Jesus and Lazarus

On Good Friday, I went to a worship night where the worship leader mentioned that we were celebrating the grave being opened by resurrection life!  Before he could say the name of Jesus however, to my surprise, the first person I thought of was Lazarus.

 

You see, Lazarus (whose story can be found in John 11) is a man in the Bible that God has used time and time again to speak to me personally about dead dreams and desires that will one day be resurrected.  It is truly a beautiful story that I cling to, but in that moment, I was so disappointed in myself for thinking about what He can do for me instead of giving Him praise for Who He is.  Though I know this isn’t His heart, for a split second, I had the thought that God was looking down at me thinking, “Did you forget that today is Good Friday?  Get your priorities straight and worship!”

 

…but then He spoke to me.

 

“I raised Lazarus from the dead, but I wasn’t content to just have Lazarus.  I died and was resurrected from the dead because I wanted to resurrect YOU.”

 

Wow.

 

Though we could offer Him nothing but our neediness and selfish desire to survive, Jesus was still willing to be crucified for THAT.  Though our acceptance of Him was first based on what He could do for us, He spoke to me in that moment that He truly cared about my life, my dreams, and my desires so much that He gave His life in my place so that I could live them out for Him.  He gave Lazarus life when He raised him from the grave, but He chose to come and give me life through His own death and resurrectionI was THAT worth it to Him, and He cares about my life THAT much.

 

How good is the love of God?

 

He knew that I could never give Him the glory He deserves, however, it was still in His heart to love me, bless me, and give His life for me.  He reminded me that He does not disdain our praise that is based on what He does for us, or on what we can get from Him.  He does not disdain our weak love.  He is not upset by our little understanding of Who He is and the glory He deserves.  He just wants our hearts.  He will show us Who He is as we simply seek more of Him.

 

The Resurrected King is resurrecting me…

Though I am so unworthy.

But the beautiful thing is, the more I begin to understand what He’s done for me, the more I fall down at His feet in worship.

The more I am transformed by Who He is.

The more He becomes my ONE desire, and I am able to worship Him fully, because I see Him so much more clearly.

He is not ashamed of my praise simply based on what He can do for me.

He loves me.  He loves me.

He loves me.

 

So, hear Him speak to you, too:

“I raised Lazarus from the dead, but I wasn’t content with just raising Lazarus.  I wanted to raise YOU.  I did not have to die, but I chose to because I wanted YOU…

Yes, I am worthy of all of your praise, but even if you never praised Me, I would have still given My life for you because I love you.”

 

Blog Pic: A beautiful sunset at Dallas Baptist University when I was a student there  🙂

From Winter to Spring

——— Part two to my last blog: (Not) Blaming God ———

 

I want to encourage someone today:

Spring is coming.

Even better, Spring ALWAYS comes.

 

There are ALWAYS four seasons.  It’s the way God created the earth, and it reveals His goodness.  He brings us out of the cold, dead Winter into the cool, budding Spring, whether we acknowledge Him or not.

 

Winter always turns into Spring.

 

However, there is also a season of Spring that is supernatural – when God gives new birth to the dead things in our lives.  The only difference is, instead of being a season that simply happens, this season can only be entered into if we have a heart of thanksgiving towards Him.

God loves us at all times and we can’t earn or deserve His blessings, just like we can’t earn or deserve the natural season of Spring.  However, God will give more blessing to the one who not only accepts what He’s already given (the natural season of Spring), but who also thanks Him for His goodness in their own lives even if they can’t see it yet, removing every accusation from their heart that He is not good (the spiritual season of Spring).

