God can Heal your Broken Heart

Today, while I was watching my Beth Moore bible lesson video on my laptop, I heard the wonderful news:  God can heal your broken heart, your pain, you mental anguish over wounds from your past. I stopped the tape and sat for a moment. He never meant for us to stay wounded, if fact that is why He died on the cross for our sins and was wounded for us.  He took our woundedness so we don’t have to carry it any longer.  This profound truth settled into my heart.

He knows what it is like to have emotional pain, mental anguish, and the physical pain of nails driven into his hands and a sword pierce his side.  There is nothing we have gone through or are going through that He hasn’t experienced himself.

This is why He is our Savior and Healer.

As I sat on my sofa in my living room, looking out the clear glass doors at the white fluffy clouds float by in the bright blue sky, I bowed my head and humbly asked the Lord to heal my wounds. He placed His hand on my heart and healed me through His Holy Spirit.

He withdrew the sword that had pierced my heart when I was abandoned by my family over my illness. He took the pain of losing my nieces and nephews in my life when I came forward with my sexual abuse from childhood.  He soothed the hurt when an old high school friend took advantage of my vulnerability and betrayed me. He knit together my wounds through His healing balm in one afternoon, that began as an ordinary day, and turned into an extraordinary one. And He can do it for you too.

Once I turned the video back on, Beth shared that Jesus calls us away to a solitary place and time with Him to be able heal our wounds in the quiet of the moment.  We need to make time out of our busy lives to just sit with Him and be still.  Only then can he show us our wounds and the love in His eyes as He desires to heal us.

Even if your heart is shattered into a million tiny pieces like mine was, He can still knit it together because he promises in His Word, the Bible to. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)  and
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)  Even if you are suffering from depression and despair, He loves you enough to heal you as He did me.

Please pray this prayer:  Dear Jesus. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and took my wounds upon yourself.  Please heal my broken heart and damaged life from all my pain, anguish and despair.  I open my heart to you today and invite you to come in as my Lord and Savior at this special time of Easter when you died and rose from the dead so I could have eternal life with you.  Please touch me now even as I pray through the power of your Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for loving me.  Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, know God was faithful and began the work of healing you. Sometime He heals instantly as He did for me today, other times it is a process that takes time. Here are some practical ways to seek healing.  I share these in my my pre-published book: Finding God in the Midst of My Mess: A Love Story, to be published in 2015.

-Attend a church that has healing prayer groups and ask for healing.

-Read Leanne Payne’s books: The Healing Presence; Restoring the Christian Soul; Listening Prayer and The Crisis in Masculinity (for men) all on emotional healing.

-See a Christian counselor who can incorporate healing prayer into your sessions. Google you local Christian Counseling Center or ask your Pastor for a referral.

-Take a Beth Moore bible study for healing such as Breaking Free available online at www.lproof.org.  You can take them online or at a local church that offers her classes.

-Call the Minirth-Meir New Life Clinics 1-888-7 CLINIC (1-888-725-4642) for a counselor or inpatient program in your area, especially if you are suffering from depression or chemical dependency.

-Attend a Christian 12 Step group to find support and healing for addictions through a local church.

-If you in a crisis pregnancy Google your local Christian Pregnancy Center and make an appointment for a free sonogram and find help in choosing life for you and your baby.

-If you need healing from an abortion, some Christian Pregnancy Center’s  offer post-abortion counseling where you can find forgiveness and healing from God. I took such a class and found so much freedom. On your own you can read the book and workbook Forgiven and Set Free, and for men, Healing the Father’s Heart by Linda Cochran available at Christianbooks.com,

You can also contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com for a confidential reply to your need or problem for healing. I am happy to pray for you.

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Special Easter Greeting Card available with Christian message. www.giftsofhisglory.com.

To see all of my Scripture art paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above.




Back in the (Writing) Saddle Again…

Rain, rain, go away come back some other day…Do you remember this little ditty from your childhood?  I do.  And that’s exactly how I feel.  We have been having a drought in Northern California where I live, and I am grateful for answered prayer, but the last three days it has been raining steadily and I am climbing the walls.

