Fear that Produces Peace

Fear.

I simply see the word written on paper and my mind floods with painful memories of times I’ve been in the heat of it. Words like: death, disease, divorce, disaster come crashing into my mind as if to remind me, “Ah yes, you have met fear before. In fact, you have quite a past history with this character.”

But is this relationship- this history built- with fear what God intended me to know, to become comfortable with? Often, I toss my hands in the air as if to say, “woe is me- this is just the cross that I bear”. I take the blows of the fearful situations because I assume they are just the consequences of a messed up world.

I take this mindset and get comfortable with it as if to wear a pair of shoes that don’t fit. Let’s face it, shoes that don’t fit are terribly uncomfortable but, if it’s all you’ve got, you settle in them anyway- especially if they “make the outfit”. The good Lord knows I don’t mess up a good outfit with the wrong pair of shoes.

Could I present you with a new idea about fear- a new pair of shoes if you will?

I don’t know that, as Christ followers, we need to go around wearing these shoes that don’t fit. If we are going to be wearing shoes, it gets to be the shoes that are “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6: 15 NIV) Interesting that the exact contrast of fear is peace, huh?

What if the meaning of “fear” has been tainted and twisted by the enemy to scare us and keep us in bondage to that thing of which we are scared?

What if God does want us to fear, but we have become so saturated with sin that we can’t even locate the authentic meaning of what fear is- the origination of the word by Him, through Him, and for Him.

In Philippians, Paul talks about fear by saying, “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12 NIV) Or how about the English Standard Version which says, “…show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

What if the authentic meaning of the word “fear” has less to do with a result (of a situation) and more to do with a response (of reverence for our Savior)?

Ponder this up and pray this out.

Peace.

Newness through the Pain

Do you ever question how God can make anything good come from devastation? 

No one wants to walk through seasons of deep pain and grief but it is inescapable… the way of a life lived.

As much as I long for Heaven where there will be no more death and anguish, it has been these painful times of my life that have been a catalyst for change. This change has led to a maturing of my faith in the Lord. Navigating my way through this inescapable pain is where scripture became more than just words on a page but the fire that set my feet walking and my heart beating. It seems to be that the Lord has used these times to birth out of me something new…

Newness.
When I think of newness I think of the morning sun, the smell of fresh flowers, the birds chirping, and freshly brewed pot of coffee. I crave the newness each day offers.

It’s a beautiful miracle when this newness becomes more than an experience but the face of a person.

We can change our hairstyle, our makeup, our clothes, our attitude but the real change comes when we surrender and follow our Savior and He makes us new!

Without Him, we’ve just been experiencing a cheap version of what newness really tastes, smells, and feels like.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

 

Journey over to, Stop the Name Calling: from Shame to Beloved, for a proper departure from here.

 

18077409_415896848794002_415488703601875014_o

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6)

Let’s face it, when it comes to freedom in Christ, we trade our joy for doubt, our tenacity for fear, or (dare I say) our calling for a self-invoked punishment as if we are putting ourselves in timeout until we learn to “behave”. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of defeated living. As women of God, we were made for fire and I want “this little light of mine” to burn wild and free.
This particular piece of writing had me captivated as I was curating it while sitting with my legs curled close to my 20-week baby bump and my left pointer finger twirling a strand of hair as I sat, prayed, pondered and wrote. You see, this piece represents what A Woman Named Free was birthed from, raw and unrestrained life of Maria Bowersock.
I typically do not write poems, so I thought it would benefit you to have some instruction on how to read this piece. (pst…I may be breaking all the rules of poem writing by doing this, so … )
This particular poem starts with statements that I wrestled with at one point or another. I was sure these fierce times in life would slaughter me and yet because of Jesus, I safely stand. The poem then guides you through the time of my life where my feelings collided with Scripture and produce something miraculous; the moment in my life where something wildly beautiful happens. From here, you will walk with me down the road of intimacy as I talk to my Heavenly Father.
Most of these types of writings I ponder up with Him and keep them in the secret hideaway of my heart. Other times, the message relentlessly burns to my bones and needs to be released from my hideaway… {download and read by clicking below}

 

 

 

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

Stop the Name Calling: from Shame to Beloved

Stop the Name Calling: from Shame to Beloved

Sister, you’ve made choices in your life you thought you’d never make. The enemy wants to whisper sweep lullabies of shame over you. You wake up each morning clothing yourself in this shame because, after all, isn’t it what you deserve? You live, move, and breathe shame. None need to force you to wear the scarlet letter because you’ve taken initiative to put it on yourself. This is it, this is the place you will die … the place of shame. Yet, the more you read and know Jesus, the more he keeps being everything you never thought and nothing what you thought you once knew. His word keeps calling you out of shame and into his freedom but you don’t know how, you don’t know what that means (Romans 8).

