Brighter Days are Coming

Brighter Days are Coming

Some of my friends and family members are in a storm right now or are walking through a valley wondering how to get out. They’re feeling down, hurt, angry and confused, and tomorrow’s outcome is uncertain. It hurts me to see them hurting, but if I’m honest, I can certainly relate because I too have days when I feel as though I am in a valley.

When we are in dark places dealing with conflict and struggle, we just want resolution and clarity so that we can see through the mess and feel secure or safe again.

When we are in these low places, that is when we must seek God the most. Our dark days are for a season, they will not last forever if we seek the Lord. Through God’s strength we can overcome. It may be hard to see it now, but brighter days are ahead when you allow God in and let him lead.

God uses our dark places to prepare and grow us. Although we feel like we are alone in the dark, we are not. God’s love will always find us in our darkest places and in our deepest pain.

In the Bible, God used Esther to help free his people. She was an orphan who felt abandoned and unworthy, but God still had purpose for her. She was appointed the queen of Persia. As queen she was faced with a tough decision that could cost the lives of both her and her people, the Jews. But she chose to risk her own life to tell her husband the king, about his Persian official Harmon’s evil plan to destroy all Jews, which included her his wife and Mordecai, her uncle who once saved his life. She revealed to her husband the king for the very first time that she and her uncle were both Jewish. She took this risk knowing that it was against the law to come before the king uninvited, accepting that it could result in her own death.

Through the book of Esther in the Bible, We learn that although God does not always seem present, he is always there with his people in their darkness and will never abandon them. It shows us God’s commitment to redeem his people. It also shows us that God appointed Esther in her position, “for such a time as this”, meaning God accomplished his purpose through Esther during that appointed time.

God also used Paul through darkness. He made Paul blind for three days and allowed him to sit unable to see, wondering whether he had lost his sight forever. Sitting in that dark place changed him and he found breakthrough.

Paul needed to loose his sight in order to stop viewing things in his old ways, otherwise, he would have never seen God in a new light. When he changed the way he viewed Christ, his sight was restored. Paul went from being a man who chased wealth and power into a man of faith. Had he not been put through darkness he would have never become a follower of Christ nor one of the 12 Apostles, spreading the gospel of Christ.

Acts 9:18 — Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.

When we are sitting in darkness it does not mean that we will stay there. God is at work behind the scenes. He uses darkness to get our attention, transform us and re-direct us.

So if you’re in a place feeling down, lonely, depressed, overwhelmed or struggling and are wondering why life is going the way it is for you, have faith and trust that God has a plan and brighter days are coming!

This song has been replay in my car for the past two weeks. It has kept me encouraged and uplifted and I pray that it will do the same for you!

Father God, We thank you that you are a God of redemption and that you give second chances to us. Father, tonight there are many people that are hurting, and in need of solutions to the struggles and issues that life has brought them. Lord, you are our savior and our deliverer. I pray tonight that you would reveal yourself to all who are hurting and in a dark place. Father God, meet them right there in their darkness and show them love in the mist of their pain. Transform their hearts oh God, and set a fire in their soul so that they would thirst and hunger to know you and draw closer to you on a daily basis. Father, we know that we were all created with a plan and a purpose and that you turn around what the enemy has meant for evil. You turn all evil and all bad things around for the good of those who love you. Father God, show up for your people and hear their cries Lord Jesus. I pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to fall upon them and that they would repent and seek to live a life chasing after your love only. This world is a dark place Father, change hearts, Lord Jesus brake chains, and cause your people to surrender to the life they were meant to live. You are a God of love, I pray that all those hurting will see the light that you are shining into their darkness and reach out for your unfailing love. In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen

Growing with you,

Sandy

Not all that is Broken can be Put Back Together

Not all that is Broken can be Put Back Together

One afternoon I was cleaning up my living room with my daughter who was two at the time. Her toys were everywhere and as we were cleaning I came across a broken toy. I told her that the toy had to get thrown out because it was broken. Hearing that really upset her and she began to cry.

As I tried explaining to my toddler that this particular toy could not be fixed, she repeatedly said to me, “Nooo, it’s still good”. She was so upset and I said to her, “But Mama, it is broken, it will no longer work.” She looked up at me with her eyes full of tears and said, “Yes! It can be fixed, it’s still good.” She wanted to keep this broken toy and did not want to accept that Mommy couldn’t fix it for her.

I tried to explain to her, some things can be fixed and some just can’t. But her little heart was broken and she couldn’t understand what I was trying to explain to her. She was frustrated and kept insisting to me that we could fix it and continuously asked me over and over to please try to fix it.

Once she calmed down I redirected her to all her other toys and played with her to remind her of all her other blessings. That time together restored her joy & she was reminded of all her other fun toys.