I sewed on my quilt, with all the frustration sewing brings, while I watched movies on the DVD machine.  Then I napped.  Then I ventured out to get a coffee at Peets.  Then I sewed some more. Repeat for three days.

But today, I finally logged on to my computer and opened the manuscript of my book.  Yes, that book, my memoirs, lovingly referred to as Finding God in the Midst of My Mess:  My Love Story with Jesus.  It’s been five months since I set it aside after finishing my third rewrite last summer.  It has been sitting in my desktop files as I knew it needed some additional work, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.

In two months time, I will know how.  I will be taking a class on writing memoirs at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference in April.  Yes, God has been faithful and blessed me with the money to attend.  Thank you to those of you who donated to my art and writing ministry, Gifts of His Glory. www.giftsofhisglory.com.

I am now on a writers roll.  There is nothing like typing away on my laptop as the creativity flows through my fingers and the rain pours down on the roof.  Did I say rain?  Yes, bring on the rain!  I love to write in the rain!  Not actually outside in the rain, but inside with a decaf coffee, a few pieces of sugar free chocolate, some inspirational music, and I am set.

I wrote the first draft of my book while sitting in a French cafe in my hometown, drinking French coffee, and listening to French music play in the background. I pretended I was in Pairs and wrote the book in two months straight.  Oh how easy writing is, I thought at the time, only to discover that what I lovingly referred to as ‘my book’ was actually called a ‘first’ or ‘crappy’ draft in the industry!  Yes and crappy it was!

Fast forward two years: one critique partner, two writers groups, three rewrites, many edits and now here I sit.  Not to mention building a social platform – BLOGging, TWEETing, FACEBOOKing and PINTERESTing. On top of writing devotions to get ‘published’ in order to ‘get book published’.  The Lord was faithful and three of my devotions were published.Smile. Oh and I forgot, the need to establish a speaking ministry.  So far I have spoken twice and will have more opportunities to speak once the book is published. WHEW, are you tired yet?  I am!

All to fulfill my dream of writing a book one day.  Don’t let anyone fool you and tell you it is easy.  Because it is hard work, with oodles, and I mean oodles, of rejection.  But in the end, I will have my story, a testimony of the healing power and redemptive love of Jesus Christ.  And it will bring healing to others and Glory to God.  Making it all worthwhile.

Thank you Lord for the rain.

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17.

To see my Scripture art paintings and greeting cards go to ‘my art’ above or click here.

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Two New Devotions Published – Take a Peek!

Yes, it is always a good day when I hear that a devotion was chosen for publication and it is a double blessing to discover two of them were selected!

I am pleased to announce I am featured in the 2014 edition of Penned From the Heart, a yearly devotional published by Son Rise Publications.  I was published last year in the 2013 addition, my first ever publication. God is good!

2014 edition or Penned From the Hear

PFTH is a compilation of 366 devotions and poems from writers across the US, and Australia and New Zealand. The book can be read in any year and begun at any time during the year. Two of Miriam’s devotions “Miracle Shoes” and “Thanksgiving Surprise” are included. They make a great gift for yourself or as a Christmas gift to a friend or family member.  Many are donated to soldiers and prisoners to spread the Word of God and inspire and touch hearts.  Do you have a ministry that would benefit from giving these out?  If so, be sure to order them now before they run out!

The are a steal at $10 a book…

To purchase them, call Son-Rise Publications at 1-800-358-0777 and ask for Debby.  They take MC, VISA or DISCOVER and will ship your books right away.

(I am sorry I can’t post my devotions here on my blog as there are copyright infringements on the web all the time and I need to protect my work.)

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com

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The Kiss. The Thinker. And the Gates of Hell. A Day in the Life of an Artist…

It was a beautiful fall day, clear blue skies with a soft breeze, as I waited for the train with my friend Sylvia.  “What exhibit are we going to see today at the Cantor Museum at Stanford?”  I asked her.  “I think the Rodin statues.” she mused.  “Hmm…Rodin, didn’t he sculpt the famous The Kiss and The Thinker?” “Yes, and the Gates of Hell,” Sylvia replied.  Excitement began to grow as the train rushed us to the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto.

