My friends, this last week has been amazing! If you haven't read the posts and comments, please take the time to read and pray and soak in what God is doing right here in this amazing community of believers! The words and prayers are so precious and encouraging.
God has big plans for us, dear ones. I just sense that deep in my heart and in my spirit. He sees our willing hearts and hunger for Him and He's honoring us in ways we have yet to even see. I'm so excited over this and what He's doing and putting together. Prepare to be blown away!
And as we've talked about this week, our enemy wants to undo us, especially as we seek God more passionately and walk with Him more closely. But as Chris Thomlin sings in this song below, whom shall we fear? Nothing planned against us will stand because Jesus is our friend and his angel armies surround us, fight for us and protect us. Woohooo!
No fear, no fear, no fear!
Love you with the passion of Jesus, my friends! Dineen
Thank you for sharing this song with us, Missie! Hugs!
My precious friends, I can't believe Christmas is so close! As the day draws closer, I'm trying to keep my heart and mind wrapped around the miracle that God brought so long ago and keep my eyes open for the ones He's doing right now.
I want to share one with you. My rep at a magazine publishing group that I 've worked with sent me a Merry Christmas message by email, and I almost didn't reply back out of "busyness." I'm so glad I obeyed the nudge to reply back, because it opend a dialogue for a brother in Christ to share his story and offer encouragement to our SUM community.
My friends, read this and receive the wonderful encouragement that God, our Abba Daddy, wants to you. I know this will speak to at least one woman out there who needs to read this. My friend, God brought you here to read this today for a reason. Believe it and know that your Lord has not missed a moment of your pain or your faithfulness. Whatever He is calling you to do, trust Him for the results. Just take that first step of faith and let Him do the rest.
And thank you to Jeff for serving God so faithfully and being willing to share so openly:
I saw the Q&A you did on FamilyFiction.com and your website www.SprituallyUnequalMarriage.com. As someone that put my wife thru HECK for a number of years till I surrendered to God. My heck was not normal heck—sexual addiction, anger issues, spiritual dysfunction issues. Encourage women that no situation is too tough for God. I was so far gone, yet it was my wife’s love and prayers and tough love that got me to the place I wanted real change to happen. The result is I am in Bible school at night, and we adopted 2 kids from Ukraine in 2010. That is the fruit of a life yielded and a marriage transformed!
God is so good! Is that not amazing?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. — Ephesians 3:20-21
Our Lord is Able! Merry Christmas, my dear friends. I love you so very much! Dineen
Love this music video from Third Day. This song is actually based upon a true story. The song the man heard on the radio was a Third Day song!
I want to say a couple of things before we move forward in
this series. Reading the comments left after the last two posts, it’s obvious
to me that God was right (like always). There many of us who He is revealing
His desire to move our love relationship into a deeper intimacy.
I think the past couple of posts have brought us to a
reality we didn’t understand. It’s our ability to call our Lord, Daddy, and to
accept all of the implications that come with naming our God, with that name of
Now to those of you who don’t struggle with this Daddy
issue, please be patient with the rest of us. And I also want to assure you
that I’m not trying to overly feminize God. Because I KNOW without doubt that
our God is a warrior and fighter a brilliant commander of millions upon
millions of warring angels. We will talk more about that side of our Triune God
in January. But in order to grasp the warrior side of God we need to become intimately
familiar with the love of God. Because out of that love, everything else flows.
Well, let me explain how this Daddy thing began. While I was
at Bethel, the woman Maria, who I’ve written about before, gave me a list of
books to read and a few movies to watch. One movie in particular is, Father of
Lights. This movie profiles several amazing believers and one man in
particular. I won’t give away much about this movie because ALL OF YOU need to
rent it, buy it, or borrow it and then watch it. I will tell you this….. The end…..
It’s a mind blow and a total “God” set up. If you watch it, email me and let me
know your thoughts.
Anyhoo, one of the men profiled literally “hears” the
audible voice of his “Daddy,” our Daddy and Lord. As I watched this movie, I
was filled with a desire to KNOW God in this way. So, the next morning is when
the Holy Spirit said to me, “Call me Daddy.”
