It has been a while since I have been able to find time to blog. Things have become even more hectic than they were before. I will sing God’s praises for the busyness!
I started a full time job the Monday following the retreat. I continually ask God to show me how to manage my time as working has taken away the many hours I had before to spend time with Him and work on my ministry. He is faithful and I manage to still get a lot done though I find myself wanting to do more.
The good news is, we are planning our next event. I love how God has brought along others to help me! We’ve gone from two speakers to four. I find it so exciting to see how God is not only using this journey to transform me, but that other’s are finding similar opportunities and I get to be a part of that.
To be honest, so much is going on right now, that it’s hard to figure out exactly which part I want to blog about.
I’m working on my weekly encouragement emails, currently doing a series on Intentionality. I find it very powerful and I hope those following along do as well. I’m doing a bible study on the Fruits of the Spirit as I prepare for the event and God continues to show me just how much He loves all of us and how He is calling us to bear His fruit. I”m also studying scriptures on the bible on being healthy.
For anyone that knows my story knows that I struggle with my weight. God has given me victory over many areas but things continue to pop up and it was brought to light again after the retreat. I was sore for two days afterwards! I came to recognize that if I was going to go all in with hosting four events a year then I needed to prepare myself physically for the challenge. I have come to realize that if I don’t take better care of myself then I will not be postured to do the work God has called me to do. It has been a tremendous eye opener.
Easter was extremely powerful at my church. (It always is) I was unable to attend the Good Friday service in person but I was able to watch it online. As always, that weekend moves my heart to a humble stance as I focus fully on what Jesus took for my (our) sake.
In the middle of that God really opened my eyes to my health situation. As I sang Reckless Love, singing the words “There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me… There’s no wall you won’t kick down, Lie you won’t tear down, coming after me” always brings to mind the way God has purposefully come after me. I look back at my past and I can see the many times He has kicked down walls to get me when I’ve asked Him to. So there I am on Friday, singing those words again, my heart bowed to Him, asking Him to come after me on this weight situation. Pouring my heart out to Him, sharing with Him that I want to be all that He has called me to be and I don’t want to put anything in His way and I need Him to tear it down. And it hit me that as much as I meant everything I said to Him, after the service was over, I went back to work and had cupcakes.
On Sunday I was flooded with the truth that if I kept asking God to come after me, yet didn’t change my actions, then He would most definitely come after me and it might not be a pleasant experience. Back in 2007 something like this happened and I was in the hospital for two weeks. Being there changed my life as God finally got my attention and no, I do not believe God put me in the hospital, I take full responsibility that it was my choices and actions that landed me there due to my health deteriorating but I knew that God used that circumstance to reach me and I have no doubt He would do the same again if that’s what it took to get me to where He wanted me to be.
How could He not. He loves me so much and here His child is begging Him to not let her stay this way. What loving Father would just sit back and not do anything?
So that is what I’ve been working on this week. Better eating choices and trying to move as much as possible. Taking it one day at a time and trusting that as I move forward in truth, He will lead me into the light.
I would say that’s a pretty good recap of my week. Other than the grand baby being so cute I can barely stand it and finding out yesterday at my job that part of the group that was hired, me included, are getting a promotion and we’ve only been there 4 weeks. Gotta love the mortgage industry, always changing!
For those of you that took the time to read my ramblings, I pray that you find encouragement in the fact that God is with us through all things. He is our strength and the only way we can get through our day with peace.
As I get ready to move into the busyness of the day, know that I will be praying that God shows up in a new and intimate way in your life today and that you will continue to grow closer to Him in all areas of your life.
Much love, Susan
Wow what a Sunday! Thank you Christ’s Church and Pastor Jason!
With just coming off of an emotionally charged Saturday, I thought I was prepared for what is always an amazing worship set and sermon. I even brought my make up bag because I expected my emotions to continue to overflow. However what I did not expect was to be shattered in such a complete way that I couldn’t even hold myself together during the first service.