The Tinker and Me

We met up with my fellow artists from our Arts of the Covenant group, a faith based group of artists who meet monthly and exhibit our work in gallery shows.

As we began our tour, the docent, an elderly lady with a walker, surprised us all by the fascinating story she told of Auguste Rodin, complete with pictures of him throughout his life.  The museum has 200 ‘casts’ or bronze statues of his work, the largest collection outside of Paris.

As we passed through the galleries, I was pleased to see his statue The Kiss and The Thinker and took my photo by it.  Next we came to his work Gates of Hell and I was overcome with emotion. These large

doors depicting the Gates of Hell had over 20 figures and took him 20 years to sculpt. I said a quiet prayer of thanks, that I would never have to go through those gates, as I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and His free gift of eternal life.

“I wonder how he kept the clay wet all those years?”, I commented to my fellow artisans.  “How do you even make a cast?”I pondered. I grew up working with clay and throwing pots on the potters wheel but hadn’t specialized in ceramics, so was unsure. “His talent is remarkable, how he molds his subjects in such likeness and beauty.” I reflected.

It got me thinking. We are referred to as lumps of clay in the Bible and God as the potter, molding and making us into a beautiful image of Himself.  “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)  Like Rodin, God chips away at our imperfections, refining us through the process.  We need to admit our powerlessness in His hands and give Him permission to shape us as He wishes.  But we often fight Him, trying to jump off the potter’s wheel and take charge of our lives.

The Bible also refers to us as jars of clay. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7) His Holy Spirit shines out through the cracks of our pots leading other to Him. Just like Rodin’s sculptures reflect his creative mastery, so God’s creative mastery shines through us, His creations.

As the tour ended, we gathered for lunch in the cafe, and then for a walk amongst statues in the garden. I thanked the Lord for His gift of creativity that allowed me to point others to His love and saving grace through my artwork and writing. Yes, even as a cracked pot.

Do you need to ask the Lord to use your brokenness and pain to be a vessel for his love and light to others?  Do you need to ask His forgiveness for trying to be the potter in your life rather than the clay?  If so, please pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I admit I have tried to run my own life and have made a mess of it.  I want to ask you into my heart as my Lord and Savior, forgiving my sins and mistakes and filling me with your Holy Spirit. I receive your free gift of eternal life with you in Heaven. Thank you I will not have to enter the gates of hell and have eternal separation from you. Have your way in me as your child and creation.  Amen.

Art Greeting Card

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards, visit ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com I invite you to purchase my art and share His light with others in your life.

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The Eyes Have It – God’s Healing Power Today

Today I get to share the good news of answered prayer.  Many of you readers will recall my earlier post where I talked about the problems I was having with my eye…the jelly part detaching and inflamation in my left eye.  A serious problem. (see My New Creation post earlier this month)

The best doctors at Stanford where concerned it indicated a autoimmune disease common in young women (well I am not THAT young, but the doctor thought so!).  They tested me for a lot of scary diseases including cancer.  I was wondering if I was going to Heaven earlier than I expected but I received the news the day before July 4th, that all the test were negative!  Yes negative!  What freedom to celebrate along with our National Independence Day here in America.

I was still worried though as the specialist had said chemo was the preferred treatment. However, as I waited to see my doctor again in a few weeks, a miracle began to happen.  My eye got better.  The floaters decreased. I was encouraged.

At my appointment, my doctor was surprised how well my eye scans looked and said, “Miriam, these look beautiful. Your inflammation is down and the floaters are less.”

“Well Doctor, I have had many people praying for me for divine healing. All my Facebook friends and blog  readers.  I put it in God’s hands because I knew I would never survive chemo and He is faithful to hear our prayers and answer them.”

He silently nodded along with me.