For me, and likely for many of you, this is the last (at
least I hope it’s the last) blockade in our love relationship. When I’m able to
name my Lord, “Daddy” it changes everything. This is where miracles happen
because it’s where utter blind trust lives and thrives. It’s where the Holy
Spirit can ask anything and I will do it because there are people who need
healing and I’m the one He will work through. This intimate place is where fear
is decimated and left impotent. It’s where wild courage is born to share with
my spouse, my kids, my family, anyone and everyone the truth. It’s with my
Daddy that I will be awakened in the night to receive my assignment for the
next day, to witness my God’s love and His purposes unfold before my very eyes.
It is with my Daddy that I will be so cocooned in his love that the devil and
all of his minions can’t touch me and in fact they are scared out of their
minds because I know and love my Daddy and I live in His favor and authority.
This is what it looks like this promise of God’s, Perfect
love casts out fear. (1 john 4:18)
So today, cry out just as Teresa T. did on Monday in the
comments: Abba! Father. It does sound so personal that we don't think it as
reverent. So I did some research and found this.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back
into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “ Abba,
Our Great King speaks to us with such a love that I cannot
fully understand it, but He says to me and to you, “Cry out, Abba, Father!”
So right now I’m going to share a snippet form my prayer
journal where I first prayed, “Good morning, Daddy.”
Sit with your Daddy and allow Him to make you the object of
His affection today.
On Monday we will take our Daddy love and watch how that
turns into self-love and the power it brings into our lives. Choosing love and
thrilling in the power it brings to mortal man. Hugs, Lynn
PS. On Sunday I woke from an afternoon nap. And as I came
awake, there were two words that were on my lips and I was whispering softly. I
kid you not, they were, “Abba, Father.” O, how He loves me. O, how He loves
you. O, how He loves you and me.
Okay, I’m totally ripping off Lynn and some tacky song thing, right? But it’s what popped into my head and those are usually my best lines. (wink)
With that said, I’m going to share a few tidbits of my past that, well, I really didn’t plan or want to but God’s giving me the nudge to be even more authentic with you. And I blame Lynn. LOL!
Just like Lynn shared about her “daddy” issues, I’ve had the same challenge as well. My mother and birth father divorced when I was two. I did see my birth father periodically, but it wasn’t an easy situation because he was mentally ill (later diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic).
I don’t remember a whole lot, but I know my mother had it rough keeping food on our table and remarried when I was around four or five, mostly for security. Didn’t work out for very long (it was clear to Mom and I both he wasn’t too keen on having a kid around).
The man I called “Dad” up until two and half years ago when he passed away from cancer was actually my step-dad. He and my mother married when I was eleven. I’m so grateful for this man. Though his own father walked out on him when he was a young boy, he did a good job filling the gap of father in my life, especially without having a good role model. It wasn’t easy for him though. He was always dad, and I was always his daughter, and my girls’ Papa. No "steps" about it.
Whew! Done with the backstory. And please don’t think I share this for attention or pity. I admit in my past I had times of sharing this for that reason but not anymore. I share it because it’s important to the rest of this story.
Fast forward to 2002. I’m at a Women of Faith conference, having a blast with my two best friends from church. We’re singing and worshiping and bam! It’s like my life zips right in front of my eyes. All the rejection I’d experienced as a child and teenager flashed across my mind's eye like a depressing movie from the ‘70s (Am I the only one who hates movies from that time period? So depressing. Blech!)
Anyway, it’s not the past I thought would have “scrolled” through the dank dungeon of my past—you know, all the school yard junk and issues with school and not fitting in, etc.) Nope, it was to do with the three men who’d played the roll of father in my life.
Needless to say it wasn’t pleasant. Thank goodness it happened fast! As it reached the end, Jesus (my first encounter with Him, though I was saved and had recommitted my life to Him almost 10 years prior) spoke to my heart these words:
“I will never reject you.”
Like the story I shared of what happened to me at Bethel, this ripped something out of me that God didn’t want festering there anymore. But more importantly, He knew I needed to hear this/know this/believe this because otherwise I would never be able to trust Him.
