Tag Archives: self-condemnation

Are You Still Dreaming… Or Are You Ready If Jesus Comes Today?

Last night I dreamed The Rapture came… and it happened just like that… just like the Bible says it will. In the middle of eating and drinking, I’d gotten up from the table, and suddenly screamed, “What was that?!” I felt as if a cat had scratched the bottom of my feet. As I looked down, expecting to see a black furry cat under the table, the sensation in my feet caused me to rise. But I wasn’t the only one. My precious little daughter, and my dear, sweet friend, Kim were rising too…

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17: 26-30 English Standard Version).


I’ve always had very vivid, detailed dreams. And though I often get frustrated at feeling I can’t hear from God, He often speaks to me through dreams. In this dream, my family was upset, because we had moved to a huge, beautiful new mansion; and someone had broken in and stolen, of all things… our giant Christmas tree! Also gone, was our alarm unit. It had been torn from the wall, and the thief had escaped with that also. In the dream, we just so happened to be having an open house for all the neighbors, and we were leery of a few strange characters who seemed all too suspicious and creepy. They were showing up looking like cartoon characters, and they were offering odd tokens and weird foods.

In the dream, my husband and adult sons had decided to go outside, and take a look around at the grounds, checking for signs of foul play. Meanwhile, I lamented the new house to my friend Kim, who was sitting at the table next to me. I told her we shouldn’t have moved there. Her comment in the dream both shocked and convicted me: “Well you did say you didn’t like your house…” Immediately the words from our friend Rick’s sermon came back to me: “Your life will move in the direction of your strongest thoughts!”


Rick was the wonderful guest pastor at our church last weekend. He had discussed how powerful negative self-talk could be, because it comes from the enemy. He had given us the tools to capture negative, destructive thoughts: “Identify the thoughts, take them to Jesus, find out if the thoughts are true or false!” Are your negative thought true? Are they backed by scripture? If not, change the negative talk to a biblical truth. Rick had expressed how important it was to get rid of the devil’s thoughts, which are lies; and to instead focus on the truth of God’s promises. 

My dream echoed my real-life experience, as I realized how negative I’d been when things had gone wrong in the house. In my dream, I asked God to forgive me for my bad attitude, and to help us figure out what to do in our hopeless situation. Most people can relate to how violating it feels to have something stolen. You wonder who it was, why they did it, and will they come back? It’s all the more reason to have a Savior who promises to watch over you and care for you. In real life, things had been going wrong continuously and quickly with our real-life house. A lot of things had needed fixing; including our real-life alarm system! I’d become filled with regret at the decision we’d made to move, to the point of wishing we were back in the house we now rent out; which is beautiful, but too small for our family. It felt like it took forever to accomplish any project in our new home. When I awoke this morning, I realized I’d have to repent in real life as well!

In my dream, we’d been eating, drinking, visiting with friends and (albeit strange) new neighbors, along with taking care of business, when suddenly I began to rise up into the air. Kim was rising up too! Where’s my daughter? She was there beside me! She was rising right beside me! I pulled her close to me. “It’s happening, Baby Girl! It’s really happening! We are going to be together forever. Stay with me. Don’t go looking for anything!” “Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house” (Matt. 24:17 New International Version).


We went higher and higher into the air, still in the giant house. We were safely away from anyone evil, as we hovered near the ceiling. I scanned the dark floor below for others, getting a sense that many of the new neighbors were not rising with us. In a moment of panic, I wondered where my husband and sons were; but then I was filled with immediate peace. They had gone outside, which is why I didn’t see them. They were not to come back in. “A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat” (Matt. 24:18). We’d meet the rest of our family soon. I knew their hearts, and I knew they were saved. As we hovered, I yelled out to anyone listening: “Don’t go back for anything, don’t go looking for anyone!” 

For the Bible tells us Jesus will come and get us: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matt: 24: 23:24).

I woke up from that dream before Jesus came to get me. But the amazing thing is I knew he was coming: for me, my family, and my friend. And I knew Jesus was coming to get everyone else who had recognized their sinful nature and asked Jesus to come into their hearts. I was also ready with a clean heart. In my dream, I had humbly asked God to forgive me for being ungrateful, when my friend had pointed it out to me. I wasn’t afraid. I knew my loved ones were going where I was going… because my loved ones know Jesus. And in real life, I know I need to always repent for my ungrateful attitude… even if things are going all wrong. And in real life, I know my loved ones are going to Heaven when it’s time… just like me. 

Are you ready if Jesus comes today? Yes? Then  no matter what problem you are encountering today, the silver lining shines bright for you. Your problems will disappear when you get to Heaven. If Jesus comes before you die, he will take you there! Matthew, Chapter 24 contains a detailed account of the return of Jesus, with clear, concise directions to follow. If you don’t know Jesus, the silver lining lies in your inviting Jesus to live in your heart today, so you can begin a relationship with God’s Son! Here’s how to make that happen now: HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

Dreams can be crazy, but they are also the way we sort through problems, questions, anxieties, hopes, memories, and yes… our dreams!  Most dreams come from our own mind, evil dreams come from the devil; and prophecies and messages and joyful dreams come from God! Today I’ve shared with you a dream God gave me to share; so you can know His Son in real life, and have eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. “See, I have told you ahead of time” (Matt. 24:25).


Related Posts:

DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR SEEKING JESUS

AVOID BEING DECEIVED IN END TIMES

Pretty Ponies? A Mother’s “Short Tale”

Yesterday, my daughter asked if she could give one of her ponies a hair cut. We had given a trim to one of her My Little Pony pets before, so I agreed. I reminded her that the pony’s hair couldn’t grow back, and gave her a small pair of scissors, and a piece of cardstick to set underneath.

My daughter returned to ask if she could give another pony a hair cut. “I guess so,” I agreed, while casually mentioning that if she later decided to sell some of her ponies at a yard sale, the other little girls might be looking for long manes and tails. She nodded her head, and then we both shrugged. Who cared about a yard sale? They were her ponies now, and she had a bunch of them. She skipped off to take them to the pony salon; and snip, clip, and shampoo their colorful locks into new hairdos.

