Taking it all in

snow flower

I believe at the core of me “I am trying desperately to learn how to trust God again.”

I believe there may come a time in each individuals life when God allows a breaking so to it’s core that we may come to the place of having to choose him or choose to release him because we simply can not fathom the depth of the brokenness. I recall a place years ago before the breaking when it seemed so easy to trust, so easy to hold onto him; his promises, his truth, so easy to believe my God in all areas of life. It’s not that I don’t believe, it’s not that I don’t hold onto him, it’s not that I don’t hope, you see quite simply if it weren’t for all of these; hope specifically, I truly believe I would not be in existence today.

There has been something about this new year 2013 that has begun a new beginning I don’t think I am all in control of.  It is good, it feels refreshing, and it feels alive. If feels hopeful! This is the best feeling. It just seems like there have been years of desperation trying to hold on, trying to remember his promises but not fully understanding them.  Simply just holding on some days, like I was on the edge of a cliff clinging for my life….  Today I have found release. After eight years why has it been so difficult?  Well, because I am a work in progress, I am trying desperately to lean how to trust God again in all things! And this is okay, I will accept this.  He accepts it, why shouldn’t I. I will grieve what needs to be grieved and I will hope for complete healing that I know God has designed for me….

Sometimes it is I that hinders the minds healing process…. I will rebuild trust by choosing not to be angry with him about my brokenness, by choosing to talk to him daily.  It doesn’t have to be anything deep, I can take that pressure off of myself,  just simply “Good morning Lord..”  It will continue to progress from there.  By allowing personal dialogue not just dialogue from his word, I will allow my soul to mend…. You see I realize God desires healing for our minds,  for my mind, healing for our souls, my soul.. but without our okay to let him in the door, without our own hand unlocking the key to my soul, to my mind, he isn’t given access… Let me tell you when it is the mind and soul that was the very place the attack was made, this is a difficult thing…  There are things that are done to people by people that far outweigh the humans mind, my mind that is.  I am always astounded by evil, and the creativity of the flesh to seek it out and deliver it on another.

1 Corinthians 4:8-9 says: ” We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”

Over the years this verse it the key verse that I have clung to.. Because in my flesh I felt perplexed, I felt despair, I felt abandoned by all…. But in my spirit I knew that it wasn’t the truth and I had to fight all those years to get it to align up again…. I am a work in progress, but I am getting there…..  I am so grateful for the grace that my God has given to me in allowing me to re-discover myself on this journey..  I feel love, and I feel appreciated by Him…..

Prayers of Relinquishment

Prayers of relinquishment:

I’s been just a little while since I have blogged, hoping this year to get a bit more consistent at it……  I thought today would be a great start….

While spending time studying some on prayer this morning I found a blog or a link (Hanna’s Cupboard, a ministry of Barbara Lardinais) she has done an outstanding job in regards to her teachings on prayer.  It’s fun to recollect the areas in our lives that we have seen God move in…..

Taken from:  (Hanna’s Cupboard, a ministry of Barbara Lardinais)

“I call this extremely powerful prayer type the prayer of relinquishment. As effective as it is, I have only used it rarely and I’ll explain why later. Relinquishment pretty much breaks all the usual rules: no asking, binding and loosing, fasting, prayers of agreement, declaring God’s Word or rebuking the enemy. And—no desperation required. Rather, relinquishment surrenders to the circumstances just as they are. As I think of it, perhaps it is really taking a step beyond desperation.

My first introduction to this prayer that seems to so run against my natural grain was from a story told by the late Catherine Marshall about her own life in her book Meeting God at Every Turn. Maybe I accepted it initially because I admired Catherine so much and God so often spoke to me through her writing—still does in fact. Though she never knew it, she was a mighty spiritual mentor to me and because of her I had hopes that I too would someday be a writer who would encourage others…….

You might wonder if this kind of prayer is scriptural since the word “relinquishment’ isn’t found in the Bible as far as I can tell. Yet, I think the concept is definitely there. Wasn’t that Job’s heart when he said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” (Job 13:15) But I think it was Jesus that expressed the prayer of relinquishment best. “’Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’”(Luke 22:42)

Have you tried all else? Are you ready to be finished with your way and accept only HIS way? Maybe this prayer belongs to you.”