My friend, this was the beginning of God working things in my life so that I could one, learn to trust Him, and two, begin to grasp how deeply I am loved by Him. I’m still grasping it.
I know many of you out there reading this have similar stories. That’s the sad part, so many of us do. When we have a broken image of our father here on earth, it’s hard to grasp that our heavenly Father is nothing at all like an earthly father.
I will even go as far as to say this (and feel free to correct me if you think I’m too far “out there): We know the enemy of our soul targets marriage in huge ways, namely because it is something God designed to reflect our relationship with Him. What if the enemy is doing the same thing with our relationships with our fathers? With our children’s relationship with their father?
We see a growing trend in our culture today of absentee fathers. Of men struggling to stay in the church, to be in the church, to be the spiritual leaders of our families. I believe the enemy is attacking this area too because this father image is something else God uses in the Bible to reflect our relationship with Him.
Think about it? The biggest symbols used in the Bible—marriage and fatherhood—that show God’s love for us are the two areas most at risk. And the recovery from this takes time, as Lynn and I have shared. God has had to work in us to undo the lies and replace it with His love and His truth.
So this is what we want you to know, more than anything, right now, right here. God loves you. He made you. He can’t make things He doesn’t love and He doesn’t do shoddy work either. Nor does His love rest upon our performance because if it did then we wouldn’t need grace and Jesus suffered and died on a cross for no reason at all.
Know in your heart of hearts that you were fashioned by His hand out of a love that is all encompassing, unimaginably perfect and so incredibly powerful and passionate that we won’t fully understand it until we are with Him in Heaven. Nor can we be separated from it.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
God wants you to grasp this now. Right now. Because until we do, we will use everything and anything to fill this gap to find fulfillment. Our husband, our children, our friendships, our work, the opinions of others—I know this because I’ve lived it.
Our Lord and Savior wants us to walk in freedom and victory (It is for freedom that He came to set us free. Gal. 5:1). Not when all our problems are solved. Not when our prebelievers finally accept Jesus into their heart. And certainly not when we think we’ve got it all together.
He wants this for us right now, right in the middle of all our imperfections and all our trials and challenges. And we can do that with Him through His love.
My prayers started with asking God to heal me and make me whole. I prayed to understand His grace better. I prayed for Him to help me love Him more, to free me from my fears, and to make me a bold and confident person, because I was so tired of my insecurities. I want more of God than anything else in my life. Not an easy prayer but I promise you it is one He will honor and love to hear come from your heart.
So my friends, I will leave this too long post right here with what I hope will encourage you to pursue God like never before. It starts with prayer and if you’re not sure what to pray for first, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Pray and then believe He’s doing this in you. It won’t be something you can do on your own, make a plan to conquer, or figure out the missing key and, viola!, it’s fixed. (Trust me, I tried!)
No, the healing, deliverance, and change will come when you least expect it because it will be totally and completely God doing it. Rest in Him. Trust Him. Let Him do it.
And He will love you all the way to freedom and beyond. Because really and truly, He is our Father, our Abba, our Daddy.
Like Lynn said in yesterday's post, love has the power to conquer all. As I read that a fuller impact of what it means really hit home. This is something I've known since a child. Not sure how other than God just wired me that way, but I never fully understood what kind of love can do that until I began walking with Jesus and studying the Bible.
The mind blowing part of this is the beauty in the way it works. It's part of the beautiful mystery of who God is and how He works. His love funnels down to us through His Son, Jesus, so when we invite Christ into our hearts, that love now dwells in us.
I mean, think about it. First John 4:7-21 is one of the most powerful pieces of Scripture, my humble opinion. It says repeatedly that God is love. If Jesus is living in us, that means this powerful love, this agape love that's so strong and sacrificial that it drove Jesus to the cross to save us, lives in us as well. This is what I believe, again in my humble opinion, is meant by what Paul says in Ephesians 1:18-21 where he speaks of the very power that raised Jesus from the dead.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (emphasis mine)
That's the most powerful kind of love I can even being to comprehend! The kind of love that brings the dead back to life! A dead heart, a dead marriage...