You see, Satan wants your life yet God wants to give you life (John 10:10). Satan calls you Shame and God calls you Beloved. Abortion, adultery, divorce, broken relationships, destroyed testimony … Sister, Satan calls you by your sin but God calls you by your name. You are fully known by your creator and, if you are His, no longer is your name Shame but Beloved.

Aren’t you tired of letting the enemy rule your life and steal your testimony? Aren’t you tired of being tired and beat down by your sin? Woman of God, you are a daughter of the King and this is your heritage, so with some audacity and power of God, call Satan’s bluff. Enough is enough. He has picked on you for far too long. You have a testimony to tell and it’s time to throw that noose of shame off your neck, move freely in the Spirit and tell about God’s goodness in your life until he calls you home or he returns. This is the year of the Lord’s favor! As you read Isaiah 61, claim it over your life, you kids life, your family’s life, and let His words pour over you and breathe life into your dead bones as only His word can.

Love you, Maria

cropped-IMG_2714-6.jpg

Isaiah 61 : The Year of the Lord’s Favor

 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

    to proclaim freedom for the captives

    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

    and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

    instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

    instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

    instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

    a planting of the Lord

    for the display of his splendor.

 

They will rebuild the ancient ruins

    and restore the places long devastated;

they will renew the ruined cities

    that have been devastated for generations.

Strangers will shepherd your flocks;

    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

 

And you will be called priests of the Lord,

    you will be named ministers of our God.

You will feed on the wealth of nations,

    and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame

    you will receive a double portion,

and instead of disgrace

    you will rejoice in your inheritance.

And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,

    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;

    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.

In my faithfulness I will reward my people

    and make an everlasting covenant with them.

Their descendants will be known among the nations

    and their offspring among the peoples.

All who see them will acknowledge

    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

 

I delight greatly in the Lord;

    my soul rejoices in my God.

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation

    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,

as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,

    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

 

For as the soil makes the sprout come up

    and a garden causes seeds to grow,

so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness

    and praise spring up before all nations.

Name Calling: a wrestle with the devil

Name Calling: a wrestle with the devil
I understand not everyone has a story that has led them down a path of destruction, and I’m thankful for those people! I, however, am not that person. My life was a true definition of “mess”. The effects of this bondage left sever damage. I mean, after all, the enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) and I tasted just how real that was. This is an excerpt taken from Beth Moore’s book, When Godly People do Ungodly Things, and is a glimpse into what it’s like to be “had” by the devil.
These writing are meant to be filtered through scripture not a replacement of scripture. God’s word is true and the source of all truth.

 

My name is Had. You may know me, but you may not know my new name. You may have no idea what I’ve been through because I do my best to look the same. I am scared to death of you. I used to be just like you. I once held my head up high without propping it on my hymnal. 

I was well respected back then, and I even respected myself. I was wholeheartedly devoted to God, and if the truth be known, somewhere deep inside I was sometimes the slightest bit proud of my devotion. Then I’d repent … because I knew that was wrong. I didn’t want to be wrong. Not ever. 

People looked up to me. And life looked good from up there. I felt good about who I was. That was before I was Had. Strangely, I no longer remember my old name. I just remember I liked it. I liked who I was. I wish I could go back. I wish I’d just wake up. But I fear I’m wide awake. I have had a nightmare. And the nightmare was me. Had. 

If I could really talk to you and you could really listen, I’d tell you I have no idea how all this happened. Honestly, I was just like you. I didn’t plan to be Had. I didn’t want to be Had. One day I hadn’t, then the next day I had. 

Oh, I know now where I went wrong. I have rewound the nightmare a though sand times, stopping it right at the point where I departed the trail of good sense. The way ahead didn’t look wrong. It just looked different. Strange, he didn’t look like the devil in the original scene. But every time I replayed it, he dropped another piece of his masquerade. When he finally took off his mask, he was laughing at me. Nothing seems funny anymore. I will never laugh again as long as he is laughing. 

If only I could go back. I would see it this time! I would walk around the trap camouflaged by the brush, and I would not be Had. I would be Proud. Was that my old name? Proud? I can’t even remember who I was anymore. I thought I was Good. Not Proud. But I don’t know anymore. 

Would you believe I never heard the trap shut? Too many voices were shouting in my head. I just knew I got stuck somewhere unfamiliar, and soon I didn’t like the scenery anymore. I wanted to go home. My ankle didn’t even hurt at first. Not until the infection set in. Then I thought I would die…

The infection is gone. He (God) put something on it and cleaned it up instantly. As he inspected my shattered ankle, I kept waiting for Him to say, “You deserved this, you know. You’ve been Had.” Because I did and I know and I have. He hasn’t said it yet. I don’t know whether He will or not. I don’t know how much to trust Him yet. I’ve never know Him from this side. My leg still hurts. God says it will heal with time. But I fear I will always walk with a limp. 

You see, I wrestled with the devil and he gave me a new name. Had. 

*This is not the ending of this story, or yours.

Read more here