Sometimes we are so caught up on the one thing we no longer have, that we loose sight of all the other good things we do have and all the good that is to come.

Isn’t that the case in life? We hold onto things not realizing that they are actually broken and they can never be fixed. We treasure things that are of value to us, so even when they are falling apart we hold tightly onto them, and continue trying over and over to repair them. But sometimes, no matter how much or how hard you try, they remain broken.

After I got my daughter to sleep later that night, I laid next to her and began to imagine how God, our father, felt when we cry and plead to him asking him to fix our broken relationships, restore our broken families, or fix situations that cannot be fixed. Surely it must hurt him to hear his children crying out for something they don’t know isn’t his best for them.

God is all powerful and is a miracle worker, but imagine how hurt he must feel knowing that we want him to fix something that he simply cannot give back to us? As our Father, he does not want to see us in pain, just as we don’t want to see our babies hurting. But, he knows we must accept that he alone knows what is best, even when we can’t understand why.

Have you been in this place? Are you there now? Are you struggling to let go of something that is broken because you can’t understand why it can’t be fixed or restored even when you’ve done all you can? I was there too.

If you’re struggling in this place today, I pray that you would pray and ask the Lord to heal your heart. I pray you’d ask him to give you the strength to find acceptance and to trust that you can move forward without what is now broken.

To move forward and heal you must place your situation into God’s hands. Ask him for the strength to accept his will, even if it is not the outcome you are hoping for. Pray and ask for God to heal your heart and give you the obedience and patience to be able to wait for his plans to come to pass in your life.

God prepares us for our future blessings and he equips us to be ready for them.

Sometimes our hearts desires do not line up with his will or timing for our lives. God has seasons for everything, ask that he help you discern and accept the season he has you in. Rather than desperately trying to hold onto a season that is past and already gone, move forward with hope for the blessings to come.

May we seek to learn the lesson and trust God even when we do not get what we think we need.

God allows painful situations in order to teach us valuable life lessons and to change our hearts. He let me experience loss so that I could rely soley on him to experience what love was.

God Heals Our Pain, Jeremiah 33:6. Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.

God Comforts Us, 2 Corinthians 1:3–4. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

God has Purpose in all Things, Romans‬ ‭8:28-29. We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers.

God is Our Strength in Every Situation, Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Father God, 
We thank you because we know that you are a loving God and that you desire to protect us from anything that would cause harm to us. Father, many of us have things in our lives that have broken and are irreparable, but we are hanging onto them hoping for restoration and hoping that things will be fixed. Father, humble those in this struggle so that they may turn to you and seek to be strengthened so that they may move forward. Father, your word says that there is a season for everything, help your children to accept when a season has ended and place that which is broken into your hands so that their hearts can be healed and restored. Situations and circumstances may be shattered beyond repair, but our hearts are not. Father, heal like only you can. Bring acceptance, strength and renew your children’s spirits. Father we know that you make all things new, reveal to your children that you have greater in store for their future and remind them of your unfailing love for them. Although what they have lost hurts deeply, remind them of your promises Oh God. Your plans are to give us peace not suffering and a hope and a future. We thank you oh Lord for your love & protection. And we trust you father.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Growing with you,

Sandy

Letting Go is Hard, but there is a Blessing in the Lesson

Do you want to be Happy?

Do you want to be Happy?

It’s time for me to pull over and let the Lord drive.

Last year, I was in this place, feeling as though I was just stuck. I felt paralyzed and unable to move. Confused, scared and not knowing which direction to step in, I’d walk around with a heavy heart daily. I’d wear a fake smile when I saw people so that no one would ask what was wrong. And when they did ask how I was, I’d say “I’m doing good”.

So here is my truth; I wasn’t doing good, but I wanted them to believe I was. I didn’t want to appear weak so I thought I had to present myself as having it all together. I didn’t want anyone to know I needed help to get “unstuck”.

I’m hard on myself when I make mistakes and I hate disappointing others, so much so that I fail to set boundaries for myself. If I’m being honest, up until a year ago I had no idea boundaries were even important.

I’ve told myself, God is with me so I can endure anything [Because with God we can]. I’ve told myself that I can handle anything that comes my way. But if that is the case, why are there times that I feel as though I can’t carry the weight? And why are there times it feels as if my own heart is about to burn right through my chest?

I think some of us have been in this place of pretending. Not for the world but, pretending for ourselves. Because if we were to admit that we needed help, or if we were to let go of the circumstances hurting us, to ourselves that would be giving up, and giving up is not supposed to be an option. At least it never was for me.

As circumstances arose in my life, I coached myself by telling myself that giving up is only for the weak. I told myself, “If you are strong, you must be able to endure any type of pain.”

