Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start. A new dawn is ahead and it holds so much hope. Every new sunrise reveals new chances to recieve the grace of God that can transform us, equip us, carry us and so much more.
The Lord is gracious to His people.
He is compassionate towards His people.
He is listening when you pray.
He is moving and shifting things even when you cannot see it yet.
He is merciful even in your weakness.
He is with you through anything and everything.
There is no mountain too big, no sea level too high, no wind too powerful that He cannot move, part, or still.
Something is shifting in me, changing in me, and being restored in me.
As I chase after the ways of God, and continually turn to Him again and again and again and again, He faithfully works in me. Lately, I can feel things being worked out of me and new things being worked in. It’s such a slow process, and I will be totally authentic in saying that I want to be totally transformed now. I want greed, selfishness, envy, my all too often failure of giving in to distractions, and every other flaw and propensity for sin to just go already. At times, I get frustrated with my flesh that gets in the way of what I know I should do or what I shouldn’t have done.
And then even as I write this morning God whispers, “If you had no weakness, then you wouldn’t need me.”
And immediately I thought of what Paul says about his flesh.
or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV
And as for me, I can tell you that I desperately need Jesus. I need Him for everything. There is nothing in my life that I could do apart from Him and His grace. And I tell Him so all the time.
The title of this post is, “May I be totally real with you?” So I will share something that happened this week. I had not planned to tell anyone about it. I didn’t even tell any of my close friends because I was so embarrassed and ashamed. But this morning God lifted the veil and showed me how my mishap could be shared to glorify Him.
This morning in my notes, I saw a desperate prayer that I wrote Monday morning and it all clicked together. God was moving even when I had no idea. And in the midst of a challenge, He was also working on my heart.
Sunday evening, we received a card from a family that we hold very dear.
As Chuck and I opened and read the card, two giftcards were enclosed. We were shocked and then humbled by the amount of the cards. This family gave us a very generous gift. We sat there with our jaws dropped, speechless. We were grateful, thankful, and unsure of how to respond. We were overwhelmed by the generosity and love this family poured into us
When I opened the card, I was already in bed for the night with Nia snuggling next to me. So, after we talked awhile and processed it all, I placed the card with the gift cards still enclosed on my nightstand, and went to sleep.
The next morning was Monday and it was a hectic one. We were behind in every area of our morning routine. I blogged longer and later than usual. I think there was an issue with a pair of missing twin’s socks, and the rest of the regular things that could go wrong. I even left for work without coffee.
My husband showed up about 30 minutes later with a hot cup of coffee and really bad news. Our 5 month old puppy had swiped the card right off my nightstand and chewed up one of the giftcards so badly that the numbers were unreadable. I felt my heart sink. I felt so many feelings. I felt ashamed that I could be so careless with someone else’s generosity. That a beautiful family gave a gift to us and I didn’t take better care for it.
I fled to Jesus. I can share that I do that often. I go straight to Him with most everything, and when I don’t I tend to repent later because I should have.
And sometimes, I journal my prayers. So with just a few minutes before my class started, I typed this prayer in my notes. It’s just what flowed from my heart.
Lord, it hurts. I still trust You.
Lord, You’re good. I trust You fully.
Even through loss and mishaps. I still trust You.
I trust You fully and completely.
Totally and completely.
You have me covered and cared for.
Loved and adored.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper or prevail.
I am held in Your Hands.
You are moving things in my heart. Shifting and shaping. Growing and pruning. Priming for miracles. Leading and loving. Guiding and directing.
You have blessed me to be a blessing.
You have designed me to be a giver.
I repent for not protecting that seed. I am sorry for not being a better steward..
Help me to stay so close to You. Help me to experience revelation power. Lord, You are good and merciful and so kind to me.
I felt peace wash over me and I went as ahead with my day. That afternoon when I got home, I saw the mangled card and again felt deep shame. The name of the bank was there along with the phone number, but nearly everything else was destroyed. I called the bank and they informed me that they were sorry, but they cannot replace the card without all of the numbers, the expiration date, and the 3 digits on the back. They could help me if I had that information or the original sales receipt.
I hung up and just prayed some more. I began to grieve the loss of the gift, and just figured that was that. We had bible study that night, and the next day Tuesday, I felt an urgency to pray for God to remove my pride. I prayed for my sinful heart.
“Lord, let pride flee from me, arrogance has to go. Lord work in my heart. I submit fully to You.”
Last night, I told my teenage son and my 10 year old daughter what happened and my son asked me a direct question, “So what are you going to do?” I explained that the only thing left to do is to be honest and tell the family what happened. They may have the receipt, but if they didn’t, they would know that my carelessness had wasted their gift. He looked at me like well you know what you need to do, but he didn’t say it.
My daughter said, “God will work a miracle. Just trust Him mom.”
My husband and I talked about what to do, and we then reached out and told the family what happened. I was so embarrassed, but their kindness astounds me. Not only were they extremely kind about it, but they had taken pictures of the front and back of the cards as well as the reciepts and they sent them over. (I thought about how God knew before it even happened that Maxwell would chew one. And this family had such impeccable records or they had been prompted by Holy Spirit to take photos of the cards before they gave them. Only God!)
I gave God all the praise, and God gently said to me, “Daughter, you have such little faith.” It was neither condemning nor shameful, just a gentle reminder from God saying, “I’ve got you. I’m holding you. I’m always here.”
And I hadn’t planned to share this story until I saw my prayer from Monday. As I re- read it in hindsight, I realized afresh that God works ALL things for our good.
I struggle with perfectionism and wanting to hide all my flaws in shame. Perfectionism doesn’t for a second mean I think I’m perfect. I am very very aware, almost hyper aware of every flaw in me. It means that I allow myself almost no grace and I expect more out of myself than I would ever expect from my children, my friends, or my spouse.
Its painful and heavy at times, but with Jesus it is becoming less and less and I am more able to quickly forgive myself, give myself grace, or allow myself space to make mistakes. God is doing a mighty work in me.
Through this short trial, God used it to allow me to practice humility as we admitted our mistake to the family. He is teaching me to let His strength be more than enough for my flaws and weaknesses. He is working pride out and His kingdom ways in. He is growing me and stretching me in so many ways.
My takeaway is that God is concerned with our character. He will use the mishaps, accidents, struggles, conflicts, and trials in this life to shape us into followers that reflect Him.
As we submit to Him, He will use anything and everything in our lives to grow us up and sanctify us.
I am thankful for His gentlesness and compassion as He molds and shapes us.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for being in every single detail. You are working all things out for the good of those who love you. You are kind and merciful and also always working, using everything to grow us up in Christ. Let us bring every worry, every pain, every character flaw, all of it laid bare before You. You will do mighty things through our submitted hearts. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Blessings to each of you!