God always uses songs to speak to me and it thrilled me to no end that the kick off was Glorious Day which is one of my most favorite songs ever and has been the kick off for every live event that I’ve been able to hold.
Then the song Yes and Amen. This song was so prevalent last year at the women’s retreat She Who Believes because I was beginning to cling to every single promise that God has given and I was reminded of the journey this past year that He has brought me through.
But God did not stop there and when I saw the lyrics for Never Let Go pop up on the screen I completely lost it. I was transported back in time to 2007 when I hit rock bottom.
While No Longer Slaves has been my theme song over the past several years, Never Let Go was the first song that helped me start fighting the fears that held me captive. As I walked my recovery journey out of Internet addiction and people pleasing and fear of every single thing around me and started to find freedom, God used that song to continually show me no matter how many times I let go of Him, He never ever let go of me! That lyric became my truth as I grew more in my relationship with Christ and walked more out of the darkness of who I was into who I was becoming.
And then the message. Oh that message.
My tremendous gratitude towards God and my Savior Jesus Christ for the never ending love that has been shown to me cannot be put in the words. The emotions that flowed out of my heart yesterday was all I had to give Him.
What a beautiful day it was, the support for Anne and her family overwhelmed my heart with joy even more and then the beautiful opportunity to pray with those going through a storm was icing on the cake.
I’ve said it before and I will say it 1000 times over. I love my church!
There is so much more to post about but until then I will just say that I am up early and experiencing such an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder at what took place just mere hours ago at the first ever Entrusted With The Truth Women’s Retreat.
I can’t stop the tears from flowing as I’m overtaken by what God did in the matter of hours. I remember so many different moments from yesterday and how God showed up and His Holy Spirit moved. I am so humbled as I recall the stories that were being told as we gathered in circles and the experiences that people were sharing so openly.
I have to tell each of you that came out and supported this vision, from the bottom of my heart that I thank you for being a part of such a powerful day. What happened yesterday couldn’t have taken place without you.
There are not enough words in the english language to tell each of you how much I love you, how much I appreciate you, and your support so I will keep it simple and just say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Humbled and blessed beyond measure
As I sit down to type out my thoughts, I am overwhelmed with the truth of all the thoughts that want to flow from my fingertips. God has been and continues to show me every single day, hour, minute and moment that He can be trusted with EVERY SINGLE PART of my life.
There are so many examples I can give, leading up to this past week. Two of the biggest I can recall dealt with relationships and a job.
I was married and divorced within a year back in 1990. Many years later, in 2009 my ex-husband came back into my life. I was able to make amends and extend forgiveness for what went down years ago. It was a very healing time in my life. During that, as the communication was received favorably, I thought… no, I felt I KNEW that God was calling He and I back together again. We dated again for six months with much talk about getting remarried. I was coming into a good place of healing and relationship with Jesus and I just remember continuing to thank God and ask Him to lead things this time around. It wasn’t long before some of our previous issues arose and things became strained. I remember the last phone conversation me and my ex-husband had was that we needed to talk in detail about what was going on. He assured me that we would, he told me that he loved me, that he wanted to be married to me again and would do whatever it took to make that happen and that he would be calling me that night to discuss.
It might not surprise you to know that I never heard from him again. Not once. Not ever. Let me be clear, I called him, I wrote him. I wrote his family, I did everything in my power to get him to respond and even today, in 2017, I have never heard another word from him.
Before you think the worst, he was alive and well and I saw through facebook several years ago that he had remarried to the woman that he was talking too during the time of our dating that caused the strain in the first place.
I share that to say that while it took me a while to get there, I came to a place where I had to accept that I had given my heart, my life, my choices over to the Lord and I came to understand that when circumstances all seem to be going where I want them to go, yet God comes back with a resounding NO, I just have to trust Him, even when I don’t understand it. It wasn’t until 2013 and I met my husband of today that I could fully understand that God completely knew what was best for me and had the ABSOLUTE BEST waiting for me. Had I had my way, I would have missed out on what I have now with my husband and I wouldn’t trade that for anything!!