As I grow and draw closer to God, I am beginning to realize that I was in denial. Because as I was coaching myself to “endure”, I’d been allowing the pain to slowly break me to pieces. I had to self reflect and ask myself, “Is that really how I want to live the rest of my life?” The answer was clear: No it is not.

I want to be happy.

I want to smile and feel the joy that only peace can cover us with. But how do I get there? I don’t know how to fix what is wrong. I’ve tried. I don’t know how to make others see my heart, I’ve tried that too.

I always end up trying in my own strength. But why? I know that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness [2 Corinthians 12:9], so why was I stopping him from showing up? Why was I stopping God from showing me his power?

I knew the answer: It was because of fear.

I was comfortable holding onto what hurt me because I feared facing reality.

When someone or something hurts us, we need to step away from it. Otherwise, we will never begin to heal.

Living in daily pain blinds you. You become so used to being hurt that you believe it’s wrong for you to stop the hurt, because if you do, you’re either giving up or you’re going to hurt someone else.

Hurting someone else is the absolute last thing you want to do, so you cope and you endure.

But sometimes it takes loving ourselves to stop the hurt.

If loving yourself enough not to let someone hurt you causes them to label you as selfish or self-centered, you have to be ok with their label. You have to be willing to accept that their opinion of you is “theirs” and theirs alone

Do you want to be happy?

If so, accept that you will not find happiness in an unhappy place.

Accept that pain and happiness cannot coexist.

Accept that there are some who are incapable of showing love to “you”, even when you love them.

Believing in someone will not guarantee they will believe in you. Being kind to someone does not mean they will be kind to you.

So know this…

It’s ok to walk away from what is breaking you. It’s ok to have a boundary. Letting go doesn’t make you a failure.

Will it be easy? No. Will it hurt? Of course! Will it take time to gather up the strength to make the decision to do it and then follow through with it? Yes! For me it took years to get to where I knew I had to let go and let God take the control.

Are you in this place? Is your relationship with a close family member, friend, partner, or work superior hurting or diminishing who you are?

Be strong enough to realize that living in pain is a cycle that must be broken. You may not know how to break it or what direction to go in, but you don’t have to. Surrender yourself to God’s lead and take him at his word. He wants us happy.

Staying in pain or constant discomfort will not bring you happiness. It is time to stop just existing. We will always have struggles in life but we must choose not to allow them to keep us feeling stuck daily.

It’s time to enjoy the life you were blessed with and start to live! Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Make the choice to be Happy and let God handle it🙏 It is a choice you will never regret. Get out of your way and ask Jesus to lead. You must guard your heart in order for the healing to start.

Allow God’s truth to change you and restore joy to your life. Choose to be happy!

Growing with you,

Sandy

Father God, Thank you for loving us even when we feel unlovable. Thank you for standing with us through doubt and uncertainty until we are strong enough to surrender our circumstances and situations over to you. Thank you for never giving up on us and for waiting for us to place our lives in your hands. Jesus you pursue us even when we try to live without you in our own strength. You love us through our bad choices, downfalls and when we are stuck in our valley. Thank you for never giving up and for showing me what unconditional love truly is. Father, tonight I lift up anyone who is struggling in a dark place which they feel they cannot come out of. Father, I ask that you restore the joy in their lives and reveal to them that your grace is sufficient for them and that your power is made perfect in weakness. May they seek after you in their valley, oh Lord. May they surrender it all at your feet Lord and place their trust solely in you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

This is my Happy now!

Pray for Ukraine

Pray for Ukraine

Today, our Christian duty is to pray.

This morning as I awoke to read the news my heart began to ache. I’ve read about the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine for a few weeks now but, today my heart is in disbelief as I sit watching the videos of it actually happening.

I watched videos & photos of explosions and my heart immediately filled with aches for all of the innocent lives that will be lost and for the people who are there living through this nightmare wondering if they are going to live to see tomorrow.

I looked at my precious babygirl as I dressed her and I thought of all the poor children there in this moment hearing bombs go off, filled with fear, wondering what the scary loud noises are.

As I said my morning prayer for safety over my baby girl right before she left with her dad, I thought about the Moms and dads in Ukraine who are praying for safety and protection over their own babies. But how sad is it that they are praying for protection from war bombs that could possibly take their lives.

I watched videos of crying and of devastation all around. Questions ran through my mind; Why God do innocent people have to die? God, how can people be so evil, to take so many innocent lives? Life is so precious, why don’t all people see it this way?

My heart aches with heaviness.

No one should have to live through that type of trauma or fear.

I have never been into politics and have stayed away from the news since it is always so negative. But today, I found myself glued to the news helpless. I am across the world, but today my duty is to pray for the people in Ukraine.