As I was reading this it hit me that on two occasions I can remember hitting this area of relinquishment…  Today I will share one of those two, will think further about sharing the second in the future ..  :o)

Shy of having my three children, I had discovered that quite possibly I was finding my identity in my children and young motherhood rather than contentment in the identity that Christ really had desired for me….  Talk of a vasectomy had come up from Scott and quite honestly it was very rarely a “go” area that we could discuss calmly…. The angst that I felt in bringing the chapter of having babies to a close was just gut wrenching for me…..  Yet in the back of my mind and shortly after my third was born I was slowly discovering that my desire to mother another child had become more of an obsession rather than a desire…..  The second he was born, I began thinking of another, I began developing anxiety that Scott would want to go in immediately and get the vasectomy …. That he would push the issue…..  I would sit in my rocking chair nursing my baby, thinking about the next….. It wasn’t until Greyson was around one, that I really began to use a different approach to prayer….  It occurred to me that I was pleading and begging for this season not to end, was pleading with God…  “just change Scott’s mind, would you already!” pleading to God…  “Just one more,  just one more…”  At what point do I pause and ask?  “Wait, is that what you really desire for me God, for us, for my family, for you and I?”

I wish I could remember all of the details around it; I don’t, maybe so that the details won’t get the glory but just that God himself does….  Too often we put so much time in to explaining the details; they become the praise rather than the act of Christ himself….  I just remember finally on my face before God, in my front room, all had gone to bed in our home….  I remember literally crying out and relinquished the desperate desire of my heart over to him, my desires for more children I handed Scott and I’s marriage over to him, and the battles we were in over this chapter…..

For some results of relinquishment isn’t instant, mine was and I thank God for that, for some it takes more time to see the outcome.  This evening for me was like grieving a death; in fact it was grieving a death, a death of a bigger dream in a very specific area…..

While speaking to God, he very clearly just spoke back to me and shared that he had additional seasons in store for me and they were going to be good seasons, seasons that I would find fulfillment in for him…  I remember very briefly thinking, “I don’t think I ever thought I could do anything else beyond having children, I don’t think I thought I would ever be good at anything else other than that…”  I grieved and I cried a gut wrenching prayer that night and did go to bed feeling heavy however there was peace even in the heaviness.   The following morning I woke up and called a very close friend, who knew this battle I had been in, I had shared with her what had happened and shared with Scott shortly following that it was time to make the appointment….  Quite honestly I think both parties were just waiting for the gauntlet to fall or change course, but it didn’t my friends…..  Months later the appointment was made, Scott was very hesitant, yet he made it, and I went with him, was it hard? Honestly just a little…..  However I never forgot that voice that said “Shannon, I have more in store for you, you are worth more, and will become more…”  I don’t say that because I don’t think there is enough worth in motherhood, absolutely not…

In that relinquishment came peace.  Relinquishment took time to discover that’s what I was missing.  It’s very challenging to grasp hold of when to let go and when to plead for the desires of our heart.   However often the desires of our heart become so emotionally tangled that we lose sight of his desires and push towards our own, they don’t appear to be sin, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to bring another life into the world, and the Lord has that desire for some….  For me however he did not…..  I had become stuck and very self-focused to the point of obsessive…  It was time to relinquish.

For me the change came when One, I admitted or allowed myself to see that something was off with me…  Two I acknowledged that it was time to let go to allow God to move even if that meant it may result in giving up something, there was still a possibility that God would honor the desire of my heart, but was I willing to let go if He had other ideas?  (I was)  Three, I took action right away when I heard the word that God had for me and shared with a friend and Scott so that I wouldn’t slip back into my old thinking…..  It’s so important when we hear something from God especially when it comes to the desires of our own hearts to declare it or speak it as soon as possible, because it is so very easy to slip back into that kind of thinking and allow insecurity to slip back in……

My prayer for you is if a prayer of relinquishment is needed God will bring you to that place of peace, and help you move forward in release so that you can move forward in action for him and yourself and the desires he has for you…

Be blessed friends

~Shannon

Today is a New Day!

