Feeling Unworthy in the Upper Room {Repost}

feeling unworthy

“And he arose and came to his father.  But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet…for this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.  And they began to be merry.”  Luke 15: 20-21

 Above the library in the church was a quaint meeting room like an after-thought finishing of an attic–an upper room.   The ceiling angled to a point, stretching as if it begged to reach heaven.  It felt comfortable and safe.  Every Sunday, our Sunday School class would meet there.  An elder couple led the group of couples ranging in age from early 20’s just married to mid-thirties with kids.  I was in the early 20’s group and had recently given my life to Jesus.  Feelings of unworthiness haunted me in spite of the comfortable and safe upper room.  “What if they knew?” My thoughts tormented me.

Then one day I couldn’t take anymore.  I don’t remember the question but my heart was pounding like if I didn’t answer it would burst out of my chest.  In between sobs, my words cascaded like a waterfall dammed up and then let loose.  Darkness clouded my vision, my sight blurry from tears and eyes partly shut.  It was as if part of me rationalized if I can’t see them, they won’t see me.  Maybe they won’t truly see me.

All I could say is:

Jesus has saved me from so much.  I’m not the same person I once was.  I’m ashamed of who I was and I fear you wouldn’t like me if you knew what I have done.  I don’t feel worthy to be in this class or with all you wonderful people.  You all seem like you have known Jesus forever.   I’m afraid I’m not good enough to be here.

After exposing my heart and fears to this group of about 20 young married couples, I’m not sure what I expected.  Perhaps I was looking for a “Me too” or  “I understand.  I’ve been where you are and you are not alone.”  I’m not sure they knew how to respond to all that raw pent up emotion breaking loose.  Then the bell rang and I sat, slightly unsure of my next move.   Maybe I was alone.   Then one girl responded.  She was a new friend.  I didn’t really have Christian friends yet, but she was becoming a friend.  She responded— the only one.

 She walked up to my chair.  It was a moment forever etched in my mind.  Instead of running from my need, she embraced it.  Her words were ones of invitation.  She wanted to know me.  She wasn’t afraid of my brokenness.  She saw me, truly saw me and decided I was worth knowing.  Isn’t that the longing of every human heart–for someone to decide you are worth knowing? And we are still close friends today, nearly 19 years after that initial invitation in the upper room.

Feelings of unworthiness are common for men and women who have experienced abortion.  Feelings of being less-than cause those with abortion-wounded hearts to choose less-than.

My friend knew something I didn’t know at that point in my life—Jesus didn’t see me as less-than

 Jesus doesn’t see me as less-than.  Jesus sees those with abortion-wounded hearts as in need of a healer.  He doesn’t run from the need.  In contrary, He embraces the need.  He embraces you.  He invites you.  He isn’t afraid of your brokenness.  He truly sees you and decided a long time ago you are worth knowing.  You are not alone.  You are never alone and never have been alone.  Your healer delights in you and desires a close friendship with you.  Jesus is just waiting for you to respond to the invitation in the upper room.

If you have had an abortion and have struggled with feelings of unworthiness or feeling less-than, you can go to www.godeeperstill.org to find out how to register for a retreat.  This is your invitation from the One who responds to your every need.

Lord Father, we pray for those who feel unworthy due to the sin of abortion to find healing, freedom and truth.  Lord, thank you that you never run from our need but instead, you run to us and embrace our need.  Lord, we pray for those with abortion-wounded hearts to rise and come to you and receive their robe of righteousness and ring of worthiness in the Son.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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Stepping into the River {Guest post}

“For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he had.” John 5: 4

Today’s post was partially written and inspired by Deeper Still Team member, Lindsey Martin. 

During a recent prayer meeting for Deeper Still, the Lord brought to my mind a picture for Deeper Still. The picture was of a raging river, with people standing on both sides. One side had several people standing, gazing across the river with no emotion, just numb. There were several men there.

On the other side of the river, there were team members, softly smiling, calling out to the people on the other side and encouraging them.  Gentle calls of courage echoed telling them not to be afraid.  The team stood with arms open and up, inviting those of the other side to step in.

The Lord showed me the gap between pain and healing is separated by the river. Freedom is on the other side of that river, but it appears scary and impossible to cross. Their eyes are skewed by pain, shame, guilt – and all they see is a frightening raging river and fear strips tenacity. BUT the Lord says that the river is the Living Water, Jesus Christ.  

