#livefreeThursday – Anchored in Him

 

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UPDATE: This post was originally about my beautiful friend, Bonnie and her son, Ollie. During the night last night, this little guy went to be with Christ. Will you pray for this beautiful couple?

I’m sitting here this morning with a heavy heart for a precious friend. Sometimes it’s hard to put the words down what it feels to experience great loss.

Just this past week my own family experienced loss. It took our breath away.

Where do we turn?

God is the Source of strength in our hard places. When our world collapses beneath us, we are not without strength.

We are not swept away, forever lost.

We are anchored by our faith in Him.

It makes no sense in the natural. You are experiencing the heartbreak of your emotions, or crying a thousand tears.

Yet you and I are held close in those hard places.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm

 

We are anchored by His Word.

We are anchored by His presence.

We are anchored by joy that makes no sense in the natural.

We are also anchored by the incredible strength we find through each other. Praying for one another. Love each other. Lifting each other up.

And incredibly, though your heart is heavy, our spirit can be light.

Maybe today you need to feel anchored.

This prayer is for you.

Thank you, amazing God, for your strength and comfort and power over our hard places. Thank you for the woman reading this today who feels that she is drifting, swept away. Hold her tight. Hold her close. Let her know that You will be her strength. 

Suzie

If you are joining in today’s #livefreeThursday #linkup, I’d love to hear about a time you were anchored. What does that mean to you? How do we do it? What scripture held you close during a difficult time?

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When the church hurts your heart

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Is it possible that the church can hurt your heart so profoundly that you question God? 

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Sometimes something good gets in the hands of people and we mess it up.

In this week’s Proverbs 31 Ministry OBS reading of The Mended Heart, I shared Amy’s story. She was a pastor’s daughter who grew up under legalistic and harsh parenting, all wrapped up in theology.

It was confusing. It created fear in her relationship with God because she feared her dad. It caused her to wonder if she would ever be good enough for God.

Maybe you identify with Amy.  [Read more…]

#livefreestory: Restoring my dance

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Meet Julie Sunne, a beautiful mama and woman of incredible faith. She has experienced loss on a level that takes my breath away. Just this weekend someone I love experienced this loss and I was blessed personally by Julie’s story.

Restoring My Dance

Julie Sunne

Long ago, I thought I knew what an abundant life looked like.

I believed abundance rested with the way my days played out in this dance of life.

A “good” life as defined by an enjoyable job, adorable family, comfortable home, relative health was an abundant life.
Yet it didn’t take long for that definition to be shattered and for me to be left grasping for something that made sense. [Read more…]

Hang tight, healing is a process.

Are you following along in the Proverbs 31 Ministries online study of The Mended Heart? It’s not too late to jump in with 23,000 other women.

Though healing might not seem like a light-hearted topic, there is a lot of laughter, encouragement and growth going on.

To find out more, check out Proverbs 31 OBS Current Study.

#livefreeThursday – I’m expecting! #linkup

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I’m expecting!

No, not in that way.

Yet I’m am expecting and that’s wonderful, and hard. Really, really hard. Two months ago during prayer God placed a number on my heart. I’m not a numbers girl.

I don’t count people, but see them one by one.

I don’t count or measure to determine success. How many people are at an event, or not. I don’t count my books, my friends, my Facebook likes.

I don’t count what I own or what others own, but consider it all His.

But there it was. That number. That thing He wanted me to believe in BIG.

So I weighed it.

Is it of eternal value?

And it was. That sounds churchy, I know. But the benefits went beyond chalking up a win. . .  to something that lasts forever.

Is it scriptural? 

If it goes against what I find in the pages of the New Testament, then I table it. It’s not for me. But it didn’t.

I waited on it. 

Rather than leap into it, I wait. That might be one night. That might be one hour. That might even be a few seconds, if it’s something that needs action in the moment.

I let it sink into my heart. It didn’t go away.

I believed it

Oh, this is where faith had to walk in because I didn’t see it then, and I don’t see it yet. That’s when we might start trying to convince God that what He said can’t possibly be true.

Is there anything too hard for me, the Lord? Genesis 18:14

But I choose to believe. I don’t know what this is going to look like, or even what He has in mind, but I’m expecting because He’s God and He spoke it into my heart.

Maybe you are in that place of expectancy too.

Especially when it comes to healing your heart. You are reading the words in the book and following this study and they haven’t quite felt real yet.

But you know He said them so you hold tight and you believe.

Maybe like me, the reason that you struggle is that you thought it meant today.

Like.right. now!

