In the Face of Fear.

Have you ever been so consumed with fear that you find it hard to be the mom, friend, sister, daughter, wife you know God created you to be in the midsts of that fear? 

If you have read any of my writings, it is no secret I have wrestled with living in fear. I’ve been candid about the pain and torture of what it has been like for me and my family. It would not be a complete picture if I left you with just that picture- the torture. The truth is, I’m a woman who loves the Lord, wants to serve Him and be FULLY who He created me to be so tolerating being tortured by fear is not an option for me (though it is easy and tempting to accept it as my reality, “this is just who I am”.).

I have a piece of artwork hanging in my kitchen that says, “When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” I didn’t purchase and hang this piece for show but because it’s my hearts deepest desire. Don’t we all, as women of God, fully want to be who God created us to be? One thing I have learned for sure is living in fear will keep us from being that woman.

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Recently I have been faced with a choice- a choice to live in the fear of “what if” or the choice to take my thoughts captive and ask for the Lord’s help to trust His goodness- much like what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says. Both options take effort and energy if I’m being completely honest; however, my years of close relationship with the first allows me to say that the energy spent living in fear is wasted on us- always.

I wish I could say this makes choosing to take my thoughts captive easier but I’d be lying if I tried to convince you of such. However, what I now know is that although the initial choice brings great challenge, the result is much more rich. Simply put, living in fear has always birthed more fear and taking my fearful thoughts captive has always birthed a confidence of God’s goodness in my life. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

A dear friend- who knows all too well what it’s like to take her fearful thoughts captive- recently text this to me and it’s hanging on my refrigerator as a reminder of truth. I hope it does your heart some good today as I know it did mine.

“But I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. (Micah 7:7 NIV) You are waiting on HIM. HE is working behind the scenes. HE is obviously so near. HE is faithful to HIS promises.”

It was a few minutes after this text I heard my girls pointing and yelling to tell me to look up at the rainbow over my head. Thinking they saw a spot on the wall with a few colors that resembled a rainbow I looked up to appease them. Standing there in the kitchen, in the midsts of paying my bills and responding to my friend’s text, I looked up to find this…

God sees.

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The dear friend I refer to in this post is Krishana Kraft. She has recently authored a book called Tandem Living. I got the privilege of being a part of her book launch, and I can confidently say her book is one worth reading. She has such a testimony of God’s goodness to share with the world! You can learn more by clicking here. 

 

The sign in my kitchen is from The Shed. One of my favorite pieces of artwork!

“Wow” Me with Your Testimony [Twitter Post 5.2017]

“Wow” Me with Your Testimony [Twitter Post 5.2017]

Our stories of sensationalism don’t equip us to tell of God’s goodness. God’s sensational goodness equips us to go and tell. We were created and called to do just this. We ought to get real serious about finding the sensationalism in the pure saving of our souls… regardless of how it came to us.
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If we want to be used by God, we may have to die to the desire of being known by others. He’s made us for this, though.

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Humility isn’t Maturing of Age [Twitter Post 5.2017]

Humility isn’t Maturing of Age [Twitter Post 5.2017]

Humility isn’t always a maturing of age but soul. Just as maturing in age doesn’t automatically make you humble neither does humility automatically come with age. “Not giving a care what others think” is freeing, I’m sure, but not necessarily humility. 

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Humility is knowing your full worth and value in Christ and knowing you can’t do one ounce of it without Him. There can be pure humility in one who acknowledges their God given gifts and their need for Christ in it. In fact, may I suggest, it’s time for the believer to rise up and stand firm then in what God has gifted us! (Ephesians 6)

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Does God’s Goodness Always Feel Good?

I want the goodness of God to always feel good, but is this realistic?

When loss is the uninvited guest of our home, we feel something about it. The loss seems to invite feelings of grief, mourning, aching that crush the core of the one living in the loss.

It seems to be in these times we ache for answers to help us understand the purpose of the pain. “How can God be good when this is so painful?”, we say aloud or keep it tucked away in the secret parts of our heart so no one knows you are questioning the goodness of God.

God created us to have feelings and it doesn’t make us weak to express them. We hurt so we cry. We are excited so we laugh. We are happy so we smile. We are tired so we sleep (or are grumpy all day… if you’re anything like me). We are stressed so we drink wine. We lose a loved one so we grieve.

Yet when feelings become the dictator of our life, we can quickly lose heart. How do you respond when met with all of these feelings? Do you cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22 NIV)? Do you trust the Lord with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)? Do you let God’s love drive out your fear (1 John 4:18)? How you respond in the face of your feelings can be the regluing or undoing of you.

God’s goodness does not always feel good. The book of Job clearly exposes this reality. I wonder how many people walk around feeling wounded by God because they have allowed their feelings to be the dictator of their life.

Ten years ago, I would have confidently exclaimed God’s goodness and it would have felt good to say. I would even provide you with evidence of his goodness in my life, but the reality is this evidence was based on circumstances that felt good. My feelings dictated my belief about God’s goodness.

On June 24, 2011, my feelings became the most unreliable source of truth for me. I was met with the devastation that would forever change how I did life with the Lord. What appeared to be evidence of God’s abandonment was just the beginning of the stripping of a belief system that was faulty. He was soon going to cloth me with one that was true from the source of truth, my Jesus.

God’s goodness has not always felt good but, I can firmly say, He has always worked the pain for my good. It has been the saving of my soul that has been worth it all. With an aching in my gut and a tears welling in my eyes, I can testify that He has been worth it. It’s been through the  tragedies- that resulted from June 24- I have been gifted with some of the most intimate times with God, in turn deepening my faith.

Romans 8:28 tells us, “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.” (NIV) This Scripture does not say, “And we know that all things are good for us.” We can trust that He is going to work all things for our good even when it is not good for us.

Death is not good for us! Dear one, if death was good for us there would be no need for Jesus to come and die and be resurrected to save us from death. He died on that cross because death is not good for us. Death is terrible and excruciatingly painful and not what God intended when he created this world (Genesis 1-3 NIV).

If you are walking the road of losing a loved one, lean into Jesus. He knows this is not what is good for you but he will work it for your good. Abide in Him and you will produce lasting fruit and much of it, even though you feel as if you might die from grief (John 15).

If you are walking alongside someone who is grieving, will you share this truth with them? This may be the breath of fresh air they are longing for. This may be their break from the idealism of the well meaning that is suffocating them. They just may need someone to come and sit with them and say, “this is terrible”. Your friend can be in excruciating pain and still trust God is going to work this out for her good. I’m so grateful for the testimony of Katherine and Jay Wolf in their book Hope Heals,

No amount of catharsis or perspective finding will change the fact that our situation is terribly sad and deeply broken. I can give God the glory, and it can still hurt. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. But I have learned, above all other lessons, that healing for each person is spiritual. We will be fully restored in heaven, but we are actually healed on earth right now. My experience has caused me to redefine healing and to discover a hope that heals the most broken places: our souls (page 18).

Are you struggling because you desperately want God’s goodness to always feel good?

I did too.

It feels like a crushing blow when this truth is met with your inescapable reality that life- no matter how many years pass, new life that grows, exciting experiences that arise- is now filtered through the lens of loss. But this is where hope comes in, dear one. We can look forward with the hope that someday God’s goodness will always feel good because all will be made right (Revelation 21 NIV). As you wait expectantly for that day, you can experience healing of the most broken place right now: your soul.

 

If this post resonated with you, journey over to Newness through the Pain.

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]