My two-cents about Church Culture.

I’ve grown up in the church. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t plugged into a church or youth group. I LOVE serving God. He has blessed my life incredibly and I can’t wait to see Him work more in life, but I really want to speak a little from my heart and where I’m coming from when it comes to church, religion and just popularity in general, so please hear me out (If you want).
I have always viewed my walk with Jesus as a walk. I have always struggled to conform to the ‘rules’ of Christianity. This idea that you must live your life a certain way and if you don’t there will be harsh judgment or even shame by ‘Christians.’ It’s almost like religion has put a restriction on Jesus and everything He is capable of doing. If you have all of these ‘rules’ you must live by, and if a fellow follower does something that goes against those ‘rules’ they feel shamed or feel like they are on the outside. I’m a firm believer in Jesus and following Him and what is clearly (ha, sometimes not so clearly) written in the bible. God has given us the bible to help guide us in the world we live in, but I feel sometimes, Christians focus on ‘rules’ and lose sight of one of the most important calls on our lives; to love others over EVERYTHING else. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34. God gave us the commandment of loving one another because He has loved us… but where has the love gone? I have seen and heard of many stories that the second someone makes a mistake in the eyes of the ‘church’ the love is no longer there, why is that?

Does God stop loving us when we make a mistake? I really hope not, because then I would’ve lost God’s love a long time ago. I’ve been working on loving everyone to the fullest capacity that I can. I’m not always the best at this because I am not God, but I’m holding myself to a high standard of trying to love everyone despite what they do. I’ll be very honest and let you in on a fault within myself. I struggle to find love for people who have wronged me (I think we all struggle with this to an extent) but people who have hurt my feelings, I really struggle with finding that love that God has called me too. I have found myself slipping into a place of negativity and hatred and Jesus correcting me and focusing my thoughts on that love. I want to be the kind of person who is rooted in love ALL THE TIME. “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, -” Ephesians 3:17.

I am very thankful to be serving a God who loves me no matter how many mistakes I make, to be serving one that doesn’t make me feel shame or guilt, but instead the feeling of freedom when I come back seeking His love and forgiveness. God sent his only son to pick up that cross so I wouldn’t feel shame, that’s SO cool. 
Another thing that has been weighing on my heart recently is popularity within church. I full heartedly believe that people shouldn’t feel like they aren’t cool enough to be apart of a church. I know there are a lot of really cool people out there. I know that some people would say i’m one of those really cool people, but the truth is the actions speak louder than the words. I could shout from the rooftops about how ‘cool’ someone is, but that doesn’t mean that person will feel cool after hanging out with me. I think that sometimes, people can hold the power of popularity. If you don’t get invited to hang out with certain people, post about them on social media or even just talk to them, then you aren’t cool… that’s actual bs.. I don’t want to be apart of a environment where I feel like people are being praised for being cool. I fully agree with giving honor where honor is due, but when it gets to the point where honor is due because they look cool and act cool, that’s not something I want to be apart of. I have left youth groups because of this. I have been apart of youth groups that made me feel SO cool and so accepted in the beginning and then after time i was no longer cool. I’m solely chasing after God. I’m not going to try and conform to another person’s view of what’s cool to fit into a church, I’m going to continue to hear from the Lord and do what His will for my life is. I am not trying to call anyone out or make anyone feel attacked and if you read this and felt attacked by it personally, please message me about it because I am not calling anyone out personally, I’m just putting what has been on my heart out there for people to see the real things i have been struggling with recently (and throughout my entire church journey). I knew that deciding to write this and the possibility of posting it could create really hard conversations, but I am willing to have those because I want it to be known. I know i’m not the only person who feels this way,or has felt this way at some point during their journey with church. I love the church and youth group I have been apart of for all this time and can’t wait to see all the things God does within both and within me.

Let’s keep focusing on listening, pursing and serving God and He won’t lead us astray. Be rooted and established in love always. Thank you for reading and listening to my heart.
With love and all that, Bannah Hurley.

