Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Anyone going through a trial? No matter who we are or where we live, we will have to deal with them.  They are not prejudice to your looks, social standing, or lack there of. They come to everybody who lives on the planet. And…if we happen to be trial-free at the moment, then hang on because one is in the making, tailor-made for your situation. We have to remember that when we gave our lives to Christ, we started the perfecting process. We all go through trials but how we end up after them or whether we have to go through them over and over again depends on who we rely on to get us through.

Trials are difficult, unpredictable, and the timing and length are non-negotiable. We are in the hands of the One who sets the terms. But, what we learn through them can be life changing and used for His glory. So many times we are not willing to learn a new way because we have to loose control and jump towards the unknown. However, when we release our concerns into God’s loving arms, He transforms our trust into power to believe for the resolution, the restoration, and the life changing character He promises to develop.

God will not protect you from
 what he wants to perfect you through.

What can we do to help us move through the process?  

Proclaim who God is to you. He is my Strength, Fortress, Help in time of need, Lover of my soul, Mighty, and full of grace to see you through any situation. It is also good to remember the times He has gotten us through in the past as well.

Proclaim who you are in Him. I am righteous; I have the mind of Christ, I have the peace of God that passes all understanding. Speaking and mediating on these types of scriptures strengthens the knowledge of who we are in our heart. It also fortifies our mind so that we can make it to the other side.

Proclaim  to your enemy he is defeated. Satan has no power over us and we already have the victory. Satan is so sneaky about how he undermines our resolve. The enemy plants seeds of doubt, which we may think is just logical thinking but end up making us give up prematurely. Watch your thoughts because they can lead us in the wrong direction before we realize what or why your downward spiral happened.

These proclamations and mediations fortify our mind with faith (vision/the mortar), hope (upward attitude and anticipation throughout the process), and love (our perception of God’s presence with us). Our words and thoughts are like bricks that build a fortress around our heart and mind by faith to protect us from the words and actions of the enemy. They help us to stay focused on what is really important.

What are you doing to get through in your tough situations? Trials are no fun and there are no quick and easy solutions to shorten the process. However, there are ways to go through that will give us more courage, strength, and peace of mind while God is working His way in our life. Remember...even in your darkest hour, Your Heavenly Father is there with you and he will complete what He has started in you.

For it is God who works in you
 both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13

This blog post is dedicated to Pastor Terry Howell. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Desperation to Graduation

My daughter, Kristen Leah Downs, is 26 years old today. The time has gone by so fast but there were many days back then where I didn’t know whether I was going to make it through. I remember on one particular frustrating moment when I had had all I could take. Falling down into a rocking chair, I took time to relax and think. I don’t remember the issues of that moment but it was a situation that was trying my patience. Ever had one of those days?

While I sat there stewing, a still small voice broke in my thoughts and partly agreed with me. “Yes…she is a wild one,” the Lord said. Then there was that ‘but.’ “But, if you do not teach her how to respect your authority, then she will not learn how to respect My authority,” He said. Then He continued on, “Wait and see if I don’t put My words deep within her heart as she grows to full stature.”

Those words made me sit up, refocus and get back in to the ring. Above all, I wanted Kristen to have a vital relationship with her Heavenly Father through the blood of Jesus. I couldn’t give up now just because it was hard. Besides, God was promising me she would live to serve Him, if I stayed the course.

Today, she is a spiritually confident young woman ready to face whatever life throws at her. I couldn’t be any prouder then I am right now.

There is another event in Kristen’s life this weekend. After eight years, she is finally graduating with honors from Converse College. She struggled to “find herself” at the local college here and almost flunked out. Nothing seemed to be going right for her. Then, after time spent soul searching, Kristen began again by setting new goals in a different direction.

Converse College was even more challenging then the one before but Kristen determined this time to stay focused. Now, she will receive her teaching degree in learning disabilities, when she walks across the stage on Saturday. And me... I’ll be the proud peacock on the front row clapping. Congratulations Kristen for a job will done!

Do you have a story to tell about one of your own late bloomers finally making it through or are you still one of those in the thick of the conflict? If you are on the other side, encourage and bless others with how God was faithful in your time of need. If you are still in the fight, don’t give up in the heat of the battle. God is faithful to the promises he gives us through the scriptures and the ones He gives to us personally.

For me, it felt like victory was going to be impossible so many times but I kept on praying, searching for wisdom and look what God has done now. Behold for your time to celebrate victory will come just don’t give up!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rosie the Road Warrior

Rosie the Road Warrior, my GPS, and I were going from my home in North Carolina to Fort Payne, AL for a family reunion. I was nervous about depending on Rosie again. Earlier, when I had taken a trip to my son's house in Kentucky, she took me to the back roads of nowhere and dumped me. Fortunately, there were people at the end of the gravel road who helped me find my way out. But, in the end, I was willing to let the past go and trust again.

So Rosie and I headed towards Asheville. Right away I noticed she was taking me on the scenic route over the mountains. I enjoyed her choice because of the colorful landscapes we were pasting. Still I felt nervous about her leadership skills so early on I stopped to buy a road map just in case. As Rosie directed me to exit to a new road, I checked the map to confirm her direction.

Then it happened! The four-lane divided highway suddenly went to a two-lane road without warning. Flashbacks of my trip to Kentucky came to mind as I became anxious a gravel road would be next. Yet the road beckoned me to go forward so I cautiously went on.  As I traveled the curvy road, a wide creek appeared. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I had to stop and take a few pictures. It was then the Lord began to speak to my heart.

“This trip is a lot like your spiritual walk with Me. You walk nervously through life hoping you don’t go the wrong way. Your lack of trust keeps you up tight and you can’t enjoy the journey I have planned for you. Stop 'faithlessly' checking up on your direction all the time. Relax and start experiencing My loving Presence along the way.  Know in your heart.....I am big enough to get you to where you need to go and wise enough to redirect you if you take a wrong turn.
I got ya covered Mary Jane…I got ya covered.”

When I got back in the car, I was more relaxed and ready to enjoy the rest of the journey. With new resolve, I determined I would intentionally trust the direction I felt lead to go with a more peaceful heart. Wrong turns will happen but God has me covered.

I arrived at my destination safe and sound. Rosie had done a great job. The fears of her directing me wrongly were forgotten. I gained a valuable lesson along the way. All was well with my soul.

Do you have fears of making a wrong turn? You are not alone. Most people feel that way from time to time while they are seeking the Lord for His direction along their way. But take heart. God is big enough to get you to where you need to go and wise enough to redirect you, if you happen to take a wrong turn. 

So relax and trust.....God’s got ya covered.

The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
                                     Psalm 37: 23