The Deeper Still leaders and volunteers cheer them on, encouraging them to come and step in. And as they step in. and walk through the river (meeting Christ at the retreat), they are refreshed, healed, renewed and washed clean…stepping into freedom on the other side of the river. On this side, they look back and the river is no longer raging and formidable, instead, it is now calm and inviting.  The river is a place to find rest and refreshment while grace grows deep roots. He will calm the storm, call them deeper, and deliver them from their pain.  ~Lindsey Marin

In John 5:4, it says that an angel came down and “troubled the water”.  The Greek word for “troubled” in this passage is tarasso and it means, “to stir up”.  When the Lord is about to do a healing, He stirs up something inside of us.  He creates “trouble” to invoke in us a deeper desire for healing, a healing that can only come from the Living Water.  

The pool mentioned above wasn’t always stirring.  I believe the Lord creates specific opportunities for healing, He stirs the waters when the time is right and we just need to be willing and ready to step in.  The troublesome water may appear risky, but we can know that when our Lord stirs in our hearts, He is gentle and kind. He will lead us into the water safely.  And on the other side, there truly is a new level of freedom and deliverance.  Don’t be afraid.  Weeping may endure for the night, but joy truly does come in the morning as you are made whole.

Father, thank you for stirring the waters.  Lord we pray for each and every Deeper Still participant across the globe to step into your healing waters and find freedom, healing and deliverance.  Lord, we stand against fear and every other hindrance to healing.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

To See and Be Seen

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“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

The sun set in the distance. The warm spring air shifted as the sun said its goodbyes and the night sky rose.  Two friends met outside exchanging words while light faded into the night.  One of these friends expressed her heart—in it a cry or a plea from the depths—a desperation to be seen. 

Isn’t this the longing of all human hearts—to be truly seen, to be truly known. Not known for what they do.  Not known for their status or occupation or position, but to be just known—personally and intimately.  What their favorite color is, favorite movie or song.  If they like ketchup or mayonnaise, the warm weather or cold.  What makes their hearts dance and sing and what makes them cry. How they have been hurt or are still being hurt and to know that someone cares and sees and wants to know them.  There is no greater gift than to give the gift of knowing another.

The other side of this knowing comes with risk.  The risk is if I let another in, will they accept me?  Will they love me?  Is who I am enough?  Without veil, without cover. With no applause, no accolades, no accomplishment.  Will I be loved and accepted for just being me?  For me, that would mean, will you love me—Sue—whose favorite color is blue, whose favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice, who loves to spend time with my family, taking walks, running with friends, and basking in the warmth of the sun on a clear day.   One of my joys is cuddling with my husband, feeling the warmth of his strength as we embrace.  My children make my heart sing and hurting people wreck me.  The Lord’s goodness undoes me and I long to see His people set free. 

In fear of being known or risking knowing others, we self-protect.  This is an overlooked sin that isn’t preached about on Sunday morning.  We don’t let others too close nor do we get too close to others.  As a result, the human condition is in dire straits.  Our hearts long to be known but at the same time, we fear the risk is too great.  We suffer from the pretense of it all while longing for more.  But what if we risked?  What if we threw caution to the wind and risked being known or risked knowing others.  What could happen in our churches, in our communities if we stepped outside of our comforts and took a step of faith across the aisle or across the street into the life of another to know them, truly know them?  I ask because I truly wonder and need to be better at this as well.  It would change our churches, our communities and possibly eventually our world. 

Another one of my favorite movies is the live motion picture Cinderella (2015).  There is a line from this movie that says:

“Was who she was, who she really was, really enough?  This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take:  To be seen as we truly are. “  Cinderella (2015) 

This is the question on the heart of mankind.  Am I enough?

Cinderella fell in love with the prince.   Although she loved the prince, inside she feared she really wasn’t enough.  But the prince loved her just as she was.  She was enough.

You have a Prince who loves you as you are…dirt, rags and all, who is crazy in love with you.  He loves you just because you are you.  He already knows your favorite color and what you like to do on a rainy day.  He knows your joys and your sadness.  There is nothing to fear—He loves perfectly.  You are enough. 

It is a seemingly hard task or tall order to be as Jesus and love as He does, a Prince who sees us just as we are and loves us perfectly in that.  What he actually sees is who He created us to be and He sees us according to our destiny. He sees us with unveiled faces as we are transformed into His image from glory to glory. What a worthy challenge and charge to love as He does and see people and treat them as He does—according to their royal destiny and His glory yet to come.  