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Everyday Miracles

It’s shocking, I know! I’m writing a blog post.  As much as I’d like to blog every day or even every month, my to-do list never allows it.  I have endless ideas but currently, I’m writing about other things, so I never seem to get it from my head to the paper.  But sometimes God does something, and you just have to tell everyone.

Last week I experienced the miraculous.  Some might argue the story I’m about to share doesn’t qualify as miraculous but for my weary heart, it was nothing short of a miracle.  At church on Sunday, God gave me Isaiah 40-:29-31 that says:

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This describes my experience with Jesus last week.  I was struggling.  I was weary and weak.  I know God’s presence and I trust Him but truthfully, I STILL struggle…a lot.  I struggle to continue to have hope when I can’t see an end.  I easily get distracted with what I want and before I know it selfish feelings are demanding attention. To make matters worse I usually heap a giant load of guilt on top, just for good measure, because I’m a mature Christian woman, I SHOULD NOT still be dealing with this.

Thankfully, the Lord is always working in me.  I chose not to shy away from the hopeless feelings that hit me last weekend.  I was real about how I felt, and I processed my emotions with the Jesus.  Several situations last year have left me in a vulnerable & raw place emotionally and the only way to keep from stuffing my feelings is to process right away with Jesus.  I love that God doesn’t need me to actually speak my thoughts and emotions to Him because he already knows everything. Yet the process of doing so always brings me so much clarity.  What I get in the process is understanding and instructions.  I was able to process my emotions and then move on.

Later in the week, Matt had his regular small group meeting.  Instead of leading the discussion, as he had planned, God had different plans.  Instead, another member of the group prophesied destiny over him.  The experience had a profound effect on Matt especially after reading a text I had sent him that were the EXACT words his friend was proclaiming.   My text was simple: Good luck! Praying for a supernatural experience. But the impact it had on Matt in that moment was profound, dare I say, life changing! It was God’s way of showing up and confirming all that was spoken about him.

For me, it had a different effect.  I was battling hopelessness, again.  And again, Jesus very lovingly took me by the hand and said, “no worries, I’ve got this.”  My Heavenly Father handled my feelings with care in the moment and then confirmed His presence and provision later in the week.  Thank you, Jesus, for the miraculous things you do in my life every day and allowing me to “soar on wings like eagles.”

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In the Garden with Jesus

It’s been a long week. After a week like this I find myself wonder why God created us to be emotional beings? Dealing with emotions is tough and tiring stuff.  Often life has a way of pulling the rug out from under you and I seem to be caught in one of those moments.  Thankfully, I have learned a little bit about the best way for me to handle times like this without a complete mental breakdown.  I’m not saying it will work for everyone but for me when I am feeling mentally overwhelmed I usually end up focusing my energy on creating a beautiful space.  I love beautiful things and I will shamefully admit that often a beautiful space is just a really clean and/or organized house.  You don’t have to know me for long to know that I clean when emotional whether I’m experiencing positive or negative emotions.  But today, I didn’t clean, 1) because my house was mostly clean anyway thanks in part to my 17-year-old and 2) because I had flowers in my garden that needed to be planted before they died.

Gardening really isn’t my thing and I wouldn’t spend any time doing it if it wasn’t for my affinity for all things beautiful.  I spent my day pulling weeds, planting new flowers, pulling weeds, repositioning old flowers and did I mention pulling weeds.  Weeds are so tenacious. No matter how often you pull them up, inevitably they will reappear.  They also come in different shapes and sizes. The weeds in one area of my flower garden weren’t too bad.  They were plenty but easily eradicated. While I was pulling a bazillion of them I got a sense that the weeds represented the sin in my life.  I think I have an overactive sin nature. Most days I feel like a pretty great human.  I love Jesus and I try my best to follow Him and His Word so that other people can see Jesus in me.  But that doesn’t change the sin that is so prevalent in my heart and life.  I want to be like Jesus but I am also acutely aware of all the parts of me that reflect my humanness. That inherent nature means I’m ALWAYS in need of a Savior.  My sin will not ever be gone this side of heaven.  So, I need Jesus to maintain my connection to the father. Thank you, Jesus, for what you did for me on the cross. You make it possible for the sin in my life to be pulled out so I can be who I was created to be – a reflection of Father.

