Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ebenezer - Part Two

Almost three years ago I wrote this post: Ebenezer.  The verses mentioned from 1 Samuel were, and still are, very important to me. This verse is all about marking the moments when God has done something amazing in your life.

 - Thus far the Lord has helped us -

The past few years have been a bit traumatic and dramatic. Things have changed rapidly.
So many times during these last three years I have wondered what God could possibly be doing. I have cried. I have pleaded. I have begged. I have surrendered... then surrendered again.

Thus far the Lord has helped me.

After coming through, what I sure hope was, the roughest time in my life, I can say that God was there.

He was there even when I had my doubts. He was there when I could not feel Him.
He was there.

Thus far the Lord has helped me.

Could I doubt that He will continue?
Not really. Not after all that I have seen.

This picture was taken by my sweet friend Carol in church two Sunday mornings ago.
It's miraculous to me for a few reasons.
And that is why I feel that this moment here, that one in the picture up there, is an Ebenezer.

1 - I'm singing with my HUSBAND y'all. I'm seriously, actually married. After 36 YEARS of single, God blessed. And this man is so beyond what I could ever have hoped or prayed for.

2 - I'm in church and I pretty much can always count on getting to be there. For three years, that was not the case. Now I get to be a regular again! :O)

3 - I'm singing, in front of people. If you've followed me for long, you know that is a pretty big miracle too. I told God I would never, ever, ever do that!

Thus far the Lord has helped me.
And I know that He will continue.

He is good. He does what is good.
You can trust Him.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hi. My Name is Gina and I am Insecure.

So for the last little bit of time God has been dealing with me in a very specific area.
I think I've tried to avoid this one for a while because I just didn't want to really get into it.
But if there is one thing you can count on, it's that "issues" don't just go away on their own.  :)
Ok, maybe yours do. Mine do not!
I've been super focused on some of the things that God has been saying in the last few weeks during my quiet times and it's been a repeating theme. That makes it easier for people who like to avoid things to really hone in.
What it has boiled down to for me is something that I have dealt with for as long as I can remember.
Ok, maybe two things - but they are tied.
Insecurity and rejection.
Um, ouch.

Long story short, in just this past week every book I've picked up to read; every Bible study lesson I've done; everything has pointed me back to my need to dig in and deal with this.

It's been obvious enough that I told my husband last night about how insane it was making me to even try to avoid it. :)
I believe my exact words were something to the tune of "if Pastor Gary preaches about insecurity tomorrow I'm going to lose my mind."

Guess what people?  :)
No, the entire sermon was not about insecurity. It was about hope.
But there was a section in there that was God-made for yours truly. It was obvious enough that I turned to Hubs and said "seriously??"
I get to be in both services... and the second sermon was pretty different. So I think the first service was all about God saying "Really... still trying to escape this huh?"

I'm pretty sure Pastor Gary doesn't read the blog. Most guys don't I think.
But I need to make sure he hears that God totally took over that one.
I think I'm blogging about this because I need to not avoid, or not try to avoid this one anymore.

I'm insecure in a few very key areas. And this is the year that I'm taking those things on.

So hold me to it? M, kay? :O)


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Release - The Sequel

So I have been a lot of journal re-reading lately. It's another one of those things that I tend to do around the new year. But this year it seems like I have gone back several times.
Just a few weeks ago I found a passage that dealt with a specific issue that I have always struggled with.
It's not important what it is specifically. We all have "that" area. It's the one thing that seems to follow us through our Christian life.
Years earlier I was at a women's conference where the speaker took Isaiah 61 and talked about it.
So much of what she said resonated with me.
But something else was happening too.
Have you ever had one of those "you and God" moments where the pastor or speaker or worship leader is talking but the Holy Spirit is clearly speaking something else to your heart?
That was this moment for me.
In my Bible at the time (which I cannot find right now... argh moving...) I wrote out what God was speaking into my heart.
It was so huge.
But there are two promises that still resonate with me. 
And I don't have to have those words to look at to remember what they were.

Release -  I knew so clearly at the time that my struggles could help other people. It's one of the reasons that I have always tried to be so open with whatever I am dealing with. I'm such a believer in learning from other people's mistakes as a way to avoid pain. And if my pain can spare you pain, I'm ALL about that. Isaiah 61:1 talks about being anointed to release prisoners from darkness. There are so many things that bind people in this world. You may not share my particular struggles but I know you have your own. God wants our freedom for us more than we want it. He desires for you to walk with Him so closely that chains could never hold you.

The other promise was that I would be married some day. In big letters at the end of Isaiah 61 I wrote BRIDE. At the time, there was no man in sight. But I just knew it was a promise for me. Now I am not saying I never doubted that. There have been lots of "God help my unbelief" prayers in the time since. But sitting on the other side of that promise I am now looking at the other things that I learned that day in a new light.

So I got a little off track here to say this: my word for 2013 is release. I believe that this year will see myself and my family released from some things that have stood for way too long in our lives.
He is able.
This is the year of the Lord's favor.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013


One of the hardest lessons to learn for some reason is that life is not about me.
We are often so “me” focused that we lose sight of that fact.
Or maybe that’s just me.  :O)

It’s a brand new year today.
Turning the calendar page over to 1/1 always brings new perspective for me.
I always end up evaluating the year that has passed.
I want to make sure that I have learned something so I don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
2012 was a roller coaster. If you’ve been here with me for any time at all you know that quite well.
If you are just starting here for some reason, you might want to read a bit and catch up on my journey this year.
For many years I have not done a new year’s resolution. They pretty much never last anyways and have seemed pointless to me for a while.
But for about the last ten years I have named my year.
That may seem rather odd to some of you. The last couple of years I have seen others do it as well so I think it’s catching on.
It’s cleaner somehow. It seems to narrow my focus on what I want the next year to bring.
Many years my word has been my hope for the future (hope was one year all by itself…).
Last year was “healing.” It certainly lived up to its name, though I had to be broken a few times to find it.

2013’s word is “release” and it scares the fire out of me.

As with many prior years, it came to me as a shock and then was confirmed pretty quickly. I think that way I can’t talk myself out of it. :O)
In this case I honestly thought that it didn’t make sense until I found it as a prayer a few years back in my journal.
There was a prayer in which I specifically asked for release and it seemed so clear to me that this was the year for that to be answered.
But it’s scary.
I think that may not make sense from the outside. Being released from something is a good thing in these terms.
But if my year of healing taught me anything, it was that often good things come through painful things.
I'm guessing I'll come back and say more about this.
But for right now, I just want to say "Happy New Year."
Praying that 2013 is incredible for all of us.