Now this is a very unexpected reaction from my doctor.  He is the top Eye Specialist in the country who feels he can heal anything, and says he is like God in that matter. I, of course, kid him and say, “oh get over yourself, you are too much. only God is God.”

He then said something else remarkable.  “Miriam, I want to give you some non steroid eye drops for the floaters and remaining inflammation.  They probably won’t work, but let’s try.”

As I pulled away in the cab, tears came to my eyes.  I cried for how good and amazing God is. I cried for how much He cares for us, even though we sin and mess up all the time. I cried for how faithful my friends and readers had been to petition God for me and how He is still our healer today.  I cried that I wouldn’t have to do chemo.

Once home, I prayed and asked the Lord to anoint the eye drops . I began to use them four times a day as instructed.  Another miracle happened.  My eyes got even better! The cloud of floaters kind of parted like the Red Sea. I can read words on the page now. I am trusting the Lord for total healing of my eye and that by next month’s appointment, the inflammation will be gone.

What healing miracle do you need today?  Do you know that Jesus healed all kinds of diseases and afflictions while He was on earth?  Read it for yourself in the gospels in the New Testament that record His deeds. Start with the Book of Matthew. His power to heal is still available to you today. Besides physical healing, Jesus can heal you spiritually by setting you free from sin and death and reconciling you with God.

All it takes is opening your heart to Him and asking Him to forgive your sins. His Holy Spirit will come and dwell in your heart and give you the gift of eternal life. The Bible says “If you confess with your mouth and believe on the Lord’s resurrection, you will be saved and live.”  (Romans 10:9) Now, that’s glorious good news. And I might add, a miracle of grace that only comes from God  If you want this free gift of spiritual healing and life forever in Heaven, please pray this prayer below:

Lord, I confess with my mouth you are the Son of God and came to die for my sins.  I believe you rose from the dead after three days and make your home in Heaven now.  I ask for a new life in you and the free gift of eternal life.  Please come heal my body, mind and soul from all my pain. I ask for a miracle of healing in you name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, do three things:

1. Tell someone you accepted Jesus into your life today.

2.  Find a Bible teaching church and start attending to be part of the fellowship of other Christians and learn God’s character and heart for you through hearing His Word preached.

3.  Get a Bible and start reading it a little every day.  Most churches will give you one if you ask or you can find them at a Christian bookstore where they can help you pick out one.

Leave me a reply if you prayed this prayer so I can rejoice along with the angels in Heaven who rejoice every time a person becomes born again in Jesus.

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To see my biblical Scripture art click on ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com


When Pigs Fly – My Blog’s 1st Year Anniversary!

Do you know pigs can actually fly?  I saw them today. Alaskan piglets running around a track, flying over the hurdles put in their path, on the way to a reward of Oreo cookies. I would fly for Oreo cookies too, wouldn’t you? I was at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton on my annual summer adventure.  As I walked through the gardens designed by creative flower types, I realized it was one year ago I started writing my blog.

One year, already?  Wow, who would have thought I would become a writer in that time?  Or have a weekly blog?  Or readers like you who faithfully log on each week to read my latest post?  It got me thinking of the journey it has been, a winding road of ups (845 viewers in one day) and downs (my blog crashing), of giving God the glory and leading others to Him.

It started out slow, with articles I wrote for my writers group, picked up speed around the holidays with miracle stories (always popular) and my art, went into a straightaway of evangelical posts that dealt with deep personal issues such as abortion and sexual abuse and finished the year with stories about a writers life.  I discovered  statistics along the way, praising God for the average 100 viewers a day and 6000 views a month that only He could bring.

I got a good chuckle over my two most popular posts:

#1 The Counterattack, the Devil Strikes Back (not surprising given our society’s fascination with the occult, but I don’t like giving the devil press)

#2 When You Are So Mad You Could Spit! (not very professional title Miriam, but hey I was mad when I wrote it, and if you can’t write such a post on your own blog, where else can you?)

Wanting to continue the journey in the year ahead, I would like to dedicate this post to YOU, MY READERS. Will you continue reading and celebrate with me? (Throw some confetti or something, or better yet leave me a reply wishing me Mazel Tov, congratulations in Hebrew!))