After about a half an hour, my normally cheery, confident little girl came into my room, downcast. “What’s wrong, little one?” I asked.

She lowered her head, and her voice slightly trembled, “I don’t think I want to give my ponies a hair cut anymore.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because…”

“How many ponies got hair cuts?”

“About eight…”

“Ohhhh!” I laughed; “Well that’s a lot of ponies. But that’s okay, because you have a lot of ponies. But that’s probably enough ponies getting haircuts.”

But I knew. I could feel the guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnation clinging to her; because it was all too familiar. I was immediately brought back to my childhood; where everything I did was wrong, every mistake was shameful, and no bad choices were forgiven.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

“Wait!” I grabbed her skinny little self and folded her into a hug. “Look at me,” I coaxed. She looked up with sad eyes. Her huge, teary eyes displayed a rainbow of colors; just like her little ponies. “Did you have fun?” I asked. Her head nodded up and down. “Do you like their haircuts?” She nodded yes, again. “Then that’s all that matters, Honey!”

I pulled her close into me, and said “Let’s pray…” But she was already bowing her little head, because she knows Jesus brings comfort when Mommy prays. My hands started at the top of her own long, curly, tangled mane. As I prayed over her soft, sweet head; I combed my fingers all the way down to the bottom of her hair, which ended at her waist.

I renounced guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnations for my daughter, in Jesus’ name. I told the devil to go “sit on a tack” in the name of Jesus, and that he was not allowed to steal her joy. I thanked God for my beautiful daughter and her endlessly creative imagination, along with the ability to try new, exciting things. I asked God to fill my daughter with His Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. I asked God to replace her sadness with  joy and peace.  I thanked God for my little girl and her love for animals, including ponies. I asked God to bless her future and all that it entails! 

After praying, I gave her a kiss, and she ran off to play. It was GONE! The sadness, the worry, the doubt… it was all GONE! That’s because I have the power and authority in Jesus Christ, to intervene on behalf of my daughter, and tell the devil to get lost. I can only do this because of who I am in Christ, and my daughter knows she has this same power and authority within her too.

The situation had not changed. The hair did not miraculously grow back.  But what did change, was the lies. The lies weren’t there anymore. They had been prayed away in the name of Jesus. The devil had lied to my daughter, and tried to ruin her day, by deceiving her, and stealing her joy. I was not fooled by his tactics. We had been here before when the devil had lied to her about her artwork mistakes.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

When our children are struggling with a  spiritual attack, the silver lining is that we parents who battle for our children, are already promised a victory! We don’t have to play or put up with the devil’s games; but we must pray, and fight back in the name of Jesus! There’s a battle for our children’s spiritual well being; so saddle up, and giddy up! The Bible says we win the race!

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”  (Phil. 3:14 New Living Translation).

Make your decisions, and ride your race without fear! 

How to Give without Guilt, and Fulfill the Mission of Pleasing God

Sometimes we have the opportunity to bless a reader at The Silver Lining, by meeting a specific need. I believe God gives me spiritual words spoken in discernment, wisdom and love; meant to offer you hope, healing, and encouragement in Jesus Christ. I’d also like to be the hands and feet of Jesus whenever, and wherever he leads me. 

Therefore, in my mission to help others, I may occasionally share a need, where The Silver Lining readers might be led by God to serve, sponsor, or donate food or funds; to bless those less fortunate. These are just opportunities, which I have been led to share. I ask that you participate only if God leads you, and that you will please, first and foremost; pray for the families in need. If you are able to speak to them directly, tell them about Jesus, so you can meet their greatest need… salvation through Jesus Christ. Pray for the family to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your prayers are so important! God hears them and answers them! 

When we witness to a hurting, struggling family, we are attempting to meet their spiritual needs by bringing the love of Jesus to them. But as Jesus ministered to people; he also healed, fed, and clothed them. Cold and hungry people will be too busy focusing on their immediate needs to stop and listen to our witness. It’s important to meet those basic, immediate needs; when it’s in our power to act, and if God calls us to do it. God takes physical needs seriously.

I’d like to share how God might lay a couple different areas of giving upon your heart, by telling you how He spoke to me this week in two different ways: The first opportunity came about when I saw a single mom’s post, requesting clothing for her children. That was an easy one; I had what she was asking for, so I gave it.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’– when you already have it with you” (Prov. 3:27-28 New International Version).


In addition, it’s easy for me to share a message asking for donations to help a local family. That’s what I did, and I look forward to sharing more giving opportunities on The Silver Lining Facebook page.

Another opportunity to give, came from a reader of The Silver Lining, whose relatives were badly injured in a home explosion in Texas. This mission speaks loads of empathy and love to me; because the woman who posted it, is the wife of the dear pastor who baptized me when I was a little girl. This tragedy was personal to me, because it is personal to someone I care about and love. 

Though I already knew Jesus when I was five, my loving pastor made sure I understood I was taking the step of showing my brothers and sisters in Christ that I had made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. This act of baptism allowed me to fall even more in love with Jesus, and to have some security in knowing there was someone up in Heaven who loved me unconditionally. I remember writing, painting, drawing, and reading the Bible a lot after I was baptized. I seemed to have a heightened sense for the simple beauty of blue skies, little birds, sunsets, a new song, and fragile flowers. And though no one else noticed that I was blooming… God did! 

Later, I was honored to have this same pastor, Brother Jarrell Griffin, lead my husband to Christ while we were undergoing premarital counseling in his office. I had thought my fiancé was a Christian, because he believed in Jesus. Yet, he had never been offered Jesus as a gift, nor had he considered having a relationship with him. I watched as he prayed to receive Christ, and it was absolutely beautiful. Going into our marriages as true Christians, would help us get through many of life’s greatest, difficult challenges; since neither of us had an idea of what a healthy marriage was supposed to look like. 

