Trust in the Failure {Write31Days}

We often say a lot of words, that carry little value because we do not actually put action behind our Words.  Our actions tell if what we say is true.  When I say “You are my God” to the Lord and then put other things before Him or let other things guide my decisions, that is not truly trusting Him.

Saying “You, God,  are my supreme being” means that God has the highest rank in my life. While some days that is true, the reality is I often put other things before Him.  I don’t mean that in a religious way.  I don’t feel like God condemns me if there is a special event and I go to that instead of church.  I don’t think He judges when I put off Bible Study to the end of the day because I didn’t sleep and my morning was booked with activities.   God doesn’t break things down in to the daily moments, He is looking for the lifestyle of my choices.  Do they reflect Him being first, or are other people or things truly my god.psalm3114

Saying “God You are the source of my moral authority” and then living immoral doesn’t show a trust in God.  God knows that we will never be perfect.  Justifying my wrong behaviors by the past though, says “It doesn’t matter that God says it is wrong, my past makes it okay.”  Any excuse we make becomes the source of our moral authority, it becomes our god.

With the exception of David, and a few picturesque moments in the lives of other people in the Bible, we rarely see the  moment by moment thought life and activities.  We get the highlight reals of failures and triumph that are meant to inspire us that we too can be used by God.  There are faith stories to build us up. We can trust that if God can do it for them,  He can do it for us.

David shows us the vulnerability of the soul throughout the Psalms.  He shows us the thought patterns that most of us go through, the ones we try to hide.  He shows us the ups and downs, the anger, the desire for revenge, the brokenness, and the joy.  Despite David’s emotional ups and downs, David’s heart was to please God.  The Bible records David breaking many of the ten commandments – murder, jealousy, adultery, breaking the Sabbath, lying.  Despite David’s failures, God said David had a heart like His.

God wasn’t looking at the isolated events that so capture our attention in our own lives.  Satan wants us to be focused on our failures.  God knew David would sin.  God knows we will sin too.  He still paid the price for our salvation.  And just like David, God can still use us. God was looking at David’s overall desire to please Him and serve God.  With every failure, David was repentant and returned to God taking responsibility for his thoughts and actions.

God is not focused on our failure, He can turn that in to a way to help someone else.  God not frightened by our emotional ups and downs, He just wants our emotional turmoil to end with Him.  God wants to be first place in our life because when we make Him our God, and trust fully in Him, He will take every aspect of our life and use it for His glory and honor.




This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.

Dangerous Trap {#Write31Days}

There is a safety that comes from trusting in the Lord.  A safety that is not easily shaken.  Knowing that not only can He protect you, but knowing that He will protect you – there is safety there.

Despite having been in some dangerous situations, I have never feared for my personal safety when with people.  I trust fully that God will protect me.  I figure that if it is my time to go, I will go.  If it is not my time, then nothing someone does to me will keep me from the plans and purpose God has for me.  Even when I walked away from the Lord, I trusted Him with that belief.

Yet, I have learned that maybe I fear people on a different level and it is possibly more of a dangerous trap.  I don’t fear in a physical sense, but an emotional one. I fear my emotional safety with people.  I realized I might  be with people, but I am absent emotionally.  I don’t share of my emotions – good, bad, or ugly.

Emotional vulnerability was halted somewhere.  I can share anything from my life completely void of emotion.  I realized I might trust God to protect me physically and spiritually, but I didn’t trust Him to protect my heart and soul.  That was a sobering reality.  Somewhere in life I started developing walls of self-protection. I have been working to learn where it started.  I want to understand the root cause and confront it. God has shown me several things, but I think it is just scratching the surface.proverbs2925

It is dangerous trap because it keeps me hidden from others.  Physically being there people form an idea of who they think you are.  The reality is they know very little because the true you is hidden.

It is also dangerous because the false perception others have led them to feel you have it all together.   The smile you wear on your face is a masquerade.   They aren’t able to see the inner struggle and the process God takes you through.

It is a dangerous trap because you aren’t being the you that God created you to be.  When I build walls around my emotions, I eventually shut them off even from myself.  When people ask “How do you feel?”  the truth is I really don’t know.  I’m getting better with this as God chips away at the walls, but I really struggle with knowing my own emotions.

It’s a dangerous trap because God takes us through things to be a witness to others.  He helps us so that we can help others.  It is not just about the physical journey, it is about how the journey changes your soul.  God changes you from the inside out that means people needs to know the soul journey.

