and as fast as God. I am human and I will hurt. But I want to not act in that hurt. I want to act in love.

I want to be a good leader, but I also want to be a good server. A good armor bearer.

 

I want to be all of these good things because I have seen many people in my life act gracefully, love relentlessly, humble themselves when they are wrong, forgive quickly, and serve endlessly. I am thankful for those people. I am thankful for God. I am thankful that I am coming out of the fire like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; not burned but better. Not burned but favored. Not bitter but triumphant.

 

 

What kind of person do you want to be? What has God called you to be?

praying for every single one of my readers right now ❤

Welcome to Midnight (sorry, TWLOHA… I’m using your idea)

15781108_10212081240892082_3222898497835512582_nI think I might be in love with New Years. All of the possibilities. All the newness. It brings hope. The New Year hasn’t been touched by anything yet. Nothing good, nothing bad; a blank canvas that you can choose what direction to go with, what colors to paint it with.

Here’s the thing, everyone is going to say “it’s just a day” or “you’ll still be the same person”. But here is the thing… IT IS NOT JUST A DAY, and YOU CAN BE A DIFFERENT PERSON.

It is a day that is presented by a renewing spirit. The past year or two could have been the worst years of your life… But you decide to take a leap and change for the better.. “In 2017 I will look at everything through the color yellow. Bright and sunny. Even on the stormy days, I will dance in the storm because I WILL BE bright and sunny”. Okay, yes you can make that decision at any point in the year. But what if the year has been nothing but heart break. What if you just need the hope of something new to ignite a change of heart?

YOU TAKE THAT CHANCE! BE BRIGHT AND SUNNY! Because, yes, happiness is an emotion and verb, but it is also always a choice. Make a New Years goal that will really better you, really be something you stick with. Not just a trip to the gym. Make a lifestyle change.

 

As we count down the seconds until January 1st, 2017 I will put a goal with each of the last five seconds

FIVE: continue to get help for the mental illnesses I have so long ignored

FOUR: stay in ministry school!!

THREE: love closer to how Jesus loved. That means putting aside my pride

TWO: to dance in the storms of 2017, knowing God has got my back through them all

ONE: to surround myself with people that do not tear me down, and see my heart

MIDNIGHT: Smile more, cry less, love harder, heal, serve better.

 

Welcome to midnight..

 

TWLOHA original post

https://twloha.com/blog/welcome-midnight/

BUY MY SHIRT

Welcome to Midnight Long Sleeve Shirt

 

too close to the forest to see the trees; too deep in the ocean to feel the freedom

I always say I’m going to write more… but I never really do. I have to be inspired to write, and I’m just not inspired to write on a weekly basis. Maybe I just want to write when I realize something. Sometimes I write when a friend is going through something. But instead of being able to talk to them, I just write. This way I can mess up, fix, and perfect what I need to tell them. Mostly I just want you to feel like you’re not alone. I want you to know other people feel what you do.

I have spent a good majority of the last 9 months in a haze. I have been confused, sad, sick, tired, in pain, anxiety ridden, broken in every way. But I’ve gotten really good at smiling when I’m hurting. I’ve spent the last 2 years too close to the forest to see the trees; too deep in the ocean to feel the freedom.

I’ve been so deep in the forest I can’t see the beautiful green leaves or the way each vine has a place it needs to be. I don’t see how the flowers are growing in the places the trees protect them from too much water, but allow just enough to sustain them. I don’t see the way the sun hits the rustling leaves and it makes the canopy look like green glittering lights. Instead of seeing all of that I see my dirty face. I see my shaking hands. I feel my heart beating uncontrollably. My brain is racing. Instead of seeing all of the beauty my brain sees no way out. My brain says it is ugly. My brain says to close my eyes and not open them ever again.

Just like I am so far out in the ocean I cannot feel the freedom of the open waters. I cannot feel the pure salt water on my skin. I cannot see the beauty in the ocean life below me. I cannot take in that there is nothing holding me down. I feel the panic. I feel like I cannot get a grip on anything. I feel like the beautiful ocean is going to swallow me. The pure salt water is going to flood my barely working lungs. And my brain is telling me to let the ocean swallow me whole.

I’m a visual person, so work with me. The world is a forest, an ocean. It’s big, it’s vast, it’s impossible to know everything about it. The world is beautiful. Except if you have a brain like me. The world isn’t beautiful then. But I my heart tells me it is. That’s where things get messy. The heart and head disagree. Your heart wants to feel one way, but your head doesn’t agree. So what do you do? Well, I’ll tell you. You will feel like the weirdest and stupidest human ever. But you are not. You will tell yourself that you are a messed up product. But you are not. You will feel like you don’t function right. That’s true. But that doesn’t mean that you are a broken vessel to be thrown away.