People should not be defined by their past or even present.  There is much more to the story.  May we be free to love and see people for who they are and be courageous enough to let others see us, truly see us.  To truly know and be known is one of the greatest gifts.

Father, thank you for knowing me– truly knowing me, in every way, and loving me. Forgive me for ways I have self-protected and hid from others.  Help me to love others like you do and see them and know them. Help me see myself and others with an unveiled face as you transform us into Your image from glory to glory.  Also, help me to be willing to let others know me and enter into relationships with others. Help me truly take off the veil that separates me from you and others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

God Sees You

God SEes You (1)

“Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-The-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘ Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’”  Genesis 16:13

One of the names of God in the Bible is El Roi.  This name is introduced by a woman most would have counted as disqualified to give a name to God.  First, she was a woman—not a positive back in the Bible times. She was a maid.  Strike two.  She became a concubine—not a position with strong influence normally.  Then was treated harshly by her master’s wife and fled while pregnant with her master’s child.  Her name was Hagar, the mother of the son of Abraham called Ishmael.  (The Bible is anything but boring! This sounds like it could be a reality TV show called The Real Wives of Bible Times!)

Her story is tragic.  You can read more about it in Genesis 16.  Can you imagine her pain?  Did anyone really see her up to that point?  Her identity and labels had been: maid, concubine, and a way for Abraham and Sarah to have a baby. Used and abused.  No one really saw her…no one saw who she was as a person—Hagar. No one but El Roi—the God who sees. 

Hagar was more than a maid, concubine, or even the mother of Abraham’s son. She was a daughter, God’s daughter.  And you don’t mess with Daddy’s little girl.

El Roi sees you.   He sees your pain.  He sees your loneliness.  He sees you just as you are and He loves you just as you are…You are His little girl or boy.

Perhaps today you are wondering if anyone sees you.  Maybe labels have been placed on you. Post-abortive, abused, rejected, abandoned.  Perhaps you have been mistreated and abused.  Your identity is not your past or mistakes you made.  It is also not your successes or positions you hold.  Labels can also come in the forms positives or position:  Pastor, intercessor, leader, teacher, professional, driven, talented, etc.  None of these labels define you.   Your identity is simply…daughter or son of the Most- High God.  Your identity is solely what Hagar discovered…that God saw her as His daughter, His beloved.  You are His beloved daughter and He is your loving Father.

Father, may we tear down the labels we have placed on ourselves or that others have placed on us.  Lord God, El Roi, thank you that you see us just as we are, your beloved daughter or son.  May our identity rest completely in that truth and all other labels are demolished.  Thank you that we don’t have to fear being seen by you, our loving Father.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Freedom From Shame Put on You

The blood of Jesus defeated the power of shame, all shame, whether self-inflicted or outwardly induced.

“My dishonor is continually before me, and the shame of my face has covered me, because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles, because of the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 44: 15-16

Shame and abortion often are tied together until revelation of the cross of Christ breaking the power of shame is unveiled and deeply rooted.  The living Word of God cuts through the tie shame holds on identity.  And once cut and truth is rooted deep, shame has no more hold.  This is true not only for abortion but any sin or strongholds strongly tied to identity.

Sin and shame co-exist well together in a dysfunctional way.  Jesus broke the power of both. 

What is often overlooked is the shame not caused by a personal sin, but rather of those who sinned against you or shame that was “put on” you by others.  The common expression “Shame on you” is a prime example of how people place a garment on shame unwittingly on others.   These three little words contain immense weight. 

Often times these people are even placing this garment of shame on ones they love and care for, unknowing the toxic implications of their words. 

This shame can lay dormant masking as insecurity.  It can cause those affected to hide and self-protect, unwilling or unable to fully enter into relationships and community.  We can be hiding as a result of the cloak covering and binding us.

The Lord revealed this to me as I have been walking through new revelations of shame I was unaware of due to words and actions others placed on me in childhood.  It was not a result of a sin I committed.  Words have power.  Actions have power.  Shame has power.  But there is a power greater.  The blood of Jesus defeated the power of shame, all shame, whether self-inflicted or outwardly induced.

The Psalmist in Psalm 44: 15-16 experienced shame due to those in close proximity inflicting dishonor on him.  This shame hides in the shadows and is often overlooked.  The Lord wants to expose and expel all shame.  

