Friday, October 30, 2015

He Heals, and He Also Confirms

Y'all know I'm a Baptist girl, right?

Well, I am. Sort of.

I never understood the Holy Spirit; maybe I was afraid of Him? I'm not sure, but after spending a secluded weekend retreat with God recently, the Lord finally helped me grasp some understanding of that part of His person. He poured fresh revelation in me, and now I get it. He's so good to reveal Himself if you earnestly seek His wisdom and knowledge. Scripture says that if a son asks for a loaf of bread, the father does not give him a stone (Matthew 7:9).

Our Father is the same way; He gives what He knows we need. So if we ask for what we truly need, He is sure to grant it.

Well, I needed some Holy Spirit, y'all.

I needed some healing from anxieties, from subtle fears that were controlling me. I knew they were controlling me, but honestly? They were comfortable. They were my security blanket. I am not convinced that I knew how to function without them. They were second nature for me.

We have an enemy who loves to convince us of these lies. As long as he can keep us bogged down by something--anything--well, what can God do through us? Not much. And that's where I had pulled up a nice comfy chair. But because of His great love for His children, He won't leave us there...if only we'll trust Him to give us a better seat, He will.

After the pivotal moment where I knew God had begun His healing work in me, I thought of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. I wondered at what point she knew she had been healed; was it instantly or did she realize the full extent of it later that day? Then, of course, today her story was included in my daily reading plan!

"'If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.' Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering" (Mark 5:29 NIV). The ESV words it this way: "And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease."

Nothing non-Baptist happened to me while I prayed and asked Jesus to heal my issue of fear, and I honestly think that caused me to doubt a bit. I mean, I was done with this stupid fear--I was desperate enough to leave behind its bondage that I was ready for something crazy to happen to me!

I didn't fall on the floor or do back flips, but you know what did happen?

I felt in my body that I was freed from my suffering.

It was subtle; it was gentle, tender. He is gentle and tender with us because we are His daughters, His sons. He cares for us as we care for our children, just so much more deeply.

I walked away knowing He had healed me, from deep within. Incredible warmth had melted something cold from the depths of my chest and permeated through the rest of my form. It caused me to breathe deeper than before, cleansing breaths that brought rejuvenation and fresh energy.

As I went on my way in the days that followed, I experienced brief moments of doubt that I truly was healed (and I believe healing is also a journey we must traverse alongside Christ, so I was not expecting to literally never fear anything again). But each time I brought my experience back to the Lord and asked Him what He had done, He confirmed it.

He confirmed that He was indeed healing me.

And guess how He responded to the woman who touched His garment? He gently whispered, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" (Mark 5:34 NIV).

He confirmed her healing, too.

I don't know about you, but I'm a doubter. Without His confirmation, I might have convinced myself completely that He had not done a work in me. I'm so thankful that He not only heals, but He also confirms. He doesn't just care about the first encounter with Him; He wants you to stay in close touch with Him. He wants to continually heal you, to continually remind you of the work He is doing in your life!
Peace of Christ to you,

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Love mom



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This is the white board in our dining room, and I'm finding myself hard pressed to adequately express what happened in my heart when I saw the words written on it. I had been gone for three days to a true retreat where I was reintroduced to my Savior. Yes, I knew Him before, but now? Now, I know Him in a completely renewed, fresh way!

So why did these words touch my heart so deeply? I mean, my kids tell me they love me all the time. And I know they mean it. But let me back up and invite you to see these words as I now see them.

I showed up for the weekend retreat a little bit broken, insecure, and unsure of my WHY, of my WORTH. But I let my guard down little by little and allowed our Father to rewrite my story and insert His footnotes throughout:

Oh, Cara--yes, I made her fearfully and wonderfully! She doesn't believe it yet, but she will soon. She'll believe soon that her birth WASN'T an accident after all--I meant for her to be here all along!

Ah, that one? Yes, she has purpose! She wasn't ready to hear it all at once, so I'm depositing love notes one by one into her soul as she'll receive them. Wait for it, she'll sing one day.


Mostly unbeknownst to me, I had been walking around believing a razor sharp lie from my enemy:

You are not a good mom. You are not doing enough. You are not qualified to shepherd their hearts. Who are you to think you can teach them? You're a fraud.


Of course my God knew these haunting voices as I timidly walked into this weekend, and I can imagine Him jumping up and down because He knew what He was about to show me, the truth that He was about to unveil my eyes to see!

I slowly began opening up to the women who surrounded me, all of us carrying our own burdens, yet desperate inside for the permission to lay them down. We spent time listening and observing one another, and then we were asked to speak the strengths we saw in one another. I could see so much strength and wisdom in the other women, but I feared that no one would see anything in me. I feared they would be scrambling to make something up, something that would sound like they had given it a lot of thought: Here's a little something to make you feel better, an ice cream cone.

But God had another idea. The first thing these women spoke into my heart was, have you guessed it?

"I can just tell what an incredible mom you are."

Me? Really?

And in that moment, a tiny crack quietly ran through the dam that held my heart hostage and began to split the heavy burden I had stuffed so deep inside. I listened as these women spoke blessing over me, revealing that the way in which I described and spoke about my children immediately shouted to them that I adore my children.

And that was healing in itself, but Jesus knew there was a deeper wound He needed access to.

"And I can tell that they adore you!" they went on.

They adore you, Cara. Did you hear that? It's true.

And so when I came home after my heavenly daddy filled my cup up and then kept pouring more in even though I assured Him that I had plenty to drink, I walked into the kitchen to see this on the board.

WHOOSH.

And that was the last crack the dam holding my heart in bondage needed. The wall came down and I saw it. I saw the truth in its beauty. And the truth had been there all along! I just couldn't see it!

See, this note was written by my daughter who is dyslexic and has an incredibly hard time spelling and keeping her letters straight.

EVERY LETTER IS PERFECT. PERFECT!

If you can understand how rare that is, then you will surely see the beautiful miracle in this moment! It is not an accident that she just happened to perfectly write this message to me. Of course, I would have loved it all the same had her m's been backwards as usual, but they were perfect!!

Oh, the way our daddy loves us is immense, y'all. He knows every crack, every imperfection in our hearts, and He reaches in and restores those areas in ways only He can do. He can find those secret broken places that no one else even knows exist. He erases the lies Satan so desperately wants us to believe.

You are a good mom. Look at your daughter's heart spilled out for you! 

And I love you even more than this. Rest in that today.



Peace of Christ to you,