The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle

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Psalm 33:6 says, “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”

God spoke and the earth was formed out of nothing. How much more do you think God can put the pieces of your life back together?  if He can create the universe from nothing?

In the past several months I have been dealing with cancer, surgery and it’s treatments.  I have been on bed-rest and frankly, had way to much alone time.  Time to think about the last couple years since my divorce.  I found myself stuck things just did not make sense to me.  There was a span of about a month that went from talking reconciliation, proclamations of love to I want a divorce by email.  The explanation given (no face to face or talking on the phone) did not make any sense to me, why? because I knew it was not true. He has always been a person who avoids confrontation and maybe this was just to painful to explain or face.  I realize we cannot expect things from people they cannot give.   But, one of my biggest challenges has always been that I have an analytical mind, therefore, everything needs to make sense for me to move on.

This got me thinking about my youngest child.

She has always loved puzzle-working and she knows the best puzzles are the ones with lots of small pieces with similar colors, making it a big challenge. Watching her work her puzzles, I have often thought over the course of the last two years how very much like a puzzle our lives are. God fitting each piece of our story together perfectly.  The problem was, the pieces of this story did not seem to fit. There was a huge piece missing.  It wasn’t so much about moving on from the person as it was making sense of the whole situation and being blindsided.  To be fair, We had been struggling since I chose to separate.  Making sure I was fully in God’s will.  Ever the obedient child who leans to much towards legalism, aww…yet another hurdle in my life. Check!

From my point of view (which is sometimes dangerous), the pieces just didn’t seem to fit.  I could not see the completed picture on the outside of the box so I was not sure how these pieces all fit together.  But Jesus knows. He has a reason for each one.  He is not only a great puzzle maker but he is the best at putting puzzles together even the ones that seem to have no color or life and to us don’t fit.  I just love how He causes things to happen, people to meet that HAVE to be in place so some future piece of our puzzle will fit together perfectly..

That is what happened to me, a couple days ago, I thought ok, this is ridiculous I was being inundated with emails from his family criticizing me and saying really hurtful things.  I cried, prayed and reached out to a pastor that knows the situation well, in our correspondence the Lord gave me a really precious gift, unbeknownst to him he gave me that missing piece.  Suddenly everything made sense, as much as it could anyway.  I felt immediately a sense of peace that truly did pass all understanding.  Pro 3:5,6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct[a] your paths.  Would I have liked the outcome to be different, absolutely, I believe every marriage can be restored if both hearts are open.  Only problem was that was not our case.  Instead the proverbial easy way was taken.  But I now had  the answers I needed to move on and commit this person and my life to the Lord, and to forgive and ask forgiveness for the part I played.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17
There have been many of these “divine appointments” or “Gifts”  over the last couple years. He has thankfully been so active in my life and journey that I sometimes feel like I am —well, that my life is like a story in a book.  It is a kind of paradox really. We are all already a piece of a God sized puzzle but at the same time…. everything shapes us.  All the emotions, the joy, the tragedies, the accomplishments, the mistakes, the good days, the hard days, the mundane days all working together for good.  Shaping us into what the Lord desires. Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The last couple of years has been quite an education, like being in school with God,  He taught me each step of the way, not only what I needed to know but what would help me through at each point along the journey. These lessons were deep and profound. Opening my eyes and heart. Changing me from the inside out.  Quieting my soul. Healing me, and not just emotionally, but physically as well.

I am human (and at times neurotic) and though I have learned valuable lessons that have reshaped me, and stretched me, there were times when “the enemy” attacks. There have been weeks, months on end, when he drags my mind through the mire and muck.  It is in these times of attack that my past baggage starts resurfacing, hopelessness tries to creep in and present stresses pound in the back of my mind.

It is at these times of difficulty that we acknowledge what it means that He is God. This is all about Him. This is His story. It is about obedience.  He is in control and sitting on His throne.  I needed to Let Him do his job, completely surrendered to His will no matter what.

Having confidence that the pieces of our lives are slowly all fitting together to create a beautiful picture. Even though we won’t see the completed picture this side of Heaven, we can know the Creator is creating a beautiful picture from the pieces of our one ordinary, messy, beautiful life.

