And This is What Makes You Beautiful! 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 31: The Conclusion)

31 Days Button IdeaWell, today is day 31! We have reached the end of our series. I’ve had a wonderful month getting to know so many of you who have reached out to me through the topic of What Makes You Beautiful? You have truly blessed my heart.

Today, I not only have a regular blog post to close the series, but I also have a Vlog. When I recorded it, I sat down face to the camera with no notes or idea of what I was going to say. I just wanted to talk to you about how I feel regarding this topic – heart-to-heart. You can scroll to the bottom to watch.  Be blessed, sweet friends!


 

In my forty-one years on this earth, I’ve been through my share of valleys, I’ve climbed many mountains, and I’ve felt abandoned and alone. What my experiences have taught me is that though I may have felt alone, I never was. And I’m not alone now either.

I have learned to regard trust as a safe place. I have had no choice but to trust so many times that when the water is smooth, I almost feel a little out of place. I’m not saying I want storms to come my way, and I’m also not saying that I look for them. God, no!

What I am saying is that I’ve learned, and am still learning, to find beauty in trusting the things I cannot see. I’ve made a conscious decision to find peace despite the answers I will never know. I’m learning to surrender my questions into the hands of a God who knows all the answers. And most importantly, I’m learning to be content with His mystery.

I can’t live my life continually asking why bad things happen to good people. I can’t question if God really exists every time there is a natural disaster or a precious child leaves this earth too soon . . . or even when my stepfather dies. There are moments for that, but I can’t expect an answer. I can’t quit believing. I have to know when to say, “I will trust You anyway.”

I must choose to run to the safe haven of trust knowing that the One who expects me to reside there is working for my good.

Daniel, while interpreting a dream, once said, “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets” (Daniel 2:28). And that is the God I trust in. I hope in Him. I hope that He will reveal what is meant for me to know and will shield me from what might be too painful for me to understand. To continually walk in trust is to seek a God who longs for us to search every part of Him.

If He gave us all the answers, what would propel us to search inside the Creator and explore the beauty of His life and love? What would be the reason for us to seek a God who daily walks along side us hoping we will call His name?

We need to seek Him, and sometimes, we even need to question Him, but we also need to know when to stop and find contentment in trusting that there are answers we will never know. If we are waiting, we must realize it’s because He has something planned. And that plan will most definitely work through us and for us.

I want to ask you to consider falling in love with the mysteries of God. If you are seeking in an attempt to figure Him out, you never will – not completely. But He loves you. He loves you through the searching, through the questions, and through the silence of no answers. He loves you through the through process. And He is working for you also!

This, my friends, is where your true beauty comes from. It is what makes you beautiful! From the inside out, the through process of your life will transform everything about you. I know you may have started reading this series thinking we were going to uncover the insecurities of how we feel about our faces and bodies. And though those things can cause us to crumble, nothing is as important as your spirit and soul connection with Christ.

To be brave is to step out wholly as you are – underweight or overweight – drop dead gorgeous or averagely amazing, your life is worth more than you can even imagine!

What makes you beautiful – truly beautiful – is your choice to allow Him to use your life. So let Him!
You are beautiful!

Thanks for the last 31 days, friends! I will meet you back here in a week or so . . .

Love,
Jennifer

 

 

What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 30: In the Midst of the Even Though’s)

31 days day 30 take 2_aI’m an imperfect person, but I am forgiven – a daughter of Christ, a lover of the One who loves my soul. I often make mistakes and then lean on His grace. I need more of it. I need the constant flow of love and mercy to cover the dark parts. And in the middle of my through process, while trying to figure out the for in all of it, I often need to be reminded of who God is.

In Exodus 34, God meets with Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. When He descends in the cloud next to Moses, He does something which I find to be astonishing.

Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

- Exodus 34:5-7

It’s not Moses who is proclaiming this; it is God Himself. He comes down next to Moses and states qualities that define who He is. And friends, this isn’t for the benefit of God. God knows who He is. This is for the benefit of Moses. This is to enable Moses to be brave in the midst of His through process. This encounter, when it seems as if God is touting who He is, is for Moses. He is speaking life into the soul of Moses on the top of the mountain. And, I believe He did it because Moses was weary, uncertain, and still needing confirmation that God was going to go in their midst to the new land. He needed to be reminded.