In another area of my yard, not far from my flower garden, are other various kinds of weeds. Here the ivy and blackberry bushes have taken over.  I don’t like the ivy. It’s a weed; I know this.  It is invasive and can be home to gross critters but what lies beneath the ivy is so ugly that I’ve intentionally allowed the ivy to remain. As I was trimming it back today, I first had to deal with huge blackberry bushes that were threatening to take over as well.  I hate blackberry bushes so so much and today I was determined to get them out of my yard.  I wrestled these things all day and as I did I began to see another parallel in my spiritual life.

The ivy represents the pain in my heart.  By all outward appearances, my pain doesn’t seem that bad.  I have an exterior that I allow the world to see that seems functional and even somewhat beautiful. Much like Ivy which has some curb appeal on the exterior,  it is not really that beautiful because it is rooted in pain. Sadly the pain acts as a form of security for me. I cling to it.  What I’m learning is that I’m clinging to lies.  My pain is destroying the good in my life. But God’s word say in Genesis 50:20  “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

What hides below the surface of the ivy in my yard has enormous potential. It has the potential to overtake you but it also has the potential to unlock the shackles of bondage. In the beautiful picture, the Lord gave me, this potential is the blackberry bushes. They represents unresolved issues that the Father brings to the surface of our awareness. Blackberry vines can sprout up fast and if left unchecked they can unknowingly take over everything. You can cut them back but doing so only temporarily fixes the problem.  A permanent fix requires locating the root, digging down as deep as necessary and pulling out as much of the root as possible.  Roots have a funny way of growing and often will spring up in a totally new location just for the heck of it.  So even when you do all the work of trying to pull the entire root system you still might have to deal with it again at some point in the future. This is hard work.  It requires determination to withstand the pokes and scratches that come with handling sticker bushes.  Dealing with pain has the potential to leave you broken and bleeding but doing it with Jesus can produce the most incredible freedom in the end.

Today I did so much more than rid my yard of blackberry bushes.  I processed some painful situation with Jesus.  Every time I choose to do that I experience more freedom and I become a truer version of myself – someone created in the image of the Lord Almighty.

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A New Adventure with Jesus


Psalm 107:29-32

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm. And he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deed for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

This is a verse The Lord gave me last week and I’m in awe of what I hear the Him speaking to us. This verse sums up our life in 3 short sentences.  We’ve endured some mighty waves. By the grace of God, we have moved into a season where God has stilled our storms and guided us to our desired haven. Our heart is to do exactly what verse 31 &32 instructs.  We have experienced God’s healing presence and intense love for us and it has completely transformed us individually as well as relationally.

So now we are moving onto to the next thing he has for us: Prayer Ministry!  Woohoo!  For me, I feel like God has been preparing me for years to lead this ministry.  I’ve been well instructed in all things prayer for the last 6 or 7 years.  The freedom I have experienced in response to this training is so incredible.  For Matt, he’s diving in head first.

A while ago, I shared a picture God gave me of the East Australian Current from Finding Nemo.  I saw the move of God going by at rapid speed and the Spirit inviting us to jump in and enjoy the ride. This is EXACTLY what we are doing.  Together we are going to go after Jesus.

If you are currently a part of the prayer team, we would first like to say “thank you” for serving our church family this way.  Matt and I would love to have coffee with each of you to see how you are doing and hear any vision or ideas you may have for prayer.

We will be prayerfully looking at what this ministry we look like going forward and we would love to talk with you feel any interest in being involved.