I am so thankful to the Lord who used this pastor to put that last piece of the puzzle together that fit perfectly in my puzzle of life.  A pastor that has been patient with me when he did not need to.  That spoke the truth with love, that sometimes can be a hard pill to swallow, but is just what we need to hear at just the right time. After all, I am not even part of his flock, although I once was, but I guess I am because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ a family of believers. Hallelujah

You see God was saying all along, “I have the missing piece. It’s a surrendered relationship with me. That is what you have been missing. That is what you have been searching for and didn’t realize it.”  All I needed to do was ask and have faith that he would show me the way and heal my brokenheart.  But, the Lord, being gracious knew I needed the assurance of that last earthly piece.
David said to the Lord, “My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hands of my enemies” (Psalm 31:15). I have to remind myself that I have a Creator who designed me, and my life is in His hands. Only He knows where every piece belongs.

The Bible provides a wonderful message to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18 says,“The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

The Apostle Peter said something that really resonates with all of this: “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (1 Peter 4:19). Sometimes it is God’s will that we are broken for a time, as it was in Job’s case. We must entrust ourselves to Him, believing that He is faithful in every good thing, in His good time. When we leave this earthly tent and enter into God’s presence, we will be completely whole.

Revelation 21:1-5, the greatest promise for God’s beloved is this:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

The final promise from Revelation 22:20,

He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give Me Courage To Be Brave

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“Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” Mark 6:50

I have stepped out in faith this week and need prayer that His will be done in my life.  I am awaiting a decision that will be made tomorrow, it is my steadfast prayer for healing and restoration.  I pray the Lord will speak to the hearts of all involved and the Lord will go before me preparing the way.

The past few weeks, during my quiet times with the Lord, one subject keeps coming up.  Are you brave enough?  I realized He was prompting me to step out, to stretch me.

Bravery is something I do not possess.  I always seem to take the safest option in my life.  It made me reflect, am I brave enough in my Christian life?  The words the Lord spoke to me “are you brave enough” kindled a fire in my soul as I began to think about all the ways I wanted to be brave enough: brave enough to speak up, brave enough to be graceful, brave enough to step out in faith, brave enough to ask for help.

What I have learned was I do not have enough courage/bravery on my own to face life without fear. I needed a courage that came from outside myself. My human bravery always fell short.

No matter what you need to be brave enough for today, Jesus offers to meet you there with what only He can do. He offers you forgiveness when you fail and grace that energizes you to try again. He offers you healing when you hurt and strength that replaces your weakness. He offers you his presence, giving confidence that comes fully from who He is — not who you are.

If we have any desire to see God move in a miraculous way in your life, we must be prepared to step out of the boat, as Peter did. God’s power is always there for the taking. Sometimes, though, the Lord requires us to take the first step of faith and then the bravery will be provided.

He wants to expand our borders to maybe try new things. It can be really scary. We may even start to sink as Peter did. But if we don’t ever get out of the boat, we will never know the new things God wants to do in and through us. He has so much in store for us, more than we could ever dream of.

Are you brave enough in your Christian life?

Has God placed something in your heart that you feel you should be doing? Are you holding back for fear of the unknown or a fear of rejection? What small steps can you take in pursuing it?

Commit these things to the Lord.

When you have Jesus, you have all the courage/bravery you need, for whatever you may face.

Heavenly Father, I want to believe that in You I have all I need. As I begin today, would You help me be brave enough for whatever You have for me? Give me the courage to forgive generously, love fully and shine brightly in the place You’ve placed me to grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Please pray for me regarding tomorrow’s decision, that His will be done in my life.  And that He moves in a miraculous way.  Preparing all the hearts involved and preparing the way.

Thank you all and God Bless!

Cheryl

My God Is Faithful!

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2 Thess 3:3 the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one

As I have shared my testimony with all of you, you know I have been going through a very painful divorce, that I did not want.  I also have an auto-immune system disease that is aggravated by stress.  My recent tests have revealed I have a lot of pre-cancer cells in my esophagus and stomach.  During a recent doctor’s appointment, I received a stern warning to get my stress and anxiety under control or you will die.

So, he referred me to a counselor, because of my insurance I was not able to pick who I wanted to see.  My desire was to talk to a bible teaching Christian counselor, but because I was under obligation to I made an appointment.