Writing is a lonely job, but you have kept me encouraged with your replies and enthusiasm and knowing somehow I am touching your heart.I have lots of laughs over myself and my writing, watching it improve over the year. I now have more boldness. A style of my own.

You have brought me much joy.  I LOVE blogging and being inspired by God to write each and every post for you.  It has become a ministry to me, a new mission field, where I can lead you in prayer for your deepest need, a relationship with God and His healing touch.  It is a blessing to be able to write, a gift from above, one I am eternally grateful for.  So thank you.

To bless you I would like to share a typical day at a County Fair here in the United States  for my readers all over the world who have never experienced one.  I suspect you have something similar, but enjoy my slice of American life!

Fresh Marionberry Pie..YUM

Alaskan Pigs Flying

 

Winning Quilt at Quilt Show

 

Art at the Art Show by local artists like me! To see my art click 'my art' aboev.

 

Corn Dog (Hot dog on a stick with cornbread -an American Classic)

 

Ferris Wheel Ride - My favorite

The part I love most about blogging is taking pictures, wondering what my readers would like to see and capturing those priceless moments for you.  Do you enjoy them too? Leave me a reply and let me know!

For my anniversary, will you share my blog with your friends and help me increase my readership?  click LIKE TWEET PINTEREST or GOOGLE

To see my art, click on ‘my art‘ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com


Human Slavery, how do we end it? Here’s how…

Slavery. How do we end it?

This question jumbled in my mind as I drove my red Zip car over the bridge to attend the Bay Area Freedom Summit, where I was an exhibitor for my art ministry Gifts of His Glory and She is Safe.  It was my first summit on human trafficking and I was not sure of what to expect.  I hoped to sell some art, as I give 50% of each sale to She Is Safe, to rescue orphans in China who have lost their parents from AIDS and are in danger of being trafficked and sold in child marriage. I also hoped to have some divine appointments. (meetings arranged by the Lord’s hand).

my booth

As I set up my booth, other friendly exhibitors came and introduced themselves.  I was surprised and happy to see that many safe houses for victims of human trafficking were being established in the Bay Area, such as Freedom House, and in other parts of the state.

The Expo soon opened and people came up to my booth interested in the art and large banner of a chubby-cheeked Chinese girl advertising the China Aids Orphans project. I shared with those stopping by how I had come to be an advocate by reading the book Forgotten Girls by President of She Is Safe, Michele Rickett and my author friend Kay Marshall Strom.  The book shares the stories of girls and women around the world who are rebuilding their lives after abuse and exploitation.

Book Forgotten Girls

The book has sections on steps you can take to stop exploitation, one being to dedicate your craft to benefit an organization involved in stopping trafficking.  After reading the horrors of what happens to these girls and women especially in sexual slavery, I prayed and felt the Lord’s direction to dedicate my art to this cause.  Another suggestion from the book was to hold a booth at a conference such as the Freedom Summit, and here I was now doing that very thing!

Soon it was time for the general conference. I was struck by the stories how ordinary people became heroes as they took steps of faith to start organizations to help stop trafficking.  I listened with compassion to women who shared their survivor stories of how they had been miraculously rescued from sexual slavery and how God was using their witness to help save others.  I gasped in horror as I heard how little seven year old girls in India are strapped to a table and gang raped until they die.  I cheered as the Department of Defense is now making it a punishable offense for any US soldier to frequent a prostitute or sexual slave.

The Scripture verse for the conference was from Psalm 10:8-9 depicting slavery:

He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
     like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net  His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.

The theme of the conference was what you can do in 10 minutes,10 days and 10 months to stop trafficking. You might now be asking, Miriam, what can I do in these time frames?  Well, here’s what you CAN do…

10 minutes:

Put the national hotline for human trafficking on you cell phone 1-888-3737-888 right now as you read this blog!  You can report any tip of suspicious activity or pass the hotline number along to someone you suspect might be a slave and help them get rescued.  Who could be a slave?  A nanny or domestic in your neighborhood, a restaurant worker at your favorite restaurant, that young girl visiting truckers at a truck stop, a carnival worker, or the women standing on a street corner as you drive by. They are all over. Over 3000 people trapped in slavery have called this hotline to ask for help alone. You can also call to connect with anti-trafficking services in your area or to request resources or training.

