Seasons Change…

Seasons change. I have loved people that I’ve had to release, whether because of death, marriage, miles or just the expiration of a season. As life shifts, sometimes configurations change. You’ve heard it before, you have some relationships for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. Not all endings are bad and bitter.
That said, I cherish the moments, use my words, write letters, send messages and give gifts. I know I mustn’t hold on and prolong anything beyond the season for which it is purposed. I must yield to His plan and respect His course. My endeavor is to make sure that when one reflects across the miles and memories, the sunsets and secrets, the gifts and gains, when a person remembers me and thinks of our time and season of doing life together, they remember honesty, safety, laughter and loyalty…and they simply remember being loved. ❤️❤️❤️ #kelsimarie

Missed Opportunities…

I remember one day at church many years ago, the Holy Spirit told me to go ask an older gentleman…a seasoned elder in our church to lay hands and pray for me. I came up with every excuse imaginable. I was embarrassed to ask. I was afraid of how I would sound. What do I say? Then I said, “Okay, next Sunday…I’ll ask next Sunday.”
God knew, but I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw Him. You really never know when an opportunity will expire…when your season with a person will end.
I’ve repented. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll never know what he would have imparted. I’ll never know what God’s intentions were. I’ll never know how my obedience would have affected my life. My flesh would love to believe I didn’t miss out…that it’s all good…that somehow, some way, SOMETHING has made up for it. But I know God and I know He ALWAYS instructs with purpose.
Years later, I stopped by my parents’ house and my father surprised me and wrote a check. I looked at the amount and said, “Thank you Daddy!” I was in a rush!!! I got to the door and had a fleeting thought to run back and kiss him and tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I was running late. I told myself I’d just come back in a few days. It was the last time I saw him. He passed two days later.
My lesson…there ARE missed opportunities!!!
Sometimes people know what they can’t tell you. Some time later I told my mom I wished I had turned around and run back. What harm would 90 more seconds have done? She told me she asked him what prompted him to write me that check that day. His response, “It’s the last gift I’ll ever be able to give her.”
Friendships expire. Seasons change. Doors close. People die. Folks move away. Life carries people in different directions. Winds of change are often unexpected…. The BEST we can do is maximize moments, make sure people know we love them and that they’re appreciated. Leave a good mark, something that makes people smile when they think of you or remember you.
And WHATEVER He is telling you to do. DO IT!!! Sometimes we’ve only got ONE SHOT to get it right and divinely timed for purpose. Mediocrity and settling present opportunities all day, everyday, as long as you’ll take them.

A Sowing Assignment…

I remember someone who broke my heart told me later that he was engaged. He said after seeing the pain on my face when he hurt me, he committed to never hurt a woman like that again. For a long time, I wondered why I had to be the “sacrifice”. With time, I realized he wasn’t for me. And if our interaction and my pain helped him become a better person, and contributed to a woman being treated well, then it wasn‘t in vain.
I had a crush on someone once and the Lord told me he didn’t belong to me.
I put my feelings aside, and helped him see the light in someone else. They’re very happily married now.
I had an ex (we were able to salvage our friendship) call and ask me to go ring shopping with him, because he wanted to propose to his girlfriend and trusted my taste. I did. And I picked out a ring I would have liked for myself.
I could go on, but sometimes you just have to plant seeds and expect God to water your garden. He doesn’t forget any of our labor. He bottles every tear. He sees every desire.
The ONE who is for you won’t walk away and will not risk losing you. He’ll see his future in you, and hopefully some people will have poured into him, preparing him for just you!!!

Jesus IS the middle….

The truth for a Christian, whether you’re ready or not, whether you like it or not, is that Jesus IS the ministry of reconciliation. He is SUPPOSED to be the CENTER of EVERY relationship you have, whether it’s marital, friendship, parental, sibling or otherwise. He will allow EVERY relationship you have to suffer and fall apart, just so that He can reconcile it and be the center of it. No, not to be mean, but because only through Him….only by Him being at the CENTER of the relationship, can you experience the FULLNESS of the blessing the relationship is intended to be. He HAS to be the center!!! I’ve been ruminating this revelation for about three months.
Here’s an example:
Isaac was a promise for Abraham. Sometimes we desire a promise so much and wait so long that when it manifests, we idolize the promise. We serve it and have a greater affection for it than we do God. Sound familiar? God desired to be the CENTER of Abraham and Isaac’s relationship. He has to be the middle, the reconciler. And when Abraham lifted the knife, he proved his faithfulness to God. He chose God over his son, therefore God gave his son back to him (provided a ram in the bush). At that point God became the mediator, the CENTER of the relationship, His rightful place. With order established, every future blessing God intended for Abraham to have through Isaac, could be given. He HAS to be the CENTER!!! Make Him the center so that He doesn’t have to SHOW you He’s the one keeping it together!!! (One of the many things I’ve learned from Bonhoeffer ❤️)

