Friday, November 21, 2014

My Necklace of Pearls

After years of challenges and moments of despair, I felt like a failure. I asked God if I would ever get to the place where I could really be use by Him again. I wondered because the sense of discouragement seemed to clothe me securely.

The Lord responded with a picture of a beautiful pearl necklace in my mind’s eye and spoke gently to my spirit:

“The circumstances you have gone through trouble you. Some circumstances were caused by your stubbornness and others were demonic assignments. Nevertheless, I have been with you through them all. And now, I need you to grasp each of those lessons in a fresh way.

I designed this special necklace especially for you. The pearls represent each situation you overcame by My guidance and power. Just like the oyster suffers pain in growth, you have suffered pain in growth. The oyster covers his pain with something priceless. You have learned to cover your pain with something priceless as well… My Wisdom and Glory. Now I desire to line up those experiences with a knot of grace between each one so they will never pour back into your lap again. As you learn to wear this necklace of love humbly, I will use you greatly. When I lead, share one of your treasured pearls for My glory. This necklace, my child, is the key to your joy-fill-ed witness for the days to come.”

“Thank you Lord. Your words calm my heart,” I said. But then I asked another question, "How will I ever get rid of this guilt and shame?

"When you are ready to put up your shield of faith to quench all the enemy's negative thought-filled reminders of your past and are willing to let go of your obsession with self-condemnation, then you can and will move on. Afterwards, I will be able to grace-fill-ly knot and secure all those pearls together and secure them around your neck with the blood of Jesus.”

I have wasted so much time meditating on ‘what ifs’ or ‘I should have known better’. Life should have been so different. Then I realized the 'shoulds keep the shame alive'. Yet, again I realized even if I had made wiser decisions then, I would have eventually made an error in judgment later.

Wisdom training is a must in God’s kingdom. I can’t avoid trouble forever. God designs my life to be filled with instructional moments from a variety of sources. What I need to remember at all times is this: God’s grace is sufficient.

Having this special pearl necklace reminds me…all is not lost. God intends to use everything I do right or wrong for His glory. When I get off track, God still marks the journey as valuable and that brings me joy.

How about your pearls that came at a great price? Will you allow God to line them up and show you off? God is so proud of you and the way you hung on to Him. You may feel disqualified. Don’t despair! God plans to use all those 'unseemly parts' to minister grace and hope to many.

Go ahead…quench the enemy’s thoughts of failure, pick a pearl and courageously share how God changed your life.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Missing You

Why was the Lord sending me to a writer’s conference? I thought after Patti gave me a word of direction. Oh…I know. God needs to give me a swift ‘kick in the pants’. I haven’t written much in the last four months even though my computer functions great now. (Thanks to David, my son.)

Day after day, I kept putting God off with what I thought were valid reasons. The couple of weeks turned into over four months. My writing Buddy kept encouraging me to schedule time to write. Until one day, I sensed God stood His ground and send me that word. It was like He was standing there before me tapping His foot, crossing His arms and raising a brow. He knew the urgency of de-cluttering my house had overshadowed the importance of what He wanted to do through my blog. Turns out those valid reasons… they were only hollow excuses.

So with a humbled heart and a new notebook in hand, I journeyed up the mountain nearby to allow God to inspire me over the next four days. Within three big comfortable sofas and a few chairs, there were two gifted speakers and 30 of us inquisitive aspiring writers. I had heard most of the basic information before. However, the intimate setting, the open discussion, and the friendships I was forming delighted me.

As I crawled into bed after the third long day, I asked the Lord again if there was something more specific that He wanted to say. I had been inspired by the group’s creativity and vision but I felt like there was something more I was suppose to receive…maybe something personal.

Early the next morning, as I began waking up before the alarm, I heard the Lord say in my spirit:

“But I miss you.”

I sat up as my heart melted to the core. Tears formed. I knew the Lord had just expressed some of his His deeper feelings. I sensed He felt like a spurned sweetheart/husband. I had pushed Him away long enough and He desired to rekindle the intimacy again. He enjoyed our weekly writing time together because we connected on a much deeper level. I asked for His advice and gave Him praise when the inspiration came. We had even laughed and had fun at times. He enjoyed seeing me thrive in His presence.

My response:

Awwwww…I miss you too.

Needless to say, my writing took on a fresh perspective. I began by renewing my purpose for writing…to share with others what the Lord shares through the everyday events in my life. Later, as I mulled over His words, I was so touched by the Lord’s love and steadfastness to save our writing relationship.

It wasn’t a swift kick in the pants at all. It was the ‘Lover of my soul’ wooing me back to his arms.

But from thence ye shall seek Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt find him, when thou searches after him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.  
Duet. 4:29 (ASV)