 

I don’t want you to hear me wrong.  It’s okay to be frustrated if you’ve been disappointed!  God knows how you feel and He’s not expecting you to pretend.  He desires you to process your frustration with Him because He wants to comfort you in it.  What the enemy wants to do however, is make you even more frustrated by causing you to blame God, pull away from Him, and fall into a state of bitterness and depression WITHOUT His comfort.  He is trying to extend a season of winter that was necessary for new growth (see Fruitful blog) into a lifetime of barrenness!  God may have allowed you to walk through a difficult season for a reason you don’t understand yet, but it was NEVER His will for it to last forever.  He is kind, and desires to see you grow and flourish after the Winter, but He knows that…

 

a supernatural Spring can only be given if it is received.

 

The Israelites were promised a land of milk and honey, and were on track to receiving it.  However, because they were constantly bitter thinking that God was withholding something from them, they missed the great many things He was trying to give them.  They doubted His goodness and distanced themselves so far from Him that they became convinced He was never good at all.

 

We can’t hold onto bitterness against God in one hand, and the blessings we’re praying for in the other.

This is why I believe that most, if not all, of our Christian walk is about being convinced of God’s goodness.

 

If we can trust and stay thankful that God is GOOD and FOR US, everything that happens in our lives, even if doesn’t go according to our original plan, will only cause us to press into Him more.  Our default reaction the moment we get frustrated and discouraged will no longer be to blame Him and wallow in self-pity and a victim mentality (trust me, I’ve been there), but to immediately run to Jesus as our Source, and receive whatever He wants to do instead.  We will not let Him go until He blesses us because we will realize that, as a child of God, His goodness is our inheritance.  It is undeserved and unearned, but it is ours because of what Jesus has done on The Cross for us.

 

If I can remember what He’s already done for me, then I can truly rest in all seasons and situations, with no fear from my past, and no fear for my future.  I don’t have to be deceived, like Eve was, into thinking He is not good towards me, taking me down a darker road of frustration than necessary.  I can stay thankful.

 

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” – Colossians 2:6-7

 

To truly enter into the supernatural season of Spring that God wants to take you into, ask God to show you every part of your heart that ever saw Him as cruel, deceitful, or unloving towards you, and repent of it.  Kill every thought that says that good seasons only happen to other people, not you.  Just because you haven’t experienced them yet, doesn’t mean it’s not what God has for you.

 

He wants His goodness for us more than we do.

You can CHOOSE to enter into this season of Spring thanking Him in advance.

 

“I am confident of this: that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:13

 

Blog Pic: Snapped this on a walk.  I’m so thankful for signs of Spring. 🙂

(Not) Blaming God

Recently God has impressed it on my heart to check my first reaction when something happens that doesn’t go according to my plan.

Do I blame Him, or do I praise Him?

Whether it’s small, frustrating things that happen in my day-to-day, or huge, horrible things that happen in the world around me, I want my first reaction to be to trust the loving-kindness of Jesus, and to know that He is working all things together for good.  I don’t want to be like the Israelites who complained against God even though they had seen His goodness, and missed out on the Promised Land:

“Yet they still went on to sin against Him by provoking and rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness (the land of drought), and they tempted God in their hearts…” – Psalm 78:17-18

“They remembered not [seriously the miracles of the working of] His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy” – Psalm 78:42

Tempting God in our hearts is believing that if something doesn’t work out how we think it should, He is somehow spiteful and out for our hurt and not our good.  How it must dishonor and break God’s heart for us to trust and love Him when things go our way, and to turn around and blame Him in our hearts and minds when they don’t.  However, even if we do that, it’s not really God that loses – it’s us!  He is so full of compassion, and will forgive us every time, but blaming Him means that we are wasting time feeling bitter and resentful and losing the joy and peace that is rightfully ours in Him.

Not worth it.

The whole crux of our faith is that God is FOR us, not against us, and that if He loved us enough to give us His Son, He will also freely give us all things (Romans 8:31-32)!  It doesn’t make sense to blame Him because He not only doesn’t do wrong, but He, in His great kindness, does good on behalf of the one who waits for Him (Isaiah 64:4).  One of my friends said it best:

“What if the things you wanted to happen were never a part of His plan anyway?  What if what you think went wrong was actually His plan all along?”

