Monday, July 11, 2011

God is Absolutely Ahhhhhhh-MAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

warning:  this is a VERY LONG post, but trust me, it's worth it!!!

i have the following written in the front of my Bible:  "we talk to God through prayer; He talks to us through His Word."  i believe that.  but i also believe He "talks" in other ways.  or, now that i think of it, maybe it's just He reinforces  what he says in His Word.  He does that so often with me!  it happened again!!

last night before bed i was praying, asking forgiveness for a sin i had committed.  dare i tell you?

yeah, i think i'm going to have to come clean --part of the "clean my heart, God" prayer last week!!!!  this is going to be very personal, but i'm going to share it anyway, because i have really learned a lesson from it & i'm just excited to share that lesson!!

i was telling God i didn't feel loved.  by Him or by anyone.  i want so badly to be loved.  we all do, right?  God created us that way.  (and i promptly reminded Him of that fact!) (sometimes i wonder how God feels when we just really "give it to Him" & tell Him exactly how we feel!!! ---probably very proud of the fact that He's our Father & his children have come to Him & tell Him everything!  it's great to have a relationship like that!!!) 

anyhow,  i've been looking for love in the wrong places. not looking to God for the love i need. 

last year i had been praying that God would fill me with His love & if He wanted, He could send someONE to love too!  it had been 5 years since our divorce.  i didn't want anyone those 1st years.  i needed to be alone & heal from a lot of stuff.  i was really working on it & letting God work in me.  lots of my friends told me i should do the "online dating" thing.  i was ADAMANT that that was not for me!  i refused to even think about it, let alone do it.  i was just going to trust God.

well, he sent someONE!  we got to be really good friends.  this person taught me that i could love again.  he also taught me sacrifical love.  as no one else i know ever has.  (except for Jesus!)   then because of a lot of things, things just weren't going anywhere.  we're still wonderful friends - best friends.  we talk & do things, we love & understand each other & tell each other everything.  but it's not "that relationship" - the one every girl wants.  i'll admit, it's difficult, but i pray everyday for patience, for me to trust God.  i want what God has planned for my life, but sinfully i want what i want too.  maybe even moreso because i try to take things into my own hands. 

at the suggestion of several friends, i tried the online dating thing. OH MY GOODNESS!!!  it just confirmed the fact that IT IS NOT FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!  i "joined" 2 sites & did a free trial on 2 others--you may as well get the most exposure for the most results, right?!  well, i'm proud to say that on 1 site there were NO matches in a 300 mile radius of houston - for several weeks!!!  with "1000's a people joining each day" at that!!!!   how's that for your ego??!!  on the other 3 sites i was a "creep magnet"!!!  oh my!  i'm not even going to go into all the details, but it was disgusting!  or guys would "wink" (they don't even have the courage to email, they just "wink" & then if i sent an email (all on the "secure site email, of course), the jerks wouldn't respond.  not even to say, thanks, but no thanks.  ok, if they're looking, they need to converse too, right??  needless to say, i cancelled them ALL.   even got all my money refunded because of a creepy thing that happened....they even tried to give me 2 extra months free if i'd stay, wait, we'll give you 4 extra months....SORRY, i'm OUTTA HERE!  thanks for my money back!

so, after weeks of feeling miserable about this whole thing & trying to be so strong about it, but not discussing it with God, i'm feeling like a real jerk for trying to take things into my own hands & i'm telling God this & asking for His forgiveness & telling Him i just want His love but i'm not feeling it.  after lots more praying & crying, i fell asleep.  how does THAT make my Father feel? ---i just fall asleep in the middle of talking to Him!!

this morning i read my proverbs31woman devotional and what's it about?!
(highlighted emphasis mine)

July 11, 2011
More for My Girl
Lynn Cowell

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…” Ephesians 1:18-19a (NIV)    (God has used this verse in the past to TALK to me)

More. More than the empty promises from boys. More than the masked protection of makeup. More than the false assurance of outfits.  More. It’s what she wants for her daughter. She wants her girl to grow up with courageous confidence and without raw regret.
Even though my friend practically grew up under a steeple, during her teen years the truth that Jesus was crazy about her slipped through the cracks of her low self-worth. She turned to easy choices laid out by friends and gave away so much of herself in hopes of finding love.  But the more my friend gave, the emptier she felt. Eventually she lost hope and wondered, “Is there such a thing as lasting love?”

