Picking Up Jesus

I haven’t had the urge to write like this in so long. But so much has happened lately, and my life is moving so fast. And it seems like the faster it goes, the more i slow down in a way.

I tend to get caught up in my own head…i have this propensity to live inside my thoughts. It’s hard for me to tell any person how i really feel.

Over the past few months, i’ve realized so many of my struggles…and one that breaks my heart is that i have such a hard time opening up. I can fake a smile or just ignore a feeling and i eventually believe myself.

What i’m saying is i can talk myself into not caring. I mean any time you tell yourself anything enough, eventually you’ll probably believe it.

The Lord revealed to me a few months ago, that in hiding myself from everyone else, i had begun to hide myself from him. To this day, one of my biggest struggles with my relationship with the Lord is just telling him how i feel. Telling Him im mad, or sad, or let down, scared, disappointed, excited even…you name it.

Something about my feelings, sharing them, is so personal to me, and through past experiences i came to a point where i was scared to put them out there, even to my Savior.

In showing me that about myself, the Lord put a thorn in me, in a way.

I hated that i was like that. I hated that i trusted him with so much but not really with my feelings. The struggles of others hearts, they were near to me and constant in my prayers. But the struggles of my own heart were hard to talk to God about. Our dialog was limited i guess…

That being said, I’ve been learning so much and im ready to share a little.

I have a great friend in my life who has said “God always sees you at your best” and he reminds me if God can see me at my best, then thats the way i should see others. There is no judgement with that kind of heart.

I have this other great friend who told me once ” You’ll never be able to do anything good enough to make God love you more and you’ll never be able to do anything bad enough to make God love you less.” And while i knew that in my head, my heart needed to hear it. I’m not in some kind of competition, or show. I’m not doing things and acting a certain way to gain God’s affection. I already have that. i always have.

Lately, i’ve had a heart-struggle with courage, and letting go of fear….with allowing God to hold what already belongs to Him. I’ve had to daily beg God to help me give up this situation, this circumstance. And i was frustrated and a little overwhelmed. I was drowning in my own fears in a way. I couldn’t really give them up.

A few nights ago, God gave me a vision. And im not talking anything dramatic. He just gave me this picture of a pool that was being filled with water. And he spoke to me about something i wanted. He told me that, yes, i could jump in now, but the pool is still being filled and the water is still a little too shallow and if i jump its going to hurt. And i wont die, but it will be painful, and it might ruin a great part of the experience for me.

And i took that with stride, but then, as usual, he caught my heart.

He said, Jenny, what if someone else jumps with you, and they experience something painful, and you let them, even though you knew the water wasn’t deep enough yet.

And that’s where he got me, because my God knows me. He knows the compassion i have for people, that i can’t stand the idea of hurting anyone, or someone hurting. Especially because of me.

He told me i’m not full yet, i’m not ready for this thing i want. But one day i will be full, and then ill be ready, and the experience will be good. And it will be worth the wait. And he will give me this and all the desires of my heart.

He told me he has every good thing for me in store. That everything in my life is put in place for a reason, setting me up for that experience. But i have to wait, or i’ll miss out on it.

And i said, Lord…you’ve taken so much from my life in the last year. And i don’t know if i can handle you taking much more. And i swear i felt his touch when he said, no child, i haven’t taken anything from you. Don’t you see? I’ve made all this room in your life, i’ve moved things around, put them in their place. Because something is coming thats big, and i need to make room for it. I’m filling you, so that one day, the water will be perfect and you can jump. And your life will be ready for that.

I am so stubborn. So prideful.

But i’m thankful for this reminder.

My life is not my own. And Thank God i don’t get to make my own plans.

I needed this, this assurance that this thing doesn’t have to be made ready for me, because it is a perfect work of God. But i need to be made ready for this good and perfect thing.

And when it’s hard, when i’m unsure, when i see this promise on the horizon and i can almost taste it, i want to reach for patience. I want to reach for peace. I want to reach for joy. I want to reach for Jesus.

Because i can be sure that when i jump in the water, it wont be with my pride, it wont be with jealousy, i wont be jumping in with selfish ambition, i wont be taking worry, i wont be carrying shame, and i wont be weighed down by fear.

I’ll be ready.

After listening to a podcast someone urged me to listen to, i wrote this. And i can’t stop thinking about something Judah Smith says in it.

He says, ” Jesus is the sum and the substance of all God’s promises because he is both the fulfiller and the fulfillment.”

He was speaking about promises…how do we know what to do with promises that are unfulfilled in our lives and he said “When did we get this thought that we lack anything? i lack no good thing. For every good thing comes from Jesus.”

And that is what i know is true. All i need is Jesus. He is my provision. He is my sustainer. He is every good and real thing in my life.

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Identity : Who are you?

Last night, after writing a post, I got in the word and
read a passage of scripture I’ve read many times, but as it
sometimes happens, God chose to make a point to me. I was reading
from John chapter 1, where the priests and Levites are asking John
if he is the Christ, and I was struck by the question they asked
John and his response. John 1: 22-23 “Finally they said,
‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us.
What do you say about yourself?’
John replied
in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘ I am the voice of one calling
in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ‘ “

I’ve read that
passage many times, but the Lord showed me the value in that last
night.
John was being asked, “Who are you?”
and he could answer, because he knew his identity. He was sure of
his identity in Christ.
John’s reply, that he was the voice
of one calling in the desert, “Make straight the way for the Lord,”
not only was a reference to Isaiah’s prophecy, but a parallel to
his identity in Christ.
That he is like one in the desert,
desperate and thirsty, crying out to the world, beseeching the world
to be ready for Jesus’ coming! To live pure and make ready the
people because salvation is coming!