He can truly make anything happen – make beauty out of ashes, and turn what the enemy meant for evil into the most spectacular miracle.  He can do the IMPOSSIBLE, and He truly is our only Hope.  Why would we ever choose to walk away out of anger and distrust from the only One Who loves us more than we can even comprehend?  Who is not only capable of making all things work together for good, but Who actually has a heart and plan to do it?  He is a full-circle God Who gives hope, promise, AND fulfillment – He doesn’t withhold good from the one who walks uprightly even if it feels like there are delays (Psalm 84:11).  His ways are higher, His thoughts are higher, and His goodness is better than ours (Isaiah 55:9).  He knows what He’s doing.

Right as I started writing this, the sun came out, and it immediately started pouring outside.  Did you know that every time it rains and the sun is out, there is ALWAYS a rainbow, even if you can’t see it?  That’s how God is.  He is ALWAYS faithful to show up, even if you can’t see Him.  He brings color into chaos, purpose into confusion, and glory into the most gloomy of days.

 

What if all of the gloomy days are simply an indication that a new season is coming – that it’s Spring and God is about to do a new thing in your life that couldn’t come any other way than through torrents of rain?

 

Don’t miss your chance to praise Him in the midst of the frustrating situations you find yourself in because He is worthy.  He will always give you perspective to see what He’s doing when you wait on Him.  🙂

 

Blog Pic: Driving back from our first family vacation in Colorado, we had to stop on the side of the road because of a hail storm, and I turned around and yelled “IT’S A RAINBOW!” in a packed car and very tense situation (a memory I cherish, but I’m not sure my fam feels the same way ;))

To All My Single Friends

I just want to encourage those of you who aren’t in a relationship right now.  😉

 

I’ve written about this before (check When the Lord Gives and Takes Away), but a relationship is not a gift God gives you for good behavior, and singleness is not a punishment for not doing or being good enough.  Sometimes when we’re single we hear that there must be something that God wants us to accomplish before getting into a relationship, and while I wholeheartedly believe that seasons of singleness can be fruitful in ways that marriage can’t, I don’t believe God wants us to have a mindset of striving.  So, I want to propose something:

 

What if God isn’t solely concerned with giving us more time to DO things we’re called to do while single, but to simply BE with Him more?

 

My friend shared the most beautiful imagery with me once that sums this up perfectly:

 

“Don’t forget that God is your parent, and just like a parent, He loves your relationship with Him the way it is now.  He knows that when you get married, your relationship with Him will still be good, but it will be different.  He wants to spend time with you, just you and Him, for as long as possible.”

 

Now, if this doesn’t grip your heart, ask God to help you understand His love in a deeper way because, trust me, it will.  You know how you always hear parents with little children saying, “I’m not going to let them date until they’re (some wildly old age)!”?  We know they’re joking, but sweet parents say this because they treasure their children, and the quality time spent with them in undistracted seasons.  When you get married, just like there will be changes in your relationship with your parents (leave and cleave, am I right?), you’re also going to experience changes in your relationship with God.  You will obviously never leave Him, and He will NEVER leave you, but you are going to have other responsibilities and priorities that will make it harder to keep Him at the center.  Right now, while you are single, you are basically able to receive God’s love selfishly, and pour your love out on Him selfishly!  This is one of the greatest times of your life – to have the opportunity to spend hours upon hours alone with God, like Adam in the garden, simply as His child.  🙂

 

For those of you who are having a hard time getting perspective while single, I want to encourage you: God really does love you and want what’s best for you, and that really is Him.  So, here are some tips that have helped me to become closer to the Lord and be content where I am – I know they’ll help you as well!