This is the miraculous part of walking with Jesus and this is the power that lives in us—to love with a miraculous and supernatural love that defies the world, that defeats the enemy of our souls and shines like the brightest beacon in the darkest places.
So, my precious friends, let your love loose! Let that love that God has placed in you free. Ask Him to bring it on and let love flow through you to everyone in your home and everyone you meet. Do this and watch your world change and when you change your world, you will impact those around you.
Through God's love living in us, we have the power to change our lives, our marriages and the world. So let your love loose!
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. — 1 Cor. 16:13-14
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Lynn and I will be on FamilyLife Today. You’ll get to hear Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine ask us some pretty direct questions. And we loved every minute of it because one, we were able to share our hearts for our husbands and marriages and two, our readers here at SUM and on our Facebook page were on our hearts as we spoke, as well as those who will come seeking this ministry for the first time.
But today, I want to some of the most amazing parts of our time at FamilyLife. We had the wonderful opportunity to do this interview with Darla Stone, author of In Christ Alone. Darla has some very crucial things to say about our identity in Christ and finding our security there. Plus she’s a great storyteller! We loved getting to know Darla.
On day two you will hear Dennis Rainey speak about how we are heroes in our marriages:
“I think there’s going to be a lot of heroes in Heaven. I think one the biggest heroes is going to be those spouses who hung in there and loved the one they made a covenant with and raised their children with in the midst of unspeakable differences, disagreements and difficult times.”
I kid you not, I looked at Lynn and she looked at me and we both had tears in our eyes. What a powerful and affirming statement from someone we respect so much. My precious friends, you have to hear Dennis say this for yourself! And don’t miss what he says about sanctification. Walk away from this broadcast and KNOW that you truly are a hero in your marriage. We carry a high calling and are in our marriages for such a time as this. Know that you serve God in a mighty way!
And if you are new to the SUM community, let the wonderful women here wrap you in God’s love and His unfailing message that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We are a strong community of believers who know this walk—its challenges, its heartache and the amazing adventure it can be when we walk in God’s presence daily.
No, you are not alone. We stand together firm in our faith and trust in God that He is good, He is in control, He is an equipper and He is a redeemer! Amen!
Holding you all tight with hugs and prayers!
Here's a fun picture of Lynn and I outside of a Cracker Barrel pretending to play checkers. LOL! This was Lynn's first introduction to Cracker Barrel. Wish you could have seen how well she embraced some good homestyle southern cookin'.
Last week, I ended with a promise to tell you what fear and love have in common. I left that post convinced the answer was “nothing.” But I figured I better ask God, just to be sure. After all, the Bible tells us to fear God.
So, I went for a walk and asked God about it. This is what He told me:
“Fear and love have Me in common. I am love and I created fear to be a reaction to a perceived threat in order to seek safety and protection. The enemy has taken what I intended for your good and used it against you.”
Whoa! Hadn’t thought of it that way and I’m not sure I would have without the help of the Holy Spirit. Now the rest of my healing story and how this is pertinent to the journey from fear to love.
I left Bethel the next day, still carrying the physical illness I’d hoped to be healed of, but knowing I’d been given an even greater gift of healing than I had ever expected. Or dared hope for. The results of this manifest almost everyday in the places I go and the things I do, and most dramatically with the people, those I know and love and even strangers.
Now that my fear is gone I am able to walk in God’s presence like never before. Fear and His love cannot walk together and this truth has never been more real to me. When we live and operate in a place of fear, we are not embracing the full authority and power that Jesus died to give us! Let that sink in, pray about it long and hard, and ask God to show you what to do next, my precious friends, my sisters and brothers in Jesus, because more than anything I want YOU TO WALK IN THIS TRUTH TOO!
I want you to prayerfully and carefully read 1 John 4:7-21. Twice John says that God IS LOVE. Now look at 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Now read it again in light of the truth that GOD IS LOVE.