I have spent 22 years not being normal. I came into the world to situations some adults never had to navigate through. I’ve had some of the meanest things spoken over my young and impressionable mind. I’ve acquired the beautiful family heirloom of mental illnesses. I’ve had the worst things done to my body. I’ve been the worst to myself. My inner voice yells constantly of how worthless I am. I see the bottom regularly.

One thing I have going for me is my savior, really though. There is a whole book telling me how beautiful I am. How much purpose my life has. There is a man that took my burdens on His shoulders. (sorry to my readers who don’t believe in God. I’m sorry, but I can only give honesty. This is how I get through these moments.) The amazing thing is that when this man died, hope became a very real thing. A better place became a realistic thought.

Listen guys, we all have glasses we see the world through. Jesus can change my glasses for me. When I am lost in the forest, or drowning out at sea; He wants to change my glasses. He wants me to see I am adventuring through a forest seeing all of the beautiful butterflies. Or maybe I am scuba diving under the waters seeing the amazing creations and colors of the sea floor. The thing is I have to want Him to change my glasses. I’ve spent the last 2 years continually taking off what He has given me and putting on my own. I have spent the last two years saying my own glasses are broken. All the while, He is literally begging me to take His. It’s all in how we see things.

Bad things will always happen, and typically they happen to good people just as much as bad people. Life will kick you, spit on you, tell you that you have no worth. But the thing is that we do have worth. Even those of us like me. With more than one diagnosis. With brains that don’t see the world like others. Those of use with the broken lives. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Has. Worth. We all have a plan. We all have a purpose for being here.

I am right with you in the forest, I am swimming in the sea with you. You are not alone, you are not weird.

I know I spent a good portion of this blog describing bad things. Maybe that was a bad choice… I just want you to know that you are not alone. I wanted to say exactly how it is because I have spent 20 years thinking nobody was like me.

 

I am praying for you. I’m praying the chains of your childhood are broken. I’m praying the bondage of words spoken over you (by someone else or yourself). I’m praying for those of you that have had mental illness diagnoses. Life is beautiful. I pray you can see that. I pray you pick up the glasses that make things easier to see. I pray you love yourself a little more every day. I pray the bad days start to last less longer and less longer as the years go by. I pray the good days are magical, life changing. I am praying the forest becomes a playground and the ocean becomes an adventure.

ME VS. FEARS

I’m pretty honest, I’m basically an open book. I like to be open with my struggles because the devil loves to play with them in the dark. There’s a few things I don’t broadcast, but generally, I’m pretty open. One thing that I’ve just recently become open about is my fear. To be honest, I didn’t even know I was so scared until a few months ago. But here I am, almost drowning in fear. Suffocating not only my dreams, but my faith too. It’s a scary thing, and it is one of the enemies best tactics in my life. But I’m taking a stand. I am God’s child, and He thinks highly of me, and is always faithful.

 

Google tells me fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous. Guys, that is how I think of my future. That it’s dangerous. That it is full of brokenness and crushed dreams. (NOT speaking this into existence, just letting ya know how it is) I was gifted the book “Crashing the Chatterbox” by Pastor Steven Furtick recently. It is a really great book. A lot of my revelations are based on prayers after reading this book. I kinda wish I could take credit for the revelations, because they are genius. But I cannot. *SHOUT OUT TO PASTOR STEVEN* Anyways, if you’re still reading, I’m assuming you have some fears yourself? Listen, if the worst “what if” happens, it will probably suck really bad, I know from experience, but God has made many promises to get us through those “what if times”. The book, basically, says “what if..” “it would…” “God will..”.

All of my scariest “what if” moments have come to pass. Losing my parents, losing my husband, losing my twin, a HUGE, life altering car accident, my brother dying, I watched my dream of having a child slide out from under me(just for this season though)… The list goes on and on. But through all of that, I made it. and the “what if’s” turned into reality, and that turned into a crappy situation. But God continually has gotten my through them all. In the book, he relates this to Elijah, and it made perfect sense. Elijah was tired of fighting. After he just owned Jezebel’s false God and prophets, he ran and cried out to God to take his life. (you can read this for yourself around 1 Kings 19). That didn’t make any sense to me… He has been kicking butt and taking names for quite some time now. What if Elijah’s fear wasn’t dying at the hand of Jezebel, but he didn’t want to endure another battle. Let me tell you, I can relate to that. I know I have made it, I know I can over come. But I don’t want to fight another battle. And that’s where my fear comes from.