 

  1. Ask God what He desires of you.
    • Not what He desires you to DO, but what He desires of YOU.  I’m talking about spending unhindered, intentional TIME with God whether it’s:
      • being more surrendered to Him or disciplined in certain areas,
      • following a deep, daily plan of reading His Word,
      • limiting scrolling on social media so you can talk to Him,
      • listening to your Bible App or worship music as you’re going to sleep or going for a drive,
      • committing time to pray through specific things on your heart with Him,
      • reading books/devos that strengthen your faith,
      • doing creative things as worship (like painting, playing an instrument, writing poems or songs),
      • or the most radical of all…actually just sitting alone and being silent in His Presence.
    • You will never regret the time you spend with Him.

 

  1. Don’t forget your First Love.
    • God is not a hold-over until someone else comes into your life – He’s a steadfast whether you’re single OR in a relationship.  Get to know His love for you while you’re single, and you will ALWAYS be satisfied.  🙂

 

  1. Ask God for a word for your season.
    • The reason why I love the Lord is not because I’m so spiritual or good – it’s because I hear Him speak to me!  He understands me in ways that no one else can, and He is my FRIEND.  Whether I’m stuck in a certain mindset or don’t understand what is happening in and around me, when I talk to Him about it, He always gives me personal perspective.  I couldn’t outlast any season without hearing His voice personally for myself.  Other people can encourage you, but only God can transform you as He opens up His Word to you and speaks things so personal that you can’t deny it’s Him.  He’s the only One who knows what He’s doing in your life anyway, so why not ask Him about it?  🙂

 

Last but not least, something the Lord spoke to me last year (also my most popular tweet of all time, nbd) is:

 

“If you can’t be happy for others, you will never truly be happy.  One day you’ll have reasons to celebrate, but until then celebrate them.”

 

Your time to celebrate is coming!  In the meantime, celebrate the beautiful things that God is doing in the lives of those around you, and BLESS GOD for blessing you with the gift of time with Him because that truly is the best gift.  😉

 

 

Blog Pic: Taken by the incredibly talented Rosie Delacruz at McKinney Square

Following His Footsteps

Get ready for a whole entire blog filled with spiritual metaphors that came out of a vision God gave me!  Before you read it however, I just want to share this disclaimer that while getting a vision from God can definitely be a very spiritual experience, one does not have to be super spiritual, or in some super spiritual state to hear from God in this way.  He is always speaking to our heads, hearts, and all around us!  The vision I describe here was just as simple as me focusing on the Lord, seeing this picture in my mind, thinking it was weird, and then realizing because of all the symbolism that it was probably God.  If you’re interested in learning how God speaks to you personally, I would highly recommend the workbook Empower Yourself in the Holy Spirit by Sally Hanan which taught me how to engage with God in the primary way He speaks to me (visually!).  Educate yourself!  🙂

A couple weekends ago, I went to a conference in Hurst called Encounter, and as I was closing my eyes and simply focusing on Jesus during worship, He gave me this vision:

I was crawling on extremely dusty ground behind Jesus Who was in a white robe with bare feet.  He was walking full speed ahead and I was so close to Him that the dust of His feet was kicking up in my face, and I was being engulfed in clouds of it!  My eyes were locked on His feet, and every time He took a step, I was somehow able to pick up His footprints and EAT them.  Yeah, you heard me – His footsteps were my food.  And if that wasn’t weird enough, every time I would eat one, I would start glowing!

 

Yeah, this is definitely something I could not make up on my own.  🙂  However, as I began to ask God about it, He revealed way too much for me to keep it to myself, and I don’t believe it was just for me.  Here is the interpretation, and let me know if it speaks to you like it does me!

 

He is teaching us how to be humble

At first, I was a little bit hurt that I was not only behind Jesus and not face to face, but that I was actually crawling on the ground, and His feet were kicking clouds of dust in my face!  However, my sweet brother who is currently in an Internship at our church (Church Eleven32) showed me something that he learned recently about ancient rabbinical leadership.  In Jewish tradition, when speaking to disciples, they would use the adage: “May you be covered in the dust of your Rabbi,” which basically means:

May you follow your Teacher’s footsteps so closely that you are overtaken by the clouds of dust kicked up by their feet.