When we live in fear, God cannot perfect His love in us. He. Can’t. Perfect. Us. My friends, don’t give the enemy ground in your life through fear any longer. Go before God, pray, fast, do whatever it takes for Him to deliver you from whatever fear you sense keeping you from walking in victory. Name it out loud in the power and authority you have in Jesus (Luke 9:1) and tell it to return to the pit of hell and rot there!
God wants to free you, my friends. Remember, it is for freedom that Christ set us free (Gal 5:1). Claim that truth and walk in it! Your greatest faith adventure is about to begin because this is the kind of faith that shines so brightly that
people will take notice. Your spouse will notice! And you will be amazed at the
breakthroughs you begin to see in your life.
So that’s my story, dear friends. I pray the freedom Jesus came to give
us blooms in your life like a bold sunflower, tall and strong with plenty of
faith seeds to plant around you and in the generations to come. Our destiny in
Jesus is to walk in freedom so let’s do so and help those who come up behind us
to do the same.
My friends, last week I shared the first part of my unexpected healing at Bethel Church and God’s gift of truth from a dear woman named Helen. Now for the rest of the story. Or rather, the results of this dramatic healing in my life that keeps playing out on a daily basis. Wow!
I really didn’t understand everything at the time that it happened. The full reality didn’t unfold immediately. With this kind of internal healing, it’s like a walk of discovery. Only as you move forward do you see the changes.
I remember when I worked as a youth minister, I loved the verse Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.” I craved that verse, wanted it to be true in my life more than anything but after a while I doubted it was possible. Seemed like my faith walk and life was an emotional roller coaster ride most of the time.
But over the years, as I submitted more and more of my heart to God, He has entered and healed as much as I allowed Him. Go back and read that sentence and see if that’s true for you. Do you limit what God has access to in your heart? Why? Keep reading and see if your answer is the same as mine was.
The conference at Bethel was the near completion (I say near because I believe we are constantly being perfected in our faith, and I in no way want to assume God is done in this area of my life) of a process that started in 2002 to free me of a past full of hurts and rejections that I’d allowed the enemy to use to hold me in bondage.
As I submitted more and asked for more freedom in my life, God was and is faithful. The process is ongoing! I am so radically changed! Sometimes we think we’ve completely submitted to God but He shows us more that He wants access to in order to show us who He created us to be through Jesus Christ, who we always were, are and are meant to be in our identity in Jesus. And very often to restore what the enemy has taken away.
My immediate proof was in the security and peace I felt. Then I noticed that I could look people straight in the eye. I didn’t dart my glance away out of shyness. I WANTED to look at them and I didn’t fear them looking back at me.
Then came our evening worship. I stood, anxious to worship God. My heart was so full of gratitude for what He’d done in me, even though I didn’t fully understand it yet, I knew He’d freed me. The music started and I can only describe it as if my spirit were dancing inside of me. I literally wanted to twirl like a little girl! Where I once used to hesitate out of fear of what others might think, I had not a care of what I looked like. It didn’t matter to me anymore.
At one point I shed the thin black jacket that I wore. Lynn was standing in the aisle a couple rows behind and says it was like witnessing my freedom come to life as I shed a mantle of darkness for God’s freedom. (I’ll let her tell that story if God leads her to.) I only know that I felt like I was dancing before God. I even remember the way I felt as a girl taking ballet lessons and losing myself in the joy of the movement. And now it was again like that elegant dance but this time, all to worship God. More proof of God’s unexpected healing.
And more kept coming. When I returned home and back to my office, all those things I’d been striving for didn’t matter anymore. And I don’t mean that they weren’t important—they are and they have their place in what God is calling me to do. They just didn’t define me anymore. My work for God no longer defined me. My relationship with Him and who He says I am now does. The rest is extra for Him and I to share together and my chance to give to others what He has so generously given me.
My entire world has changed. I used to structure my day by first starting with God, my quiet time of course, and then the rest of my day was about my work. My agenda. Now God is my agenda. I can’t figure out a better way to say it. All the work stuff—what matters gets done. But whatever God has planned for the day comes first.