You see, I am not scared that I’m not going to make it. I know I will. I’m scared of another broken heart. I’m scared of another lost dream. I’m scared of another stolen hope. I’m scared that all I am going to do is fight, and fight, and fight. I’m scared I am not good enough for God’s promises.

But no more.  I cannot forget all of my fears. But I can hold onto God’s promises. Because in Christ I have become good enough for those very promises. I have started to declare the truth’s over my life: “God says I am loved” “He says I am whole” “He says He will make this for good”. I am taking ownership. In Hebrews it says that hope anchors the soul, and I am keeping my hope anchored deep in my heart. My faith is the only tool that is the same yesterday, today, and forever more. Well, maybe not my faith, but the God that my faith is in.

Being scared is human, guys. But we can trump that lying voice. WE have the power. In Crashing the Chatterbox it says “And because the same Spirit who raised Jesus form the dead lives within you and me, we must refuse to bury our hope in a shallow grave of fear. We stand firm-even at the bottom- in our belief: God says He will. And since He already has… I know he Always will.”

Speak life over yourself, speak death over your fears. Know what God has to say about you, and don’t regard what the devil is whispering.

I am praying tonight for anyone who feels like I do. I’m praying against those fears. I’m praying a warrior rises up inside of you and you fight. Even if you’ve been fighting for a long time. I’m going to pray you keep putting on your Armor of God. Be brave. You don’t have to be perfect in 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says “My grace is sufficient for you, My power is made perfect in weakness” Let God be made perfect in you. You are not alone. You can do this. I believe in you.

 

PS I’m going to attach a link to Steven Furtick’s book if you are interested in reading it.

https://www.amazon.com/Crash-Chatterbox-Hearing-Voice-Others/dp/1601424574/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470022333&sr=1-1&keywords=crash+the+chatterbox

 

Living, Loving, Belonging

HEY! Wow, my last blog was my mothers day blog, so it’s been awhile. I didn’t forget you my avid readers, just didn’t have much to say. But one of my closest peeps bugs me daily(the good kind of bug though). So I figured it was time to write a new one. This one is for you, “munchie boo” 🙂

 

I think living this life is a really hard task, it’s a task we don’t get to choose to do, but we have to. And if you live by what I do, the Bible, you also have to love humans (that’s the second hardest thing to do). And even though we try so hard to live and love the right way, sometimes it still doesn’t work out. Sometimes, you are left with a big heart that doesn’t belong anywhere. That’s me. Well. Kinda me.

I’m the “ugly” sister. I’m the avid church goer in a family that doesn’t believe with intensity. I’m the tattooed, ear stretched, heavy music loving person in my church. None of these circumstances really define my life, but they make up me. Where I come from. Where I do and don’t belong.

I think living is really hard, and I’ve really tried to give up a few times. I love with my whole heart, but I come from a family that hold grudges better than they talk. Mistakes happen, but nobody knows how to forgive. I’ve never felt like I belonged with anyone in my family.  I have lived a long life of not belonging to anyone. Of not fitting in.

But, then I gave my heart to the Lord. I had an adopted family, dysfunctional as heck, but they loved me. One of those crazy people, my aunt, even took me to church. Oh yeah. That was the greatest thing of my life.

In church I found where I belong. Right in my Father’s arms. And God did me one better, He provided me with people I never knew I needed. These people have help mold me into the woman I want to become, they’ve sat by my side in the darkest hours, and they never held my mistakes against me. But always helped me learn a lesson from them.

In Gods eyes I am not the ugly sister, the weird niece, or even Marissa who made a lot of mistakes. I am His daughter who HE has called to something. A daughter He gave His only begotten son for. And He loves me so much, He gave me a family. I don’t think I ever realized how happy I could be just appreciating God’s love for me. But in realizing His love for me, I was blessed with a type of family you couldn’t make up for a movie. People that are by my side after I almost die, people who are by my side when I have to sign scary papers, people who are by my side to push me into my calling.

 

Since my accident, I have been a one woman epiphany machine. Everything is so much clearer. I belong with God, and God places me with the people I need. I live a life because I have to. And I choose to love because negative feelings take a lot of energy. And they don’t look pretty.

Normally, I say you don’t have to believe in God to read my blog, but I am urging anyone that doesn’t fit in, that feels unwanted, that is in a constant state of longing to look into finding God. He is waiting for you and He wants to give you more than your heart desires. God has turned this lost, weird little girl into a bold, brave, compassionate weird adult.

 

If you’re searching tonight, I am praying for you. I’m here for you. God is here for you.

 

❤ be blessed

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