 

To crawl behind the dust of Jesus’ feet is not dishonorable.  It is, in fact, the highest honor because it means that you are not concerned with yourself – how you look, or what people think of you – but you are humbly laying your life down and moving forward in step with Him.  The King of the Universe deserves a posture of praise and humility!  We can praise Him all day long, but what does true honor and praise look like to God but to take even the most humbling of steps He asks of us?

A month before I had this vision, I had a little internal battle with the Lord when He asked me to do something I have always said I would never do.  I actually told the Lord, “You know I don’t want this to be a part of my story!” to which He replied, “You will do everything I tell you, but you don’t want to right now because you’ve made an idol of your story.”  Ouch.  If that’s not a hit to my pride and a call to repentance, I don’t know what is.  He showed me that obedience to God kills pride and births humility.  After all, obedience wouldn’t be true obedience if it was only ever what we wanted to do in the first place.  It is humbling!  So, I told the Lord I loved Him more than my story, and I would obey Him, to which He didn’t have to say anything, but out of His abundant kindness He whispered, “You’re going to love the story I give you.”  🙂

I believe that sometimes God just wants to remind us that we’re not too good for ANYTHING He asks us to do.  Even still, He doesn’t ask us to do things in vain.  There is purpose in every step He asks of us so He is therefore deserving of the steps we don’t understand yet.

 

He is calling us to eat His Word

Now to get to the weird part of the vision.  The footsteps of Jesus were edible to me!  So what does this mean?  I believe this is a beautiful picture of what it looks like to be one with Jesus: not only following His every step, but actually devouring His footsteps, a.k.a. His Word, and wanting to be just like Him!  Every step I ate then caused me to glow from the inside-out.

Track with me for a second…

If Psalm 119:105 says His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, and Jesus is the Light of the world…as we consume and follow His Word (His every step laid out for us), we become His light too!

Let that sink in.  What an honor it is to have everything I ever need to know to live a life that’s pleasing to Him already laid out for me in His Word.  He makes it so easy!

 

He is leading us through the wilderness

Finally, I believe Jesus was leading me on dry and dusty ground because He wanted to encourage me, and you, that He is showing us the way through whatever season we find ourselves in, one step at a time.  Even though I couldn’t see His face, I inherently knew in my vision that He was smiling, and considering me as He took His steps.  When I stay low, keep in step with His pace, and keep my eyes on His feet: where He walks, I will walk, what He does, I will do, and what He says, I will say.  It’s a given, because my eyes are fixed on Him.  I won’t be distracted by the things to my right or to my left, things in front or things behind.  When I look at the Lord, my eyes are on the Prize, my perspective is adjusted, and I won’t have to be in the wilderness any longer than necessary, contrasted by the Israelites who took their eyes off of God and prolonged their wilderness season 40 years.  In fact, I think the Lord sometimes kicks up extra dust in our faces on purpose so He can keep our eyes from looking around at anyone but Him.

Even if I can’t see much, as long as my eyes are on Him still in front of me, I can see enough.

 

I hope this vision blessed you as much as it blessed me.  Jesus is looking for laid down lovers who are willing to be prostrate before Him, and who aren’t afraid of what it looks like to get into the dirt of obedience to His Word and be covered completely by the dust of His feet.  When you humble yourself by following His footsteps, face-down with your eyes fixed on Him, you can be assured that He is going before you to prepare the way, and that He is leading you right where He wants you to be.

 

Blog Pic: At New Smyrna Beach, Florida in Summer of 2016 (where God did a ton of healing in my heart and I’m still so thankful)

Surrender the Seeds

On the one year anniversary of my blog, I want to share something God taught me in October that I still think about almost every day…

A couple months ago on my birthday weekend, I visited a church I dearly love and used to go to all the time in college called Upper Room (you may have heard of it ;))!  That Sunday night, part of what Pastor Michael Miller talked about was not being afraid to fully surrender, the seeds, or the dreams, that God has placed inside of you.