I used to dread interruptions because they took me away from what I needed to get done. My agenda was priority. I truly wanted to be available to God but didn’t want it to be inconvenient. Now, as I walk through my days, I look for those interruptions! They are sweet times to see God at work in OUR lives (Not just mine. Yours too!) in a very real and tangible way and to be a part of that. To co-labor (love that word!) with God to reach the broken hearts He sets in our path at the most unexpected times.
And I will share one other place in my life that is radically changed. My fear is gone! Yes, that is the most radical area of my healing. Was your answer the same? Does your fear of what God might do or ask you to do limit Him? I know mine did.
My prayer life is very different now as well. I didn’t realize how big of a hold fear had in my life. The enemy had worked layer upon layer of fear in my life since I was a child. And that fear is what kept me from praying boldly and from understanding my authority in Jesus Christ.
Now I am learning to pray boldly in the Holy Spirit and I am seeing breakthroughs and answers to prayers. Areas of conflict in my life in which I normally would avoid rather than face, I now confront confidently and insist it be dealt with. This is an HUGE area for me!
My friends, let me emphasize that I did NONE of this! This is all God. He did this and is doing all this in me. I didn’t work at it, make a plan of action, set up a prayer regiment, or anything like that. I had been praying for God to make me bolder, like Paul. I wanted to be confident in Him and not afraid to step forward or to take a risk. I told God I was tired of being insecure and lacking confidence. What I didn’t realize is that was also part of God’s process in exposing what He wanted to heal in my life.
Please understand, this is about complete submission. My biggest prayer had been for more of God. I wanted more of Him in my life. I wanted Him to BE my life. The amazing thing is, God WANTS to do this in us and give Himself to us.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! — Luke 11:7
The emphasis in this verse is mine because this truth just stood out to me this week. We miss this last line thinking we get what Jesus is saying, that we are to ask God for what we need. But hear me right how, Jesus is saying the Father wants to give us something better.
God wants to give us HIS HOLY SPIRIT. Not just to indwell us as part of our salvation, Christ living in us. But his very presence!
Because He is all we truly need. The rest will come, just trust Him for it. And I promise you, that may seem like an impossible thing to do, but when we want God’s presence more than anything in our lives—I mean truly crave it—the rest just isn’t as important anymore or you are confident in God’s provision and care.
Let that truth sink in deep, my precious friends. I will have to finish this blog post next week as it seems God had so much more for me to share than I realized. And I dare say next week will have more revelations—one in particular, the mystery of God’s love.
Join me next week and I will tell you what fear and love have in common. The answer just might surprise you. I know it did me.
Know that I love you with the heart of Jesus!
A few weeks ago as I was out walking and praying, AND having one of those days that I was truly struggling with some decisions and issues in my life, I came across this garbage can on the side of the path. I read the message (which wasn't there a couple days earlier when I walked last) and smiled.
I'd just been praying about something that I wasn't sure how to move forward on and then I read this wonderful hand painted message in gold.
I have no doubts that God put it upon this person's heart to write this message and I'm one of those it was intended for.
Sometimes that's what God asks us to do when we're walking through the more difficult challenges of life. And we can trust His message to keep going because even though we don't know how it's all going to work out or what we'll face on the other side, He does. And He's always working for our good. Always.
Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but that's our promise in Romans 8:28. It's a truth that will change your entire life and outlook if you let it permeate your mind and heart and everything you think you know about God.
I love you, my friends, and I pray God's goodness is extremely real and present for you this weekend. Here's another song for you!
My friends, the responses to re-sign have been amazing—over one hundred emails and 74 requests for the certificates and wristbands! Women from Canada, Croatia, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Jamaica, England and all over the U.S. have written and so many have said that God had been moving them in this direction too! God is moving BIG, my friends, BIG! I believe we are seeing just the beginning of something major as God moves to bring revival across the world and also in our marriages. AMAZING!!!
Our "I re-sign!" wristbands are still in the works. I will send them out as soon as they show up on my doorstep! I'd hoped they'd arrive sooner but a check in with the company shows they're taking longer than expected. So hang tight and stand firm in your decision to re-sign.