~Lyndsay and Matt


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Neighborhood Missions

17807432_1009268309206146_6567089830508089411_oYears ago, I was part of a mission team that went to serve orphans in Tijuana. It was my first experience with sharing the love of Jesus in an evangelistic way. There are months of planning that go into organizing a trip like that, so naturally it was saturated in prayer. Our goal for the mission to Mexico was to determine a need, meet the need in a tangible way and pray for the presence of Jesus to show up. Jesus did not disappoint and we saw Him do super amazing things.  Last Saturday, I got to do it again; in Federal Way.

Our church has the privilege of serving alongside a tremendous leader, our Outreach Pastor, Michelle.  She and I have served in ministry together for many years so I have seen firsthand that she is a woman with a heart to do missional things. She was with me in Mexico.  She saw God move in mighty ways and wanted to see the people in our own neighborhoods experience the same thing.

So, she planned an Easter Egg hunt for a community in Federal way that most people probably just overlook. I signed up to help but I did little compared to Michelle. She prayed, planned, prepped and pulled off a beautiful Easter celebration for a community that needed to know the love of Jesus. I simply put my name on a piece of paper and showed up at the correct time and place (which for me is slightly miraculous in itself.)

The story I want to tell is how I saw Jesus move.  I want to include enough detail so you can catch the gravity of the miracle but not bore you death either. Hopefully, I can nail it.

A few weeks ago, the hubby and I got to share about the miraculous things we see Jesus doing in our lives. It was crazy and awesome all at the same time. I started a blog post about it but then I hit a road block and never finished it – probably because my road block turned into a five-car pileup in a matter of moments. I will admit that I wasn’t praying about what Jesus was going to do at the Easter Egg hunt because I was too focused on personal stuff.  My conversations with God all last week were not very friendly. I was angry, fed up and convinced I had no ability to keep going.

Have you ever found yourself there?  This whole following Jesus things is great until you hit a wall. For me, it is a place where I wonder if it is all worth it.  It’s a place where I’ve prayed every prayer I can imagine. I’ve begged, pleaded and bargained with God. But still I’m stuck.  I’ve been in this place so many times.  Each time, I’m convinced Jesus isn’t going to come after me because my pride is too strong or my indignation will prevent it. Each time I am wrong. My Savior has never failed me. He’s always present, always working. And when I thought I just couldn’t keep going, he told me to be still, to remember what He has told me in the past, and to listen to only His voice.

It wasn’t really a choice. I know the outcome of my circumstances when I choose to go my own way. It’s ugly. Thankfully, I have also experienced the outcome when I choose to go God’s way. It is always a beautiful, life-giving, joy-filled experience.  Always! On Friday, with my emotions warring within me, I made space for Jesus to do His thing. As always, he showed up in a powerful way.  Jesus spoke truth into my situation and confirmed it with His Word.  He identified the source of my brokenness and by His Presence made me whole.  He enabled me to once again see who I am in Him. Without knowing it at the time, Jesus called in me into my destiny.  Just in time too, because he had a mission for me.

The mission was to show the love of Jesus to the Westway community of Federal Way. After my powerful encounter with my Risen King, I was super pumped to get to it.  My job for the day was to go door-to-door passing out donated bread and praying as we had the opportunity. This is a perfect job for me because it combines two of my favorite things, walking and praying! I set out with our Senior Pastor with a cart full of bread and a heart full of anticipation.

The first house we came to we prayed for a family who had a close family member that was in a serious accident. This family was not English speaking so an older sibling translated a little but mostly the two older ladies were unaware what we were saying. That didn’t stop the presence of Jesus from touching them.  We prayed for another young boy who had a growth on his chest. I’m not sure how much his mother understood but the presence of Jesus touched her too.  Another young man, that happened to go out for a smoke as we were walking by, spent several minutes talking with us.  He shared details about his life and his family.  Although, he did not let us specifically pray for him I know that Jesus was at work in our conversation.