This is the opposite of what she wants for her own daughter. Yet, she sees things in her girl’s life similar to her own teen years. Chasing after attention. Wearing layers of makeup. Flirtatious outfits that draw others’ eyes. Her daughter is turning to everything and everyone to fill the hole that only God’s love can.

I want God’s best for my girl, too. And if you have a daughter, I bet you do as well.
The question is: how do we give our girl the assurance she needs? How can we help her find the confidence to make wise choices that lead to God’s best for her?
I’ve found that it’s important to start by praying verses like today’s key verse, asking God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts. Then we will see the hope Jesus calls us to and we can share it with our daughter.

You see, as we possess the confidence that comes from knowing we are loved and accepted by the Lord, our daughter will take notice. When she sees her mom live out of the hope and love of Jesus, our girl will discover that she too can make choices based on His love for her and seek the hope only He can give.  When we need to make hard decisions, we can turn to Jesus for understanding and courage, modeling an example of confidence for our daughters. As moms, we can take them further on this journey of growth by asking them to pray with us, read His Word with us and speak hope to others with us. They will see how to transition from simply reading the Word of God to applying it and living out its truths. They’ll witness firsthand what it means to view this world, themselves and others from His perspective.

When our girl sees His incomparably great power working in us, filling our hearts, it makes God’s promises believable. As we find our fulfillment in God’s love for us, instead of looking to someone or something else to fill us, our daughter will see a life that blossoms with purpose.  It may not be immediate. In fact, it could possibly take years for her to want what we have. But we can trust in the goodness of our God. He wants more for our girl, too!

Dear Jesus, I am desperate to see my girl walk in the freedom that comes when her heart is filled by You. Fill my heart, Lord, so I can model this fulfillment. Help me turn to You. May my daughter see me run to You first and may she run to You too! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Take an inventory in your own life today. What things do you run to instead of Jesus? Husband, food, best friend, FaceBook? Tomorrow, when you see this same pattern, make a deliberate choice to pray. Invite Jesus to fill that spot instead.

What would my daughter say she sees me run to when I feel anxious, fearful or rejected?

What changes would have to take place in my life for me to find my confidence and hope in Jesus instead?
Power Verses:
Ephesians 3:17a, 18-19, “And I pray that you…may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)

© 2011 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

wow!  last night i'm praying that i don't feel loved & this morning God's telling me that i
AM loved, i just need to be looking in the right places!  we even talked in sunday school yesterday about idols & where our hearts truly are.  i've been making my desire to be loved an idol.  i need to be concentrating on God's love instead.  i'm not saying that i still don't have the desire to be loved by someONE -- that desire is still very strong.  God made it that way!  i just need to trust Him (not me)  to fulfill that desire.  He brought to mind matthew 6:32,33 -- ".....for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  but seek first His kingdom & righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."  (i know Jesus is talking about them worrying about food & clothing, but i think He also meant anything we need.)

and then to reinforce the fact even more:  i went to the post office at lunch time.  as i'm passing by 2nd baptist church, i see their marquee sign which reads:

"let God love you"

how appropriate!!!!!   

God talks to me.  and He loves me.  He's got a plan for my life.  i just need to trust Him & let Him love me.  i am loved & i can love.

and i am blessed.

(& if you're still reading this, thank you for loving me enough to read this.)

Jesus is right there with me, as He was with Peter during his unbelief. 
wow!  that's love.


Anonymous said...

well.. you KNOW you ARE loved by a LOT of people. God does love you more than we ever could. You are such an encouraging person--real and true--not fakey and perfect. Thanks for being YOU!!! See you later aligator!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing this Dorothy! It takes a lot of courage to be that open. I can understand the strong desire you have. I wrestled with God about being single for 30+ years, knowing that God loved me, but wanting someONE with "skin on". It took that long for me to finally surrender and choose to be content with whatever God wanted to do with me (including being single forever).

It *is* so amazing to see how God speaks through his Word and reinforces it through so many other ways.

You are a blessing to me!!