The other similar circumstance pertained to a job. I was working at a decent job, making decent money but as a single mom had been praying for more. A new company opened up literally across the lake from where I was working and everyone was jumping ship. The buzz was all around how they were hiring anyone and everyone, with quite a decent pay raise. I watched as my coworkers left one by one, many of them not giving a two week notice as this company wanted them ASAP. Eventually I put my application in and started praying. I got an interview and it seemed to go well. Then I got the call that they wanted to offer me the job. I was thrilled! Here was my opportunity to provide more for my daughter! I didn’t want to put in my notice until it was finalized and I was told I would be receiving additional hire paperwork. I waited. And waited. And waited some more. After about two weeks, I called and they assured me they were working on it. I kept getting communication from the ones who were already over there, talking about how great it was and how much money they were making. I continued to work and pray and wait. After another two weeks, I reached out again and this time I was apologized to. They said that in the end they were not able to hire the last round of interviewees and that they would keep my name on file and if something ever came up they would give me a call.
I was devastated. What had just happened? I kept asking God what He was doing. But! I was able to recall the situation with my ex husband and I gave God thanks for whatever it was He was doing and continued at the job I had.
You know, God doesn’t have to give us a reason for anything He does. He is Sovereign and can say no anytime He wants. Just because He said so.
But He is a gracious loving Father and showed me about six months later why His way was better than mine.
The company that everyone thought was so great went right out of business. All the people that went over there were now without jobs and many were unable to return to the previous job due to the bridge they burnt when they left.
These two instances has stayed with me over the years that even when everything seems to be moving forward, that when all lights are green, if I ask and trust the Lord for His Will and Way, He will always do what is best for me.
Fast forward to today, this past few weeks. Our entire family had a situation in front of us where we felt God was leading us to go in a certain direction. My daughter and her father were going to be able to move into a seemingly nice area into a three bedroom trailer which would be plenty of room for them and the baby. Me, my husband and his mom were also going to move into the same area, our own three bedroom trailer, allowing us to cut our rent in half and take care of some much needed bills. There were so many things leading up to us considering that decision we felt it was truly God led but because of the lessons we have learned in our journey, we were all thanking God for what was in front of us but continually claiming that if something fell through at the last minute we knew it could only be the Wisdom of The Lord protecting us.
Needless to say, everything fell through in the last hour. In that moment, nothing made sense. How could all the signs be pointing forward, all the lights were green for go, yet the no still came. My daughter and her father were heartbroken but because of me and my husbands own experience with things like this, I stressed to them that truly, when things like this happen, it can only be God’s Hand and while we may never know why, we can certainly trust it is what is best for all of us.
Again, God does not have to tell us why. His no is perfectly enough.
However, because of His grace, we were given the answer the next morning when a dear friend of mine texted me to share some news about the place that we were all going to move into. It was not a safe neighborhood. It had been in the news many time and the reviews were agonizingly painful about how unsafe the place was. In that moment, I forwarded the text to my daughter and her father, encouraging them to never, ever, EVER doubt that when we give our lives, our hearts and our choices over to the care of God, He WILL do what is best for us.
Do you find this true in your life? Or maybe like me, before I grew into this trust I have for Him, I was afraid to give Him every decision. Oh, I might have given Him some of the decisions, but many times when it was something I really wanted or thought I deserved, I withheld asking Him for His hand. And even when I did ask, and received even the smallest no, I questioned Him over and over again as to why.
I am thankful for today, where I know without a doubt, that He holds the answer to every question or decision I am willing to put in front of Him. I pray that as you continue your journey in trust with Him that each time you will come closer to the absolute truth that His Way is ALWAYS better than our way, no matter what!