God loves to remind us who He is. It’s part of His grace. I believe Moses had an epiphany of grace in this moment, and this is what happened next.

So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”

- Exodus 34:8-9

Moses says, “Even though we are a stiff-necked people.” There is so much grace deep inside the phrase even though. Because God came down and reminded Moses who He is, Moses had the courage to ask Him again to go with them even though they were imperfect. Moses started to come alive to his through process in a brand new way.
Wherever you are, God will work for you even inside the even though’s He knows we make mistakes. He recognizes that we sometimes make a mockery of His grace and mercy. And despite it all, He reminds us who He is, and THAT has the ability to make us brave inside the even though’s.

No matter where you are, whether it is a self-inflicted sinful situation or a grief-filled tragedy that you will never understand on this side of heaven, He will work through you. And He will never stop working for you. It hurts, but the for us leads us closer to an eternity with Him. And we shall see joy!

Tomorrow we will bring this series to a close with a short post and a vlog!

I will meet you back here, friends.

Love,
Jennifer

What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 29: For When You’re Forced to Remember)

Hi Friends! Today is day 29 of our series! We are almost to the end!!! We will finish Friday with a short blog AND a Vlog! I know, right?!?! I’m stepping out of my box to send you a video  message that is on my heart. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey! If you’ve missed any part of this series, just click here to catch up. The link will take you to a landing page with a list of all the posts from the series.  I pray you are encouraged by today’s message! God bless you!


 

31 Days Day 29 BreatheHave you ever felt confused about the plan God has through you? Have you ever pondered how He could possibly make it work for you? I have. When we experience pain in life, it’s hard to see how God could ever work it for good. And, trying to hold it all together knowing someone else is watching is a lot of pressure.

The last three months of my life have been devastating. I lost my amazing stepfather suddenly to a heart attack. He was only fifty-eight years old. When I read through what I wrote in the last blog post, it was difficult because I realized that now I have to live it with others watching. I’m finding myself in a little bit of different place this time. It’s precarious. I’m experiencing grief, but this time in the middle of major ministry. I teach a Bible study, I speak at events, I write a blog and books all about His faithfulness through grief.

I’m trying to hold it all together. For my mother, my children, and those I minister to, I want to appear strong while allowing God to use my life. But I will be honest and say that it hurts. I’m not thrilled to be in the desert season of grief. Again. I’ve had to work through an angry stage, and I have a lot of whys swirling around in my soul. I’m doing my best. It’s terrible.

One week after this tragedy occurred, I awoke early in the morning to read my Bible and do some blog work. I began searching for scriptures about grace. God knows I need grace. One of the first scriptures I found was Exodus 33:12.

Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.”

It wasn’t exactly the kind of scripture I was looking for. I wanted to open my Bible and find some words that would quickly soothe my soul. Instead, I found this scripture and it tugged on my heart all day long until I researched it. It was then that God spoke something beautiful to my heart.

In Exodus 32, Moses is up on the mountain with God who was writing the Ten Commandments. When the children of Israel saw that Moses was delayed in returning to them, they melted their gold, made a calf, and worshipped it. God informed Moses of what the people were doing, and when Moses returned from the mountain, he threw the Ten Commandments, engraved on stone tablets by the hand of God Himself, and broke them. He was exerting some righteous anger.

Can you imagine how Moses must have felt at that moment? He was chosen to be an advocate for these people and they were clearly breaking the rules, along with the hearts of God and Moses, every step of the way.

At this point, the Lord was angry and wanted to consume the people and make a nation from Moses, but Moses once again went up to bat for the children of Israel. It seems as if he is recognizing the importance of his through process.

Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.”

So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.

-Exodus 32:31-35

To understand the background of this story, let’s look at chapter 33. God informs Moses of the plan for leaving where they are in order to enter a new land.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments.