So, I am thinking..ok..I will go talk and see what she say’s, really wanting a Christian. Thinking a secular counselor will probably think I am crazy!  So, I walk in and she is a beautiful woman with a glow about her. She immediately say’s to me “are you a believer?” I smiled and said “yes”…she say’s “ok..great what is your walk like”? Do you have a problem relating to God as your loving Heavenly Father because of your fatherlessness and abuse issues?  “You realize at the heart of all these issues is your relationship with him.”  She continues “Peace comes to us after we have made a full surrender of everything and everyone in our lives.”  So, needless, to say the next hour and a half..was SUCH a Blessing! He is so Faithful to meet us RIGHT where we are at!! He goes before us and prepares the way, He knew I needed more than a secular counselor could offer me.  I believe he hand picked her just for me.

Then another Godly woman, a pastor’s wife I met years ago, (where my ex-husband guest spoke at in Whittier), gave me a verse out of the blue:

 “Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me.” (Ps 131:1)

I realized through this verse, I do not have to figure out why he divorced me.  Or why he found someone else.  I just have to lean in and Trust my Heavenly Father to deliver me from my hurt and pain.  After all, He loves me more than any earthly person can!

Getting over my hurt will be a struggle, But after today,  I am excited because I know I will have Victory and wait with anticipation for what the Lord has for me!

Father, everyone and everything in my life is turned over to you for your control! Father, you know it is easier to say, then live, but I want to learn to live the lifestyle that will honor you and bless you…I want my life to bring you glory, help me, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hallelujah and Amen.

 

My Heart Hurts Lord!

This was such a timely reminder to me today that God Loves me!  when I heard this song it just hit everything I’ve been going through so much pain suffering asking God to take my mountain but He doesn’t but keeps telling me to trust Him.  This week has been hard.
Today around noon, I have received some news about my past marriage that crushed my spirit. I felt this huge pressure in my heart. I fell on the floor and cried out “it hurts so bad!” to the Lord. Over and over again, with tears flowing out of my eyes.  I have not felt that broken or cried that much in a long time.

You know what I want to do with my hurting heart?  I want to take it on a tour so all my friends can hug my hurting heart, I need Someone in my corner, That Someone is God.

Have you ever noticed that no one can heal your hurting heart? As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s even a puzzle to you why your heart hurts. Things can seem to be in place. Things can appear okay, but deep down, you know they aren’t.  As hard as you try to put on a happy face or be thankful, you still feel like you’re falling apart.

Scripture says that blessed are the poor in spirit and that God is close to the broken-hearted. Tears are the economy of the broken-hearted kingdom, and I am making sure that every single one of them falls at the feet of my loving and compassionate God.

I know that today I am not the only person in this world whose heart is sad but surrendered. That’s why I’m writing this – I hope it finds someone else who is so very sad but is so very certain of a God who cares and hears. Sometimes it’s hard to be sad and full of joy at the same time, but from everything I’ve read in the Bible, it is hard but it is probably the best place to be because God is close by.

When we go to God in prayer, we’re admitting we need help. When we kneel before our Heavenly Father, it’s like we’re climbing into the lap of the King of kings. He’s sovereign. He sees all things and knows all things. But most of all, if we have confessed our sins and called on Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, then God is also our Abba Father. He cares about us. He wants to help our broken heart.

If your heart is hurting today, why not go to God?  Kneel.  Pray, “God, show me why my heart is hurting. If I have any ownership in why it hurts by harsh words I’ve said, by being unfaithful to You, by caring more about what is happening around me than you Father; Lord, forgive me. I repent and ask You to help me live as You want me to live. Give me Your perspective, strength, and insight. Heal my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

There is help for the hurting heart. And the healing begins when we put Jesus in the center of our hearts.

 

Ministering To The Hurting

This was sent to me from a friend this morning!  Little did my friend know how timely her video and kind words were.  The Lord is so good and uses people to minister to His children when we are hurting, sending comfort through our friends.

Today, my heart hurts, I was reminded yesterday of a happy memory probably the happiest in my marriage to my ex-husband.  A friend innocently mentioned they were having dinner at an italian restaurant. It was the Italian restaurant where he presented me with a beautiful diamond ring and asked me to marry him all over again, we did not have the money for an engagement ring when he proposed the first time. It was made even more special to hear his words of love and devotion, watching him getting down on one knee while presenting me with this beautiful gift.