Repentance prepares the way and gets the heart straight; it prepares us to get into His presence. You cannot live in his presence without repentance. Do you understand what those areas are that need repentance? You see I think sometimes we get so accustomed to the way we are that we don’t see any longer what we could be….

We hurt, but we have hurt for so long we don’t know what it feels like to feel good anymore, and we think it needs to be this way. We pick up habits and keep focusing on them, and don’t see that they have taken hold of us. You get on your video games and lose sight that they have a hold of you, you don’t have a hold of them, they have you. Watching what you shouldn’t be watching, you know what I am talking about, reading what you shouldn’t be reading! Again, you know what I am talking about! Self-medication, whether it is with or without food, cutting, drinking, pumping junk into our systems to take the edge off, or to take the ache away, or heck maybe just to have a “Good time”! These things keep you from God; these things keep you from feeling him, from hearing Him, from finding him! You will never find satisfaction, you will never find wholeness, you will never feel valued enough, loved enough, heard enough, you will never feel complete joy; you will never love or be loved!!!

The problem is you have never really been hungry. You have allowed things of this world to satisfy your lives…God is tired of being second place.. Love yourself enough to put him first! There is a passage in scripture that says love your neighbors as you love yourself, perhaps that’s part of the problem, you have lost the love of self, you have gotten lost in all of the things pulling at you….

Sometimes we’re afraid to wait on the Lord, because we’re afraid that He won’t show up, but He promises us.. ”They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength” Isaiah 40:31

Sometimes we don’t have the strength to overcome our own flesh, because we haven’t waited on Him to show up to empower us, and we’re trying to do too much in the power of our own soul’s realm.

He is not going to pour out his spirit where He doesn’t find hunger. He only comes when you’re ready to turn it all over to Him.

Turn it over friends, today is a new day!

Here I am

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I have loved Numbers this week.  I began studying Numbers 13 to use in our youth message this weekend, but found myself looking first at Numbers 12.  I was convicted and reminded of a few things.  In Numbers 12 Aaron and Miriam were struggling with just a bit of jealousy towards Moses, but rather than […]

1 Corinthians 4 Challenge

Ahh, the Blog has finally arrived.  I smile as I hear Scott, my dad, and PT challenge, “Shannon blog!”.  In all honesty I love to sit down and write, my mind has just been so full lately I have had great difficulty focusing on just one topic.  I have had to stop, pause, and reflect on words spoken to me several years ago from the Lord...”Shannon be still and just listen.” (I remember this moment so clearly as I was on my knees in worship during a youth service, praying and praying and praying in agony….only to hear the words, “Shannon stop talking and worshiping and just listen, be silent so that you can hear”, it was a humbling, and a life changing moment for me.  What stop talking and worshiping?  …Surely that’s not what I had just heard the Lord say to me?  Indeed it was and for that moment and many moments that have followed me during my journey with my father…)  This is something I often find difficult.  I busy myself, in studies,  in worship, in good intentioned often God centered things only to realize, even in these things, I have become so busy, I am not pausing to “hear” what it is the Lord has to say through it all.

I have challenged myself this month with a passage of scripture 2 Corinthians 4.   My challenge is to daily read 2 Corinthians 4 for 30 days straight, meditate on it and see what comes of it.  I was challenged on the word “meditate” which means to chew over and reflect deeply upon.  I wondered although I read scripture often, how often do I ever really rest on a passage and “meditate” on a specific passage… really meditate on it, and I wonder what it would look like personally in my life?  In doing so I have been amazed how often this chapter has hit home.  It is a passage still in process, and everyday that is miss, I will start over again and begin my 30 days, unfortunately this has happened over the holidays, but I am not discouraged, in fact I am encouraged, as I believe there are good things to come, more revelation, more truth, and more challenges. God has already revealed many specifics to me through this passage.  As I begin this 30 day journey all over again, I wonder… “What else do you have to say Lord?” I have fallen in love with this passage, and believe that as I round out my journey and continue to visit it on occasion, it will be firm in my memory, and very useful in future ministry…..  I will revisit my journey through 1 Corinthians 4 with you my friends as this month continues forward.  Until then I challenge you:  How can you too challenge yourself to connect with God on a different level?

Be blessed all

Shannon