This pastor whom I loved, officiated our wedding ceremony, and I will never forget the joy I had in my heart, to have this precious man of God be the one to marry me to my beloved husband. I’d like to think he’s smiling up in Heaven, upon hearing that I want to offer comfort to his relatives, by participating in a mission to encourage, and help them get back on their feet again. 

The Bible says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

Spruiell Medical and Home Campaign

This fund supports an elderly couple and three visitors who were sleeping in their home, when it collapsed due to an explosion. Praise God, for the silver lining: a miracle, in which all five survived! However, they have endured a traumatic event, and have sustained critical injuries, requiring a long recovery process and the need for much healing. 

The fund is to help with hospital bills and the rebuilding of their home. 

To give, click: GO FUND ME SPRUIELL

The news link is also located at the Go Fund Me page. 

May God bless this dear couple, and their three dear friends. May God bless them with a beautiful testimony, and may He fill them with great hope to bring them through this dark trial. May He bring them joy through Jesus, and may they each experience a miracle at the Hands of God! In Jesus name, we pray, Amen. 


The missions opportunities to help these families, and others, will also be listed on The Silver Lining Facebook page. 
There are many, many needs out in the world today. Your giving is always between you and God. My husband and I talk with each other, and we pray first, asking God if He wants us to give to a particular cause. Sometimes it’s yes, and sometimes it’s no. When it’s yes, we ask God to tell us the amount He wants us to give, and usually we end up with the same dollar amount in mind. If not, we are always very close; in which case we either meet in the middle, or go with the higher number. 

Once we give, it’s out of our hands, and we trust God to do with it as He sees fit. There have been occasions where we felt were deceived into giving. Yet, those occasions have lessened as we’ve sought God’s counsel more and more. We’ve learned from those mistakes, and we know God has blessed our giving anyway, because our motives have been pure. 

We’ve also had occasions where we planned to give, and God put a stop to it, and told us not to do it. It was clearly God shutting the door. Usually we find it’s because God wanted us to give elsewhere. Other times, we don’t know why. Maybe we weren’t supposed to be involved, or maybe it was simply because God chose someone else to do the giving, so they could be blessed. 

In any case, God’s direction is always clear. The devil’s direction is not. The devil nags and gives people anxiety, and false guilt. God doesn’t use guilt to manipulate us into giving. If you’re struggling with guilt over not giving, that’s not God; it’s the devil using false guilt to eat away at your self-worth. The devil likes to try and steal your day with anxiety, and make us agonize with stress over making the right decision. Don’t let him! 

If God wants you to give, He will tell you firmly, and he will use conviction. This means God will boldly, yet peacefully get your attention, when He calls upon you to give. He will provide you with clear instructions on how to give, and He will remind you to follow through in obedience. Once you give, your heart will be light, and you will feel joy at knowing you have pleased The Lord, God.

No matter where, or how we give, our mission is to first please God. We can only do this by pursuing Jesus, and leading others to receive his gift of salvation. After this, all the rest of our giving will fall in line, right where God wants it. Give the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Be a light, and ask God to direct your giving. He will!

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:6-7).


Let your mission be “Jesus First.” God will show you where to give, and He will bless you accordingly… and abundantly!

Jesus Is INSTRUMENTAL to your Healing!

No one can tell me there isn’t a GOD! God gave my son a MIRACLE! He gave my dad a MIRACLE at the same time! They are no longer sick. They have been healed! JESUS IS THE MIRACLE! Repent, and ask him to come into your life!

I posted this good news to social media, on March 27, 2014; three years ago, and as a ‘butterfly blip’ on my blog. How timely, to discover it again during this Easter month, when I’ve chosen the theme of HEALING. 

There is more to share about our family’s trial of suffering through the terrible diseases of eosinophilic esophagitis, cancer, and a pulmonary embolism resulting in three brushes with death. There is much to say, in order to offer hope to those who’ve given up because they’re so sick; and to tell them how Jesus heals generational illnesses through the simple act of forgiving through Jesus Christ. Those stories, and more, will come. 

But today, it’s the day before Easter! And I want to tell you that Jesus is The Great Physician! He is a Miracle Maker! He can do what no earthly doctor can; simply by choosing to answer our prayers! Doctors, nurses, and medicine are wonderful things. Of course they are, for they only came about, because God created them. God guides doctors’ hands and gives them wisdom. God fills nurses’ hearts with compassion and knowledge. God creates men and women with intricate brains, so they can research and invent medines to help cure what ails us. 

But none of it works without God’s healing touch, and God needs none of it at all to heal us; when He can simply reach down… and perform a miracle! The power of prayer and anointing makes modern medicine go farther… and it can also stand alone, leaving us in awe at what God can do without human intervention. Prayer and anointing bring us closer to God, and they point us to the Great I AM; proving He is solely in charge of our health. God can heal in an instant… but He wants a relationship with us. He wants to show us how much He loves us!

This is why, three years ago, I was able to write this post on social media!  And GOD gets ALL the glory! For both my son, and my father, had over 500 people praying for them to be healed. Both were anointed in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. And both… were mightily, and miraculously healed!

My Easter praise from 2014:

“Praise the Lord!

My son is in remission from his Eosinophilic Esophagitis!

There are no eosinophils (white blood cells) in his esophagus. Zero!

No signs of damage. Complete remission!
God is so good!


How interesting it is that God’s timing for healing my son is at the same time that God’s saved my father’s life!

It is true that God does things in a big way (abundantly).

Both my father and my son each have more hurdles, and they both each have a big one, but God is good, and I’m excited about the plans he has for us!

“The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness” (Psalm 41:3 New International Version).

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 ).

Thank you everyone for your prayers!”

That was my message in 2014, and I believe in it three years later, more than ever! So, go ahead; make your appointments, and go to the doctor. Do not neglect your health, which should be high priority; as we care for our children, parents, and ourselves. But in doing so, do not spiritually neglect your health. I’m not talking about “meditative states,” “colorful energy,” or “sending positive vibes.” These actions do nothing; and in fact, can cause both believers, and unbelievers, to stray from The Truth. I’m talking about reading healing scriptures from the Bible, praying to God,  and pursuing The Great Physician; Jesus Christ! NOW we are talking about HOPE for HEALING!