- Exodus 33:1-4

After Moses receives the news that God would not go in their midst, he sets up a tabernacle of meeting, which is basically a tent in the woods where He, and the people who sought the Lord, could go meet with Him. It is in this place that Moses pours out his heart to God.

Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

- Exodus 33:12-13

I can relate to Moses as he speaks openly and honestly to the One True God. Moses needed to know what to do. He was distraught that God was saying that He wasn’t going with them. But after hearing Moses’ words, God gives him grace inside the following words:

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

- Exodus 33:14

And then my heart skips a beat at the revelation of the words that lie ahead in the next passage:

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

- Exodus 33:15-16

Do you see it? Moses says, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us from here.” Moses knows that no matter where they go, if they go without God, the land will be just as desolate. We can go nowhere without Christ and His power. To go without God is to go without breath, and Moses knew that. They needed Him more than anything – especially if they were to be the chosen people. God had given many others land before, but for His presence to accompany them into the new land would be the game changer. It would be the only way to set them apart.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go anywhere without God. My heart feels every beat of the heart of Moses when he said, “Please don’t bring us from here if your presence doesn’t go with us.”

We must go with God. Everywhere.

Because of His Son Jesus and the miracle of the cross, we now have assurance that He will always go with us, but we need to reach out to Him wherever we are. Regardless of the land we walk in, He has placed us there for a reason. We must hold Him tightly and find confidence that we won’t walk in any land alone.

And what comes next in the conversation is pure beauty because of the recognition that Moses has for God as his All in All.

And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

- Exodus 33:18-23

As close as Moses already was to God Himself, he wanted – needed – to be closer still. To see the glory of the Lord would have been the closest anyone had ever come to the living God and Moses wanted that. He wanted his closeness. He wanted to see His beauty which is His glory and majesty unfolded. Moses craved it. And God, though He could not allow it completely, was merciful to Moses by giving Him what he could.

He hid him in the cleft of the rock with His hand and then as He passed, He uncovered Moses and allowed him to see His back as He walked ahead.

Those words – “Please, show me your glory” – have the ability to change the entire trajectory of our Christian walks.

Ever since I read that passage, within all my grief over the loss of my stepfather, I’ve been asking God to show me His glory. For me it’s a metaphor which simply means that I want to be as close to God as possible. I don’t want to go anywhere without His presence. I need Him and I cannot face this land I’m in without Him.

What about you?

Love,

Jennifer

Today, I m linking up with my friend Holley Gerth!

What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 28: It’s Worth It)

CourtneyStone_W-Flowers-272x300As I struggled through a fifteen-year journey battling miscarriage, stillbirth, and secondary infertility, I often asked the question why. I needed to know – and even felt I had the right to know. Here is what I learned – there are some things we will never know. We don’t have the right to know them, and it wouldn’t help if we did. I know those words aren’t comforting but they are true. I care about each of you reading this series, and because I do, I need to be honest with you that sometimes we won’t know why. We have to accept that and move on towards what God can do through and for us in the midst of darkness. We have to continue believing He can breathe and flip the switch on at any moment. We have to remember that our faith and hope in his breath will bring life.

After I buried my daughter Courtney, I would wake up in the middle of the night picturing myself at the cemetery on hands and knees digging up her grave. My grief was so deep that I was on the edge of losing my mind. I just wanted to know why she couldn’t live. Why was I meant to live without her? Why couldn’t we have experienced the miracle I prayed for as I held her lifeless body asking God to just breathe into her lungs? Why didn’t He answer?

I don’t know why. And my not having an answer isn’t for lack of asking for one. Over the years I’ve learned it must be none of my business. It’s only to continue trusting, putting my faith in Him, and hoping for His breath that is my business. Like it or not, He is God and I am not.
However, He did something earth-shattering for me in the midst of my questions why. He gave me favor. From giving me doctors who waived fees and copayments for expensive treatments to allowing me to minister to others in the midst of heartbreak, little by little He put the pieces of my heart back together. And He did it for me.