Purchase the book Forgotten Girls at SheIsSafe.org and while there sign up to their blog to stay informed on the global cause of human trafficking.

10 days:

Purchase a biblical Scripture painting from my website giftsofhisglory.com.

Forget Me Not Tulips Philippians 4:13 Scripture painting www.giftsofhisglory.com

(or by clicking on ‘my art’ above). 50% of each sale goes to the China AIDS orphan project. Bless yourself or gift others in your life with an original piece of art embossed with Scripture.  It’s easy and safe to shop online and I ship worldwide!

Join a She Is Safe advocacy group to participate in fundraising and prayer to rescue and restore girls and women in the hardest places like China and India.  Contact info@SheIsSafe.org to find one  in your local area.  If you live in the Bay Area, I am hosting one in my home in San Carlos on a monthly basis where we will also be studying the books Forgotten Girls and Daughters of Hope.  Contact me at miraim@giftsofhisglory.com.

Purchase and consume only Fair Trade Products that are made with no enslaved labor.  To my dismay I discovered chocolate was.  And coffee.  And clothing.  Find ratings on products and brands you buy at free2work.org.  Discover how many slaves work for you and what you can do about it at slaveryfootprint.org.

10 Months:

Visit or Invite The SOLD Project, an interactive exhibit on human trafficking run by the International Justice Mission, to your church, organization or event. This exhibit was held at the Freedom Summit and had a powerful, heart breaking effect on me as I spent 40 minutes walking through each room and listening by audio to the testimonies of slaves around the globe, particularly children. I recommend this for every person and parent to see. It is currently traveling around the country. Visit www.thesoldproject.com

Free one girl and help her to build a new life at $365 through SheIsSafe.org.

Attend a conference in your area on human trafficking and become educated. Get involved in one project in one part of the world.  Just start somewhere.

 

Once back in my booth, I was blessed to do my first radio interview with KLOVE, the local Christian radio station.  What fun I had sharing my story and getting a plug in for my prepublished bookas well!  A videographer approached my booth and filmed me for a documentary on how high school and college students could use their gifts and talents to help stop trafficking. WOW! My art work was admired, many people took my business card and I sold some paintings, all in all, an educational yet saddening experience.

What the Lord most impressed on my heart during this conference was that I, too, was a survivor of sexual abuse and while I didn’t have a voice back then as a child, I now was able to be a voice for those trapped in sexual slavery today.  A voice for the voiceless. What a gift.  I have come full circle in my healing.

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 10:12-14

If you are a victim of any kind of slavery, please leave me a confidential reply and I will help you find freedom.

Please LIKE or TWEET below and share this post with your friends to get them involved.


The Counterattack…The Devil Strikes Back

One of the lesser know facts about being a Christian, is that as we step out in Faith to serve the Lord in our ministries, we have an adversary, the Devil, who is not happy with our progress, particularly when we have a huge Victory for Jesus.  This was the case Halloween week which I shared on my blog how God gave me the Victory of raising money and advocates for She is Safe and the work they are doing around the world for abused and exploited women. (see Blessings, Paintings and Spooks….Oh My!)

Cross with Pearls Matthew 13:46

Not only did I sell quite a few paintings, but my blog post on how people could help stop human trafficking went viral!  I had over 100 views a day on my blog post and trafficking to my entire site was up well over 200 views.  Now that might not seem like a lot, but it is for me!  I only started this blog last summer and I have watched the Lord increasingly bring more traffic to my site and receive good feedback.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I came down with the flu/bronchitis/sinusitis with a vengeance, feeling like a bomb was dropped on me. The Devil loves to put illness on God’s Saints and I was down for the count.  I had just started a holiday job at Sees Candies (another blessing) and had to stop in the middle of training.