Please join me in praying over the following:

  • Pray for God’s intervention.
  • Pray for protection & safety over the innocent.
  • Pray for world leaders, for wisdom and guidance over difficult decisions to be made.
  • Pray for hope, comfort and peace.
  • Pray for the fear, anxiety and for the heavy hearts the Ukraine people are experiencing.
  • Pray for the soldiers and the civilians preparing to fight to protect their own people.
  • Pray for the salvation of anyone who doesn’t know Christ.
  • Pray for this war to end.

Father God, We thank you because we know that you are a loving God who hears the cries of your children. We come to you today in prayer asking you to protect your people in the Ukraine. Protect the innocent children. Remove fear from their minds and hearts in this moment Lord and let them know that you are with them. Father, we ask that you deliver them from the evil of the enemy and that you answer their prayers as they call upon your name. Father, give them strength to look to you in the midst of chaos and turmoil. Father guide the world leaders as they make decisions and direct their choices. Father cover the soldiers and any civilians that are preparing to fight to protect their families and community. May they fight courageously knowing that you are there with them. Lord, we pray for anyone who does not know you, that they have that opportunity of salvation through an encounter with the Holy Spirit. You are mighty to save Lord Jesus! Move Lord, your people need you. We ask for peace in the mighty name of Jesus our Savior! Amen.

Praying in agreement with you,

Sandy 🙏

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. Psalm 20:1
Mighty Within Us

Mighty Within Us

I am currently enrolled in the last trimester of the International School of Ministry (ISOM) program at my church and in tonight’s class something stood out to me.  The speaker , T.L. Osborn, stated “The most difficult thing to get unbelievers to understand is, God lives in us.”  This statement resonated with me because so many people are blind to the fact that Christ can dwell within each of us.

Often when you tell someone you’re a Christian, they think you are religious and judgmental. We get a bad rap because so many who claim to be Christians are condemning and judging everyone around them. As Christians, our job is not to convince anyone who Christ is and it surely is not our job to judge others.  We are called to love and share the unconditional love of Jesus Christ with the world.  Everything beyond that will be done by the Holy Spirit.

Don’t enter into the business of condemning or judging yourself or others. We live in a sinful world and all fall short of chasing what we desire rather than traveling down the roads God intended for us to travel down.

To the unbelievers:  Becoming a Christian does not mean that one must strive to be religious or try to behave as a Christian behaves.  Becoming a Christian means that you are opening your heart to receiving Christ and inviting him to dwell within. Read more

Made Piece by Piece….

Made Piece by Piece….

We ALL have to start somewhere. Everything begins with a piece.  I don’t know about you, but there are many days which I feel all over the place – as if my life is an unorganized mess. That can really be overwhelming. I mean it literally feels as if my mind runs nonstop!!! Many times my mind literally jumps from one thing to another causing me to feel like I am not equipped to do anything. It is in these very moments that I need to stop, take a deep breath and slow down. Always easier said than done, but I am finding that when I take the time to be conscious of the chaos and re-center my mind, that is when I am capable of being most productive. Tackling things one at a time is the only way to truly give your all to the task at hand.

We live in a culture where we all want everything to happen immediately, especially when we are overwhelmed. But being impatient causes us to disregard the importance of the step by step process and many times is what prevents  us from finishing what we start.  Let’s think of a puzzle for example:

A puzzle consists of many different pieces which fit together to create a big picture.  Like a puzzle, we all have our own unique roles to play in life.  God created us each with a specific purpose in mind.  In a puzzle if you try to insert the wrong piece no matter how many ways you try it, it will not fit.  In life, if someone else tries to do what God created us to do, results will not be the same  – no one else will be the right fit to do what we are called to do. Read more

The Start

The Start

the-start

There is so much about me that I could write, but first and foremost the most important thing anyone should know is that I Love God. After being part of a small group hosted my cousin on the book Fervent by Priscilla Shier, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me it was time to be obedient and to BOLDLY speak against the spirit of fear and allow God to use me.

I love to write and have gone back and forth with the idea of starting a personal blog for a while now.  During this study, God revealed to me that it was time to stop letting fear run my life and time to listen to the still small voice that has been speaking to my spirit for so long.  A fire ignited within me and I spent days thinking and compiling lists of potential blog names that represented who I am and also what I desired to share with my readers. I wanted this blog to encourage others and also help keep me accountable and encouraged as well.

Every time I thought I had the perfect name I found that the domain was either taken or the next day I changed my mind. I even went as far as to request ideas from a very close friend and also from my daughter. Fear kept trying to move in speaking lies by telling me I had nothing to say that could help others, that my past made me unqualified to be an encourager, and that my words would be rejected by others. Despite these feelings of inadequacy that were trying to control my mind, I know fear is not from God, so I stood still and waited for God to lead me. Read more