My heart hurts because years later he chose his fleshly desires instead of humbling himself and restoring our marriage.  He took the easy way out and divorced me instead of facing his sin.  It was an abrupt and easy way for him, but the hardest thing for me, no closure, no communication.  So, today, my heart hurts, but I know my pain is temporary and fleeting.  I have a God who loves me and will be faithful to comfort me in my pain.

You see, I have learned that There is no such thing as pointless pain in the life of the child of God. This has encouraged and strengthened me when I walk in the valleys of suffering, brokenness, and pain!

One of the reasons that suffering has value is experienced by those who can say with conviction, “I know how you feel. I’ve been in your shoes.” Suffering prepares us to minister comfort to others who are suffering.

Feeling isolated is one of the hardest parts of suffering. It can feel like you’re all alone in your pain, and that makes it so much worse. The comfort of those who have known that same pain is inexpressible. It feels like a warm blanket being draped around your soul. But in order for someone to say those powerful words—”I know just how you feel because I’ve been there”—that person had to walk through the same difficult valley first.

Suffering often develops compassion and mercy in us. I have found in my life, through this experience, those who suffer tend to have tender hearts toward others who are in pain. We can comfort others with the comfort that we have received from God (2 Cor. 1:4) because we have experienced the reality of the Holy Spirit being there for us, walking alongside us in our pain. Then we can turn around and walk alongside others in their pain, showing them the compassion that our own suffering has produced in us.

Ministering saints are very precious to God!  We have all been given the power to minister and refresh a hurting believer, as my friend did unbeknownest to her with this video and words of encouragement. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s urgings, when you suddenly think of someone, reach out to them.  Pray that the Lord will give you discernment to know when people are hurting.  Pray for divine appointments, where God can use you to minister to His people.  There is nothing better than realizing the Lord used you to comfort one of His own.

Romans 15:2 says,“We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord”

Run To Jesus

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I once had a friend that was afraid he had fallen too far away from God.  He came to me one day and asked “What if I am so bad that I’ve crossed the line and God will no longer forgive me? I’m afraid I’ve crossed that line. I used to not even think about it, but now I’m really scared.”  I always told him the same thing “The fact that you’re afraid you’ve gone too far and God won’t forgive you is actually a very good sign, because it means there is hope for you! If you were unconcerned, then you’d never turn to God, and you’d never have any hope of forgiveness. After all, the person who’s in the most danger spiritually is the one who feels no need for God’s forgiveness.

You are never too far gone. You are never too broken to be fixed. You are never too lost to be found. Today, I hope you understand that God can restore parts of your life that you may have thought were lost forever. The most important thing I can say to you is this: It’s never too late to turn to Christ. Even when you wanted nothing to do with Him, God still loved you — and He loves you still. By faith ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your life — and He will. You can trust God’s promise: “The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Listen to what David wrote in Psalm 139, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me….How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139:1-10 & 17-18)

It’s so important for us to take God at His word and believe that He is with us at all times. But this doesn’t always come naturally; we need to ask God to help us realize this and take delight in His presence.

Will you do that today?

 

 

Hope For The Broken

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Have you ever been so broken, your heart shattered into a million little pieces, that you were sure there was no hope for you? Or are you heart-broken right now?

Everybody has had their heart broken in some way — maybe by disappointment, fear, shame, rejection, or ridicule. I want to share some verses of Scripture that have been especially soothing to my soul.

I’m praying that God’s Word can be a light unto your path as you may be facing your own trials, grief, and burdens.

You aren’t alone, and there is One who can carry you when you can’t face these long days on your own…

Bible Verses for lifting a broken spirit:

Romans 8:28-31 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Psalms 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength,  a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Psalm 16:7-9 “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Psalm 34:7 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” 

Psalm 27:13,14 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

Mark 9:24 “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Psalm 34:1-4 “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

Hebrews 4:15,16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Isaiah 43:2,3.“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” 

Heavenly Father, we are reaching out to you. Hear our cries. Lord Jesus, You have stated that where two or three have gathered together in your name, You are there in their midst. And so, with you in our midst, we declare that every broken spirit is healed and restored. Father God,  thank you for healing the broken-hearted, the down-spirited, the weak, the down-trodden.