Below is one of the email replies I received from Stacey Daley who has so graciously and willingly agreed to share her testimony. Please take note of how Stacey followed God's leading and the promptings of the Holy Spirit to help her speak in truth and with courage:
It seems over the past 4 years I have been taking tip-toe steps with a hop periodically. I had never boldly claimed my love for Christ to Brian. He only saw the outward changes and watched as I transformed and took note of how much time I was reading the Bible. After 4 years he became accustomed to it.
Well, about 6 months ago I sold out for Christ to my husband. It was one of those moments I took a dose of Holy Courage and with Holy Boldness shared from my heart what I believe and why. And then I ran to the bedroom, hit the floor on my knees and praised God for giving me the courage to speak the truth and as the tears poured out I asked God to use the truth to his glory. I was convinced that Brian would be so put off by my confidence in Christ that it would send him running in the opposite direction. But, again, I didn't preach... I made a statement of faith and left it at that. What I didn't share with you is that when I read your message about resigning... I had just had a spat with my husband...
Our spats typically go like this: He says or does something hurtful and I become silent. We don't fight, we just avoid each other. I realized that I had allowed the enemy to wedge his way in and cause my focus to drift from praying for Brian to complaining about his insensitivity (silent complaining, but complaining non-the-less). As long as I was complaining and not living joyfully the enemy was doing a victory dance.
God called me out on it. He used your message to open my eyes. I sat down and typed an apology letter to Brian. Knowing him, he probably didn't even realize that I was giving him the silent treatment, but I felt led to apologize. And again, I shared deeply, feeling led by the Spirit...
Here is an excerpt,
"that instead of being frustrated with your emotions this week I should have been praying for you like I normally do, but I was distracted by my pity-party attitude. I don’t want the enemy to sneak in and destroy the union between us. I want our union to be blessed. I want to be the godly wife that God calls me to be. I want to learn more, to increase my knowledge of the Word and to apply it to my life… our life. I want to protect our marriage by placing guard rails on our path… our journey through life together, so that no man, or woman will come between us intending our union harm." I told him that I wanted to recommit to him, not only in sickness and health, but even through bad moods and frustrations that may or may not be directed at me. "I will honor you as my husband, and lift you up in prayer asking God to fill you with knowledge and wisdom...."
Then I went on to tell him the things that I pray for him. I know the Holy Spirit was directing my words as they were said in love... "I pray that God will give you peace and security knowing that you are accepted and not rejected by Him. That He will free you from self-consciousness that can imprison your soul. That He will show you who you really are, that you are in the image of Christ. That you will hear the words, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you; the glory of the Lord is your strength.”
I closed with, "I pray that together we will learn to walk in the Spirit, in order that we might bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That God will unite our bond of friendship, commitment, generosity and understanding...and that He would eliminate our immaturity, hostility or feelings of inadequacy. That He will help us to take advantage of alone time to nurture and renew our marriage and remind ourselves of the reasons we were married in the first place. I pray that our love for each other will grow stronger every day…. And that nothing will come into our hearts and habits that would threaten our marriage in any way. I pray that we will search for answers together and that we will learn to trust God and have the faith that will move mountains. I pray that God will open the eyes of our hearts so that we may understand."
So that was a few days ago, and he has not responded with words. He will read, reread, chew on it for a couple of days or weeks and one day it will come up. But in the mean time the Holy Spirit is working in his heart and soul.
The seeds you have been planting all along have been watered by God. With the knowledge I have gained from your posts, and praying the prayers from "Power of a Praying Wife," God has truly blessed me by nurturing the seeds that were planted deep in the soil of my soul.
I can only hope that some day I can touch the hearts of women who are hurting as you have touched my heart.
To answer your question; I would be honored if you would like to use any part of my story. It's the least I can do...
Thank you again, from the depths of my soul for using your Spiritual gifts and touching so many lives.
Your Sister in Christ,
Thank you, Stacey, for sharing your heart and how God led you through this time to not just show your faith but to speak it. When God leads us to such a place, He is right there not only working in and through us, but also in our spouse as well. Believe it!
My precious friends, I pray this encourages you! Lynn and I pray for you all constantly and love you all so dearly! Praying & believing! Dineen