I am convinced that my tears helped seal the fate of my eternity. I was so lost in sorrow that I ran into His arms and pressed further into Him than I probably would have had I not been forced to endure such traumatic circumstances. If my life had gone perfectly with no bumps in the road, what would have stirred my faith? What would have led me to become desperate for hope? Would the majesty of His breath have penetrated my soul the way it has? Would I be writing to you today? It’s possible but not probable.

Spending my eternity with the Lover of my soul is worth every trauma suffered. Why? Well, this is one answer I do have – Because ultimately He breathed life into my soul in the first place, and I’ve made a choice to use it to serve Him. He breathed for me and I’m allowing His breath to work through me. Both are beautifully complex and both have taken great amounts of bravery.

I’m Bold, Ready and Available, Vying for Everything God wants to do in my heart and through my life.

When it comes down to it, It’s all for us. Every. Single. Little. Detail.

And those details… They make us beautiful, friends.

I’ll meet you back here tomorrow.

Love,
Jennifer

What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 27: His Breath)

31 Days Day 27While I’ve been studying the book of Acts, I’ve had an epiphany, which has literally tied loose ends of my life together.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

- Acts 2:1-2

I want to take a look at the words rushing mighty wind in verse 2. When we see the word wind in the Bible, it often indicates the spirit of God. So we know that the spirit of God filled the room where the apostles and women of God were seated. Now let’s freeze there for a brief moment and take a look at Ezekiel 37.

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”

- Ezekiel 37:1-14

Stay with me for a minute and let’s jump again to two of my very favorite verses in the entire Bible. Then I will tie this all together.

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

- Genesis 1:2-3

Again, I want you to notice the word spirit in verse 2. Now, I want to lead you to what will hopefully be a “light bulb” moment for you. It was for me.

Throughout the Bible, the Hebrew term for “Spirit” (as in the Holy Spirit) or “wind” is the word ruach. The first meaning for the word ruach is “breath.” Stay with me; this is going to get exciting!

If you would, please refer back to the text in Acts 2 that I listed above. That rushing mighty wind, according to the Hebrew word ruach, means the wind in the room that day was actually the breath of God. The breath of God blew in that place and brought the promised gift of the Holy Spirit which propelled the mission of the apostles. And that very same breath of God is available to us today!

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

- Acts 2: 38-39

Do you remember earlier in this series when I spoke of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17? Well, this is the same promise, friends! At the moment of salvation when we repent for our sins, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is our helper and part of the trinity – three in One. This is just like God’s promise to Abraham that He would be God to him and his descendants after him.

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

- Genesis 17:7

He solidified this after the ascension of Jesus by sending the Holy Spirit. He sent His breath to reside within us. He lives within us!

Now let us take a brief moment to look back again at Ezekiel 37:1-14.

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”

- Ezekiel 37:1-14

 

Through His wind and Spirit He brought life to dry bones! As God was working in my heart, He was sometimes working with dry bones. Mine! I was dry and my spiritual life seemed to be decaying. My supply of faith was little and hope seemed to be far away. But God . . . He breathed life into my dry bones by giving me a testimony that drew me closer to Him. Through my repentance mixed together with the small amount of faith I had, He sent His wind and spirit to live inside me. He allowed me to grasp hold of His breath and not let go. I often felt like I was living in darkness, but I knew He was there, so I waited for Him to breathe and flip the light switch on in my life.

Let’s look again at what I told you are two of my very favorite scriptures in the Bible, and then I’ll tell you why they speak to me so deeply.

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

- Genesis 1:2-3

Look at the word Spirit in verse 2 and reread the verse replacing that word spirit with the word breath:

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit breath of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

When something hovers, it’s always right there, floating above. I cannot tell you how often I knew God was hovering over me just waiting for His perfect time to rescue me, but I also felt empty and alone – just like the earth was at the beginning of creation. I was living with a tiny faith in the dark waiting for the light to turn on. The breath of God hovered over me, and I held on to the smallest amount of hope as I waited. And then, just like in Genesis 1:3, the light came on.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

In order to speak, you must have breath in your body. The breath of God first hovered and then He used it to speak light into existence. What was once dark was now lit up with the very breath of God. If that doesn’t have you shouting, “Halleluiah,” then I don’t know what will!

