Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes

The last Women of Faith Conference in 2014 was almost over and I felt bummed that I was attending it alone. My publisher, Westbow Press, was front and center of the concourse, with its ebook stub gallery and a stack of Made New – A Hippie Chick’s Journey of Forgiveness, available as free eBook download, displayed amongst other aspiring author’s ebooks.

I walked over to browse one of several Women of Faith book booths, and this title caught my eye;

Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes, written by June Hunt. One of the speakers I had heard the evening before. I thought she was such a courageous woman, a woman with a beautiful spirit of God’s love, and a woman who, undoubtedly, had more wisdom than me.

I couldn’t help but think that reading it might help bring me out of this downtrodden rut I’ve been in, but I argued with myself, ’should I spend the money just to add to my growing collection of little books I still haven’t read?’

I picked it up and flipped it over, “Do you see yourself the same way God sees you?”

I mumbled, “Are you kidding me?” “No!” But, I knew I was desperate and made my purchase.

I just finished reading the fourth day and contemplated whether or not God was using this book as a catalyst to get my attention and to take a good long look at myself and realize who I really am, in God’s Eyes.

My prayer is to not use too much of June’s content, yet in some ways, as you’ll soon see, it’s hard to not follow her lead. So here it goes,

Day 1: I Am Secure because my very life and soul has been adopted by God. Wow! What an awesome thought! Consider the promise that each and every one who is a child of God has been adopted into God’s family! It seems impossible!

Yet, God made a way.

I’ll give a personal example regarding why this is such a profound truth for me right now. A very close relative is in the process of adopting a precious little girl, one whom we have all completely fallen in love with. I show her picture with people I meet and her little smile melts hearts. I love her as much as my biological grandchildren and I can’t help but comprehend that the love I have for her is but a brief glimpse of how precious I am to God. I don’t know about you, but that makes me burst into tears of thanksgiving.
After recently coming out of a depression when I felt like my life had no meaning and I was of no worth to anyone, let alone God, it makes me love God so much more.

Romans 8:15 states that “we have not received a spirit of fear, nor are we slaves to fear. But, each one of us has received the spirit of son-ship, or daughter-ship, to cry out “Daddy, Father!”

Let’s go further; Galations 4:5-7 declares to believers that God sent Jesus – born of a woman, to redeem me, so that I have full rights as a child of God. Because, I’m a co-heir with Christ, God has sent the Spirit of Jesus into my heart and spirit can call out “Oh, Abba Father.” I’m no longer a slave to sin, but a daughter, and God has made me an heir of His kingdom.

These promises make this Christmas season so special.

As I type this, I’m sitting in a 3rd story apartment loft in downtown Portland. It’s a nice day and the windows are open to a noisy Grand Avenue below. The Portland skyline is strewn with zigzagging cars entering and exiting Hawthorne Bridge. Beyond, that, it’s a jungle of broken, dirty streets, strangers walking by, or the screech of a streetcar. It’s funny how I find myself, at times like this, falling in love with God, all over again.

So, where does all of this lead too?

I don’t know about you, but it leads me to surrendering to the fact that through my heavenly Father’s eyes I can see that Jesus has freed me from fear. He has redeemed me and I am His daughter – an heir – and I’m free to trust my Lord, forever.

My Autumn of Discontent

Deuteronomy 31:8

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

I have to honestly ask myself, come on Judy, what were your expectations for this cross-country trip? Did you expect to have another endearing summer, like last year? I can’t help but recall an encounter I’ll always cherish on the day when I met God in the middle of the desert and felt His presence so deep within my spirit. When I consider that day, my heart still fills with tearful gratitude of praise and delight.

Yet, this autumn of discontent began at the beginning of my trip, the moment I unexpectedly encountered the mother I lived with as a rebellious 17-year-old teenager. I have to admit that on the first day I knew it was going to be one of the longest nine days I would experience, especially when her words rang with the proverbial tones of annoyance and hatefulness I always despised. Mom was in a state of deep depression and it wasn’t hard to recognize that she was utterly disconnected with life. I probed for answers to another one of my unending list of questions; questions that go off in my mind like fireworks on the 4th of July. We all knew that it was nothing short of a miracle that Mom was still alive and for some reason I wanted to know more about why she was in such a miserable state. So I asked. I was completely taken aback by her response of “I just merely exist”, followed by, “I don’t care about anything”.

From where I was in my pursuit of wanting this trip to rock and change my world, her statements hit me like a ton of bricks! I found myself reliving my teen years, back in my secret seventeen-year-old mindset. I wanted to scream at her, “Really, Mom? Did you not care about the onslaught of continued sexual abuse I endured as a teenager either?” I wanted to screech, “And, you stood by and let it happen because you were too weak to defend me from my own father!”

I wanted to grab onto her, hard, and shake some sense into her feeble mind.

And, I prayed, “God, please, never let me get to the point that I don’t care about anything.”

However, despite that prayer, for the next several weeks, overwhelming feelings of insignificance swept over my soul like a waterfall gushing over a cliff.  I begged to just fall over the cliff and drown as her old familiar words repeated in my mind, “You’re nobody!” only to be followed with, “You’ll never amount to anything!” They were words of devastation, not fit for a wounded teenager to hear.

Then, I allowed the enemy to use my unending questions to beat me into a state of deep depression too and I found myself struggling with some of the questions we all strain against, “Why am I here, God?  You’ve brought me so far in my faith journey, yet I’m toiling under this cloud of depression, feeling as if I’m just trudging along life’s ups and downs, feeling  alone, and afraid that I’ll never escape this torrent of discontentment.” I want more from this life: more money, more beauty, more of this, more of that; All the while feeling so annoyed at God for not giving me more, when He’s given me so much!