Take your suffering, pain, illness, infirmary, sickness, emotional distress, depression, incurable disease, hopeless dire situation… and LAY IT BEFORE THE FEET OF JESUS, AT THE CROSS, FIRST! Then go where God tells you to go, and take it one step at a time. Let Jesus carry your burden. He has already promised to do it for you!

” ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ ” (Matt. 11:29-30).

Now I must get some sleep. For it is almost time to enjoy “Easter in the Park,” where my now healthy son, will be playing music under the gazebo with his twin brother… ALL to serve GOD; so children can enjoy the day hunting for colored eggs, and most importantly, learn about Jesus Christ… The Miracle Maker!

Trust in Jesus to heal you… and give you VICTORY! 

GOT JESUS? He’s got enough love for YOU too! Here how to get to know him! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

Visit The Silver Lining Facebook page for even more encouragement on: HEALING, by other Christian authors, poets, and bloggers as well as myself.  I invite you to join my page, and invite others, so they can be lifted up by godly truths founded in scripture; which when applied, can change, heal, and save lives!  

Read more blog posts on HEALING!

Original link:  Looking Back on Easter Miracles

The Healing Power of an Apology

I messed up. Last week, I hurt a friend’s feelings… a beautiful friend; who supports me, encourages me, and makes me laugh out loud! I threw out some advice which hadn’t been sought, with the hopeful intention of making life a little better for her. She hadn’t asked for it though. She has before, but this time, she hadn’t. A simple, “I love you; I’m praying for your hurting heart,” would have been a much better solution, and we could have waited to chat by phone when we had more time.  It didn’t matter if my intention was good; what mattered was the effect it had on my friend. Instead of making her feel hopeful, it caused her to feel hurt and overwhelmed. And I was truly… sorry.

How would I have known though, had my friend not been honest, and told me so? But first, The Holy Spirit told me. I hadn’t heard back from my friend, and I began to feel a gentle nudge from within, that I should apologize, in case I had upset or offended my friend with my advice, which had been offered in the form of a text; a form of communication which is so easily misrepresented and misinterpreted. I began to hear the verse, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible). I gulped, convicted. I’d probably even been aware of the verse, as I’d been texting. I’m still learning to pay attention to The Holy Spirit.

The difference in being convicted by The Holy Spirit, or plagued by guilt from the devil; is that God is mercifully gentle, but firm. You ache in your spirit for the pain you’ve caused another, but at the same time you know Jesus has already died and taken the punishment for your sins. There is a desire to fix it, and make it right; but it’s not just to selfishly relieve a nagging sense of false guilt (which can go on and on for days after already seeking forgiveness). You want to apologize, because you love your brother or sister in Christ, and you seek to be obedient to God’s commandments.  In righting a wrong, your desire should be for both you, and your friend, to be able to draw closer to God in the process. After all, our purpose in pursuing Jesus, is to become more like him, each and every day. 

When I initially reached out to check on my friend, I found out I had indeed been being prompted by The Holy Spirit to apologize. My friend was hurt and had been graciously processing what I had said, before deciding to respond, which could have made the matter worse. She could have ended up hurting me, when my intention had never been to hurt her. Wise people wait… and pray. Meanwhile, we had still been in communication about other things online. She was still being her supportive, sweet, encouraging self. What if she hadn’t been honest with me? What if she’d just decided to write me off? I wouldn’t have had a chance to humble myself, give her my most sincere apology, and ask her to please forgive me. This is what I did. 

And I can now thank God for the silver lining. For in all this, my friend offered me even more grace, by saying, “There is nothing to apologize for.” Mercy! That’s what it looks like! Of course, I needed to apologize. However, in grace and love, she completely took me off the hook… the hook of guilt, the hook of blame… and the hook of self-condemnation. With one simple act of forgiveness, she displayed the forgiveness which Jesus displays to us each and every day, for all our sins and wrongdoings. Her one act of forgiving grace, offered healing to my heart,  by filling places where forgiveness was not given to me by others. Her sweet, simple act of forgiveness further validated God’s truth; we are forgiven because He loves us, just as we are.

And it is my hope, that my apology brings healing to her heart, by showing her that my compassionate heart cares about her compassionate heart, and that her friendship is valuable enough for me to kick out pride, humble myself, and admit when I’m wrong. I believe our friendship can only grow closer, for it is based in a shared love for Jesus Christ. We have prayed for each other, shared our stories of brokenness and healing, and have enjoyed the blessing of watching our children form a godly bond of friendship too. We have watched them with each other; being kind, laughing, and running free; making childhood memories together! 

Do you need to apologize to a friend today? Don’t swallow your pride; it might come up again later! Instead, renounce the spirit of pride in the name of Jesus. Humble yourself, and apologize to your friend. Yes, you are already forgiven in Christ, but the act of an apology brings healing to hurting hearts, and it draws us all closer to Jesus! “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (Jas. 4:10 English Standard Version).

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Prov. 27:6 New Living Translation).

The Unexpected Joy of REST

I never expected God would fill me up with so much joy, at the exact same time I’d be recovering from major back surgery! I’m two weeks into recovery, and God has been lighting up my life! Now don’t get me wrong… it hurts! The pain is intense. Just when I think the pain is beginning to diminish, it either comes back, or starts up again somewhere else!

But God has a sense of humor, and He knows what He’s doing ALL the time! I wasn’t listening as God tried to convince me to slow down. I needed rest, and it just wasn’t happening. As my body kept breaking down, God continued to urge me to rest in Him, but I believed rest was a waste of time. I did NOT believe God was a waste of time, and I’m so in love with Him for being patient with me. I just could not sit still and allow myself to soak up His Holy Presence; but I needed it… His rest… more than sunshine. I know that now.