Let’s just say it cut me deep.

God wants to give us the dreams He’s placed inside of us.  However, as much as it may seem like it, you don’t actually want your dream – you want God in the midst of it.  He knows our dreams only work when we die to ourselves and live for Him, so, if our desires are consuming us more than He is, we’ve got to rearrange our priorities!  He wants those things for us, but He will not let them have us.

 

Pastor Michael Miller’s message spoke to me so deeply, but not in an emotional way.  I didn’t “feel” anything, but when he asked us to come up to the front if we were willing to let the seeds of our dreams die, I felt convicted and wanted to take a step.  I went up to the front and knelt before the Lord, but as profound as I wanted this moment to be, it didn’t feel like anything was happening.  I prayed, “God, You know I am genuinely wanting to surrender my dreams to You and I don’t want to go home the same, but I don’t even feel You.  Am I holding myself back in any way?”

 

That night passed, and I still didn’t hear anything from God about this, but I had faith that He would speak.  It just so happened that two nights later was our young adult group at my church called The Gathering.  During worship, I knelt on the ground and prayed this simple prayer of surrender again, but I still didn’t hear anything from Him.  At this point, I felt kind of dejected and I decided to leave early to spend some time with God alone.  It was then, right as I was walking out the door, that my friend Vianca walked in and stopped me.  She said that God had given her a word for me during worship, and that she would text me about it later that night!  I was anxious to hear what she heard from God, and I wanted to make sure it was straight from Him so I prayed, “God, if this is truly a word from You, let me cry…no, let me ball my eyes out.”  I now realize that this sounds like a super weird prayer, but I was desperate to hear from God about this and like my Pastor, Dustin Bates, always says, “Desperation knows no decency.”

Well, Vianca texted me what God told her, and the second I read it…I wept.  Like, open the flood gates, get out the ark, heave sob, crocodile tears.  I realized that God heard my prayer!  What was the word you ask?  She saw a vision of me during worship, and then she saw soil – the Lord was causing an earthquake to break through the ground and PLANT!

My friend did not know a thing about my prayer, and yet, at probably the very moment I was kneeling on the floor crying out to God, He was giving her a vision of His answer to me.  At first, I cried because I realized how much God loves me, and I was so happy that even though I didn’t feel anything when I was praying, He heard my prayers and received my offering!  However…then I cried because I realized that God actually heard my prayers and received my offering.  I started to feel like I was stuck in the middle of a “yes God, kill my dreams” but “can You please also make them happen really fast?” emotional roller-coaster.

I had to realize that when we surrender the seeds of our dreams to the Lord we are surrendering them to His timetable to grow.  It’s not like we surrender them for a season and then God says “I now see that you have given this to me and I will therefore make everything happen the way that you desire, immediately.”  He might in fact do that, but true surrender means that, even if He doesn’t, we will still surrender it all to Him.  It looks like praying, “God, whatever it looks like and however long it takes, I will always, only do whatever You ask me to.”

 

Surrendering the seeds is surrendering your dreams to God for them to be done in His will and His way.  It’s giving Him complete control because we never had it anyway.

 

It is a DAILY BATTLE to stay in the place of full surrender, but I am so thankful that even when we don’t realize we aren’t fully surrendered in an area, Jesus realizes and yet He patiently waits for us because He loves us.  We are already justified by His blood, but sanctification happens in surrender.  It’s a process!

Remember when I said my birthday was that weekend?  Well, as I was still weeping and processing (for four hours, I kid you not), my eyes just happened to keep being drawn to a balloon my mom had bought me that was floating back and forth and shining “Happy Birthday” at me.  At that very moment, the Lord spoke to me,

 

“Happy.  Birth.  Day.  The day you die is the day you’re born.”