It’s a most dangerous trap because it blocks our trust in God.  When I truly trust God, I trust Him with my whole being.  I can trust Him to protect me if I am emotionally vulnerable, because He has a purpose in it.  I may not fully trust the person I am sharing with, but I should be able to trust Him to keep me safe as I share emotionally.

For almost a year now, God has been working with me on trust.  I can’t truly begin to trust people until I fully trust Him.  This is one of those posts where I can’t wrap it up in a neat bow with the solution.  I don’t have it yet.  I don’t quite know what it will look like.  I only know that there are different types of fear.  I know that any fear of people is a dangerous trap.



This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.




Searching {#Write31Days}


I spend a lot of time searching.

I search for things I have lost or misplaced.

I search for things because I can’t remember something.

I love to search for information and resources.  I am the go to person for “Can you find…?”  or   “Do you know….?”

I can get lost in the search of anything – it doesn’t even have to be something I am interested it.  If someone needs information or a resource, I love to search it out.

A little over a year ago, I was introduced to The Journey.  It is a journey to develop personal habits that will grow intimacy in the personal relationship with God. Initially it was more of a task than anything to me.  Having been a Christian about thirty-two years, much of the information felt basic and repetitive.   One of the things you are encouraged to do daily is journal in a specific manner.  I have used a journal in my personal devotion time for about seventeen years although not always daily.  Trying to force myself to change the manner that I journal felt forced; regardless I stuck it out.

psalms910The nine month process of The Journey has come and gone, yet the lifestyle continues, now consistently.  I went from “Let me do my Bible Study at the end of the day” to “Let me search for the Lord first thing in the morning.”  I want to get up before anyone else is up or comes home to have my quiet time.  I am not a morning person, but I don’t want interruptions.  I want time to get lost in my searching.  I went from “I know” head knowledge to “I really know” heart knowledge.

Writing out the scriptures in different versions than I learned brings fresh insight.  When I started The Journey I could write out the scriptures I have memorized without thought.   I wasn’t searching for new truths because I felt I “already knew.”  Quoting a scripture is just words, applying it and walking it out takes trust.   Changing the version, sometimes I have to look it up in the NKJV just to make sure it was the scripture I thought it was.  It I amazing how the emphasis or change of one word can change how I think about something.   Words once again jumped off the page, screaming to me “Search me, know that I am your God.”  The Word is living.  Scriptures started coming alive in my life.

Focusing on a particular topic helps me go deeper than I would have before.  The Journey had specific scriptures to journal on each day and week.  When the nine months wrapped up I asked the Lord to guide me to what He wanted me to study.  I started with Who I am in Christ.  It was a refreshing reminder.  It also made me question – am I really walking in it?  Then I moved on to “Be” and what God called me to be.  Now I am in the promises of God.  Despite “knowing” these things I realized I have not been walking in it.

The process of The Journey has led to a deeper trust in God.  Searching out the truths of the Word and applying them personally to my life has given me a deeper understanding of how God has been there for me throughout my life.  I can see the times where I might have felt abandoned, how God was really guiding me through to a deeper revelation of my utter dependence on Him.

I recommend The Journey whole heartedly now, regardless of how long someone has been walking with the Lord.  I have met people from all denominations that have went through The Journey and testify to the change it created in them.  Regardless of what your personal walk looks like, your walk can always go deeper.  Searching God’s word for yourself brings fresh insight, knowledge and wisdom.  It changes you from the inside out.



This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.

Double-minded trust {#Write31Days}

The book of Luke (Luke 1:5-25) begins with a story that I can relate to  about double-mindedness.  It is the story of a Jewish priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth and their quest for a baby in their old age.  From the story, it is apparent they had been praying to God for a child. One day while Zachariah is ministering before the Lord in the Temple, the angel of the Lord comes to answer the request.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

Zechariah is fearful when the angel appears in the Temple. The angel tells Zechariah not to be afraid.   The angel not only tells Zechariah that God heard his prayer, the angel says God is going to give him a son and what the child’s name should be.  The angel gives Zechariah some instructions for the child and tells him of the child’s ministry.

This was a priest, God’s chosen.  He was ministering in the temple serving the Lord.  I would like to believe that if an angel appeared that would be enough for me to trust what was said.  The angel telling me God heard my specific request and is answering the request might ease my mind, in case I was still in shock over the angel being there.  I would like to think that anything that followed I would trust to happen.