I wrote about God, I looked up His verses and studied them, I listened to the words He said to me and wrote them down to encourage others, I sought counsel for things I didn’t understand, and thanked God for my elders wiser than me. I humbled myself and admitted my shortcomings, forgave others even when it hurt, and continued faithfully trusting God, even when it didn’t make sense… but I refused to… rest

I told myself there wasn’t time; there was too much to do, and moments of rest were moments I could be accomplishing something. But the accomplishments were never enough, and every night I was still filled with self-condemnation, even when I had worked my fingers, or my back, to the bone.  The voices from my past always left me feeling guilty and unworthy, like I must keep going to prove myself. But I was now at the breaking point. I was exhausted, and truly tired of suffering, and I just couldn’t break the cycle. No one in my precious, immediate family pressured me to keep going; in fact they all insisted I take a break and… rest. So did my dear friends. And I knew they really meant it. And I knew they were right. But the green light always said, “GO.”

And finally I began to get the message. I wasn’t taking care of myself, because I had never really learned how. During childhood, I’d been made to feel ashamed for doing well and for doing nice things for myself. So somewhere along the line; a long, long time ago, I had given up. I hadn’t given up on caring for my family, but I realized I had stopped caring for myself. I didn’t take the time to enjoy a book, write poetry, eat healthy, paint my nails, and just “stop and smell the flowers.” 

I was doing everything for others, and nothing for myself. When I had time to myself, I didn’t use it wisely, because I felt it was useless. As a child, I’d taught myself not to get my hopes up, because I was constantly let down, and penalized for doing things that made me happy. Of course my children gave me great joy, so my focus was there. I just found our family seemed to be always doing something on everyone else’s agenda, and never anything on our own; or mine. If I didn’t start taking care of myself soon, I wouldn’t be able to take care of those I love the most…my family members. And I wanted to be there for my friends and sisters and brothers in Christ, the way God has helped me to be there for them before. 

I began to make the necessary decision to take things off of my plate, and get serious about my surgery, and get serious about dividing my time equally in caring for both my family, and myself. This meant saying no to lots of things. I wasn’t concerned about not being liked, for I had discovered boundaries a long time ago, and am no longer into people-pleasing. I’m into pleasing God!

The hard part was giving up the couple things I had chosen to keep, like my Sunday School class and freelancing for Child Guide magazine, where I’m both a columnist, and a regular contributor. But God met me here too! I saw my daughter light up when she went to my friend’s Sunday School class and was welcomed by name with a cheerful smile. Yes, she wanted to go back! And my friend and editor of the magazine, kindly worked with me, as she always has, so I could have this season of rest and recovery, without any pressing deadlines.

Even though I was getting the message, the week before my surgery, I was frantically cleaning the house and calling in the troops to help me. Though I knew I should probably be relaxing, because my body would be enduring a lot of stress from the surgery, I stayed up late into the night two days prior to my surgery, instead of… resting.  Though my family promised to take care of me and did indeed do everything  I requested, I was determined to make sure my bedroom would be a sanctuary of peace for my recovery. When I got home, I wanted to make sure I would be able to… rest

Besides,  Pshaw! I could rest in the hospital after my surgery! Um… no. I didn’t realize then, that the post-operative pain would be so unbearable, I wouldn’t sleep a wink! Yet, I found myself joyfully writing a blog in the hospital that night instead. But this time, in spite of the excruciating pain, I could feel my body… resting. Even though I couldn’t sleep, I felt relaxed in my mind, because I knew that I was finally going to get a chance to… rest… and I was desperate to do so. 
 
If I could easily kneel down; all the love, support, and encouragement (which is still coming my way) would have already humbly brought me to my knees. Instead, our family has appreciatively gathered, and bowed our heads each evening, thanking God for warm home-cooked meals;  made by loving hands, and serving hearts. We’ve asked God to bless these beautiful women and their families, from my church and town. We’ve told God how very grateful we are for His provisions of delicious food, enjoyable visits, and playdates for my young daughter who is homeschooled; so she can remain happy, busy, and active with friends while I recuperate.

I’ve been able to bask in the warmth of the sun, while enjoying God’s beautiful flowers as they spring forth during my favorite season;  in anticipation of my favorite holiday… Easter!  What could be a more perfect time for rest and rejuvenation?  I’m so thankful that Jesus died for me, so that no matter what lies ahead; my future, my family’s future, and the future of my Christian brothers and sisters; lies secure in our salvation through Jesus Christ!

Why am I so surprised about the immense joy which has come my way in the midst of pain? This isn’t some crazy coincidence; for God’s timing really is the best; and He knows when we most need the presence of joy. He prepared me for it, and without a doubt He gets the glory for the healing he is bestowing upon me, both inside and out. Because, the fact is, hundreds of brothers and sisters in Christ have been praying for me for a long time, and I’ve been anointed by both my pastor and my husband. Anointing is powerful, and we should expect good things when we receive the gift of it. After all, it’s a holy blessing from The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit!  

In the pain and suffering, God has provided the silver lining: family, friends, fellowship, food, and… rest. I hoped for it… and it came… just when I needed it most! So as I heal, I continue to TRUST HIM, because hope in Jesus does NOT disappoint! “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5 New International Version).

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).


Spring is a time of joyful, new beginnings! I pray you know the truth; that our hope lies only in Jesus, so you can find healing, joy, and freedom in Christ! May you enjoy the warmth of the sun, the beauty of colorful flowers, the hugs from friends, and the joy of holding a soft, downy baby chick! May you receive Jesus, and have peace in knowing you have eternal life! AMEN!


Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!

The Family that Prays Together…

The True Sacrifice of Lent and how you can take part

Little hearts during Lent 

When I was growing up, there were only two main religions on the Air Force Base. You were either Protestant or Catholic; there was nothing in between. I wished to be Catholic, because I liked that the children took communion wafers. No one realized that I already knew and loved Jesus, and had it been explained, I would have rejoiced in the partaking of communion. I also liked the way the Catholics made the sign of the cross across the front of their bodies after saying a prayer. I thought it to be beautiful. What I did not envy, was the time of Lent. Here’s where the Catholic children dramatically sighed and rolled their eyes, complaining that they would be deprived of candy or soda, or both… for 40 days up until Easter! We Protestant kids would shake our heads in sympathy, as sticky popsicle juice melted down our chins and arms, on a warm spring day.