When we were down to our last loaf of bread, we found ourselves at the home of a mentally disabled man and his caregiver.  We had a delightful encounter.  The caregiver was a believer from Kenya and she was so excited to talk to people who loved Jesus.  The man kept asking over and over if she would take him to church.  We extended an invitation, prayed with them, and then went back to see how the egg hunt had gone.

Upon returning, most of the festivities had wrapped up.  There were still people milling about but mostly the crowd had moved on. I noticed three people sitting at a table in the back by themselves and I felt a promting to go sit with them. This mom and her foster kids had thought they were coming to an egg hunt put on by people they  knew.  That had not been the case but Jesus wanted them in that room.  Again, simply by introducing myself and being open, this woman shared details of her life.  When I asked if I could pray with her she gave honest answers to very real needs she has.  As I prayed for her, I saw Jesus touch her.  It was precious. I probably will never find out the outcome of this encounter but I’m praying it is the beginning of her beautiful journey with Jesus.

Following Jesus on hard days is tough stuff.  But when we decide to do it in spite of how we feel the blessing that comes in simply incredible.  I didn’t spend months praying and preparing myself specifically to go on a mission trip to Federal Way.  What I did was say yes to what Jesus was asking me to do; to be still, remember His promises to me and listen for His voice.  In doing so, I got to be a part of God’s mission to spread the love of Jesus.  That IS totally worth it and I want more.

Oh and Sunday, guess who came to church? The caregiver and the disabled man.  Praise!

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That moment when you receive a precious gift.

Receiving gifts has always been an emotional experience for me. It doesn’t matter if I am completely in love with the gift or I can’t stand the sight of it everyone is going to know how I feel about it a fraction of a second after I receive it.  It can be a curse at times.  This weekend I received a precious gift from my Savior.  The story I want to tell is only partially my own.  The bulk of it belongs to a young man I’ve known for nearly 15 years.  This past Sunday he shared his testimony at his childhood church. The same church my family attended up until a few years ago. In his usual fashion, God used this young man’s words to reveal something  powerful and truly amazing in my own life.

Last Sunday, the hubby and I choose Not go to church.  Gasp! I know, can you believe it?  Instead, we followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and ministered to our own family. It started with a trip to Costco for what I believed to be essentials the boy HAD to have. Why I think he needs a giant box of hot pockets that will likely last him six months is completely beyond me. But when my husband suggested we spend the day with our son  in Ellensburg that is the first thing that popped into my head.  Feed the boy!

We had a harrowing trip over the pass due to treacherous snow and ice.  My husband’s sense of humor kept us company for the arduous trip. So thankful! Without it we might not have survived the adventure.

Once arriving at our destination our adventure took a hazardous turn as we entered the realm of a real life bachelor pad. It was a life-threatening experience for sure. Here’s the thing, I don’t have a lot of experience with guy only residences. I grew up with three sisters and I’m raising two girls myself,  so most of my knowledge of what happens when there isn’t a girl around to say “that is gross” is really limited to what I’ve seen on Friends and let’s be real. There are NO similarities.  I did my best to hide the craziness happening in my head and unloaded the groceries I’d brought as quickly as possible so we could be on our way to a much safer environment; lunch.  And again we’re back to me feeding the boy.

My son has lived in the small town of Ellensburg for five months now and still when asked where should we eat, he’s got nothing.  We managed to find a place containing the word Palace so I was certain that I could be assured of a clean place to sit, eat and catch up with my kid.  The Holy Spirit ministered to my soul as I sat and listened to my boys reconnect. I’m so thankful for these two men. How I got the privilege of spending the bulk of my life with these two is beyond my comprehension.  Thankful doesn’t come close to adequately describing how full my heart is because of them.

At my hubby’s request we made a stop at the Goodwill before braving the pass again to get home. Again his sense of humor left me in stitches. I wish I could show you the Snapchat of the two of them goofing off. It was hysterical!