But wait! God’s word says that His grace is sufficient for me! My heart leaped to life as I became keenly aware that these feelings of insignificance and discontent are wiles of the enemy, used to keep me from being used by God to defend the abused and using my God-given talent and abilities to teach others that if God can change my life He can change any life.

God is so good and I can’t help but praise him for the divine appointment I encountered last weekend at the Women of Faith event in Portland, Oregon. I take comfort in knowing that He has brought me to a place such as this.

This morning, I’m reminded of His love for me as I read the two books I picked up at the conference, Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes, by June Hunt, and The Storm Inside, by Sheila Walsh. I rejoice in knowing that I’m secure, I’m His child, and no circumstance, or no person, has the power to diminish the fact that God knows the plans he has for me.

Romans 8:16, paraphrased in my own word says that the Spirit himself testifies with my spirit in that I am God’s child.

And, Ephesians 2:19 reminds me that I am not a foreigner, or a disbeliever, but I’m a fellow citizen with God’s people and I’m a member of God’s family.

Through God’s eyes I can see that I am His, I’m loved and accepted, just as I am.

How about you? Do you know that you’re secure because you’re a child of God?

Thanks-Living By Cheryl Lutz

Thanks-Living By Cheryl Lutz.

Learn the Red Flags of the abuse that leaves no signs – Molestation

madenewinjesus:

Helpful information for survivors, or somebody who knows a survivor, to consider. Especially, when OUR society continues to do what it’s always done, ignore it. It’s time to find your VOICE and defend the next generation!

Originally posted on survivorsjustice:

Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery.

Did you know there are presently about 50 million Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse in our society today? Did you know ​ (1 in 3) children are being harmed in some form, and 1593 deaths related to child abuse were reported in 2012? The proof can be found on the Child Maltreatment Report published by Butterfly Dreams, Patricia A. McKnight April 2013

​​Please click on the ‘Child Abuse’ page of our website to learn a lot more about the reality of child molestation. Do you know it rarely leaves any physical signs that you will ever see or notice? Do you know that early intervention relies on watching the child’s behavior and how they interact with other persons, other children, their toys, and a lot of what they say in playtime when they think you are NOT listening. Keep your ears & eyes open!!

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Coming to Jesus

I adore Oswald Chamber’s classic book, My Utmost For His Highest.

Last night, hubby read the following words, and I knew the Holy Spirit spoke to my stubborn heat.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Isn’t it humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus? Think of the things about which we will not come to Jesus Christ. If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words-“Come to Me…”

In every dimension in which you are not real, you will argue or evade the issue altogether rather than come; ou will go through sorrow rather than come; and you will do anything rather than come the last lap of the race of seemingly unspeakable foolishness and say, “Just as I am, I come.” As long as you have even the least bit of spiritual disrespect, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do something very big, and yet all He is telling you to do is to “Come….”

“Come to Me….” When you hear those words, you will know that something must happen in you before you can come. The Holy Spirit will show you what you have to do, and it will involve anything that will uproot whatever is preventing you from getting through to Jesus. And you will never get any further until you are willing to do that very thing. The Holy Spirit will search out that one immovable stronghold within you, but He cannot budge it unless you are willing to let Him do so. 

How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away thinking, “I’ve really received what I wanted this time!” And yet you go away with nothing, while all the time God has stood with His hands outstretched not only to take you but also for you to take Him. Just think of the invincible, unconquerable, and untiring patience of Jesus, who lovingly says, “Come to Me….”

Now, I must make a decision…what about you?

God’s Love

So, we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 (ESV)

I don’t know about you, but I spend too much time thinking that I’m unlovable. I stop and ask myself, why do I feel this way?

Then, I realize that this is a lie the enemy wants me to believe about myself and he uses it against me when I let my guard down.

Back when I was a teenager, living in California, us hippies held up Peace, Make Love, Not War, or Let’s Boogie signs. But, one sign my heart had a hard time believing was that God is Love. My view of God’s love didn’t exist.

Many years later, I’ve realized that it’s the truth of God’s Love for me that’s brought me through the darkest paths imaginable.

Taped to my desk wall is a good reminder of what God wants for my life and what Satan uses to destroy me.

God wants to still me, lead me, enlighten me, forgive me, calm me, encourage me, and comfort me.

Satan’s schemes rush me, frighten me, pushes me, confuses me, condemns me, stresses me out, discourages me, and worries me.

Don’t let Satan’s lies win or wipe out what God has planned for you.

Jesus died for me and His Love lives through me.

What about you? Where are you in your spiritual journey? Are you living in God’s love?

Surviving a Stroke at 33 (and Blogging About It)

madenewinjesus:

Wow! Thank you so much for this post Christine. I can really relate to your story.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee suffered a stroke when she was 33, and she has written about her experience in an inspiring personal essay for BuzzFeed.

Before that, she was using a pseudonym on WordPress.com to blog about her experiences, share details about her life, and practice her writing. In 2007, shortly after New Year’s Day, Lee wrote the following in a blog post:

something in my brain burped. most of what i want to do is just out of my grasp. i feel like i know how to do them, but then when i go to do them, i just…CAN’T. day by day, i’m regaining my abilities, so i hope this is just temporary.

Lee’s commenters urged her to see a doctor, and the next day, she responded to them from a hospital bed: “I had a stroke! Will be better.”

I spoke with Lee about her experience, and…

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