Neither we Protestant, nor the Catholic children had really figured out that Lent is the 40 day period of time before Easter, when God’s children take time to repent and pray, and reflect upon the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ; God’s Son who willingly took our place on the cross, dying for our sins. The whole point of God sending a sacrifice was missed in childish translation, covered up by the tradition of giving up favorite sweets in order to prove loyalty and love to The Savior. Children want to be good, please Jesus, and show him that they love him. Children first need to know Jesus loves them, just as they are!

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ “Matt. 19:14 New International Version).

Lent and the Temptation of Christ

Traditions vary, according to region and religion, but traditionally Lent is a 40 day time period of reflection, repentance, prayer, and sacrifice; which begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends the Saturday before Easter, often with a special Easter Sunday feast to celebrate the risen Savior. Participating in Lent is a way for Christians around the world to recognize and remember that Jesus spent 40 days alone in the wilderness of the Scorching Judaean Desert, completely fasting from food. Yes. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus truly went hungry for 40 days and nights to spend time solely with God, his Father, and focus God’s will for his life. This time of deep dependence on his Father would prepare him for his ultimate sacrifice, giving up his very own life to save the world from its sins.

When Jesus was at his most vulnerable, the devil came to try to tempt him. He offered up something pretty amazing; a huge glittering kingdom on a mountaintop… plus the food Jesus so desperately craved, needed, and desired. But the devil is a liar and can’t be trusted. And even if Satan would have handed it over, there was no way Jesus was accepting. His mission would be demolished and destroyed; the very mission meant to save us Christians from the burning fires of hell.

“‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”‘ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matt. 4:9-11).

Lent as a desire to draw closer to Christ 

If Jesus sacrificed so much for us, Lent is nothing in comparison, but it can give people a sense of walking with Christ, and experiencing (albeit on a much smaller scale) a minuscule taste of what Christ experienced those 40 grueling days. Though it was difficult, exhausting, draining, and seems utterly impossible; Jesus made it through. And in doing so, he was humbled, blessed, anointed, and brought even closer to God, his Heavenly Father.

Whatever Christians may choose to give up for Lent, be it diet soda, coffee, smoking, alcohol, carbs, chocolate, TV, social media, or other; let it be known that all God really wants is the sacrifice of our own lives; repentance of our sins and the laying down of our own desires, wicked ways and selfish gains. God wants us to let go of all the sin, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus! Otherwise, all our sacrifices are in vain. If one is going to participate in Lent, might I suggest sacrificing our time? Because, time given up and given to God, is time given up to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. If we spend more time focusing on Jesus, and less time focusing on ourselves; our little sacrifice will end up doing what pleases God the most: drawing us closer in our relationship with Jesus Christ! What sacrifice could bring The Holy Spirit more joy?

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).

THE Sacrifice

If you do not participate in Lent, or if you do participate, and cave due to temptation, look for the silver lining: Jesus IS the sacrifice. He already paid the debt for our sins. You don’t have to be perfect, or strive for it. When you receive Christ, your sins are washed away, and you remain white as snow. You are washed free of the guilt, fear, anxiety, self-condemnation, and lies that get in the way of your hope leading to healing, joy, freedom, and peace in Jesus Christ! Jesus paid it already for you at the cross! Rejoice! Worship him! Give him praise!

” ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isa. 1:18).

An invitation to take part in The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing…

In 2017, Lent Season is from Ash Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, April 15. Choose to complete some days during the Lent Season, or all 40 days. Choose from any of the sacrifices of time from below. You might want to do one of the choices for many days, or several of the choices for just a few days each. It doesn’t matter how you choose to offer God your sacrifice of time. The key is to do as The Lord God leads. You will be blessed!

Seven ways to take part:

~ Read a Proverb a day. There are 31 Proverbs in the Bible. When completed, read over your favorites for the remaining days, or choose another chapter of the Bible which you feel led to read. 

~ Journal out seven praises of thankfulness each day. At the end of Lent, you will look back on 280 blessings God has given to you! When you’re having a hard day, pull out your praise journal to remind you how much God loves and cherishes you! You may want to continue your journal after Lent. It’s a refreshing revelation to see the gifts God has given to you, penned out on paper!

– Journal out seven prayer requests each day, for yourself, and others. At the end of Lent, look back and see how many prayer requests God has answered! You will be amazed at God’s responses! Continue checking back to watch how God answers your prayers in His own perfect timing… for a reason!

– Journal out seven sins you struggle with, where you need God’s forgiveness. Each day, ask God to forgive you if you have committed any of these particular sins, again. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and ask Him to break down the strongholds of these sins in Jesus’ name. At the end of Lent, look back at the growth God has completed in you, and thank Him for His grace and mercy and forgiveness!

– Pray first. Ask God to lay seven people on your heart for whom to pray. Lift these people up to Jesus each day. If possible, ask them how you can pray for them, and let them know you are praying for them. At the end of Lent, ask God to show you the many ways these people’s prayers have been answered! 

– Pray first. Choose seven small acts of service to do for God during Lent. Though these acts of service may bring joy to people, they should be first and foremost, acts of service to please Jesus. There may be a couple you don’t want to do, but you will be blessed! 

~ Pray first. Choose seven people to bless in small ways. Ask God to lay people on your heart who need it most. You will be surprised at some of the people who come to mind whom you didn’t expect! 

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God bless you, in Jesus’ name. He has risen!

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Narcissistic Abuse? There’s Hope!

Have you been abused by a narcissist? You’re not alone! Really! If you would like some links about narcissism, please message me, and I’ll send you some helpful information which relates to your specific situation. Narcissistic people all act the same way, and do the same things. This is because they are all pretending to be different (and false) personalities. They are also all involved in self-worship ( idolatry) when they should be bowing down before The Lord God, with humble, repentant hearts. Visit The Silver Lining blog, and learn how to do spiritual warfare against selfish, self-centered people. Find out how the battle the spirits at war against you! Learn why it’s so important to pray for your enemies! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 New International Versions).