As we were pulling up to our son’s house I saw the previously mentioned young man’s testimony posted on Facebook. Our son is the same age as him.  My husband and I were youth leaders when these boys were in junior high and high school. Since we all did youth group together so many years ago, we had to watch it. The three of us sat in the car and listened to this powerful confession of what Jesus had done.  It was so incredible!  I vividly remember the years we spent serving in youth group. They seemed like fruitless years.  We did the best we could to create opportunities for the kids to experience Jesus but no matter how powerful the moments were they never seemed to last past the end of the trip.  I remember feeling like this young man only came because someone forced him to or he figured it was a good opportunity to get away with something.  When we could get him engaged we could see God’s hand all over him but mostly he was just distant and uninterested.

To hear his story of what Jesus did for him is so freaking incredible. What a gift!  The sense of joy that swells within me is uncontainable.  Our God does amazing things with the mess we make of our lives.  He did it in this man’s heart.  He did it in my heart.  I see him doing it in the hearts and lives of so many around me as well. Don’t be fooled in to thinking it isn’t happening for you just because you don’t see it.  God is ALWAYS at work!  I’m praying for it to happen to you! 

I see this weekend as a gift from my Heavenly Father.  He knows me and He takes delight in giving me the desires of my heart. Psalm 37:4 My only response is Joy.  Thank you Jesus!

If you are interested in hearing Taylor’s testimony you can find it here.

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Jesus Encounters

My prayer group met this past Saturday morning. I was beyond tired all week long, so it was no surprise that I woke up that day with a migraine.  Several women had to cancel so I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to show up at all.  Honestly, that was perfectly ok with me since I wasn’t feeling great.  I was praying God’s will for the morning so I was prepared for a group or a few hours of downtime. Either was fine with me.

What I got was some one-on-one time with an amazing woman of God!  It was faith-building, life-inspiring, tremendously encouraging time!  If that isn’t a Jesus encounter, I don’t know what is.

For those of you that didn’t make it, let me share what God put on my heart:

If you have been reading my blog, you know I recently visited Bethel Church in Redding, California.  You can read more about it hear Finding Joy.What I shared Saturday morning with my friend was another way I saw the Holy Spirit move in my life over that weekend.

My trip started at the airport at 7am with no wallet, meaning no ID to board my plane.  An amazing act of God preformed by my two of my favorite girls ensured I made my 9am flight but it was not without an intense amount of stress.  After the flight we had a nice drive from Sacramento to Redding. To most people that sounds delightful. For me, riding passenger in a car after flying on a plane messed me up. Sadly, all of that added up to a really bad attitude at church that night when the guest speaker brought a message on intimacy in marriage. I don’t recall much but a few points from the sermon that night but the points that stuck with me got me all riled.You see I’ve been married for 19 years.  That’s a long time for someone (me) with a colossol amount of unresolved past hurts to share the same room with someone with equally as much junk. We love each other.  We’re committed to each other and we are putting in the effort to make our relationship everything God intended it to be but it’s hard. Wouldn’t you know it, God choose this weekend to deal with something I’m a little hung up the moment; intimacy.

I had so much anticipation for what God was going to say to me that weekend and I ‘m rather embarrassed to say I got pissed when He said he wanted to talk about my struggle with intimacy. Here’s where I had a very Lyndsay moment.  I pitched a fit.  For the love of all that is decent in the world, when am I going to stop doing this? Hallelujah, I serve a God who doesn’t get fed up with me but instead lovingly draws me back to him every time.

Saturday morning we went to the healing rooms.  This place is so incredible. If you are ever in the area you should check it out. I can recommend a great place to stay too!

It was a life-changing experience.  To be so immersed in the presence of Jesus does I something radical! If you get a chance to visit this place I promise you will not be disappointed at all.