 

Cue weeping even more.  When you feel like your dreams are dying and there is no guarantee that they will happen any time soon, you can know that God is the God of the Resurrection.  The day you finally let those things die is the day you’re born!  God is faithful to complete what He began.  Laying your dreams and plans to down to die may sound counter-intuitive, but it is actually the only way to let them grow and come to life.

 

Surrender the seeds and watch them grow.

 

“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.” – John 12:24

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” – Colossians 3:7, 10-11

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” – Galatians 6:7

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9

“So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but [only] God Who makes it grow and become greater.” – 1 Corinthians 6:7 (AMP)

 

Blog Pic: Friends and the sunflowers we picked at Coyote Drive-In

27 Things God Spoke to Me in 2017

Back in 2016, I received multiple prophetic words about writing from different people all year, but I really didn’t know I had a passion for it until my Pastor, Dustin Bates, called me out during one of Church Eleven32’s Deeper services about not only being a worshiper, but a writer who writes what the Lord has spoken to her.  I used to think that writers had to be scholarly, or write about things that made them sound smart, but I now realize that God was showing me that I have something to say simply because He has spoken to me.

Flash forward to January of 2017 I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to write out my testimony, and though I never intended on starting a blog, it was the only place I could think to post it.  It seemed like no big deal at the time, but now, after an entire year of posting every month (27 blogs in total!), and remembering the words that were spoken over me, I realize that this was God’s will and His perfect timing in 2017.

This may not be for anybody but me, but I have really enjoyed looking back on all that He has spoken to me this year through my writing.  Every blog contains a word that the Lord spoke to me Himself.  I have discovered how much His words keep me alive.  They shape my seasons and accelerate my growth.  When He speaks to me, it shows me that He is with me, and I can get through anything.  Reading over the words He has spoken to me personally makes me realize how much He loves me and that I live to hear His voice.

So, with all of that being said, here are 27 things that God spoke to me that gave me life in 2017.  Feel free to click on any blog that speaks to you!

 

  1. Why I’m a Christian

God led me to write out my testimony of when I started completely living for Jesus, and I didn’t even realize that it had been ten years!

  1. My Journey into the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

God taught me that I used to be afraid of the Holy Spirit, but He loved me so much that He simply waited for me to desire more of Him to bring me deeper.

  1. Here’s to the Ones who Dream (Inspired by La La Land)

God spoke to me that I was created to dream, not regret, and I don’t have to be afraid of not being in the center of His will for my future if I am being obedient to His promptings.

  1. When the Lord Gives and Takes Away

God taught me through a breakup that I cannot accuse Him of wrongdoing because He is incapable of doing wrong, and that He is not afraid of my temporary disillusionment if it leads me into my eternal reward.

  1. Surrender the Building Plans

God gave me a dream and taught me that when I truly surrender the building plans of my life, He will give me more than I even asked for.

  1. Hiddenness

God spoke to me that I was made to live hidden in Him, and when I feel the most hidden, I am actually seen.

  1. The Flip-Side to Hiddenness

He also showed me that I am called to see those who don’t feel seen.

  1. The Mourning of a Great Adventure (+ a song)

After my trip to Scotland, God spoke to me that when things don’t happen in my life the way I expect them to, I have to let go of my expectations and cling to what He IS doing.

  1. Field of Dreams

God showed me that I am His field, building, and fellow worker and He is the One Who is building me, but He has entrusted me with the responsibility of partnering with Him to experience the most growth (to forgive, change my attitudes and perspectives, etc.).

  1. Rejection is a Lie

God told me in the most loving of ways that because Jesus was rejected, I have been accepted, and I can no longer believe the lie that I have been rejected by anyone.

  1. The Humility of Preparation: Esther’s Story

God showed me in the book of Esther how preparation seasons humble us, grow us in favor with God and man and in love for them, and teach us how to lay down our desires and pick up our King’s.