Recently I was writing for my weekly encouragement email and I said the following:
Over these past few months, I have met more women who have either organized or spoken at retreats or other events than ever before. I have been privileged to come into contact with women who are involved in other groups that glorify God and they have welcomed me with open arms. God is bringing women into my life in creative and interesting ways, like through random neighborhood apps, conversations in the women’s bathroom at church, or reconnecting me with a friend from years ago. **end**
While writing these words, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude that God is in control of such minute details of my life. The abundance of His love is earth shattering to me! But it was of no surprise when the accusers voice whispered in my ear “yeah, but”
“Yeah, but what difference does that make?” “Yeah but, look at how successful she is” “Yeah but, do you really think you could accomplish that?” “Yeah but, look at how fit she looks” “Yeah but, this has already been done before” “Yeah but, Yeah but, Yeah but!”
Ladies, I just want to clear something up here and now. Satan IS A LIAR!
There is no reason to compare ourselves to anyone!
Satan tells us we are not good enough. That we won’t ever measure up. That we don’t deserve. What a BUNCH OF CROCK!
Excuse my language but we have GOT to stop letting the deceiver have ANY say so over our life. We have GOT to stop him in his tracks with The Word of God. The Word that says we are fearfully and wonderfully made’ .. Psalm 139:14 and that we are chosen, holy and blameless before God.. ‘For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love..Ephesians 1:4 and that we have been created for good works that God has prepared beforehand so we may do them.. Ephesians 2:10
We need to submerse ourselves in the truth so that the enemy cannot gain any type of foothold with his lies. The devil knows he can never snatch us completely away from God but he will sure grab ahold of our ankle in a desperate attempt to keep us from getting to where God wants us to go!
I pray that those reading this will be encouraged to not be involved in the damaging comparison game and live the truth of who we are in Christ!
Whoa how time flies. It’s been forever since I’ve typed out an actual blog post. So much has been going on. I listed in a previous post how busy things were. We’ve made it past the grand baby’s birthday and Thanksgiving. We even survived the cold weather at our successful neighborhood event. My weekly bible study is going smoothly and Freedom is being found in Jesus’ name!
God has moved mountains regarding helping me prepare for the Women’s Retreat coming up next year. I have been able to get my LLC updated to be currently active instead of waiting until the first of the year. I’ve started a weekly encouraging email list and my job ended which demands that I pray fervently for His provision but also allows me more time to do what I need to do. Since I’ve been laid off from work, He has provided so many other opportunities this past week, to get things done. I now have a brand new website, plus an official Entrusted with the Truth banking account, a resale certificate and a business tax certificate. It was quite fun explaining to those that asked “what kind of business is this and what are you selling?” my response being a big smile and a shrug – ‘I’m not sure what God is up to yet but so far, Encouragement for all and Women’s retreat tickets is about the best response I can give’ it was baffling to some which was comical but to me it is exciting stuff and I look forward to continuing along this journey.
I don’t share any of this with you in hopes that you think, ‘wow, look at all she is doing’ I share it in hopes that if you’ve been traveling this path with me for any length of time, you will recognize that this is all of God’s doing. That it is ONLY by His grace and wisdom that any of this is happening.
Our church is getting ready to begin the fast that we do every year and I sat in awe the other day when it was announced as I was reminded again that this past year started with the fast for me. It was during that time frame that I became even more serious about my relationship with Christ. I actually found a few emails the other day between me and a friend while cleaning out my mailbox at work. It was just after the fast had ended and I felt God telling me to start writing down the needs we had. I’ll post it below so that maybe you can understand just a bit about how stunned I am on how this year has turned out.
**email dated January 25, 2017**
On my way out of the gym this morning (yay body pump!) I had two missed calls from my Pastor’s wife from church. My first thought was, uh oh, what did I do lol, it was like being called into the principal’s office hehe. But I listened to her voicemail and then called her back.
she wants me to speak at our annual women’s conference in March!?!
Like, get up in front of people and talk about my story and my love for Jesus. Like, IN FRONT OF A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE… <insert big gulp here>
She said she had been asking God for someone to do one of the sessions and when I showed up the other night at a prayer meeting (which I went to on a whim) she felt He was saying to ask me. She even said that she prayed about it and then took it to Pastor Jason (whom I absolutely love that man) and she didn’t tell him who she was thinking about, she said she told him she was trying to find someone and wondered if he could think of anyone and she said even he said “what about Susan” which she took as confirmation from God.