I want to point out here that I am saying this several weeks later.  At the time, I wasn’t seeing or feeling it. Instead I felt anxious. I was annoyed by something I thought I heard.  Something about not being able to move forward in ministry because I struggling with intimacy in my marriage.  This is a lie the enemy has recently been trying very hard to pin on me. It seems so easy to see it now but not so much when I thought I was hearing this Pastor tell me something I knew was a lie. This is where indignation typically rears its ugly head for me. And I’m not talking the righteous kind.

But God knows me and He was quick to do something awesome.  While I was receiving prayer in the healing rooms the Lord told me he loves the relationship we share; that I make him smile and he takes delight in my quirky (or shall we say whiny) personality. I’m in the middle of throwing a fit and Jesus is reminding me how much he loves me even in my current state. Thank you Jesus!

Oh how I wish hearing that from Jesus would be enough to calm me down but no, not me. When I’m worked up the only remedy is to physically exert my emotions out. I may or may not have taken my life into my own hands by walking along the main road in front of my dad’s house but it had to be done.  God kept me safe and my mom patiently listened as I unloaded exactly how I was feeling. Her words to me cut through all the bull.  She knew my heart and she gently reminded me that what I desire most is a clean heart before the Lord. Above everything else; above my own indignation, stubbornness and self-centeredness, I desperately want that. A clean heart before the Lord.

In the wee hours of Saturday night, after an eventful joy-filled game of Mexican Train and witnessing someone else’s powerful encounter with Jesus I sat on the couch with Pastor Cindy and I unpacked my anxious, irritated feelings for the second time that day. This time I gave them to Jesus. Freedom came flooding back in His Presence. I had clarity again and could see Heaven invading my world. Another powerful Jesus encounter.

While my anxious thoughts had been replaced with peace, I still wasn’t really feelin it even the next day. Our 5 hour delay coming home didn’t aid my emotional situation in anyway. Monday morning life went back to normal as it always does.  At first, I didn’t really notice anything.  Life was its usual demanding self.

Then one day, very unexpectedly Jesus spoke through the words of Overflow.  The section was on the story of Joshua and Caleb and the incredible faith they had to believe that even in the midst of adversity that everything is possible because the Lord  told them to take the land and not to be afraid. The author goes on to pose this question, “How much stronger would we be if we used our adversity as food to strengthen our faith and walk with God?”

After reading that I remembered another word I got from a beautiful young lady at Bethel ironically named Lindsay too. She said that God waste’s nothing.  This girl made a point to tell me this and in the moment of contemplating how my own adversity has strengthened my walk, Jesus was reminding me of it again. My usual feeling is that I have had more than my fair share of adversity in my life. While that might be true,  I have also seen, over and over, God use that it to produces beautiful characteristics in me. Ones that weren’t there before. Ones that reflect the image of Christ. Adversity is always going to be a part of this fallen world.  My desire is to be someone who’s adversity is a means through which the Kingdom of Heaven is brought to earth. The way to make that a reality is to stay focused on my source of life; Jesus. I must choose to put my adversity in its rightful place at the foot of the cross.

When I look at what Jesus has done in my life I see amazing things. In realizing all of this, I saw the bondage I was carrying because of my struggle with intimacy. I believe Jesus broke it off that weekend at Bethel.  But I’m nothing if not stubborn so I held on to it believing it was somehow protecting me. Finally Jesus said enough.  Let me take it from you so you can be free. Free to love everyone unconditionally, to be a minister of Jesus in EVERY relationship God brings into my life. Especially my relationship with my husband.

How are you feeling about your current adversity?  Is it overwhelming you?  Is it causing you to be anxious or irritated?  Or maybe fearful or hopeless.  If so, please know this IS NOT God’s intention for you.  This week I will be praying that God will give you the same revelation He gave me. That you will begin to see that in the Presence of Jesus our adversity becomes power that transforms us more and more into the likeness of our King.

My challenge to you is to read “Allow Adversity to Fuel Your Fire” on page 55 of Overflow and see what Jesus has to say to you.

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