Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!
I recently opened up my Bible to spend time with the Lord. "Somehow" (grin...isn't God good like that?) I turned to a bible passage that I had been reading three years TO THE EXACT DATE. I wasn't even looking for this passage, nor did I remember I had taken notes on the very pages I was about to read. Let's take a look shall we?
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
-- Psalm 145:1-4
I had underlined and circled many things in these verses. My notes are as follows:
Extol - highly praised.
vv. 1-3: It isn't enough to say that God is great. How I view God will manifest in how I praise Him. To the measure that I praise Him is the measure that I believe in His greatness. He is great and worthy of praise. Period. But, do I believe it?
v. 4: Will I praise His works to my children and teach them to praise as well?
My friends, I don't know if you can sense the doubt, guilt and shame here. I know I can. I looked at these notes and it took me to the Tiffany in 2019. I could see myself in my old house - that in and of itself is prophetic, literally closing on an old house and in transition while waiting for a new one to be completed. It took me back to an insecure woman who was riddled with an orphan spirit. I was struggling with addiction to spending money, lots of money, when depressed, stressed, angry with my husband. I was stuck in a cycle of outburst of anger. All of these things compiled together in an attack of my faith and witness to my husband and children. How could I make a difference for my husband and children for God? How could I be salt and light? I was WAY too salty - spouting religion, performance. I was a white washed tomb.
Oh how I wish you could have truly seen me then. Not the Tiffany that you see here in our church without walls but the one my family saw. Day in. Day out.
Even as I type this now for you, I smile. The massive change that God has done in my life since I wrote the above notes. I've experienced breakthrough in many amazing ways over the years. Even since first marrying Jason and having kids beginning in 2013. However, I would do what Paul warned about in Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
Quite honestly, it wasn't until December 29, 2021 that I resolved in my heart to NEVER turn back again. I signed up for a healing prayer session with Lynn. I have had them before with her. This time though, I knew that something would be different. I can't put into words how to describe it. Between being fed up with the constant unhealthy cycles I would go through (think of the Israelites, I mean how many judges did God need to send? This was my life!) and the destiny and calling on my life in THIS SEASON - I couldn't "afford" for it not to be life changing. Oh boy, did Holy Spirit meet me there. The power, the deliverance, the healing.
Can God propel you into overdrive? Can He redeem lost time? Can He expedite healing, learning? Can He set you on course to the calling on your life? Can He turn chaos and destruction the devil causes in your life and turn it into power, authority and purpose for His glory? A RESOUNDING YES! This is the season I am in right now.
Lynn told me to ask God in my private prayer time - what does He have for me in this next season? What are the practical next steps that God wants me to do? I asked these things of Him more. I always ask a word or theme that God has for the new calendar year. This year I heard - 2022, Obedience and follow through.
I have heard from many people over the years that I hear pretty clearly from God. I've given words that He's asked me to share and over and over the response is - this is exactly what I've need to hear. This is exactly what I've asked God about. Even in my own prayer time - He always answers. Hearing hasn't been the problem. I've always struggled being obedient - saying okay God. I will do it.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. -- James 1:22
When I would be obedient to what God has asked me to do, I would fizzle out because second guessing, doubting, fear, anxiety, guilt and shame.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. -- Hebrews 12:1-3
I have been in a big fight for the children - not just mine but these next generations. It has been my passion for a long time but especially since my children became school aged. My next practical steps for 2022 is to get engaged in the school board. I have been researching the school libraries in our district. My goal is to eventually know what is in every school library in Nebraska. There are very harmful things available to our children. I believe that God will have me see the removal of many if not all of them. I recently told someone in an email regarding this endeavor, "My tenacity to research has only grown as God fills me with righteous anger for our children." I can see myself speaking to parents in other school districts about how to research and engage the school boards. I can see God using me to be salt and light in the school system and even higher forms of government. It's been confirmed on multiple occasions that I've been called to the "mountain of government."
I am like Jeremiah, "But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!" (20:9) The craziest thing that has happened since my healing prayer session, I embody this verse. When I am stirred up and passionate about the Kingdom of God, it feels as if there is a literal fire in my chest...I can actually FEEL the Holy Spirit burning inside of me. It gives me strength. It gives me courage. It gives me boldness. It gives me faith. It gives me hope. It spurs me on to keep running this very important race.
My prayer for our SUM community this that each and every one of us will truly grasp and understand how God sees us. We are powerful, set free, CHILDREN of God. There is NOTHING that can hinder the love He has for us. He is so proud of you. He has such great things in store for you. You are NOT overlooked. You are NOT too far gone. You are NOT a mistake, burden or any other lie from the pit of Hell. You may be tired and weary from the battle. But God! He has a word for you:
Listen to Me, [insert your name here],
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
Who have been upheld by Me from birth,
Who have been carried from the womb:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
-- Isaiah 46:3-4
Let's meet in the comments, I truly would love to pray over you and give you a word of encouragement. I believe that if you would be bold enough to comment, even with a simple hand raised emoji (He knows the details of your circumstances, even if we don't in the community) - He will give a word just for you. I bless you with the fullness of understanding of WHO you are and WHOSE you are. I love you!