If you are, or have ever been the victim of a narcissist, you already know the damage, detriment, and destroying which occurs as a result. But the silver lining is NOTHING compares to the life-changing truths, love, and protection which GOD has for you! Also, with JESUS, narcissists are powerLESS to ruin your life! Not only that, but YOU have the POWER and AUTHORITY in Christ Jesus to go forward, heal, and follow God’s amazing calling for your life! “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31)?

Only Jesus can heal the deep-rooted pain inflicted by a narcissist it. Only God can reveal it! Visit and subscribe to my blog, The Silver Lining, and type ‘narcissism’ in the search tab. It’s just a fancy word for the sin of extreme self-centeredness. It will give you a head start, and hope in Jesus, towards healing and turning your life around; you will finally begin gaining your freedom in Christ! Learn how God can pick up your painful broken bits and pieces, and put you wholly (and holy!) back together again, by giving you the joyful life He meant for you to have in the first place! Why? Because God Loves YOU! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

I invite you to ‘like’ The Silver Lining Facebook page, so you won’t miss a single post. From there, you can easily invite your friends to join.In addition to my blog posts, my Facebook page contains crucial content by other Christian authors on the topic of narcissism. There are also more encouraging uplifting posts on a variety of topics to bring you light on your darkest days. Let’s share beautiful bits of The Silver Lining on Instagram too! I hope to see  you there! May God bless you as you pursue Jesus, and search for The Silver Lining! 💙

 

Past Paths… and Other Things too Painful to Mention

Last night, via Google Earth, I “traveled” along several paths, remembering how I’d been left alone so many times, since the tender young age of four. I retraced the steps I’d walked in solitude, in both Europe and the U.S. I was shocked at the realization of having wandered so far from home so often. In awe, I stared open-mouthed as the miles were mapped before my eyes, showing how far I’d trekked on foot and ridden my bike, with no one knowing my whereabouts. Google Earth showed me my instincts had been more than correct: It truly is a miracle that I’m even alive!

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about the normal sweet freedoms of playing Hide n Seek till dark with all your friends, and the sweaty summers of childhood sprinklers. I’m not even talking about riding your bike around the neighborhood with the wind in your hair, or roller skating up and down the sidewalks and scraping up your knees. Those were things many children from the seventies and eighties enjoyed when kids were expected to go outside and play until supper, and then go back outside and catch lightning bugs till bath time.

I’m talking about the lonesome life adventures I remember in somewhat mixed, but fine detail, simply because I have a memory like an elephant. As a four year old, in Germany, I tried to avoid the teenagers. They made fun of the younger kids and called them names. I was on the monkey bars with a friend when I discovered I’d stepped in “doggy doo doo.” I knew the big kids would jeer at me and tease me if they noticed, so I didn’t even tell my friend. I remember standing at ground level, wishing my apartment wasn’t so many flights of stairs up away up top. I kept my stare focused on one of the teen girl’s colorful toenails. It was easier if I just blended in. I’m talking about being four years old, and leaving those monkey bars behind, to accept candy from a stranger behind a tall white stucco wall. The other kids warned me and my little boyfriend that a witch lived there, but we thought she was just fine. She smiled at us and urged us to take the sweets. The candy with sprinkles won me over, and there was an added benefit; it wasn’t poisonous!

I found myself being left with adults I didn’t know well. When I was five or six, I was left with an old lady I’d never met before. Once again I found myself being urged to accept a “treat.” Though I told the woman I was allergic to peanuts, she insisted I could just pull the peanuts off of the Cracker Jacks and just eat the popcorn. But she was not pulling the wool over my eyes. I had some worldly wisdom by now, and I didn’t think peanut crumb dust would turn out well for me (I chose to stay hungry). As I grew out of training wheels, I quickly mastered the art of riding my bike. I found myself in trashed, parentless houses, with friends of classmates, who made mud pies. On the base, I rode down suicidal hills with my feet over my handlebars, praying to God there wouldn’t be a car at the bottom, because there was no way to stop (God graciously answered those prayers for me). These things happened, and more things, and other things too painful to mention.

I moved to Italy, before third grade, where I had to walk and cross several streets, including a main strada with lots of tiny, speeding cars disobeying traffic rules. My heart jumped into my throat the day a stray dog began curiously sniffing at my lunchbox. I thought about dropping the box and making a run for it, but God sent me an angel. Just as my heart was about to leap into my throat, the threatening dog suddenly turned and walked away (Thank you, Jesus!). As if that wasn’t frightening enough, I survived the landlord’s giant German Shepherd guard dog, when it got loose and pressed up against my chest, barking and salivating in my face. (I think God sent me two angels that day!). At eight years old, I escaped from a gang of ten Italian bullies chasing me on bikes, screaming at me to give them MY bike, as I pumped my skinny long legs as fast as I could. I screamed at them in Italian, calling them liars. I told them my bicicletta was a girl’s bike, and that no one else had one like it. That bike was my trusty friend for many years, keeping me company on my soul adventures.

During that same time, I was left for a couple weeks with a strange family, where the parents punished me for things I didn’t do. It was scary and confusing, just like it was when we moved onto the base. I had been learning that many parents couldn’t be trusted, and here it was no different. A man was angry with the boy who had slapped his bratty daughter on the leg with a toy. After chasing my childhood friend into a ditch, the man flipped him over his head, high up into the air. In horror, I watched as my nine year old friend landed flat on his back. I muffled my screams; would I be next if I was seen? I ran until my asthmatic lungs gave out. Police were called, and I was terrified as always, that somehow it was my fault. The military police assured me I’d done nothing wrong; they just needed to know what I’d seen. These things happened, and more things, and other things too painful to mention.