Whether you have had an abortion or have another sin in your life causing shame to latch onto your identity, or if there is shame lingering due to the sins of others against you, there is good news for you!  Jesus broke the power of all shame!  The enemy of our soul shames.  His goal is to go after identity.  If He can convince you of how unworthy you are and tie shame to your feet, He knows He has you bound and you won’t move far. 

We can take off the garment of shame and lay it at the foot of the cross. This action frees us to accept who God says we are, His beloved daughter or son, the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  No one can take that identity from us.  It is our true identity. 

Father, thank you for sending Jesus to break the power of shame, whether self-inflicted or placed on us by others.  Thank you, Lord, for the cross of Jesus Christ that expels shame.  Help us lay down our garment of shame placed on us by the enemy or others and pick up our true garment of praise and righteousness, fully loved as a daughter/son of our Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I Have a Secret to Keep

birds flying with quote

 

“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7

 All three of my children know about my abortion. The Lord led me on three different occasions to share my story with them.  At some point, I may write about those experiences.  But for now, I will say each of them received the news with showers of grace and love.  However, one of them asked me a question poignant with power, “Does this mean I now have a secret to keep?” 

Thankful he revealed this thought in his little heart, I immediately refuted his fear.

“No, my son.  I don’t want you to have a secret to keep.  In fact, this isn’t a secret at all.  My mission is to tell my story so others can make a better choice than I made or find healing and hope if they had also had an abortion.  This isn’t a secret.   You probably don’t need to go tell all your friends right now about it, but if the Holy Spirit leads you to share it, I want you to know you have freedom to share.  This is not a secret.”

A sigh of relief came over him knowing he didn’t have a secret to keep.  In the words of Aunt Mae from the movie The Amazing Spiderman, “Secrets have a cost.  They are not for free.”  Secrets are exhausting, draining and down-right depressing.  I would never want to burden my son with a secret. 

However, most with abortion in their past, do hold onto keeping this secret at whatever the cost.  Secrecy surrounds abortion and can latch onto your identity clutching on for dear life.  It was interesting to me that my twelve-year-old son inherently knew that if he had to keep a secret, he would be robbed of something. Secrets have a cost.  They are never for free and in his twelve-year-old mind, he knew this truth. 

It is freeing to live fully in the light unhindered by the fear of secrets being discovered.  Living in the light of truth is a beautiful way to live—knowing we are forgiven and loved and cleansed by the blood of Jesus from all sin.  

Father, thank you for the gift of freedom.  Thank you that we can live fully in the light of your grace and truth, fully hidden and protected by you even when we feel completely exposed.  Lord, help us to live in the light in community with one another, covered in your love. Help us, your beloved,  to come out of hiding. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Revelation of the Father’s Love

Globe pic

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

When I was in Sunday school as a child, we memorized scripture.  A red plastic wallet-like case held the scripture cards and it was a badge of honor to know the verse and say it in front of the group.  After four weeks of faithful verse reciting, we got to pick a prize from the prize drawer!  It was like heaven…a whole drawer full of prizes!  I had my eye on one prize, a metal globe pencil sharper, and worked hard memorizing week after week in hopes of obtaining this one special prize.  I cannot really say what drew me to it but this globe captivated my attention.   I flipped open my plastic case and repeatedly read the scripture written on the card.  John 3:16 was one of the scriptures. 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Aha!  I did it and earned my pencil shaving globe!  It was a proud moment.  However, at that moment, the scripture was just in my head, an accomplishment for achieving a material gain.  Even though I could hold my new metal globe in my hands, the reality that God loves everyone on the globe including myself did not connect at that time. 

Memorizing scripture is a great discipline but unless the Holy Spirit is allowed to breathe life into scripture with fresh revelation, it can become just an intellectual idea or theological point. 

For the next 35 years, John 3:16 was just a scripture to me.  It was truth and I believed it but it wasn’t a reality or a revelation.   I had been a Christian for twenty years, but for some reason there was a blockage of truly understanding and accepting the Father’s love for me. 

I knew beyond all doubts JESUS LOVES ME.  We sing it as children and it is sung over us, planted deep within from a young age, but the Father?  Does He really love me and want a relationship with me?  He seemed distant due to feelings of unworthiness of being in His presence.  He has always seemed distant and evading. 

The ways we view the Father God can often be connected to our parents.  We tend to view God through the lens of who our earthly parents were to us.  However, this view is skewed since no one has earthly parents who love perfectly like our heavenly Father loves. 