The breath of God holds the power to change lives. It is an intricate piece of the for me process. His breath is for us. From the beginning of time He was using it to speak into darkness – to form something out of nothing. And if we believe all things are possible with God, like the Bible tells us in Matthew 19:26, then why is it sometimes so difficult to believe He will breathe life into our dry bones and send his rushing mighty wind through the rooms of our hearts?

We are a people who need confirmation for everything. We need to know why. If you have spent a significant amount of time around a small child, then you know the very first question they ask and apply to everything within their understanding is the question why. It is somehow sewn into the frayed threads of our human existences. From the very beginning, we want to know why!

So, if we now recognize his breath is part of the for us, then why does He seem to wait so long to breathe inside our dark situations? Why?

We will uncover that tomorrow!

Thanks for joining me today.

Love,

Jennifer

What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 26: The Fine Line)

31 Days Day 26There is a very fine line between the for us and through us ideas. One is for self and the other is for service. When we allow Christ to work through us there is confirmation of the strength we have found in Him. The for us confirms His love for us on an intimate and personal level. Both are equally important to nourish the soul, yet both are a process. And when I think of the word process, the word pain comes to mind.

I’ve dealt with extreme grief and sorrow. Fifteen years of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility created this searing pain deep inside my soul and actually made me feel hollow inside. To find freedom was to endure the process. We usually don’t have a choice in the matter. We must endure. Throughout the time of endurance, we need to willingly allow the Holy Spirit room to work deep within us. The process of healing is painful. Scabs are almost always ripped wide open before true healing is able to begin. And even though healing eventually takes place, scars remain. In my life, they are a focal point.

He is only able to work for me because of what I allowed Him to do through me. I know it seems crazy to say we can allow God to do something. I mean, He is God, so what is stopping Him?
We have free will. We must be willing – and it’s not always easy.
The through process is the difficult part. The for is when I can actually see and feel His love. We all need that sometimes, but it shouldn’t be necessary in the journey of belief. This is where faith needs to rise up and show its strength in our lives. This is where hope kicks into high gear and manifests in a way that brings joy beyond our circumstances.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

- Hebrews 11:1

To have faith for something you’ve been longing for is to continue hoping the Father will breathe life into your specific circumstance. It is choosing to believe He will meet the need whether it is your way or His way. You see, just because Christ is working for us doesn’t mean He will answer exactly the way we expect. Learning this principle is like learning to walk a tightrope. The rope is made of faith and the belief that we will make it to the other side comes from hope living deep inside. Faith plus hope equals life. The only way to achieve life is through faith and hope. And to have faith and hope you must understand the breath of God.

Tomorrow we are going to learn about His breath.

See you then!

Love,
Jennifer

What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 25: You Have a Gift!)

31 Days Day 25_n

When I talk to women about their gifts and talents, I hear many say they have no idea what they are good at. And even if they do know, they are not sure how to use their gift. If this is true then what does this say for the through process? My dear friend, the […]

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What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 24: A Life is a Life; A Soul is a Soul)

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I’m sure you’ve noticed a common theme in that every Biblical example I’ve given you to demonstrate that the through process comes with uncertainty, fear, rejection, pain, and denial. I wish I could tell you that when you follow Christ everything is easy peasy. I cannot, because the truth is that when you choose to […]

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What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 23: When Was the Last Time You Couldn’t Wait?)

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Yesterday we ended by talking about Peter and how his through process was only just beginning. Jesus makes it very clear. Here’s how: Together, let’s take a look at John 21:1-19 and pay close attention to the encounter between Jesus and Peter: After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea […]

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What Makes You Beautiful? 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 22: Peter’s Through Process)

31 Days Day 22

So what should we do through the pain of growth? Yesterday I mentioned that my husband Paul and I spent lots of time seeking and serving. Seeking is essential – if you don’t seek, you won’t find. And if you want to stay sane through the process of growth, I recommend serving others. It is […]

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