  1. You Were Made to Fly Higher

God taught me that we were never intended to be in control of where God takes us and how He takes us there, but we were always intended to surrender to wherever His Holy Spirit leads.

  1. For the Love of Redemption

God spoke to me that if He allowed something to happen, even if it happened according to my own faulty enacting of the free will He gave me, if He redeemed my very life with His blood, He can and will redeem anything if I surrender it to Him.

  1. Hope Deferred (+ a song)

God told me that He loves me too much to allow me to: settle for a halfway relationship with Him, make what I’m praying for an idol, and miss out on the fruit and blessing of my current ministry while waiting for my prayers to be answered.

  1. You Split the Sea

God taught me through a spontaneous trip to New Jersey and New York and through Exodus 14 that it is not unwise to walk by faith, and it is not unfaithful to walk wisely – I simply must make plans and keep walking until I either get a split sea, or am redirected.

  1. You are a Lighthouse

God told me that I am hit with the most insecurities where I am the most gifted, anointed, and powerful, and showed me how to shine His light confidently.

  1. Fruitful

God taught me that we will all experience pain at some point, but if we allow Him to have His completed work in us through surrendering to His will, it is pain that is purifying us, protecting us, and actually making us more fruitful and able to grow.

  1. Connection over Clarity

God taught me that I would rather have a close connection with Him than perfect clarity of my future.

  1. His Promises are Still Coming to Pass for You

God showed me that to come into the inheritance He so willingly wants to give me in His timing, I must see what I have right now as a part of it.

  1. The Authority to Bless

Over my weekend in L.A. at Bethel’s Heaven Come Conference, God taught me that because I am planted by streams of living water – planted in Him by staying true to His Word and in tune with His Spirit, I have the authority to bless people in His Name!

  1. Exposing the tactics of the enemy

God taught me that the enemy’s two tactics are to steal the encouragement God has already given me, or to prevent me from receiving the encouragement God wants to give me so I must always think on His encouragement, test every spirit, and take time to rest, not stress.

  1. Looking back from 25

In 2016, God showed me the most beautiful prophetic picture of how He was going to work in my life through a lake in Wylie, TX, and I didn’t know that I would be leading worship by it every Sunday over a year later.

  1. Confidence and Contentment

God showed me that if I can believe that He has the absolute BEST for me, and I’m not seeing it all play out yet, then whatever I’m envisioning and expecting must not be good yet!

  1. Talking to God

God taught me that the power of time with Him comes from simply believing that it is worth it, and from His Spirit guiding and teaching me – so no matter my personality or communication style, He accepts me the way I am and wants to hear my voice.

  1. Receiving from Heaven

Some encouragement I got from a BSSM student at Heaven Come Conference: Receiving from God looks like killing comparison, not settling for less or putting a cap on what He is doing, and allowing myself to completely let go of my expectations and opinions to receive what God has for me.

  1. The Cross

God spoke to me that I live to be healed by Him, and no matter what pain I will ever go through, the cross is the proof of my full healing.

  1. The Joy of Thanksgiving

God taught me that as I thank Him in advance for what I know He’s going to do, I will experience His joy because His joy doesn’t just come from a promise fulfilled, but throughout the process of fulfillment in Jesus.

 

These words from God gave me life in 2017, and I am so excited to see what He’s going to speak to me in 2018.  I love living my life with the knowledge that God is on my side, and that He loves me and will always speak to me, no matter what happens.  I know that He is going to bless me and exceed my expectations.  🙂

I encourage you to look over what God has spoken to you personally this year!  No one knows you or can speak to you the way He does…and He will!

 

Here’s to 2018!

 

Blog Pic: Me having the privilege and honor of leading worship at my church’s youth group that I actually used to attend in high school called The Mvmnt.  I didn’t know that I would be leading worship there every other week this year!  🙂