When I look back at my first official dentist visit at age 11, like most dental appointments, it wasn’t fun. We’d had quick checkups on the military base through school, but we moved a lot, so I usually missed those. I had to get four fillings, and I was only in middle school. It didn’t seem fair (especially since I’d obediently chewed the cherry red tablets that showed you how to brush correctly). I wish I’d known about floss, because I probably would have thought it was fun. After all, I wanted braces, and needed them, but I didn’t get those either. Instead, I got head lice from constantly having unwashed hair. Dirty hair had previously been an easy fix; I was just supposed to hurry up and grab a scarf for my head before catching the bus.

The same year of the lice, was the same year of me getting embarrassed by my p.e. coach telling me I needed to purchase a necessary important undergarment. How mortifying. I thought she was being mean by pulling me aside and whispering to me, but years later I realized she was doing me a favor. As a sixth grader, I continued to ride my trusty purple bike everywhere. I even rode it four blocks away, in order to bat my talcum-powdered eyelids at a boy (I created my own makeup, since I wasn’t allowed to wear any) just because it was nice to be noticed and told I was pretty.

Teachers tried to help me in middle school. They told me I was smart and talented. They told me to enter my art and poetry in contests, and I won. When I started to go into anaphylactic shock at school, from an allergic reaction to the school cafeteria spice cake, the nurse frantically tried to help. She searched through the cabinets in vain, but sadly informed me there was no emergency medicine in the office. When help finally arrived, it came in the form of a pill, and a quick dump off at home, instead of to the hospital. I scratched in agony at the donut-sized welts which entirely covered my legs. I moaned from the nausea, and tried to fill my air with lungs. I felt like I was trying to breathe through a straw. These things happened, and more things, and other things too painful to mention.

It can be hard coming face to face with neglect and the realization of having been on your own from a young age, and the understanding that things were not what they looked like to other people. It can be lonely having to carry things you weren’t meant to be burdened with as a child. You can easily feel lost, hopeless, and abandoned when you look back at times when no one was there, and no one cared.
Sometimes it looks pretty on the outside; you’re told to quickly put a bright yellow scarf over your greasy dirty hair, you’re told to smile pretty getting out of the car at church but you want to cry because everyone was fighting and you were the target again, you’re told to care for another child when you’re still only a child yourself, and you do it because you love that child, but no one is loving and caring for you.

It’s easy to be tempted to look back and wonder where God was when you were lonely, isolated, neglected, abused, and abandoned. It’s tempting to get angry and wonder why you had to be afraid, condemned, and depressed just for being alive. It can be especially tempting to allow hopelessness in, and wonder if God will be there for you in the future. But the silver lining is God loves us, in spite of everything we’ve been through. Jesus cried when we cried, and he held us up when we couldn’t stand on our own. Jesus wants to fix the brokenness, heal us, and use it all for God’s glory! Jesus is always here for us!

I hurt about the little things. I hurt about the big things. And I hurt about the other things too painful to mention. But I have to trust that God knows what He is doing with my life, even when nothing seems to make sense. I don’t want to be that person who walks away from God, especially when He’s getting ready to do that great big glorious thing in my life! After all, He’s already done some pretty glorious things for me! God has given me a family to love, and my family loves me, and fills up the empty, broken, lonely places. So whether people are for me or against me (and believe me, there are plenty against me!) God is FOR me! He loves and cares for me, and He can teach me how to love and care for myself. God has taught me to love and care for my children the way I should have been loved and cared for as a child. How great and glorious is that? I’d rather have everyone against me with God for me, than everyone for me, with God against me! “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31 English Standard Version)

The painful things are healed by the forgiveness, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ. God has done wonderful things, is doing amazing things, and will do many more wonderful, amazing things too glorious yet to mention…

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4 ESV)

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New Year’s Resolutions…or Promises?

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions which are soon forgotten. The feelings seep in almost immediately: guilt, disappointment, discouragement, and regret.  The year has barely begun, and we’re already unable to even start the resolutions meant to bring us a brand new year full of amazing accomplishments. I’m tired just thinking about it! How about beginning our new year by simply praying, and asking God to bless and guide us in all we do? We can thank God for the good gifts He’s given to us over this past year, and commit to putting Him first. We can pray for wisdom and discernment, asking God to help us become more like Jesus. Instead of resolutions, let’s ask God to help us stay on the path He has provided for each one of us. Or, ask Him to help us find our way back to the path if we’ve wandered and lost our way. 

If we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts, our future is secure in our salvation. We know we have God’s great gift of eternal life. But God has more good gifts to give us right now! God wants to heal us, and give us the desires of our hearts. God wants to give us freedom, peace, and joy; as we live our lives here on earth! It’s not His will for us to be fearful, guilt-laden, angry, depressed, bitter, rejected, or abandoned. Those things come from the enemy. God sent Jesus to carry our burdens, overcome evil, and give us victory each and every year of our lives! God takes what is evil and changes it to be used for our good. He also uses it for His glory, in order to grow the Kingdom of God. When bad things surface, they become opportunities for God to heal, change, and grow us into men and women of Christ-like character. For this to occur, we have to be willing to trust God through everything, even when we don’t understand. We have to be patient, believing God has a perfect plan, which He will bring to fruition in His perfect timing. 

God is a promise maker; He is not a promise breaker! Therefore, our hope lies in Jesus Christ, not in resolutions we can’t keep. So, let’s give Jesus our disappointments, pain, and suffering. But we need to give him our hopes, dreams, and joys too! We can do this by trusting God with everything, both the good and the bad. We can believe God’s Word over and above anything else, knowing that Jesus is Truth. We can walk a true Christian walk, in spite of our brokenness and imperfections, by pursuing Jesus each and every day of the year. When all of your New Year’s resolutions fail, and you feel like giving up, look for the silver lining: God’s love never fails! Jesus never gives up on you! We do not need to keep any resolutions to be loved and accepted by Jesus. We just need to take his hand when he reaches for us, and follow him! 

“For no word from God will ever fail.”

(Luke 1:37 New International Version) 

Snow flurries dancing before the silver lining.

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