Would I lose my job?  Would I still be able to go to the Jews for Jesus Retreat the following weekend?  All these thoughts rumbled around in my feverish head, at one point wondering if I was going to be called home when my fever spiked to 104 degrees.  Getting this sick is scary for me as I am allergic to most antibiotics so it is a risk for me to take them.  I dragged my body to my Zip car and drove to the doctors (one of the worst things about living alone is getting sick alone) where my doctor played a guessing game of which antibiotic to give me.  “Let’s try Zithromax, I’ll give you a five day high dose that will last in your system for 10 days.”  “Alright” I nervously replied, hoping and praying this one would attack the virus.

As I tossed in bed with my fever, the Scripture “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” ran through my Spirit. (Psalm 23:4) Yes, I was at a breaking point for either life and healing, or death and eternal life.  I knew I was in God’s hands and was a peace with His outcome.  I had the assurance that I wouldn’t taste death, that my soul would go straight to heaven, and in fact, Jesus would come get me as He promises He will do. (John 14:3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.)

My fence and rail quilt

As I slowly got better, I sat on the couch covered in my rail-fence pattern quilt I had made, slurping chicken noodle soup and sucking on sugar free popsicles, all spacy on the codeine cough syrup, yet coughing, coughing, coughing.  I realized I was going to have to stay home from my retreat.  I had so looked forward to hanging out with my Messianic Jewish friends at the Jews for Jesus retreat, singing to the Messianic music, eating wonderful meals at Missions Springs Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the divine appointments the Lord had for me.  I was sensing that this might be the time that I would meet that Jewish believing husband I have been waiting patiently (o.k. not so patiently!) for.  To hike in the beautiful redwoods, sit in on stimulating lectures and just be all around blessed and relaxed.

California Redwood Forest

So it made me start wondering, Lord why does it appear you let the enemy win this round and keep me too sick to go to the retreat, which I know was your will for me?  What He said to me surprised me: “You have been working too hard, and not having enough fun.  I have been missing spending time with you and now we have all week to snuggle together on the couch as you watch movies and hold you at night so you rest comfortably.” To be honest, I much rather spend that time with Him at the retreat but He is Sovereign and knows best. I trust He can cross my path with that future husband another way very easily.

Last night, I asked Him to reveal what He would have done for me at the retreat.   He showed me my low self esteem and the negative messages I tell myself, mostly about how unattractive I feel growing older, especially losing my neckline, which I laughingly tell my friends, is getting the “turkey neck”.  “I want a neck job as a wedding present” I tell them, but I am serious!  Having been a former beauty queen at age 18, Miss Belmont of 1979, my looks were always something that made me feel good about myself, as inside I felt such shame and ugliness from the abuse I suffered as a child.

Me modeling at Miss Belmont 1979 pageant, look at that hair!

I know Scripture tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Psalm 139:14:

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

So I asked the Lord to let me experience His love for me in a more deep and personal way as I recover this next week, before I return to work at Sees.  Because this brokenness in me that let’s me see myself in this negative light, is my real sickness, my soul sickness.   God can turn what the enemy meant for evil (this flu sickness) and work it for good, (healing me by allowing me to see His viewpoint of me). “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” – Genesis 50:20.

Will you pray that the God who made us and knew us before the foundation of the world, who brought us together in the dark places of the womb, would heal our souls of the lies and wounds of the enemy, giving us Victory today over our pasts?  Do you need to ask God for this soul healing for yourself today?  If so you can pray this prayer along with me:

“Dear Lord:  I need to feel your love for me as your child.  I know I have believed the lies of my family, friends and the Devil, who have spoken negative things into my life.  I believe you created me in the innermost places and made me unique and like you.  Help me to let go of the shame and self hatred I feel, and replace it with your love and the way you see me.  Bright. Beautiful. Full of your Joy.  Accepted and Loved in the Beloved.  For this is truth and you are Truth and I ask you to pierce my heart with this truth today.  Thank You Jesus, I love you.”

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