Beware of the Sanballats!!!

I’m studying the book of Nehemiah AGAIN. I looked through my notes, and yes, I was studying it this time last year. I decided to continue and compare my notes ever so often to see how different my filters are this year and what catches my attention this time around. I love (GOOD) surprises!!!

Here I am on chapter two, reading about Sanballat and his cronies and it hit me!!! You know how you RE-realize something you already know? Well here it is….

Some haters aren’t even personal!

They’re just against the agenda that you stand for. If they’re against the will of God, and you are committed to God, they are going to be against you. Read that again…

This Sanballat for instance- when he heard that Nehemiah (and the men the king sent with him) were going to rebuild the wall, he became “exceedingly distressed and displeased”. He didn’t want the wall to be rebuilt! He was under the influence of something that got a kick out of seeing people oppressed, shamed, divided and destitute. 

It wasn’t so much that he didn’t like Nehemiah. Did he even know who Nehemiah was? Nehemiah had been a cupbearer for the king some 800 miles away. He didn’t like Nehemiah’s assignment or what he stood for. Sanballat and his cronies “accused” Nehemiah of going against the king in this endeavor. That is ridiculous considering the men, letters and resources the king sent with Nehemiah to accomplish the task at hand. 

People who are against God’s agenda are the same ones who sow division. They create offenses where there are no grounds, just to keep people distracted from “destiny work”.

Beware of those people in your life who operate under the spirit of Sanballat. Just as he wasn’t on Israel’s side, they are not on the Lord’s side and surely not yours!!!

Whatever you do, DON’T COME OFF THE WALL TO RESPOND TO FOOLISHNESS!!! 

 

Thirsty for Mercy….

Jonah 1 & 2

“I will pay that which I have vowed…”

We’ve all done it-  we have experienced the glory of God and His loving presence has rested on us, and we’ve responded…”reveal your will for my life”…”make me, mold me”…”have your way with me”….”Lord just send me and I’ll go”. How.many.times.have.we.said.these.things?

And we mean it until what He requires of us rests on the outside of our comfort zone. We want to serve God, but we don’t want to seem “odd”, be embarrassed or go against the grain in comparison to the other christians we know.

Too often, our unspoken sentiment is- “I want to serve God, but I don’t want it to require that I do stuff I don’t like to do.” HOW HUMAN OF US!!! 🙂

I see this story now very differently than I used to. Before, I perceived the belly of the big fish as punishment for Jonah’s disobedience. Now I perceive it as a manifestation of God’s love and grace. Not just for Jonah, but the people attached to His assignment.

He could’ve died…

After being thrown overboard, he could have drowned. He could have been eaten by a shark. He could have had his lungs poked and punctured by a swordfish. He could have gotten tired of fighting the currents and simply given in to the sea.

BUT….

God PREPARED a big fish to keep him safe and give him time to come to himself.

The fish didn’t digest him, but held him in its dark, dank, putrid stomach long enough for Jonah to cry out.

Gosh, he sounded like David.

Gosh, he sounded like me.

He remembered…there was a time he vowed his life- and in his repentant state and right mind, he determined again to pay the vow he made.

He’s the God of  “another chance”…..

He repented, God commanded, the fish spit, and land was there. So often we think we are the ones waiting for our “next”. How interesting is the notion that everything is lined up where and how it is supposed to be and is waiting for us, our thoughts, our actions…. our obedience.. to… LINE UP with THE agenda that will save the very lives we are guarding?

I’m thirsting to be more like Him. Let that be our prayer today sisters- that He will show us every way we work against His plan for us.