I have been on a journey of knowing my heavenly Father and who I am as His daughter.  He is going after that orphan spirit and breaking down the lies of the enemy and uncovering truths and revelation in common scriptures such as John 3:16.  Come on, John 3:16!!!  We all learn that as kids but now it is a reality in my life…

For God so loved ME that HE SENT His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

God the Father LOVES ME.  Not just Jesus.  I knew Jesus loved me because He died for me.  But God the Father so loved me that He sent Jesus.  It is His love that pursued us. 

I am not an orphan.  I am His beloved girl.  

Our world is craving love.  Our world is full is orphans who do not know they have a Father who is passionately in love with them.   This Father is one who will never let us down.  He will be our protector, defender, hiding place, provider, strength, fortress, hugger, encourager, dance partner, math homework assistor, swim instructor, teacher and everything a good father should be.

If you don’t know the Father as all the above, ask Him, seek Him, and I know He will show you His love for you. Just ask. He loves you so much.

When I was 8, I memorized John 3:16 and my teacher gave me a globe.  The beautiful truth of John 3:16 and revelation is that the great Teacher, God, gave Jesus to the globe to die for you and for me! I understand it now! 

FOR GOD so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I have a feeling this Easter is going to be different for me as this fresh revelation simmers in my soul.  I pray it will be fresh for you as well as you reflect on how great a love your heavenly Daddy has for you.  You are not an orphan, you are loved.  

Father, Abba, Daddy, thank you for such a great love.  Forgive me for not always seeing your love in the greatest story ever told.  As I celebrate Easter and reflect on Jesus’ love, I pray I would also reflect and meditate on your love, Daddy.  You sent Jesus to die for me because of your unmeasurable and extravagant love for me.  Thank you for being such a good Dad.  Thank you that I am not an orphan but a son/daughter with destiny and purpose.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Calling Forth Destiny

“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one.”  Romans 9:25

In February 2011, God woke me up with an assignment.  On my computer sat a blank blog page waiting for words.  That chilly February morning, the spirit of the Lord spoke clearly, “Tell them who they are and tell them I love them.” 

I began writing and God began moving to show me ability He put in me long before I knew it was there.

At the beginning of this journey, I struggled with accepting the assignment to write.  Thoughts of insecurity and doubt rose up.  Who am I to write about the Lord?  Who am I to have a voice? 

There was a choice—either accept the assignment or agree with doubts and insecurities.  There was a battle inside of me as the two voices collided.   Finally, I accepted what God said rather than my thoughts or lies of the enemy and continued forward in fulfilling what God had said to do. 

He called me a writer before one word was on the screen.   

There was no natural indicator that I should be writing.  But still He called.  And what He calls you is truth. 

That is how God operates.  He calls things that are not as though they are.

God does this again and again in His word. 

He called Eve “the mother of all the living” before she had ever even conceived children.  (Gen 3:20)

He called Abraham “a great nation” when he was still childless. (Gen 12:2)

He called David “anointed king of Israel” while he was a shepherd in a field. (1 Samuel 16: 13)

He called Paul “a chosen vessel” even though he was persecuting Christians and before he knew Jesus or preached one word. (Acts 9:15)

What has he spoken over you?  What calling and destiny lies in wait for you to fulfill?

Knowing your true identity as His son or daughter puts you in line for receiving His blessing and inheritance. (Gal 4)  He calls you daughters/sons even if you did not have parents because you are His daughter/son.  He loves you as a loving Father and wants you to know you are His.  He is calling.

Perhaps you have never seen yourself as a mother. He calls you mother even if you have never have given birth to a child.  There is an entire world out there who need mothering.  He is calling.

He calls you wife even if you are not married, even if you never will marry.  You are His bride and He is your Bridegroom.  He adores youHe is crazy about you! He is calling.

These are truths.  God has a destiny for every one of His children.  He called Israel His people and His loved one when Israel’s heart was far from Him.   Perhaps you have a child or someone you love who is far from the Lord.  We have authority and right to call forth their destiny.  God has a destiny for each of us.  Or perhaps you have been living outside of God’s plan and destiny for your life, out of rebellion or unbelief.  Today is the day to step into His plan and purpose and live out your calling.  

resting in Him

When we live from a place of resting in His love, we become all He intended us to be.  He has called you His, He has called you loved–come into agreement and accept the assignment.  Walk in your blessing and inheritance.   He is calling.