John knew who he
was, in verse 20 it says, “He did not fail to confess, but
confessed freely…”
The Lord showed me
that I need to make sure my heart is ready, is pure and right,
because Jesus is coming and our identity in Christ is to make the
world ready for that coming! John knew exactly who he was. Without
question he answered. Do you know your identity? Who are you? I can
answer that. Can you?

Being a woman is so complicated when it could be so simple.

The idea of “being a woman” has been dramatized, idealized,
underplayed, and overworked.

Usually, women, including myself, do
one of a few things:

1. Try too hard to be everything a man could
be (God didn’t make women to be like a man, but to compliment men)

2. Want nothing from a man to try to prove we need nothing from men
(God made woman from man, to depend on man and be his helpmate)

3.
Try to act more subdued, to be less of an “emotional burden” (
that’s called suppression and it’s the reason half of the female
population is certifiably insane)

4. Accept the fate of “being a
woman” and basically become a dog, with no intellectual thoughts or
ideas of their own, because a quiet woman is a good woman (NOT
true, look at Esther and Ruth)

None of these things are what beinga woman should be, none of these are true to self.

One of my favorite Christian books for women is Captivated, a popular book
for good reason. In the book, John and Staci Eldredge talk about
the heart of a woman, the things we as women really want. And there
are basically three main things women desire..

– To be romanced

-To be found captivating

-To be able to love the way God made us to without becoming a burden

While those things seem simple, women have been outvoted in all departments. We are rarely ever romanced anymore. Most guys are no longer gentlemen and have no desire to make a woman feel captivating, and few women are brave enough to
love the way we are meant to.

Staci talks about the heart of a woman and says, ” There is something fierce in the heart of a woman.” And she’s right. Women may be quiet or docile but cross
their man, their friend, or their family and it can get ugly. Women
are viewed as such fragile creatures, and granted should be treated
as such at times, but we, as women, are NOT weak!

It’s time we all realized, God made us because Adam wasn’t complete. Adam was in the Garden of Eden, in the presence of our perfect Lord, and was still
lonely. Wow. And the Lord loved him in such a way as to make
someone from scratch, specifically for man….woman. And it was
good and the Lord blessed it and the bond that came with it.

Do you hear me ladies? Men NEED us, WANT us, and most of all were BLESSED
with us. Be proud to be a woman, that is no small thing.

Bethany Dillion wrote a song that says, ” I want to be beautiful, and make
you stand in awe. Look inside my heart, and be amazed. I want to
hear you say, who i am is quite enough. I just want to be worthy of
love, and beautiful.”

All women want that. They want love, and they want beauty. We all want to be the great Beauty of someones story.

But it’s not a physical thing. It saddens me when i see girls who
will give themselves away to be called pretty or wonderful or told
they’re loved, but that is fleeting!

God’s love is perfect and divine, our true romance. He desperately wants us to save ourselves for the man He brings us, to wait until marriage to give ourselves
away.

It can be discouraging at times to wait for a guy when nobody
around you is waiting, but it’s right and good and pure and WORTH
IT.

I have never heard a girl who waited to have sex until marriage
say, “man i wish i wouldn’t have waited.” But I’ve had so many
friends say, “i wish i had waited…”

Being a woman is hard, but being a sacrifice for affection is unnecessary. There are good men out there girls, men of God, and when we are faithful to the Lord,
He is faithful to us! When we honor God with purity, he honors us
with unimaginable blessings!

That longing to be loved is an international feeling. We all wish for that, hope for that…that feeling to love and be loved.

Since i was a child my parents would tell me to pray for my future husband, and i have, continuously. I pray that he is a good, Godly man, loving and pure in heart,
everything God has for me. I pray he is protected and cherished and
that he has guarded his heart like i have guarded mine all these
years. I regret none of those prayers. I look forward to marriage
and the blessings it will bring.

But right now, I look forward to tomorrow, to the things the Lord is teaching me, bringing me, challenging me with. Time and time again, I’ve made the mistake of
putting idols, people, things in my life, before my God. And every
time he has to stop me dead in my tracks and say, “Jenny, it’s not
going to work like that.” He patiently waits for me to stop saying,
“Yes it is, watch, ill show you, i can do this.” and say, “Okay
Lord, you’re right, take back control of my life, i can’t do this.”

Girls, pray for your husbands, your futures. They need the
prayers, they need you already. Be pure. Wait and honor your
husband and God with the gift of purity. Don’t be discouraged, we
are made for great things.

Being a woman is wonderful, and a blessing…let God show you just what he can use a woman like you for. (I’ll tell you right now, it’s big)

Don’t put all your efforts into outward beauty. Be captivating inside.

At the depths of your heart be pure.

Be proud to be a woman, it’s an honor.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” – God (Jeremiah 31:3)