Part of expectancy is watching it unfold. It’s seeing that it’s His hand and not our own. It’s unclenching our fists and letting it play out according to His plan.

Are you expecting? I’m so glad.

Let’s expect together!

Suzie

It’s not too late to join in #TheMendedHeart #p31OBS study. Over 20,000 women from around the world are believing together. We are lifting each other up in prayer. We are encouraging each other.

Sign up here.

Download the first three chapters here while you wait for your book.

Hey, and it’s #livefreeThursday so lots of women are coming around the table to talk about, “I’m expecting!” I hope you check out their blogs and what they have to say. Share your thoughts. Come on in and take your place around the table.

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Letting down our walls — {{Twitter party}} #giveaways

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I’m already hearing from you and it’s only been one day.

Some of you feel God is asking you to let down walls. You say that you want all that God has for you, but letting down walls makes you feel vulnerable.

I hear you. I promise.

When you let down your walls to trust again, you will be vulnerable. . . but you are also free.  

Hard to imagine, right? [Read more…]

Imagine waking up with a mended heart

you can rest

 

You’ve been trying to heal for a long time.

Maybe you even look like you have it all together on the outside.

Maybe those closest to you know — because they love you — that inside you’re a mess.

Sometimes people say things like this:

Just get over it.

Stop talking about it.

Do something. 

And you try, because it’s what you want it way more than they do. [Read more…]

#livefreeThursday: God, lead me to your heart {{linkup}}

heart

 

He had no idea how little it would take to touch her heart.

Their marriage was long-standing and so were their habits. Words danced off each other like pellets round a pond. She hid her heart from him long ago. He pretended he had no heart at all.

As I listened to their banter, I watched this couple of old.

What might happen if he sought her heart?

Would it bring her to life?

Would it change Him forever?

Sometimes I hear us talk about our faith and it reminds me of that couple.

What do you have for me today, God?

Why didn’t you do that yesterday, God?

A. W. Tozer says, “God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.”

That changes my conversation with God.

As I seek His heart. . . 

As I tap to the longings within. . .

This past week I went on a search for the Father’s Heart. Fifty times His word spoke of the orphan. Seventy times the widow. Oh, and the fatherless. Yes, He speaks of those just as much.

Forgiveness. There it is. Over 120 times in scripture. And love one another? Oh, goodness. Jesus earnestly led the disciples to love in His name over and over again.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

Crazy, when you think that that what we talk about most are things like what we should or shouldn’t do — or more loudly, what others should or shouldn’t do — forgetting that the heart of our God is mercy.

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 (NIV)

He tells us that He loves it when we don’t overlook that one whose daddy left him cold or when we comfort the orphan who just wants to know she has a home. It lights Him up when we don’t forget the widow who misses the arms of her husband.

We discover that forgiving others gives a lot more room in our heart for Him to settle in. And that loving one another leads those who needs His love to the heart of the Father, and that changes them forever.

What if for the next few days we asked a new question?

Do we dare?

God, how might I make your heart happy today? 

You might worry that this will lead you down a legalistic road. Trying to outwork or outlove God. Rather it’s just a simple question for someone you really care about. Who cares about you.

The answer has already led me places I didn’t think I’d go. Deeper. Farther. Surprising.

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that seem to be the biggest in this heart-to-heart relationship with God.

Not too long ago I happened to be with that couple again. She told him she wasn’t feeling well. His words, surprising. “Do you need me to do anything, hon?”

Like medicine His words were. Her smile lighting up like a candle. It took so little to make her heart glad.

Just to know that he was thinking of her, as well as himself.

Suzie

yourpastIf your heart is wounded by people, it might seem impossible to love others well.

It might have even given you a jaded view of God and what His love looks like.

Please join me in The Mended Heart study with Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS team. Thousands of women are joining in. I’ll be there every step of the way. It’s not just for those who feel broken today, but who have felt that way ever.

It’s gentle. It’s transforming. It leads straight to the heart of a Father who came to heal the brokenhearted, help us see life in a new way, and release anything that keeps us stuck.

It’s convenient. You can study along with others. You can do it on your own. There are also some really fun moments when we all get together, if you want that, too.

It’s not too late to join. Here’s a link to a free sample of the book, just so you have what you need that first week.

Here’s the link to sign up for the study. 

Here’s a link to buy the book. The study is free. The profits from the book goes right back into ministry to keep it free as P31 reaches women around the world with joy!

Speaking of links, I’m so excited today is #livefreeThursday! All day long we’ll be around the table talking about what it means when we say, “I give you my heart.”

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