Father, show me my identity, my true identity.  Thank you that you see the end from the beginning and you call things that are not as though they are.  Father, I pray forth into existence my calling and destiny.  I call forth my identity as your beloved daughter/son and to be all you called me to be and walk in my inheritance.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Turning Shame into Glory

hiding in shame

“How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood.”  Psalm 4:2

David wrote the verse above as a question to men who were speaking falsely about him and were treating him as an outlaw instead of who he truly was destined to be.

This Psalm rose a question in me:

How many of God’s children with a divine destiny are hiding in shame and believing lies of unworthiness?

Could it be when we hide and agree with shame and unworthiness, that we are actually denying God glory?

David had a divine destiny and he knew who God had called him to be.

Those with abortion-wounds often believe the lie that they no longer are worthy of the calling on their lives, that they are no longer worthy to be used by God.   Living in denial, they withdraw, and hide under a cloak of shame, denying God the glory due His name.  This isn’t just those wounded from abortion.  Much of the body of Christ is living in hiding, living in a state of false humility that claims I am unworthy to be used of God, I am unworthy because of my past and what I have done.

In sense, turning glory to shame, loving worthlessness and seeking falsehood.   And God says, “Enough.”

He wants His children to rise up out of hiding.  He wants you to know who you are in Him, as a son or daughter of the King, Your Father, who adores you.  He wants you to know you are worthy because He said you were worthy when He sent His son to die for you (yes, you!).  He wants all His children to stop agreeing with falsehood, with the lies of the enemy.  You are His child.  He has a purpose for you, a great plan for you.  His heart is for you to fulfill what He created you to do!

Like David, you are royalty.  Your destiny is one of a child of the King, the Father’s beloved son or daughter.  You are worthy.

“How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood.”  Psalm 4:2

Father, forgive me for not allowing you to turn shame into glory.  Forgive me for agreeing with lies of unworthiness. Oh Lord, turn my shame into your glory and reveal my worthiness in you.  Lord, open my eyes to see your glory and how you turn shame into a declaration of praise.  I pray I would no longer agree with the lies of the enemy but would see my worth through your eyes.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

Redeeming the Day

 

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“He provided redemption for His people; He ordained His covenant forever—holy and awesome is His name.”  Psalm 111:9

Father, thank you that when You provided redemption, Jesus did not just pay in part, but in whole.  Thank you for redeeming even the day and providing hope for those hurting from the day of their abortion.  We ask for You to redeem the day and change what was full of death into a day of life.  We ask for all things to be made new—even the day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A friend recently told me of someone she knows who every year on the anniversary day of her abortion,  is stricken with sadness, grief and unbearable sorrow over her choice.  This friend has the date in her calendar, to remind her to call this beloved girl and comfort her in her pain.

This is all too real and common.  We all have birthdays we celebrate.  The lack of a birthdate for one created to live is unnatural and it leaves an aching hole in the heart of those living with abortion-wounds. The anniversary date of the day chosen to end the life of their child—it is almost too much to bear.

But Jesus.  The blood of Jesus is not limited to redeeming one’s sins or health.  The blood of Jesus seeps into every pour and every aching crevice, filling and completing the healing until all is restored—even the day.

Today, Emily Donels graciously shares her story of how the Lord redeemed the day for her.  Thank you, Emily, for sharing the Lord’s redemption power in your life.

April 27th used to be a day I dreaded.  I was so gripped in knots the entire month that I didn’t feel I could breathe again until May. 

In the earlier years of my healing journey with my abortion-wounded heart, I would try to do something that I felt honored the daughter I aborted.  From planting flowers in my flower bed on that day to placing a plaque on the wall of the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, TN, to just driving down to the memorial so I would have a safe place I felt like I could mourn.

It wasn’t until after my own Deeper Still retreat that I felt the Lord truly redeem April 28th for me.  I finally believed my Heavenly Father had reconciled my relationship with my daughter, Hannah.  That day went from me feeling I needed to atone that day to just being in sweet remembrance of my daughter that day.  Twenty years to that exact day, I was serving on the Deeper Still Spring Retreat team and I was assigned to lead the sharing time during the memorial service.  I opened up by sharing that I couldn’t imagine any better way to honor my precious Hannah than by being there with each of them (the participants) and telling them how proud I was to be Hannah’s mom and that I longed for the day to meet her face to face.

The following year, the Lord put it on my heart to return to the abortion clinic for the first time in 21 years to the date.  I was joined there by my sisters and brothers in Christ to pray a prayer of repentance to cleanse and heal the land.  That day I left a bundle of flowers representing life in honor of Hannah’s life.  God not only redeemed me, He redeemed the day.