Yet Zechariah’s first response wasn’t “Thank you Lord. I knew that You would give me my heart’s desire because I am your faithful servant.”  No, Zechariah’s response was “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”  The angel wasn’t enough.  The spoken word wasn’t enough.  The prophecy wasn’t enough.

james1678Isn’t it ironic that we often pray and ask God for something, then we question if He will give it.  We cry out “God please give me…..”  We are told to ask in faith.  We boldly go before the throne of God with our requests.  Then as quick as we walk away from the request,  we follow it with  “How can I be sure?”  It is double-mindedness at its worst.

Zechariah asked God for a child.  As God’s priest, more than anyone else, one would think he walked in trust.  Zechariah didn’t need a sign, the pregnancy and child would prove what the angel said.  God didn’t ask Zechariah to do something; Zechariah had asked God to do something.   When Zechariah asked for a sign, the sign he received was not probably what he was asking for.  “But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

It is easy for me to look at the situation and wonder how Zechariah could be so double-minded in his trust of God.  Yet I know that I do the same thing.  There are several things that I have asked for and I know line up with God’s Word.  Requests sealed through His promise.    They are situations I have no control or influence over, things that will happen in God’s timing.  Yet, there are times when I still want a sign – knowing full well the sign will be when it happens.  Until then I am suppose to stand in faith and walk out my trust.  At times, like Zechariah God give a sign but the sign I received is not the one I wanted.  Yet, in the end just like Zechariah’s story I was left praising the Lord for His faithfulness despite my double-minded trust.



This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day

Perfect Peace {#Write31Days}

Perfect Peace.  That is the only way I can explain the past ten months.  I never thought that I would be able to deal with the death of my mother, let alone stand in peace at her side as she passed.  My trust has been in God and God alone through this time.

When my father died I thought I had my thoughts fixed on God, but I didn’t trust God.  I had no peace when my father died. I was standing in faith for my father’s healing, it didn’t happen this side of heaven. Peace was nowhere to be found.   I was distraught, my world came crashing down around me.

Truth be told, I thought I would be worse with my mom.  It is not that I am walking though this journey without reaction.

isaiah263I have done that before too.

Walking though things void of emotion.

Going through the motions of life without really living.

Despite the weight of the world, my thoughts stayed firmly fixed on God.  And the peace, I can’t even describe it.   I allow myself to feel.  Now I realize that peace goes deeper than the emotions of sadness, fear, and rage.  Tears still come.  Memories still flood my soul at the least opportune time.

Peace surrounds me because my focus is on God.

My trust is in Him and the journey that He has brought me through.  The lessons I have learned through my walk with my mother and even from my walk without her have brought a deeper sense of peace.   I feel like I am a better person, in a better place,  in a better state of mind and a better place spiritually than I would have been had I not taken this journey.



This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day

Show me a sign {#Write31Days}

Tucked away in the Old testament book of Judges are three chapters that share the highlight reels of a Israeli judge name Gideon.  Gideon was from the smallest clan in Israel and when God called him, Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide his wheat from the Midianites who were ruling the land.

Like many of us, Gideon immediately met God with his own insecurities.  “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Judges 6:15  He immediately started asking “How can I do what you have said I could do?”  He laid it all out for God, all his excuses for God to handle.

Maybe it is just me, but I often meet God with this.  He tells me I can do something, and I immediately start with the reasons why I am the wrong choice.  I feel okay to do things that are within my comfort zone, but as soon as I feel led to do something outside of it, I am filled with excuses.  I fail to stand on the promise that With God I Can Do All Things (Philippians 4:13).  God knows my deepest fears and insecurities, even ones I have not yet discovered.  If I am open before the Lord with those, He can address them.  He can take my excuses and turn them into action.

fleeceGideon worked through his own insecurities, and then did what most of us do next “God, give me a sign.”  Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.   Judges 6:17

No one wants to lay it all on the line only to find out they missed God.  However, too many times we are so concerned about missing God that we fail to take a step.   Asking God to give us something to confirm what He is saying is not doubt as long as action follows it.  Yes, God wants us to get to the point that we know His voice and just follow, but there are times when God will show us that we can trust Him and show us a sign.

God was not upset with Gideon for asking for the sign.  Instead He performed  a miracle to give Gideon the confirmation that he needed.  Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. Judge 6:21

That miracle propelled Gideon into action.  Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.  He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded.  He was empowered to call together the warriors, and then reality hit Gideon.  Those insecurities returned and Gideon again asked “Show me a sign”.

Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised,  prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.

God so wanted to see Gideon step into his purpose.   God knew that what He was asking Gideon to do would take more than Gideon had to give. Gideon’s faith would need to be strengthened to help him face the battle ahead.  God complied with Gideon’s request.  God accepted the fleece that Gideon laid before Him.  Then Gideon asked God again “Show me a sign.”

Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew. Judges 6:33-40

God was not angered or surprised by Gideon’s request.  Gideon was saying “God I want to trust you, please show me I can.”  Gideon gave God a small request, and God answered Him in a big way.  As a result, Gideon armed the soldiers and headed into war.

God wasn’t done getting Gideon to trust though.  When they got close to the battle, God told Gideon there are too many people with you.  “I want this glory, not the army.  Lets get rid of the soldiers that are insecure. Send them back home.”  It’s funny sometimes God works people through their insecurities, like He did with Gideon.  Other times God will let us be ruled by our insecurities until a more opportune time.  God took the army from 32,000 down to 10,000 and still said it was too many soldiers.  God sent all but 300 soldiers home.

Gideon definitely needed strong faith and trust in God to take such a small number of soldiers to defeat the army of the nation ruling over their people.  God knew Gideon would need another boost and so He told Gideon  “But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah.  Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” 

I wouldn’t usually encourage people to eavesdrop for confirmation of God’s plan for your life, but that is what God told Gideon to do.  And it worked out just as God had planned. Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!”

His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!” Judges 7:10-14  In the end, Gideon and his army defeated the Midianites.

From Gideon we learn so much about what trust looks like.  There is so much give and take with God.  He wants us to bring our insecurities before Him, but He wants us to leave them with Him.  He is not surprised by our need for reassurance.  Sometimes God will let us give in to our insecurities, like He did in sending the army home.  There is always a bigger plan in place when God does.

God is okay with us asking Him to give us a sign.  He knows that the little signs help grow deeper trust and bigger faith.  God needs us to keep growing deeper trust because the battles we face go from concept to battle and we will need a strong faith for walk out the plans and purpose God has for us.  When we walk in the fullness of faith, God will do great and mighty things through us.



This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day

Choices {#Write31Days}

I went to school to be a social worker, in hindsight I might have went to school to be a Christian counselor had I been steered that direction, but I don’t regret the decision.  The great thing about being a social worker is that there are so many options.  The best thing about being a social worker is the interesting people who you meet, getting to hear their stories and life experiences, and the lessons you can learn.  Despite not being an official “Christian counselor” by title, I am by very nature of who I am a counselor that is a Christian.

I committed my career to Christ to use me in whatever way He saw fit.  It has been my honor to surrender my life to Him and allow Him to help me help others.  I stand in awe of the lives I have seen transformed.  Families, on the brink of destruction, through intervention reconciled.  Children, in a downward spiral, doing a 180 degree turn.  psalms375Individual lives in shambles, restored.  These are amazing testimonies to God’s great work.  I have seen and helped many through situations that overwhelmed me when I connected with the family, but God helped me and I was able to help them.

When we commit everything we do to God, when we place our trust in Him, He will help us.  So many times we think only about the spiritual things when we turn to God, or big physical needs.  However God wants everything.  When we turn everything over to Him, it rarely looks like we think it will.  I look at my life and the dreams that I felt like God had given me, and they look much different from where I am.  However, if I look closely, those dreams are being fulfilled completely.

When we trust God to work in and through us, when we surrender our lives completely, and leave our path in His hands, God will do great and mighty things in and through us.  It may not be on a global level or even a large-scale level, but it will impact lives because that is what God’s business is about – people.  When we choose to trust God with every aspect, we will see that He can work through any aspect.  He will use a brief encounter at the grocery store to speak into your life and change the trajectory of someone else’s life.  He will use a connection at work to speak into your marriage.  He will turn reaching out to a hurting person into a friendship.  He will use your work to minister, even without ever speaking the gospel, to a lost and broken world.

We have to choose daily to trust in God.  We have to choose to commit everything to Him.  When we do our part, He will do His part and help us to reach the lost and hurting world.  He will take our words and help us to speak directly into things we may not know about.  He will take us into places we would never go.  He will take our attitudes and use them to open doors of discussion about why we have joy.  He will take our actions and let them speak to those around us who need a different role model.  What will you choose?



This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust.  31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day