#shereadstruth

Come Quickly God- I’m Thirsty for Relief ~ Kelsi Marie

I have a wonderful band of sisters that I study with. We are called the She Reads Truth community. Talk about hearts that ooze with love! Each member was invited to write and share a devotional for the Friday scriptures during Lent. I love my sisters and I am so excited that we are sharing our hearts with one another.

My Devotional for the 38th Psalm:

O-wa

M-ma

G-eeeee

Have you ever felt so low, so regretful, so remorseful, so scorned, so NOT supported, so abandoned and so depressed that even death seemed like a kinder fate?

It can get that bad. It may not for everyone, but I’m grateful for a psalm that can reach that low and comfort anyone who can relate. What I appreciate here is that David acknowledges he is not innocent. Yet he makes it clear that his “foolishness” has landed him in a spot where he is way over his head. He is hurting. God’s anger is hurting him, the weight of his iniquities is hurting him, the abandonment he feels is hurting him, the circumstances, the sickness, the mourning, the suffering….

He’s Hurting.

He’s DESPERATE.

Only God can quench his thirst for relief. Relief from his burning insides, the fiery darts of his family and friends and the scorching plots for his demise. Sometimes we sink so low that the only words we want to hear are God’s. I’ve been in a place where I didn’t want to hear another “positive thought”, well intentioned opinion, or “let’s get you cheered up” speech. It wouldn’t surprise me if I even told someone from my emotional abyss “if God didn’t tell you, then don’t say it, PLEASE”. I have been so desperate for HIM that I only wanted to hear what HE had to say. Sisters, sometimes we are so fragile that we thirst for the word that CANNOT fail. The thought of another [financial, relational, mental, emotional or physiological] “failure” seems like too much to bear. In those moments we whisper, “I just need God”.

From that drought, you begin to feel the “only God can help me” appreciation for His strength. ALL honor and glory rightfully belong to a God more than powerful enough to overturn and reverse the despair that makes one feel more dead than alive. He can turn it !

He can turn ANYTHING.

We won’t move until He comes, because only His way do we want to go.

Come God- COME QUICKLY!

Parched is an understatement- a feeling of being dried up and nearly blowing away into emotional oblivion is more like it.

But God…

He can change ANYTHING.

Come God, COME QUICKLY.

I’m waiting- thirsty for you.

Sisters, today, let’s pause and pray that God “comes quickly” for any and every one of us that is in despair and is waiting in an emotional wildnerness for God to CHANGE EVERYTHING.

She Reads Truth – Psalm 130

I have a wonderful band of sisters that I study with. We are called the She Reads Truth community. Talk about hearts that ooze with love! Each member was invited to write and share a devotional for the Friday scriptures during Lent. I love my sisters and I am so excited that we are sharing our hearts with one another. 

 

My Devotional for Psalm 130~ A Song of Ascents

 

Reading this psalm left me with one word- one word that anchored me to each of the versions I read. One word that I couldn’t get away from… “parched”.

 

As I surfed the verses, so many needs and experiences came to mind. There is so much that I am longing for in this season, yet so much that He has provided. While there is so much that I desire, I must also acknowledge all that He has spared me from.

 

Sisters, aren’t we ever so thirsty for Him? From the depths that we cry to Him, we thirst for Living Water that will soothe and hydrate our souls. From the wells of shortcomings and missed marks, we thirst for Him- His mercy, extended through longsuffering and patience with us. It’s a rope we never stop tugging. What would we do without it? If He counted, marked or held all of our wrongs against any of us, who could stand under the weight and shame of it all? None of us…so, we thirst.

 

And then, from the wells of thankfulness- we thirst more, because of His love that He provides us, which is so unconditional and refreshing. It’s a love that we have not earned and is so life saving and jaw dropping- that we want more and more. We thirst.

 

I need His love more than I need the night to end, even when it is long and painful. Yet there is a double blessing in that riding on the wings of morning, are new mercies, new opportunities and new light. And with you, I watch for it and wait for it, “more than watchmen for the morning, I say, more than watchmen for the morning.”

 

Even with our variation of needs, desires and gratitude, the common thread is the same… we thirst.

 

Sisters, let’s make sure to hope fanatically in the Lord today- our Redeemer LIVES and He is nigh.  I’m SO thirsty!!!

 

#shereadstruth

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