Completely awed and blown away by what God is doing here…
I told her that as most responses from people in the bible… I want to say “I’m scared” “why me? I’m not qualified” “I’m not good enough” but on the other hand, I can’t help but feel that God wants to do something big in all of this. I remember two years ago, I went to a leadership conference at the church and sat and cried my eyes out because I felt God was calling me to do something more and felt He spoke to me that day and said one day you will be up on this stage. And now this opportunity comes along.
**2 email dated January 26, 2017**
Something I didn’t share yesterday is that just yesterday morning before I went to the gym, I was in my quiet time, being purposeful and writing down the different needs in my life. (one of them being a 4 bedroom house so we can have more space with the baby and help Chris’s mom out) because I had found myself the day before looking at houses for rent online and seeing the beautiful homes with gorgeous kitchens, (something I’ve always wanted) and feeling not good enough and not worthy of having such a nice place- so I committed to writing down all the things I wanted to see change in my life and was telling myself that I just needed to believe in what God wanted to do….. only then to get the phone call asking me about a conference called “She Who Believes”…. So I sent my pastor’s wife an email this morning confirming that I would do it (we were going to confirm on Saturday when we met up and I heard more detail) but I told her what I shared with you about a few years ago and told her the above story and said I felt that God was already giving me confirmation before I even knew what was going to be asked of me and I didn’t need to know details, just that He was going to do this and not me- simply amazing when I put it into words like this!
************** end of emails **************
To read those words, to remember how I was feeling that day and to recall with absolute clarity that I had no other choice than to believe God had big plans for me, it completely floors me as I sit here in my 4 bedroom home, typing on a website that is God given to bring the gift He gave me into the world, while in the background planning my own women’s retreat next year to benefit my church and community while giving Glory to The One who made it all possible.
And the crazy thing is, He’s NOT DONE!
I pray that if you read through this long post, that you are encouraged. I am sure that you have experienced His goodness in many ways, maybe even something like the above. Just continue to remember, God has so much He wants to do for you and through you. Continue to get into His Word, trust what He says and take action on whatever next step He is calling you to take. That is what I am striving to do every single day and I have never felt so sure of God’s presence and purpose in my life.
Oh my goodness what a morning. It started yesterday after not getting a lot of sleep the night before I was extremely tired and by the end of the day as I continue to think through this event and plan the next step I began to feel a cloud of doubt come over me. I was able to push it off with prayer but this morning on my way to work I was listening to my new favorite song by skillet called Lions and the lyrics just tore me up. All the what if’s came crashing down… what if nobody shows up… What if I sacrificed financially and it ends up hurting my family… what if I didn’t hear God as clearly as I thought I did… And the big one, what if i’m not who He says I am and therefore He won’t show up for me.
Ironically, I am set to speak at the retreat and my first subject is on fear. Go figure!
Today is ours, it’s always been
Before we face the fight
We know who’s gonna win
We live by faith and not by sight
We don’t want safe and quiet
We don’t wanna run and hide
Every time I heard those last two lines of that song this morning I cried my eyes out which isn’t necessarily a good thing considering I was driving 🙂
I am striving with all of my might to live by faith and not by sight and I have spent my whole life hiding and being safe and quiet and running and hiding and I don’t want that anymore! And I know that God is calling me out of that and into His glorious plan!
I was built up and edified by the fact that I know that my God has great plans for me. And I know that whatever He sets before me he WILL see it through. And I have no doubt that I am a child of His and He will never leave me alone or let me fall when I’m walking as best I can in His will.
I share all of that this morning to hopefully encourage you to not let fear take away the dream that God has planted in your heart. I move forward today knowing that my God is calling me out and He’s putting something before me that I would’ve never dreamed possible and all I have to do is step out and take the next step that He is asking me to take and whether 150 people show up at this retreat or five, He WILL be glorified and THAY is all that matters! That is what He’s asking me to do and that is what I will continue to put all of my effort into doing!